Featured Rider: Esaja Sketchman

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Super fast Viking grom and King of the Derp face – Esaja, tells us about how he got into skating, the Gothenburg community, and fighting with Moose.
Hello Esaja!
Hej bro!

How’s your weekend going?
Great, thank you! I’ve been sitting all day long watching skate videos and longing for my knee to get a full recovery.

What have you watched most?
Just saw the new Unbound video, EPIC! And watched ‘’Let go’’ for the ten thousand time.

Was your knee hurt by moose?
Wow I’m amazed you asked this because some days ago when I was opening the door to my house I noticed two big mooses standing right next to me which resulted in me being scared as hell and I slipped, so now I’m a little bit more hurt in my knee.

Did they want your autograph?
I don’t know actually, I don’t speak moose.
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What  languages do you speak?
I speak Swedish, English, few words of French and Afrikaans.

Where are you from?
I was born in South Africa but raised in Sweden.

Where did you start skating?
In Sweden, in my front yard. But before skating I had a surfing career when I was 5 months old, in our pool.

Which was your biggest love?
Must have been my toy cars, I was absolutely obsessed. My most valued item ever.

Were you the baby on the Nirvana album cover?
I don’t know really, just realized it looks a lot like me. Better ask my parents.
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When did you start taking skating seriously?
I don’t think I have never taken it too seriously, but I started competing two year ago.

What made you want to compete?
Watching all the videos with superfast skaters with tight skinsuits and fullface helmets, looked so cool. I also heard of all the chicks you get when you compete.

Chicks like Spagnel?
Surprisingly, no. He plays the guitar, skates howndill and he is pretty cute. He smells like fish though, probably what is keeping the cougars away.
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Do you remember your first competition?
Yes, It went terrible at first, but it turned out great! It was my first time competing in the Juniors class. I was SUPER stoked but apparently too stoked because I fell off my board while pushing, and lost! Later on when I competed in the Open class I got to race against two really good skaters (Christoffer Sanne and Phillipe Albiz) that I looked up to. I thought it was already over since they were to good, but they both crashed in one corner and I finished first place, and at the finish line stood Adam Persson, shocked that a little kid beat his buddies.

When did you first go fast?
In our local hill “The Castlewoods”. I went 25km/h on my dropped hellcat, Flipped randall trucks, with 97/97 bushings and 75mm wheels.

How did it feel?
I had never been so scared as when I stood at the top of the hill, looking down. But I did it and almost peed my panties, when me and my buddy were at the bottom we started screaming at each other and went crazy bananas and then ran to top again.
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Who were your skating buddies?
A lot of names, but my very first skate buddy was Zeke Janowic. Then came my three sons Gurra Funck, Jacob Flossan and Lowe Agoodham.

Do you have a name for your gang?
Yes, our is team is Team Lakritspipa (licorice-pipe)

Jacob can’t be your son – he’s bigger than you!
I’m pretty sure I am older then Jacob, and bigger. And stronger, better looking and more handsome. Better smelling also.

How does one join Lakritspipa?
It’s highly classified information but I can hint it has something to do with being the coolest dude there is.

When did you guys first get together?
I think it was two years ago.
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Are girls allowed in your gang?
Hm, yet to be discussed.

How did life change after that first taste of speed?
In 2011, I got totally hooked on skating. I quit all my athletic careers for skating and after I could not run 10 meters without being dead tired and walking up any stairs left me sweating like a pig. School got less prioritized and I got less time for my non-skatebuddies. I was addicted, I seriously think there were not more then two days that summer I did not skate.
But from my point of view I only see positive things. I have grown as a person and met so many different people and seen some places I would have have never seen without skating. Also I got a taste for climbing through skating since a lot of skaters climb, and now I am hooked on that too.

How can skateboarding make one grow?
I feel like skateboarding has made me realize the most simple thing in life: being happy. Always strive to do what brings you happiness and skateboarding is one of many things that brings me happiness.
Also, I feel like I’ve gained a lot of cultural experience and just experience in general since skateboarding has so many different kinds of people and is set in so many different places in the world.

What athletics did you do before skating?
I did Ice-hockey at age 5, and quit when I was 12. Soccer I did for 12 years and athletics for 3 years. And some months playing ping pong.
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I thought Max was the only climber. Who else does it and why?
Me to. But I know that Mauritz, Klawitter and Kim Nilsson climb too. I climb mostly because I get almost the same kick as I get from skateboarding. Climbing is a lot like skateboarding. The first time I was at the climbing palace I just looked up the big wall and told myself I was never going to be able to climb up there. Same thing with skateboarding: looking down a big hill thinking I would never skate that. But after a while I climbed it easy and just continued to develop, and I still feel like I become a little better every time I climb.
Also my knee is injured so I can’t skate, climbing is an excellent replacement meanwhile.

What’s the biggest change skating brought to your life?
Prioritizing. Everything I do, I always prioritize skating. I put all my money on skating, my time, passion and thoughts.

