Chris Pfanner goes big (then goes home)

Nothing better than coming home to the family after a long day dropping hammers on major spots.
By Steve Forstner

Father, husband, professional skateboard-hobo: Austrian skateboarding sensation Christian Pfanner checks in with longtime friend Steve Forstner to talk about family life, his travelling schedule, the upcoming Vans video and the Ashes project as well as his personal formula for healthy joints while going big on a skateboard all year round.

Hi Chris, how are you?
I’m doing great! I’m healthy, the family is healthy and happy. I’m in Mallorca at the moment, a little holiday with the family. I just thought it would be good to get Anja and the little one out of the daily routine for a bit, breathe a different kind of air. Things couldn’t be any better; I can’t complain.

You can’t ride a skateboard for more than half your life and expect to hop out of bed like a jolly sailor every morning.

So family life is working out for you?
It’s great. We’re really lucky, because our little man is a really happy fella, loves to eat and sleep – a lot. Compared to what we hear from friends with kids, seems like we got the light version of baby troubles. He’s really active, though. A day of taking care of him can wear me out more than a day of skating!

Chris Pfanner
Chris Pfanner © Lucas Fiederling

What about family and friends in Austria, do you get to see them?
It’s gotten a little less lately. I have a family of my own now and I’ve been travelling so much that I don’t get to spend as much time as I would like with them. My family understands, they come and visit us more often now, which is really good. In April we have an Ashes trip lined up starting from Vienna, so I’ll be there a few days early to hang out with my friends.

Who is involved in Ashes and what are they like – lemons, idiots or hobos?
Ashes is just a bunch of friends who have been in skateboarding together for a while and just want to do their own thing! It‘s easy to complain and hate about others, but it takes a bit more to stand up for what you think is right. It started with a name and a logo and it never was anything serious until people started asking for the grip tape and were interested. We’re no businessmen, just a bunch of hobos and we are not in it to get rich. I mean you want to get rich and start a grip tape company? Let’s not fool ourselves. But, it’s fun! We are doing something we fully back and we’ll see where it’s going to lead.

Chris Pfanner, Backside Lipslide in Gran Canaria
Chris Pfanner, Backside Lipslide © Christoph Maderer

What other projects are you working on?
My main priority right now is the Vans video. It’s been going great should be done soon. I’m happy with where I am footage-wise, but there are still a couple of things I want to get for it. Ashes is a lifetime commitment anyway – kinda blood in, blood out. The only way out is when you die and even then I’m not sure you’re out since your ashes will still be floating around!

Are you staying healthy?
The body is doing great. Apart from little aches here and there, nothing major. You can’t ride a skateboard for more than half your life and expect to hop out of bed like a jolly sailor every morning. I try to eat healthy, cut back on cigarettes and booze and go swimming whenever I can. With swimming, I can exercise my body without any pressure on the joints. I think I just have to stay moving and it’s going to be fine. Sitting down is what kills us. All in all, I’m doing great for a skateboarding hobo.

Chris Pfanner, Kickflip
Chris Pfanner, Kickflip © Anthony Acosta

Any plans for 2014?
My plan is to just keep going, do my best to be a good father and husband. Take Ashes to the next level. Finish my Vans video part. Stay happy. Since you asked, I’d like to thank my friends and family for their understanding, support and love. Also my sponsors – Ashes, Anti Hero, Vans, Volcom, Spitfire, Thunder, Nixon and Planet Sports. Thanks!

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