Take a bit of the CPH Pro, a bit of Helsinki’s Hellride and even some of The Battle Of Normandy, mix it all and spread it over Vienna, Austria, on a hot summer day and here’s what you get: the Vienna City Gnarathon, first edition. With the unexpected success of the other day’s article we did with Austria’s own Steve Forstner, it was decided that we should keep this formula to report all events until further notice.

MVP Jan Hirt, FS crooked grind, spot #2


So I came back from the Gnarathon 24 hours ago and usually it takes me almost a week to recover from this kind of events, but this one wasn’t too bad. Probably because it was just one day.

Steve Forstner: Yeah, but there was the video premiere on Friday and it involved drinking, and as you know each event is as much drinking as skateboarding, then it depends on which aspect you focus on more!

It’s true that the drinking is even more tiring than the skating.

You can only skate for so long anyway, but with drinking, it’s easy to keep going.

But the video was good. And there’s nothing better than watching a video on a big screen, with a big sound and people cheering… 

That pretty nice, yeah, even though I haven’t seen that many videos on a big screen. It’s probably only the third time.

Tom the cooler & friends

The thing is I always get so hyped that when I watch it the second time on the computer I’m always disappointed!


Yeah, I expect to have the same emotion as the first time but obviously…

It’s impossible. First time things catch you off guard, plus you have the hype of the people around that seems to not happen on Youtube at home while taking breakfast! Ha ha ha!

Good thing is I didn’t go to sleep too late so I could be there on the first spot at 10:00 the next day.

Me too, I was there at 10 o’clock sharp, mostly because I wanted to see the kids of some of my friends and actually talk to people before they’re drunk, which in Austria you have to do before noon.

Muki (Rustig) offered me a beer at 10:45.

That’s how I grew up.

Justin Sommer, FS flip, spot #1

That’s how nice Muki is. And there is no irony here!

He’s the nicest guy ever.

Let’s talk about the first spot.

The first spot was about the location. The Karlsplatz is one of the main spots in Vienna. There’s some shitty ramps there and there’s a statue with a ledge and a manual situation but it’s always been like the classic place to go to because there’s even a ledge and stairs into the metro station which are kind of covered where you can skate in the winter time. 

The city tolerates it?

You can skate around the square, sometimes in the metro, the ledge it’s pretty fine but the stairs it depends… But it’s such a big station you can keep moving while being kicked out! Ha ha ha!

So it’s the main meeting spot where you end up spending the whole day…

Yeah… It’s such an easy spot to sit there and have a beer, and there’s like 3, 4, 5 spots in one location, it’s central, there’s different lines of metro…

The marathon of gnar

Since you work for Indy, are you responsible for the design of the second spot?

No, I wasn’t responsible for anything technically. I was responsible for giving the money and pushing that! At first we were gonna do the Donauinsel spot, the double set and all that, which is the other big and famous spot from back in the day, and still to this day it’s the spot where everybody goes to.

It’s undercover also…

Yeah it’s a bit under the bridge, but they didn’t get permission because the city was preparing a festival there so they had to find a different location, which I don’t really care because I knew it was gonna be fun regardless. 

That location was perfect to me.

I know that Donauinsel is iconic but technically I liked that one more because it was a nice day and everybody could jump into the water if they wanted to or sit in the grass…

And a bit in a downhill so it was a bit different.

I’m so sad no one did the 3-trick line that I said I would give 50€ for: do a trick on the hubba, then a proper flat ground trick then something on the quarter pipe.

The quarter pipe was very big.

They made it smaller than they wanted to, actually. They were gonna make it bigger! Ha ha ha!

MC (Multitasking Chef) Pfanner

It was just made for Martino!

Actually Elias (Assmuth) from Spoff Parks told me they sent Paul (Labadie) the design or the measurements and he said « Ask Martino if this is good! », and Martino replied with horns and fire emojis!

So it was like 2 meters of vert?

Well it was gonna be half a meter more of vert than it was.

And the weather was just perfect. 

It was almost too hot, my phone actually over-heated when I was trying to please the World Wide Web.

