The Daan Van Der Linden Interview
‘I hear that Daan kid is the best ever…’ I’ve heard this phrase or something like it numerous times from visiting American pros when someone mentions the name Daan Van Der Linden. Here in Europe I think we’ve all known Daan is the best for quite some time, but when people in the States start saying it, well needless to say he’s made an impact. Daan’s gotten the cover of The Skateboard Mag, Thrasher, Kingpin, A Brief Glance and now Free all in the past couple of years… And he really does deserve the spotlight. But I get the feeling being in the limelight isn’t what Daan prefers. For most people riding for big brands like Antihero, Vans, Volcom and Spitfire would cause a lot of stress and pressure, but not for Daan. He just cracks open a beer, drops in and lives like there’s no tomorrow.
We caught up with Daan (and by no means was this easy – we basically had to kidnap him) this past winter in Berlin and had a hungover conversation about the life of this 19 year-old Dutch prodigy. Ladies and germs, this is the Daan Van Der Linden interview.
Interview by Will Harmon and Arthur Derrien
Will: So are you psyched you won European Skater of the Year?
Daan Van Der Linden: Yeah, of course!
Will: Did you have any idea?
No, I thought Karsten (Kleppan) was going to win.
Will: Yeah you didn’t have a big video part in 2015 like he did, how do you think you won?
I guess a lot of kids on Instagram saw a lot of me on there. I don’t know… I think a part counts for more.
Arthur: Are you working on a new part now?
Yeah for Volcom.
Arthur: Sick. I’m thinking that will come out around the same time as this interview.
Yeah, I think so.
Will: Ok so Alex (Deron) from Element was telling me about this guy from your hometown that was like a mentor and he taught you a lot about skating?
Yeah it’s this guy that really loves skateboarding and he broke his legs, both legs, just being drunk and whatever, so he can’t skate like he used to, but he would hang out during the sessions when he had his broken legs. His name is Wouter Bosch. I don’t know, he is like a skate teacher to all the kids at the skatepark and he just gives good tips. He would help you with foot placement or tell you if your balance was off and whatever. I grew up with him skating and he helped introduce me to skateboarding.
Will: So do you get to skate a lot in Holland or are you always just going on trips now?
I try not to skate in Holland, but it’s hard… It’s addictive you know?! If my friends go out, I have to go out and skate too…
Will: Arthur get off Tinder, pay attention! Daan what about the ladies, do you ever go on Tinder?
Sometimes when I’m in a good region or whatever.
Will: Do you have a girlfriend and stuff?
I don’t do girlfriends. I’ll do that when I’m 30. (Everyone laughs)
Will: So how did you hook up with the Antihero dudes anyway?
I’ve always wanted to skate for Antihero because I like the company. And I was riding for them through a distributor in Holland and I think maybe they sent footage through to DLX. I don’t know seriously.
Will: So when was the first time you skated with those guys?
I had met Grant (Taylor) on some Volcom trips. But then the first time I met more of them was at the Bowl-a-Rama in Spain a few years ago.
Arthur: Are they actually as fun to hang out with as it looks?
Ah man Frankie (Frank Gerwer)… That guy is like a movie actor; he’s so funny!
Arthur: Just that face is enough for me… And his nose!
He knows! Ha ha!
Arthur: So when you got he bottle of champagne the other night (at the Bright Awards), what happened with that?
I got a bottle of champagne?
Arthur: Yeah you sprayed it in like one second. You and your brother were going crazy with the champagne. Oh and even better, you know how earlier you said you may have smashed a TV or something but you weren’t sure what happened?
Arthur: I know exactly what happened! So I bumped into Julian Dykmans and he was all like: ‘Ah yeah Daan was singing this song and lovin’ it’ in the Karaoke room and then the song ended. Then you had the mike and you were in front of the TV and when the song ended you chucked the mike into the TV! The TV cracked and Julian went for you like: ‘I’m gonna fucking punch his head in!’
Will: But then he couldn’t ‘cause Daan was ESOTY?
Arthur: No not even that, just because Daan is like a kid and all. But luckily the TV still worked in the end; it was just a bit bent. But yeah, Julian saw the whole thing and he told me that story.
Man, I can’t even remember singing or anything. Seriously what karaoke room? Everyone keeps talking about this karaoke room, I don’t even know about this. I don’t remember; I must have been having a really good time or something. (Everyone laughs)
Sam Ashley: Ok so let’s imagine you did go to a karaoke room, what song would you sing?
‘Breaking the Law’ or something. (Everyone laughs)
Arthur: Yeah that’s probably what you sang. Oh and your brother was on fire Daan!
