Stoke Levels Rising: Chris Pfanner Interview

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Photo: Morf


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What up, Chris? Back on German soil these days, huh? How’s it going out there, man? Your kids must be sprouting, bro. Stoked you’re not too far from your mom and your girls. Mom is near to help out—to keep you shredding!
Yeah, man. Life is really treating us all well out here. We live a little bit outside the city of Nuremberg in a small quiet town where my wife Anja grew up.  The nature is beautiful: it’s quiet and peaceful and I think it’s a great place to raise the kids. Also, having the grandparents close to us is a big help. It definitely gives me peace of mind when I’m gone knowing that Anja doesn’t have to handle everything on her own. I’m really lucky and thankful to have such a strong woman by my side and all the support from our parents.

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Fakie ollie in the Bay from Nuremberg’s finest.     Photo: Brook

Dude, real life happening with this new Holy Stokes Volcom vid, man! Crazy, straight after the Vans video.
It’s definitely been a great run. Right when I got done with Propeller, my daughter Marlena was born and I had to jump into filming for Holy Stokes. It was a hard one to juggle, for sure. Trying to give your possible best for an opportunity you are given and also trying to not miss out on your kids’ growing up. In the end the heads at Volcom were really supportive and made it possible for me to arrange some missions, which I could manage well around my family agenda.

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That’s so sick, man. You must be feeling super connected to your board right now.
I am having the most fun I’ve ever had on a skateboard. Trying to find that perfect balance between family life and responsibility and getting stuff done on my skateboard has definitely helped me appreciate what skateboarding gives me even more. I cherish and enjoy every little moment I get to spend on my board.

Dude, I’m curious what your setup has been? Have you been riding bigger boards and wheels? I know when you’re feeling strong bigger stuff can help carry the momentum. Are you set on what you ride?
You know what they say, “The farmer doesn’t eat what he doesn’t know.” Ha! I don’t experiment that much. I found what I’m comfortable with a while ago and I’m just stuck with that: 8.25 inch board,149 Hi Thunder trucks and 53mm wheels.

Chris Pfanner Photo3 750pxBrick and mortar frontside 180 back East.     Photo: Jones

What’s it like these days with the expensive camera vibes? Do you feel more pressure to hit the epic spot or to do the gnarliest shit ever?
It’s definitely harder to get shit done. Not everyone has a RED camera laying around. And if you find someone that has one, they still need to fulfill the required style of filming. But hey, that is the evolution of technology and you got to go with it in order to get the best output. It definitely made it a bit harder for me to get tricks for this video. At times, it got a bit frustrating and I just thought, “Why can’t we just bust out a VX and show what it is: raw skateboarding.” But after I saw Russell’s vision and what he was trying to achieve, I understood better and realized that it was for our own good. In my case, I think it made me look better than I am. Ha!

It’s got to be a little different jet-setting to spots to get clips. I remember from kickin’ it with you, you liked to lurk the zone for a while and catch a vibe—then release the beast!
It has really changed a lot but is still the same principle. Everyone feeds off each other’s energy and when the vibes are right, then it’s on. And with the crew we had for this project, the fire was always a blazing. Just look at the list of rippers involved: Grant, Daan, Kyle, Provost, Milton, Pedro, Axel, Dane—if you’re not getting fired up while they’re getting some, then you might as well not get on that plane and just sit on your couch at home. I like the jet-setting too. The traveling is one of the great parts of skateboarding and I am really blessed to have the support of all the brands that believe in me and fly me around the world to shred what I feel like.  

Chris Pfanner Photo4 750pxStairless kinker, eye of the tiger.     Photo: Morf

I heard you were running around SF not too long ago. I was out of town but I heard you were stackin’ some clips. Did you get to enjoy the city much?
Yeah, shredding the city is the enjoyment for me. You are gonna go to places with your skateboard that a normal tourist will never end up in. Jeremy McNamara was so motivating. He would pick me up every morning at Newell and we’d meet up with a bunch of heads and just head out. Cruised the whole city, ventured out to Marin and all the way to Point Reyes. Lurked Daly City—I definitely covered a lot of ground in two weeks. And after we were done skating, next thing you know there is some art show going on, catch a few brewskis there and that would lead to another thing. I had a great time and I can’t wait to get back.

When you leave places after only being there for a short time, do you think back, like, damn, I wish I would have done this or that?
All the time! I think that’s normal for a skateboarder. There is so much stuff you think of checking out beforehand, but you don’t even make it to half of the things you were aiming for because you stumble upon some other stuff you never would have expected to find.

Right on, Chris. Stoked to see the springs are still rocking, man. Can’t wait to see the Volcom jam! Keep showing us what’s possible about 18 feet higher than we can imagine!
Looking forward to seeing the whole thing put together too. Thanks, John, and I hope to see you at the SF premiere. Much love and respect.


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