Hey Ali, where are you from?
Hey man, I’m from Iraq, but I live in Norway.
Where did you start skating?
I started in Oslo. Late 2008. I started cruising around, to work and to school. In may 2009 a friend of mine, Fridtjof Schei told me about a local race in Oslo, so I bought a helmet and made some gloves.
With no prior downhill experience?
Not at all. I went to that race. Wrapped up my trousers up to my knees as knee pads. Didn’t know how to slide either, and it was almost impossible to footbrake that track, so I learned how to slide at that race.
Did you die?
Lol no I didn’t, it was a 40km/h race but very technical, with three super tricky corners. Earned my first real road rash there.
What’s it like skating in Oslo?
It’s okay, we’ve got a few downhill spots, but mostly freeride/slide spots. I prefer to go to Drammen or other places in Norway to skate.
What is the Ace Crew?
It’s the first Skate Crew in Norway. It all started in a parking lot session when it was -15 degrees outside and 3 months before snow-melting-time. Me and my friends wanted to travel together and do crazy stuff together, so we started the Ace Crew. A few weeks later there were 2 other crews in Oslo
Who started it?
It was me, Audun Guneriussen and Adrian Jancey, we thought about a name for the crew, and our names started with the letter A, so it became The Ace Crew. Later our good friend Håkon Wegge joined the crew.
What’s your gang sign?
We’re aces you know, so we’re like spades, diamonds, clubs and hearts, we don’t actually know who is who. But our gang sign is the letter A with our fingers in a swag way.
Are the boards you made any good?
Not really, I bought an Evo and a Dervish (like everyone else in the world did) one week after Ekstremsportveko. After that I’ve been changing boards regularly until I got the opportunity to tell someone what I wanted my board to be like.
How did you do in the races?
Veko was my first real DH race, I had never skated faster than 40km/h before Ekstremsportveko, so doing 60 and real hairpins was crazy for me. I was stoked as hell, and at that moment I knew what I wanted to do with my life.
Actually I didn’t know that the world cup existed until I read Robin Sandberg’s thread on a skate forum. He planned to go to Kozakov, but 2 days before the race he didn’t have anyone to share the gas bill with. I said yes and went to Czech Republic with him. I didn’t know what to expect then. Kozakov was awesome and I qualified, but crashed in the first heat.
What do you want to do with your life?
Whatever man. As long as I can skate or do things that has something to do with skating. I’ve been a board member at the Norwegian Downhill Skateboard Association (NDSF) since the beginning in 2009, and a few months ago I started my own skateshop called Board Ranch.
What is the NDSF?
It’s like IGSA, but Norwegian. Adam Sagedahl and Cedric Cornell started it with me and 4 other rad skaters. We help organize and support races in Norway
What is your role in NDSF?
I’m the head of economics, but I do much more. But Cedric does most of the work actually, WE LOVE YOU CEDRIC!
Tell me what secret shit you’re planning!
Haha, I’m not good at keeping secrets. There will be no Norwegian nationals at Grefsen this year, as fas as I know. Not in Lillehammer either (a city 2,5 hours from Oslo) the last one is actually a secret, because if the organizers get the road re-paved it will be a hell of a party.
Why did you guys set it up?
We saw the development in other countries and thought that picking up names from a hat then put them in heats did not push the sport forward. So we basically copied the IGSA and made our own rule book, which is almost the same as the original from IGSA. We pulled together a Norwegian Cup and organized the Norwegian nationals in 2010 and 2011.
Congrats on Board Ranch, how is it going?
Thanks man. It’s going well actually, I didn’t expect that much support, so if you’re reading this: a huge thanks for the support!
What led you to start it?
It’s a really long story. It started with a wet dream of having my own track with a ski lift. A ranch at the bottom of the hill, at least 50 beds for skaters and everything I needed. And on top of this, turn it into a snowboard park in winter time. In that farm I dreamt of having my own board shop. I really wanted this to happen, so I talked to some investors that liked the idea but the auditors didn’t like it at all, so I started a web shop instead with almost zero money and a lot of help from some distributors and the most genius webmaster Andre Sjøberg.
What kind of stuff does the ACE crew get up to?
Robbing banks and liquor stores and off course skating. Mostly freeride and sometimes downhill. Audun and Håkon won the world jr championships in Almabtrieb 2010. I placed 12th. Adrian also did well. We participate in almost every race in Norway and Sweden. That’s what we do.
You’re a gang of underage gangsters?
Not underaged anymore but still gangsters. Time goes on, Håkon is 19, Audun is 20, I am 21 and Adrian is 24 and married.
