The Winterclash competition has been the premiere blading event for several years running now, drawing competitors and spectators from all over the world to Area 51 skatepark in Eindhoven Netherlands. We aim to highlight some of these individual adventures that brought so many incredible characters into one location to share in our common passion of inline skating.
We had a chance to talk with one of the rising stars of the European scene, the charismatic Aniek Kerkhofs, about her personal experiences at the Winterclash and why it is such an important event for her to participate in. Here is what Aniek had to say.
When was your first Winterclash and can you explain the feeling of attending your first Clash event?
My first Winterclash was in 2017. I had been blading for almost 2 years and had never seen anything like this before. On Thursday there was the Flight School with Josh Glowicki, Scott Quinn and Montre. When I got to Area 51 in the morning I was so amazed by the extra obstacles they built that year. I could not imagine people doing tricks on them. A whole new world opened up for me. It was a very fun day where I learned a lot!
When the actual event started on Friday, I had this intense happy feeling. Surrounded by the coolest people and the best bladers of the world. I was so overwhelmed by all of it. And everyone was so kind, it felt like coming home.
What was your favorite Winterclash that you have been to so far?
My favorite Winterclash so far was in 2019. Two big things happened for me that year. The first one was that I was invited to talk in a panel. I felt so honored to be in a panel with Martin Danning, Felix Fälling and Marius Gaile, hosted by Dominic Bruce. I also felt very nervous about it (because they are so cool). But luckily my nerves went away when we started talking. It was a really nice experience.
The second thing was the competition on Friday. I was very satisfied with my riding in the qualification, and it even got me into the finals! I was extremely happy about that, because that was my goal and I reached it.
Can you tell us why you make it a point to attend the clash and why it is special to you?
I have skated for almost 5 years now, and I have been to Winterclash 4 times. I feel really lucky to have discovered it so early. I love Winterclash for the fact that we all have the same passion. You can relate to everyone there, you are never alone. It feels like one big family. And to see everyone again and meet new people every year is so amazing.
Explain your favorite memories from this year’s event?
I really like hanging out with the girls at Winterclash. It is just so relaxed and awesome with them. This year I shared a room with Assia Zaharieva and Liene Nulle and it was the best! We had a big breakfast every day in our hotel, which I very much enjoyed. And after breakfast just going to the skatepark and skating together was very nice. I also enjoyed spending time with Trine Brons, she is such a sweet and funny person.
My favorite event at the Clash was the Jumpstreet Podcast with Fabiola Da Silva. I thought it was great that she was talking about herself in such a chill way, even with all her accomplishments. Really inspirational.
Who was your favorite skater to watch during the event?
From the female skaters, I would say Chihiro, she is my (Chi)hero. She throws bangers with style like it is nothing. I love to watch her skate.
From the male skaters, I would say Fabio Enes. To be honest, I didn’t know him before Winterclash. But when I watched him I asked my friends, “Wow, who is that?”. He impressed me immediately with his style.