Lodge Guest, Georg Wanek also known as Rudi
Name: Georg Wanek also known as Rudi
Current: Job / school: Corporate Sales for an academic book publisher
Where are you from? Vienna area, Austria
Where do you currently live? Didcot, UK
What nationaly do you feel the most? European
Family status: Single
Sponsors: been on a casual flow from a friends board company in Vienna, called Dogdown
Years of skateboarding: 20 this year 🙂
Board size: 8,5”
Wheel size: 60mm
I change set up every: long while, but have multiple boards
Please state your type of terrain on your board in hours, days and years or other
(Skatepark) Flow Street 15%
Long board: 5 %
Vert: 50 %
Bowl: 15 %
Freestyle: 5 %
Please tell us about your daily DAY by the hours, (or tell us about your longest day the last week’s) we want to know how your day is looking like
06.00 Stand up, breakfast muesli, get going
08.00 checking LinkedIn, get ready for the day
09.00 reach out to customers
12.00 lunchbreak, short walk
13.00 reaching out more to customers
16.00 finish work
18.00 sports, yoga or a youthwork project in the skatepark
20.00 having salads or some other cold veggie dinner. Also making salad for my next day
21.00 learning, reading or practicing some sort of coaching or personal-development stuff.
How are you doing at the moment? I do great. I came around and lived quite international within the last couple of years and now I’m in the UK since a year. Now being settled in Oxfordshire, not far from London I follow a nice single lifestyle which gives me room for my joys. I came over for my job in publishing and I have ambitions in personal development. Feeling driven giving people more choices I did some coaching courses, learn and practice skills like that, maintain a quite healthy and drama free livestyle and enjoy skatebarding very much these days. So things are brilliant.
How is your body at the moment, (injuries, knees, back, and so)?
It seems that my body feels better and better as older I get 🙂 At the moment thanks to my yoga and fitness routines I enjoy a lot of flexibility. In terms of injuries two years I had a re-fracture of my ankle. I broke it the same way I had done 16 years ago and I learned a lot from the healing and took responsibility for the inner healing of it.
When did you start to skate and why? What tricked you into this?
Before I got my first setup on August 10th 1996 I stopped each time and watched Skaters on the street. I wanted to skate as well. Also before I started some “fake reasons” might tricked me as well into: liked the lifestyle, wanted to be part of a subculture and wanted to do something makes me cool for the girls.
Once I started skateboarding it just hooked me for the right reasons, felt so much connection and flow. But back then my mates all skated street and the small stuff and I imagined Vert as an integral part of it. And therefore I start to travel, go out and skate with the dudes 10 years older. Back then I was one of the only young Vert Skaters in Europe. Glad to see this has changed.
Do you think you made the right choice (instead of playing football FX?)?
I can’t think of any better choice. My first Vert Drop-In, which I did on my 15th birthday was the single most enriching act ever. It opened thousands of avenues. The Vert Skaters have been my role models. It was different then the guys from my town. I felt accepted for whom I am are and I could pick choices. Some of these guys are globetrotters and there independence, fun and dedication helped me to shape some core values.
Please comment your feelings, memories (if you are that old) & know how about Skateboarding in the
80s although I did not really skate back then I got my first board and it was in fact the first time I rolled. And the 80s do play I role in my development. I remember seeing Vert on TV and I had a “How-To” book written by Florian Böhm which contained picks of the Ranging Waters Ramp and Upland Pipeline. I thought “damn, why are there no such parks in my hometown, I want to ride this stuff”.
90s Made the dream come true. Started on little quarters and miniramps and got hooked up when I saw Neal Hendrix skating at the Vans Warped Tour ’97. A year later I started with Vert and a year later I started to travel on interrail going to the European Contests.
2000+ from traveling around to many contests, roadtrips and couch-surfing I lived a life of endless joy. While the first half was a lot of traveling in the second half I lived in Germany with plenty of options for weekend trips. And I skated all the spots I was dreaming: RDS Skatepark in Vancoucer, Prahran ramp in Melbourne, Encinitas, Copenhagen, Berlin, Mount Trashmore and even two sessions on Bobs ramp. A lot of people helped me and served as mentors and I got options to pay it back.
2010+ Having the habit of leaving things when they are best I decided to leave Germany in autumn 2010. It was times when I had the most blasting sessions with the Busam brothers (the most moshing Verttwins ever) and went on a 10 month world trip. This was the magic in essence: Skating in US (especial North Cal), South Africa, Melbourne, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and China.
