【CHOK 独家专访】专访慕尼黑方形滑板 Emil Boards 创始人 Niklas

NIKLAS icon

NIKLAS

采访日期: 2015年1月22日

“初生牛犊不怕虎”。他拖着狠狠摔伤的腿玩滑板,收获了属于他的滑板 “大招”;他爱看老电影老照片,收获了《回到未来》的设计灵感,设计出独特的方形滑板。他说想太多就是扯淡,相信才是真理!他就是德国慕尼黑 Emil Boards 方形滑板的创始人 Niklas。


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“每个人都有选择,做你所热爱的,就对了。” – Niklas

关于 Emil Boards 和主创 Niklas

我是 Niklas,我们的团队在慕尼黑,我的品牌 Emil Boards 专注设计和制作一款方形的滑板,它可以在人行道上滑行。我才刚刚开始做这件事,目前还没有实体店,然而我参加了很多在慕尼黑举办的滑板活动,大家都会在滑板聚会中试玩这款木制方形滑板。

▲ Emil Boards 创始人 Niklas

▲ Emil Boards 创始人 Niklas

在我眼中,Emil Board 更适合在水泥地上滑行,我和 Emil 的设计灵感更多来自于长板,我爱死了玩长滑板,我喜欢踩着滑板逛街,喜欢 60 年代的老电影和老照片,也许正因为这样,我也喜欢听 “Tame Impala” 和 “The Growlers”。其实呢,我的爱好很广泛,“Lianne la Havas” 和 “Who Made Who” 也是我杯茶,当然也不能少了我们德国本土的出色乐队,比如奥格斯堡的 “Carpet” 和慕尼黑的 “Thing Kong”,真的非常非常好听,真心强烈推荐你听听!最疯狂的事情?说的是在巴厘岛玩滑板车吗?呵呵,上帝保佑!说实在的,我们可是很正(feng)经(kuang)的人。

▲ 大家都很喜爱方形滑板

▲ 大家都很喜爱方形滑板

关于设计灵感,第一次踩方形滑板是什么赶脚

其实最初的时候我们都没什么大的概念,灵感的来源是 2013 年初的时候我看了电影《回到未来》一万遍,然后就想重新设计 Marty Mc Fly 踩的那个方形的滑板。那个经典场景至今还清晰地印在我脑海,他为了逃脱 Biff,从小男孩那搞来了水果箱子滑板车,可以说是他发明了这种滑板。

▲ 方形滑板的灵感来源于电影《回到未来》

▲ 方形滑板的灵感来源于电影《回到未来》

我当时就真的很想知道踩在一块方形木板上滑行是神马赶脚。第二天我就去了一家本土的木头店,搬了一块剩料木板回家,像个小男孩一样迫不及待想踩上去玩,急急忙忙地随便搞了些旧的轮子上去就带着它溜街了。我清楚记得当时是夜晚 9 点,街上已经空荡荡了,我跳上滑板(还是应该说木板呢),那感觉太棒了!你懂的。但我知道那不能持续很久,所以在接下来那一周我做了很多个设计雏形,直到那时候我才冒出了这块滑板的真正概念——越简单越好。但那还仅仅是藏在内心的想法,然后我就一步一步依着这些直接的想法把滑板做出来。

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▲ Emil Boards 方形滑板

▲ Emil Boards 方形滑板

所在城市给你带来什么创意?慕尼黑有什么好玩的滑板公园吗?

作为一个设计师,我无可避免地以一个设计师的眼光去看待身边的任何事物。走在大街上,我目之所及,无处不设计(住德国的骚年真幸福)。即使是非人类设计的自然之物,也是以一种充满创造力的形态而存在,我都能从中获得灵感。所以我从不停歇,每一刻都在创作,你懂的。滑板也一样,当你成为一个滑板手,你在街上看到的一切就都会与滑板联系起来,“啊!这该是很好的坡道!”“噢!看那个栏杆!”似乎到处都是可以滑的场地,所以获取灵感这件事真的易如反掌的。

▲ 在德国,似乎到处都是可以滑的场地

▲ 在德国,似乎到处都是可以滑的场地

真正重要的事情在于将在大街上、杂志中、自然里获得的灵感催生出产品,如此一来,你必须将脑袋掏空。对于我来说,就是去冲浪、滑板或滑雪,反正一通疯玩。比如在冲浪的时候,我是完全沉浸其中的,站到浪尖那一秒对我来说就是永恒,那一刻会让我头脑清醒,给予我继续创作的力量。

▲ the Bowl Park

▲ the Bowl Park

当我在慕尼黑玩滑板,我通常会去位于 Feierwerk 的 Miniramp 或者位于 Hirschgarten 的 the Bowl Park,那里都是我的地盘!

