These days we took one of Osijek’s skater’s time and talked with him about how’s it being a skater in Osijek, and what did his journey through the world of skateboarding, and Pannonian in general looked like.
Andrej Mikulić is 26 years old, and in his answers you will hear about his experiences, thoughts and advice. If you’ve ever been scared of extreme sports, one of his advice is that you shouldn’t let your fears take over, instead you should just do it!
1. What was your first encounter with a skateboard like?
My first encounter with a skateboard was around 20 years ago when I saw some guys skateboarding at the city square and I got a sudden urge to jump like them. Of course, my parents were against it so I had to be satisfied with only watching skateboarding on the TV or sitting at the city square and begging the guys to let me try it. At the age of 6 or 7 my uncle brought me my first skateboard, it had a break on its tail and at that moment I was the happiest man on Earth. Although with it you couldn’t really jump, I annoyed my neighbors for days by jumping in the backyard, just so I could get away from grass.
2. How long have you been skating?
I started seriously in 2006 when my colleague Luka bought a skateboard, which was actually the beginning of everything. That’s when we ‘’dared’’ going to the skate park for the first time because we both had a real skateboard. Until then I didn’t have my ‘’crew’’, and I didn’t know any of the skaters so I would ride sometimes just for my inner serenity.
3. When we’re talking about the beginning of skateboarding, is there anything specific for every skater? Something typical?
Well, honestly, I don’t know how to reply to this question, because I think that every skater has his own burden at the beginning, and that is to learn basic tricks. By burden I mean days, weeks, or months of practicing with no results, stressing and persistence which pay off in the end. That’s why a lot of people give up because it’s not like rollerblades or BMX, where you physically hold them, you’re on skateboard’s will that seldom listens and knows physics better than you. Those beginnings are based on how to learn a certain trick, bruises (scratches on knees, elbows, sometimes more dangerous), and a desire to skate because, as a kid, you have time to spend an entire day on it.
4. Best and worst skateboarding experience?
Best experience is definitely doing a trick you were afraid to for a while, that pushes your limits. The feeling is indescribable, and the happiness that overflows you is the best thing ever. Those that don’t do extreme sports will never understand why we fall so much. The skateboarding crew too, because without them you’re nothing, they push you to keep going. The worst part of skateboarding is recording a trick for several hours. You get stuck somewhere, then get nervous which makes you even less concentrated, everything starts bothering you so you throw your skateboard
5. What do you think of the position of our skaters? How many are there in Osijek, do you hang out with everybody and does everyone know each other? What’s your story?
We skaters from Osijek are probably the laziest out of all of them. There’s approximately 10 of us active and semi-active, and the rest have retired. Of course we all hang out; we’ve been skateboarding together for years and have been a huge support to each other. We’re all of happier nature so going to the skate park means laughing and joking which makes me the happiest. I know that every time I go to the park I’ll be laughing my ass off because we all tease each other, and there’s always a relaxed, homely atmosphere.
6. How many skateboards do you own?
I have only one, we’re still living in Croatia, and I barely managed to put that one together to work. One is enough because the equipment is expensive, and wrecks quickly.
7. Have you been going to Pannonian from the beginning? How long have you been coming?
I don’t know what Pannonian I went to first, I only know that I was in primary school and I went to watch it with my friends. It was a long time ago, maybe 3 or 4 years ago, and since then I’ve at least came by until I started seriously skating, and I’ve been to every ever since.
8. How do you like Pannonian’s story?
Pannonian is great because Croatia’s entire skateboarding crew gathers, friends that we rarely see and it’s a great party. To me personally it doesn’t matter at all how everyone will ride, who will win and how will it all look like in the end. Of course there’re always those that are unsatisfied and complain, but in general, concerts, competition, and hanging out is what makes a summer, and it’s also a great promotion for Osijek, and I hope that somebody will see great potential in this, and therefore invest in it more.
9. Did you ever ride on Pannonian? How many times?
Yes I did ride on Pannonian, 3 or 4 times I think. But that’s another story because I hated competing so my friend persuaded me in doing it. It actually isn’t bad, and as a rider you have free entrance to concerts, so why not.