Sascha is the kind of friend everyone wants. He’s kind, he’s self aware, and very well read, especially for a skater. He engages in critical thinking and is always willing to embrace a new way of doing things. His upbringing on Vancouver island and spending time working at his dad’s fishing lodge has given him a very special foundation for life. His passion and incredible work ethic is extremely evident in everything he does. When you think of the phrase “go big or go home” that should conjure up the image of Sascha. Watching him skate is often terrifying. He chooses spots that literally make me want to puke just looking at them.

Interview by Spencer Hamilton

[o] Sam Fidlin

Hey brother! I’m sure by the time this comes out your location will have changed but, where you at now and what’s going on in your world?

Yo Spence! I’m back home in Vancouver right now, resting up a bit and getting ready to head back to Barcelona at the end of the week.

Gap to backside tail slide [o] Sam Fidlin

You’ve been spending a lot of time in Barcelona over the last few years, how’s that been? Seems like every skaters dream.

Straight up. It’s been the best. Barcelona is a Skateboarding Mecca. The spots are one of a kind and in an abundance, you don’t need to spend the day in a car to get to anything. Every metro stop has something for everyone. You step out your door and you’re skating right away, to the spot or to the train. Right now it’s my favourite city in the world for skateboarding, I don’t know if that will ever change.

kickflip over the moon Sanbo [o] Gerard Riera

For someone who’s never been, what’s it like? what are some of the pros and cons of living in Barcelona?

Barcelona is a very laidback city, they have siesta in the afternoon everyday. For those who don’t know about siesta, this is where all the shops for the most part close down for 2-3 hours in the afternoon, usually from 3-5 or 3-6. The siesta was designed because it gets so hot in Spain in the summers everyone needs a break from the heat, but I’m assuming due to it’s popularity that it spread to the rest of the year. During siesta people will go home and rest or meet with friends and enjoy a drink and some food in a square or park. Since people have this chance to rest during the day it makes for a lively night life. Kids are out playing late and people are out walking around everywhere, bars don’t close until four in the morning. It can be the best city for a skateboarder or the worst, the party will either eat you alive or if you can manage to finagle it, you will have the best time of your life. The city has gotten safer over the years but by no means is it a safe city, there is a lot of petty crime in Barcelona. I always leave my place without my bank cards, and little cash, unless i’m going to a bar where I know they ID, I won’t even bring it. I never put my bag down anywhere unless someone is watching it, or I’m far outta the city. People get their bags and cameras robbed all the time, but if you know what to look out for, you will be fine. The life is good out there, the only things that kinda suck is the food. I like to eat a little healthier and I find its a bit of a struggle when you’re trying to find some nice produce. The city is also a little dirty because of it being such a vacation hub for all of Europe. They have to wash the streets down every night, makes you realize how clean it is over in Canada. I’d say the pro’s are the weather, spots, beaches, the accessibility to other great cities and countries close for skating. For the cons the food, the general safety, quality of water. The pro’s heavily over way the cons, just depends on how picky you want to be. Barcelona is a true gypsy skateboarders paradise. 

Frontside boardslide [o] Biemer

Any funny stories from all the travels you have done in the last couple years?

I have a good one from Germany for sure. I was staying with my friend Rocco in Berlin last spring for a couple weeks filming for the video. The first night I get there, we go to a bbq at the DIY dog shit park. As we are leaving the house Rocco says “we are gonna bike there, you can use this bike, we found it in the front yard on the lawn a couple weeks ago”. I was just thinking ok? shit, I hope some random gnarly German bro doesn’t attack me if they see me on their bike. What am I gonna do? If someone confronts me I’ll just give it back. I’m thinking I’m being paranoid too, none of this is gonna happen. The DIY is really sick there in Berlin, the bbq was rad, they have a really good scene in Berlin. Everyone made me feel like I was at home. We bike to a bar after the bbq and have some more drinks there but decide to call it and save ourselves for skating the next day. On the the ride home we get the munchies and hit a falafel spot. We are chilling, eating our food then I feel this tap on my shoulder. This guy says to me “hey man I’m pretty sure that’s my friends bike your riding?” and I’m just like “yup, I’m pretty sure it is” and then we are just staring at each other for a second. Then he’s like “ok then, I’m gonna take it” and then I’m just like “Yeah I think you should”. It was a funny sort of stand off for a second, where I think he thought I was gonna get hostile but I did the exact opposite. We explained to him how my friends had found it lying in their yard and they just grabbed it before someone else did. The guy called the homie who originally owned the bike and he came down and grabbed it, we all had a laugh and then we walked home. It was weird I had this feeling when he gave me the bike and told me how they found it, like this bike is nice, someone is gonna see me and attack me or something, I’m not gonna be able to explain in German (laughs) luckily the guy was cool and spoke English. When we were walking home Rocco was all bummed, he kept saying “I knew I should have painted it, if we painted that would have never have happened.” (laughs)

Boardslide over the gap pull out [o] Gerard Riera

You posted a badass video from your dad’s fishing lodge this past summer featuring some rad footage fishing and skating. Can you explain a bit about what you do up there?

