Erik tells us all about skating in Stockholm, his love affair with a young Asian boy and the origins of his bizzare nickname.
Hey Spagnel, how are you doing?
You need to learn how to spell Spangel, but I feel awesome as always.
Where are you from?
I’m from Stockholm, Sweden; the country with four seasons in one day!
What season is it right now?
Started out as late fall this morning, and now it feels like spring!
When did you start skating?
Uuh… I started out with Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 a long time ago. Got my first mini-skateboard at six and had my first longboard six years later. My brother and his friend had a longboard shop and they built their own boards.
What is the shop called?
I think it was called Satoristore. One of the guys is still building boards. They now go by the name of Urskog. I think they made Erik Lundberg’s first board years ago. Not entirely sure, but we all lived in the same area. Me, my brother, Lundberg and Satoristore.
Who is Erik Lundberg?
Swedish downhill skater, World Cup champion, hipster…? I watched him on the Swedish news in 2007, before I started skating, and thought “Wow those guys are cool!”. Who would have known, I would end up skating with him? I even raced him this year. He won though. Nice guy.
What is Urskog?
It’s a Swedish board company, started by Christoffer “Tjoffe” Stivén. They build all their boards with 100 % wood and put no graphics on them. Except for a tiny logotype, the builder’s signature and a number. All of their boards are correctly numbered in building order.
Do you come from a family of skaters?
Not really. My brother only built boards and cruised around with friends and a beer in his hand. He introduced me to THPS2 way before though. So he introduced me to skating without really being part of it himself!0
What was your first board?
A Satoriboard pintail-ish sort of model with Randal R2 baseplates and DH hangers! Oh and Kryptos! It got run over by a car, so I chopped it nicely. Still have it. It’s super skinny, and mega stiff. Got on the Loaded Newsletter after I repainted it.
Who did you ride with back then?
Back then it was only me. I didn’t know you could do more than cruise on a longboard.
When did you realise you could do more?
I was really bored one day, so I started typing in “longboard” on youtube. “Longboard freestyle” came up as a suggestion and I was like “WA-HAAT!?”. It was some Loaded video, still don’t know who the riders were.
What changed after you saw the video?
I got a pair of bicycle gloves wrapped in duct tape for sliding (aw hell yeah) and got my skater friend to mount his minicruiser trucks and wheels to his home-built board. ‘Twas fun times. Immediately began saving up for a complete Loaded Dervish!
When did you finally get it?
In November, 2009, 2 weeks after I broke my arm, super stoked! Together with Paris Adam Colton trucks and Otang Durians! I thought it was super wide at the time. Now I think it’s super skinny. Not like I experienced it in the first place. It’s still a fun board though, too much hate going on around it.
What sort of skating makes you happy?
That’s a tricky question. It’s hard really. I like the kind of riding where I can do what I want. Somewhere I can do bigger standies, slower techsliding, and maybe even some downhill, and where everyone can do their thing at the same time. I can freeride while some other guy shoots down the hill in a speed tuck while I’m on my way up the hill.
Is it easy to do this in Stockholm?
Sometimes. This combination doesn’t add up well with a long hill, as freeriders take a longer time down the hill and bombers don’t like to be interrupted during their run. The riders in Sweden sure have different styles though – you’re rarely on a session where everybody’s doing the same thing.
What do most people in Sweden do?
Complain on the Internet. We have people skating a lot too. Freeriding and downhill are most popular, there are only a few outstanding freestylers and dancers. I think I’m a combination of all.
Who do you skate with there?
Pretty much anyone who’s down. Gustav “Gucci” Lilliecreutz and Max Meurling live closest to me, and I’ve known them the longest, so a lot with them. And my favourite ginger Anton Odenheim!
Do you have a crew?
I’m part of a couple different teams. First we have the Lush Longboards and mrboard.se teams, and TEAM PMS with Per “Pjäx” Christner and Max Meurling, and another called 182 which has like 8 members. Almost forgot, Team Lagerlokal as well! (Team Warehouse).
Why are you in so many gangs?
I don’t know. When you skate much with the same people for a few days, you get really connected and you are like WE SHOULD START A TEAM, and so it begins. We’re not really serious though, PMS has a Facebook page but the other self-created teams are just unofficial and for fun.
What is the purpose of these teams?
To fuck shit up.
Who is mrboard?
Mrboard is a longboard shop in Sweden, and they have been my sponsor since the beginning of this season. Two brothers founded it, and now there are a few friends working for it, not sure how many though. They are fairly new to the scene, so they are not familiar with everything yet.
How come you only ride with groms?
But we’re 18! : (
I ride with the elders as well, just not as often. I think I’m still starstruck from knowing people like Martin Klawitter, why would they skate with lil Spangel? Haha. It’s important to remember that older riders aren’t necessarily better or more fun than grommets.
Are there many ”stars” there?
