Claus Grabke interview

Grabke flyout

Den legendariske tyske Santa Cruz pro og Nickys største eurofirserrival kan ikke lide S.K.A.T.E.


Det desværre eneste billede er taget af Ulf Bjerre.


I saw a Claus Grabke shrine in Cassiopeia, Berlin this summer. Have you seen it?

Never seen it. 


Did you build it?



Should ´finger flip lein to tail´ be renamed ´Grabke to tail´?

Lance Mountain named it "Claus to tail" a long time ago. 


Any advice on landing a Claus to tail?

Really...just do it. Commit! 


You and a friend invented skateboarding back in ´76?

We obviously didn’t invent skateboarding. But for ourselves we did. We didn’t know about it and built a skateboard from rollerskates and plywood. A month later we saw "real" skateboarding on tv. 


Can you remember the first time you met Nicky Guerrero?

I can’t really say where I met him first. Might have been in Copenhagen - saw him a lot though. 


What did you think of him and his skating back then?

He is such a stylish skater. High airs and always smiling. Even in his early skating days he was destined to be pro. 


Do you know that he still going strong on a board?

Yes, I see him now and then. 


Why did you stop being a pro skater?

Pro skating became some kind of joke. You had to skate shows for non-skaters to survive financially. I owe so much to skateboarding. I wanted to keep it in my heart as something very special. The whole business-aspect wasn’t my thing. I quit all my sponsors in one day, went to the skate-store and bought myself a new skateboard. Later however companies made boards with my name on it again (without all the pro-hassle). I currently have decks on "Pocket Pistol Skates" and "Trap". 


Do you miss being a pro?

I miss an intact body, I miss the lightness of youth, but I am very happy where I am right now. I don’t miss skating for money. I rather enjoy skating for fun now. 


Who was your favourite skater in the eighties?

Mark Gonzales, Lance Mountain, Neil Blender, Steve Caballero. 



They were funny, had style and a lot of personality. 


Do you still skate?

Oh yeah! I’ve got a couple of shitty little ramps in front of my studio. Also, we have a skate park in town. When I’m on tour, I always bring my board. 


Did you ever skate in Denmark?

Yes, Helsinge and Copenhagen. 


Do you still follow the skate scene? 

I follow what’s going on - obviously, as an insider, you kind of become a little sceptic or even sarcastic about it. I think that modern skating is both, amazing and stupid. I hate S.K.A.T.E.  If you need a winner - play soccer. 


Your band ´Eight Dayz´ made music for The Ramp section and Natas´ part in Wheels of Fire from ´87. Did you do music for any other skate parts? (Det obligatoriske spørgsmål, hvor intervieweren spiller klog.)

Eight Dayz music has been used quite often now. i.e. for a DC snowboard video. 


What are you doing these days?

I am running a recording studio, (, play in a band. I manage my son´s band ( 



Can you tell us some more about your studio? 

I produce bands in my own studio, called "Claus Grabke Studios". It is a rather big studio with lots of cool vintage equipment but also cool new stuff. I produced bands like "Dog Eat Dog", "The Datsuns" and many other bands from all over the world. 


Where can we hear your music?




Anything else?


skate for fun.




The Ramp-sektionen fra Santa Cruz videoen Wheels of Fire. Det er Grabkes band, der spiller: