Great chat with Kari, LGC Norway and Norwegian Downhill Skateboard Federation ambassador. She tells us about her first pro racing season and also highlights the danger of skating in high heels. Enjoy!
Hey Kari, where are you from?
I was born and raised in Oslo, Norway
When did you start skating?
I got my first longboard – a Landyachtz a couple of years ago. I have never skated before so it was a bit of a challenge.
What made you get a longboard?
I’ve been snowboarding for many years, and I went to Bali for three months to learn how to surf. And there I met some people involved in longboarding. When I got back home I just had to try to get that awesome surf feeling back. And in Oslo there is not that much wave surfing, but quite a lot of asphalt surfing!
Many longboarders in Oslo?
The numbers are increasing rapidly! The downhill competitions are also getting more popular and it shows that the stoke is for sure shared in Oslo and in the rest of Norway.
What is the longboard scene like in the rest of Norway?
It is not as dense as it is in Oslo, but the interest can be found all over the country.
Who organises the downhill competitions?
NDSF, the Norwegian Downhill Skateboard Association does a couple of them, and then King of the Hill, a core longboard shop in Oslo arrange a couple, and the rest are organized by stoked longboarders.
Are you involved with them?
Well, I just became a member of the NDSF board, as a female contributor. But I am always helping to the others.
Who runs it?
Cedric Cornell is the Captain, Torbjørn Sunde, Trygve Jørundland, Ali Nas, Fritjof Schei, Fredric Jacobsen and Me
Congratulations! Are there many Norwegian ladies who longboard?
We are not that many, but during this fall we have founded Longboard Girls Crew Norway, and began to pull more girls into the sport. We arranged a girl skate meet up together with BRD and Lifeonaboard.se which was really cool.
Who is we?
Bjørg Jensen, Anna Richardson and me.
What is King of the hill’s contribution to the scene?
Jørgen, which runs the shop is really stoked to stoke others to skate, and contributes in many ways. He is sponsoring events often, he is eager to make the sport larger and to share the infinite cruise with people.
Are there other local longboard shops?
There are no other core longboard shops in Oslo, but there is one in Stavanger. Jovial.
Have you seen more girls riding since you started the LGC Norway?
YES! I don’t know if it because of LGC, but I feel like I see more girls around now. When I started skating I didn’t see anyone. The only one I knew of was Kristina and she was freakishly fast at that time.
She races downhill?
What disciplines do you practice?
Hehe, disciplines? I really love downhill, so I guess that’s my discipline.
What do you ride?
I am riding a BRD small. I really love that board. It is a quite short, stable and is great for both freeride and downhill.
What’s a BRD?
BRD is a handmade board from Gothenburg in Sweden. Robban, who makes the boards, has been making boards since 2005 and he’s developed awesome concaves and solid boards. He is a cabinetmaker and knows everything about wood, and with that knowledge he designs really good boards.
How soon after you learnt how to skate did you get into downhill?
Well, I felt like I kind of started learning downhill. I have pushed out in some pretty steep hills in the beginning, and I learned how to footbreak pretty fast. And from then I’ve always been pushing the speed and learning to control it.
Norway doesn’t sound flat at all!
No, the whole country is a hill.
Who did you skate with back then?
Jay, Trygve og Hørte.
Are there many Norwegian board builders?
I don’t know, I think there are a couple, but they haven’t really made it through.
How was the last season for you?
It was AMAZING! Well, in the last year spring I got sponsored by BRD skateboards, and I was just so stoked about that! I only knew Kristina in the team, but when I got to know the rest of the crew and they were just as awesome as Kristina. We went to a lot of races in Norway and Sweden and I ended up going to Kozakov. And that’s where it all got crazy! I didn’t intent to ride the hill because it was so SICK! Kristina hurt her back, and I got her ticket. I was scared as shit, and decided to do a couple of freerides to check out the hill. I made it to the women’s final, and with a bit of luck in the final I got second place!! During that race I also got sponsored by Lifeonaboard.se which was pretty sick! During the season I’ve met so many awesome people, and I got to skate with so many of them. I give all the credit for my season to BRD and my team mates.
Congratulations on getting sponsored!
And WOW. You didn’t mean to race and you got to the final.