滑板生涯中的乐与痛,你的大招有多骚?

我 7 岁的时候得到了人生中的第一块滑板,之后的 20 年我断断续续玩滑板,因为我的运动爱好经常变化,也曾经退出过滑板场一段时间,然而仿佛轮回一般,我总是会回到滑板这个领域。大概四年前,我开始玩碗池和 Mini Ramp,但自从我重重地摔了大腿之后,有半年时间我都只能在人行道上弱弱地滑了。正如你们所看到的 Emil Boards 最初的那条短片,我的滑行推进方式是很特别的,能够称得上是一种 “个人动作”:摆动前脚,伸直推进,后脚则弯曲着。我以往并没有意识到这个动作有多特别,当我的伙伴们看到视频短片后告诉我,我才认识到那个样子太好笑了!

▲ Niklas 放大招

▲ Niklas 放大招

说说你人生中的第一块滑板

那是一块黄色玻璃纤维的滑板,有一圈 kicktail 的,我到现在还留着,它很小而且非常灵活。当然,我现在的体重比 7 岁那时足足涨了 3 倍。冬天下雪的时候,我和大部分慕尼黑的熊孩纸一样,带上小小的滑板在雪地上耍,那是很平常的事,其实几乎是滑不动的,就是好玩!那真是一段美好的时光!

聊一聊你最近在折腾啥?

还是得先完成了 Emil 的第一个系列产品吧。我的计划是不时与一些我喜欢的艺术家合作,他们可以把 Emil 的产品当作画布。最近我和设计师兼插画师 GABE 一起工作,我们 3 年来都是好基友,你们真的可以去他的网站了解一下,他创作的作品会让小伙伴都惊呆的!在 Emil & GABE 的合作系列中,我给了他一些想法,他就能画出花儿来了。

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▲ 我们和 GABE 合作制作一些周边产品

▲ 我们和 GABE 合作制作一些周边产品

我们用手工印花的方式制作滑板 T 恤和其他一些周边产品,都能在我们的网站上看到。接下来的几年,我还会做更多的方形滑板,当然,我可以折腾的事可多了!

长这么大,有什么难闯的关吗?

老实说,直到现在都没感觉有什么很大的挑战。可能有人会把钱花在买车买房或其他什么地方,但那不是我。我想我是爱上了做这么些方形滑板了,直到如今还深深爱着。可能上天也看到了,所以最近几个月好事频频,我通过 Emil 认识了很多有趣的人,和他们一起度过了很多快乐的时光。当然,长远来说,让 Emil 这个品牌在未来持续良好地发展可能会是一个挑战,但至少当下我所做的事还是很靠谱的。也许一个人有了安全感,就不会觉得挑战很难吧?!我认为大部分的挑战和障碍都是我们自己 YY 的。

▲ Emil 这个品牌还是个小屁孩,我每天都要好好伺候它

▲ Emil 这个品牌还是个小屁孩,我每天都要好好伺候它

你平常的一天是怎么度过的?

Emil 这个品牌还是一个小屁孩儿,吃的可多了!最爱吃时间和金钱,呵呵。那意味着,我以一个设计师的身份过每一天,还得做杂志,画插画,设计唱片封面等等等等。下班回家,小屁孩儿还在哭闹,我还得继续推进 Emil 的许多事情,比如包装好滑板准备快递,剪片,修图,伺候社交媒体那些爷们,还要搞些牌子的标签,反正总是有干不完的活。Emil 绝对是一个多动症儿童,总是不能满足!但是,只要我收到客人发来的好评邮件和买家秀,我就知道这一切都是值得的!

