[ Hide your Nuts! ]

Happy Canada Day everyone! ...earlier this skatecation, my other me was put to work on one of my favorite roads in the Wild West.

Huge thanks to Alberto Perro Pro Alepuz for being an amazing one man show Cameraman/ Producer/ Editor & driver!
To co- pilot Patrick Switzer.
And muchisimas thanks to Orangatang Wheels & Loaded Boards !

Happy sqrl in action.
Watch here!

Film: PerroPro

[ Chixxs on Board - Chixxs get together Longboarding ]

For the third year now, it is a pleasure to work with Tanja at Chixxs on Board.
The first "Chixxs get together" beginner clinic this year we held in a local 20km/h spot, perfect for the first meters on a longboard.
The second edition is about to come up & I can't wait to see the girls who are signed up for the intermediate clinic in September. Sign up here. That one will be happening in Luzern where Number One Skate Shop hosts the group.

My favorite quote for edition #1 of the girl who just came for the stoke of skating in a ladies group: "I'll just try all the stuff switch now!" she made me wanna hug her!

[ SRF 3 - Radio Gaga - Mini Räder Mis Läbe ]

A link through friends of friends made me meet up with Andi Rohrer, cool cat at the Swiss radio station SRF 3 to chat about the wheels I am rolling on.
Super fun 2 hours and a new media experience!

Thank you Andi & Carmen.


Photo by @DanCermak

[ KORUA Shapes - Snowboard ]

At the moment, I really enjoy to have creative friends taking off in different directions. They are writing, experimenting with electronic music... and they shape snowboards!! KORUA Shapes
In snowboarding, I think I missed the point where I would have been fearless enough to become really good. It was always fascinating for me to jump kickers and experiment in the half pipe... but to be honest, it just never was quite good enough! Carving, going fast and cutting lines into fresh pow on the other hand was always my thing!
Eventually I got bored by the standardized, soft-ish, rocker/cambers that were available and I cut down on snow time simply because I was bored.
...just until Nicholas Wolken put an Apollo56 under my feet.

The huge nose and tiny tale make it a playful, squirrely companion. Fast turns and tight carving on slopes are super fun and if you take Apollo56 for a swim in some powpow, you'll be the first one to run up the hill again to get a another line!
A huge THANK YOU! to KORUA Shapes for hooking me up with my new favorite toy!

[ Souvenirs 2014 ]

Usually, I consider it a good year when I don't find the time to take care of my page. It can be blamed on the well known issue of "I am about to redesign the whole thing" (but also don't find the time to do it right, so in the end it doesn't happen at all but also and even worse, I am not updating my page anymore).
Of the 8 races in 2014 I podiumed 5 times and finished the year on the 3rd place in the IDF ranking.

Off to the Philippines again tomorrow!
More stories to be made!
Happy skating.

[ Philippines, VLT 2014 ]

End of March, Pat and I took off to be a part of the 5th Visayan Longboarding Trilogy. Three events in three different locations. A freeride, the Super Mango Skate Clinic hosted by Pat & myself with the help of countless hands & an IDF World Qualifying race at the end.
Patrick and I finally managed to double win an IDF race!
The Philippines were a whole new adventure! Traveling, the food, the people, the nature... literally everything was a new and exciting!
Morning wake up ritual: grab a mango & sit in the ocean to eat it! One gets used to that way to quickly!
Check out the rest of the photos and the full write up on either the Triple8 Blog or on the Loaded site!

Mango mornings!

Finally we won a race together! Photo by Colin Beck

Siquijor Island

[ Full Page in the Newspaper! ]

Last December, I was interviewed for the newspaper of the Grisons, the Südostschweiz. Lucky duck, I got a nice full page article on what I do and what I love.

[ CA, USA, November ]

For as much as I have an issue with the NorAm attitude. They have California. The place where the sun shines, when Zurich is grey and wet and cold... the place where burgers taste like a real sin.

Photos by Patrick Switzer

[ The Kegel ]

Freeriding is for between the races. This year between Kozakov and Peyragudes, I got the chance to film what I love to do, with the favorite guy by my side.
A huge thanks to Orangatang Wheels for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this.

Watch the Orangatang 80mm, 80a Kegel release video.
Funny enough that Mercedes Benz had exactly the same schedule for shooting an ad. Not too surprising was that they wouldn't want to share the road with us while they blocked traffic... shame... so we got to go with the good old spotting corners.

[ Gipsy feet ]

What a year!
My updates here get rare with a remarkable increase of my CO2 foot print... my gipsy feet took me to the Greener Pastures film trip, Japan, to North America twice and all around Europe again.

New people became friends, old friends were visited.
The mountains and the ocean filled my heart with impressions. Never was the mood between the ladies racing so positive and motivating as this year.

Life goes away from the rhythm of the gipsy for a little bit now.
Sleeping on wonderful memories, preparing the next adventure.

Photos by tamara prader & patrick switzer

[ Chixxs Get Together ]

Oh, oh, it's been way too exciting this year! ... I never even got to update this here. Sometimes, focussing on living makes more sense than letting the world know what you do ;)
More to come about an awesome trip to Japan & cowboys on the West Coast.

