Cedric is an absolute don. He started skating before your parents first kissed and is still so stoked. He shares his decades of experience with us on this ride through memory lane.
Hei Cedric, how are you doing?
I’m pretty good, hard days at work. Haven’t been skating for some time as my knee is f**ked.
How did you hurt your knee?
Stupid fall at the TMI Beito race, board went one way, I went the other! This was back in August. Skated a couple of races after that and now I’m paying the price. Just had an MRI scan. Torn PCL, not good.
Looking forward to the weekend?
Yeah, been a hard week at work. It’s dark when I go to work and dark when I drive home. Hate this time of the year. Going to the Indoor skatepark tomorrow. Will try and skate a bit.
How do you keep the stoke up during the dark months?
Watch skate vids, order skate stuff! It get better when the snow comes. Everything is a bit lighter and you can go snowboarding. Hope to do more snowboarding this winter. Fingers crossed, my knee will be okay.
Does the darkness shape the vikings into a different sort of skater?
I think I makes us pretty intense as we only get to skate outside for 6-8 months. Once the road are dry, it’s all on! We have had early spring sessions with ice still on the roads, sketchy.
What’s the sketchiest skate you’ve had?
Hmmm, had a close call at a hill we call KillHill. Steep left hand sweeper. We thought that there was no traffic, but as we came round the bend, about 6 of us, there was a car. Someone at the front threw down a foot and it all got a bit hetic! Missed the car by inches.
Did snowboarding lead to skating?
No, skating came first. My brother brought back a blue plastic skateboard from the UK, back in 77. Snowboarding came around 79 when I met all the other skaters. The story goes like this; I got the plastic skateboard, but didn’t really use it, in 78 the Norwegian government banned skateboarding! I moved to a new place outside Oslo and was mostly interested in disco, Saturday Night Fever, Bee Gees etc and school dances. My father and brother were ska… Anyway, I was sitting on the tram after trip to Oslo and I saw some guys skating a ¼ pipe, I was totally blown away. I ran home, got my skateboard and met the group. My life turned 180 degrees. Out with disco, in with skateboarding, punk and new wave! One of the guys, Anders Wittusen made decks and later snowboards. We had to hike the hill as they would’nt let us on the ski lifts.
Later on I did a lot of snowboarding and got 5th at the European champs halfpipe in 1988. Got picked up by Sims and rode for them a bunch of years. In 89 I won both the Norwegian and Swedish champs.
What direction would your life had gone if you hadn’t met those guys that night?
Oh god! I would have been lost I think. Hard to say, but meeting that group of guys really opened my eyes. Great bunch.
Dude. You rode for Sims!
Yup. Rode for the European Pro team. Vision owned Sims back then so we got tonnes of Vision street wear. Looking back, we looked probably like a bunch of idiots, but man we were cool! Good times.
That must have shaped you into quite a rebel!
Looking back, it was a strange situation. Chased by cops for skating? WTF? Made me not like the authorities or the police. Some cops were cool and left us alone, others took pride in being a**holes.
What did the law have against skateboarding?
They said it was dangerous! Saw the statistics from the US and UK. In reality it was about young government officials trying to climb the career ladder.
Did skating start as something you did in the absence of snow?
To begin with, snowboarding was a substitute for skateboarding. After a while my focus was on snowboarding. However we did go to Sweden for some skate contests. I go 3rd once in a Swedish street cup event.
What led you to being picked by Sims?
We went to the Euro champs in Avoriaz in 88. Being a skater, I rode the pipe like a skater, qualified 1st and ended 5th. The other Sims riders told Sims to pick me up.
What was your speciality?
Halfpipe and partying!
Who else was skating in Norway then?
A tight-knit group of skaters, mainly vert ramp. Have to mention Jason D’ancona, Thomas Ørbech, Lars Petter Lunder, Anders Wittusen. Stig “Ludde” Ludvigsen (R.I.P), Jørn Torjussen, Rune Askim and Andreas Grøtterud, who is my brother in law!
Do any of them still ride?
Not many, unfortunately Jason got MS and is in a wheelchair. Some of them skate a bit. It’s really only me from the old crew who is still at it. I got Rune into downhill about 2 years ago. Now he’s the oldest rider competing.
