Phil Zwijsen’s Pro debut Waterproof part for Element premiered last Friday with a splash at the Antwerp Skateboard Contest. Chance for us to meet up with him and Waterproof sidekick, Jarne Verbruggen. With Jarne riding shotgun and Phil safely navigating Jarne’s infamous VW Polo through the stormy seas of Antwerp traffic – pretty as smoothly as he manhandles his board on 20m plus powerslides on the slippiest of surfaces in Waterproof – we got a quick breakdown of skating and filming in the wet; obstacles to overcome, material wear and potential sequels.
Basically, here is all you need to know to be ready when autumn will finally be knocking on the door for real – to waterproof yourself!
Witness the wetness!
Words & Pic: Jan Kliewer
Kingpin: So, Phil… you’ve moved to England a little while back – now it all makes perfect sense!
Phil Z.: Ha, yeah, it could have… Funny thing is though: we never actually filmed any of Waterproof in the UK. It’s been quite a task to get everyone together to shoot. Plus it had to rain constantly! Filming was definitely hard to plan.
KP: How did you get the idea then in the first place? What was the inspiration?
P: Well, I filmed this clip in skatepark in Norway, “Hydroplane”. Kind of just making the best of a rainy day. That’s when I got the idea to try and film a whole part with these kind of tricks, making use of the rain and slippery obstacles. Really, I just wanted to try something different, try and find specific spots for all these powerslide tricks rather than just do “normal” skating in the rain. The aim was to really see where we can go with making the rain work for the skating and especially for these sliding tricks. But finding these spots was pretty hard sometimes. They had to slide the right way and so on. For example, marble doesn’t slide as good in the rain as one would think. Not for long slides anyway. Wood, metal and actually rough concrete worked pretty well.
Jarne Verbruggen: I’d say metal worked the best.
P: The thing is, you need to adjust to first, take a few slip-outs, but once you’ve done that it starts feeling like a long manual almost.
»Funny thing is: we never filmed in the UK!«
KP: What was the toughest challenge to conquer for Waterproof?
P: Having rain! It might sound stupid. But think about it: When you skate and you’re trying a trick for two hours – and then it gets dry…! You can’t film anymore! It was pretty retarded sometimes. Because most of the times it rains, but then dries up relatively quick again. You have to be on it.
KP: Did you take trips to somewhere particularly rainy? Scotland maybe?
P: Yeah, we did actually. We went to Bilbao when the forecast was predicting constant shitty weather. But it’s always hard to predict in advance. You only sort of know a few days in advance. But everyone’s got their schedules, you have to book flights and so on… We basically did this for two years: searching for rain. Pretty much whenever we all had time to go, we figured out the destination with the biggest chance for rain. We actually did consider Scotland, but you need weather AND certain spots. Then trying a trick that you’ve never done before…getting these things aligned was the challenge. There was definitely more work involved in this than many might think. Davy van Laere helped a large part putting it all together.