Kula, serial hill killer is the embodiment of Norwegian Gangsterness, while at the same time being a huge tattooed teddy bear. He shares many funny stories. Great insight into the life of a Viking legend.
Hey Kula, how are you doing?
Hey man, I’m doing great. Just bought my first house. STOOOKED. Big house with lots of space and it’s a bit up in the valley so there are a lot of good hills, makes it even better.
Well, it is a big house. Would be rad to build something in the house, but my girl would kill me. Haha. I will have to settle for the sick amount of hills in that area. I want to build a mini ramp there. I have the space so it might happen, but I will have BBQs and skate sessions. I’ll try to gather the crew and have rad skate weekends and they can crash in my house.
Does your girl skate?
She has tried, but it was not a thing for her. She is pregnant now, so skating would be a little dangerous.
Have you put your little daughter on a board yet?
Yeah! She was on a board before she started walking. She played with it and chewed the candy-like wheels. Now she is trying to stand on it. Last summer, I skated her to the kindergarten. She in the pram and me on the board.
All the parents look at you weird?
Hell yes they do, but I think it is so funny. Norwegians are really judgmental so they look at me like I have done something to offend them and several look at my tattoos as well. Haha. Well I don’t care about it. It’s just funny. Their lives are probably boring so they need to have someone to make fun of. I just live my life and try to have a good time all the time. Couldn’t care less about judgmental people.
Have any of the kids tried to get you to ollie for them?
Not the kids in the kindergarten. But I have been a skating teacher so had to teach´em some ollies.
Where were you a skate teacher?
At the local indoor skatepark. That was some years ago. Way before I started to get into downhill skateboarding. I have been skating Vert, bowl and a little street for many years.
Do you have gangster tattoos?
Well I’m pretty much covered all over. Pretty gangster ey?
Any skate tattoos?
Yeah I have some skate tattoos on my left arm and some on the fingers too.
What do the tattoos say?
Where to start man?. There are so many now. Have some lettering, “downhill” on each finger, an old school style skateboarder, a sword that has wheels for a grip and says “live 2 skate, some punkrockers to tribute The Casualties, a rad punkband from USA. Got some music tattoos as well. Tributes to Bad Religion, Anti Flag, The Bouncing Souls and so on. Skulls everywhere, some birds, flowers, guns, skateboards, stars and the list goes on and on.
What is the average Norwegian’s attitude towards skaters?
The attitude is very different. Either they like it or they want you dead, but lately it’s been better. Norway is the only country that banned skateboarding (1980-1989 I think). Still there are a lot of people that want it to stay illegal. It doesn’t make a difference to me, I would skate anyway!
Who has tried to kill you?
I was hit by a car once and damaged a nerve in my brain, but I hope it was not on purpose. I have been stopped by people that have said that they wouldn’t mind to see me crash into a grill of a truck or bus.
Sounds like a cowboy movie!
Hehe. Its hectic in Norway ey. I love the country, nature and everything that this country has for me, but people need to stop being so damn judgmental.
Is it legal for you guys to skate down hills now?
Yeah its legal and we have the same rights as cyclists, but it is off course easier to stop us. I understand it a little, but you see more cyclists covering the whole road with 10-15 people with no chance to drive past them. We think more about safety in traffic than a lot of people, cyclists and drivers and so on. I of course understand that people get nervous when they see a skater coming fast down a hill just a few feet away from them. We take a lot of precautions and people need to understand that. When we are out skating we are always nice to pedestrians and wave at them when we cruise by. You don’t see anyone else doing that.
When did you start skating down hills?
In the late 90′s when I lived in Oslo, I skated some hills there. I was skating on a 7,5 inch street deck, so that was sketchy as hell, but I loved to go fast. After that I started to skate vert and bowl and I got hooked on that. Then I moved to Drammen and there was a big indoor skatepark with a vert, bowl and a big street area. That’s what happened for the next 5 years. Didn’t skate that much downhill. 2006 was the year I got my first longboard. A Slipstream pintail, Randall rII’s 180′s and 70mm Kryptonics. That was the year I started to longboard every day and it was the year that I skated across the country for the cancer reunion. Didn’t know about slide gloves or anything. Skated the sickest hills without gloves. Haha. I was hooked after that. Had to go faster and faster. I became a speed freak. Haha.