What adventures did you have in 2011?
I remember when I was steward at the Swedish masterships in Varmland. You had to be 16 or older to compete so we helped out instead. Looking back on it I am very glad they did not let me compete on that hill. I would have died.
It was the first time I saw real downhill in action, with all the cool suits and helmets. I remember eating one of the nicest meals I have ever had at the restaurant at the top of the hill. It was something simple but done heavenly like spaghetti bolognese.
Also meeting all the cool people you have seen in all the videos and on the internet was really cool. Meeting world champ Erik Lundberg was lots of fun.
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What did seeing that competition spark in you?
I got determined I would be that good one day and here I am today, on my way there.

Who did you look up to most?
Erik Lundberg. He just seemed like the most ultimate chillest dude ever (which he was). And all his videos were my favourites.

What was the biggest step to take you where you are today?
I think it was quitting soccer. I absolutely love soccer, I felt like I could have a career and so did my coach. But I didn’t like the community. It got way too serious and the joy was taken away.

What position do you play?
Mostly the centre position or forward. I had no ball controll at all, I was just crazy fast and no one could catch up with me. Countless times I was alone with the goalie, having no control at all ending up shooting the ball 40 meter above the goal.

Maybe you’re the reason Sweden isn’t in the world cup!
Probably.
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Has skateboarding been worth giving up a lucrative future in football?
Definitely! Much nicer people and much more exciting then 22 dudes running after a ball.

What’s the best thing you’ve learnt from Erik?
I don’t remember it too clearly, but in one of his videos he says something about how the moment he became a good skater was when he just started to think he should just stay on his board. I tried to follow this, and now people get very surprised whenever they see me fall off my board.

What’s the secret – Strong grip/Glue?
Neither. Thinking of it, it’s mostly because I skate very carefully (at least when freeriding). I try to think I’m a grandma on my way to the grocery store to buy eggs.

What has been your favourite year of skating?
Last year, 2013.

Where has skateboarding taken you?
I guess it all started here in Gothenburg when me and my buddies started to get tired of the hills we skated. So we started explore more and more around Gothenburg until we couldn’t find any more. We got contact with more experienced skaters all over Sweden and started slowly to skate outside Gothenburg.
Later on we wandered to South Sweden, Skane. AKA Denmark. There we met the much talked about Mr Pjax and purple man. Also all the kind hearted, forever beer-consuming hillbillies which is one of the reasons I skate today. I got so stoked on all the trips to Skane, and wanted to meet more people and skate new hills. So I signed up for my first downhill race called Moosehunt, in Vargon (Held by Lifeonaboard).
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It didn’t got too well but I continued racing and Signed up for Ravenhill in Gothenburg. (organised by JSMlongboards). This was my first time to shine, it was the Swedish masterships at my local hill, and it was under my all time favourite condition- wet (hehe). I did very well and won all my heats. Then when Semi-final was on I led with good distance but it had dried up a little bit and I wasn’t aware of this and highsided in a sweeper when turning to hard (hate patchy skating). I drowned in disappointment but got a boost when winning the losers-final and finishing 5th place in the Swedish Junior masterships.

After this I flew to America for vacation and brought my board in the hope of finding some big hills. We were in Florida, and just by looking out the airplane window I could tell there would not be much skating.

This is part where it gets good. 2012 I went to “The Gathering” which is a event for anyone who has a longboard (or not) to attend. I had mad fun here and got to meet many stokeholm skaters but best of all I got to meet Gbeni! I was confused and could not put my finger on where I had seen this guy, so I went up to him to see his AAS sticker and realized it was him. I didn’t know what to do, should I take his autograph? Was I going to talk to him? Would he hit on me? Turned out not be much of a big deal and we got a good talk/cruise.

Lastly, there was an event organized by my fellow teammates at Lakritspipa. It was a success and got rated as one of the best events of the year. It was called Knugs outlaw 2012.
Lets not forget Winter freeride big skating mid-winter. On the same hill as Ravenhill in Gothenburg. Crazy fun, crazy people and crazy skating! And some major hickies. Max knows what i’m talking about. Adam can confirm they were big
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How was last year?
It was a really good year. It started off with Warehouse Raid, it was indoors and organised by Lifeonaboard. They had a big ramp and did these epic slalom battles from the big ramp and you had to make it through lots of obstacles. I finished second place at the race (slalom thingy).
Since Knugs outlaw 2012 was such a success we decided to do a 2013 outlaw which also turned out great. This year we had more sponsors and it was much more organized. Not too surprisingly, Pjax won this year again, king of the knugs.

It was one or three weeks later I hurt my knee when sliding on a manhole cover. I sprained my knee and the meniscus got damaged. I was sure I that I would not be able to skate this whole season but I did some rehab and was soon on board again (with constant pain though).

I signed for Ravenhill 2013 and was really stoked but also afraid my knee wouldn’t make it. It went terribly in the beginning but after some warm-up I could do a decent slide and I managed to get all they way to the finals. Had a really tight heat with Jakob Eriksson! I passed him in the second last corner but then he passed me in the last and I finished second place.

