Featured rider: Terry Blanche

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Terry came to Norway about 8 months ago from Cape Town, and in that time has been taken deep into the Norwegian skate family. His story shows us that the gangsters have hearts as big as their hills.

Hey bru, how is your day going?
All good, had a really lazy day.

What did you get up to?
Pretty much nothing. Spent the day with my girlfriend inside. It’s getting pretty cold and miserable in Norway. Other than that, just waiting in anticipation for Felix Baumgartner’s jump.

How does it inspire you as a skater?
I guess to explore your limits as a person and doing what you love most in life, even if people are telling you that its stupid.

What limits will you push as a result of this?
I’ll try my best to do what I’m not capable of doing now, and enjoy myself while I’m doing it.

When did you start skating?
The first time I started was when I was 13,nothing serious. Then I stopped when I was 15. When I was 22, I picked up a longboard. That was 3 years ago.

How did you get into longboarding?
I was working in a surf shop and two of my friends had some longboards, they invited me to come skate with them at night after work, it all started there.

Who were you riding with back then?
The first guys i really skated with were Anton Pratt and Armin Grey.

Who are they?
Anton Pratt is the creator behind Fat Ant bushings and also a super fast skater, Armin is one of the skating legends in South Africa. These were my heros back then and I still look up to them.

Where were you guys skating?
Up in a closed road on Table mountain in Cape Town and Signal hill, which is also part of Table mountain.

Who else was skating in Cape Town back then?
Back then it was just a handful of guys and only confined within the city. Benjamin Malherbe, Richard Dweza, Tibor and Atilla Hery. And of course Anton and Armin. There were also some skaters that was there way before, like Mike Zietsman, Alex Duss,Kent Lingerveldt, Stuart Bradburn and Dallas Oberholzer.

What was your role in the early community?
Well, there was no role for me really, just to learn and grow and to be stoked.

What is the scene like in CT?
It was small, but very humble. Now it has grown drastically. The scene in Cape Town is unique, the “vibe” is like no place on earth. Friendliest people you will ever meet. In a period of 3 years the amount of skaters has more or less doubled each year.

What was responsible for this huge growth?
For me, it was a handful of people from Stellenbosch University that started organising skate sessions and getting their friends stoked on it as well. Snowball effect from there.

What sort of skating were you doing back then?
Just straight up straight line bombing.

Did you ever skate outside your city?
Yeah, there are great hills just outside Cape Town, like Stellenbosch and Franschoek, it was there where I started to get more serious about skating and I knew I was going to do this for as long as I could. After a year, some  guys from Johannesburg started to organise their own race, which SAGRA sanctioned called ”King of the fort”. It was the first time I skated in another city.

What was it like?
It was really exciting, the race had a whole new feel to it. It wasn’t such a difficult race, so everybody could give it their all. It was a very competitive event. I eventually ended up 2nd and I was stoked beyond belief.

What made you fall in love with skating?
The family feeling and knowing you belong to something greater. And also the thrill of it.

What is SAGRA?
SAGRA is the South African Gravity Racing Association, its the sanctioning body that organises all the events in S.A. They are the ones that take care of us and do all the hard work that no one wants to do.

Are you involved?
I did help out a lot where I could and was always willing to do so. When I got injured once, I volunteered to be a marshal at Hot Heels.I couldn’t miss being there for the world.

You marshaled some toy cars?
Hahaha, not Hot wheels! Hot heels, as in the bottom of your shoe burning from footbraking. Its our world cup event which is also the longest running! This year is the 10th edition.

What is the biggest impact they make on you as a skater?
Not to footbrake mongo.

How have they kept it up for 10 years?
Nothing but the passion for skateboarding and superhuman dedication.

What makes it different from other races in the world?
The laid back easy going South”faffrican” way.

What is a South faffrican?
Take “P- Swiss time” and multiply by 10, thats’ is average South faffrican.

The average Saffer skater is 10 times faster than the world series champion?
It’s more like the art of taking your time with shit, regardless of what’s going on around you haha! So that’s 10x slower.

That’s Gnarfrican time!
Gnarfrican time is just how long it takes us to do stuff, faffing is a whole new thing. Haha.

Have you raced outside South Africa?
The first time was when I came to Norway, never having ever skated in the wet before. The first race I did here was of course during a light snow blizzard.

Did you die?
No, but I ended up in the repercharge with 3 nine year olds hehe.

I won’t ask who won.
Dude, I won!

Why did you decide to come to Europe?
To leave my monotonous life of work, eat, sleep behind me and to get outside my comfortable bubble and experience life. My friends from Norway also made it easy for me to decide to go to. Plus I was told that the women there are really nice.