Did you do the live thing on the Independent account?

I did, until my phone died from over heating!

Ha ha ha! What about the third spot? I had to go before they put the cooler on the gap. Maybe we should first talk about the cooler that  they call Tom.

I think it’s cool that you left before the session went down because I did too! 

Ha ha ha! 

As we do at all these events we go to!

Tom getting BS tailed by Livio Tomassetti. Photo: Jan Federer

Ok, since we haven’t seen anything let’s just talk about what Tom the cooler is.

The history that I know is that Paul (Labadie) brought a cooler on one of those Vans trips a couple years ago and that was the start… 

I think « Where is Tom? » is like a code for « where is the beer », am I right? 

Technically it refers to « where is the bread? ».

What do you mean?

The bread, the beers, or just ask Doobie (Victor Pellegrin). You know how it is on trips, if you’re not there you’ll never be part of the secret language. 

Yeah but still they called the video « Where is Tom ? » so there’s a bit of storytelling to be done here.

Tom is the cooler that has the cold beers, hopefully, and is part of the crew. Probably the most loved one out of the whole crew. 

The coolest one! 

Yeah, ha ha ha!

I know who won the thing but…

Who won? How do you even win these kind of thing?

There is a MVP at the end of the day.

Oh, ok.

It was Jan Hirtz for the men, you know him?

Yeah, this Swiss guy, super cool. He’s having a part coming out soon for Santa Cruz. He skates everything.

The run up, spot #3

And for the women, it’s Anna Plewa. Overall it was a good first time and I’m sure they will make it even better next year.

You can always make it better. But sometimes it’s just nice to do something new. No disrespect for CPH but when you go there you know exactly what’s gonna happen…

You don’t exactly know what’s gonna happen, that’s the magic of it!

Well you don’t know exactly what’s gonna happen session-wise but you know, sorry to say, that on every spot 80% of the people are gonna hang around and drink and try to create chaos…

It’s a social thing, more than like Street League or whatever!

I’m not saying that it’s bad, it’s just nice to see it happen somewhere else. CPH and Helsinki’s Hellride, they’re doing it for what, 4 or 5 years now, are the only 2 things in Europe that actually are skateboard events in my opinion. 

There should be one in every big city. 

Sure. But there’s not always the right scene to make it happen. Certain places make these events… I don’t want to talk shit but actually I will: like Far’n High, why would I want to go watch that?

That’s more of a classic skatepark contest.

I think you shouldn’t do anymore normal skatepark events. That’s what Street League and the Olympics is now, just let them have that part, who cares?

Blue Danube, spot #2,5

I agree.

But it’s still good that people are trying to make thing happen. 

Next big thing is slappy contests! There’s the one in Lyon and one is happening soon in Grenoble too!

In Lyon they are so lucky with that spot. A double sided slappy curb going downhill… 

Still it’s a bike path, how do they even deal with the bikes? 

French people don’t ride bikes! 

Ha ha ha! There should have been a slappy somewhere in Vienna for the event. 

They fucked up!

Ha ha ha! Let’s end up with a positive thing!

Positive thing?

Martino Cattaneo, FS invert, spot #2. Photo: Davy Van Laere

What’s really positive is that they made it more inclusive than usually. 

Very good to see the FLINTA sessions, and also that people did respect the FLINTA sessions.


It’s the German version of LGBTQ.

I think there was the same prize money for men and women.

It should be like that. 

There was a girl filming, a girl shooting, you don’t see that often.

And Dolores mag was there, there’s only one female magazine so…

There is one in France called Magdezine.


Zine is slang for « girl » in some places in France. Like « cousine ». They should invite them next year.

Or they should organize something in France. 


You have some connections in France!

That’s another story!

Ha ha ha!

Best slam: Benjamin Ostwald
MVP male: Jan Hirt
MVP FLINTA: Anna Plewa
Most creative: Mika Germond
Best vibes: Chris Pfanner
Thanks Paul Labadie, Antonio Aiello, skate club Vienna and the Vienna scene for the good times. Non credited photos are Tura’s. Video coming soon.



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