It goes without saying that this Winterclash is going to be a very special one to me. It would have been hard to continue and run this event without the fundraiser, so in a way Winterclash is all yours, more than ever. But before we see all of you in just a few hours, I would like to dedicate this little column to the whole Winterclash gang.
It never ceases to amaze me how an event of this size and impact can be prepared and run by a handful of friends from different corners of Europe, while most of them are not even being paid. We often talked about how different it is in other industries, how much more money there is to book professionals for every part of the organization and preparation. Imagine Winterclash would be a Skateboard event of the same scale, for instance… But to be honest, I wouldn’t want to have it any other way. Not saying that more money wouldn’t help and that it wouldn’t be great to pay every person involved an insanely high amount of money, but it wouldn’t be the same. Winterclash just wouldn’t be the same.
Whatever comes next in my life, it won’t be as emotional, intense and amazing as Winterclash – simply because it won’t be done together with my closest friends and such a large group of international homies and supporters.
The past days were another proof of that. While I´m sitting in the warm office, using not much but my fingers for typing, there are my friends running around in the ice-cold skatepark. Painting ramps, cutting wood, hanging banners, laminating passes and signs, preparing the ticket system for the entrance, preparing the riders list and judging system, preparing the volunteers schedule and their hangout, installing sound and light, cleaning the whole place, driving back and forth to all kinds of stores to buy all kinds of things… The list is endless.
Let alone the fact that most ramps were already prepared when we arrived here a few days ago. Our Skateboard homies and the Area51 staff are working hard for weeks already, and without them it would be a whole different story. Also, let’s not forget about another sidekick sitting back home in Berlin, never complaining when I´m coming up with another web-flyer that needs to be designed or whatnot. Way too much design hours went into this event, but I never got screamed at.
Oh, and when we are done in the evenings, we are driving home, eating good food, prepared by a good friend. We are laughing, drinking and just being friends in a holiday summerhouse in Holland. We are a group of friends having a good time. No one is complaining, no one is yelling at me – even though they spent the whole day in that ice-cold skatepark and even though half of them are ill. This might be the perfect team and knowing that it wont last forever drives me crazy.
My days in Holland mostly end with my last cigarette. While I´m standing outside smoking, I can watch everyone inside the house. And while standing there, smoking, watching my friends laughing, drinking and just being themselves, having their last beer of the night, I feel nothing but fortunate. Being able to work on this little something called Winterclash, together with such a crew of incredible people is something I will remember my whole life. It is something that makes me proud and even though I told them a thousand times already, I hope they know how much these times mean to me. How much they mean to me.