I went to the Team Trouble thing in Laax, Switzerland, last weekend. I had heard so many times of that event that it was time to see it with my own eyes. I took Steve Forstner with me and decided we should record ourselves in the car on the way back home, in order to fill the blanks between the photos below. (For the ones who can’t read: the video is at the very bottom.)

Laax, altitude 1050m


We have to make this at least a bit funny, so people go all the way down the article…
Steve Forstner: Ok. But skateboarding is funny! Especially skateboarding in a ski resort!

In a circus tent!
It’s actually quite fitting to put the skaters in a circus tent as an attraction for the ski resort for the rich and noble!

Still, it was a team contest, and this is pretty serious!
As serious as the Olympics?

Hmmm, I haven’t seen any coach involved.
No, coaching was quite weak!

They would actually coach themselves.
Some better, some worse! Ha ha!

Oli Buergin, rock'n roll slide. Photo: TLN

There was some good ones.
I think it’s definitely interesting to see how well planned some are and somehow shitty planned the others are when in the middle of the heat they are yelling at each other to figure something out!

Anyway, overall, I really enjoyed it. After all these years, people still manage to come up with new tricks, as Oli Buergin was telling me.
Yeah, it’s fun! I think skating with a team is fun because it’s like less pressure for a single person when you always have to do your own run. It kind of makes people chill a bit more and sometimes they end up skating better.

Yeah… I would hate being a judge for that stuff, though. How do they even judge this?
I think it’s not too hard, you don’t have to care too much about the tricks. I feel like the creativity counts a lot, when people do combos and stuff together…

Jimmy Wilkins, altitude 1056m

But what about those ones who took it seriously? There was a bunch of guys who took it seriously.
I was talking today with my friend Dave while we were watching the contest and I was telling him I’d like to go to a contest where after each heat or hour, or whatever, there is an anonymous voting and people would get voted out of the contest because you suck or you’re too serious!

Like a joker card!
Yeah, you just get kicked out because people don’t want to see you anymore! Ha ha ha!

I know exactly what you mean!
There was one or two dudes I would have voted out! Ha ha ha! I think that would be a great contest, anonymous voting means no one would know what you voted but someone would have to go up there and say « Guys, you’re out. You skated good but no one wants to see you in the semi-finals! » ha ha ha! That’d be great! That should be the new format.

What’s for sure is Jimmy Wilkins won the whole thing.
He won the whole weekend. He didn’t even really have to skate in the mini-ramp and he won that too.

Chany Jeanguenin, nosegrind tailgrab on the Marshall box. Photo: Thibault Le Nours

He won skateboarding!
He’s the best Vert skater in the world.

Yeah, the emotion it gives you when he skates… honestly I had goosebumps. Did you see the switch flip?
Yeah, I saw it, it’s definitely exciting to watch him skate, I gives you that feeling almost like when you’re a little kid… That’s definitely nice. Plus luckily he’s also a nice guy!

It’s funny that there is a Vert ramp in the middle of the mountains. I wonder who’s going there to skate it.
Yeah, why this place? This should be in Zurich or where there is a skate scene…

Seems like the city of Laax is pushing snowboarding and knows that skateboarding is a bit associated to that…
And surfing, I heard they wanna do a wave as well…

Oh yeah?
That’s what I heard.

The wife-beaters: Greg Runoff, Romain Dubourg, Archi Bruno, Jean Pantaleo.

Next time we go surfing instead of snowboarding!
Next time we go skate, surf and snowboard on the same weekend!

I’m stoked we got to snowboard even after that short night on the floor of that room.
It would have sucked if we’d stayed there in the morning doing nothing before going to the circus!

I like the fact that when we finally got to the circus, there was actually four clowns skating the bowl!
Ha ha, I know!

One of them is Cedric, the speaker who’s also organizing the event.
Yeah, that’s the best part of the contest: it supports and pushes creativity outside of just skateboarding. I mean with skateboarding you’re supposed to be creative, but it’s also cool to have the face painted, the strange outfits…

Stupid tricks…
Yeah, that’s how skateboarding should be, not serious. Therefore we could also say Laax is the anti-Olympics. It’s pretty much as far away as the Olympics are.