I'll get ready for the first "Chixxs Get Together" in Zürich now! A longboard workshop on our city spot, initiated by Tanja at Chixxs On Board, a platform for ladies in board sports based in Zürich.

Embrace the sun!

[ Greener Pastures Offshore ]

The filming for Greener Pastures Offshore has come to and end. I hope all the guys had safe trip back home. Since I left the island I've been missing this crazy crowd!
Some things are worth the sleepless nights and headaches. A huge THANK YOU to every single person involved! It wouldn't be possible without your effort.

[ All Around Skate interview ]

Gbemi had quite a lot of questions for me. Have a look at our conversation here!

[ triple 8 deer - P- Swiss helmet ]

It is official!
Soon available: the new Triple 8 EPS Patrick Switzer pro model helmet.
Design by Tamara Prader.

[ squirrel in Africa - Hot Heels 2012]

Novermber in Zurich was as grey as usual. Makes me work more & live less... which technically isn't a disaster... but when December comes and South Africa is on the travel list: Life tends to be that tiny bit better.

We had everything this year.
To start with the good part... I got two podiums! A second at Hot Heels Africa, last IGSA World Cup race of the season, and I got second as well at High Rising.
We saw spiders, snakes, baboons, chameleons, penguins, camels...
We ate big animals, and generally ate well and a lot, we went geo caching and go carting, hiking and swimming, we drove on the left side of the road and we had the best host we could wish for!

Read the report on the Loaded Ambassador's page!

Have a look at the rest of the pictures on my flickr!

In the semi finals of Hot Heels, Felipe Malaga, our friend from Peru had a horrifying crash resulting severe head injury. He is today, 28th of December, still in the hospital in South Africa where he recovers slowly. Please read his story and contribute to help his family pay for the medical bills.

Photo by Brittany Fine

Photos by Tamara Prader

[ Diamon Lights ]

Last year for Christmas I got two womderful "Diamond Lights", diamond shaped light bulbs from Maria. During my travels they were waiting in the attic to finally be mounted!

[ secret smile on slanted.de ]

Finding relicts of my summer activities. As earlier mentioned, the "smile at your sister" ladies invited me to be part of the second edition of "secret smile", a nicely mixed goodie bag full of surprises. Contributions of artists, graphic designers, singer/ songwriters and authors arranged by Daniela Bily und Kathrin Knapp. My special surprise was the little, colorful a stick on monster tattoo!
Happy, I could contribute a few lines and hope to be part of the next edition od secret smile.

"Secret Smile" on Slanted.de!

[ I love Kozakov ]

The 3Heads released the 2012 Kozakov Race documentary. And it's good.
We all wish we were kozakoved right now!
It still gives me shivers every single time I watch any of the Kozakov videos that came out this year produced by the 3Heads. You rock. It is a unique event!
And we all know: "Ceske pivo je lepsi!"

Here you go:

IGSA Kozakov Challange 2012 official - documentary from 3heads on Vimeo.

[ beauty of the moment. about solo sessions ]

Skating is good for the soul.
A lack of motivation to look for company made me go to Dolder and Rigiblick alone. I haven't skated on my own in a very, very long time. It felt great!
The things I was working on didn't work any better only because I was skating by myself but stubbornness made me skate three hours, run to the gondola to catch it again and push harder. It made me swear silently when things didn't work out and it made my soul happy.

Photo by Olivier Séguin- Leduc

Before I went on my solo mission, I visited the Museum Rietberg with my mom. It has an incredibly beautiful garden and very nice buildings.
The exhibition was called "The beauty of the moment" and showed Japanese, hand coloured Photos from the 19th century and woodblock prints from the 18th and 19th century. The Japanese culture has such an entirely different understanding of room and proportion and I am fascinated by the reserved and powerful beauty that comes out of it. The high diligence in the details makes me feel humble.

Japanese Photo 1890 ©2012 Museo delle Culture, Lugano

[ creatures ]

Quite pointless to post things like these, I admit. There is more important stuff I could write and think about. But in a moment of creative excitement... I was brainstorming a while and then lost track and strarted to clean up my computer. Before we can produce new things it helps sometimes to look at what we already made... in order to know better now.

[ no place like home ]

After a very nice afternoon skate with my freind at our local spot, I just found this incredible invention.
A GPS shoe by Dominic Wilcox. Not just functional... really nice too! Have a look at the project he called No place like home ...which makes it that little extra bit better.

[ czech formalism ]

When you travel, you often feel like you see the most beautiful things but your heart isn't big enough to capture it all!
... That's when you can take out your camera, if you're lucky, and take a picture. Calvin Russell sings the following lines in "Crossroads":

I've travelled many roads
And not all of them where good
The foolish ones taught more to me
Than the wise ones ever could

It is good to leave the highway every now and then!

