When I was a kid I had a skateboard, you can call me old school. Back then there was only one type of skateboard you could get in Germany. A plastic or wooden board with four wheels. Nobody would ever ask you about the type of axles or about the ball bearings. The only thing that mattered was that it rolled! 

40 years later, with my dog Willy, I was brought back to younger days of four-wheel-decks. While on our daily walks around the block and through the city parks, I could see Willy always wanting to go faster than I could go. The leash between us, with one of us having to compromise, either with me speeding up or Willy slowing down. With the age-old question of who’s really walking who? It was clear to me that Willy would never be truly satisfied. 

Berlinboards Experience

The rolling board gave us the opportunity to be on the go straight away. However, I had a lot to learn. Dancers, cruisers, carvers, trick boards, and surf skates offered the right setting for a wide variety for skateboarding disciplines. I was fascinated by the different axes, decks, and mounting options. I began to immerse myself into the topic and it really pulled me in. 

However, there was one issue… I can’t blame myself for the fact I am in my mid-50s, and most longboard designs weren’t suitable for me. Despite this I felt like a kid again being on the board, almost four decades later. The body tension, balance, and rotation around the axis and outward force that was conveyed through the board created the unclouded feeling of absolute freedom. 

I quickly fell in love with three different boards with three different quality levels. The Low-Rider from Stevolution for the relaxed late laps through the empty streets at night. The Airflow Deck from Switzerland for a quick start and easy carrying in the subway and markets. The self-assembled longboard with the Curfboard axle from Munich, which enables me to pump from a standing start. I ended up owning more than 20 boards

collecting longboards is not a crime

Soon I began to feel the need to give something back. These great longboards, that I bought second-hand with a few exceptions, all had their own story; all should be able to get something from me. Of course, I cleaned and took care of the ball bearings, bushings, and pivot cups. But then it came down to choosing a design that would fit best. 

My journey began in my city, Berlin. My Corona project are artistically modified photos of Berlin. So, it made the most sense to bring my art onto the decks. Regardless of the lockdowns, I was able to take my art to the streets. Here I realized that skating is an ideal sport for pandemic time because we remained physically distanced. I was able to kill three birds with one stone. Plus, Willy absolutely loved it!

©Michaela Radtke

This is the photo project, the motives for the decks were taken of.
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