German workhorse Mark Frölich knows the ups and downs of being a European pro.
When school was over, German ripper Mark Frölich didn’t think twice and moved to Barcelona, Spain. Over the last years, various friends left, the economic crisis hit, good sponsor deals went down the drain and his social life, in his own words, “isn’t the best“ – but Mark is still there, doing his thing, conquering rails and exploring the outskirts of the city. Well, what can you say? Mark Frölich really likes to skateboard.
Hi Mark. What’s new?
I’m good. I’m still living in Barca, skating a lot, chilling.
How are things in Barcelona for you nowadays, things are changing...
Definitely, the whole city changed a lot over the last couple of years. It’s more quiet now which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But it’s a little boring now at times. This is partly because a couple people left and surely the economic crisis did it’s part, too. This happy vibe from back in the day is gone. I miss a lot of people in skating as well as in daily life, somebody to hang out with, talk to… my social life isn’t the best. People visit and as soon as we get used to each other, they leave.
You’re always super-productive. Where’s the motivation coming from?
[thinks] Basically, I really like to skateboard. I have the chance to pay my rent doing it and I’m that kind of guy who wants to do things the best way possible. It’s not like everybody has the chance to do this in Europe this day and age. I mean, I don’t make a lot, but I can pay rent. I’m fit and there’s so much stuff I still want to do. You want to evolve, too, don’t you?
All through school I thought that it only held me back from doing what I really wanted to do.
You’re lactose intolerant and you also have a couple of allergies, right?
I do in fact have a very limited nutrition plan. A lot of foods don’t agree with me, but that’s not allergies. Allergies are the worst thing you can have. I’m intolerant to a lot of things, but when you’re allergic and there’s a nut in your food, you can literally die from it. On the other hand I’ve had my 3 days in a hospital on the drip for eating the wrong thing, too. Luckily, some of these intolerances develop resistance. Three years ago, I wouldn’t have been able to eat a baguette. Now I can do that from time to time.
Why couldn’t you eat it before? Gluten?
Because of the bran, yeast mostly... But yeah, wheat used to be a problem, too. Other then that, I can’t have any dairy products, no eggs. Most types of fish are a problem and a couple of grains other than wheat. Various fruit and vegetables.... I eat a lot of avocado, tuna, loads of pasta, a lot of vegetables. I don’t eat a lot of meat, either.
You’re from Wuppertal. How long have you been living in Barcelona now and what were the reasons for you to leave?
It’s going to be seven years soon. The reasons… well, I visited here for a three-month stay right when I was done with school and had to make up my mind what to do with my life. Then I ran into my first girlfriend here. Barcelona is a cool city and I figured it was the best place in Europe at the time to really go for it and push my skating. All through school I thought that it only held me back from doing what I really wanted to do.
You’re known to be very picky when it comes to your shoes. It seemed like you finally found your place at éS – before they went under. So what’s on your feet now?
First off, I have to say how the whole éS thing was the best, the first year in particular. The second year, it kind of became obvious things were going downhill. You could tell these folks had to fight. But the first year was the best year of my life, shoe-wise.
Right now, yeah, I just have to say thank- you to the people sending a couple of shoes my way from time to time, you know who you are. A new deal isn’t here yet-, we’ll see .... I think that things are difficult with the economy right now and… well, let’s put it this way: for quite a long time, I wasn’t in the position to get a good deal. Then éS came along and that was great and now I don’t see me signing a contract that doesn’t make sense for me. I just want it to be a good deal for both sides, that’s all I’m asking for. I don’t have crazy demands but yeah, things should make sense. I worked my ass off to be where I am now.
So what’s happening next for you? Another part for Jart?
I want to put out another part end of the year. I don’t know the framework as of yet, I will have to check all that but sure, it would make sense to have my sponsors be a part of it.
Where is Mark Frölich five years from now?
In five years… Well, I’ll do my best to be fit and be able to skate hard and often. It would be nice to develop a social life, too. I’ll be 32 in five years and I have to say I would like to feel at home, somehow. I would like to have a more intense and interesting social life.
Mark, thank you for the interview.