[ eurotang ]

The Euro Tour is alreday over. I can't believe how fast those four weeks flew by!
You can find the write ups for the races on the Loaded Ambassador page.
I am happy to bring home one podium! My results over all could have been better, I finished with a 5th in Kozakov, a 3rd in Teolo and a 6th quali time in Péyragudes.

graphic by Tamara Prader

The crew this year was Patrick Switzer, Maxim Garant Rousseau, Alex Tongue, Mauritz Armfelt, Josh Torres, John Barnet, Caio Cezar, Luke Melo, Thiago Lessa, myself and Olivier Séguin- Leduc our photographer and videographer.
After talking to a few travel crews that had issues here and there or even split the group half way through the tour, I felt lucky to have such an incredible team. Little fights were fought quickly and out of the way before they could become a bigger issue. It is not always easy to travel in a group of ten to twelve people basically spending 24/7 for a month. Our trip took us from Paris to Switzerland for some freeriding. Then to Kozakov, CZ for the first race, to Prague, to the most beautiful mountains, the Dolomites, further down south to the race in Teolo and then for a day to Venice. After that to the Pyrénées, south to Barcelona for a week of relaxation and scooter racing through the city and finally back to Switzerland before everybody had to fly home again.
A very big thank you to Orangatang the guys I traveled with!

San Be, Photo by Tamara Prader

See my arms?

What to do with so many roads?, Photo by Tamara Prader


Our personal Gondoliere.

What a great crew we have! I love this photo because it actually shows how much fun it is to travel together.

Péyragudes before the fog rolled in.

Random facade in Barcelona

Waves on our Gaudi tour.

The never ending constructions of La Sagrada Familia


[ empty the mailbox ]

I finished my unskatable skate season in Whistler, Canada. The highlight from my perspective was the bear on the race track!
I enjoy home in Zurich and Luzein for a weekend. Socialize, party with my godson, empty the mailbox...

Thanks to the ladies at Smile at your Sister for the Secret Smile N°2!

Off to the Eurotang 2012 race season with the Orangatang crew. First stop: Kozakov, CZ!

[ Mary- f*ing- hill ]

Maryhill! How long was I waiting to skate this hill! ...and it turns out, I'll wait a little longer.
I tried to take a run on the first day of the 5 day event, following Patricks lines down, slower than I ever skated. I figured I wouldn't be able to go for it with my cast on and decided to sell my ticket.

But it was a five day event... I had to keep myself busy somehow?!
So I started a little "Inlaw" race during the freerides after the first round of qualifying.
5$ entry fee, the winner takes all!
...and my list of riders was GOLDEN!

James, Budro, Dalua, Switzer... hell yeah.
My afternoon flew by!
There were some unexpected early drop outs and some rather going for a swim not even show ups. But other than that, it seemed to be quite a success. The riders were happy with some race practice and in the finals I had Dustin Hampton, Jose Guzman, Dalua and James Kelly.

The winner who took the 100$ had as well just broken the track- record:

Thanks for participating guys!

[ Keep Portland weird! ]

... no need to support that. This place would have a hard time trying not to be weird anymore.
One of the highlights of this week was the Mount Tabor race! Enjoy.

Spending a week in Portland, I learned some – more or less – important lessons about the survival in a group of skateboarders.

1 The dynamics of a group of skaters

The easiest way to make a group of skaters move is, to point out a place with cheap beer and food! Success rate: 95%
Coffee can work, sometimes.
Skating will most likely not work. It is too specific and depends on too many factors that you can never guess. The circumstances under which skateboarding happens are not the most obvious ones.

2 Drinking habits

You can’t keep up with the drinking pace of all the different teams! Some might simply have more practice than you do. Goal is, to realize early enough and when you do, stop drinking at their pace. Your liver might be happy about that. And you can avoid many headaches.

3 Spandex makes you win races!

4 Helmet safety

When we were kids, our moms told us to protect our heads. For all the sports we did, we had a different helmet, protecting specific regions of our heads, depending on the activity. Then, downhill skateboarding happened! The aero helmet is a self-made shell with some recycled helmet foam inner shell. It’s not about how protective this helmet is, it is about how cool it looks! It tells how much the rider cares about his style of riding. F* your brain. Who needs it anyways?!

So, get a very aero and expensive outer shell. If it looks ridiculous, the better!
Invest a lot of money in a rad paint job!
Don’t forget to find a fabric with a print that matches your individual style.
Consider that if you can still see because your self- tinted visor doesn’t fog up, you lose a decent amount of style points.
Quite important for this protection plan is not to crash!

5 Injuries

You hurt yourself? In the United States?
First and most important rule: DON’T GO TO A HOSPITAL!
You can buy painkillers. And if you want to rather spend your money on drugs, they most likely do the job too. If you’re not into drugs, go get the painkillers and mix them with alcohol, preferably stronger than beer.
Never get something stitched up! It’s a waste of money. You are a downhill skater so you’d typically carry around superglue.
Sit down, take a deep breathe, and superglue the sh* out of the gaping wound! Don’t forget that superglue tends to spill and superglue things together while you’re waiting for the pain to go away.

6 Strip clubs

Strip clubs in Switzerland are not worth going to because the lowest bill is worth more than 10$.

[ Off to Portland, Oregon ]

On the way here down from Kelowna, we crossed the border in Osoyoos where the Americans took our garden! We had expanded and had a pineapple sage and a thai basil next to the peppermint. Gone.