Then I lived in Dublin, Ireland which was not much skating so I made it monthly to Birmingham and the Creation Skatepark become my new local ramp.
Then I lived two years in Austria, in and around Vienna; a was low in terms of skating Vert however I went back to the roots skating the park where I first started as well as many great bowl sessions in Vienna with my friends there.
Do you feel skateboarding is in a good way?
Absolutely. It is more diverse then ever and there is room for all kinds of skateboarding. It is impressive how much talent is out there and it stokes me seeing newcomers really stoking. The opportunity Social Media gives us seeing whole contests recorded and live-streaming allows you to get brilliant insights. When I started I bought copies of skatemags just two have two pics or videos to may have 2 minutes Vert part or I recorded X-Games on VHS. Now you can grasp way more – you can watch your favorite pros and casual sessions and how they get into.
There is so much I like to see nowadays; how female skateboarding has developed, I like to see the passion and fun of independent small contests as well as backyard sessions, I like to see how people connect globally and the amount of footage and portrait get produced – so much choice out there.
Where do you stand & please comment with skateboarding in the Olympics?
I like the fact that it is part of it and it will shape the biography of some astonishing Pros.
Also I am sure it will hook up people. As far as I have heard Vert will not be included in 2020. In my opinion Vert would be an ideal discipline since it not only looks good to people outside it also has the nature of wall-to-wall skating which allows to show plenty of tricks in short time.
The topics of what the athletes will wear and how they will cope with drug tests in my opinion is irrelevant. Those Skaters who participate active or within the organization will sort. it.
Where do you stand in terms of politics?
I stand for love, passion, vision, positive attitude, education and tolerance. This might differs from contemporary choices inspired by popular characters working with peoples fear and emotions of artificial “good-old-times”.
When I chill, I chill with, with a good book, a sequence of Yoga or a walk in nautre.
Dream session would be, on a Vertramp, new and smooth surfaced, outdoors with great dudes from all around inspiring. And it would be full awesome dudes: people like Cab, Sandro, Lincoln, Neal, Renton, Jeff Hedges, Sean Geoff, Jussi Korhonen, Jocke Olsson plus all the awesome dudes from UK, Copenhagen, Melbourned Vert scene, leading girl skaters and young dudes like Keegan Palmer.
Lately I have been working on, how I could bring my passions, skills and joy together to create something.
One thing is volunteer work in a local youth center which focuses on detached youth work. Together with a youth worker we go to the skatepark and I could skate and also contribute and enrich beyond. Doing this is also part of my own healing. I realized that I went through quite some bullying grew in my teenage years. It was the time of videos such as CKY, Big Brother and Baker Videos, later Jackass. My homies applied the stuff seen on the street and I was well in the role testing all that shit. However, forgiveness to all involved – now an opportunity is unfolding.
I normally call my homies for skating or catching up for deep inspiring and philosophical conversations.
Your homies are all around the world and not necessarily next door. So I connect with them when I visit my home in Austria, when I’m traveling or as often pump into them unexpected.
Beer / Wine / Liquor: Is not playing an important role. Maybe one drink per month – but enjoying that one.
Breakfast: muesli and coffee
Lunch / Dinner / Late-night snack: mostly salads, lots of fruits, and other raw veggie dishes
Skateboarders: all time favorites like Hawk, Neal Hendrix, Burnquirst, Dany Way,
Skatepark / Skate spot: Birmingham, Strasbourg, Prahran, Falleparken,
Skate film / clip: Future Primitive, Animal Chin,
You fave Tricks: Boneless on each terrain and Indy Airs on Vert.
Art: Basquiat, Magritte
Film: Forest Gump, Perfume, Sugar Man, Searching for Sugar Man
Music: so much, from classic rock, to punk, folk, country, jazz and a variety of world music. Lately CCR and Arlo Guthrie resonate well.
Book: I’m up for a diverse range of fiction but I read mostly nonfiction books. From classic motivational and self help guidebooks, to unconventional business books to hands-on professional books in the field of psychology, coaching and therapy.
City’s: Santa Cruz, Melbourne, San Francisco, Vancouver, Vienna, Copenhagen,
When was the time you really lost big time?
I think all time in life is somehow learning. It is precious, makes sense and either bring opportunities or bring us toward.
When I travel, I always bring, a lock, pen, notebook
Best travel advice I can give is, get your most important documents scanned and in the cloud so that you can access them remotely.