What is the cancer reunion?
In 2006, me and a friend of mine, Henrik Haugann didn’t have anything to do that summer and we were hooked on longboarding. We decided to skate across the country to support the Norwegian Cancer Association. We skated from Oslo to Stavanger along the coastline. In total we skated around 1000 kilometers. Raised around $25.000. I did again alone in 2008, but then it was for supporting kids that have cancer and heart diseases. I raised around $10,000. I skated the same route, but I stopped at every hospital to deliver gifts to the kids. Playstations, Xboxes, DVD players, books and so on. It was really cool to do that and get the feeling that you are trying your best to help people in a very difficult situation. They are kids man, nobody deserves to be in that situation, especially not kids.
Who else was riding back then?
Not many. It was me and Steinar Fryk in my town. He is a rad vert/bowl skater. We wanted to skate faster than we were doing in the bowl, so we had to bomb hills. Also TB and his crew in Oslo. Not so many in Oslo either. Maybe 10-20 that I knew of in all of Norway. Good times man. It’s pretty rad the way it has turned out. So popular all over the world, but I will never forget where it all started and it was pretty rad to be a part of the beginning in Norway.
Where did it all start?
Well you had the crew in Oslo. TB, Bechstrøm, Jacobsen, Lyngaas and some more guys and me and Steinar where I lived. 30-40 mins from Oslo. At the time, we hooked up a lot with the crew in Oslo because we were only two in my town. Man those were good times.
How did you make the transition (haha) from short to longboard?
Well the speed got me hooked, the crew, the stoke and the competitions were pretty rad. I won my first competition and that was a little sign for me to continue I guess. I just wanted to skate faster and faster.
What is Drammen like for skating?
It’s a big hill billy town outside Oslo. The people there are like heaven and hell. Its a town filled with people that range from badass skaters to pretty boys wearing UGGS as winter shoes. Damn bro, its like seeing people wearing wet sponges. The town is in a valley so there are a lot of hills here. A lot of traffic though, but outside town there are sick hills. Its a fun town and I like it.
When did the community in the country start growing?
It started to grow a lot in 2009 and 2010. It just took off man. Just see the list on IGSA webpage. Over a thousand skaters only in competitions. Imagine how many there are all over the world and how fast it has grown.
Why do you miss the old days?
It was just a little good crew and I liked it that way. I knew that it would not always stay like that, but I loved that crew and still do. You had Jørgen Egeland´s shop located in a basement in an old part of Oslo. You pretty much had to wear helmet when you were there because the roof was so low. Hehe. It was a damn rad shop. We are all still skating, but now some of us are travelling all over the world. We don’t see the guys that often. Some of us have kids and so on, but when we are skating we usually talk about the good old days. Getting good laughs and talking about how much we sucked and how many times we crashed and so on. That’s what its all about. King Of The Hill is not in a basement anymore, it has become a rad shop. Jørgen still runs it and keeping it gangsta. Hehe. He is a legend!
Who was in the Drammen crew?
At the beginning it was me and Steinar, but when we got more skaters me and Kim made a crew called DDC, Drammen Downhill Crew. Kim Mengshoel Anderssen, Cedric Cornell, Steffen Eliassen were one of the most active members and are skating a lot of competitions. The DDC is a rad crew. aka Drammen Dad Crew or Drammen DILF Crew… Haha. Half of us are dads.
It would be funny if you guys went to the MILF (Monterrey International Longboard Festival) race in Mexico next year!
Haha, the DILF´s and MILF´s. That could get ugly.
When did you start competing?
