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ONBOARD GOES EAST

10:37 19th January 2009 by Melanie Schönthier
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I´m back in Munich after what was a banger of a trip!

I don´t want to tell too much as you will be able to read the whole story and see all of Peter Lundström’s sick shots in the November issue of Onboard but it was an amazing week: We drove 2000 k´s in seven days, spent 29 hours in the car, found 12 different spots, had to paint one rail, got busted by the police, broke one board, lost a beanie and a board, ruined one hotel room and lost our photographer for one night in Berlin.

After we got busted by the police Wednesday night (see last blog), we decided to try another rail in the morning and got creative with the winch. Peter showed commitement and spent four hours standing in a tree for a good angle. He is still complaining about his sore calf!


Tobi getting some speed.


Sorry for this blurry picture but Peter was really fast in getting up on that tree. He didn´t come down for four hours…

The session was good and the riders did get so amped they wanted to give the rail from last night another try. So we drove back to the school and were more lucky this time: The police only showed up after we had already been shooting there since three hours.They were concerned about the traffic but after I had convinced them that we know what we are doing and not bothering anyone, they stayed with us for ten minutes and even applauded when Torgeir and Tobi both cleared this curved double kink monster. The residents – we were in the middle of what is maybe not the most beautiful part of Dresden – were much more difficult to deal with. We not only got shouted at and had to give our personal details to the care taker but also got pelt with firecrackers as big as a water bottle. Strangely we didn´t have any problems anymore after they saw us chatting and laughing with the filth…


It looks way more gnarly in reality. The double kink alone is already a good shot but what you can´t see on this picture is the curved part in the beginning which made it almost impossible to clear it all the way down. But nothing was impossible on this trip…

After another four hours session, it was already 9 pm so we went back to the hotel, had some food and decided to drive to the Shredniks Park the same day so we could have an early session there the next morning. The park is located about 80 k´s from Dresden and in the middle of nowhere. When we arrived at the guest house at midnight, we all had scenes of “Shining” popping up in our minds. No one on the streets and the owner of the guest house looked a bit like he would like to eat us all as a midnight snack. But we were all too tired to really worry about maniacs and woke up the next morning still being alive. But not only we didn´t get slaughtered but also had slept in the probably most comfortable beds ever! Everybody was well-rested except Peter who was still complaining about his sore calf. Photographers… No, just kidding! Peter was shooting every day about 12 hours without complaining at all and well deserves a bit sympathy for his hurting legs.


Peter after five days of shooting.

Now it was time for a park session and local Jens who had already joined us in Dresden couldn´t wait to show us this beauty. The Shredniks crew did an amazing job: This park is as good as a private park can get and maybe even better than some rail parks in the Alps! Within five years the locals built up a park by themselves, including down ledge, kink ledges, stair set up, tree bonk, wallrides and some boxes. The snowboard scene in this area of Germany is not very big and only a handful of other locals joined us in the park. Big props to the Shredniks crew as they not only built this park with their own money and hands but also let everybody enjoy the park for free. To say ‘Thank you’ to the guys, we organised a BBQ, had some beers, steaks and chicken wings. For the riders it was a fun and chilled session, exactly what they had needed after five days if shooting day and night.


The Shredniks park.


The boys after a fun session.

In the afternoon we headed direction Berlin, the last stop of our one week trip through East Germany. I had booked us some rooms in the Ellington hotel: Named after Duke Ellington, black and white pictures of the famous Jazz musician decorate every room. The design hotel is right in the middle of the city and only a few minutes walk from the famous Kudamm which made it very easy for us to check out Berlin. I think the staff had never seen people walking in with snowboard clothes on and snowboards…


Our posh hotel in the center of Berlin. Sorry for the broken sideboard…


I´m sure the footboy in the Ellington hotel never had to carry a snowboard for a guest before.

Next day, next mission. On Saturday we wanted to focus on our last and most difficult mission of the trip: The drop from the Berlin wall that used to separate the West part of the city from the East. It is really peculiar that Berlin was located in East Germany but the city itself had a part that belonged to West Germany! So if you lived in West Berlin and wanted to go to another part of West Germany you had to drive through East Germany first, going through all the really strict broder controls (there are some mad stories of people escaping East Germany through the Berlin border with armored cars). Throughout the whole trip we thought that the drop from the wall would probably be the most difficult one as there are only two spots in Berlin where you can still see parts of the wall. One right in the center and one a bit outside in between Kreuzberg (West Berlin) and Friedrichshain (East Berlin). We decided to give the latter one a try, checked it out, built a landing with some wooden piles and snow, and decided to just risk it in the middle of the day. So all of a sudden tourists could see snowboarders climbing up on the wall, strapping in and jumping off. But the best thing was that the cops didn’t show up once – East Germany rocks! The result of this two hour session: Some historic shots from the first ever drop from the Berlin wall with a snowboard!


The wall seen from the West of the city, the “capitalist foreign country”.


In the background you can see the part of the wall from which Tobi and Sebi did the one footed drop.

This mission was our last one and after we succesfully had completed it, we all felt it was time for some serious party so we went out for sushi, sambuca shots and whiskey sours. I won’ t reveal who was the last person to come back to the hotel but it was at 8.30 in the morning… The perfect end for a perfect trip! Thanks Fips, Tobi, Torgeir, Sebi, Jens, Pirmin and Peter for a super funny and creative week but please don´t tell anyone that I love Herbert Grönemeier.


Hangover crew photo after a long party night in Berlin. From left to right: Fips, Tobi, me, Torgeir, Peter and Pirmin. Thanks for this funny week boys!

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