We get it. You’re probably more than ready to leave the Shitshow that was 2020 behind. We know we are. While 2019 saw a bunch of fun events like the Jam of Mainhattan, this year’s plans were largely thwarted by the pandemic. Even though there hasn’t been a Jam (or parties of any kind) in 2020 we’re still inviting you, dear readers, to go back to the start of this clusterfuck of year and review what’s been going on at your favorite Jugendzentrum, Bonkers.
The first notable events that went down in 2020 were the releases of two sneakers: the Strangelove Dunk and the Travis Scott Dunk. Two of the most anticipated shoes of recent memory, it’s an understatement to say that both models sold like hotcakes. Notably, both Dunks were released when the Coronavirus was looming at the horizon but hadn’t yet led to a worrying number of cases, at least in Germany. The Strangelove and Travis Scott releases thus marked the last time sneaker enthusiasts would flock in droves to our store. Eventually, large gatherings would be prohibited by health safety regulations in the future which, in turn, prompted us to implement a special raffle protocol for later releases such as the Ben & Jerry’s Dunk. And while most of our regular customers were receptive to the new rules, it sure seemed that they remained impenetrable to the intellectually unburdened.
In May, we started Bonkers Vintage, a landmark service that offers a curated selection of vintage skateboarding goods. Collaborating with our friend Bernie from Mannheim’s Shemonster Vintage, Bonkers Vintage sources apparel from skateboarding’s past, catering to nostalgic skate dads and young folks alike. In the future, select items will be featured on our blog where we’ll dive into the design history of particularly noteworthy pieces. In summary, Bonkers Vintage turned out to be successful: many items quickly found new owners, and a steady influx of vintage apparel keeps the service going. Speaking of which, if you own vintage skateboarding items, don’t hesitate to shoot us a message!
In Fall, after weeks of hard work, we revealed one of our most significant projects to date: our private indoor skatepark, the Bonkers Vereinsheim. Life in Northern Europe comes with its fair share of nasty weather, which is especially true for the Winter months, and lest we unlearn those hard-earned kickflips and axle-stalls, we realized that a shelter from wind, rain, and snow would be in order. The Vereinsheim’s boasts is a mini ramp, a compact street section, a fridge filled with beer, and a boombox that Martin uses to get on everyone’s nerves with his insufferable “taste” in music. Admission to the Vereinsheim for non-affiliates requires dropping in switch from Welle’s tallest steel structure.
On the business side of things, we’ve been investing quite some time adding to (and subtracting from) our brand portfolio. Since we’re aiming at providing you with brands that reflect the diversity of skateboarding culture, we’re happy that 2020 saw the addition of three great companies: Book Works, Carpet Company, and A New York Thing (aNYthing). They’re wildly different brands with distinct aesthetics and unique backgrounds, and they are absolutely worth your money.
Our latest project was created with the help of none other than Mark Gonzales. Bonkers was included in Deluxe Distribution’s Sketchy Skateshop Appreciation Program, a plan that aimed at supporting skate shops with personalized graphics from The Gonz. Not having to be asked twice, we used his sketch to release a range of limited hand-dyed t-shirts inspired by 80’s surf and skate cultures.
Last but not least, we turned 10 this year. That’s right, it’s been 10 years since we set up shop at our attic, and another five since we moved to our brick-and-mortar shop on Klappergasse. Sadly, there was no party this year. But rest assured, we’ll be popping bottles of Jägermeister in 2021 when we’re turning 11 — a Schnapszahl to boot.
So that’s the long and short of it, really. We can’t wait for next year — not only because the COVID situation will hopefully blow over, but also because some spicy things are planned for 2021. Without telling you too much, expect an exciting year for both Bonkers and skateboarding in Frankfurt. But most importantly, we’d like to extend our gratitude to you, our friends, readers, business partners, and customers, for sticking with us in 2020. We’ll catch you on the flip side.