Dave is one of these metropolitan suburb kids that have the rare talent of using their skates in a very natural way; it seems that this kid has concrete in his veins. He doesn’t slam, he falls like a cat, always landing on his feet. He has the ability to grind longer and faster than most of us. Growing up in one of the toughest neighbourhoods in Berlin‘s East End, ‘Marzahn’, Dave found a way to use Rollerblading as an art of moving and stepping out of the grey everyday life Marzahn’s monotonous architectured slabs entail. Combining raw rail skating, parkour and fluid ramp skating as his basics, he got a wide range of tricks and possibilities to push his own limits. And this is just the beginning…
Introduction & interview: Dirk Oelmann
Photography: Dirk Oelmann, Patrick Piesick & Steven Lüdke
Edit: Dirk Oelmann
Let’s get this thing started. Name, age, years skating? Hometown?
Dave Mutschall, 20 years old, six years on the blades. I’m from Berlin, Germany.
How did you get into Rollerblading?
I started skating because my younger brother wanted to show me how good on blades he was. We then went skating together for a few days and I simply sticked to it!
Best moment in blading so far?
I would say that the best moment was when I won my first contest at the German ‘YOU Messe’. It was the German Championships for amateurs in mini ramp and half pipe! Another great moment was to get my first sponsor. But basically I am always happy when I go skating with some friends!
Top three places you would like to travel?
Phew, that’s hard to say… I would love to travel to so many places… I’d need more then one lifetime for that! I guess New York, Florida and Australia would be sick!
How do you like Berlin for Rollerblading? Do you have a favorite spot in town?
Berlin is one of the best cities to go skating and to have wicked parties! I would love to motivate the people here to go skating together more often, but the city is quite big and everyone lives far apart from each other, so it’s kinda hard to realize. I like to skate mini ramp, I like the flow! Basically, I like to skate everything… it’s cool to have a camera with you and just go skating from spot to spot.
How would you describe you way of skating?
I think there is no way you have to follow, you just grab your skates and go wherever you want to. I think in the beginning I was a bit lost style-wise. I just tried to learn as many tricks as possible without taking care of my style. Since I grew up I see it a bit different. I think it also depends on your skates. Now that I started skating for USD, I feel a change for the better in my way of skating.
What influences your way of skating? Where do you draw your inspiration from when it comes to new tricks?
When I was younger I had a lot of role models and I wanted to skate like they did. After a while and with the right skates you find your own way of doing tricks. My motivation is to get better from day to day and to learn new tricks. You know, I dream a lot and I like to dream of skating. Often times the tricks in these dreams are way to crazy but I’m also able to have really cool ideas while dreaming. I try to remember them and make them reality!
What fascinates you so much about Rollerblading?
The best thing is that you have a place to stay almost everywhere in the world. No matter who you are or how your skills are. You know you can talk to everyone at a contest, or you can ask anyone a question and people are friendly because you share the same interest. If I tell that people outside of our sport they don’t know what I am talking about. I think it’s cool to call myself a rollerblader, because it’s pretty rare. Compared to skateboarding for example!
You do a lot of combos even on kinked rails. How do you learn your tricks?
I don’t know… Sometimes it just happens while you’re skating. You just feel like doing this switch up right at this moment. There are a few combos I learned on a box. So, if someone has a question, don’t hesitate to ask me and eventually I can also learn something new! I am happy about everyone who comes to Berlin, I am always down to go skating!
Do you have a tip for kids who want to start skating? Or learn a trick?
I think the most important thing is to be patient. You know, many kids see us skate and want to do the same, but then they are disappointed if they don’t make quick success. That’s not the way how it works. It was the same for me at the beginning, but I quickly realized that you have to keep on trying and don’t stop no matter how often you fall! If you want to learn a specific trick it’s sometimes best to learn some easy tricks first to come closer to your goal step by step.
What else do you do besides Rollerblading? Any other hobbies, school or job?
I go to work like everyone does. I do a lot of sports like drinking beer but also tricking and parkour. It’s kind of skating but with shoes, like backflips and other stuff. It’s a lot of fun and you can use these abilities also on your skates!
Any bad habits?
Ohhh, there are plenty… One is that I am kinda hard to rely on. But I am working on it!
What do you think about people who are always hating on each other?
I’d say don’t let them get you down! People don’t know how much we love this sport. If someone out of the industry reads this, just come around and you are more than welcome to put my skates on and try it by yourself… Can’t wait to see this! To those who skate and hate: please have the courage and say what you want to say by using your real name! You know, sometimes people might be right, but there is a difference between hating and leaving a critical comment. It’s good to get feedback, so you can learn something out of your mistakes. But it should all happen in a polite manner.
What else is important to you in your life?
Right now it’s just important to skate as long as possible and to have as much fun!
What kind if impact has rollerblading on the way you live your life?
Pain! Haha, no… To be honest, there are a lot of benefits. For example, I think girls like it. Erm, also… you have nice scars to talk about when you get old. But the best thing is that you find new friends! You know success doesn’t benefit if you can’t share it or no one likes you. You should always treat your friends in a good way!
Well, there are many people to say thank you to! I hope I don’t forget anyone. First is my Mom, of course, as she’s always supporting me. Then my homeboys from my local skatepark: Nick, Lenny, Oli, Flo and the rest. Oh, and Birne who gave me my first pair of skates. He’s the reason why I skate! Paddy who is editing many of my clips and who became one of my closest friends. I love you. For sure also you, Dirk. Gagi and Leo or let’s say the former Ignition Team. It was a short but good time with you guys in Berlin! I hope we go skating again together! I also need to thank my sponsors, USD and Infernal. And Chimera for supporting me with wheels. And in the end everyone else like Eugen whom I really love. I think you know what I mean, homie. He’s such a cool guy and one of the best skaters I know. I am sorry if I forgot someone! Thanks for reading this, have a nice day. I go skating now!
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