We slept at a lake and drove through the land of "cowboys and indians" in the morning. Passed by Maryhill and ended up in front of Jon's and Billy's.

[ Kelowna DH ]

Next weekend, next race. Time for the Kelowna DH!
The nice windy and wide, open road is in a residential area, overlooking two valleys. And again, we found the most scenic spot to park our RV. At the top of the hill, 50 meters from the start- line.

Unfortunately, this race again started rainy and therefore slow. Racers weren’t too eager to roll down a wet track and the organizer’s idea was to get as many runs as possible with skipping qualifying. Since the heats were set, there was not too much pressure on the first day.
This race- course was a decent bit longer than the races before. Runs take a bit more time, shuttles too. Things moved quite slow again on Sunday and unfortunately, half way through the first round of racing, one of the residents decided to be a dangerous and douche- baggy and had to be taken away from the police. This 2 hours intermezzo was very unfortunate but after that, riders were ready to kick ass! A fast track with heavy winds and more than one corner made it more interesting to find spots to take pictures at and watch people skate! The results for the Kelowna DH:

1. Kevin Reimer
2. Andrew Chapmen
3. Dillon Stephens
4. Patrick Switzer

1. Elena Corrigall
2. Marisa Nunez
3. Amy Brendon

I am very done with not being able to skate!
Stay safe and go play!

[ Vernon DH 8 & Summerland ]

The Vernon DH 8 race, in the driest area of BC started with a very rainy and gray day of practice. The sunday was as sunny as a summerday could be and I got the chance to work on my cast tan again!
Since the event was an IGSA race, things rolled a litle bit slower. Scott Peer and Justen Ortiz battled for an inline title, there was a decent crowd of classic luger and street luger and the ladies had a good crew on the startline too.
I was hoping for Kevin, James, Dillon and Patrick in the finals. Things didn't work out well for James, he dislocated his shoulder and couldn't finish the race. One of the local groms made it to the open finals together with Kevin, Zen and Pat.

After the race, we took off to Summerland to ride the Giant! ...the closest thing to Swiss freeriding. I cried a little bit, not being able to skate. Being broken isn't fun.
... but I keep myself busy doing the things that I like but usually don't find the time to do.

The Ladies podium: Marisa 1st, Elena 2nd, Anna 3rd

Open: Kevin 1st, Zen 2nd, Brendan 3rd, Patrick 4th

[ on the way to Vernon DH 8 ]

Before taking off to Vernon, we made a pit stop at Kevin Reimer's house. After watching the hummingbirds and observing the squirrel- crazyness, Kevin took me on a tour with his Blue Bird!
Happy to leave the different scales of grey behind us, we took off to the wine country. Home of Mischo Erban and more sunshine: Vernon!

All Photos by Tamara Prader

[ about the joy of passing on things ]

When I had picked up my new NJK leathers, there was no more room in my suitcase for my old motorcycle suit. I left it at Loaded & Otang with the quote to pass it on to someone who has use for it!
Only two weeks later it had found a new owner in Toronto!
Thanky you Darren for finding Timothy, a talented Toronto grom! I hope to skate with you some time soon, Tim. Grind the suit down to it's inner liner.

Photo by Heidi, Tim's mom

[ What's a broken skater to do? ]

... not a question that I planned on having to find an answer for! I guess there is always a reason for how things like these come along. At least I had no issues so far with keeping myself busy!

Kevin Reimer is back! A happy winner of the Britannia Classic 2012, one year after he got injured on this track.
Patrick landed in second, Byron Esset in third.

My disappointment about not being able to race was ... huge. The first bummer was to realize, that there were only 3 ladies at the Britannia Classic after having a field of 16 at Danger Bay. Quite as disappointing was the level of riding... but I am not to judge this since I was busy taking pictures - not skateboarding.

The organisation of the event was excellent, Lee Cation did a grat job and made the riders happy with good food, two days of freeriding & a good coverage of the event. Way to go Lee!

Bouldering in Squamish with Audrey & Max
What a magical place!

All Photos by Tamara Prader

[ Sunshine Coast - Britannia Classic ]

Before taking off to the Sunshine Coast, we made a visit at Landyachtz where I got myself some rainwheels! Whoop whoop - ready for the Canadian race weather!

Thanks to Mike at Landy!

Hopping on the ferry from Horseshoe Bay to the Sunshine Coast! I was so excited to skate these races and to get to skate with some of the Canadian ladies.

After what I had heard about the party at the Danger Bay race I was more scared to go there than excited... turned out that even the skaters get a little older and it was no where near as wild as I expected.
The womens division was the biggest one I had skated in. We had 16 ladies at the start-line!
I managed to make it in the finals and had the lead until I got taken out ending up in 4th place.

Ishtar and I didn't get to skate together at Danger Bay. It turned out we were the only ones racing Jakes Rash. We had a sweet battle down this mellow road with quite some leaning action. And drafting her all the way down, I just had enuogh speed to beat her at the finish line.

