INTERVIEW with MARTIN SLOBODA
Collected on April 8, 2010
By Close Yr E’s
FRENCH Version Available HERE !!
Martin Sloboda is the Discovery of Year 2009: Most skaters are unanimous in designating him Freestyler of the year, a well-deserved title given his results.
We saw this unknown 15-year old German Kid rocketing in a few weeks, winning the European Championships in the early Season, collecting first places all through the year, and finally reaching the Top of the World Ranking in August at the end of the Season.
He came, he saw, he conquered.
Martin is lucid however, and doesn’t intend to rest on his laurels.
The Kid is “wheelingly” gifted, and loves to push the limits further… His skating is (as you can imagine) highly technical, but remains smooth and interesting to watch because he alternates between freestyle phases and technical peaks.
Here is an interview with the current WSSA World #1 in Freestyle Slalom:
• Name: Martin Sloboda
• Birthdate: 08.09.1994
• Nationality: German
• Occupation: Student at secondary school
• What do you like in skating? Why has it become a passion?
Skating is just awesome! :D The freedom to do whatever you want to do or the feeling skating around cones or sliding down a big path or just cruising around is unique. In my opinion you can’t compare this kind of feeling to another sport. Also meeting all those skaters and just skating around is totally amazing.
AT THE BEGINNING
• When did you start skating?
I started skating in March 2007 with some crappy fitness skates for 30€ :D
• When did you start slalom-skating and how did you discover it?
I also started slalom-skating right after I bought my first pair of skates in March 2007.
Me and my friend Andre were skating around the park when we saw some people skating around cones. So we asked them if we could try this and from then on we came almost every day.
• A quick summary of your evolution in freestyle skating?
> March 2007: first pair of skates, and first steps in skating (and slalom-skating)
> September 2007: First competition after half a year of skating. I went through to the final with Rudy (Op’t Velt), Mischa (Gurevich) and Thomas Vilcans :D and I finished 4th... It was a big surprise for me to go so far on my 1st competition.
> May 2008, PSWC: It was the first time I met international riders with really high level.
> August 2008, Hannover Inline Games: for my 2nd international competition, I managed to reach the final where I was with Rudy (Op’t Velt), Igor (Cheremetieff) and Luca (Ulivieri).
> February 2009: Seba took me into the Seba Team during the ISPO in Munich, just 2 weeks before the competition in Mönchengladbach.
> March 2009: My very first victory!
> Summer 2009: Another key moment was my first big trip to London-Shanghai-Chuncheon-and-Seoul. And after this trip I became 1st in the WSSA World Ranking :)
• You take part only in battles… why?
No, I also take part in speed slalom but for me it’s more for fun and it’s not as important as Freestyle Battles. But we often try to compete against each other during freestyle sessions, so that’s the way I train for speed slalom^^
I also tried the Classic mode, which in my opinion is nice because you can invent something which is your own creation with your own music and your own program. Still, I prefer Freestyle Battles because you can change your runs during the battle rounds, and because you have to find the best way to go through the rounds – and in best case, to win a competition. The tricks you have to show depend on the groups you’re in.
And… I really do like slides! It’s another way of skating or….”to stop”. Whatever! A good body control is very important for slides, so I try to improve myself in slides and hopefully I can make some good results in the future.
• How do you cope with your sudden rising up of last season? Becoming #1? What was the plan?
First of all, I have to say that it was not easy… not easy at all! And the second thing is: can anybody plan something like this?! XD My plan was to become a good skater but I would never have thought of becoming World’s #1. Anyway, it was a lot of hard work to get up there. What next? I think I will just keep trying to give my best, and also I hope I can hold my place as long as possible.
• Titles and things you are proud of?
I’m really proud of my 1st place at the European Slalom Battle Championship in Moscow 2009. It was my first victory ever and it was a really nice moment!
Then I’m also proud of my 1st place in Hannover at the Inline Games 2009 where we had an interesting final between Rudy, Igor, Xuan and me.
And now I’m proud of a good start for the 2010 Season with my latest victory in St.Petersburg: when I arrived the level had increased so much in just one year and I wasn't sure if I could do this… the level is just totally crazy.
And last but not least… the probably “most epic” and most unexpected title in my skate history… the one which rocked all the balls out of this competition… the 1st place at the Chuncheon Leisure Games 2009, Korea in the Jam Slalom category with Rudy XD Hell yeah! That was just badass!
But that was not all, I’m also proud of having found such good friends and people all over the world!
• Which skaters are you afraid of? Why?
Haha… that’s a good question! I can’t really say that I’m afraid of somebody (also because nobody should show their fears to their opponents... haha) But in this case fear is more like a push. Skating with international top skaters like Igor, Kim Sung Jin, or many others, is always a call to give my best or even more, if possible. So in the end, I would say that I like being a bit afraid!
• Describe an average slalom-session…
It’s impossible for me to skate alone. So I always try to call some people for a slalom-session. “More people” means “more fun”, you know.
Music is also one of the most important things. The way I skate depends on music. So when I listen to some heavy thrash metal songs I skate faster and more aggressive. When I listen to some Hip-Hop, House or Electro I skate differently.
About the duration… I think there’s no limit as long as you are not hungry. But usually I skate between 3-5 hours, 3 times a week or more, if possible. But I also try to get some food or have an ice-cream during a session, or I just talk with some friends J So the actual skate-time can be more or less.
I have no real tradition, rules or special kind of training. It’s more relaxed and it’s always a good atmosphere.
• The kinds of tricks you like best? Why?
I prefer doing nice combos connected with a higher technical trick at the end. Of course also some wheeling combos and tricks in which I can gain a lot of speed at the end^^ Also tricks combined with slides are very cool but I still have to work on them.
• What do you want to improve in your skating (in technique and in style)?
I want to get out the best mix between tech and style. So I still try to improve my technical tricks to do them all smoothly and without mistakes. And in style I want to improve my own combos and try to do some new stuff though I have no real ideas yet. About the kind of style I want to develop, I just want to make something personal. I don't want to change my style ....I just want to change parts and elements and still get out the best mix of tech and style as a final result...
• Your craze of the moment?
Thanks to Igor I can spend a lot of hours training the one wheel footgun.
• Projects in the future?
Yeaah…I’d like to do some kind of “record”, you know^^ But it's a secret!
.....Puuuu.....eastcoast park is so far from here....lalalala *singing-a-song*
And maybe I should do a nice video :) a profile edit but.....on epic spots all over the world. Like on top of "Shanghai Pearl Tower" filmed from a helicopter....blablabla *dreaming*
• Do you have other passions? What do you do in life when you’re not skating?
Yeah....playing guitar is another passion. I really love to play and make some music. I like to meet with friends, hanging around, watching movies, listening to music, going out, you know.
As for sports…hm....I'm skating^^ I think it's enough for me so I don't need another sport.
Oh and yes!! Travelling is a lot of fun! :)
• Anything you want to add? Special thanks?
Yes! I want to thank Sebastien for his great support and for inviting me into the team. I really appreciate that! Thanks to my family, the skaters in Munich, also those who supported me and helped me. And also thanks to Tiziano, Rudy, the 4WheelFreestyle Team, the French guys, the Russian guys and all the other skaters for having such a great time !!! I hope 2010 will be even better and I hope there will be again a lot of fun and nice experiences!!! And thanks Chloé for this nice interview.