Robin ”birdman” is our bro from Gothenburg, he tells us about his early days skating in graveyards, team morro and adventures around Europe. Enjoy!
Hej birdman, how are you?
Hej bro! Pretty good, the spring has finally come to Sweden so we can skate here, that’s amazing!
Great! How’s your weekend looking?
My plan was to skate all weekend, but the rain stopped me so it’s seems that I’m going to be in the garage.
You have a moustache and a classic vespa, are you a hispter?
Haha, no man! I just get satisfied by rebuilt old vespas and then take care of them and drive them. I have a thing for old things with smart solutions. The vespas are full of them. Even the new ones have almost the same technology like the ones from 1950’s, that’s cool.
Where are you from?
Sweden, from a small town named Säffle, but a few years ago I moved to Gothenburg, and I still live here.
Why did you move to G’burg?
I started studying here, my plan was to just do the education and then move back, but during the school time, I really enjoyed the town. It’s not too big and not too small, it’s like we say in Sweden “lagom” haha. The only shitty thing is that it rains around 150 days every year.
When did you start skating?
It was after I moved to Gothenburg. I had an old Gordon & Smith pintail that I never used, and in my first months in G-burg my bicycle got stolen and I am too lazy to walk, so I dusted off the pintail and started to take it from A. After a while, I came to realize that it was pretty nice. One night I went to a graveyard for some cruising and I met Jon Dahlstrand and he showed me some slides and I thought it looked cool and I was ready to take it no next level.
Was there anyone skating around then?
Yeah sure, a lot of people.
Who is Jon?
He’s a really cool guy that does crazy freeride. Also a really good friend. He is the one that’s introduced me to longboarding, and in 2012, we shared an apartment so we skated a lot then. Now he has moved to Oslo.
Why are you skating in graveyards?
Haha, I lived next to it and it has hills and no cars. Perfect place to skate, but we only skate there when there are no people there. We are always respectful to the people there. Sometimes, the cemetery employees give us a ride up the hill with their electric cars.
Are people in Gothenburg different from Stockholmers?
No, I don’t think so. Like Morrissey said -“people are the same everywhere”.
Do you remember the point when you got addicted to skating?
I think It was after that first night. When I came home, I searched for longboard clips on YouTube and found the clip “ let go” with Kyle Chin and thought it was amazing. That’s the stuff I wanted to learn.
Also my favourite thing I like about longboard society – It doesn’t matter what background you have; what country you live in or are from, what age you are or what skill level you have. Everybody is welcome!
What did the video inspire you to do?
The video made me want to learn more things like going faster and controlling the speed.
Who were you learning from then?
From the guys I skated with. We had a group could “team morro” It was Fredric, Anton, Rogbrant, Jon, Kristina, Esaja, David, Hannes and some other girls and guys.
Did the Brd help?
It was more made for downhill, a little stiffer and top-mounted. I felt more confident on that board. So it helped me a lot.
That’s a good team. What adventures did you guys get up to together?
We did a lot of skating, and some partying. There is not any hill around Gothenburg that we didn’t skate.
Where is Kristina?
Kristina lives in Gothenburg now, she moved to Oslo but now she is back here.
Did you attend any local events?
I start late summer 2011, so I did not go to any events the first year, but in 2012 I was in Näkrosdammen. I missed Ravenhill.
Who organises events over there?
Näckrosdammen was I skatestore called Hollywood, and Slipstream Ravenhill. It’s Jairo from Jsm and Slipstream
Is Ravenhill your favourite.?
Ravenhill is a good event, well organized. Not my favourite but the guys do a great work with the event. Would be if the track be a little longer it should be my favourite.
What setup were you racing on in 2012?
First half of the summer it was the jsm Condor with gunmetal trucks. Then it was on landyachtz 9 two 5. That I chopped so it had super short wheelbase and top-mount. The shape looked like a hippopotamus
Have you done much travelling around Sweden ?
Not so much. It’s lot of places that I haven’t been to, but I try to go when it’s some event. I think I will borrow a camper and just drive around in Sweden and Norway this summer.
What did you get up to in 2012?
The first race I went to was “moosehunt”. All of the team morro went there together. And that was the first time I did go faster than 65 I think (the first one was scary as hell but then I get used to the speed). I get a good quali time but went out in the first heat. Next was that local event “Näckrosdammen” a small race in a really short hill. I ended up 4th after Fredrik Rogbrand, some slalom guy and Esaja.
Henrique from sublime did an event on a ski hill that called “kingshill”. It was two days with riding all the time, we had a ski lift up the hill so we could skate how much we wanted. The track was narrow and step, super fun. I did my first race outside Sweden 2012. It was me, Hannes and Henrik that went to Portugal Lagoa Azul. It was a whole week of skate and at the end of the week the race was, it was super fun. I met really nice and friendly people there!
