Denny Pham – “SPÄTI” Part

Expect tech fireworks and well-selected stair maneuvers as Denny Pham delivers what could be his best part to date. As long-time friends of Denny, we are even more stoked to publish his new video offering. “SPÄTI”, some might think of the infamous Berlin convenience stores which are open all night, but this one comes from the German “spät” (late in English) because this part was supposed to be out for quite some time. Better late, than never! Enjoy.

Edited by Dan Schulz
Filmed by Dennis Ludwig, Alex Kissinger,
Jake Leger, Jais Hansen, Julius Krappe,
Moritz Überall, David Stoessel & Dan Schulz
16mm by Gerrit Piechowski
Photography by Henrik Biemer, Dennis Scholz,
Bailey Schreiner & Marcel Veldman

We sat down with Denny to talk about his new part, the future and the past.

Portrait by Marcel Veldman

Denny, what’s going on right now?
I am in NYC, Brooklyn right now, and Julian Lopez is capturing some footy while I try my best to answer your questions. The train passes about 6 meters close to us at 5-minute intervals; noisy would be an understatement, but I guess it’s a vibe for 2 weeks. It’s actually my first time (during summer) here, so everything is pretty exciting, good times only, you could say! The city has definitely got me. I will definitely spend more time here next year. But for now, I want to work on this little project that Julian and I started a few months ago. It’s been pretty fun filming together, even though there was way too much rain in Germany lately.

Already on to the next one, but how long were you filming for this part?
About 2 years.

Why “SPÄTI”? Any connection to the infamous Berlin convenience stores?
Well, the part should have been released a while ago. That is why the part is called “SPÄTI,” because “spät” means “late” in German. Getting the part out was a bit bumpy at the beginning. Anyway, I decided to publish the part with my beloved friends from Pocket Mag, and I could not be happier about this move; it means a lot to me. Really, I am just stoked about the mag and what the people behind it have done in the past few years. Witnessing what your friends are doing is pretty cool! Dropping this part with you guys feels a bit like coming home again.

Switch Backtail by Dennis Scholz

How do you know when a part is done?
For me, a part is finished when it is generally harmonious. That’s the feeling Dan and I had with this part. Of course, you always have the feeling that you could have done more. But sometimes you can just leave things as they are. At a certain point, it is quite difficult to expand your trick repertoire. I don’t think that should always be necessary. But personally, I’m always happy when about 30% of the previous part is different in some kind of way. At the same time, it is quite enjoyable to see the signature move of someone for decades. So repeating isn’t a bad thing either, just gotta mix it up somehow, I guess.

What changed for you in the last years?
In general, not too much has changed, except for one or two things. I mean, a lot has changed for all of us due to the pandemic. Fortunately, I managed quite well during this time, for which I feel very grateful and privileged. For a lot of people, this time was tough as nails, and it definitely has left its mark. Sponsor-wise, I recently parted ways with Skate Deluxe. It was not an easy decision after such a long time, but I felt ready for something new. It just didn’t make sense for me in the end anymore, and that’s fine. As for footwear, I have no exclusive commitment at the moment.

How did that impact your skating?
Through the whole pandemic circus and the restrictions that came with it, you learn to appreciate the things that seemed almost normal before, like skateboarding. Between 2020 and 2023, I felt maybe even more motivated than before. Because of all the circumstances, you just pay more attention and respect to things. Our Berlin team has also grown together in new ways with the people who have moved to Berlin during this time. That also helped to create a good energy. So in a physical way, it was pretty good, also in a mental way, I would say, to get ideas of what I want to do and stuff. At least that’s what it feels like to me when I reflect on the last couple of years.

