Stoke Levels Rising: Daan Van Der Linden Interview
Neckface: Alright, interview: where are you from, how old are you, who are your sponsors, right? You gotta get those ones out of the way.
Frank: Do you remember where you’re from today?
I’m from Holland. I’m 19.
Neckface: Your birthday’s tomorrow, right? You’ll be 20 by the time this comes out. When’s your birthday?
On the one eight of April.
Julien: And you’re not in jail.
I’m not in jail and nobody’s in the hospital either.
Julien: So what happened today?
We had a good day: started off with a few Tecates, skated down to the marble spot. Fuck, I can’t explain what we did today.
Frank: Do you remember the outcome of it, though?
I remember some Chinese guys jumping on me.
Backside 5-0 over a tired, hungry troubadour Photo: Brook
Frank: Do you remember what you did before that?
A tré flip.
Frank: But after that.
Then we went to China Banks.
Neckface: Tré flip, the China Banks, then Julien threw out a trick idea, then it went sour.
Then that worked out, yep.
Julien: Then I abandoned you to, like, 50 80-year-old Chinese people.
Frank: Then we brought you into the lion’s den and left you.
Yep. I almost got eaten. But Johnny was there. He got me.
Frank: John came through.
Julien: I got chased off. The guy said he was going to kill me.
Gap to lip, never apologize Photo: Brook
P-Stone: I saw you running off and I thought, “Man, if I go down there I’m just gonna get devastated. I could get five of them down, but I’d have to have someone to help me out there.”
Frank: You would have got the five oldest guys and then the next five would have jumped on you.
Neckface: Alright, just for the record, we went and skated the Banks after doing some other shit, we’re done skating, a board zinged off the bridge and landed on about fifty Chinese gamblers—on one of the guys’ heads.
P-Stone: By accident.
Neckface: By accident, we’ll clarify that. So the board landed on dude’s head and all the Chinese dudes fuckin’ attacked Daan.
Frank: Daan went down to explain, like, “It was an accident. I’m sorry.”
I was trying to. But I should have listened to Julien right away because he told me, “Fuckin’, let’s bail out. Let’s not go down there. Leave the board.”
Julien: But you tried to do the right thing.
I tried to do the right thing, man.
Julien: Lesson learned.
That’s it. That’s the story. Lesson learned.
John: We had to talk to the cops but since it was an accident—
Frank: And they wrenched you up pretty good—
Julien: I thought that was cool that you tried to go apologize to the guy. It was the human thing to do. But you could have been jacked up.
I thought he was fucked up because that drop is high, man.
Frank: And that board did not come off slow.
Yeah, that’s what I mean.
P-Stone: When I saw that guy down there, he rubbed his head a little bit and then he started playing cards again.
Neckface: So you’ve been in SF a couple days now. How do you like it?
Good, steep, crazy people, good spots, good city. I like it more than LA kind of because it’s more tightened up, more Europe-ish, you know? You go out of your house and there’s a lot of stores and whatever all around. When I’m staying in Long Beach I have to push 30 minutes to the breakfast spot or 7-Eleven to get a slice of pizza.
Faster and faster. Indy plant on the bar Photo: Brook
Neckface: What’s the best thing you’ve eaten out here in SF?
The Dungeness crab.
John: Who cooked it?
John: Well, the chef cooked the first one.
He did a proper one and then P-Stone backed him up. That was a good crab, though. There was a lot of meat on that thing.
Julien: How’d you get into skating? How’d you find it? You had an older brother, right?
I’ve got an older brother. We started at the same time, though.
Island hopping, 180 style Photo: Brook
John: What did you see, dude? You know there was that spark.
Frank: What sparked it?
We were playing outside everyday already and then I guess one of the fuckin’ neighbor kids came out with a board. You know we all had this thing where we’re, like, “Oh, we’re into that,” and then we’d do that. And then I guess some skateboard came along. I don’t even remember to be honest.
Julien: You were that young?
I started skating when I was five or something.
Julien: Was there always a board from then on?
Oh yeah. And my brother was seven or eight.
Julien: That’s young. That’s good.
Yeah, we just started out from the curb. We had two super small, like, Euro-gap little curbs with a little bank to it. It’s tiny, you know. It’s like two inches of a bank to a little curb.
John: You guys were saying that you called ledges curbs.
Yeah, we called ledges curbs because they’re so big out here, you know? But we used to pretend that our two curbs were a mini ramp and just skate the front of the house from curb to curb, back and forth. I had a babysitter and he was really cool; he was a skater. I still skate with him all the time every time I’m back there. And yeah, they got me to the park one night, because we didn’t even know what a skatepark was. The first two years we were just mini ramping on the curbs and shit and then he was, like, “Yo, you know we’ve got this skatepark.” And he worked there, like, got me in for free, skated at night and then I fuckin’ busted my head and went to the hospital.
John: First time at the skatepark?
Yeah. It was fucked up. And then my mom was, like, “No. You’re not going there anymore.”