What has kept you in the game?
Maybe because I had to fight for the right to skate. I helped organize the change in the law. Skating is a special thing. It’s not easy, so one gets a lot of satisfaction by pulling off a trick or slide. The flame got re-ignited with downhill and freeriding. Rebel again!
How did you fight against the injustice?
We had an organisation with a lot of members. We wrote the the government department, had meetings with them. We had a big vert ramp just outside Oslo’s biggest park. The local police were positive and put in a good word. We got dispensation to skate as long as it was on a ramp. More and more people became members of our club to be able to import skate stuff. In the end they had to legalize it!
Next step – legalise marijuana?
What was the soundtrack to your 80’s?
Early 80’s, DEVO was definitely the skate band to listen to. Still listen to them today. A lot of punk like Stiff Little Fingers, Crass, Dead Kennedys. I was also into New Wave. Got hooked on Gary Numan and have been ever since.
Did you ever get to compete outside Europe?
I did a snowboard World Cup in Breckenridge, Colorado.
What was the highlight of those early skateboarding years?
Definitely the vert ramp in Oslo, we were such a tight group. Skated nearly every day and partied hard in the weekend. We would sleep under the ramp some weekends after a night out in the town. Skated away the hangover.
’83, going to Rattvik in Sweden for the Eurocana summer camp. The coaches were Mike McGill and Stevie Caballero. We went on from Sweden by Interrail to the UK and skated around London, (Crystal Palace, Rom and Harrow). We also went up to Scotland for the then newly built Livingston skatepark. Pitched our tents right by the park. The locals were really cool and bought us food and offered accommodation to the group of crazy European skateboarders who had travelled to their town!
Did the same trip again in 84. By then BMX had become popular. A bit like today situation with kids on scooters… haha. BMX is cool, but back then would couldn’t skate at the park as there were bikes everywhere.
I also went to Cali in ’86. 2 Skateboards, a backpack and a plane ticket. The only addresses I had was for Upland Pipeline skatepark and Del-Mar Skate Ranch. The only 2 skate parks open in the late 80’s. I went to Upland, padded up and went straight to the famous Square-round pool. The thing was gnarly, the square pool had about 4 feet of vert! I met the locals and stayed with them for a month. Got to skate backyard pools and ramps with Salba, Chris Miller, Kasai etc. Good times. Unfortunately this is one of my regrets in life, I didn’t stay in touch with the locals who had been so kind to me. If any of you read this, SORRY.
What would be different if you stayed in touch?
No much different, but would be nice to get in touch agian.
What else do you have in your collection?
I have one of the first Santa Cruz snowboards made, the one with the strange shaped nose/tail. Don’t have much old skate stuff, sold most along the way. I’ve got a Santa Cruz Bod Boyle pro model vert board and couple of Tracker Sixtrack magnesium trucks.
When skateboarding died in America, did it live on in Norway?
When skating died in the early 80’s it didn’t affect us here in Norway as skating was illegal and very small. However when skating died, it really died in Europe. Everyone knew everyone regardless if one was from Sweden, UK, Germany etc. Went to a skatepark in London and we would be 5 skaters and 100 BMXers.
Where are you from?
I’m from the UK. I moved to Norway from the UK in 1975. Still have my British passport, but I’m going to become a real Norwegian soon. I was born in Barnstable and moved around. My father was in the Royal Air Force. That’s how we ended up in Norway. Liked it so much, we stayed. I have no ties to the old empire apart from drinking tea.
Wing Commander. He flew fighter jets.
So going fast is in your blood!
I suppose so. My Mother was from Østersund in Sweden and was a good slalom/downhill skier so I’ve probably got something in my blood. My Father took up Skydiving and so did my 2 elder brothers.
When skating died, how did you keep the punk in you alive?
Well since skateboarding was illegal in Norway, it didn’t affect us too much any way. The was a “down” period, but one of the guys went to California and came back the 3rd issue of Thrasher Magazine. Got so stoked, skateboarding was picking up again. That one magazine re-ignited the skate scene again.
How important are magazines to skateboarding?
Back then they were the holy bible. No internet, kids! They were inspiration. New tricks were learnt from the photos! Kids have it so good today and that’s why the level is so high. One can just watch a vid and see how stuff is done.