The star to hill ratio is great here! We have some really great riders you all know about, but also lesser known ones like Martin “Speedoff” Edoff who qualified 7th in Peyragudes!
Also Pjäx representing TEAM PMS got in 4th place in juniors at Kozakov. Not very surprised by it, still super stoked for him though
How does having so many awesome riders inspire you?
It’s great having people to look up to, and learn from. Both ride-wise and wisdom-wise.
Do you like to go fast?
YES! Have you ever had a skater say no to this?
Ooh, I don’t know, about 40kmh? No really, my personal record is 80kmh, or 50mph. I kind of like sticking to around 60kmh though, and not going much faster. At 60, I can play around and ride my trucks really loose, which I love. I think I ride faster with tighter trucks, but it just isn’t as fun. I wanna be able to dance around once I get to the bottom!
What gave you the speed bug?
Not sure. Max and I just went around on our Dervishes with no helmets, bombing narrow bicycle paths and doing superman slides. Then we just found bigger hills and started higher and higher up, going faster and faster. Those were the good old days.
What is your favourite setup?
The one I have right now, Lush Legend and Sabre trucks. I don’t think wheels matter that much, you can get used to pretty much any wheel I think.
When did you first get sponsored?
About a year ago or so, I sent an email to mrboard about something, can’t remember what. Anyway they answered and also said something like “We’re expanding our team for the next season, do you want to be involved?”, and here I am.
How did a little boy like you get hooked up with Lush?
I think Michael Aho created a poll, “Which Swedish longboarder do you think would represent our community best?” or something like that, and I was top voted. Then the Lush people added me on Facebook and started talking to me about it. I think Michael Aho might have been involved, but I am not sure… He’s sneaky.
As a mini grom, which riders did you look up to?
It started out with Erik Lundberg, and then Adam Stokowski when I found longboarding on the internet. I remember seeing a Loaded video with Louis Pilloni, and I went “Who is this guy, where’s Adam and Adam?”
Who do you want to be like when you grow up?
Do you feel any pressure having the same name as the legendary viking?
Haha, no. Nearly no-one calls me Erik anyway, so I don’t even think about it. It was fun in the beginning though.
What do they call you – Ugly?
No, they couldn’t call me the same thing they call you! They call me Spangel, Spacklarn, Spaghetti. I think I’ve heard dancer boy some times.
You’re an exotic dancer?
I’m not very exotic. Excellent dancer though.
Why do they call you Spagnel?
I skated in Spiderman slippers, so I got the name Spiderman. Then I fell and got stains on my back which looked like wings, so Spiderman evolved into Spiderman Angel. Then that sounded gay, so it evolved into Spiderman Angel of Doom, that was too long so it got shortened to Spangel of Doom! Some people think it stands for Speed Angel. I swear I was not involved with the name creation.
You vikings are weird creatures.
Yeah well some Swedes are retarded. I’m not. Promise.
Why are there so few female skaters in Stockholm?
That’s a tough question. Maybe they haven’t realised scars are hot?
How was your season?
Ugh, I skated so much more last season! Especially now in the fall; Swedish weather, school, darkness and girlfriend is a tough equation.
Do you race?
Yes. I like organised events. I went to my first freeride event this year, it was so much more fun than racing.
What event was that?
King’s Hill Freeride organised by Sublime Boards. It was a rally car track going up a ski hill, super gnar. We used the ski lift for going up the mountain, so you just went down, grabbed a Red Bull, drank it on the way to the top while watching other riders below you and then you just went again. Way better than a truck.
Are there many other freerides in Sweden?
Nope, just that one.
Why does a country with such a high star:hill ratio have no freerides?
Because we love racing, apparently. I don’t like it. Too much waiting, and half of the riders can’t ride anymore after their first heat.
Will we see more freerides next season?
I really hope so! At least King’s Hill, I’d rather go to just that than all the other events combined!
Do you organise any events?
I’ve helped organise a slide jam called PMS Slidebowl 3000, and last year I held a smaller slide school and cruise.
What do you do when you’re not skating?
I eat, sleep and play Gran Turismo 5. Love that game!
Choose 3 numbers. 1-40
Oh. 18, 27, 40!
18- What is/was your favourite Cartoon?
Can I choose comic instead? Zits!
27- What did you do last weekend?
Was with my girlfriend. Went to a party. Yay!
31 – Do you like fish-sticks?
I picked 40. But yes, yes I do.
What are you – a gay fish?
Are you asking me if I’m a dolphin?
It’s been funny talking to you again Spider Angel, stay out of trouble. See you around!
Haha the same, Gbemi! Hope I can come to the UK next year!
Any thank yous?
Wow, almost everyone… Especially mrboard.se, Lush Longboards, all the other teams, Max, Svampen, Mark, lovers, haters, I could go on and on! Pretty much anyone who make my day better :)