Kim ”Purple Viking” Nilsson is a great ambassador for Swedish skating. He tells us about his love for downhill, customizing his own board and turning groms into speed freaks. Hey Kim, where are you from?
Hi! I’m from the Southern part of Sweden called Skåne.
When did you start skating?
It was four years ago, a friend of mine shared a post on Facebook saying: “gonna skate and drink some beer in the sun.” That sounded nice, so I got myself a board and I was hooked.
What is it like skating in Skåne?
It’s awesome, there aren’t so many people skating downhill, only a small crew skating together, almost like a family. We’ve got some nice hills in the town where I live, and even better hills just 20 minutes away with the car.
Who makes up the crew crew?
At the moment there is Pjäx, Love, Matin and Max Hulth, Abel, Max Walter and Oliver Spenner.
Pjax aka Supergrom?
Yes! The most awesome freerider and downhiller I know, Supergrom! We actually taught him to skate fast, he comes from a town with no hills. How does one take a Grom and forge him into a fast skater?
Well, when we first saw him, he was fast, he’s a natural, we just put him onto bigger hills.
What’s the crew called?
The crew doesn’t have a name, we just skate together. It’s quite nice to keep it like that. I guess we’re just representing Skåne.
Who are the other guys in the crew?
Martin and Max Hulth are two brothers that I found on a forum, we met up and started to skate together. Abel is the one who has been skating forever, he rides with his own unique style. Max Walter is a cool guy from a small town called Staffanstorp. I actually don’t know when he started to skate with us. Oliver is the daredevil, skating fast all the time. Love is the newest grom skating with us, he’s learning fast and it’s fun to see his passion for the sport.
How long did you ride your first board for?
I had it for a week. The shop I got it in hooked me up with some strange trucks that didn’t turn. I, like many others, saw some loaded films and fell in love in the carving and stuff they did. I was kind of disappointed that my board didn’t do that. So I got myself a new board that turned. What I didn’t know back then was that I could just get new bushings. Aside from you guys, is there a community in your town?
There are a lot of people that skate, it’s fun to see how the community grows, but there aren’t so many that are into the downhill thing – yet.
What do they do?
A lot of them are very young so they stay and skate on the small local hills. Takes like 1 minute to skate down and then you have to walk up. 100% skateboarding 10% of the time.
How is the community organised?
It’s not organised at all. That’s the charm of it, a lot just comes spontaneously from Facebook groups and so on.
Any nice spots?
I have a favourite spot called Man-maker! It’s a narrow and long road that starts out with a fast straight into a right sweeper and in the middle of the sweeper it turns into a left hairpin, there is no room for errors on it.
Did it make a man of you?
We say, when you have skated it at full speed from the top; you are a man. Then it’s time to visit another hill called Man-fall. Because it eats you?
Yes, you just skated Manmaker and then you find another road that is faster and more narrow and all of a sudden you don’t feel like a man.
When did you get the speed bug?
It grew slowly, first I reached 40km/h and thought that was cool, then 50 and so it goes. I got the speed bug just some days after I got the first board, finding myself riding down a hill on my way home and thinking “Shit! That was awesome!”. Then I walked back up and did it again. And it’s still like that, always trying to go faster.
What do you like best about going fast?
It’s hard to say, I suppose the only right thing to say is the speed, and the feeling of the wind against your body, being in full control and out of control at the same time.
What do you ride now?
I ride on my Fuel Jati. It’s a Jati ninjati that me and Fuel Fire designed, we made some changes with more space under the front foot for more leverage over the trucks. On that I have Ronin trucks, that I got a week ago, and I’m just loving them! It’s fun how new techniques on trucks can change the feeling on the truck that much. Then I use seismic wheels – purple of course haha!
Purple makes you faster; thats what I say. But the thing is that my first real Downhill board was purple. And after that it became an addiction. And it’s a nice colour. How deep is your love affair with purple?
When I close my eyes I see purple, when I sleep I dream about purple, and when I skate the world is purple. Is that deep?
And your favourite Jimi Hendrix song is?
Hey Joe? Or maybe Purple Haze!
Are any of those your sponsors?
Jati, Seismic and Fuel fire are.
When did you get sponsored?
I came into contact with Fuel Fire one year after I started to skate. It’s a small skateshop in a town called Tyringe. Then I asked Patrik, who owns it, for sponsoring. He thought it was time to make a skate team, and I got into it.
How did you hook up with the rest of your sponsors?
I think it was a lot of luck, I’m definitely not the best skater, but I always try to give something back to my sponsors. And my knowledge in photography, film-making and web design helps a lot. So I think that helped me more than my skating skills. With others I just happened to know the right people. You’re a filmmaker?
Yes, I first started as a still image photographer, then the company I worked on developed film as well and I got into that instead and left still images behind me.
How did you acquire these skills?
When I was around 15 years old I got myself a camera, and took a lot of images. After I finished school I went onto a photo school. After that I got work as an assistant in a studio and developed my skills. And after a while I got work on my own. I did a lot of fashion work and crazy images back then.
What stuff do you work on now?