What was the highlight of your competitive years?
Winning the Swedish Champs. I went up to Åre by train, the only Norwegian. It was April and the snow was wet and slow. Most of the riders we trying technical tricks and losing speed. I just went as high and fast as I could, big airs… and won!
What are some other memorable results?
Snowboard, Giant Slalom, Oppdal, 1986, 11th place
Vert, Euro Champs in Sweden 1984, got second to last place!
Downhill skateboard: Scandinavian Champs Fallkøping, Sweden 2009 Didn’t actually race, slammed and broke my collarbone in 3 places on the 5th freeride! Sat with the corner marshals the rest of the weekend eating painkillers and drinking beer! Got home and had a plate and 8 screws inserted. Thanks to Andreas Johnsen and his brother for taking care of me. I think Sanne or Fredrik Lindstrøm won. This was my first encounter with the Norwegian/Swedish DH / Longboard scene. A great group of people, It was like turning back the clock starting downhill.
What led you to start riding big skateboards?
You mean so called longboards? Well, I’ve always been interested in downhill skateboarding. I remember looking at Skateboarder Magazine from 76 and on. A lot of focus back then on downhill. First it was Signal Hill and skate cars, later it was John Hutson and Roger Hickey that sparked my interest. The whole racing thing with being aero, drafting and tucks. I made a board back in 1983, but only used it a couple of times. Took it to about 50km/h. With no one to ride with, it got put on the back burner.
Through the years, I watched some of the X-game stuff with Biker Sherlock (got to meet him at Maryhill last year, nice guy!) Still thought it was really cool.
About 10 years ago I took up Road Racing on with a Honda RS125 GP race bike. I raced for about 6 years, doing the Norwegian and Swedish Championships. Great fun as the bike only weighs 75 Kg, but puts out nearly 50 Hp, top speed of 210 Km/h. I was going to have a years break and come back with a newer and better bike. However, I started searching the internet for downhill equipment and what’s going on. I found Martin Siegrist’s web page and sent him an email. A short while later I has a board, Magun trucks and Flywheels. I had leathers and helmet from before.
I went to a local hill and worked my way up and learnt to foot brake. First day I did about 40 Km/h all leathered up Haha. I was so stoked. Every opportunity I had I went to the hill and walked up a bit farther every run. Even went 5am before work to get my fix! One morning, I finally took it from the top and hit 70. The following weekend I hooked up with another rider called Lars Landmark and we hit a hill called Skyggen (The Shadow). This is a really steep fast road that we heard some hardcore riders raced (TB, Fredric Jacobsen, Sanne etc). Lars who was more experienced than me said. “Lets take it from the top” I was nearly pissing my self! Here I was, 42 years old at the top of 1.2 Km long 7% hill with a skateboard! What had I gotten myself in to?
We rode down in a semi tuck and it wasn’t too bad. Up again and managed to tuck all the way down. Over the moon when the GPS said 79.5 Km/h!
In about two weeks I’d gone from zero to hero… or so I thought. I hadn’t actually learnt to go round corners! Went to Falkøping for my first race and HAD to footbrake and corner. Again I was pissing myself with nervousness. Funny enough it came naturally to grab the rail and put my hand down. Even drifted a bit. Whoohoo. Unfortunately, as I mentioned earlier, I had to stop due to a red flag. I lost control footbraking and went down hard and broke my collar bone in 3 places. My wife was not pleased!
What was downhill like in the late 70’s?
Late 70 I think it was more timed runs. Straight roads. I think the new Signal Hill film will show what it was like. Early 80’s, head to head became the norm, but just two riders. A lot of emphasis on aerodynamics and drafting. Lycra suits, duck-tails and shoe lace covers!
After your first race, what was next?
