For years now, Axel Cruysberghs’s name has rung out in the European skate scene, and indeed beyond. Nonetheless, Axel’s only 18 and appears to have a great future ahead of him. Often labelled as a ‘contest skater’, he also slays the streets- no offense to his critics. You could be forgiven for thinking the game has all played like a dream for him, but it seems like the stars just won’t align for him when it comes to board sponsors. We tried to find out a bit more about the mysterious Mister Cruysberghs- a man shy in the flesh, but unstoppable on a skateboard.
Hello Axel- so you seem to be travelling non- stop, where are you right now?
At home; I’ve been travelling a lot because I filmed a videopart with Etnies.
You’ve been travelling the world for comps and tours for many years now, what’s your situation with school, how do you manage this aspect of your life?
I stopped going to school last year. Since then, skateboarding for me has only gotten better. School was stressing me out so much; when I got home from a tour I had to do so much homework. Now I can just chill, skate- and go on as many tours as I want.
I just want to find the right one and skate for them forever!
What’s up with your board sponsors, you’ve been on Flip, Alien Workshop, and more recently on Antiz- why doesn’t it work out when you maintain long- term relationships with your other sponsors?
So… first I was on Flip, but I felt too young- and, I had to go to school so I wasn’t able to go to the States for a long time or something like that; so then I just quit. Then I didn’t have a board sponsor for a long time and then I was asked by Alien Workshop which I really liked ! But then, they had problems with their Euro team and one day they stopped getting back to me… if I asked them for boards, they would never answer. After that I started skating for Antiz, but in the end that wasn’t really what I wanted to do- even though they are really rad guys. Now, I don’t have a board sponsor… I just want to find the right one and skate for them forever!
Speaking of other sponsors, I know you’re about to drop a video part for Etnies, can you talk us through it a bit?
It’s going to be Albert Nyberg, Barney Page and me. Three parts in one online video. I hope people like it.
Do you follow Street League? Is it something you’d like to enter at some point?
I don’t follow it… but if they were to ask me, I would go.
Do you think they should do qualifiers around the world so everybody has a shot?
Yeah, they should- because now it’s always the same guys and it gets really boring. That’s why I don’t follow Street League.
How do you see the future of professional skateboarding ? Do you think the traditional model of video part, interviews, editorial coverage will remain the way it is, or will contests become necessary to make a career?
I hope it stays like the present model- and I think it will. It would be really sad if contests became mandatory (in order) to make a career! I guess you have to do something in between- but not too many contests.
It would be really sad if contests became mandatory to make a career!
To be honest I do wonder, ‘cause there are so many videos on the internet that almost every day a great part is released online, which obviously has less impact than when we were watching parts on DVD’s - or even on VHS, for the older dudes- over and over until the next video was released a year later, even if you didn’t really know that era well.
I feel like people are not impressed anymore! Kids really don't care about videos. You see a video and forget about it!
I watch a lot of the videos that come out and if I like it I watch it again- but to be honest most of the stuff I don't watch twice. It depends who the skater is.
What would be your ideal job after your career?
It’d be really nice to be a team manager- or work within a skateboard company.
Would you consider moving away from Poperinge one day?
Yeah! I hope so, but at the moment I don’t really know where I want to live.
Thanks for your time Axel, if you want to add something, the floor is yours!
Just a thank- you to all my sponsors, Mum and Dad, my brother, my sister, my grandmother, my grandfather and family… the guys at SBQ, Hans Claessens, Jelle Keppens, and all my friends.