Norwegian Gangster Sam tells us about skating in Oslo, organising Voss and TMI Grefsenkollen. He also shares some thoughts about dragon training. Yeah he’s that sort of Viking. Hello Sam, how are you?
Hi, I’m very good. Summer is coming, although it is raining at the moment.
It’s nearly April why isn’t it spring yet?
I read an article on http://www.guardian.co.uk/ about there not being as much ice as usual in the arctic. Last year it was about 20 degrees and now it’s -5 to +5. Something to do with ice reflecting sun and the lack of ice makes the heat go into the water or some mumbo jumbo.
What are you going to do when all the ice melts?
Well, that is when I get to skate! It is possible to skate now, but all the good hills in the area are wet/icy.
Me and two friends are currently working on TMI Grefsenkollen (register! www.internationaldownhillfederation.org/page/tmi-grefsenkollen-registration), it will be the first international race in Norway. Will be a part of the IDF world qualifying thingamabob. 5-7th of july is the date!
Looking forward to that! Also Extreme sports week in Voss will be awesome as usual, I am organising that too.
When did you start skating?
I got my first board the summer of 2008, a Sector 9 with R-2 150mm and Gumballs. It was a great board that made me want more. I wouldn’t dare ride it the way I used to though, scary what I bombed on it. Got a lot more into skating as the days went by and had a DH board by the autumn.
You never stepped on a skateboard before that?
Did some playing around in a ramp when I was 13-15, broke my ankle and never tried again. Was fun, but when I started a new school the ramp wasn’t just outside anymore.
What got you into skating?
The longboarding I got into because the sister of my girlfriend at the time had a small cruiser that I really loved. Borrowed it a few times and ended up buying my own, it was so much fun! Loved the Feeling (yes, capital f)!
How did skating make you feel?
Content is a word that fits well. It just felt right in a way, love at first roll. Also it beats the hell out of walking!
Who did you ride with back then?
Adrian Jancey, Ali Nas, Audun Guneriussen, and a few others were the ones I skated with the most that winter in an indoor parking garage. The people have mostly stayed the same, with a new addition every now and again. These days it’s the three I mentioned as well as Herman Ottesen, Mr. Lucas Krown, Christoffer Sanne etc. The community in Oslo is very big and the town small.
What made you get a DH board?
The speed would be easier to do I guess. I was told to buy something less flexy if I wanted to go faster. I bought a Rayne Isis, bears and some grippy wheels.
Who was the first skater you met?
Might very well be Fredrik Jacobsen and Kristina Engstrand. Yeah, very likely it was them with Morten, Jørgen (KOTH) and some others. A great gang to skate with.
What’s the community in Oslo like?
Great, really friendly group of people! There is always a skater happy to join you. We have this one hill where you take the metro up, you can go there and very likely meet someone by accident. The hill is long though, so you can skate a whole day and miss people, done that a few times.
We are a nice bunch of good people who don’t mind lending a hand or teach the newbies how to roll. There are always new kids showing up and we teach them how to ride safe and wear a helmet. Skated with the Princess’ son last year, haha… That was funny!
Who is Jørgen?
Jørgen is kind of like the Godfather of longboarding in Norway. A great Guy that has done so much for the community through organizing events and sponsoring riders. He is an all around great guy.
What role does KOTH play in the Oslo community?
KOTH was the shop driven by Jørgen, unfortunately he closed the shop down this winter. It was the center of everything to do with longboarding a while ago.
Because he went to film the Hangover 3 in Bangkok?
Haha! Yeah, I guess that’s it. Have to ask him to bring me back a monkey when he comes back from Thailand!
Princess Peach has a son?
Yeah, she had a son before she married the Prince of Norway. Nice kid, hope he gets into it more!
What was the first event you attended?
Moosehunt was my first, Ravenhill the first where I actually did the race and not just the freeride. I attend a lot of events, not always as a competitor but more as a help and lately organiser. Me, Mikkel Are Olsenlund and Fridtjof Schei are TMI (http://www.facebook.com/TmiSkateboarding?fref=ts), we organise small and soon big races in Norway.
What is TMI?
It started out as Team MILF (Men In Leathers Fast). The name TMI came from our first event in Beitostølen, Team MILF Invitational. It grew and we still called it TMI. Now it’s our name. We are founding an organization called TMI Skateboarding at the moment to make it easier to convince sponsors that we are serious. So far we only organize longboard events, but might be doing more in a years time (training dragons…)
Who started it?