After coming back from the Coast, we heded up to Squamish for the Britannia Classic. I was very excited for that one and than very disappointed when I realized that there were only two other ladies registered. May it be this fact or some other reason that I don't know about yet, I broke my left radius in the first run of the second day. That means if I am lucky, I'll be able to be back on a board for the Maryhill Festival of Speed.

4th at Danger Bay
1st at Jakes Rash
down at Britannia...

We got ourselves a new Housemate. Peppermint at any time!
Carole, the Team Green 'manager' invited a huge crew over for dinner after Danger Bay. What an incredibly beautiful place the Sunshine Coast is!

[ Travel Update ]

Oh, we had to leave California way too early! I collected a few impressions for you...

LA Freeways, Photos by Tamara Prader

Definitely one of the highlights was my win in Avalon at the Catalina Island Classic!

Photo by 1904 Photography

An unforgettable treat! Adam Colton tried to sabotage us... opening up a little plastic box with the words: "this will change you life!", I expected the most incredible goody I've ever had... it definitely changed my life for the rest of the day.
These balls were made of dates, honey, nuts & the hottest chili in the world, the Bhut Jolokia chili pepper, also known as Ghost Chili.
... I didn't know food could do something like this to a human body. As I was down sweating with numb arms and feet, feeling nauseous, Adam talked me through a wet and cold forest.

Adam's treats, Photo by Tamara Prader

My stomach was mad at me for eating the cili balls so I skipped Surfing with the O-tang crew and played with Pat's long lens while they gave their best to catch a wave in Malibu!

Surfing in Malibu, Photos by Tamara Prader

I had an open bill with this canyon road that cost me my PCL last year... time for a pay back! Skateboarding in the Malibu hills with some of the most scenic views and most challenging roads.

Dane & Patrick had a NOS day!, Photo by Tamara Prader

We flew out of LAX on Tuesday, May 15th. This is a small world as I ran into Corina Parpan, a friend from back home in Klosters at the Vancouver airport.
After the public transportation mission with two HUGE bags and way too much and too heavy carry on luggage... it was time for Sushi!

We could finally pick up our RV in Chilliwack, BC! And it works! We have a home on four wheels and start to get comfortable in our 'Slumber Queen'. Now, all we need is a name... Ideas anyone? We figured she's a little bit like an Italian Donna...

Happy owners!

[ Catalina Island Classic 2012 ]

LAX, Photo Tamara Prader

Catalina Island - the view from the startline, Photo Tamara Prader

I got to Los Angeles, straight to the Newport Beach Film Festival, picking up my brand new NJK leather suit and then heading out to Catalina Island!
What a start!

Fitting at NKJ, Photo Pat Switzer

We were convinced, the race action would start with some freeriding on saturday. After we had found out that we'd only get one day on the hill, the party became a lot better.
And the Mexican guy behind the bar made some very generous Margheritas! ...guess I should have gone for one more Dollar Taco.
The Catalina Island Classic was held back in 1977 the last time. It was a great pleasure to meet one of the ladies competing in the race back than! She and her sister both did race and they still enjoy the island life, getting Sophia, Karens daughter, ready for some downhill action.

Flying away with Graham, Photo Pat Switzer

Rider meeting! Photo Tamara Prader

It is about an hour from Los Angeles to Avalon, the tiny capital of Catalina. Avalon is a very pretty place where skaters usually wouldn't spend too much time. Only one funny story about this place, they have buffalos there because a film crew simply left them on the Island after they were done filming.

The race day started early and on time. Three runs, that was it for practice on a pretty technical hill. The heats were set. No qualifying.
There were six ladies at the start line! We got to do an awesome amount of runs thanks to the point system we ran the race on. Thank you Dubes!
The guys had some gnarly heats down the narrow race track! James Kelly won the race, Patrick Switzer came in 2nd and Alex Tongue took 3rd. Pam Diaz took 3rd in the womens division, Christine was in 2nd and I won my first race! Whoopwhoop!

if it was the new suit...?, Photo Mark Golter

...for some more skating!

We had to leave this extraordinary place on monday to go back to Los Angeles and a different scale of city again. Seeking for some more and different adventures!

[ doing that skateboarding thing now! ]

Oh, I have a feeling this could be the time of my life!
I landed in Los Angeles last night, got picked up from the airport and driven straight to the Newport Filmfestival where I was just a little too late for Drop, My Life Downhill... all skate style, being late for things...
My NJK leathers are just being finished right now! Too stoked on that one! And in a little bit, we'll take off to Avalon where the Catalina Island Classic is happening this weekend. We are 6 ladies at the startline! The road looks like a lot of fun and I am sure, my jetlag will kick in just in time.

being bored in the air, by Tamara Prader

[ there is one highrise! ]

It is always astonishing to see how pragmatic, straight forward and without any prejudice a child's world works.
My godson came to visit me in Zurich again. He's been asking for weekends in the city since he was four. ...And I hope we can do this for another few years since spending time with little people is awesome!

Livio and the one! Finding out about how high 126m are. "If I'd put 126 Livios on top of each other, the last one would hit his head on the ceiling here." he observes on the top floor. Photo by Tamara Prader

Self portrait at the bottom of the Prime Tower. Composition by Livio Prader

Bottom to top.