Will: Does your brother skate as well?
Yeah, we grew up skating together. He’s really good at skating.
Arthur: When’s the video part dropping?
He doesn’t like to film. He used to be sponsored and shit though… He rode for Santa Cruz and stuff, but he changes up a lot you know what I mean? He goes through a lot of phases my brother. One day he’s like ‘yeeaahh!’ He likes this and then the next day it’s something else. He’s very impulsive.
Arthur: What are his big phases?
Well right now he’s going through the Gucci phase.
Arthur: The Gucci phase! That sounds like a sick phase.
Just wait until you hear Gucci Mane on the speakers all day! Ha!
Arthur: That’s why he said ‘Free Gucci!’ On stage when you won the ESOTY award!
Yeah! He’s in jail that’s why he said that.
Will: So how long have you guys been skating? You must have started from a young age…
I started when I was five.
Will: What made you start?
We grew up in a very farming type of town and there was like nothing around. There was never anything to do. But we had this guy in the neighbourhood and one day he came out with a skateboard. We played Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater and stuff, so, I don’t know why, but we just liked it.
Will: What was the first skate video you remember seeing?
It was a Flip video. Flip’s Sorry, that was my first video. So when I first started skating, for three years I just skated in front of my door, by my house, because I was so young. We didn’t know about a skatepark, we thought that was only in America and stuff. But then after a few years, when I was nine I think, we found a little skatepark that was pretty shit. And then a year after that, our friend Wouter, he was our babysitter, he showed us real parks.
Will: What does your family think of you going all over the place since you’ve been doing it since you were quite young?
They’re stoked; they are really happy for me.
Will: Is there a particular place you like going the most for skating?
I like Athens a lot. There’s good people out there, a great scene and good spots. It’s usually good weather there as well… What else do you need?
Will: True. Do you still have that car? That real little one?
It’s called an Amica. It’s for people that are disabled or a… In Holland we say the drunkies always use it, because you don’t need a licence. And if you’re really drunk driving the thing you have to drive in the cycle path. (Everyone laughs) Like they can’t take your licence because you don’t have one; you don’t need one. So you can just be as wasted as you can. I hit a person once… Like a kid. (Everyone laughs)
Will: So you don’t have that car anymore?
Nah, it got stolen and someone burned it down next to the highway. I had to carry all the shit and take care of the situation, because the police found my car on the side of the highway on fire and shit. Just Google: ‘Amica 1250’, that’s the one. It’s like a riding shoe.
Will: How many skaters have you fit in there?
Max is like four I think. The previous owner was a really fat lady and usually there is like two seats only, but she was so fat she couldn’t sit in the chair so she made a bench – so we had all the space. Four people on the bench, we just crammed everyone in there.
Arthur: Imagine pulling up to the club in that thing!
Will: Quite different than Nyjah Huston’s whip.
He’s got a Lambo.
Will: What do you think about some of the skaters in America that enter Street League and buy crazy cars?
I think they are just influenced by money. You know if someone’s gonna say: ‘Hey I’ll give you 100,000 euros if you put this sticker on, whatever…’ For them it’s nothing, but there are also a lot of kids and skateboarders that look at that and think: ‘Oh yeah he means that, he’s about that brand. He does it because he likes it,’ or whatever and that’s why it creates more kids that are the same way.
Will: So have you had energy drink sponsors approach you?
Yeah, I’ve been asked.
Will: And you said ‘no’?
Yeah, I said no. It doesn’t have anything to do with skateboarding. That stuff basically just fucks you up.
Arthur: It just hurts your body and doesn’t get you drunk: useless!
Yeah it’s better to get drunk and hurt your body; at least you get something out of it!
Arthur: I bet if you won Street League you wouldn’t buy a super expensive car…
Will: Daan would just take all the homies out and party for a week!
Yeah! Money is in the world to spend.
Arthur: You could get a new Amica 1250! Amica tour! Get all the boys…
Will: ‘Everyone gets an Amica!’
(Everyone laughs) Yeah, everyone drunk in the cycle lane!
Will: So Daan I heard you are getting a Vans colourway... Are you stoked?
Yes, I’m very stoked!
Will: Does it have anything special on the insoles like Sam Partaix’s tattoos he had on his slip-on colourway?
It doesn’t have anything that specific.
Will: Well I’m hyped for you, congrats. Well I think this about does it. Is there anyone you’d like to thank?
I want to thank Jeroen Sars, Ant Travis, Jake Smith, Remy Stratton, Grifdawg, Jamie, Julien, Johnny, Job, and everyone I forgot.