The fishing lodge is called Ole’s, it’s located in Northern BC, in Hakai Pass. You are cut off from everything up there, no towns close by or roads anywhere. You can only skate back and fourth on one of the wood docks.  There is nature everywhere, tons of different marine life, whales, dolphins, eagles everywhere, and wolves. As far as what I do goes, I’m there working as a dock hand, I’m responsible for taking care of the guests needs on the dock, everything from getting line out of there prop to filleting there fish. Anything the guest needs to know about their boat or fishing in the area. When I have time off I can go fishing or explore the islands around, there are tons of beaches with no one on them for miles, some of the most beautiful untouched landscapes I have ever seen.

Other than this next big part, what else is on your horizon?

On my horizon…more skating, more Element trips, more Supra trips. I wanna try film another part by the end of the year. I’m working on a signature clothing line with Element and this designer I met in the UK named Nigel Cabourn. I’ve always wanted to do more stuff like that, I’m pretty excited to see how that turns out. Other than that just stay busy, stay healthy and skating.   

Backside tailslide [o] Gerard Riera

How’s your experience been travelling with Supra?

Traveling with Supra has been incredible, the last tour we did was to Mexico City, Chile, and Argentina. I had only been to Mexico City once before briefly on another Supra tour. It was so rad to go to those countries to skate, the fans were crazy in every city. People were loving the Muska (laughs) the street spots were kinda rugged but Argentina was my favourite. Our airbnb was an old mansion that had been used for movies. It had four or five floors and an elevator up to every level. It also had a lot of weird secret rooms and the owner lived in the top but we didn’t ever see them. The backyard had a pool and big grill, and one of the last nights the distributor threw a big bbq for the team. It was insane we must have eaten a small farm worth of meat that night, it was so damn good. Sorry to all the vegans reading this. Some other highlights include traveling anywhere with Penny, Muska, Greco or Lizard. The OG squad. Seeing Lizard King and your Dad slack lining in your parents backyard this summer on the Canada tour, that was great. They all have such strong personalities it can be funny to watch them in regular life situations. They are always good times though, I like everyone on the team and everyone has something they bring to the table. 

Any words about going on trips with Penny and Muska? Must be surreal coming from our era.

It’s hard to put into words, I grew up watching Tom in old 411’s and Menikmati, Muska in Fulfil The Dream, Feedback and Guilty. Now we are homies, I never thought in a million years I could call these guys my friends, travel with them, have some real conversations. I feel like my life is a movie when they are around, like everything is going the way I would have wanted it to go if I could control it. They say you should never meet your hero’s but with these two legends this is not the case. They are as humble as they are talented, it’s an honour getting to travel with them. They boost me up when they’re around, I feel like I want to skate my hardest so I don’t let my forefathers down (laughs)

Fakie backside lip slide [o] Gerard Riera

You’ve been going so hard in skateboarding for so long at this point, what are some of the tools you’ve acquired to keep you physically able to continue progressing?

Thanks buddy, I guess some of the tools I’ve acquired either learning on my own or being influenced by people like yourself and also I’ve had a lot of help from my Naturopathic doctor in Vancouver. The progression was slow but probably starting happening naturally as I got older and had to come back from surgeries and injuries. I started learning one good thing to do for my body and it became addicting once I saw the results. I notice ice baths have really helped me recover quicker and keep my ankles able to take impact for a lot the longer than most people my age. Also I got into Bikram yoga a couple years back, that was directly from your suggestion to come try it out. That was perfect timing for me, I was looking for a new thing to keep me feeling extra strong on my board. I needed more than just stretching at home, its nice to go somewhere you have to work hard and you can’t give up. I always feel so good after a nice stretch. Now everywhere I go, I bring all my tools to fix my self, foam roller, lacrosse ball, rubber bands, timtam massager gun, Cbd creams (laughs). I started paying more attention to my diet and habits over the years too, I’m not super strict but I just try to eat clean and avoid processed foods, I don’t drink soda or any fast-food anymore, that was over for me along time ago though. Its just about taking care of yourself, once you want to start doing more for yourself to feel good, you find there are so many good things you can start doing right away, and its great! It’s a good feeling to feel healthy and alive! I also want to skate forever, and I will do and learn whatever I have to make sure that happens. 

Frontside half cab kickflip [o] Gerard Riera

To wrap this up..Tell me on thing that’s given you inspiration over the last year. A movie, song, quote, anything..and why it made an impact on you?

I’ve been inspired by a lot over the last year, but I think mostly my friends that I skate with. I’ve been skating a bunch with different people and I think that I feed off that energy. In Barcelona I skate with my friend Mathias Torres from Chile. He’s real good, super chill style, always nice vibes, we skated a lot during the filming for my part. Also Jaakoo Ojanen from Finland has been influencing for me for sure too, I really like the way he skates. I wanna try to skate a little more creatively with everything now from skating with him. He’s super fun to skate with, he can skate anything. I love going on trips too that’s another big inspiration, being new places, new spots, crew of homies, always gets me charged up. You inspire me Spenny! (laughs)  Every time we get to skate, I love that we get to travel the world pushing ourselves together doing something we love, the my biggest inspiration. I just want to skate forever with my friends and never grow up.

[o] Sam Fidlin

Follow Sascha on instagram here.