My first competition was in 2007, I think I won, but I didn’t start before 2008. I entered every race I could find. Had my first IGSA race in Insul, Germany 2010.
How did Norwegians get a reputation for being gangsters?
Well, I think you can thank Bricin “STRIKER” Lyons for that. When I saw some clips from Australia, Newtons Playground in 2010, he kept calling all the Norway guys gangsters and saying that we had knives in our pockets and so on.
When we were in Newtons 2012 and had the livecast going on I heard that he called me ”Viking Serial hill killer”, the mass murderer from Norway, gangster and so on. Haha. I laughed my ass off when I heard it the first time. Dont pass us, you might get stabbed. We are big and have space for some knives in our leathers. Haha.
I love Striker man. I got the chance to get to know him in Australia this year. He is a legend and I am stoked to have that insane dude as a friend. I love how he talks about us when he is announcing races. He is a character that downhill skateboarding needs. His personality and his drive to arrange events are awesome.
How was the experience of Insul?
Insul was sick. Just amazing. Such a well organized event. I think I got 41st or something. Stoked about that. The best thing was to actually meet the skaters I had watched in movies etc. It was really awesome to meet skaters that I had looked up to and meet them and find out that all of them are down to earth people and just skating to have fun, travel and share the stoke. That’s why I love this sport so much.
Had you skated outside Norway up till then?
Just some freerides in Sweden.
What other races did you do that season?
In 2010, I raced Insul, Fair Cape and Hot Heels in South Africa that also was a total disaster for me, but shit happens. It is not cool when you travel half the globe to crash out and not get the chance to race. I crashed in the last freeride before qualis. Shit always happens in the last run ey? I was leading Christoph Batt, Steffen Eliassen and Dalua into Lloyds Left in Hot Heels. Had a bad line and clipped the hay bales on the exit of the corner. Batt and Eliassen barely missed me and crashed together. There were skaters everywhere so it was hard for Dalua not to hit me. His leg hit my head at around 80-85km/h and knocked me out for a while. He trashed his knee pretty bad. I still feel really bad for it, but shit does happen, but he has always been my biggest influence to skate fast and he is an awesome skater so I felt really really bad for the crash. It was a really hard crash for all of us.
What’s the worst damage you’ve had?
I must say I have been really lucky when it comes to breaking bones and such. I have broken some bones, but nothing serious. No surgeries… yet (knock on wood). My worst damage was when I got hit by a car in 2007. Lost my balance nerve in my brain and had to learn to walk again. That was pretty weird, but I came back strong and didn’t let that pull me down. I felt stronger and my passion for skateboarding made me want to come back as strong as possible.
What was the highlight of that season for you?
In 2010, the highlight was of course was Insul, my first IGSA race. My highlight to date is my 8th place in qualis and 8th in the race at Newtons, Australia this year. My first top ten. So sick. And also finally meet my sponsor Early Skateboards for the first time and staying in Aussie for a month. Can’t wait to go back there in April.
What did you learn from your adventures in 2010?
That downhill skating is my true passion and that I want to be a part of it for as long as I can. I learned a lot that year and it made me a better skater.
When did you first get sponsored?
I had some sponsors when I was skating vert/street/bowl. Had a flow deal at Shit Skateboard Company. A rad Norwegian brand. Started in 2000 I think. I still ride for them. I started for them in 2004/2005. My first big sponsor was Rockstar Energy Drink. Still ride for them as well.
Are you a Rockstar?
Haha. Hell yeah. Party like a Rockstar. Or like Team Redwine.
How did you get hooked up with such a huge sponsor?
I had a friend that was working for them and he talked to them for me. They first asked if I could wear some patches on my leathers so I guess it started there. I also won their competition they arranged here so I think they got stoked. Had a meeting with the big boss some months after and they wanted to give me a sponsorship deal. I was really stoked about getting a huge sponsor like Rockstar. They have really helped me a lot and I hope to ride for them for many more years.
What is an Early skateboard?
