Meeting… Alex Raeymaekers!

 Benjamin Deberdt

Hippie jump. Ph: Benjamin Deberdt
much in the same vein as noah bunink some time ago, Belgium and POP Trading Co's very own Alex Raeymaekers just experienced the Victor DemoNte footage remix treatment for LIVE SKATEBOARD MEDIA - and now delivers an interview to come with it. HAPPY READING!
LIVE Skateboard Media: Yo Alex! Thanks for doing this. So for those of you who might have not heard of you before - who are you, how old are you, where are you from in Belgium exactly, and when and where did you first start skating? Just to provide some background to this.

Alex Raeymaekers: My name is Alex Raeymaekers, I’m twenty years young and from a small city called Herentals.

"Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 was definitely the first influence along with Rocket Power"

I started skating there twelve years ago and got really into it two years later. I would skate in my backyard a lot, or on my driveway, or on the local miniramp which also functioned as a manual pad. Then upon turning thirteen or fourteen, I started going to Antwerp a lot, to skate.
LSM: What was your first introduction to skating, your local scene growing up in your hometown (locals, spots, parks, shops...), your first favorite, most influential video(s) maybe? Peter (POP head) has been hinting I should ask you about "Jacky and the Antwerp scene".

Alex Raeymaekers: Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 was definitely the first influence along with Rocket Power. The first videos I got really psyched on were Sweets (Sweet Skateboards, 2008) video and the Circa video, It’s Time. When i started going to Antwerp, that scene - and my friends who took me there - were a big influence, just learning to skate spots in a nice city with good people is the best thing ever.

 Hugo Raeymaekers

Alex Raeymaekers, portrait. Paris. ph: Hugo Snelooper

LSM: How does one slappy frontside noseslide into a frontside 5-0 anyway? Ever thought of calling those the koeken grind? Has a nice ring to it.

Alex Raeymaekers: That’s not me. That’s Mats Edel you’re thinking about, great dude on and off the board!

LSM: Well I'll be damned. If people don't know what POP is after all these years of coverage on LIVE Skateboard Media then I don't know what to do. How did you end up meeting and hanging out with those guys? Looks like you went to a lot of different places with them. What were you guys' first trips?
Alex Raeymaekers: Willem Dirks, who also skates for POP and lives in Antwerp, introduced me to them three years ago and it has been super fun since then!

The first trips were just to other cities in the Netherlands like Arnhem or Rotterdam and the first one out of the country that I went on was to Berlin - definitely one of the best ones!

"being mixed up with Alexander Rademaker would be really sick [...] he has some of the best one-footed manual combinations in the game"

LSM: I heard Zach Chamberlin recently came over to visit. Push Partial World Twour maybe?... Who else was there, and what was the experience like? Did Zach ever attempt to haphazardly "sprinkle" bright moments over the local Krust all the while filming really, really Klos?

Alex Raeymaekers: Yeah, that was a great time. I guess they came because Richard Hart (of Push Periodical) recently moved to Antwerp, thereby making the city a nice potential stop for their second Partial World Tour. Visitors included John Baragwanath, Kevin Coakley and Bobby Worrest, with Zach behind the camera and Richard shooting the photos, it was very nice seeing them enjoy Antwerp; filming with Zach was amazing too, he definitely did spread some of his sprinkles all over Antwerp!

LSM: Who do you reckon would make a better model between you and Axel Cruysberghs? Has any clueless stranger ever confused you two? Have you ever thought of changing your IG handle to @alexcrushers just to further add to the confusion? If he came up to you and offered a Faceswap selfie, would you accept or decline? Would you rather be mixed up with him and pass off as the latest Toy Machine pro for, say, a week, media benefits included, or with Alexander Rademaker?

Alex Raeymaekers: No I haven't experienced any confusion there yet, and he would definitely be the better model. But being mixed up with Alexander Rademaker would be really sick as well, he definitely has some of the best one-footed manual combinations in the game right now!

 Hugo Raeymaekers
Alex Raeymaekers, ollie. Paris. ph: Hugo Snelooper
LSM: Name at least five influential sponsored skaters from Belgium from the early to mid 2000's. Bonus points if they're from Flanders; extra bonus points if not and all five mentions are Geoffrey Van Hove.

Alex Raeymaekers: Sven Aerts and Ivan Maas, Tom Nijs, Hans Claessens and Lionel Krop.

LSM: Peter also hinted I should ask you about skating with Yeelen (Moens) and drinking with Willem (Van Dijk), so I'm assuming you have stories to tell in those regards?

Alex Raeymaekers: Yeah, skating with Yeelen is something you have to experience yourself: he’s super good, thinks of tricks on the spot and almost always lands them, crazy to see! And there are definitely some drinking stories with Willem but they are pretty hard to remember...

LSM: Favorite skaters right now? Places you wish you could visit? What are the next trips in store for Alex Raeymaekers? Besides the obvious fashion designer training courses. Any POP related project maybe? Noah was telling me you guys always had stuff going on.

Alex Raeymaekers: Mike Chin has been a big favourite for a while now, a lot of japanese skaters are also really sick, as displayed in Tightbooth Productions' LENZ videos for instance - in which everything is great, filming, editing, skating. The spots also look very cool - I really want to go to Japan sometime, especially Tokyo looks like a super interesting place to me. Maybe we’ll go with POP there someday!

LSM: Thank you, Alex!
Live Skateboard MediaLive Skateboard Media

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