Top to bottom.

Double reflections.

[ schnick schnack for miss sophie ]

Sophie Friedel asked me to create a blog log for her SchnickSchnack page where she shares thoughts, design and art related things on her digital platform for the art of living sideways!
With the innocence of a fawn, Sophie seems to walk through this world without any prejudice, source of never ending energy, protecting the good and the colourful things in this world!
She was living and working in Kabul for the Skateistan project which is still animating children to go to school and skate.
It is wonderful to have inspiring and openminded people around us!

[ based on wood - about girls in longboarding ]

My skate buddy Gloria Kupsch published an article in the Australian Heelside magazine that is worth reading! Yes, it is about ladies in longboarding again. Just better than what you read until now.

Here's the link to the article!

Just like Gloria, I had talked so much about women in boardsports that I almost forgot about what this actually is... it is about skateboarding!
Thank you Frau Kupsch - and now let's not talk but skate.

[ Chasing the sun ]

The forecast was miserable for this years Easter weekend. One wonderful fact, in Switzerland you'll always find a spot where the sun is shining.
Chasing the sun, the Swiss Skate Van made it's way to the Wallis. A valley of vineyards and fruit trees, all in bloom! At times, snow was falling on the pink blossoms but the road was dry for most parts. Mmm... what a good skate trip!

Day 1 - success, we found a dry spot!
Photo by Tamara Prader

Photo by Tamara Prader

Alex and Ben, our South African buddies
Photo by Tamara Prader

The Fibretecs

[ new spectacles ]

How awesome is it to have an optometrist who is stoked enough about downhill skateboarding to support this years adventures!
I got new Paul Smith nerd glasses and super light, flexible and hopefully pretty undestryable Mykita sunshades.
Eagle eye is ready for the skate trip.
Thank you very much Fred!

[ 7Sky Magazine Interview ]

Here we go! The interview I did with the 7Sky Magazine is now ready to be read.
Check it out here!

I feel honored that I got an interview published in the latest 7Sky Magazine! Silence is the title of this issue and I am very happy that downhill longboarding made it's way in there.

Thank you very much Coco Tâche!

Photo by Patrick Switzer

Photo by Mia Esterhuyzen

Thank you for being ready for any mission, Patrick! Photo by Patrick Switzer

[ things, that make days really good days ]

A very big THANK YOU to the guys at Triple8!
Back from a wonderful spring weekend of skateboarding and shredding the new gear.
Some days are simply better than others...

[ Alter Hase ]

Sometimes it's ok to be sick. At least if there is enough energy to do the things that usually there isn't time for.
... Such as working on this years appearance. I can't wait to get my NJK suit!
Or finishing things like ...
"Alter Hase", January 2012, Pencil, for my friend Maria.

[ days in the snow ]

I had the pleasure to spend some time back home again with Patrick and his buddy Duncan.
It is incredible to have the possibility to go home any time and find a comfortable bed, good company and home made food. A very big thank you to my lovely mom!

This astonishing person just got my old mac book and is now being introduced to a whole new galaxy for the first time.
The www!

Mom & Pat discovering PhotoBooth.

Castal, Photo by Duncan Kay

Pat's pancakes

Duncan playing camera, Photo by Duncan Kay

Amazing tricks!, Photo by Patrick Switzer

Ursula, Photo by Patrick Switzer

[ Back from ISPO ]

Read the write- up for the ISPO tradeshow 2012 at the Loaded and Orangatang Ambassadors Page!

...or have a look at it here:

Four days in Munich, a long weekend with Patrick, one of Europe`s biggest sport trade shows, and time well spent in the land of the best beer…

Munich, Photo by Tamara Prader

One can easily loose track in 16 different exhibition halls with all kinds of sport equipment, sport related electronics, soft and hard goods presenting the latest designs, models and new technologies. The tradeshow is subdivided in Action Sports, Ski, Outdoor, Performance and Sportstyle.

It was impressive to find so many longboarding booths in the Action Sports section.
Sector9 was there with one of the bigger booths and a labeled Bavarian beer, Arbor presented their new models and Landyachtz had some of their boards drawn on right on site. FORTrate, the Spanish brand distributor, seemed to be a meeting point for ‘lost at ISPO’ people, representing bigger longboarding companies that didn’t have their own booth such as Loaded and Orangatang, Rayne, Comet and many more.
It was great to experience the immense growth of longboarding through the generally very positive feedback from people I spoke with. The industry seems to finally notice longboarding, which seems to become somewhat a mainstream action sport… Whether that’s positive or negative is hard to tell for now. I’d say it is up to the existing community to make the best out of it…!

the booth, Photo by Patrick Switzer

Some highlights I’d like to share with you!

A pleasant discovery was the new Triple8 full-face helmet. The first helmet made for downhill skateboarding is certified with CPSC 1203 bicycle helmet and ASTM F1952 downhill mountain bike racing standards. The final touch is a $300 U.S. SRP.
It takes quite an effort to see through the different helmet rating systems. Obviously distinguished by the kind of use, there are as well different rating systems from continent to continent as well as few that are uniform. So if you look into buying a new helmet make sure that you don’t trust what your buddy is telling you, but that you sit down a couple of minutes and find out yourself with what you would like to protect your precious brain!
Until I find more time to learn about how the tests for the rating systems work and if it suits the purpose of downhill longboarding, I’ll stick to my Darth Vader motorcycle helmet. But however, thumbs up for the new full-face Triple8 helmet!

