Interview by VHSMAG, Photo courtesy of Marcel Veldman, Special thanks: Element Japan
VHSMAG (V)： So you just turned pro for Element. How did you find out about the news?
Phil Zwijsen (P)： Alex, our team manager told me. He told me before already, so I kind of knew already, and then I filmed the Waterproof part. We thought it was good to have it come out at the same time, to have a big boost with the board. I want to do that graphic with that in the clouds.
V： How did you come up with the idea of filming the entire part in the rain?
P： I first did it at a skate park in Norway. We would start doing powerslides in the rain, and then from there it just kind of went. I was like, “I want to do a full part.” Then we tried to do it, and the first trip for that really worked so we tried to do more and more, then I got injured and didn’t skate for a year. Then, after that, I started finishing it.
V： What was the most challenging thing about skating in the rain?
P： Finding the rain. I’m from a country where it rains the most in the world and it’s still not enough. Nowhere rains all day, you know? There’s no place on the earth that rains like twenty-four hours, days in a row, it doesn’t happen. That was the hardest part, I would say.
V： You were skating under the roof as well pouring water all over, but aside from that, was it strictly rain?
P： We built a rain machine to film the intro. So we built it ourselves, I checked how to build a rain machine on YouTube and we kind of found out how to do it. It’s kind of easy. Then, one or two spots we just made it rain so it looked like rain. But most of it is real rain. It’s so much work to make something wet like rain, you know? So it’s impossible to do. It was a lot of work to make the rain machine work, you know? Like the intro, we filmed it at my friends house. He lives in the countryside. He has a big water thing where he can swim and stuff, and we used it. It was just so much work.
V： Did you look at stuff differently when you were skating in the rain?
P： We just didn’t really go to skate spots. We just went and checked for everything that looked like you can slide, not like a skate spot. But then we skated some spots that’s not really what we were looking for, something that’d slide. Every time we went somewhere, we just looked for spots that looked like I can slide.
V： What about the type of ground?
P： Marble is not that good.
V： What about the setup?
P： Just a new board. I just put a new board on so the water doesn’t get into the wood, you know? I skated one board on each trip so it’s not that much. I just dried the board after I skated. That was it, like spin the wheels out.
V： What about the process of deciding what trick to do?
P： We just find the spots. We just looked for spots that could slide and just try everything that comes up in mind. We didn’t really have a plan. I had a few things in mind, like flip-in or flip-out, but I never tried that. I’m not really like a flip-in kind of guy, so it was just more of at the moment, just whatever came up. I knew you could only do a few different powerslides. Backside, frontside, like the blunt or switch, and then flip into the powerslide. It was more about the spot, you know? Both the spot and hopefully the slides and then try as much as possible.
V： What were some of your rewarding tricks in the video?
P： The really long powerslide in Rotterdam. It was like three o’ clock at night when I did it. It took so long just to do it because it’s a long powerslide. I did it kind of easy, and then wanted to film it better, wanted to do it to fake and it took forever.
V： Would you like to skate in the rain again?
P： Not anytime soon (laughs). It was fun but I don’t think I’m gonna do this again like this. Maybe for fun but not a whole part.
V： So you turned pro. Is there anything you want to do with Element in the near future?
P： Just keep doing the same that I do. Just try to come up with good ideas, I would say, instead of back-flipping down ten stairs, you know? That’s what I want to do.