来句座右铭吧,最能激励你的一句!

这些年来,我懂得了,想太多就是扯淡。相信才是一切!如果你对某件事有好感,我指的这种好感是从身体内部产生的,那么兄弟你就走对路子了。每当有人泼你冷水、黑你、怀疑你的所作所为,你可以听一听、想一想他们所说的,然后回来聆听自己内心的声音,它会告诉你应该怎么做。每个人都有选择,做你所热爱的,就对了。

▲ 做你所热爱的,就对了

▲ 做你所热爱的,就对了

有什么对其他热爱滑板的骚年说的吗?

不要那么死板,相信你的创想并且尝试做出来吧!不去尝试意味着死翘翘,那为什么不给自己一个赢的机会呢?

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ChokStick:Tell us about yourself, your studio or brand, where are you from, your favorite skater, movie or music band, the craziest thing you’ve done before?

Niklas: Hi there, I am Niklas. My brand is called Emil Boards, which is focussed on building square skateboards for surfing the sidewalk. We are based in Munich. As I just started , I don’t have a physical store, yet. Nevertheless I participated on a few festivals here in munich, where people could try riding the square pieces of timber. As in my eyes an Emil Board is more like a surfboard for concrete, it’s more the long board surf style than any particular surfer or skater that influences Emil and me as a person. I love the long boarding surf syle way more than the short board style.  I love walking on the surf board and watching the old movies and pics from the early ’till late 60ties. Might be the reason why, in terms of music, I love listening to „Tame Impala“ or „The Growlers“. But not only psychedelic 60ties-70ties influenced music is on my list. The range goes from beautiful “Lianne la Havas”  to the genius artists of „Who Made Who”. Not to forget all those fantastic bands we have here in our region as there are „Carpet“ from Augsburg or „Thing Kong“ from Munich, reeeeeally good sound, you should check them out! Crazy things? Are you talking about going on a scooter on Bali? Hehe, god bless… Further than that we are pretty square dudes to be honest;)

ChokStick:Tell us about your design concept and where your inspiration comes from. What’s the feeling of riding the square skateboard for the first time?

Niklas: There was no big concept in the beginning. After watching the movie “back to the future (Pt.1)” for the 1000th time in the beginning of 2013, I think it was february, I felt like I need to rebuild that square board Marty Mc Fly is riding. In that scene he needs to get away from Biff, so he takes a fruit box scooter from a little boy, rips of the fruit box and, let’s say, invents the skateboard. It was just that I wanted to know how it feels to ride a simple square piece of wood. The next day I went to the local wood shop, bought a rest piece of wood and went home. Awaiting the moment to finally jump o that „board“ like a little boy, I hurried up putting some old trucks and wheels on it and went down to the street (there wasn’t even time to put grip tape, I reeeeeally wanted to try it!). It was about 9pm and the street I live in was empty. I jumped on the board, and it felt incredibly good! I don’t know how to describe it, but I knew at once that this wouldn’t let me go for a while now. The weeks later I built a whole lot of more prototypes. That was the time where I developed the  „concept“ of making an „as simple as possible“-skateboard, but it was more a decision by heart, to do the things I did as I did them, than following any straight concept or something similar.

ChokStick:How does the living environment impact your creativity? Any unique skate parks or streets in Munich can you share with us?

Niklas: As I am a designer, I can’t avoid seeing everything that surrounds me as a designer. Just give it a try, walk down the street, and you are going to realize, that everything you see is, in a way, designed. And even nature, which is not designed by human beings, is in a way, created and gives a lot to be inspired from. So, in a way, I never stop working as a creative. I think you get what I mean. It’s the same with skating. Once you are a skater, everything you see on the street, you see as a skater. „Ah, this could be a nice curb“, „Wow, look at that handrail!“, „Would I make that gap?“…. So getting enough inspiration is not the problem, I think the most important thing to get creative is to catalyze these inspirations found on the street, magazines, nature or wherever. Therefore you need to get your head empty and that’s where for me surfing, skating or snowboarding comes into play. While surfing for example I completely live IN THE MOMENT. One second standing on a wave can feel like eternity, and these moments clear my mind and give me power to continue being creative. When I skate in Munich I mostly go to the Miniramp at „Feierwerk“ or th the Bowl Park in „Hirschgarten“, my concrete waves:)

ChokStick:How long have you been skating? Any serious injuries happen to you? What’s you signature move and how long you’ve been practiced for it? Can you share any tricks with us?

