2020 has started quite exciting as Antik, Bont and CIB are not only presenting their new skate squad but also expanded the number of skaters on their teams. We talked to team and brand managers about the new faces and asked them what they are looking for in a skater. First off: Antik Skates.
Joshua “Conan” Pfenning is brand director at Riedell and the Team Antik manager. Growing the team to 16 members in 2020 was his task with adding seven new faces to the squad. Antik stands out a bit as their team not exclusively consists of park and street skaters but also of roller derby athletes. And some of them feel at home in both worlds. The Antik boot is likewise loved and cherished for all disciplines.
For the first time, Antik ran an open application for the 2020 team. “I received hundreds of applications. I looked at every one! It was a ton of work, but it was great being exposed to so many new skaters I was unfamiliar with” Joshua says.
What qualities did Team Antik look for?
“I am looking for athletes who are inspirational. Without a doubt, that is the most important characteristic. Team Antik has a huge variety of different folks of the team, but the unifying quality that they share is: they are all hugely inspirational in their local communities or on a global scale within their respective disciplines”, Joshua says.
Asked about diversity and intentionality he also sees the importance. “But diversity isn’t just a checklist. It’s about finding athletes who connect to the skating community.”
An important but challenging thing appears to be the international growth. “Antik values product quality and fair labor practices. The AR2 is a very high-quality boot, but often too expensive for skaters in countries where good paying jobs are hard to find. It’s frustrating for those skaters to be unable to purchase the products because they cannot afford them. This is a problem I’m working on every day.” Joshua hopes to develop a lower price range skate. “This is a real challenge because of the Antik values. I know a lower priced product would be immensely popular. But I have to be sure that it fits in with the brand’s values”, he explains.
Joshua’s advice for skaters who want to be sponsored
Wanna be on the team list of your favorite brand next time? Here’s what Joshua told us: “Be authentic! It’s hard to describe authenticity, but it is easy to recognize and it has great value. Sponsorship is a partnership just like any other. Be proud of what you bring to the table, value to your partner, and know that it isn’t a one-way gravy train. Sponsored skaters get cool gear and recognition, but work hard to add value to the brand.” For 2020 he found the quality in a bunch of skaters.
Team Antik 2020
A well-known rider is Bomba Hache from A Coruna in Spain. She’s been on Antik for a while now and keeps on proving that she owns this spot. The former artistic skater hit the streets in 2014 and has since evolved a unique and powerful style. She’s simply the bomb!
A new face to a lot of people is Barbara “Chiqui” Villarroel from Cordoba, Argentina. Though, she’s been shredding for nine years. Her rail game is on spot. We are excited to see where this young woman will take her skills in the next couple of years.
We don’t have to introduce Lady Trample. The Kiwi, now living in the US, is the founder of CIB and a double force, on the roller derby track (Denver Roller Derby) and in every bowl she can set a skate in.
When she is not impressing bystanders with her signature straddles over spines, she surely does with her death drops. Octane Jane (USA) has been on Team Antik for a little while now and it is no surprise they kept her. She also skates with L.A.’s Angel City Roller Derby.
The youngest team skater is Olivia Wardlow from sunny San Diego. The twelve-year-old is killing it in the deepest bowls although she has been skating only for a few years. This kid is creative and bold – and a sweetheart if you read her chat interview in DogDays issue #5. It will be a pleasure to watch how she will step up her game in the next couple of years.
Let’s finish the park team with some new though familiar faces. Philipp Schmid from Cape Town, South Africa, lives in a remote place when it comes to quad skate scene. But with 15 years of skating it was about time to get this man on such an awesome team.
New to Team Antik is Rose Crooks. They are born in New Zealand but living and shredding in Melbourne, Australia. Rose is a familiar CIB team rider who earned the name “meet me at the skatepark Crooks” because that’s where they can be found. Skate high, fast and hard is their motto.
A veteran as well as legend is Duke Rennie. The Californian vert skater is among those who paved the way for many skaters to come and remains to be a role model and huge influence. You can read up on his roller skate history written by Leon West in our latest issue, “The Yeah! Book”.
Finally, let’s complete the list with roller derby athletes who made the team: Bonita Apple Bomb, Elicia Nisbet-Smith, Falcon Punch, Juana Teaze, Kayla Woodward, Optimus Grime, Roxy Dallas and Smacktivist.