Anders Tellen is a legend in skateboarding. Period. No, you don’t see him skating all of the big skateboarding events around the world even though he deserves to be invited to them all. He was already flying through the halfpipes and throwing down loads of tricks while I was just getting to know vert skateboarding – and he’s only three years older than me!
So it’s yet again an honor for me to have been able to get Anders Tellen to answer all of these questions and we can all enjoy a little dive into skateboarding history with this still top European skateboarder!
Let’s start this interview off with the expected and almost boring normal info: how old are you, where are you currently living, family status and (because it’s spreading around a lot) are you feeling supported by the church and Jesus when you skate?
I was born on a Sunday in May in the year of 1969. Just turned 45. Let’s say I made it halfway thru. I am living in Dortmund, Germany but moving up north to Hamburg in a couple of weeks. Father of a beautiful daughter named Kiana who is almost 14 years now. I feel that there is something watching over us but can’t find a way to get closer into it.
I always come back to the Vert Attack contest when talking to vert skaters. You’ve been there several times and this was my first year. I know we agree that it was amazing. What stoked you the most in this years’s contest?
Actually I liked it the best when they only had one group for everybody. That was just one big session with girls, kids, pros, ams and Master mixed together. But I guess to many rippers show up now which is great. It is such an awesome vibe with everybody pushing everybody and everybody is loving it. The Malmö crew is doing a great job for everything they do. Much respect and I am very thankful to attend the events in summer and winter.
Andrecht – Photo: Claus Grabke
“I’ve been skating for a long time” seems like something we hear from a lot of skaters theses days, of course we’re all getting older. When did you actually first ever get on a skateboard and when did you get started with vert and pools?
Oh, my mom bought boards for my brother and me in 1979. Makaha plastic cruisers. Before that I tried to make my own board out of my old Rollerskates. I rolled around on the streets and hills for a while before I met some skaters from my town (Florian Böhm) and got into skating small Quarterpipes. Did my first drop inn on a Vert Ramp in 1983 and after that is was on…!!!
You’ve had quite a few sponsers in your life – who were your main deck and board sponsers and who were you pro for?
During the 80’s I was riding for Alva and Pavel Skates. And then I was riding for Titus Skates which was the biggest european brand by that time. We even had Advertisments in US magazines and sold our boards worldwide. After that I almost endend up on Deathbox but messed up on that and made all the guys mad at me. Then RAD (ride anders designs) came out and lasted a couple of years. Pro for Vision for a summer or two. Doing Process Skateboard. My favorite time was riding for Minus Skateboards with Matt. Great time skating and travelling. Old Man Army gave me a pro board a couple years ago…
Lots of the people reading this may not know it, but you your full name used to be Anders Pulpanek. Since when have you been Ander Tellen and why?
Very long story…too long to tell you now. I am Anders…do not worry about the last name…ha, ha, ha.
Boneless one – Photo: Floran Boehm
What’s the skate scene like in the part of Germany you are living in right now and where do you like to skate usually when you have the time?
I skate around all the parks around Dortmund. Bergfidel in Münster, Velbert, Factory Bowl and OMSA Pool in Düsseldorf, Unna Skatepark, Keuninghaus in Dortmund, Hagen Pool, Bielefeld vert, Hemer skate park and not to forget our own ramp in Unna which we are rebuilding into a bowl right now. The scene is great. Old guys skating with young guys… all perfect.
Are there skaters from the past that you wish you could still session and skate with?
My friends Marc Lorenz and Arne Languth who both passed away (RIP). My friend Florian Böhm. He was the best. Best style and tons of tricks. He is busy with other things nowadays. I wish old my old buddyies would still skate a lot more and we would have crazy vert sessions every week…
You just had a guest deck created by Pavel Skates out of Germany. What’s your relation to Pavel Skates and who came up with the idea for the design?
I skated for Pavel in the early 80’s. It was Marc Lorenz, Martin Wagner and me. Now the company is 35 years old and it was time to remember this. Team rider in the 80’s…friends and family for life…!!! Christian Hesterkamp did the design. Which is the reanimation of the cat that was used on designs on boards in the beginning. It turned out super nice and I am stoked.