Had about a 6 week break from skating, naturally! Ordered some real slide glove and Bigzigs from Jørgen at KOTH I even got an Aerolid! This time I went out to hills with corners and worked hard on improving my riding. Helped with the Bigzigs as they were grippier. Heard of the a race that was going to be held at Tryvann, a bit farther up the hill from the famous Holmenkollen skijump. I would go there some mornings before work to practice. When the race came, I was nervous, but not a bad as before. Had a blast, we got 10 freeride runs before the timed run. I got 11th just behind Fredric Jacobsen. Extremly happy. Mikael ”Kula” Jensen was fastest. Think I got knocked out of race in the 3 round. It was a great day and I made a bunch of new friends. 2 weeks later, I went to the Eastbourne race in the UK. This was an IGSA World Cup. The road was not steep or long and had a start ramp to get some speed along the first straight. Apart from the road not being good, it was a very well organized race.
Are the friends the most important thing about this journey?
YES! Friends mean everything.
Who has been the most influencial skater to you?
No single person, but would have to say Jason D’ancona for taking me under his wing when I was just a kid. He was a great vert skater back in the day here in Norway.
The greats: Steve Caballero for style and Mike McGill for thinking outside the box and inventing the McTwist
DH: has to be John Hutson and Roger Hickey for the early days.
Today, so many riders who I look up to, everyone I skate with pretty much.
Is there a lot of competition between Norway and Sweden?
Everyone wants to do well but it’s all done with a good vibe. We really have a good relationship with Sweden. We help them at races and they help ut. Thanks Kristina and Albin! I think racing wise, they are a bit ahead as they haves a solid history with Erik Lundberg, Fredrik Lindstrøm and now Adam Persson. In freeriding, I think that there are more Norwegians who rip. We have more gnarly terrain. I, however, suck at freeriding.
What don’t you suck at?
Hmm, I’m pretty good a footbraking! I also enjoy slalom, but don’t practice enough. Slalom is so addictive. Had some great sessions with Alph Marius and TB. Got to get myself entered to some slalom competitions this coming summer.
You mentioned earlier that you got some of your first gear from KOTH. How would your skate journey have been different without that shop?
I don’t really think my skate journey would have been different, but KOTH was very instrumental in bringing up the longboard scene in Norway. Jørgen is a great guy. Great sense of humour. Too bad he’s not running his shop anymore.
Are there any new shops in Oslo?
Boardranch, one of my sponsors are starting a shop. The have up until now been a webshop. There are a couple of shops who sell longboards, but nothing serious.
Who are your other sponsors?
Sector 9 Norway, Vans, 2XU Compression clothing and Footprint Insoles. Thanks for the stuff!
When did the DH community in Norway start?
The early longboard/dh community started some years before I started. Guys like Alex Lyngaas, Morten Bechstrøm, TB, Fredric Jacobsen etc (I think!) It really picked up around 2008 when Jørgen Stokke Halvorsen relaunched asfaltsurfer.com (offline now) It had a forum that gathered a lot of riders for sessions and a place to discuss riding technique and equipment etc. It really spurred the growth of downhill here. It’s also where we started to discuss organizing ourselves and the start of NDSF (The Norwegian downhill skateboard association).
Why did Norway need the NDSF?
In the beginning there were a few races, but often the brackets were put togther randomly and there would no results afterwards. Safety was sometimes overlooked.
The idea was to have a Norwegian cup with a simple set of rules. Collect the results and post them as quickly as possible. Having the NDSF has made it easier to get permission to close roads for races. Also the safety aspect even though not everyone agrees on mandatory leathers and fullface for racing.
Who was involved in it’s formation?
Adam Sagedahl did the main work on setting up the organization. The other were Alex Lyngaas, Morten Bechstrøm, Torbjørn TB Sunde and Ali Nas. I gave a lot of input as I had been on the board of directors when we set up the Norwegian Snowboard Association back in 87.
Today, the board comprises of Torbjørn “TB” Sunde, Ali Nas, Kari Havnevik, Trygve Jøundland and Fridtjof “Fiffen” Skei.
I believe that the NDSF and starting the Norwegian cup helped to grow the sport in a positive way. Not only do we have a downhill cup, there is also a freeride cup with lots of small independent races, slide jams and boarder cross. Thanks to Morten Forsberg for setting this up. The cup is called ”Divine Freeride cup”. The rider with the most points at the end of the season is presented with at large trophy at the Longboards Awards event. Same for the NDSF Downhill Cup.
The hardest thing is getting people to put up proper downhill races. It is a lot of work and fairly costly. Especially making the road safe.