No sad days Photo: Arto
Julien: She said exactly what she was supposed to say to keep you skating, dude.
Yeah, she was, like, “You’re skating in front on the curb from now on.”
Frank: Oh, so I’m not allowed to get dangerous? I’m going.
Yeah, the babysitter would sneak me—
John: How old were you at the time?
I think seven or eight, something like that. And then when I was nine, I had a really bad accident one night. My mom banned me from the skatepark, you know. She banned me for life, like,”You’re not going there,” or “You’re wearing a helmet,” and I wasn’t feeling that. I was, like, “Nah.” So then one night, I was kinda tired because it was like 11pm. For me, it was super late. So they took me down to the park while my parents were gone. They were babysitting us, you know? I remember they had this fuckin’ obstacle in the back: it was, like, a two-meter-high obstacle, maybe six foot, and they had a little wooden fence and a little clipper thing so you could just, like, lean into the fence. But I was way too small to use the fence. So the clip thing, it got me. I remember clipping my heels and falling through the fence and I was knocked out for, like, an hour and they were trying to find me in the park. Then I woke up and just—I climbed up and puked everywhere and shit. I had a bad concussion.
John: Holy shit! So you were just laid out?
They didn’t find me for an hour. Everybody was, like, “Whoa, wait. Where are you?” So after that my mom was, like, “You’re wearing a helmet; there’s no other way.”
John: When you came back did she know? Did she fire the babysitter?
Frank: Well, you went to the hospital, didn’t you? I mean, you had to have gone for a concussion.
Yeah. Well, I went to the hospital. They just took me to the emergency thing and I got out within a half hour. They just told me, like, “It’s all good. You just got a concussion.” I puked for two weeks long and shit. It was pretty bad but I don’t know. My babysitter just took me out. He didn’t get fired. He was too cool. He was a really nice guy.
Your cover, his laugh. Wallie 5-0 in Barcelona Photo: Keppens
Julien: He’s gonna read this interview, man. Give him a heads up.
There’s two guys. Him and his older brother that skate. It’s the Boss family: Graham Boss and Walter Boss. Fuckin’, the Bosses. They took me out from when I was nine, you know, and after that when I didn’t need a babysitter or whatever.
Frank: So it was a skate crew is basically what it was.
But you know, I was, like, “These guys are babysitting me. They won’t want to hang out with us after they’re not getting paid to do it.” But they called us up and shit. They’re all, “Yo, come skate.” After that we just skated for years and years.
Neckface: What was your first skate video?
John: Did you watch it online?
No, my first skate video was one my babysitter showed me. I can’t remember what it was but it was Reynolds. It was Reynolds doing the full Cab down the iconic stair thing. Full Cab a big old stair with the square rails. I think it’s in LA.
Wilshire. Yeah, maybe. What video was that?
We’ve got a new record, boys! Frontside fifteen in Oz Photo: Mapstone
John: Baker 2G?
I guess that was it then.
Julien: What about the difference between the skate scene in America and Europe? I mean, I know you just got Skater of the Year in Europe, which is fucking insane, but I feel like out here, dude, most people wouldn’t even know that. And that’s crazy because that’s a whole world; that’s huge. And out here everyone’s living in their own bubble. Or maybe everyone’s in their own bubble these days. I don’t know.
Yeah. You know, I think it’s just because of all the companies that are known to skateboarding—like, are known well—they’re all out here, you know? And they’re not checking out some shit, what some Euro whatever guy is doing down over in Spain. They don’t have time for that probably. There’s too much skating around here anyways. I think it’s just different because, you know, we have our little scene because it gets a little too big, I feel like.
Julien: The European scene?
No, no. If you look at all of the European shit and you look at all the American shit, it’s so much nowadays.
Julien: It’s too much. You’re right. So it’s easier just to keep it kind of, like, tight over there.
I feel like I just watch the American shit because it’s, like, I don’t know—I was just always more hyped on that shit than the European things.
Julien: What about just vibe-wise? Is it more competitive? I mean, you’re a lot younger than me. I’m just curious.
Well, I do feel like I went to some am contests and it’s way different with contests. Like, I could enter some contests in Europe that anyone could enter—like, not having to be an am or whatever—and you could win three grand that day. And out here, I think I was at the Costa Mesa Damn Am or whatever and Axel won that year and all he won was a free Dakine backpack and free DVS shoes that he could get with a voucher thing. It’s insane compared to Europe. There’s people doing forward flip feeble grinds down a handrail. That year there was that guy, he did it in his line. The level of skating, not just in contests, is just a little bit more crazy out here. But I know if I went to Damn Am out in Europe you get like five grand or something.
P-Stone: Damn. That’s really good.
I know. But on your end there’s a lot of contests that are getting created by companies that aren’t involved in skating and they’re, like, “Oh, we’ve got this ten grand or whatever.”
Julien: They’re just using skating and they think they can throw some money around. It’s weird. That’s a fucking weird one.
Frank: Does your brother still skate? Do you skate with him?