Team MILF started out with Jonas, Mikkel and Fridtjof, I was pulled in a bit later. But the TMI thing started with Mikkel I believe. His wife’s family has a cabin in Beitostølen and that is where the first event was held.
Why do Norwegians have funny named teams?
I don’t see what you mean… What is funny about Men In Leathers Fast?
Team MILF and Team DILF… Only in Norway!
Do we have a team DILF? You must be thinking of DDC, Drammen Daddy Crew.
Where’s your favourite place to skate in Norway?
Voss! No doubt about that! But want to skate more of this lovely country, I can imagine there being plenty of roads that no one has skated yet. Especially in the North.
Are there many skaters in the North?
Yes, and growing! Most of the skaters in Norway are from the east side for some reason, that is where the capital is after all. There are more and more every day though.
What was the first TMI event?
TMI Beitostølen, https://vimeo.com/28603465 – 2011 https://vimeo.com/48827753 – 2012.
It’s a narrow fun track that keeps you on the edge. The track is used for stock cars, but we get to borrow it for skating. That race is and always will be about the good vibes!
How was the 2012 season for you?
Great, loads of good skate and great party’s! I am featured in the kozakov recap three times, and I didn’t participate… I had a nipple on my forehead, need I say more?
Part of the winning Norwegian team?
I am proud to say I am a part of the Norwegian party team.
What is it about you guys that makes you notorious in the Koz tent?
Hay bale fights? TB’s fault? We drink quite a bit and like to do stuff, stupid stuff. Remember wrestling with Patrick the year before last, I won and then ran off.
What was the biggest growth last season?
Skating wise – generally getting better at faster freeriding and having more fun. I don’t pressure myself to learn new stuff all the time, my goal is to have fun and so it should be for everyone else. If you focus to much on wanting to be best It kinda ruins it, for me at least. So many skaters (me included sometimes) watch a video and become demotivated by the skill and think about how they never will be that good, this will not only hinder you but ruin the fun! Personal, hmmm… I refuse to grow up.
When did you first skate outside Scandinavia?
Haha, realized I haven’t really. Skated the top of Kozakov for an hour or so last year and year before… That is about it I guess.
How was Voss last year?
Perfect, so there is some pressure on me this year. Road was closed for 8 hours or so for two days and the sun was shining all week. Great freeriding around the sickest roads you can imagine during the days leading up to the race.
What will be different about the Priestley regime?
Nothing I hope, trying to do the same as always except there will be mandatory leathers and full face. Have to wait ’till next year with the changes as I need to get into the game properly.
You’re changing the rules?
To IDF rules, just the basic stuff. Racing gets tight and it was kinda mandatory last year.
Why are you taking over?
The couple that did it the last few years can’t and I said could. That simple!
What’s your relationship with the IDF?
Secret lover? We are working with them for TMI Grefsenkollen and looking forward to see what they will bring to the game.
How will skating in Europe be different under the IDF?
Not sure it will be very different, maybe more organised and structure.
What surprises do you have planned for the first IDF race in Norway?
Not really any surprises as of now, but might be some. If there are we will keep them for ourselves so they remain surprises.
Why should people come for TMI Beitostølen?
It’s awesome fun! Plain and simple!
Where do you see skating in Europe going in the next few years?
I think it is moving toward more freeriding/sliding than racing. There has been a decrease in registered riders this year, hope it’s just random though.
What do you ride?
A chubby unicorn with PNL Strummers, just received the Strummers a month ago and am in love. Wheels: I like sector9 raceforms 78-80a anything. Or whatever’s at hand.
Pick 3 numbers between 1-40.
4, 16, 27
4 – Who is your favourite skater?
Hard to say, i’m a fan of Rodney Mullen. But of longboarders I’d have to say Kyle Chin.
16 – Have you met anyone famous?
Depends on how one defines famous. No one that pops in to my head as of now.
27- What did you do last weekend?
Skated and drank beer. Was also the judge at a slide jam and organised time trials and heats at a race here in Oslo.
Sammy Sam Sam. Been really fun having this chat with you. Good luck with you and thanks for all the hard work. Team Europe!
Thanks to all the people attending TMI Grefsenkollen this summer! All the people who make the sport what it is!