Luckily, thanks to Sam Priestley and TMI, things are looking brighter, with a couple of quality races for 2014. Also the group at Volda who have been running the XBoard the last 5 years.
Would like to see the guys from the west coast put on a real dh race. They are a bunch of great guys, just need to step it up! Sammy Hasselberg did an outlaw this spring so hopefully they will get something run in the near future.
Is it true the west has the best hills?
They have a lot of great hills, but to me a hill that’s fun can be anywhere.
How has your role in NDSF evolved over the years?
Well, I’m the chairman now and have been the past 3 years. I do quite a lot of the results, ranking, membership and web pages. Things are a bit slow at the moment. I have a lot going on at work, but hopefully I should have more time and energy soon.
Should every country have their “NDSF”?
Sure, and it looks like most countries have some sort of organisation. If you want some sort of race series that is good for the riders, I think you need a bit organisation and planning. Of course, skating isn’t about rules and regs, but if you are inviting skaters to a race you have set something up. The good thing with having an organisation is getting road permits etc.
How ever someone sets up a race, I think that some important things are 1) Lots of runs. 2) Try and stick to a realistic time table. 3) Clear information to the riders.
I enjoy both types of races, both the well organised and the laid back anything can happen race. Alex Lyngaas and Jørgen “KoTH” Egeland put up a fun race at Tryvann(Holmenkollen, Oslo) pretty much every year. The last one was random heats, slalom thru tires, launch ramp, wall of death (a wall of haybales with small openings) alternative routes, a double low tunnel, and chicane all done a fairly high speed with up to 6 riders. Very sketchy, but a lot of fun!
What’s been your most successful result in the Norwegian Cup?
No great results, but I felt is was riding really good at Voss this year. Got 24th out of 88 riders. Got to beat my friend Roar which is a victory in itself!
When are NDSF and Longboard Sweden going to have a stoke baby together?
Well, that is something I should be working on! Hopefully this summer we can take 2 comps in Norway and 2 in Sweden and have these as a “Nordic Cup” Maybe we can get Finnland and Denmark to join in 2015. Saw that the Danes had a small outlaw race last autumn.
Would be awesome to have a Viking cup, and Viking helmets for the knug and queen.
That would be pretty cool!
What does the future hold for Norwegian skaters/skating?
Still some growth to be seen in longboarding, but I don’t think it will be hugely big. The ones who carry longboards as a fashion statement will go away.
Regular skating needs more kids getting in to it. Skateboadring is loosing at at the moment to scooters amongst the youngest kids. However, more skateparks are being built, but we are way behind Sweden. Oslo still doesn’t have an proper goverment funded skatepark. However, lots of small parks are popping up around the country.
Who do you mostly skate with?
I skate mostly with guys from Drammen, south of Oslo not far from where I live. We have 2 groups, DDC (Drammen Downhill Crew) and UggaBugga, but we are one gang hitting roads and races together. The Ugga guys are mad! Especially Roar Fønseth and Morten Esperseter. Also in the gang is Marius T. Jørgensen who is also organising small, but really fun races. We also have Capar Grette who won the Norwegian Champs this year. Lasse Morin a talkative car sales rep for BMW, and of course Mikael “Kula” Jensen. There are a couple of others like Erik Buene and Rune Askim. Rune has found some pretty rad roads about an 1 hour south of Oslo.
Had to mention these guys because they said they would break my legs if I didn’t! Haha.
We often hook up with Sondre Selander and Nico Crozier who live a bit further south. These 2 are the most down to earth guys, but skate so hard!
Have to mention Steffen Eliassen as well, a grumpy old-fart who rides pretty hard!
Have you raced outside Europe?
Went to Maryhill in 2009 and 2012.
Went to Canada in 2012 for the IGSA World champs. Went with Sondre Selander. Got 4th in the Masters. Didn’t go well in the Open class. Too much standing around.
What led to that 2009 trip?
Well, saw on the internet that Maryhill was a pretty rad course so I wanted to go. I found out that my cousin who I hadn’t seen in many years lived in Hood River, just an hours drive from Maryhill. So I took the wife and kids for a two week holiday to the US. I got to race Maryhill!
Were you the first gangster to hit Maryhill?
Yes, I think I was the first from Norway.
