Willow is quickly becoming one of the most exciting and talented skateboarders out there making a name for himself.

May 13, 2024
  • Skateboarding
  • Athletes

Willow is quickly becoming one of the most exciting and talented skateboarders out there making a name for himself with an affinity for bombing hills and tackling death defying spots, juxta-positioned with his natural easy-going demeanour. Willow has been raising eyebrows on the European scene, and beyond for the past few years now; clinching the opening part in the upcoming ‘Where is Tom’ Vans movie, the much-anticipated sequel to Tom’s Tales. With the movie release coming imminently, and Willow being on the road filming with the Colours crew, we thought there was no time like the present to give him a call.

Where are you right now?

I'm in Switzerland, in a little town close to Zurich on a skate trip with a close group of friends who I haven’t seen in a few years. I managed to find a week to squeeze in and go skate with them – I'm actually really hyped. Switzerland is sick to skate, we’re in the van just hitting spots all over this past week.

Give us a little background on yourself?

I grew up in Hamburg in Germany. Born and raised. I started skating when I was three years old. My dad got me a full Birdhouse complete for Christmas, I believe. My dad was a big influence on me to start skating. He was a big snowboarder back in the day and he would take me to go skate, snowboard and surf everywhere. And I feel like that's kind of where my love for it came from. So, I just started skating at this local park in Hamburg where I grew up and lived my whole life there until recently where I’ve just moved to Berlin with my girlfriend.

What’s the vibe in Berlin?

Berlin is sick, I always loved this city. I've always come and visited it and now I'm just hyped to actually be able to live there now and be able to skate and enjoy all the city has to offer. There’s always so much going on – it’s a great vibe. I would say it can be a little hectic at times, especially with all the partying…. but I manage to keep it pretty mellow, I feel I found the right rhythm.

What have you been working on recently?

So we've been working on this Vans video for the past three years, these things often take longer than expected! It's basically the sequel to Tom's Tales with Martino Cattaneo, Jordan Thackeray, Rob Maatman, Notis Aggelis and Yeelen Moens. We pretty much went all over Europe for three good years filming and now there's a pretty sick project in the works with Max Pack and Jon Wolf filming, and Paul Labadie putting it all together - of course with Chris Pfanner on the tools organizing it all. It’s coming out on May 9th I believe, which is going to be really exciting as its probably like the biggest project I've ever worked on. I have my first full part in it so I’m really hyped for that to come out.

Aside from that I was in San Francisco for a while working on this new GX1000 project that we were just filming in SF, having a good time, bombing hills and trying to get clips and photos. I’ve also another side project with my home crew in Hamburg that we just finished with a premiere this month so I’ve had a busy few months but it’s been fun!

What’s your biggest inspiration in skating?

A good crew, good friends, good weather and preferably some hills that you can skate down to get the legs going – that’s the best way for me to go skate and enjoy it the most. Being surrounded by good skaters also gets me really hyped because it like makes me push myself a little more, that's been really important to me - it's always nice to look up to some gnarly shredders and try to keep up with them.

How would you describe the Vans skate team?

The loveliest, most talented bunch of misfits.

It really is a family in that there are ups and downs and all sorts of stuff that we all go through, but at the end of the day we are there for each other regardless and have the best time with each other.

Everyone brings their own character and voice to the family which brings a lot of interesting variety. Being one of the youngest in the group I really feel the support and would not be where I am now without the influence and knowledge of my teammates.

And outside of skating? What gets you fired up?

Honestly my interests outside of skating are pretty similar. I'd say I try to go snowboarding when I'm near some mountains or surfing when I'm near the ocean. Honestly, I kind of try to always stay on the board in some shape or form. Other than that, I play guitar here and there – but I’m terrible at it! I do enjoy being home a little with my girl and just relaxing as it’s been pretty non-stop on the skate front of late.

Favorite Vans shoe to skate in?

Tough question! I guess skate wise, it's the Half Cab for me, because it's just got this thick mould to it and your foot feels really protected, I’ve pretty much just skated that for the past two years. Having said that, I did get over only wearing one shoe, so my second go-to would be the Sk8-Hi; tech wise I guess there is a lot of material around the foot and that just feels safe.

I really like the look of those two classics. Classic models – cool and timeless!

Any last words? A message for the internet? A message to your former self?

Oh God, this is hard. My advice would be to keep things on an even keel. I feel as a kid, I was kind of pushing myself a little too hard sometimes, saying yes to everything and putting a lot of pressure on myself - I didn't need to do that. Actually taking things balanced and giving yourself breaks is what keeps you progressing and evolving - in terms of skating and in terms of living life too.

Just go out there, live it and don’t take it too seriously.