Bilbao is an inspirational city on the northern coast of Spain. It’s a lot like San Francisco, California: full of endless hills and hidden spots and you can skate across the entire flats in less than 15 minutes.
Bilbao underwent a massive renovation in the late nineties and now has a really great vibe and boasts a dynamic mix of modern and more classical Basque architecture.
For several years I’d been hoping to shoot a film in Bilbao where the skating was virtually all downhill and also frame cool views of the city. I wanted to create a picture of this terrific place, and had a hunch there were a lot of unique spots to be skated. The basic intention was to 'pour' a small group of really good skateboarders into the city from various points and create a film of bombing hills, crossing paths, and sessioning the city.
The group of skateboarders who joined for the project were diverse and this had a positive affect on the production. Each guy looked at situations and tricks differently but they were all united by the challenge of skating downhill and to continue skating after they landed any trick. Everyone knew the video direction was to skate like water rolling down a mountain.
Philipp Schuster joined from Vienna with creative vision and a totally positive mindset. Philipp was fun to watch skate and he made great things happen.
Axel Cruysberghs arrived from Belgium energised and had a really good time skating every day, no matter where we ended up. Axel likes Bilbao and all the local foods like pintxos and tapas and shredded with a true Basque spirit.
Emmanuel Guzman joined from Santa Cruz, California and promptly skated down pretty much every hill in and around Bilbao city. We couldn’t keep up with him in the car or with the cameras. He charged and entertained the locals with his skating in the city centre.
Cooper Wilt flew in from San Pedro, California and bombed hills with a total calm and tranquility. Cooper has a great style and makes skateboarding look really fun!
Lem Villemin arrived from Stuttgart, Germany and repeatedly pulled amazing lines and tricks out of thin air. Often very quickly and when it was least expected, Lem caught and landed tricks with a supernatural ease.
Enjoy the skating and our unusual trek through Bilbao and check back March 24 for a behind the scenes edit of Descending Bilbao.