Another strong edit from Russia by Dmitry Kononov. You might wonder what “Karelia” could be meaning? Well, say no more:
“Karelia, the geographical area of North-West Russia – or as some call it, the ‘Scandinavia of Russia’ – is on the Finish border and is renowned for its forests, lakes, swamps, rivers and fresh summers. But how good is it for skateboarding?
Vans Russia’s Eugene Nikolaev was born in Karelia and this is where he started skateboarding. His plan to visit his hometown with the team fell perfectly during the moment the pandemic closed all the borders and international traveling became mission impossible. Thanks to decent weather, endless daylight and proper tour guiding, a week-long expedition up north with 20+ people resulted in an unforgettable experience and a solid tour clip.
Rough spots of Petrozavodsk and Kondopoga that had been shaped by Soviet architectural traditions and harsh winters provided a unique terrain for improvisation on skateboards. Vans Russia’s main team mixed with national flow riders and legends helped turn this edit into one for the books. Eugene Nikolaev showed us Karelia and now we want to show it to the rest of the world.”
When Russian hero, general skateboard aficionado, world traveller and good friend of the staff, Kirill Korobkov hit us with the message that the new Absurd Skateboard video was out he gave us so much information that he basically did our job for us.
“When Russian people mention vacation time by the sea they usually mean the Black Sea. It’s understandable because all the major sea resorts, the best Russian beaches and main seaports are all located on the coast of the Black Sea. But in fact, Russia also has an access to another sea, a southern one called the Azov Sea. It is way smaller, not as scenic as the Black Sea and its coastline isn’t as well developed. The Sea of Azov is one of the smallest and the shallowest seas in the world. The Absurd team explored cities around the Azov region and got a full-on Russian experience mixed with very special local vibes.”
Now to be honest that tell’s you everything you need to know except for the fact that the clip is hosted by a pirate/captain with a full gold set of teeth. Simply amazing, Enjoy!
Carhartt and Absurd Skateboards never disappoint. Good one, guys.
“Over a three week period in 2016, the crew – which consisted of skaters from both Carhartt WIP and Russian brand Absurd Skateboards – journeyed over 6000 km, exploring the vibrant cities, vast countryside and burgeoning skate scenes of the world’s largest country.
O3EPO, which translates to ‘lake’ in Russian, features Carhartt WIP skaters Igor Fardin, Felipe Bartolomé and Joseph Biais, alongside Absurd’s Tolia Titaev and Gosha Konyshev.
Packed into two small cars, the assembled team made it through five time zones, one hundred different skate spots and multiple bottles of local vodka. The grueling journey was captured by videographer Anton Beliaev and photographer Alexey Lapin, with the assistance of Kirill Korobkov.”
Today you are getting an eastern European update with both TheChariotSeven and the Russian Vans team skating some interesting looking spots, it is crazy how close and yet so far away the east can look sometimes.
Our friends from Absurd Skateboards having a new video out, filmed by the crew and Barabakaa. It’s all HI8, no fish eye and in a very family archive style – a pretty extraordinary family, that’s for sure!
If you never heard of Absurd, HERE you have our article from the “Project Russia” issue.
Part two of Patrick wallner’s (and crew) trip through the Caucasus takes us further into some of the most beautiful and romantic alleyways of the world. Not only does it look good it seems like you can skate it pretty well to!
Patrick Wallner and Red Bull are at it again, this time they took some Americans, a Latvian, a Brit and some of our favorite Russian people into the Caucasus mountains. From the stories we have been told this was a crazy trip in which Pat Duffy proved once again why he deserves the title legend.
Kirill Korobkov manages the Russian skateboard brand Absurd and is one of the contributors for Place Project Russia. He is a well-known figure in both the Russian and the world wide skate scene. He traveled the world with people like Kenny Reed, Keegan Sauder, Jonathan Mehring, Jack Sabback, Patrik Wallner and many more. During our trip to Sotchi, I found out that Kirill was wearing a very special item of clothing, a brown and tan flannel shirt. I was curious and asked him, if he could tell me what the story about his flannel button up (shown above).
It’s a shirt from Van Wastell, not his pro-model shirt but an actual shirt he used to wear. I met Van a long time ago (8 to 10 years ago) when we did a tour traveling with the Trans-Siberian Railway. This trip happened about two years before, I did the trip with Patrick Wallner (Visual Traveling project). The trip with Van was about a month long and during this month we all became really good friends. Van was an amazing guy on and off the board. He was endearing himself to people where ever he went even though, he couldn’t speak Russian.