An Early skateboard is a skateboard that are most early down a hill and made by Early Skateboards Australia. Sick brand. I’m proud to be riding for them. They make rad boards and the crew is just amazing.
You’re also sponsored by red wine?
Hehe. Not exactly, but I love redwine. Team Redwine is a sick crew. I’m not one of the original members, but I’m stoked to be a part of it now. It has all the guys from the good old days in it so that’s rad. The mission is to get the cheapest goon, have a rad time drinking red wine and spread the red wine word. Hehe. I love being in that crew. Never a boring moment. Ever.
Who are your other sponsors?
Rockstar Energy Drink, Early Skateboards Australia, Longboardgarage, Venom, Ronin family, Shit Skateboard Company, Chassis57, VOX Footwear and Cedric Cornell!
How was the 2011 season for you?
2011 was also pretty rad. I was planning to go on the whole Euro tour, but got only Kozakov and Insul. I still had a good season with a lot of skating and progressing.
Have you done the whole Euro tour yet?
The plan was to do it this year, but once again something came up and I only got to race Peyragudes.
Next year I will. Nothing will ruin ruin for me. Doing the whole eurotour has always been a dream for me. I want to have a long road trip with good friends through several countries. Having rad freerides on gnarly mountain passes. The best thing is to wake up really early and skate sick mountain passes. 2013 is going to be my year to do the whole eurotour.
How was Kozakov for you last year?
Kozakov was sick man. Holy shit what a hill! I also streetluged it for my first time. Haha. That was scary, but a ton of fun. I really got to practice everything on that hill. Fast corners, straights, footbrakes and predrifts. Such a rad hill. One of the sickest hills I have ever skated even though I was injured. I also got to the quarter final in luge and top 32 in standup. I could have reached top 16 in stand up, but my ankle was hurting so much, and I was in the quarterfinals in luge and the competition itself was really delayed because of a lot of bad injuries. Jacko and Pavel crashed in my second heat, but before the finish line I stood up and let Jacko pass me. I didn’t want to be the one delaying the competition even more, so that’s why I let him pass me. I ended 24th and at the time that was my best world cup result. I was happy about it. He got second in the final. You owe me Jacko! Hehe. The ankle is still hurting a bit, but it is getting better. I will try to come back strong in 2013.
How was the party?
Nothing beats the party in Kozakov. NOTHING!!!!!! Everyone has a sick time there. We have guys joining us from Norway that are just there for the party. Haha.
What do you enjoy best about it?
That the organisers always manages to keep the stoke up at the party. It makes the party sick. The best party memories I have are from that party tent. The party at Peragudes this year was pretty sick as well. Haha. The organisers had to drag me, Kim Anderssen, Quin Finocchio and John Barnet out of the tent. There was no red wine and no beer left in the tent and we were still there. Haha.
Norway won the party?
We usually do.
What makes you all so adept at winning?
We don’t even try man. Hehe. We just like to drink and a have a good time for a looooong time and when everyone leaves we are still there, having a rad time.
Favourite race in the world?
Aussie races for sure man. Newtons gotta be the favorite. Not because I got 8th this year, but because it is just an amazing hill. Short, but intense. The most intense 60-70 seconds you will ever have!!!
What did you enjoy about spending so long down under?
Being at the Earlyhouse in Byron Bay. Had a good time there with Austin, Flavio and Mathias. I had the sickest road trip ever. Staying with Adam Yates’ house. He is a legend and really made our visit awesome. Took us to a lot different places. Awesome dude. Love ya bra. Finally meeting Jeremy Rodgers and his wife Lee and their awesome family. Had some nice BBQs with them. They are doing a hell of good job running Early. I couldn’t be more stoked and proud riding for them. I have even tattooed Early on my leg thanks to my girl using my tattoo machines. Love you guys and love Early. Had an experience that was not so funny at the time, but the resulting story is so damn awesome.