Pavel Skates deck – Anders Tellen – you can order it here!
Who’s killing it skatewise right now in your opinion? Who are some of your favorite skaters right now?
Ah… all the young kids…but I have most respect for the 50 year olds that still rip. As a kid you are fearless and injuries heal up quick. But when you are older it takes way more dedication to throw yourself down the curved walls. But right now almost everybody kills it. All terrain skaters are what I like the most. Skate everything and love all that skateboarding has to offer.
Who are you sponsored by currently?
Independent Trucks, Bones wheels, bearings and bushings, Koloss
Feeble grind at Oceanside – Photo: Rex Singleton
What do you have planned for 2014 with skateboarding, any contests other than the Volcom Bergfest 2014 in Münster, Germany (which is basically a big session)?
I am planning to skate as much as possible. Not much of a competition guy anymore but if its a good comp I enter. Looking forward to many sessions with good people.
What do you think about the incredible growth of the fast media response and spread of skateboarding from around the globe? These days you don’t have to wait for magazines to be published to see the latest skating and news. Is this something that’s only good or not?
Yeah. It’s way faster now. Back in the days you had to wait for contest results until the new magazine came out. Now it’s on social media the same day. I love the webcasts. Every good contest should have it. Sitting on your sofa and watch a competition on the otheside of the world live… awesome.
You recently went on vacation in the States with your daughter and you were able to combine family fun with a lot of skateboarding. Which spots were you able to skate and what did you like the most to skate or just visit?
I went with my girlfriend. Well she still looks young but shes already in her mid 30’s. Ha, ha, ha…!!! It was more of a vacation trip for us. We met a lot of all friends and had a great time. We checked out Tony Hawk’s Loop challenge which was gnarly. i skated the new Oceanside Skatepark with Jay Adams and Dave Hacket, Ffej and Adrian Demain. That was good. We checked out Bucky Lasek’s Helloween Bowl Party. Had a session with Mike McGill at the Combi Pool. Santa Cruz Skatepark. Just the weather and the vibe was awesome… And seeing all my old friends again.
Madonna at Vert Attack 8 – Photo: Eddie Think
You have a lot of pool and vert skills and tricks. Is there something that you are working on right now that you want to learn / relearn?
Working on keeping and relearning my old tricks as well as all my vert tricks. Not much on new tricks… A little bit trying here and there.
You love your music as I can see your contributions in a specific Facebook group. What types of music and which bands/musicians keep you going?
I like all kind of music but the Thrash Zone is what I like the best. Metal, trash and punk… And Ben Harper.
Skaters seem to be usually in two groups healthwise – living healthy, eating well, no smoking and little drinking or basically almost the complete opposite? How do you like to live and take care of your body to keep skating at your level?
I do ride my bicycle, eat what I like and have a drink every now and then. I think it is important to keep a good balance. Healthy and yummy. But if you want to skate at a older age you have to watch out for your body. Exercise helps a lot… Or just skate every day. But don’t stop… Your body will fall apart.
On the bass – Photo: Florian Boehm
What is your board set-up right now?
I am trying all kinds of different shapes. Right now it’s a basic board shape with a 14.75 wheelbase. I like a longer wheelbase. Board is 8.6 wide. 149er Indy trucks, 56mm Bones SPF wheels. Bones Seiss bearings and the best Bones medium bushings. They are really good. No break in time needed.
Any final words of wisdom or any shout-outs to friends/family/skaters for us?
Thanks to skateboarding for giving me the time of my life. Thanks to my brother Marc for pushing me when we started skateboarding in the late 70’s. Thanks to my girlfriend for having me. Thanks to all my friends for just being awesome. Thanks to all my sponsors that helped me during all those years… See you at the next session.
Frontside invert – Photo: Lutger Aundrup
Frontside carve grind – Photo: Gerd Rieger
Backside air a long time ago
Handplant at the Berg Fidel bowl – Photo: Dietches
Lien air – Photo: Gerd Rieger
Lien to tail at Vert Attack 8 – Photo: Gerd Rieger