Talking to Thomas Cafaro at G-Form we found out more about their pads help to absorb impacts suffered to the body. It seems there are products out there which are made to be discovered by DH skateboarders. We had a nice chat about how to add in extra padding to our racing leathers!

On Monday, ‘Women in Board Sports’ had another informal and rather improvised get together to talk about women working, or in one way or another being part of the board sports industry. It is good to actually see ladies working in really good positions in the board sports industry. But still pretty disappointing to hear that it isn’t very different from being an architect when it comes down to wage inequality. Wondering how much more time we need to be fully treated equally.

I was very happy to see Christine Waeber and her husband representing BlueSign AG.
They are working on new standards for a sustainable and successful textile industry. The independent bluesign® standard is to put a reliable and proactive tool at the disposal of the entire textile production chain, from raw material to consumers. For those who want to learn more, please check their homepage. As well watch the NorthFace video.
A Journey to Sustainability. “If you know you will care”!

Another highlight was watching Mike Vallely shredding! Representing his own brand Elephant Skateboards he is a true dinosaur of skateboarding. What a personality!

I was a bit worried to go to such a big trade show, not really knowing anyone, I thought! It felt a little bit like summer constantly running into people that I knew
from last summer events! The constant visual and acoustic input was overwhelming and exhausting at the same time. There was too much to see, too much to talk
about, too much to learn, too much...

Good to see all the familiar faces at Risch’s Round Table! Thanks for letting us take over the whole Restaurant!

We’ll come back in 2013.

huh?, Photo by Patrick Switzer

[ About Sweepers and Braai ]

Read about what South Africa was like here!
And check out some of the other Loaded and Orangatang Ambassador's stories.

Monkey Business in Baboon Bend, Photo by Tamara Prader

A lovely roommate, Photo by Tamara Prader

Creatures under the bridge, Photo by Tamara Prader

[ it's christmas! ]

This was a crazy and fantastic year for me!

Doing the entire Euro Tour + Norway + Broadway Bomb... and now finally South Africa... there is nothing to complain about.

Super happy to finish the IGSA Worldcup Series 2011on #3 in Women Standup, and #54 in Open Standup!

And some more announcements:
I am proud to be the Swiss ambassador for the Longboard Girls Crew
as well as a team rider for the new Rollladen crew!

Merry Christmas & a very happy new year!

... you can find me in the snow

Photo by Tamara Prader

Photo by Tamara Prader

[ south africa - about sweepers & braai ]

After a busy second half of Novmber in the office and a lazy time here on my blog I am now back from South Africa, a place with some of the most lovable people and more braai than ever!
A backpack full of stories... soon to be told here!

Until then, I leave you with a first impression and...

Super happy with a 2nd place at Houwteq, South African National Race.
And a 2nd place at Hot Heels 2011, IGSA World Cup Race! AWE!

Photo by Tamara Prader

[ home ]

Photo by Ramon Königshausen

Skateboarding doesn't only do me favours these days. Last weekend we went home, home to where I grew up, for some freeriding. This made me think about the whole homebase, being at home story again. Home is where your heart is? ... I love traveling. But what ties us down to where we are? Is it the job, money, friends, all the stuff that we collect over the years? And what is a reason to move on? Running away from something maybe? But what is there to run away from?
Way too many question marks. And usually more than one heart involved to find answers.
Ramon took some beautiful shots of a strange global warmed up fall in the valley Prättigau.

Haaa... still love it that I can write my name with an Orangatang sticker!, Photo by Ramon Königshausen

Photo by Ramon Königshausen

Photo by Ramon Königshausen

An other way too warm and wonderful November sunday later we went on a 'driver's license only' DH trip towards Passo di San Bernardino... it was a day of many runs and not so many pictures! Thank you Chris, Rüfli, Benni & Alex for an amazing day!
Yet it was one more day on which I wished there was an other female rider to go fast with...
But there is a great placeholder:

Photo by YARDS magazine (F)

[ philosophy of spreading the stoke ]

Marie answered some questions on ladies in downhill skateboarding for the 'Longboarding Girls Crew'. Have a look at it here!
I am trying to get things sorted for the upcoming races in South Africa.
Reading Marie's interview made me watch a few videos of ladies skateboarding. First thing I have to say, ladies, you suck at wearing helmets!
And then another one. Since I am trying to figure out how my next year might look like and where it might take me...
How can it be that the Juan Rayos production Endless Roads that was posted on Skate[Slate] has almost twice as many hits as the other 'top articles'?
Yet, all the ladies I know of still struggle to make it to as many events as possible and spend all their money on it. It is hardly impossible to find sponsors who are willing to give away more than material. Yes, that already helps a lot! But it doesn't pay for expensive flight tickets for example.
An ongoing discussion with a very close friend made me think about why I am doing all this.
This is the outcome:

I started snowboarding 16 years ago & I think it's closer to surfing when it comes to the relation to nature and what you feel when you're out there than skating . On our skateboards we do as well enjoy the nature that surrounds us, but we only fight gravity. When I hit fresh powder I am in peace, calm and excited at the same time. When I tuck down a road it is more the feeling of being very focussed but it is more about being absolutely in peace with yourself because you concentrate so much. So in skating I'd say, it is more about the discours with your own personality rather than about the person with/against/in the nature. And then of course it is about the moment when you have slowed down. All the tension is gone in a second and you can feel all the adrenalin pumping through your body.
When I skate, I learn about myself.

