Published in Onboard Magazine Issue 120, February 2011
WORDS: YOURI BARNEOUD
IF THERE WERE A HEART IN THE ANATOMY OF ITALIAN SHRED IT WOULD BE BANG IN THE MIDDLE OF MERANO, WHERE THE FAKIE SHOP HAS BEEN PUMPING OUT THE WHITE LOVE SINCE 1999.
It’s 1997: Alex Berger is a machine operator in some remote factory in Northern Italy, otherwise know as South Tirol. Alex is first and foremost,
though, a long-time, passionate shredder, and is looking for a board to purchase in his area – with no luck. There is nowhere offering core gear to core folks in this region of Italy and Austria, so Alex makes a decision which will change his life: He drives to Munich to pick up a shiny Type E Danny Way board in the Boarders store, which is still going strong today in the Bavarian capital. Alex is so amazed at the customer service and dedication of the staff – a real crew of specialists – that he makes his second decision of his trip: he will be the fi rst to offer this kind of shop and service in his hood. One-and-a-half years later in Merano the Fakie Shop was born.
With his passion, Alex takes every opportunity to leave the factory to get on the mountain or in the skatepark. “Back in Munich, I really felt that they were doing it with love and passion for snowboarding. This situation really impressed me." Alex finally quits the ‘food job’ and goes for the entrepreneur lifestyle. Not only does he starts his own shop, but a few years later he also decides to create and build snowparks. Nowadays, that’s Alex’s main activity, since the shop is now run by a crew of connoisseurs. “After many bad injuries on both knees I had to stop doing runs in snowparks and skateparks, so I decided to go on with my second passion, and today my company F-Tech (www.f-techconstruction.com) runs four of the biggest parks in Italy, and we organise contests and events all winter long." It’s now ten years that the park construction company has existed. In fact, it’s not only 4 parks he’s taking care of but 9: Snowpark Kronplatz, King Laurin Park Alpe di Siusi, Gentlemenriders Nitro Park Val Senales, Snowpark Obereggen, and 5 smaller one. This hyperactive man is also proud to make time to shoot and film.
Looking back, he finds reasons for the success story of the shop: “Love and passion for snowboarding and skateboarding, a really strong connection to the scene and always been true to it." He was also assisted by Silvia, his partner, who made the important decisions in the right order and at the right time. She’s now the boss of the shop – or rather shops, as there is now not just one Fakie shop but three. The second store in Silandro came into being because of the need for a truely dedicated outlet in that remote valley, and then finally the Fakietech store allowed the team to have enough space to present all the goods they wanted to, and especially the more technical equipment. All of these shops are dedicated to snowboarding, of course, but they also have a Mountain Bike and BMX corner. In each area, the range of goods is immense with a focus on core and technical gear. In the snowboarding range, the choice is wide enough to give you a massive headache. Just talking about the snowboard brands, you’ll fi nd Von Zipper, Electric, Spy, Dragon, Billabong, Dakine, Volcom, Vans, DVS, Analog, Burton, Nitro, Ride, Omatic, Stepchild, DC, Rome, Tech 9, Salomon, Capita, Giro, Bern, Red, Smith, Deeluxe, 32, Drake, Union, Anon, Bonfire, Special Blend, Insigth, Alprausch, Nikita, Iuter, Pirates,
Zimtstern, Nomis, Adidas, Elm, Nike, Foursquare, 686, Krew, Atticus, Wesc, Nixon, Skull Candy, TSG... Salivating yet? We guess that shows how traumatized Alex was when searching for happiness on the road to Munich…
Offering a lot of gear is one thing, but customer service is totally different – and often neglected. It is here where the Fakie shops excel. “Technical knowhow, technical products, a great crew and a super cool family and atmosphere in the shop," those are the key points of that service offered by a crew of 12 shred heads, and promoted all together by a large crew of local riders such as Simon Gruber, Marco Concin, Lukas Goller, Marco Grigis and more. Basically all that it takes to build an energetic and motivated scene in South Tirol. That’s maybe the Alex Berger’s crowning achievement: nobody in South Tirol needs to go to Munich anymore!
THE 3 STORES:
- Fakieshop // Meran // Street Fashion & Shoes Laubengasse 244a via Portici 39012 - Meran/o (BZ) Italy
- Fakietech Store // Meran // Snow & Skate & Bike Same address
- Lil Fakieshop // Schlanders // Snow & Skate & Street Hauptstraße 11 via Nazionale 39028 - Schlanders/Silandro (BZ) Italy
Also check: the Fakie Shop online store where you also have daily info on new products, team riders news, contests, etc.
And the email: email@example.com