Jeroen Bruggeman, tailgrab! Photo: Thibault Le Nours

There must be other contests like this.
There is: Dime Glory Challenge. But people still take it pretty serious and do gnarly tricks because they are trying to win money.

What do you think they win in Laax?
I don’t think there is that much money on the line there.

You think all these guys came for no money?
I mean, they came because they get invited, got a hotel room… It’s basically a free weekend to party! And I’m sure you can probably win a couple thousand euros with the team.

To pay for the trip there.
You’re not gonna get rich at the end of Team Trouble, that’s for sure!

It’s always a good opportunity to see people, meet people… What’s the funniest thing that happened over the weekend?
The funniest thing is when Maité told me this morning that her stomach was hurting and she sat down on the toilet and farted for a minute and a half while her stomach deflated. And at the end she also shit. So that was a pretty good story.

Maité eats a carrot and Dave drinks a beer. Photo: TLN

That’s some real shit talking here! Ha ha! I can’t even remember how I got to get there. Did they reach me? I mean, A Propos is not really a media anymore, it’s just me…
Maybe they think you still work for Soma!

Ha ha ha! Maybe they think A Propos is big. 7000 followers! How big is that?
On Instagram?

Yeah, how many you have?
Me? 2000 maybe…

Sometimes I feel bad for some old pros who were the shit and now they have only 4000 followers.
I personally think 2000 is too much, I wonder who these people are!

Ha ha ha!
I never post anything, I always tell people on tour not to tag me! I don’t care! I don’t really want some weird friends of you to follow me!

Clowns Cedi & Seeländer.

Anyway, we just ended up there.
You as a social media star! How does it feel to get invited to this kind of event?

I should get paid! Ha ha ha!
Are you ashamed that you’re an influencer?

I would definitely be. Why would you expose yourself that way? But whatever.
Yeah, we got to see the crème de la crème of Swiss skateboarding.

Of vert skating too.
Swiss legends like Oli Buergin and Chany Jeanguenin…

Jordan Thackeray, crooked & Alex Hallford, 50-50. Photo: James Collins

Only Guillaume Mocquin was missing in there. And Julien Benoliel. And Martelleur.
Yes, Roost.

A team with Julien, Roost, Mocquin and…
Marc Haziza! And Micky Iglesias! I was expecting them to be at these kind of things!

The French weren’t too bad there, actually.
Who were the French guys?

The guys with the faces painted and the ones with the marcel t-shirts. How is this piece of clothing called, again?
The wife-beater.

It’s really called like that?
Ha ha, yeah, I mean you can call it a tank top too, but everybody calls it the wife-beater.

Double trouble: Uryann Raudet & Robin Bolian.

Ha ha… But we left almost without telling anyone.
You think it’s good that we didn’t see the finals? This way we’re more objective…

Do we really care who wins?
In my opinion you never need to see the finals of any competition. You’ve already seen everything go down by the time the final is happening!

They’re probably more drunk and tired by the time they get to the finals.

I guess we won. And we didn’t even have to skate!
We didn’t even bring our skateboards!

I brought my snowboard!
Ha ha ha! We are the unofficial winners of the Laax Action Circus Show!

Judges with pens: Sörfi, Chloé Bernard, Claudia Reira, Chany & Oli Buergin. Photo: TLN

Over 40! It’s funny how there used to be over 30 competitions and now it’s gone. I mean Oli is almost 50! But he didn’t bring the flip-flops, though.
No, the weather was not right for the flip-flops.

Ok, I think we’re good. I don’t think we need more. How long is that?
22 minutes!

Ok let’s make it to 25.
The finals, 3 minutes to throw down the hammers!

Ha ha ha!

Edit: Sean Nguyen
Cams: Jon Wolf / Yves Marchon / Pierre Pauselli / Shqipron Bobaj
Sound: Skeleton Coast / Goblyns
Location: Freestyle Academy LAAX
Thanks Alan Maag and Cedi for the good times. Color photos are Tura’s.



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