Nollie Heel Front Nose by Bailey Schreiner

Berlin has so many spots and a big skate scene. But often, I hear people say it is harder to get clips at home. What’s your take on this?
I mean, I get that. Being in the same comfort zone for too long can be tiring in a way. Actually, this stuff always came in waves for me. At some points, I felt exactly like you said. It was harder to get stuff done in Berlin since a lot of places felt played out already. But then sometimes you get sparked again by the energy of some homies, the next summer, or just skateboarding simply. Traveling and skating different spots help me find new perspectives or motivation to skate stuff around Berlin.
Personally, I think in most places, it’s hard to get clips. Berlin might be even still kinda grateful when it comes to kick out and stuff. Mostly the long winter season is what makes it hard to stay in shape and move around agilely.
Nevertheless, if you love treating spots with a rub brick and bondo material, this city will maybe be your best friend. I still feel like skating one or two unfixed spots.

How does skating feel compared to 2006 skating Rostock’s infamous skate park?
Well, I loved skating around this era because everything felt new in a way. Learning new tricks kinda happened on a daily basis, and the fact that there was no social media made a lot of things more exciting in a sense. When we went out to film, everything seemed less predictable or played out, as there weren’t as many tricks that had already been done at spots. Nowadays, you gotta come up with a concept part to be recognized for more than one day, lol. But I’m cool with it. It’s mostly fun, I think, when things are changing a bit before they will be repeated again by gen Z. Also, back then I would not really get tired of skating. I could keep going for days and hours without really taking a break or feeling mentally drained from it. Nowadays, I still feel in good shape but definitely have to treat myself right. Recovery time, little workouts, and proper meals seem to be key to keep it going. But yeah, I guess that is pretty normal if you wanna keep going and prevent energy lacks or injuries. Stepping on a skateboard with a rusty body is kind of the worst feeling. So all in all, it still feels really wonderful to be in the streets. I do value this time a lot because it won’t last forever.

Do people these days hit you up about your “sponsor me” tape from 2006? It has 150k views…
Actually, some people really did that over the years. People still write me from time to time that they got inspired by it to start skating and stuff. That’s always heartwarming; I appreciate every message or word.

Bs 180 Fakie Nosegrind by Dennis Scholz

Did the tape indeed get you sponsored?
I did get sponsored the day after it dropped! That was an unreal feeling when I got a call from Adio / Planet Earth back then. They got me a flow deal, and I was the happiest person in Rostock, haha. Major shoutout to Yannick Schall at this point who uploaded the tape on his YT. Besides me, he is mainly responsible for making it work out. I guess I needed that little push…we all need it sometimes…

How do you look after your body?
I try to go to physical therapy twice a week when I am in Berlin. There is the Olympic base where I have access to TF, etc. So when I do well, I manage to train there twice a week; unfortunately, that is not always possible, as I am pretty active traveling at the moment. But a few exercises and stretching at home are doing it too. Just strengthening the body in general is important. Skating 20 years straight for nearly every day can’t last without compensation. This is how I see it.

Where did you travel to while filming this part?
Barcelona, Athens, LA, Florida. Most of the stuff was filmed in my hometown Berlin.

Nollie Crooks by Henrik Biemer

I always love to ask about video parts: which trick took the longest and which trick was the quickest to get?
That Nollie Heel Flip over a sidewalk to the street at Berlin’s “Museum Insel” Spot came first try. It’s not that short, that’s why I was hyped I got a proper pop right away. Also, it’s that type of spot where you won’t get as many tries because of very fast-acting security.
The longest battle was hands down the last trick. Maybe around 7 times I went back to this spot in a time span of a few years. At all times, it felt like I could land it at any second, but dear god would give me all kinds of landing scenarios but no regular roll away. At one point, trying this trick just felt like a bad joke. I could not be mad about it or something; I was literally just waiting for a lucky moment. Finally, the day has come. After a classic Dani Lebron/Parallel session, Ludi and I spontaneously went back to the infamous spot – 10 minutes later we got the trick with zero stress level. What an odyssey for 4 seconds of footage. The happy end was worth it, though, haha.

Wow, let’s leave it at that. Enjoy Denny’s new part, everyone!