The Man Behind Heelside: Kurt Nischel
Australians have their skate scene dialed. Events are ran smoothly, core shops support the scene, groms are well mannered, and the media coverage is spot on. It takes a passionate group of skaters to make this happen. Kurt Nischel is one of those skaters that keep the skate community growing. He started Heelside Magazine in 2011 to provide insight into the downhill skateboarding community. If you have ever meet Kurt, you know he brings life to any skate session or party.
“If you can’t have a laugh in life you aint got nothin!’ I take Movember very seriously! Hahaha (-:” – Kurt Nischel
SHM: Lets just power through the basics:
Name: Kurt Jonathon Nischel
Location: Gold Coast, Australia
SHM: What was your first Skateboard?
My mum got me my first board for Christmas in 1980. It was a yellow fiberglass deck with red wheels, I was 7 years old.
SHM: What inspired you to start HS?
Heelside was started back one weekend I was down in NSW in the Blue Mountains at a slalom competition and I was chatting with another guy Travis Horsfall about the idea, we basically chatted online for a few weeks and between us the whole thing was born. In terms of what inspired me to start the magazine … I’d have to say I always wanted to create a square coffee table styled book, that’s a timeless piece of work. Something that you will hold onto for years to come.
SHM: What’s your skateboard background?
Well I remember when I got my first board I started skating around our house there was a set of three steps and as soon as I jumped down that obstacle, something tweeked in me, and I just didn’t stop searching for more and new things to skate. Then throughout High School I pretty much lived at Ashmore BMX track where there was two gnarley concrete bowls, one big one small.
I spent years there practicing and learning all my tricks. Then in the late 90’s I went snowboarding for the first time at Mt Hotham in VIC, and I was instantly addicted, It took me around the world in search of powder. Then in 2001 I moved to Munich Germany, as I have family there and in Austria. I met a crazy Irish dude named Mick Wallace who was back then the Sector 9 distributor for Germany. He gave me a Sector 9 Cosmic and that’s where it all started with longboarding. My first downhill race was Hotheels in Kaunertal Austria in 2003. Then in the following 4 years I competed in as many slalom, boardercross & downhill races as I could throughout Europe and in 2005 my IGSA Downhill World Cup Ranking was 7th. In that time I picked up some good sponsorship from Quiksilver Germany, Concrete Dreams Skate Shop, Indiana Skateboards Switzerland and later on and still today Lush Longboards in Bristol England.
SHM: It seems the OZ skateboard community is very tight and organized. What makes this possible?
ASRA (Australian Skateboard Racing Association) would have to be one of the best core units of bringing everyone together and organizing really awesome events. The ASRA guys along with Hopkin Racing are the main driving force behind our rapidly evolving scene it fucking rocks!
SHM: So lets get this straight, Is it Powerslide or Stand Up Slide?
It’s whatever I’m riding at the time! I like to ride everything … Surf, Skate, Snow, Wake, Kite … My garage is full of toys so to say …
SHM: Is it Frontside/backside or heelside/toeside?
I guess I’d have to say it’s Heelside for longboarding, Mmm and transition / bowl I’d probably go Frontside.
SHM: Groms are raised right over there. Did you have to go through some grom hazing in your grommy days?
Well I think back to my grom days and things were a little different back then … I remember when I started going down to Ashmore bowl there was a gang of punks that I was shit scared of.
SHM: Whats your favorite skateboard video?
Bones Brigade – Animal Chin.
SHM: What youtube video do you watch if you need a quick laugh?
Chimps on Ice can’t get enough of ‘Gonna Fly Now Jonny’ That dude in the green sweater and pants is a maniac!
SHM: I’m flipping through some of your photos and seeing all kinds on shredding, do you pursue a type of shredding till you master it or are you always shredding it all?
Yeah I guess I just love board sports in general! I suppose I just keep finding new boardsports that interest me, get into it and keep at it till I can rip it up. My garage is getting a little full of toys …
SHM: In Heelside we see a lot of different types of skateboarding articles, what does HS try to share with the skateboard community?
Yeah we really try to cover all bases, we are predominately a longboarding magazine, but there’s so much going on out there, and it’s probably to do with the fact that I like to ride everything, but I hope that our reader can always learn something as well get stoked to get out and go shredding.
SHM: What happened at the very end of the last night at Mt. Keira this year?
Apparently it won the party? Yeah some lunatic climbed up on a stack of chairs in the scout hall and tucked the roof beams drunk as a monkey 35 foot up! (-: Dunno :-)
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