We also had a ”winter freeride” on Ravenhill that Jairo and Zippo organized. It was quite wet but still fun to skate and meet people.
Why did you decide to go to Portugal?
Hannes found the race on internet so he asked me if I want to join. It had start to get cold in Sweden so off course I wanted to join him.
How did the track compare to other places you had skated?
It was faster and longer that any hill that I had skated before so after, my legs were dead, haha. It was a good experience and we also skate some other hills that week.
What were the highlights of that year?
I think it was Portugal, or the event “kings hill”.
How was 2013?
2013 was a great year, in the beginning of the year me and Hannes went to the the event “eat concrete” in Belgium. It was organized by Bregt and Jasper. (Two super cool guys that we meet in Portugal). They have the event like a school project so the whole school was involved, Really good event! I ended up in 3rd place after Kevin Bouaich and Deen Mondt.
I did a little Eurotour with Max Walter, Abel Mennesy, Martin Hult. Then we met Fredrik Rogbrant and the rest of the Swedish people in Prague.
After some party in Prague we did go to Kozakov. Crazy event with a good track and good party! After we take the car to Slovenia KNK. Really nice place and the track was awesome. We get many runs, I think it was the best event that I’ve been to. 7 days of freeriding in a hill that was amazing. On every hill I ride, I want to stay longer, but in KNK it feels like you need a short break in the middle of the road so many hairpins haha.
The 4th or 5th day, I crashed and broke two fingers. I did skate in two more days and then take the flight home.
How did it feel to see your homie Esaja on the podium?
It was great, he is a really good skater.
What did you enjoy most about Kozakov?
That we get so many runs, also all people, the good atmosphere.
What setup were you racing on?
It was on a Navisboard roadrunner, a board that me and Max walter designed, and buzzed trucks.
Are any of those your sponsors?
Navisboards were my sponsors then but now I am riding for Slipstream Longboards.
What slipstream boards are you riding right now?
The new DFA, a cool and light board with kicktail. For me it’s the perfect all round board.
How is this year going for you?
It’s start pretty awesome. First me, Max Walter, Martin Hult and Martin Speedoff go to Salsito house in Calpe. There we met up with David Butti, Toti, and Pablo and did one week of skate, we had a good time and it really improved my riding. Long hills downhill roads and crazy step freeride hills. Then I was home for little more than a month then did I go to Barcelona with the Slipstream Team.
We were 5 riders from Sweden, 2 from Norway and the team managers Daniel and Ola,
When we got there we met up with the Spanish team rider Eider. It was a week with sun, nice people, new experiences, and all of this did Marta captured on film.
Why did you guys decide to go to Salsito?
Max was friend with David and I had met Pablo before and we know there are really nice guys and that it a lot of good hills down there! And you know, in January it snowed so we really needed some sun.
Why should others visit there?
David who owns the house is super nice and all the guys that help are really friendly and helpful. The sun is always shining and the hills are great. It’s really “the longboard paradise”.
First time in BCN?
Yes it was my first time in Barcelona, also my first travel with the team and it was really good. Barcelona is great, nice architecture and good hills around Barcelona. We also got the best help with all the stuff from Eider, Marta, Christina, Aleix, Sergio and the rest of the locals.
How was it different from Gothenburg?
Better weather, more people and bigger hills, and everybody is crazy in the traffic haha. One day, when we were at the beach we saw a guy with a diving suit that just caught a large fish with a harpoon; you will never see that in Gothenburg.
When will the videos be out?
The first one will come out in the end of April. The second one in the end of May. The third and last one in the end of June. Also, we released one raw run every day we were there. You can see it in our YouTube channel Slipstreamlongboard.
What are your plans for the rest of the year?
I will go to the events in Sweden and Norway, Kozakov and maybe some trip to Spain.
What do you do when you’re not skating?
I’m studying to hvac engineer, are in the garage and fix vespas, and socialize with my girlfriend and friends.
Pick 3 numbers between 1-39
12, 17, 23
12 – What’s your least favourite movie? Worst.
Haha, hmm that a hard one, maybe “I am Omega” I only saw it for 30min then it was enough haha. My favourite genre is sci-fi, but the worst movies I seem to also be sci-fi. I think it’s hard to do a good movie in that genre with a low budget.
17- Favourite socks?
Thin black ones
Stoked to finally do this bird man, thanks for your patience. Hopefully see you again soon.
It was nice talk to you! You are always welcome in Sweden.
Any last words?
Thanks to my Sponsor Slipstream Longboards and all organizer that do events!
Check Out Slipstreams longboard YouTube channel
Also Mandarinwalls That will do our videos from BCN
BCN photos by the beautiful and talented Ola Lindberg!