By the end of the tour we all got matching “stick and poke“ tattoos of a mirrored R. This Я has a special meaning, it means “me” and at the same time it is the symbol for “railroad”. The funny thing is that Keegan wasn’t exactly an experienced tattoo artist so the first tattoos looked totally different from the last ones. Luckily, I was last to get it, so mine looks perfect.
Actually Van gave the shirt to Kenny Reed at first. He had it for a while until I visited Kenny once in Barcelona. Kenny was living a chaotic life at that time and he was afraid to lose the shirt and that’s why he gave it to me. Since that moment I’ve been wearing the shirt from time to time.
Unfortunately, Van tragically died in Berlin about three years after the tour. For that reason, wearing the shirt became something really ritual to me since that accident happened.
Kirill and his Я tattoo.
All photos by: Alexey Lapin
Interview by: Roland Hoogwater
Hi Kirill, for the guys, who don’t know you yet – please introduce yourself: “Hi, my name is Kirill, I’m 29 years old, been skating for around 15 years. I got kind of a weird role in Patrik’s crew – I always skate on those trips but i’ve never been good enough to get tricks for the video. We know each other since his first big project “10,000 kilomoteres” that we did around 2008. First I was just a tour guide, then we became friends and he kept inviting me for his trips, I usually help Patrik with organization and coordination. I do texts for different Russian and European skate magazines and websites. I shoot with old point and shoot film cameras. For Madagascar I used my automatic Minolta AFZ for personal memories. My main job is sales manager and team manager at Russian board brand Absurd skateboards. That’s it – enjoy the photos”
Patrik Wallner has been all over the Eurasia during the last few years. Since Eurasia has been his main point of interest he barely visited anything outside of this continent. I think Madagascar was his second big project filmed somewhere else (Cuba was the first one). Since I’ve been on many of his Eurasian trips I was really excited to go somewhere new for both of us, so I didn’t think twice when he offered me to join them for this one. I took this portrait of Patrik when he was in search for lemurs, in a literal way. It took us around two hours to find those funny little animals.
Madagascar capital Antananarivo was the starting point of the trip. The night before I took the flight I had read crazy stories about crime and robbery over there. Honestly I was little scared to go there. Glad we managed to avoid any serious problems there. I am sure you can find serious troubles in that city but during day time it’s not that bad at all. We didn’t have any kind of security and cruised all around the city. The general reaction of the people was positive and there were happy to see tourists in their country. Some contrasts of Antananarivo were quite shocking and life conditions especially in poor neighborhoods looked really harsh. It was nice to witness that people don’t about smiles and happiness no matter how hard they live over there. When our societies are spoiled with IPhones and modern trends kids over there can still have fun just with an old metal can fixed to the stick.
We met this boy with tangerines a few times while skating Antananarivo – I am sure Brian Dolle was his best customer of that week. It was all about bargaining between them during their tangerine deals. Brian definitely knew the fair price for tangerines by the end of the trip.
After a few days in the capital, we took a flight to Morondova on the west coast of the Madagascar Island. It couldn’t be more of a paradise than the way we stayed: Our bungalows were right by the ocean. There were pretty much no other people around besides a few locals busy with fishing and daily routine. Good times!
The Avenue of Baobabs was the main reason we went to Morondava. The place was surreal: When we saw it in morning fog on the sunrise it looked like something from a different planet. I guess it’s one of the most special locations you can visit, it’s almost hard to believe that we were there.
We got to meet local tribe people by the baobabs. I think it was great experience for both sides. They discovered skateboarding and pushed on our boards and we checked out their lifestyle and daily routine that looked like something you usually see in geographic movies on TV. We hung out together for couple hours.
Somehow we ended up coming to Morondova right for the biggest beach party of the year. The local DJ invited us during the lunch to come back later and we couldn’t resist to do so. Pretty much the whole city was there dancing, drinking and having fun. Look how happy Barney Page and his new friends looked like. We even went for and afterparty to a local club and danced barefoot.
This might be my favorite shot of the trip. I like that mom who has her baby on her back but dance and drink beer at the same time. I started dancing with her and I felt like her friends were so stoked that they even wanted to marry us after the dance. Maybe it was just my misunderstanding…
This was my first trip with Wilko and unfortunately the last one too. I had heard about him from Patrik and Danny before and was looking forward to travel with him. He brought this metal musical instrument with him and the moment when he played it for the tribe people under the baobab was one of the highlights of the trip. With his music it was almost like a meditation session for all of us. I could feel that Wilko was a bit in his own world all the time but people like him definitely do our big world interesting. I am glad I got to know him. R.I.P
Skateboarding is fun – no matter where you do it and how you do it. Keep pushing.