What’s your relationship like with other crews in Norway?
Ace Crew and ØFFL are in love, we skate together a lot. But we also skate with all the other crew’s. There is no hate!
Where’s your favourite place to skate?
What’s so good about it?
Well… it really smells shitty in the beginning of the summer because of all the farmers. But the hills over there are awesome. 30 minutes drive north and you’ve got Vik, a 13km long road with speeds up to 100km/h. Or you can skate the other side which is a little bit slower but more technical. Or we can go to the unmerciful Stalheimskleiva which is one way downhill road that is 18% steep with 14 hairpins. Maaan I could write essay about the hills over there but if any readers plan to go to Voss, go to Bavallen first. Its Steezy!
Did you race Voss this year?
Not really, I injured my foot 2 days before the time trials. I couldn’t kick or foot brake, so roll start in the time trials meant I was not that fast. I finished 7 seconds behind Adam Persson who was the fastest. I tried to race, but it was too painful to kick behind Torbjørn Sunde, so I carved the last 200 meters to give my place in the next heat away.
How was last season for you?
Last season was awesome! I won the Divine Freeride Cup, placed 1st. in a slide jam, 2nd in another slide jam, 2nd in Voss and 2nd in the Swedish nationals and some other podiums.
What do you ride?
I used to ride a top mount, the DFA, but now I ride the Slipstream Jackal (slightly dropped and super sexy!), Paris trucks and Divine wheels.
What is slipstream?
Its an awesome Scandinavian brand that lets us decide exactly how what we want our board to be like!
Keeping it Viking!
Always keeping it real!
Who makes the boards?
The Slipstream Team draws the DH/Freeride boards, which are then made in Canda and the cruiser board is made in China.
You got all 3 sponsors at the same time?
The guys behind Slipstream also distribute Paris and Divine, so i got all in one!
Who else is on the Slipstream team?
Adrian Jancey, Henning Patricksson, Elias Kvarekvål, Sander Hasselberg, Tord Tvedten, Ming Chan, Marcus Tjernstrøm and John Ingolf.
What are 2XU & Event Production?
2XU is an Australian company that makes compression wear. Event Production is where I work as a magician.
WHOA. Real magic?
Haha yes, for the last 5 years. I do mostly card magic and table hopping for rich ass Norwegian companies that either have a Christmas party, summer party or just want to have some fun.
TB is not the only one?
Haha TB is in the heavyweight class with Mikael “Kula” Jensen. The rest are around 10kg lighter and I am in the super-lightweight class.
How do you keep up?
How many boards do they have in their lineup?
They have 12 boards, but we’re working on other boards, so maybe more next year!
What’s so special about the Jackal?
There are two versions of the Jackal, one drop through and one top-mount. It has a drop down platform that drops almost much as the concave which locks your feet in. And big gas pedals in the front and the back that does not take anything away from the concave. Its symmetrical, so its super awesome for freeriding. Back in summer 2011, I did a few drawings, so we combined all the best from all the drawings and put together to the Jackal.
Do you slipstreamers race together?
Yeah, all the time, but most importantly we have fun together. We travel a lot together.
Have you skated outside Europe?
No, but I really would like to skate somewhere no one has skated before. Me and the Slipstreamers came up with some really crazy plans during the shooting of Traces in Portugal.
What is Traces?
It’s a longboard series where freeriding is the main focus. At the moment only 3 parts are published, but 2 more will be published soon. We will shoot a few other parts later this year and hopefully, we’ll make a DVD out of it.
How did you end up in Portugal?
Not many people think of Portugal when they hear the word “Longboard” or the other way around. We saw some pictures of some hills and thought that we had to do it. And we really would like to skate North Korea, but I don’t know if there are any hills. Google maps doesn’t have anything from over there.
Did you ride with any locals?
That was the plan, but they lived in Lisboa, we stayed 1 hour north of Lisboa, and the locals had to work a lot. We were out surfing waves when they had the time.
Pick 3 numbers between 1-33.
2 – Would you rather have a hook for a hand or a wheel for a foot?
Dudeee thats hard! hmm… I think I’ll go with the wheel!
12 – What’s your least favourite movie?
hmm.. thats many. But the worst is called “8 Legs” (but even worse is Twilight)
22 – Do you have any hidden talents?
Sure man, Many! Sleeping with my eyes open, dislocating my thumb as many times as I want (doing it now) to mention a couple.
Any thank yous?
Thanks to all my good friends, The Ace Crew, Team Slipstream, Board Ranch Team Riders, and the board members of NDSF.