I was scared as shit! There were two semifinals for the girls, and I got second in the semi. Then the final was Becca, Katie, Spooky and me. All the girls are awesome riders, and I knew they were all faster then me. So I had one tactic. And that was to kick first out and make the other girls a bit nervous, and then just hope that one of them would slide off so I could get a spot on the podium. Then Spooky fell, and Becca crashed really bad in her board. There were girls and boards all over the road, but I managed my way through them and got second place.
Who are your team mates?
Kristina Engstrand, Lucas Krown, Klaes Johansson, Christoffer Sanne are the riders, and then we got Robert Flemming (who makes the boards), Martin Hagland and Patric Nordenman.
How did you do in the Norweigian/Swedish cup?
I am not sure… Since we are only three girls riding it is not really prestigious to win the women’s discipline.
What was your favourite local race?
Ormen in Sweden, I feel Sweden is quite local…
The Snake! Adam Persson told us all about this gnarly spot. Why does everyone love it so much?
It is awesome! It is a very challenging hill with many technical turns. And the hill is very well protected, so you don’t have to worry about getting hurt.
How close is Sweden to you?
From Oslo to Svinesund it is about an hour and a half.
So where do you skate most weekends?
Mostly around Oslo. Soria Moria, Grefsenkollen and Hasselbakken are some of my favorites.
Soria Moria is quite technical. It was newly paved so it is super smooth. Grefsenkollen is mainly sweepers, but there is not that much traffic there, and the roads are wide and clear.
What other events did you attend?
Ravenhill, Extremsport week at Voss, Tryvann Downhill challenge, Ormen, Stockholm downhill race and Grefsen Nordic cup. I also got two awesome weeks skating in California in November. That was an awesome trip. We were a group of 8 guys and me, and we flew to San Francisco and rented a huge van and drove all the way down to San Diego. We met up with many of the large longboard distributors over there and skated some pretty sick hills. Unfortunately I hurt my knee and missed three days of filming with Adam Stokowski and the Loaded guys. The last week I managed to tuck, so I rode some sweet hills. I really wanna go back there and skate more!
Who did you go with?
Lifeonaboard, two other team riders and four more friends.
What is lifeonaboard?
Lifeonaboard is an online Swedish longboard store. They are a couple of guys from the flattest spot in the World, Vara, and they are really into longboarding. Amazing guys.
Did you go out there to shoot or just to tan?
Business and pleasure. Albin and Albin (LOAB) were meeting up with many distributors and the rest of us were there for the skate and the ride. Cali is awesome!
What are you plans for this season?
Get my knee in order, and then skate as much as I can! BRD is launching a new board this spring with THREE CONCAVES!! The Manta. I am so stoked about that board, and I am really looking forward to ride it this season. We are also developing a co-operation with Surf Rodz and I am stoked to ride on their trucks this season. The BRD team are planning to do the whole Euro tour this year and that’s gonna be preeeeety sick!
Triple concave? Madness!
The board is pretty sick. It is awesome for freeride as well as downhill. It makes sliding a lot more controlled, and the concaves makes it easy to drag the board back in position.
You’re coming to Bo Peep?
Is that the hill in England?
Yeah! The first stop on the IGSA tour.
Yea, I hope so :- )
Nice. See you there. And the Gathering in Stockholm?
Yes! I really hope so. Looks like a cool event!
Is there a plan for anything like this in Norway?
No. We have longboard awards in the end of the season though. That’s pretty nice.
How did you hurt your knee?
uuuhhhmm… It is a bit embarrasing… But I skated in high heels. We were two on one board, and we hit a hole in the asphalt….
haha. Is there a video of this?
No, unfortunately not..
Did your passenger hurt herself as well?
My buddy fell on top of me and landed pretty soft.
This story keeps getting better…
But I twisted my knee and tore some ligaments.
When can you skate again?
I skated a week after, but the doctor told me to be patient… I hate patience!
Will you be skating outside Europe this season?
I really want to go back to California at some point. And the thought of Hot heels makes me drool, but I don’t know if I will have the money. It is quite expensive to travel. But if I have the money I will def. go!
Choose 3 numbers between 1-22
1,2 and 9
1 – What do you take with you when you go for a skate ?
2 – Would you rather have a hook for a hand or a wheel for a foot ?
I would like a sliding puck
9 – Favourite song to listen to when you skate
Empire Ants- Gorillaz
It’s been great chatting to you Kari! Get well soon! See you around!
Thanks a lot to you too!
Hehe… hmm.. Well, also I want to thank BRD, LOAB and all the rest of the longboard family <3