Since I've started skateboarding my life has been changing. But what you get is always as well what you were looking for. I am still restless now but because there is so much I'd love to do. And it is not a constant restlessness but one that balances well with being very calm and happy.

I learned to communicate clearer and more precise through being confronted with people of all ages, nationalities and all levels of education. The traveling with a skateboard makes a big difference. I believe my heart just opened up a little bit more for all the things that are out there. And certain values lost it's shine while others became more important. Tolerance is big topic. I was nerver an outlaw in my life and I don't intend to become one. Even though, sometimes strangers who don't know what we do and how we do it insult us and yell at us. I suppose because they are afraid...?

The magic and spirit about skating for me is the feeling of freedom, the people, the action, nature, being on the road, it's THE STOKE. I never understood what the 'stoke' was. Now I got it... it has to be all these things together that make you feel so good and therefore we all want to spread it.

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[ broadway bomb 2011 ]

Oooh, ooh I am really late with this one.
If you are looking for a different skateboard adventure, go to Broadway Bomb in New York!
We have hills in Switzerland so we don't push much... but this push race is woth the effort.
The Bomb starts on 116th Street. Around thousand skaters pushed down Broadway to the finishline at the Bull on Wall Street this year.

I have nerver seen so many skateboarders in one place & it was incredible how we took over Broadway. Stickering cabs and hive five people who are waving to get one makes you feel like you just conquered Manhattan.
...and going through my photos I was obviously too overwhelmed to take pictures when the show went down! Only one more reason to go back next year!

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Photo by Tamara Prader

[ hello www! ]

I finally made it here.
... & this is going to be the place where I keep you posted. Let's open a bottle!

oh... & finally the 1st episode of "Greener Pastures" is online!!

[ doing boardsports means to me... ]

Smile at your sister asked a few participants of "Women in Boardsports" this question. This was my answer:

[ RAUMTRAUM - nightnurese images for Hochparterre]

For the ongoing series "Raumtraum" in the swiss architecture magazine Hochparterre, nightnurse images were invited to hand in an image. What you see here are digitalized, hand drawn materials on a 3d model.

© by nightnures images

A contemporary sketch.
The American Bar, Adolf Loos 1919

[ Back to the Future ]

I admit, I always wanted to have a hoverboard & someone who picks me up in a Delorean...
Not sure about the hoverboard but the Nike shoes and the Delorean just came a bit closer.

[ Weekend ]
17/10/2011, Prättigau

What's better than a beautiful sunny day in the mountains!? Saturday - skate, Sunday - hike.
Good skteboarding with Mr Fox, Lenz, Chris, Grom, Aki, Benni & Squirrel. And on Sunday a relaxing hike to Maria's first peak.

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[ women in boardsports 2011 ]

It was the 3rd annual Women in Boardsports retreat in Saaa- Fee, Switzerland. Daniela Meyer and Carmela Fleury invited inspiring and dedicated women to talk about what they're doing, where they come from in the industry and where they want to go.
It was a great pleasure for me to be invited to introduce the ladies to downhill skateboarding. I arrived in Saas- Fee not really sure what to expect...

Photo by Alba Prado

Unfortunately I could only go to Saas- Fee for two days so I missed out on a few presentations. Luckily I was there for keyspeaker Cori Schumacher, professional surfer, 3-times Longboarding Worldchampion who refuses sponorship in order to keep her critical voice for topics like the inappropriate exposure of women in the surf industry. Browse through her presentation on her blog, it's worth it!

Christine Waeber introduced us later to what she and her husband had achieved so far with their company bluesing technologies AG. We might want to think twice about what we wear and where it comes from.

Sophie Friedel showed us captivating images from her time working for Skateistan in Kabul, Afghanistan. We heard powerful stories of kids skateboarding in Kabul, saw a video by Faranas, one of the girls in Sophie's class and I am even more convinced now that sport brings us together.

The day finished with great dinner, good talks with good people and a couple of drinks.
"What's so special about boardsports" filled the next morning and Lilo Schwarz taught us to tell each other what we are good at every now and then.
Do you know what you're good at?

Thank's again to Daniela and Carmela for organizing this extraordinary event. I'll be back next year.
...Inspired and full of ideas I went home. Balanced and happy.

Photo by Tamara Prader

[ one day in the city ]


All you need to have some fun: a good friend, a sk8board and a camera... and actually coffee & food can be helpful too...

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all Photo by Maria Lampe