Which gangsters are you friends with?
The original Norwegian gangsters, TB sunde, Kula Jensen and Steffen Elliassen.

When did you land on our shores?
5th off March 2012, it would have been 3 days sooner if I didn’t miss my second flight out of S.A.

Did you find the Viking woman you were praying for?
Yea man, met her the first day I got here!

And you say South Africans are slow!
No, just Norwegian woman are faster.

Are you now a fafster?
Yeah! Half gangster and half faffing man haha.

What’s the first thing you learnt to become a Norwegian Gangster?
There is no such thing as bad weather.

How have you spent your time in Europe so far?
When I got here, I had 7 kroner in my bank because I missed my flight and had to re-book 3 of my tickets (because i was faffing) so I had no money at all. Luckily I was staying with a friend of mine for the time being until I could get on my feet. The plan was to get a job and then get my own place, but of course my first month was nothing but skating. Then I tried looking for work around Oslo and its then that I decided to ask Jørgen if I could help out at his shop called King of the hill. Thankfully, he accepted me in and its there where I made a new friend.
In the meanwhile, I started dating a girl that I met when I got here. Long story short, my friend that I stayed with moved out and she moved in and we are now staying together. So after helping Jørgen out at the shop, he trusted me with running the store when he is gone. He helped me out so much and if it wasn’t for him, I probably would gone home already. I owe him a lot. I made a lot of good friends here in Norway and they made me feel at home from the start. So in between, working at King of the hill, my girlfriend, fishing, picking mushrooms and skating and travelling through Scandinavia I am just enjoying every moment of my life.

Who is Jorgen?
He is the main gangster and godfather at King of the hill.
 What is KOTH?
The first real longboard shop in Norway, and sometimes an organised gang.

Sounds like you got welcomed with open arms!
Pretty much, the people here were more open than I thought. Kinda reminds me of the oukies back home, hehe.

How does it feel to have a girlfriend who loves the same thing as you do?
It feels great, but most important is that she also has different passions than I do. It keeps a good balance.

Your girlfriend skates? 
Her name is Mette,and I got her a boar a month ago,she is a natural.

That sounds like a viking thing to do, did you hunt and cook the boar yourself?
Haha no, but we go pick herbs and mushrooms together.

What is the difference between skating in Europe and SA?
The biggest difference for me is the hills! In Europe they are much more demanding when it comes to skill, and it forces you to improve all the time, you have to to survive it. The mindset is also different, people tend to be more disciplined when it comes to commitment .

How have you found the skating here?
Very educational.

What have you learnt?
To skate gnarlier hills more calmly and always be relaxed and to do more calculated predrifts. I also improved my freeriding immensely. Norway has some really grippy pavement. I also learned how to skate in the rain.

What races have you attended?
In Norway: x2 Volda,Voss and Beitostølen. Moosehunt and Ravenhill in Sweden, all the Scandinavian races I think.

Any outside viking land?
Just the races back home. There are so many.

What do you ride?
I’ve been riding Landyachtz since forever, started with the Evo like many people. At the moment I have a switchblade 36.

Are they your sponsors?
Haha in my dreams maybe. KOTH is my sponsor, and he likes Landyachtz too, so I got all my gear from him.

Will you ever leave Europe?
For now that is a real tough question, I fell in love with Norway and I have a reason to stay, but I would always love go back to S.A, if I will stay there I’m not sure.

Are you Benjamin and Alex Duss spies for SAGRA?
No comment…

We’re on to you, we won’t swap bacon for biltong.
Haha.

What are your plans for next season?
To do as much of the Euro Tour as I can afford and meet up with fellow Saffas hopefully.

What do you do when you’re not skating?
During summer I took advantage of all the lakes around Oslo so I started to take up fishing haha. Recently I bought myself a snowboard and I’m really looking forward to the snow.

Pick 3 numbers between 1-39.
3, 9, 18

3 – What impact has longboarding had on your life?
It has led me to where I am now, and I have no regrets.

9 – Favourite song to listen to when you skate?
The passenger – Iggy Pop

18- What is your favourite Cartoon?
Moomin, Snuffkin is one trippy dude.

It’s been really fun talking to you bru. Stay rad!
Awe bra! Keep it real.

Any thank yous
Jørgen, Torbjørn and Andreas and everyone that I’ve met on this skate journey, everyone had an impact on me.

Links
kingofthehill.no
sagra.co.za
platformpfr.co.za
fatantbushings.blogspot.com
ndsf.no
vimeo.com/user6739526
facebook.com/KingoftheHillBoardshop


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