Watch Werner Herzog Get Philosophical About Skateboarding

The director is "not familiar with the scene of skateboarding," but that didn't stop him from sharing his opinions on it

director werner herzog
Director Werner Herzog with the Board of Governors Award at the 34th annual American Society of Cinematographers Awards.
Michael Tullberg/Getty Images

Werner Herzog is a lot of things — brilliant director, delightful curmudgeon, Baby Yoda enthusiast — but skateboarding expert is not one of them. That didn’t stop him from waxing poetic about the deeper meaning of the sport in a new interview with skateboarding site Jenkem.

The director admitted at the outset that he wasn’t exactly sure why he was being interviewed by a skateboarding publication, but he was happy to be along for the ride nonetheless. “I am puzzled because I am not familiar with the scene of skateboarding,” Herzog said in the video interview. “At the same time, I had the feeling that, ‘Yes, that is kind of my people.’”

Herzog seemed impressed with the way skateboarders must become unafraid of failing — a good worldview to have regardless of what field you’re in. “I see [skateboarders] trying to slide on a metal rail. They do it 25 times and fail. The 26th time, they fail. The 30th … it’s good that you accept failure and you don’t give up and finally you land the right jump and you keep sliding and screeching down a handrail,” he said.

 The director was also asked what kind of music he’d use to soundtrack a skateboarding video. His response? “What comes to mind first and foremost would be Russian Orthodox Church choirs,” he said. “Something that creates this kind of strange feeling of space and sexuality so what they are doing is special, bordering the sacred.”

He also managed to squeeze in a dig about David Blaine, whose stunts he has criticized in the past for being desperate ploys for attention. “I know that David Blaine shouldn’t be trusted in this kind of quest,” he explained. “It’s this kind of absurd quest, and they are meant only for his own publicity … Skateboard kids are not out there for the media. They do it for the joy of it and for the fun of it.”

You can watch Werner Herzog’s full interview about skateboarding below.

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