We’ve been traveling to film video pieces a lot over the past couple of years, but Latvia has to be our most “remote” destination yet. Truthfully, we couldn’t point to it on a map before this trip, and it’s not a place we’d ever heard much about.
One thing we did know, though, was that it’s the birthplace of Madars Apse, who you may have seen in King of the Road, Skate Tales or in one of his Element parts over the years. Madars always has something unexpected up his sleeve: he speaks four languages, does tricks like this, and has completed high profile skate milestones that you would never expect for someone hailing from country with the population of a small U.S. city (1.8 Million).
Instead of just filming another Hanging Out With or doing another text interview, we asked him if he would be down to show us around Latvia this summer. We shadowed him for a week of skateboarding, meeting his entire family, and talking to locals about the history of the war-torn region. Without being overly sappy, he has a story filled with drive, perseverance, and determination, which made us respect him on a level way beyond the one we already had for his skateboarding.
Follow along as we check out the old statues, sketchy abandoned DIYs, breakdancing locals, and other oddities that make Latvia such a fascinating place.
WILL TIKTOK BE THE NEW HOME FOR SKATEBOARDING ON THE INTERNET?
We called up some "skate TikTokers" to find out what they've learned and seen so far.
PLOTTING THE LIFECYCLE OF A TRENDY TRICK
"Pressure flips are cool again. Actually, their second act has lasted longer than their first did."
CHECKING OUT A HIDDEN DIY FINGERBOARD PARK IN QUEENS
When we heard about a mysterious concrete fingerboard park hiding in Brooklyn, we knew we had to go find it.
WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON WITH ILLEGAL CIV?
The Illegal Civ stuff feels like an ongoing soap opera, so to air out any confusion we talked to a few key characters.
WE TALKED TO A SNEAKER BOTTER ABOUT THE STATE OF RESELLING
We tried to understand one of the most obnoxious new hustles.