Markus Knoblechner Interview: Bringing Stoke To Life
I have not had the chance to meet Markus in person, but I know it’s only a matter of time. He’s in holding it down in Europe, I’ve been here in Canada. We came to meet over his efforts with Big Mountain Skate (BMS) and their series of events across Europe this past summer and from then on Markus has absolutely killed it, bringing the stoke to life in my inbox and helping bring the BMS story to Skate[Slate]. From the events to videos and photos, good vibes and great stories, I am pretty stoked when ever his name is poppin up. Markus just officially joined the Root Longboards team and has an new video part, so I took the opportunity to hit him and get an interview in and find out more about the talented Markus Knoblechner.
Hi Markus! We’ve been chatting all year thanks to your involvement in Big Mountain Skate, but can you help tell everyone a bit about you. Where you from? How old are you?
Hey Les! Yes, that’s true. Gladly BMS came up and I am able to spread the stoke.
So, most guys probably know Mozart, who was born in Salzburg/Austria and so was I 27 years ago. Now I am living at the outskirts of the city and happy to have some pretty solid hills around me.
Do you skate full-time or do you have a civilian life off your board?
Uhh, that would be perfect if I could skate full-time. But obviously I am skating full-time in my free-time (haha). But I am living a life which is “board-based”. This means I am shaping surfboards 25 hours a week at a local woodshop called WUUX Surfboards and also work as freelance journalist and photographer mostly for sports topics. I am also trying to cover more skating for my friend Mihael Zadravec‘s new founded european online mag called longboardmagazine.eu. As well as hitting you guys overseas up with some european skating. We know you love our mountains. (haha)
How did you get into skateboarding?
I always was impressed by skating and the possibilities you can do with a skateboard. But I started to roll in 2012 after stopping to play semi-pro ice hockey. Back in 2013 my buddy Gregor motivated me to try and skate down a mountain road he skated a few times before. What should I say, I barely could slide, but I was hooked. You know the feeling. Since today, I never skated the road again because of the shit tarmac and honestly it is really dangerous though, ha ha. Today Gregor and I shred everything together. Fast downhill runs or some tranny at the skatepark – we push each other!
How did you get involved with Big Mountain Skate?
I attended LoRaLo back in 2013, which was organized by the guys who now call themselves “Big Mountain Skate”. We got to know each other and one year later, I shoot some first pics for the crew at LoRaLo 2014. In 2015, I offered Felix Rupitsch and Flo Wagner to help them out with my work as journalist, press officer and photographer. It all came down pretty naturally ’cause we all enjoy the same stuff, you know – skating, mountains and beer!
What is the main idea behind Big Mountain Skate? Why the ‘organized’ event ‘organization’?
The main goal is, to get people skate as much runs on closed badass mountain roads as possible. Here in Austria, it is way easier und much more effective if you talk to the mayor of the town to close down a road when an association/organization is backing you up.
Is your focus on Freerides or racing? What do you personally prefer?
I skated just a few races since I started. But honestly I am not really into all this “winning-mentality”. As said before, I played hockey and always wanted to win back then. But with skating, I always want to get the most fun and the best time out of it. So I really love to skate some fast mountain runs with my crew “Rollbrett Salzburg” and have a blast on and off the board. So focus is really Freeride, fun and big smiles!
I recently saw you joined Root Longboards?! Congrats. How did you get to meet Root? What led to joining the team?
Hell yeah. I am also pretty stoked on that. These boards are badass and the Root family are a really damn cool bunch of guys and girls! So due to my work as editor for different mags, Alex Dietrich, Root founder, and I know each other quite a while. But at Bela Joyride 2015 I took my camera to get some shots while skating and sneaked in a few runs. I jumped in when some guys of the Root family started to push off. We had a good time on the track and skated our first time together. A little later, my roomy “Koffer” paved the way to join the Root family as first Austrian Skater.
You are also a good photographer. A lot of photos for the events you sent me were yours?
Yes, I just love to take some pics of guys skating. I really like to freeze the moment when someone is skating down a nice mountain road. Therefore I always try to show as much landscape as possible to get the feeling of the spot.
How do you find time to help run an event and skate and take photos and work and life?
It is the love for skating! Skating gives me so much – traveling to awesome places, meeting nice people, having such a rad time and big smiles. With the things I do, like photography and journalism, I just want to give skateboarding something in return so it is pretty easy to find some time.
Big Mountain Skate events seemed like a success in 2015, is there a 2016 plan for you to be involved?
Things nearly stay the same. We have Alpenrauschen as first event, the Bela Joyride to get some kilometers on board as well as KNK Longboard Camp in Slovenia and the LoRaLo which celebrates its 5th anniversary. Also we have one more event, as we added the Almabtrieb to the line up on a crazy road in the middle of Austria. Probably there will be a nother event when something good happens just by accident. You never know, everything can happen in Austria. More details will be on Big Mountain Skate when they’re ready and hopefully Skate[Slate]!
That all sounds great! Its also pretty seasonal though right? Do you get to skate in the winter or hibernate and just work?
Luckily our head of the Rollbrett Salzburg Skateboard Association Max Stamler managed to get a badass skatepark in Salzburg last autumn – 1600 m2 concrete with 2 bowls, nice streetparts and a lot of transitions to get rowdy. Best thing though, the park is build under a bridge, has a ceiling and we can skate 365 days a year.
Europe has cheap travel right? I guess in winter it’s easy enough to fly to the Mediterranean and find dry roads?
Yes, kind of cheap I guess. Haven’t been out there in winter, but Spain is the best address in Europe. There are some skate houses and guided tours, which is pretty rad.
I really enjoyed my last trip to Spain for sure. What’s coming next from you?
Well, let’s see what 2016 will bring. But as mentioned before, Big Mountain Skate will definitely host a new event, as the Almabtrieb will be back in 2016, so I will be helping there and skating as much as possible. And I am also trying to cover more skating in Europe. Some great projects I hope to share soon!
Thanks for taking the time to chat with me. Stoked to see you involved in cool things. Congrats again on Root! Any last words or shootouts to end with?
Thank you Les, also my pleasure to talk with you.
First, I want to thank my girlfriend Astrid for always supporting me and having my back with the things I do. Shoutouts go to Alex Dietrich and Root Longboards for shaping such badass longboards, to my friends from Brick Headwear and Esteem Clothing who care for me, as well as the Austrian based boardshop Moreboards. And last but not least, a high5 goes out to the whole BMS-Crew and my skate buddies from Rollbrett Salzburg for having the best time on board!
And don’t forget – “Always skate with a smile!”