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“The Red Bull guy always wins with the 540”: Daan Van Der Linden Interview

We headed to Eindhoven for the release of Daan Van Der Linden’s Vans pro colourway. By the time we got the event the drink was flowing and Area 51 was feeling pretty hectic. Heading behind the skatepark to a little patch of grass we had a chat with Daan (joined intermittently by his older brother), discussing the Vans shoe design process; energy drinks and contests; and Daan offers his recommendations on the places to skate, eat, and fish in Holland.

Words: Daryl Mersom | Photos provided by Vans

How much input did you have into the design of your shoe?

I had a lot of input. My main focus was to keep it casual. I don’t want any crazy colours on there. If I go skate and I look down and there’s any bright colours on the shoe, except for the sole, I freak out. That’s just me, you know? That’s why the shoe had to be black with white soles. That’s what the colourway is all about.

Where did the green laces come from?

Anti Hero, and the smoking [laughs].

Did Anti Hero influence your smoking?

I was smoking way before I was on Anti Hero [laughs].

“I have to screw down that poster with my name on. I’m not dropping in with it there”

How long did the design process take?

I heard about it in 2015 when they did Sam Partaix’s colourway, and they asked me to do a colourway for 2016.

Do you have a favourite Vans style?

Slip-on pros, Era Pros, or the TNT 5, I really like those. I switch it up with the shoes. I feel like for transition the slip-on is better because you don’t really have to flip your board. It has the most board feel. I can’t skate high shoes.

How important are pro shoes and colourways?

Not important at all. But it’s cool that I get to have a colourway – it’s a nice little thing that they did for me. That’s what I appreciate about this event. It’s pretty sick that they did it.

How does it feel skating a park that has your name written on the wall in massive letters?

It’s pretty awkward. There’s a bowl contest, I kind of want to enter it, but if I do I have to screw down that poster with my name on. I’m not dropping in with it there.

The Van Der Linden family

Do you skate a lot of contests?

No not at all, I hate contests.

Why?

Most of them are so organised. Fuck that. And the judges don’t even know what skateboarding is. The Red Bull guy always wins with the 540, that’s lame. He’s not the guy that takes the most risk you know? That guy has done it at least 1000 times.

“Let me tell you a quick little fact, my brother is better than everyone else”

Would skateboarding work as a part of the Olympics?

Yeah, for certain types of skaters. Not for people that skate because they’re skateboarders but people that skate because they want to have a career and win contests. That’s the anti of what skateboarding is about, it’s weak. It’s about freedom, every kid has a chance to have a skateboard, it is all about what’s in your mind. The people that skate contests and are Red Bull heads don’t get the same feeling that real skateboarders get because they’re in it for something else. If you are super poor and wearing a Red Bull hat it’s like shit, he needs the money to get by. But skateboarders that wear Red Bull hats definitely can get by with the money they get from other sponsors.

[Daan’s brother comes over]

Let me tell you a quick little fact, my brother is better than everyone else, way better, but he doesn’t like to be good. He doesn’t give a fuck about anything. He’s the original fucking skateboarder right there.

Do you ever play skate together?

Yeah, he always wins. He can do any trick.

Daan’s Brother: [When Daan comes back from a trip it’s easy bro, I don’t skate for four weeks, I’ll beat him].

I mean how fucking arrogant he is now, it’s the truth.

Daan’s Brother: [When he’s on those trips doing them heelflip crooks I think damn, he’s doing that shit for me. That’s my trick, nobody can do that trick, but he can do it.]

I still need to learn your special though. He can do heelflip backlip down any handrail.

Daan’s Brother: [It’s easy bro, it’s a Sheckler trick.]

He’d rather heelflip backlip a handrail than back noseblunt one.

With Vans TM, and skateboarding legend in his own right, Danny Wainwright.

Did you watch recent skate videos?

Yeah I like the GX vids, I was at the SF premier but I didn’t really pay attention then because I was too small to look over the people at the front. But it was rad.

Did you watch the Polar video?

No I don’t really watch that type of skating.

What videos get you hyped to skate?

It might be weird but Andy Roy’s Skate Camp Shore Break Baby.

I want to ask you a bit about Holland. What cities are good to skate here?

If you are here to have a good time you should come to the south. If you are here for skateboarding spots and whatever you should go to the north.

“I hunt fish. No fishing rod, just the line, a hook, and a worm”

What about visiting nature?

We’ve got a lot of forests up here, there’s a good one called Veldhoven that my mum takes the dog to. Open forests, lots of stuff to play around with. We have a pre-historic village here, we went to it with school. You can camp out there and swim, they have cool nature. Lots of tulip farms here too, but you have to know the right spots, a lot are next to the road and you get caught. We used to have this BMX spot that you could kind of skate and one time we brought bags and took lots of corn from the nearby fields, and made barbeques and stuff.

Do you go fishing?

I hunt fish. Not fishing, I hunt fish. No fishing rod, just the line, a hook, and a worm. You have to know where the fish are and get in their zone.

Is that quite a relaxing thing to do?

Yeah you just have a cooler, fishing is the easiest thing.

What’s good to eat here?

Snackbar is where we go. Fries and croquets.

Are there any good Eindhoven street spots?

There’s a few minor things. Just go to the main plaza, that’s where everyone will be skating first. If there’s people doing a mission on the street tag along and you’ll be fine.

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