Best life advice I can give is: There is a positive intent in each and every behavior. And people go for the best choice they perceive in any given moment.
Are you good with money (do you plan, safe it, cash in or blow it)? Though one. I managed to live my dreams. Made savings at times busy in full time jobs (mostly sales) and then low and modest, traveling and spending into my passions.
Best travel memory you want to share?
There are too many. I remember a trip to one of my first Vert contests, the Mystic Cup 2000 where I was on the platform with a range of Pros and most impressive Bob Burnquist. He spoke in a way that I could get all he was saying clearly even though my English was quite limited then. He asked me whether this is my first contest and then he said ”When you skate…” and performed a gesture with both hands parallel to the side of his face sliding forward – a way to express ”focus”. This gesture not only become a meaningful anchor that enriched my skating it enriched my whole live.
My fitness program is, something daily. Short interval workouts, yoga, going for a run.
Do you care about your health? Yes, and I would say much more compared to 20 years old. I feel much better when I have a good balance of sports, a diet rich of vegtables and fruits and doing things that uplift me rather than take resources away. Above phsyical health, I see health also mental and beyond people and often simple steps, close to what is natural are good sources.
Anything that concerns you at the moment?
Not really things of big importance. Minor things could get addressed. Many things might be a bit odd or weird on a larger scale, i.e. politics such as the Brexit for me as a foreigner in the UK. But concerns are often a lack of knowledge and by focusing on choices and opportunities new miracles could unfold.
And yes, there is a lot of suffering in the world and rather that being concerned I’d like to focus on the opportunity changing, even if in small steps.
When I get old I want to, live in many ways like now and 20 years ago. Following my dreams, striving for choices.
I would like to see more of vulnerability – especial in guys who try hard, skateboarding implied. What I mean is connecting and expressing feelings. If we are open, honor and welcome to what we experience and what might happened to us we could better connect, share and feel understood instead of fighting against us by trying harder to overcome obstacles.
That one time where I was in jail because of a bad dream.
I should do more of, … – should’s do not count. The list could be endless but bring me nowhere.
My future looks like we will meet. And have great times.
I dream of some day that I would have a Vertramp and locals just around the corner. For some reasons this never happened. Perhaps I enjoy to travel and arrive.
On Netflix / YouTube / Internet I watch, to much stuff that shows up on my timeline instead of purposefully selecting things.
In terms of skateboarding see a lot of sick tricks from Skaters I look up too but also a lot of classic stuff I’m really stoked about . For example I’m connected with the filmer Michael Chantry who posts his footage from the classic 80s contests such as Lake Tahoe or Ranging Waters.
Also I watch a lot of educational stuff and enjoy webinars or podcasts which have some inspiring and / or learning rich content included.
If I could change the world I would, start with myself and spread the love (work in prorgress 🙂 )
Everybody should own a safe space to express ones own freedom and uniquness, regardless of the context.
The hobby I have, no one knows about is, eating with chopsticks.
I will never get rid of ADHD, haha.
I would love to be in a movie with Lance Mountain. Something experimental or impromtu.
Any regrets in life so far? Not really major ones as all makes sense. And I do questions having followed certain path too long perhaps out of uncertainty. For example I was in a technical middle school which has not really suited me. Looking back on this I might would have been better off skipping it and spending some weeks skating in the US. Same with some jobs where I spent too much time in the office and shied conflict. But my appeal to the some readers: Learning and persistence are important skills to practice – it just does not always have to be the established ways.
Anything else oh yes, one thing perhaps which does not go out of my mind and I’d like to offer those Skaters who might be interested: Those of you who are not able to skate at the moment, either due to injuries or any other reasons and live is causing you an emotional struggle and like to change that, I’m happy to help.
Ways I could work with you is through a flexible and holistic approach of coaching. I have experience of plus hundred sessions, most of them via skype and could work on ways to support your self-care, inner healing, livestyle choices, wellbeing and freedom and overcoming not wanted behavior and inner conflict. If that might be interested connect with me on facebook and I am happy to arrange this. At this stage I do this for free for my love to skateboaridng and interest to create something giving Skaters more choices.
Thanks to three friends, skateboarders and mentors from Austria who did a lot for me over years: Roman Hackl, Hans-Peter Hutter and Uwe Ballon, I’m so grateful how you have not only supported but also inspired me. And a massive thanks to the many Skaters who helped me. It must be several hundreds who gave me a place to stay, a lift, made pictures or helped me with my skating. Let me thank in helping bringing your gifts forward.