On my third day, I woke up at Sydney Airport after the party at Mt. Kiera. I fell asleep in the car and had to drive all the way back to Mt. Kiera. Alone! Covered in redwine because TB sprayed me the night before. I spent 7 hours getting back. A trip that was supposed to take an hour. Rad story. It was not cool at the time, but it made a hell of a story.
Tell us the whole story!
Well, the party took off as usual. Went to sleep in the car and Shimo was also sleeping in the car and I thought he would join me on that trip to the airport. The reason why we were at the airport was because Jeremy and Austin were taking a really Early flight back to Brisbane. When we left Mt. Kiera, it was still dark, Jezza and Uncle were packing the car and Shimo went and took Austins bed. I would probably do the same.
When I realised that I was alone at Sydney Airport at 8 in the morning, I thought: “Okay, you are all alone, you are probably still a little tipsy, the steering wheel is on the wrong side, everybody drives on the wrong side and you are probably gonna use 4-5+ hours to get back.”
I used 7. The crew even called the police asking if they had found a big Norwegian in a big van driving around. I stopped at 3 gas stations to ask for directions. In a white long sleeved shirt COVERED in red wine… Hahahahahahaha. Probably also smelling like shit. “Hi, I need to get to Wollongong” I said. Even saying “Wollongong” makes you sound drunk. Such a funny name. I was driving in circles and I was starting to get so mad. I was frustrated as hell. Everyone that I asked for directions gave me bad directions. 7 hours later, I got back and my tiny hangover could start! I popped a beer the second I stepped out of that car and laughed my ass off. The only thing that made me not loose my mind was that this will be a so damn good story. Welcome to Australia.
Where have you been skating recently?
Just at some local hills. We recently found a 5km hill with 10 hairpins. Awesome hill. I’ve skated there two weekends in a row.
What are your plans for the rest of the season?
The season is soon over now. Started to snow a bit yesterday. It is just wet now, but at night there it is 2-3 minus degrees so our season is pretty much over. I also have to move to the new house soon so my plans are packed. A lot of tattoos to do at work as well. We have an indoor skatepark so I will move in there the whole winter to skate bowl and vert.
What are you looking forward to next season?
I really really look forward to getting back to Australia to meet the crew again and race Newtons. The whole eurotour, meeting all the skaters again, meeting new skaters, new people, share more stoke and just live the dream!
Pick 3 numbers between 1-39.
8, 26 and 38
8 – Best board you’ve ever ridden?
TB Pro model 2, Early Skateboards Australia
Venom wheels. Cannibals. 72 and 76mm. 78a
Ronin Trucks. 174mm. 40/30
Venom bushings. 95a
Seismic tektons ceramic bearings.
26- What kind of films do you like?
Thrillers and comedy. Old skate movies.
Haha. This was really really fun, we should make another excuse to do this again soon!
Yeah it was rad. Stoked bro. And my girl is getting angrier and angrier because I have been on the computer for some hours now. Hehehehe.
Any thank yous?
First of all I will thank my girl for putting up with me. Taking care of our kid(s) and our house while I’m out travelling. I know it’s hard for her to see all the stuff I’m doing while she is home alone. I try to do the best as I possibly can when I’m home.
I want to thank Rockstar Energy Drink. Early Skateboards Australia. Venom. Ronin Trucks. Longboardgarage. Cedric Cornell. Torbjørn Sunde. Steffen Eliassen Kim Mengshoel Anderssen. Jeremy Rodgers, Lee Rodgers and all the sick dudes in the amazing Early crew. Striker. Adam Yates. Chassis57. VOX Footwear. You are all legends and have helped me get where I am today. Thank you. Fred and Mischo at Ronin Trucks for making the sickest trucks out there. All the skaters that I have met along the way. Rip City crew in Portland, crazy latinos I met at Maryhill(You know who you are). All the kids I met in Aussie that gave me a lot of stoke when they all knew who I was and wanted me to autogragh their boards and helmets etc. The list goes on man. It is many more.
Follow me on Instagram @kulatheviking