German skateboarder Vladik Scholz is always up for new challenges.
The intrepid sidewalk surfer teamed up with master craftsman Andreas Schutzenberger to roll out a pioneering indoor skatepark project.
The duo developed a hydraulic tilting Munich labyrinth known as "The Maze."
Scholz, a 32-year-old Cologne native, is known in the skate scene for his stylish skating. In 2019, he and extreme sports photographer Lorenz Holder won the Red Bull Illume photo competition in the "Playground" category.
But this is a different game. Literally.
Schutzenberger's 40-tonne, 21 square-meter creation is based on the famous childhood marble game. "The Mae" is suspended three meters in the air on hydraulic jacks.
As a result, busting tricks on an undulating skate spot, let alone rolling around on it, takes more than nerve - it takes instinctive, reflexive balance to master changing slopes.
Testing The Maze
Scholz enlisted Portugal's Gustavo Ribeiro, compatriot Jost Arens, and Latvia's very own Madars Apse to travel over and check out what Schutzenberger and his IOU Ramps company had managed to create.
Ribeiro, 19, experienced a meteoric rise by winning the most renowned amateur competition and is one of the favorites for a gold medal at the inaugural Summer Olympics skateboarding event in Tokyo 2021.
Arens, 23, has been involved in the international skate scene for almost ten years and claimed the 2018 German champion title in the street discipline.
Apse, 31, is from Riga and made a name for himself early on with his creative and powerful skating. He also hosted the documentary series "Skate Tales" in 2019.
The final twist designed into the slanted and enchanted skatepark was a giant chrome ball, released to respond to the demands of gravity and pursue skaters around the labyrinth, full tilt.
Schützenberger, 51, is a carpenter from Passau who founded IOU Ramps in 1997. Since then, he has built more than 7,500 ramps in over 30 countries around the world, including Afghanistan and Mongolia.