Niklas: I got my first skateboard when I was around seven years old. The next 2 decades I skated not constantly, I quit once in a while, ’cause of my favorite sports often changed, but in a constant circuit I always came back to skateboarding. About 4 years ago I started riding Bowl and Mini Ramp, but since I broke my leg pretty seriously one and a half year ago I only surf on the sidewalk. As you can see in our first Emil Boards edit, I think the way I am pushing is pretty unique, so when I should call something my „signature move“ then it’s that. I swing my pushing leg straight to the front, while others bend it, I don’t know, I never realized it before, but since my friends told me after watching the video, I realized that funny looking fact;).

ChokStick:What’s your first skateboard look like? Do you still keep it? Any interesting story behind it?

Niklas: It was a yellow fiberglass board with a rounded kicktail, still got it, its so small and extremely flexy (of course, I weight about three times now than I did back then, hahaaa). As most of the kids here in Munich, in winter time, when it got snow, I always took of the trucks and wheels and made it a little snowboard. Nothing special, and nearly unridable, but very fun! Good times!

ChokStick:Tell us about your latest project. Is there anything you’d like to try in the next 3 years?

Niklas: Just finished the first Emil &series. I am planning to do collaborations with artists I like from time to time, where they can use Emil as their canvas. The last weeks I worked with designer and illustrator GABE, who I am friends with for about 3 years. You definitely should check out his profile (www.gabedesigns.com,instagram.com/gabedesigns). He creates amazing stuff!  For the Emil & GABE collection I gave him some punchlines and he turned them into really nice head nailing illustrations. We hand printed them on boards shirts and some other nice goodies. You can check them out on Emilboards.com! The plan for the next 3 years is getting done some more square shaped boards, for shure, there is a lot on my list!

ChokStick:What has been the biggest risk you’ve taken to move forward?

Niklas: To be honest, there was not much risk in moving forward so far. Yes, I took, some money others would have rather spent on their car wheels or something else, but thats not my kind. I fell in love with the idea of doing these square boards, and I am still in love. And so over the last few month, there happened some good things. I got to know a lot of nice and interesting people through Emil and had good times here and there. Of course, there might some risks to be taken in the near future to push Emil even one more step forward, but at the moment I still feel pretty safe with what I am doing! Maybe it’s that there are no risks, when you are feeling safe, are there? I think most of the risks and barriers are only in our heads.

ChokStick:What is your typical day look like?

Niklas: As Emil is still a baby, it eats a lot. It’s favourite dish: Time and money, hehe. That means, I am working as a designer during the day, making magazines, illustrations, or designing covers for a music label. And when I get home from work, there is this little baby crying, which means I work on pushing Emil. Getting boards ready for delivery, cutting videos, editing photos, working on social media or preparing stands for festivals or markets, there is always something to do, it’s a pretty hyperactive baby, it’s hard to get it full;). But as long as I get nice emails from satisfied customers, sending me pictures riding my baby, I know it’s definitely worth it feeding!

ChokStick:What are your favorite quotes that motivate you all the time?

Niklas: What I’ve learned over the years is that thinking too much is killing everything. Trust is everything. If you have a good feeling about something, I mean the feeling that comes from your stomach, then you are on the right track. Whenever there are people trying to stop you, saying bad things or just doubt on what you are doing, you can listen to them, think about what they just said, but you need to get back listening to your heart, and your feeling will tell you what to do. You don’t have no choice, do what you love, and you’ll always do the right thing.

ChokStick:What advice would you give to a young person, or anyone love skating, starting out in design?

Niklas: DON’T BE A SQUARE, TRUST IN YOUR IDEAS AND TRY IT! Not trying, means you fail for shure, so why not giving it a try and win?!

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