I did a film for a forest planting company recently. They wanted to show how one of their products worked. It’s a planting tube, so we were out in the forest filming people planting trees. It’s fun because I do so many different shoots. One day it can be fashion, another day it can be in a harbour in Taiwan filming a machine that unloads a boat or in the Swedish forest.
What do you enjoy shooting most?
Definitely fashion! It’s always fun to shoot a beautiful girl. Have you ever get one of them on your… board?
Well, I tried with my fiancee – she’s a makeup artist but that didn’t worked out. I guess I had better luck with the makeup artist than the models.
Haha good work. Congratulations on your upcoming wedding.
Do you make skate films?
I make skate film mostly of myself skating. It’s a good way to try new colour gradings. I want to do skate films with others as well, but it’s hard because I often start to skate my self and forget to make the film.
Any future project plans you want to share?
Actually some of Pjäx’ sponsors had some ideas of making a film next year, it’s not impossible to go with them, but at the moment it’s just ideas. Sometime in the future I’m definitely gonna do a skate film. I have the ideas and knowledge, I just have to focus more on making the film than skating myself – and that’s hard sometimes.
How will it be different from the films we’ve seen so far?
I want to show more local and unknown skates; what skating means for them. Besides that, I also have some ideas of making a skate short movie with a cool story.
YES! We need more narrative, not just the usual trick after trick and shots of dry leaves.
Do you have a favourite skate film?
Lords of dogtown is definitely a favorite, it has the story. Then I like Drop for the filming technique. Loaded have done some cool films as well, Timebomb was very nice since it has something extra in it besides good skating.
What role do you think films play in skating?
I think it’s a very important part of the skate companies marketing but also good for the skaters. I watched a lot of films when I tried to learn new stuff, it’s awesome that you search on vimeo or youtube for “learn to predrift” and get the basics of it. That makes the trial and error process easier.
You mentioned earlier that you have a special Jati board?
Yes, I took some time thinking what I liked and didn’t like on my board. And then I made a design out of those thoughts. Which Jati was kind enough to make for me.
What’s your model called?
It’s called Fuel-Jati, from the cooperation between Fuel-Fire and Jati.
When did you hook up with them?
At the beginning of 2011 I got a Ninjati, that I liked a lot, so I just put their logo into my films and shared the films with them. Then from that I just asked if I could be in the Jati team, I think that was at the end of last summer.
How has the relationship developed in that time?
They help me out with some competition fees now and hook me up with boards, it’s fun because they are very open to new ideas.
When did you start competing?
Just some weeks after I got my first board, a local skater asked me if I wanted to join them in a competition in Gothenburg, that sounded nice so I said I was in. It was scary but fun.
What was your first full season?
I haven’t had a full season with five races yet, I go to the races I think are fun. I want to go to more but I can only go to races when I’m not working. My first IGSA races were Almabtrieb 2010 and Insul. We were at Graveyard Call that year but me and a friend skipped that race and went up in the French alps for freeride instead. I thought I wasn’t ready for Graveyard call that year.
How do you choose which races you attend?
I just go for the ones I think will be most fun, this year I want to skate fast therefore I will go to Kosakov, Peyragudes and KNK. After Kozakov we’re skipping Padova and going for some freerides in the Alps instead. Will you be documenting your adventures?
Definitely, I’m kind of regretting that I didn’t document my last adventure more, so this year I’m gonna film a lot!
What is your weapon of choice?
I film a lot with Tectiv HD cam, it’s an action camera comparable to go pro. When I want better quality I use Canon eos 5d mark 2 but it’s horrible to skate with that camera. My boss wouldn’t be happy if I broke one of the company’s cameras.
Who is your partner in crime?
This year my partners gonna be Martin “Speedoff” Edoff, Martin Klawitter and Olver Spenner.
Do you go to any viking contests?
We had two this year, Moosehunt and Ravenhill and there were races in Norway as well. They are also Vikings.
Where’s your favourite place to skate?
We were on a road called Col D’izoard in the French Alps two years ago. That road was amazing. You had free sight of the hill, and at the top of the hill there is a small house with good food and a very nice, welcoming lady who owns the place.
What do you do when you’re not skating?
I mostly work and skate. Recently I got into Mountain boarding and skating bowl. When I find something I like it’s basically the only thing I do. Choose 3 numbers between 1 – 37.
6,16 & 26
6 – What is the strangest food you’ve eaten?
Wow, that’s tricky. The strangest food I’ve eaten was actually in Almabtrieb. One day they served a big gray ball with some meat. The ball was as big as my hand, and looked very tasteless. But it was pretty good, I enjoyed that meal.
16 – Do you have a blog/twitter?
I tried to have a blog before, but I’m not into that stuff very much. At the moment the blog can be found on http://www.kimfoto.se/ but I’m not active there.
26- What kind of films do you like?
I like sci-fi and fantasy a lot, I’m a big fan of the special effects they make in those movies. And it’s cool to see how filmmakers imagine the future. I think science would actually try to invent stuff that filmmakers have in those films. Like flying cars and maybe flying boards.
It’s been a great pleasure speaking to you purple viking! Maybe catch you somewhere next summer. Look forward to sharing lots more of you work on our site!
Thanks indeed, it has been awesome to speak to you as well. Any thank yous?
A big thanks to the downhill family who makes my life so awesome!