I wasn’t sure how to interview a skate spot, especially one as historical as Wallenberg. There’s no known examples to imitate and I felt nervous beside this large monument. In my ignorance, I walked up to the old fella – the home for two decades worth of legendary hucks – and without warning him, asked large questions about life.
What I found in Wallenberg, once moving past the crust of his outer ledges, was an articulate, misunderstood stair-set, struggling with issues common to all existence. He too is trying to make life within gross limitations. I can’t say that our conversation was a roaring success, but it is important, I think, for the public to know just who it is we’ve been jumping down and grinding on for so long. Here is our conversation.
So, Wallenberg, can you tell us a bit about growing up in California?
Call me Walter, please. I go by my surname now.
My apologies… Walter.
It’s fine. I’m just trying to distance myself from the old me. As I get older… certain things in my outlook… memories I want to erase… Chris Cole, Back to the Berg… I would rather that I be called Walter moving forward.
Understood, Walter. Can you tell me a bit about your childhood?
Sure, I can do that. I was born in a schoolyard, laid out by masons. They may have worked for the city, I don’t know.
I was a large child, wide in girth. I always figured that my height would someday catch up. But no, it wasn’t in the cards. Just four stairs my whole life, and wide as the horizon. It’s been a sticking point for me, for others.
Your size has?
My size. I’m large. I’m a fat man. It’s a part of me.
I see. So you’ve struggled with your image?
I’ve struggled a bit. Others have struggled on me. It’s almost as if – because I was born with such a strange wide frame – that others were attracted to me. As in, my plumpness found an audience. Andrew Reynolds, Gerwer, they were all into it. The could choose any other four stair to have jumped down. In fact, there are many four stairs that are much easier to ollie. There are a lot of average sized four stairs with more regular proportions that can easily be ollied by just about anyone.
But you were never that kind of stair set. A bit of an outlier?
I’m what one might call “unique,” and what others might call “challenging.”
I think the first term works well.
I’m what others might call “an obese stairset.”
Oh. Well. Maybe let’s talk about the first time someone jumped down you. What was that
It was fine.
Who was it who jumped down you?
It was a man. Average size. Mark…
Mark Gonzales jumped me over a decade ago now, frontside 180 on flat afterwards. Before him, skateboarders spent most of their time wearing away at my steps, nudging me and grating me for hours each day. You become accustomed to it after a while, being worn away to dust. Grinded away to powder, swept off in time’s wind that blows and blows…
Do you ever think about these things, the things skateboarders do to you, in a positive light?
Would you like to try, for this interview?
Yeah, I can do that. Sure thing mister. Here’s the real story… Myriads of wonderful and nice teen boys slammed – rather – “lovingly glided” their trucks on me for two decades. Their full body weight compressed onto two metal axels, ramming at my edges… they did this to me… they did this because they loved me! Because they loved me so much. They loved me so much that they wanted to wear me down to my very crust, till I was nothing but broken edges. Thanks so much…
Please, I’m sorry Walter. I really am. I didn’t know it was like this.
This is how things are.
I do want you to consider this though. And this is just a thought…
Maybe they sought you out, to grind you and jump you, because you have unique
traits. And they truly do love you for them.
That is very rich.
Think about it, Youtube users have made loving compilations of you, filming you from all angles.
I have no doubt that, from whatever angle I’m filmed from, I’m still beastly fat and pock-marked and worn-away.
They have compiled footage of you growing up, getting older and wiser, stickers
tacked on and removed, a ramp constructed at the back of your head, taken down
and re-built over and over. Many fallen professionals sliding at your feet and walking back to you, to jump down again from the head. These are beautiful videos Walter, to celebrate and watch for all times
Well, I mean, ahhh… perhaps you’re right. But sometimes, they scream at me.
Sometimes relationships can be that way. And yet they always return, always to
find that joy from rolling away from you. What do you think about that?
Well, I think, I think, I think it’s beaut…*
*Mid-sentence, Walter stopped and sighed; a few skateboarders began grinding his lower ledges, and after a while, stopped to draw large penises on the top stair.
NERDING OUT WITH THREE RARE DECK COLLECTORS
If you ever wanted to reclaim a piece of your childhood and cop that one deck you saw in a CCS catalog, hopefully, this will be a solid place to start.
A CHAT WITH LUDVIG HAKANSSON, THE OLDEST SOUL IN SKATEBOARDING
The man loves to read Nietzche, skates in some expensive vintage gear, and paints in his own neoclassical-meets-abstract-expressionist style.
THE FRONT BLUNT HAT IS BACK… AGAIN
We know we sound like the boy who cried wolf but this might, just might, be the last chance to get your hands on one.
SKATERS RECOMMEND THEIR FAVORITE SKATE PANTS
We hit up some pro skaters and Jenkem contributors known for their 'fits to offer recommendations.
“CHROME ZONE” IS THE LATEST NYC HOMIE VIDEO YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT
Babe, stop Cyber Monday shopping, there's a new Sam Zentner video.