What’s the track like?
It’s long and fun! It’s not fast (unless a tailwind) but it’s hard to ride it fast! You need a lot of leg strength though. Maryhill is so much fun and so much drafting, 10 riders in a pack run, so much going on! Hope to make it again this summer. The organization is outstanding. John Ozman puts on a fantastic event. You get more runs than your legs can handle!
Did you realise the World Champs in 2012 would kill the IGSA?
I think a lot of people were a pissed off. Not much fun spending a lot of money to get there and having to stand around at the top for many hours without food and water. The most frustrating thing was that there were no real reasons for the delays. I think that it was the beginning of the end for IGSA. However, I think we all should thank Marcus for what he has done downhill through the years.
How were the last couple of seasons for you?
2012 was good, lots of freeride sessions and comps despite the weather. Got to do Mayhill and Calgary. Hit 90 Km/h and learnt toe-side predrifts… sort of.
2013 was also good, and felt I was riding pretty good. Had lots of fun at all the races. Hard to say what was the best race, but I think the small Boarder X race Marius Jørgensen set up was probably the most intense skate days I’ve had in years. Fun course and did so many runs.
What are you looking forward to this year?
Learning to slide better. Getting my daughter Shannon and son Allen skating more. Might be going to Maryhill again. Riding with friends, competing and having a good laugh. Also will be doing some more slalom and set up a race or two here in Norway.
Mainly looking forwards to meeting up with all the riders and having a blast on the hill.
What are you riding these days?
For downhill and freeride, I’ve just put together a Sector 9 Mini Daisy with cast Ronins that I cut down myself to 160mm. For wheels, Sector9 race forms or RAD advantage.
I also ride a Sector 9 mini Shaka with Indeez and 80a raceforms.
Slalom I use a a Pavel “Pappas” with GOG trucks
Ramp/Pool a 8.5” deck with rails, Tracker trucks and Rainskates wheels
What do you do when you’re not skating?
Usually family stuff. I have a wife and 2 kids, so a lot of time goes there. I like being in the garage fixing my Honda XR628R offroad motorcycle. I spend too much time on the computer.
Do your kids skate?
Yes, my son Allen (age 8) skates a bit with me at the indoor park. Shannon who is 16 is doing a bit of longboarding and getting into downhill.
Is skating still fun after doing it for over 30 years?
Yes! It’s the challenge and the satisfaction of landing a trick. Really enjoying the downhill/freeride side of things these past couple of years.
Are there many “masters category” riders in Norway?
No, we are only a couple of riders over 40 doing downhill. There are quitel a lot of ramp/pool skaters over 40 though.
Kula said to ask about some skiiers who talked thrash one day!
Haha, well I was a snowboard instructor at a snowboard camp in Val Senalas (Italy) one autum. On the same glacier that all the national x-country team go to train. To get up to the glacier one has to take a cable car. The car was filled up the snowboarders and the Norwegian national team. A couple of the skiiers were talking trash in Norwegian about snowboarders thinking no one understood what they were talking about. We got to the top and they started to ski down. I raced down past them waving and saying “have a nice day” in Norwegian. In the afternoon I met the same guys in the cable-car going down and they were all like “You from Norway?”, “snowboarding is pretty cool” bla bla bla, back peddling like mad!
Not really, the toughest part is not being fearless like the young kids! I really don’t feel “old” when bombing hills with the younger guys as they treat me as equal which is really nice. Skateboarding IS special that way, the common bond is skating, not age.
Definitely. So many people grow up and quit doing things the like because they have so called “grown up”. As for getting more moms and dads into skating, that is a good thing. It’s never too late to start
Pick 3 numbers!
7, 34 & 66
7 – What is your favourite meal?
Home made shepherds pie.
34 – What’s the weirdest thing you ever put in your mouth?
I ate a daddy long legs once at a party.
Papa Ced. Thank you so much for all your time. Very happy to get to talk to you after 2 years of hearing about your legend. Keep up the good work with the NDSF, hopefully catch you somewhere sometime!
Thanks for this, been fun even though its taken some time!
Any last words?
Thanks to everyone I’ve met so far on this amazing downhill trip, see you on the hill!
Also thanks to my sponsors and my family