Do you remember your first skateboard?
Jost Arens is one of THE newcomers in German skateboarding. With just 15 years on the clock, the Warendorfer has already won the German amateur championship, spent a few cold winter weeks in sunny climes and even relegated Shane O'Neill to the bottom of an international contest in 2012. Even if Jost, whose main motivation when it comes to skating is always his homies, says very modestly and sympathetically that maybe a bit of luck was involved. Just in time for the start of Red Bull Phenom, Jost reveals how he deals with stage fright at contests, what matters to him when filming and gives a few tips on how other newcomers can really get started at Red Bull Phenom.
Do you remember your first contest?
That was the “Warendorfer Skatejam”, right here in town. I was ten years old then and skateboarding for about two years.
Was it a big step for you to take part in a contest for the first time?
Definitely! Sure, I was really excited - like when I was a little ten year old. But my parents motivated me quite a bit and I was completely hyped. Then it made me want to go.
How did you do
And then you showed up at more and more contests.
Yes, then it started. My father was always happy to be there when I went to the contests in Münster and Osnabrück around here. And so it got more and more over time.
But you also filmed hard with your homies on the side. Do you remember your first clip?
Yeah, we filmed that when I was eleven. It's actually still available on Youtube!
How do you think about it today?
It was definitely a big step for me. The clip was celebrated a bit in and around Warendorf and, as an eleven-year-old boy, I was of course very happy that a few people saw my skating.
The best known thing about Warendorf, as far as I know, are the annual stallion parades ...
(laughs) ... haha, definitely!
... so how did you manage that more and more people have you on their radar? Youtube or contest presence?
I think that's how all the contests started and that meant that I was on the road more and more.
What is important to you when you film a clip?
I definitely want to see stylish and fast skating, I think that's great. That's how I want my upcoming Red Bull part: With lots of fast lines and good filming. I don't even need the mega awesome tricks. Sure it's cool when there are some really good bangers in there, but stylish lines are more important to me. I'd rather watch a part by Austyn Gillette than watch a part by Nyjah Huston. Flow and style are important to me.
I'd rather watch Austyn Gillette than Nyjah Huston. Flow and style are important to me.
We agree on that. Have you ever sent a sponsor me-tape?
Nope, not at all. I think it was more because I went to contests a lot. My first sponsor hooked me a few years after my first contest. That was admire a small board company from Darmstadt.
You've got off to a pretty good start since then, clearing sponsorship deals and getting around well. A lot of people on Facebook ask you if you have a tip for them?
Yes, that happens a lot. Very often. These are all kinds of things; how to learn a certain trick, for example, or how to get a sponsor. Some also ask whether I can even introduce them to a sponsor. Unfortunately, I can't do that because it's not just about skating, but also whether you fit into the team. You have to get along with the whole team. Sorry guys, I can't help.
What if someone asks you how to approach his first contest?
I can give you the tip that I follow myself: think away the spectators and just skate. Don't make yourself crazy, all you really want to do is skateboarding and not pull something out of it. If you only think about skating on your run, then you won't be that nervous.
The winner at Red Bull Phenom has the chance to take part in the X-Games. How important are such formats for skateboarding?
Pretty important I think. There are so many really good skaters out there, but a lot of them don't get as big as they could because they don't compete, although that's a huge possibility. There are just so many video clips on Youtube that simply go under. Lots of people bring out really blatant street parts, but only a few get it. And a contest is a great way to show off your skateboarding skills.
Still, you don't just hang out on contests, you just have a street part in the making.
Yes, of course, that is also very important to me; If only because I have a lot of fun with it. It makes you want to go out with the right people, take photos and film - I look forward to it every time! With a nice photo or a good clip you also have something in hand to be happy about.
Do you have another tip in store for the people who join the Red Bull Phenom?
You should definitely show your own style. There are always people who try to copy someone else's style. But that often seems fake, you should have your own style, that's ten times cooler. Otherwise maybe see that you have fast, cool lines in there. Stylish skating is much more important these days than blatant skating. Sure, when Dave Bachinsky did the kickflip on El Toro from nothing, it was of course awesome and such bangers are definitely awesome! Everyone's own skating is different; my taste is definitely fast, stylish skateboarding.
All right, Jost, thank you very much!
With pleasure! Good luck taking part!
Now it's your turn! Join Red Bull Phenom and upload your clip by July 5th up on YouTube, meet with the key word “Red Bull Phenom” and register with the video link at http://www.redbull.de/phenom. Make sure you have the unique chance to be part of the X-Games in Los Angeles. And if you still need a little inspiration, check out Denny Pham's video tips. Show what you can do - and take off!
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