Next competition was in Norway, Grefsenkollen. This was very tough for me to skate due to my knee. It hurt crazy much since it was a tuck-only hill. Had some great runs with Norwegians and it was lots of fun. Did great in the heats and came to the junior-finals, but totally messed it up. I was way too greedy and underestimated the Norweigan gangsters. I kicked out first and had big lead. Unknown to me, the two Norwegians behind me doing draft train on each other and waiting for the perfect moment to pass me. In the last sweeper both of them took the opportunity and passed me, and I finished third place in the Norwegian masters. Damn fast Norwegians.
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Kozakov challenge 2013: One of the best weeks in my life. Dreamt for two years about going there; finally doing it was the best feeling. Was a little bit sad though that my knee hurt a lot, couldn’t tuck or slide properly but the heats went really good somehow. I came all the way to the Junior finals to finally meet the notorious Connor Ferguson. I had a really good start and got a good lead. Right behind me was Eriksson and then Ferguson. I did a great first corner but Eriksson crashed. Messed my second curve up and there Connor passed me. I gained some speed on him but failed the third curve to and he got a perfect one, making me fall way behind. Couldn’t catch up with him and ended 2nd place at Juniors Kozakov. Stokeo-meter was on max, damn it felt good.

After, it was time for the Swedish masters and the last competition of the Swedish cup.

My knee seemed to work and I could skate at my fullest. I had some really good heats and won all my qualify heats. Next day was race day and it started raining (amen). It went pretty bad and I think I crashed in the semi-finals but managed to go the finals. Got a fairly good lead and felt confident. When the corner started to appear I suddenly started to think about muffins, I thought it would be a good way to relax. However it did not work and I slid way too late and crashed. I ended up fourth place. My crash did not only affect the race but also the Swedish junior cup points and I ended up second place from a solid first, in the Swedish junior cup.

The last event before my surgery was in Norway, Tryvann. A slightly less serious competition and they made it a bit exotic with obstacles and three different routes to choose from while racing. Here they had two warm-up races the first day for the juniors, The second day was the more “serious” race, were I finished 2nd place.

What gave you the biggest smiles last year?
It must have been when I  was completely heartbroken realizing I wouldn’t get a knee surgery until next summer resulting in me missing the whole season. It was a wednesday. That very day, the doctor calls and tells me I can have surgery that thursday if I said yes within 10 minutes (due to someone booking it off). That put a smile on my face.
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How come a local doesn’t win on Ravenhill?
Don’t want to assign blame or anything, but I had a semi-functional knee due to an injury just before 2013 Ravenhill. The biggest reason though is that Jakob Eriksson is wicked fast.

Did you have a fun Christmas?
Yes! I ate a lot of unhealthy food and didn’t exercise very much. Hoping to gain some weight for 2014 season!

How do you keep the stoke up when you can’t skate?
May sound strange, but rehab makes really stoked. I feel better every time and I feel like skating is coming closer and closer when I train.

What are your plans for this year?
I’m planning on getting on a real job so I can afford racing the whole Euro-tour. Also I plan to get my driver’s license shortly after my birthday, right in time to the Euro-tour. Beating some fat old guys (first year in Open class) is also on my schedule.

What do you ride?
I ride the stalk it Alex Tongue pro-model, Tunnel tarantulas and Bear trucks. Vicious grip and slipstream bearings.
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Are any of those your sponsors?
Yes I ride for stalk it and tunnel wheels. Also JSMlonboards which provides me with other stuff.

When did you hook up with Stalk It and Tunnel?
Tunnel I got in touch with almost 2 years ago. It was super awesome to have my first wheel sponsor. Mike Horelick is really cool. It was through tunnel I got in touch with stalk it, mike had just met stalk it owner and he recommended me. Stalk it got in touch 1 year ago.

What do you do when you’re not skating?
I climb mostly to get my daily adrenaline rush but besides that I have many other interests. I play a lot of piano, read about fruits, play Flowersticks (And making them), lots of video games and last but not least- I’ve started to gain interest in food.

Where will I see you again?
Maybe at KNK freeride, Kozakov or Peyragudes? (bobeep?).

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Pick 3 numbers.
7, 1, 9

7- What is your faourite meal?
The best thing I know is melted cheese. So basically anything with melted cheese on it

1 – What would you do if you were President?
I would take all cars away and establish an only longboarding society

9 – What song would you like played at your funeral?
That would be ”Waving my dick in the wind” by Ween or ”Always look on the bright side of life” -Monty python.

This has been an immense pleasure. Your derpface is an inspiration to lurkers everywhere. See you soon, bring Fanny.
Yes enjoy the very explicit pictures of my derpfaces.

Any last words?
Shoutout to all my buddies! Thanks for all the trips and experiences. Special thanks to all the south swedeners just being awesome people. Also want to thank all my sponsors for this seasons support! JSMlongboards, Stalk it and Tunnel-wheels.

 Links.
One of the craziest hills I’ve skated. AWESOME event, and it was wet!

www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXlEAT6zTNw

trailer to video soon coming out

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