Featured rider: Klaess Johannson

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Nice chat with another of our Viking friends from a sunny Island in the North. He tells us about the development of the M concave on his bro-model and his plans for the season.

Hey Klaes, where are you from?
Hello there! I’m from Sweden, I live on a small island called Smögen, a bit north of Gothenburg with no hills at all.

When did you start skating?
I started longboarding in 2006, and before that I was regular skateboarding since 1996.

What is it like skating in Smogen?
I started longboarding with my friend Christoffer Sanne. We didn’t know much about it then. There aren’t any long hills here so I can’t say we were doing any advanced skating. There is no community in Smögen.

How many people skate?
Christoffer Sanne and 2 more friends on regular skateboards.

Where do you skate?
Well that is the problem. I don’t skate here. I push the board on flat at home and skate hills at the competitions.

Are you at peace with this problem?
Well I like Smögen, but there are no hills. I would love to be in Norway and skate a lot more with the B RD team. We have some really good riders in the team and there is a lot to learn from them.

How did you get into longboarding?
It all started with my dad. I hated regular skateboarding and he saw some guys on the street with a long skateboard. He thought that it might be something for me. So I got a longboard and here I am. I loved it, now I can’t live without it.

Any plans to move somewhere more skateable?
I would love to do that, the problem is that I just got a new job and I have to stay here for that. But we will see. I love skateboarding.

So do you skate between competitions?
No I don’t, well I skate flat.

How do you keep the stoke up?
I get the stoke from my friends and sponsors. When I am on a competition, I have them there and they support me 100%

When did you start skating competitively?
My first competition was in 2007 and I think it was there everything started to be serious. It was Falköping. I think it was the swedish championships that year. That was the only one that year.

How do you train since you live somewhere megaflat?
Hehe it’s not megaflat, we have a hill, a small one. 200m and a left hand corner.

What do you enjoy so much about racing?
I like the speed, the adrenaline, all friends and mastering my race nerves.

When did you get your first sponsors?
I got jsmlongboards ( a longboard shop in Sweden) in 2008.

What do you ride?
I ride a B RD Manta with Surf-Rodz and Orangatang wheels.

Are they your other sponsors?
I have B RD skateboards and they have some collaboration with Surf-Rodz and I got the wheels and some safety equipment from Life on a board.

What’s B RD?
B RD is a lot for me. It is a team, a feeling a ghost. But it´s also a skateboard company in Sweden. They’ve built handcrafted skateboards since 2005.

What kind of feeling?
It’s hard to say what feeling. It’s there at all competitions and at the party. We do it the B RD way. All in or nothing. Hard to explain if you haven’t been there.

Who are the other people doing it the B RD way?
We are five riders in the B RD team. Lucas Krown, Kari Havnevik, Christoffer Sanne, Herman Ottesen and myself.

What other boards does B RD make?
We have some new upcoming boards. Every rider has their own pro-model.

What is the Manta like?
The Manta is a board designed by Lucas Krown and I. It’s a board with a M-concave in the rear and a 3D-concave in the front. It almost drove Robert Flemming (who makes the boards) nuts! Haha

M concave?
It is simply the opposite to W-concave. We have the “wings” on the tail as huge gaspedals and between the wings is a furrow to put your back foot in line to your front foot in the tuck position.

How did you guys come up with this?
It all started with beer! A lot of beer… and me wanting something new, so I told Lucas about it and he did what he always does: Analyzed and calculated. We explained to Robert what we wanted and he thought we were pretty crazy. But he always let’s us try out new ideas. He’s awesome. He got the M-shape just the way we wanted right away and we were ready to launch the board after the first prototype but then, at the last second, Lucas wanted to change the nose to get a more locked in feel so he designed his version of a 3D-concave.

What’s the significance of this unique shape?
The significance is that you have a much bigger platform for your rear foot during toeside-slides and that the top of the M locks into the arch of your foot during heelsides. You get much more control with this board. At least we do.

How does it ride?
Like a soft wind in heaven!

When did you first skate outside Sweden?
In 2008. It was my first World Cup race – Almabtrieb.

What other races have you done outside Sweden?
I have done plenty, Peyragudes, Eastbourne, Kozakov, Bo Peep and plenty in Norway.

How was last season for you?
Well it wasn’t the best one. I did a good qualifying run in Kozakov, but in the first run I slid out in the beginning. My trucks were broken, it was a lot like that last year.Hopefully my competitions will not be limited by the material I use this year.

What was your favourite season so far?
I think it was 2008, we (Christoffer Sanne and an old rider from B RD) bought a car and drove through all of Europe. A lot of skating and a lot of parties and competitions. Loved it!

Christoffer is your best friend?
We have known each other for many years and we come from the same place in Sweden. Now he lives in Norway so I don’t see him very often. But clearly he is one of my better friends.

Do you go over to Norway for skating a lot?
I try to go to Norway as much as I can. They have plenty hills and a lot of riders. There is a lot to learn from them. I love that country, the nature, the people, everything! But it is a bit too expensive.

What’s your favourite race in Viking land?
Haha that’s hard to say! We have plenty of good races here. We have Voss in Norway and MooseHunt in Sweden. Last year we had a race in Sunne which we call Ormen. It was a really cool event. It is fast, tight and a lot of corners. I think that one was one of the best events.

Do you organise any events?
Yes I do. I organise RavenHill together with Jsm longboards and this year we had the Swedish Championships there.

So you have a new Swedish champion?
Hehe we have, that damn Adam Persson is FAST!

Did he get a special viking helmet?
Unfortunately not. Does he deserve it? I mean, he’s from Stockholm. Did they have vikings there?

I don’t know bro. You tell me!
I think we have to get one to him and you.

I’d be happy with some Viking bacon. Does that exist?
I don’t know. Maybe from wild boar? You would love the bacon in Sweden!

What are your plans for the rest of the season?
My plan is to go to Kozakov and some small competitions here in Sweden and Norway. It is unfortunately hard for me to get free from the job right now.

What do you do when you’re not skating?
I work a lot and I try to fish as much as I can too.

Choose 3 numbers between 1-33!
7,14 and 28

7 – What is your favourite meal?
Pasta Carbonara

14 – If you could have any super power what would it be?
Super Fast

28 – What superhero would be best at skating?
It have to be Ironman or Spiderman but it could be the Hulk. I think I’ll say the Hulk. He is big strong and fast.

It’s been awesome talking to you tonight Santa! See you again in August!
I can’t wait for it.

Thank yous?
Mom and Dad thanks for the support!

Links
www.brdskateboards.com
www.jsmlongboards.com
www.lifeonaboard.se
www.surf-rodz-trucks.com

All photos by the wonderfully talented Tanya Raab