Fuck, man, I try to. Because my brother, he rips. Like, heelflip backside lipslide down a handrail every time. That’s his go-to trick. He’s fucked up.
Julien: Does your dad have gnarly skills or something? Or is your family fuckin’ acrobats or what?
No, my dad was a professional soccer player.
Bangers and mash! Kickflip into the Vegas loaf Photo: Rahbaran
Julien: Oh shit.
And then he ripped his knee, like, broke it real bad or whatever. And then he became a professional tennis player after that.
Julien: ‘Cause it’s easier on the knee. Wow.
Yeah. And now he’s taking it easy or whatever. He’s got his own tennis school.
Julien: He must have been really fuckin’ good if you’re any indication of his skill level.
Yeah, he’s really good at sports. But he doesn’t understand skateboarding, though. He doesn’t get it.
Julien: Do you mean he doesn’t get it sort of as—
As the way we get it, you know what I mean? He’s, like, “Oh, skateboarding. Cool.”
Frank: But he respects what you do?
Yeah, of course. He’s super down for it.
John: Who was the first person you met on Antihero? Were getting hooked up by the distributor—
Julien: By the distributor or by the shop?
Oh, the distributor, Hardcore Supplies. Yeah, I rode for Element and Plan B for a little while but then I had this deal, like, I could go either way. Element would pay me some money and shit and, like, send me six boards a month or whatever and I kinda got freaked out by that, like, “Whoa, whoa.” And then the distributor came up to me, like, “Yo, if you want you can just ride for any board company that we distribute. We can give you some boards.”
John: You can get flowed boards from anything that we’ve got and you’re, like, “I want Antihero.”
Neckface: Then who was the first person you met on Antihero?
John: After you started getting flow boards.
I think Grant because of the Volcom trips.
Noseslide fly out, SFC Photo: Brook
John: You started traveling and it kind of just took off.
Yeah, man. I think it’s been two years already.
John: Just nonstop traveling.
It’s gone so fast; it’s insane. I’ve been on the road a lot.
Julien: Alright, so in the last fuckin’ year just give us a rundown on all the places you’ve been. I know you went to New Zealand.
I probably wouldn’t be able to name all of the places.
John: What’s one that sticks out?
Australia and New Zealand for sure.
Frank: The most fun you had or the coolest skating?
Just the coolest trip with the best people and just the most fun. For sure. Because we went to New Zealand and before that all the trips were just with hotels or whatever. But we camped out on that trip. My first time coming to Australia, that was really cool.
Julien: I remember the first time I went out there. So good. They speak English, which I like. You know, it’s just easier.
I just liked the people in Australia, the vibe. They don’t really care about little shit too much, you know? I’ll be the little pussy up in Australia, like, “Ahh, there’s a fuckin’ rat back spider in the toilet.”
Frontside flip floater, over the spigot Photo: Brook
Neckface: What do you got to say to your homies back home?
Fuckin’ love you guys. Thanks for all the good times and we’ll hang out some more.
Julien: What about bombing hills?
Oh, you got me on the weak spot right there.
Julien: Well, we’re sitting on Kearny, so—
We’re sitting on the most fucked-up hill right now. I don’t know; I just can’t skate them. They’re so fucking scary. I feel like I’m gonna fall off my board at any time. It just picks up speed so fast, you know? I have to powerslide.
P-Stone: A lot of people do.
John: We all do.
P-Stone: Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.
Yeah, I think because of my board maybe. I ride, like, an eight.
Julien: Where do you want to go that you haven’t been yet?
Alaska. I want to go to fuckin’ Alaska. I’d love to go to Alaska, dude, and just check it out, maybe camp out and try to hunt some shit.
John: This just in, P-Stone’s never been to Alaska.
P-Stone: That’s the last state I gotta hit.
John: Might be the last place in the world you gotta hit.
There might be some spots; you never know.
Living off the land with a frontside 360 Down Unda. This shit ain’t over! Photo: Mapstone
Julien: Dude, I’ve got some smoked salmon at my house that my buddy in Alaska who helped pour the Potrero park sent me. And yeah, he lives off the land. We gotta go visit him and just do it.
How do you keep in contact with him? On the phone?
He has a phone?
All I’ve seen of Alaska is, like, National Geographic shit. I thought they would have no houses or whatever.
Julien: Well, we gotta go out there. He lives somewhere where we can talk. But he fuckin’ hunts right outside his door, like, he fishes salmon and hunts.
That’d be the best thing. Best salmon right up front—boom.
Julien: That would be amazing, dude. We should go this summer.
I think they’ve got rainbow trout as well.
Julien: We have those here, rainbow trout.
You can just eat them fresh, right?
I think so. I saw some guy do it for sure. You know, catching rainbow trouts.
John: And you just fuckin eat it. Sushi.
Julien: It’d be like The Jungle Book, man.
John: Preston would act like he’s been there before. I got a spot over here, there’s this tree we gotta go over to, we gotta go around the corner. Alright, any last words, Frank?
Frank: It was a delightful day and I’m glad that we all made it out okay.
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