Daniel Laufs visited Portugal, in search of fun spots and funnier times, reinforcing a close tie between Grindhoven and the infamous Coimbladers crew.

The plan was to explore and street skate Porto and Coimbra. Both cities have a strong connection to the blade scene, not only for the old school locals, but also for the names that already skated those two cities, to mention: Joe Atkinson (Porto), Alex Broskow (Coimbra).
O Porto has the best host and sickest OG blader that you can find in town, Marcelo Oliveira, that this time welcomed Daniel Laufs and João Ruivo at his place.
The blading principles, sensibilites, ideas and of course spots, between these guys match up naturally so from the city center tourist spots to the suburbs and underground facilities, Daniel toured the whole cities, and he told us about it!

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Words:Joao Ruivo
Photography: Daniel Laufs

Hey Daniel, 2 weeks after your visit to England, The Grindhoven X England 2017 was droping on the web and you were already on another skate trip, this time in Portugal. What made you come to Portugal ?
You, Marcelo and some more chill Portuguese guys stayed at my place for a few nights at the Winterclash. I’ve never met them before but we had a great time. They told me that I could come over to Portugal anytime and stay and blade with them. So about 6 weeks later I flew over to visit you and Marcelo.

How would you describe your skating experience?
The skating was really amazing. Usually when I go for a skate trip I have high expectations for my skating and mostly end up a bit disappointed. For this trip I chose to dump my expectations and just relax and enjoy myself as much as possible as I had some tough evaluations for my study the days before. So the chill skating was just what I needed. Also in Portugal there’s no social stigma for drinking wine or beer at any time and as I was on holidays most of the skating was a bit tipsy.

Heard that there’s more involved with you trip besides blading… what was the purpose of the trip?
Yes, that’ true. Finding out that you use 3d printing to make art motivated me even more to go. So on top of a passion for rollerblading we also share a passion for art and 3d printing. I checked out your work at the atelier Muttua fb page and really wanted to talk/ do some 3d printing with you. It helps that you have a 3d printer in your attic.

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Speaking about art, I assume that fun is what first makes you blade, but do you feel like sometimes you skate for sport others you really doing some type of “art” !?!
I mean, if we’re in a skate park doing grinds and having fun, it looks and feels like a sport, but when we go street skating, the feeling , the mindset, and the result is art. Do you agree?

Yes, I mostly agree. However for me rollerblading never feels like a sport or an art form its always somewhere in between quite far away from either of those things. For me art is something very hard to achieve through blading and looking at skating as a “performance art” certainly changes a lot. A good example is Scott Blackmore. He uses his skates in such a unique way and really creates something special and inspirational. I know many other people who really make skating their own however for me Scott Blackmore seems to me most like a performance artist on blades rather than a blader if that makes any sense and I love it.

For me there’s still a long way to go and I’m trying to let my art and design education influence my skating more. I skate more how I want to and how it feels right to me and not how I feel I should skate in order to come across as “good” or whatever. If every blader reinvents rollerblading for him/ herself and we’d have something truly amazing.

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Can you tell us the top 5 skate spots of your trip?
Coimbra’s Broskow spot ( valo5 true soul to zero fish and true makio to makio)
Church rio tinto
Porto riverside
Casa de musica
Coimbra university

Best things about Portugal?
diverse spots
growing scene
super friendly Portuguese people
kids that skate
great food
Food/ drink
cheap red wine
cheap cheeses
Fresh seafood
Baked cheese sandwiches
Super Bock beer

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Funniest moments you remember?
Watching all Life Plus videos with Marcelo and argue between the hammer times and the fun blading nowadays times
Meeting a little ghetto bladie on the bus, who thought it’s stupid to go all the way from Germany to Portugal to skate, she told us that she rides trinkets so also the 4 wheels thing was kinda stupid to her!
3D printing a Supreme Leader Kim Robot and Trump’s head coming out of a toilet.
Coimbra blading ninja kids (unique style guaranteed)
Random fat guy, while we were bombing hills, following us on a shitty overweight scooter, asking us about some kind of insurance or license to skate on traffic !!!

Worst things about Portugal?
A lot of Cobblestone floor
many steep hills
many people don’t speak English

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Top 5 bladers (in no particular order)?
Eugen Enin
Scott Blackmore
Jo Zenk
Michael Briggs
Bobbi Spassov

Man, I’d vote for that list! Thanks for your visit, hope to have you here again, with the rest of the Grindhoven crew, you guy’s are a big inspiration, big personalities, and I’m so thankful to rollerblading to have friends like you, Jeejroen and Timmy! A big shout out to the GH squad, You know that you’re more than welcome to Coimbladin’ or Portobladin’!!! Cya soon buddy!
Big thanks to you Joao and Marcelo for having me. It was a beautiful trip for me which went perfect from start to finish. I can’t wait to see you over here in Eindhoven or Portugal or somewhere else. Also big thanks to Josip for this opportunity. Love from Grindhoven!

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