Passport Control

Passport Control: Mike Carroll & Sebo Walker – Lakai Berlin/Warsaw

Edit: Mark Nickels | Pics: Sam Muller, Mark Nickels | Words: Jan Kliewer

The guys at Lakai shoes are currently eyeing their next video production. Reason enough for some of the Euro touring Crail HQ dudes to stay right where their Fourstar Obtuse Moments trip ended – in Berlin –, re-up troops and go for a bonus round: a Lakai filming mission from one capital to the next, to this summer’s secret hot-spot: Warsaw, Poland.

We took the chance to quiz two of Lakai’s key players, Mike Carroll and Sebo Walker for Kingpin’s Passport Control…

Where did you enter from, Mr. Mike Carroll, Mr. Sebo Walker?

Mike Carroll: We came for the Fourstar Obtuse Moments Tour which started in Copenhagen, Denkmark and ended in Berlin, Germany. In Berlin we met up with the Lakai guys to go on a filming trip that ended in Warsaw, Poland.

Sebo Walker: I flew in from Los Angeles, CA.

Purpose of visit?

MC: Well, different teams, different agendas. Fourstar was mainly demos. And right now we’re trying to make the Lakai video. So for me it was one big tour, and some of the Lakai guys criss-crossed in for our last demo in Berlin which was cool to have.

SW: Lakai mongoloids film trip, to stack for the LAKAI VIDEO!

Been here before or first visit?

MC: I’ve been here a couple of different times.

SW: I had been to Berlin about 3 times before this trip.


MC eyeing run-up in Warsaw. Pic: Nickels

What did you expect before coming the first time?

MC: Not sure, but I know I’ve come to like Berlin a lot – much different to my older memories from Germany; like the DC Super Tours or the Titus comp (MĂĽnster Monster Mastership; ed. note)! I never really had time to hang out and see the city before. So the last times where I did were pretty rad, I enjoyed it a lot. Safe to say Berlin is my favourite city in Germany – from my old memories I wasn’t even sure you could have a favourite…! And Warsaw was my first trip to Poland – it was awesome! It was exciting, the idea about going to Poland at the end of the trip never let the idea of going home early arise in the first place – because sometimes that’s what happens when you’re gone for so long. Five weeks of traveling without a thought of missing home! And Poland was especially fun because we were skating with some of the older guys there and got to learn a lot about the skate history there.

Maybe just this: The Polish sell pierogis…

SW: I had heard about it and expected good food, great skate spots, and an eclectic mix of culture and people.

Local spot at home:

MC: Brandon Biebel’s park because it’s somewhere you can just go and skate all the time. There are not too many parks where you can just go and session. I like downtown LA to go and just push around; with or without a camera, just ollieing up curbs and stuff… And I like the miniramp in the back of our warehouse. We used to have the park, but had to move the shoes in there recently. So the park is gone for a little bit, but we added another extension to the mini: now you can go frontside and backside, that’s fun.

SW: Stoner Park for me.


Sebo pushing at the “famous benches”, heavy crew in the back. Pic: Nickels

Favourite or most skated place during your stay:

MC: Leaving the hotel and pushing from spot to spot. I really miss that a lot from growing up in San Francisco: leaving wherever you’re staying – and just pushing and starting your skate day like that.

SW: The famous benches, or the blocks with coping on everything. SO many good spots.

Stereotype found true:

MC: I can’t remember any particular ones. Maybe just this: The Polish sell pierogis…

SW: Stern or not so friendly Germans.

Stereotype found wrong:

MC: No.

SB: Germans never laugh… – They do!

Biggest misconception:

MC: Can’t think of any.

SW: Most say the skate spots are so rough (some can be due to weather) but I find that so many are almost perfect and surprisingly smooth.

Best city in Europe you visited:

MC: Barcelona is always fun because you can just push or take the train anywhere, not a lot of driving. Copenhagen was good. Riding the bikes around – it’s good, your warmed up once you reach the spot. Nice and friendly people, too. And good food.

On and off the record: Fuck no! I don’t even know how that rumour could get started. It’s pretty interesting how someone/anyone could just write one little thing – and everyone believes it!

SW: Barcelona though not on this specific trip. On this trip: Berlin.

Thing you really missed:

MC: My wife and my dog.

SW: Falafels.

Surprise discovery:

SW: A Heineken vending machine .

MC: An awesome pierogis place in Warsaw. We were all eating at this restaurant, and Federico (Feds Viteta) ate my food for some reason and I was pissed at him. I left to look for a somewhere else to get food. So then I stumbled across this small café in the middle of the neighbourhood. I ordered, and what the food and coffee I got where amazing; it was almost like home-cooking!

Spot you really wanted to skate:

MC: This mini ramp we skated on the Fourstar trip, this spine with a hip. Somewhere in the middle of nowhere on the way to the Street dome. I had actually seen photos of it before and it happened to be right on our way!

SW: This marble bank to stair grinder. Sean Malto had a photo recently in a magazine. You can see the Fernsehturm in the background. It looks amazing!

What the heck Mark (Nickels)!!! Keeping that one secret!? Just kidding…

Spot that in reality turned out completely different from what you’d expected (why?):

SB: Can’t think of any spot that I tripped on being different.

MC: We found this go-kart racetrack while waiting for Malto to arrive. We want for it to kill time – super fun!

Mike Carroll… the simple things! Pic: Nickels

Place you really wanted to visit:

MC: This restaurant I had seen on tv, but it didn’t happen. Not worth talking about.

SB: The Leica museum.

Best acquaintance found abroad:

SW: Swanski.

MC: Yeah, all the dudes that took us around Warsaw, all super cool human beings, too many to name.

Best purchase on tour:

MC: Voltaren gel. I’m old. I hurt! My foot was hurting a lot out there.

SW: Clean socks and boxers.

Travel souvenir or nothing to declare?

SW: A Swanski painting.

MC: I brought a Civilist shirt, some Turbokolor pants and a mag from Poland. No classic souvenirs for me, but I always try and bring skate stuff I like.

Follow-up visit planned when?

SW:Next summer!

MC: Nothing planned 100% but we’d love to go back to Poland. Maybe some of the other cities there that looked super fun. Meeting up with Swanski and the other guys could be fun.

Bonus question for you Mike – sort of “off the record”: Is there any truth to the (Slap message boards) rumours of you guys (Crail HQ; Girl, Chocolate, Fourstar, Lakai, etc…) going to Dwindle?

MC: On and off the record: Fuck no! I don’t even know how that rumour could get started. It’s pretty interesting how someone/anyone could just write one little thing – and everyone believes it! Someone was probably sitting at their computer just giggling while typing that shit. I hadn’t been on that site for I don’t know how many years. But someone sent me a link about that rumour. And I caught myself cruising around in that site. I just thought: I can’t believe I’m on this website now…! So, there are plenty of rumours on there, but that one’s not true!

Thanks guys, and come back any time!


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