Skate chat with BIG Norwegian downhill ambassador ”TB”. He tells us about the scene in his country, touring the world and TeamRedWine. Enjoy
Hello TB, how are you today?
G’day mate! I’m good, not the best night’s sleep, but nothing a mug of coffee can’t fix.
Long night skating?
No, actually not, just got to bed late and some idiot kids had to go to school super early this morning. I live on the first floor (that’s ground level here in Norway) and they were not happy to be up so early either.
Is that where you’re from?
Yeah, born and bred.
When did you start skating?
I started skating streetboard in my home village, Sør Odal, with my mates when I was 13. I didn’t start longboarding until I moved to Oslo 6/7 years ago.
You’ve been riding constantly since you were 13?
I had a break when I went to the army and a year after I was done. but that’s all the breaks I’ve had.
How did you get into longboarding?
I just bought a cruiser one day, and then I discovered speed. I’ve always been into going fast, so that felt just great! I met an oak in a park one day and I asked him about some hills in Oslo, that was Fredric Jacobsen. The adventure started there.
Who is Fredric?
Fredric is a local hero over here, he goes under the name The Caveman! He is full of tattoos and crazy ideas, a good oak to start skating with!
What heroic viking deeds has he done?
I think he has done most of them, he is from the cold and dark North Norway. That place does something to you.
He can sleep through ANYTHING, he’s been known to fall asleep on the racetrack in…? I think it was Peyragudes in ‘08 they had to wake him up to get the freerides going. Legend!
What is his involvement with the local community?
He organizes a lot of skates for people, he is especially good at introducing newcomers to the sport, he truly loves the grassroot of our scene. He’s also passionate about finding new spots, he loves that!
Was it just the two of you skating in those early days?
Almost, we hung out a lot! Building boards and making aero helmets in Freds flat but it didn’t take a long time before we met up with a group of crazy Swedes in Oslo who were skating down a big hill up here, down from the ski jump. Amongst them were two Swedish twins who were building up their movie career. We ended up being in the movie Longing For Life 1 after a week skating with them. We did some crazy stuff back then, and then we discovered the slide gloves. Eureka!
Did you build boards?
Yeah, we even made a foamcore, hehe! But nothing more than that, we made some buttboads too, but that would kill me if I continued. We went straight to the 100km/h hills charging them in the wintertime! Snow is so nice to crash in, luckily!
Do you still buttboard?
No, not anymore.
You’re a movie star?
Hehe, I’ve been in two movies that the twins made LFL 1 and 2, some of the best days of my life.
Movies families can watch together?
Yeah, sure, they are movies about living and having fun in life! We were a part of the longboard segment. There was a lot of feel good stuff in them, and a lot of crazy cliff jumps and bridge jumps. That was the twins area.
Have you been in any skate films since?
No, not like that, I think those two movies were quite unique. Like a movie from our days doing wild shit, published on a DVD for everyone to watch.
How has the community in Oslo evolved since you and The Caveman started riding many moons ago?
It has been growing. In the beginning we were a few, now we are heaps! The tradition of freeriding with standups and joyriding wasn’t a part of our gospel back then, it is something that came with the “newer” era. We just wanted to live fast and skate even faster! Bombing HARD on open roads. A bit like our bigger brothers from Canada I guess!
What’s it like riding in Oslo/Norway?
Well the truth is I haven’t been doing much of it the last two years, I’ve sort of done ‘em all. Now I like to travel to find stoke on bigger and meaner hills. But having that said I’m getting back into riding Oslo more, since I’ve learned to stand up slide from my good mate Adam Yates.
Why did you leave the vikings behind?
Well I feel and I hope I never did that. It just had to evolve, I was looking for greater challenges. World Cuping was a good option! Also mountain passes on the west coast! Back then there weren’t many who wanted to join on these missions, but we found our crew! We fell in love with Voss and Rogaland county, now we’ve got true friends there after many visits and crazy moments shared.
Who is your crew?
Morten Dale showed us Voss (Voss is a town in the middle of the most beutiful mountain region on the west coast of Norway also home of the worlds biggest extreme sports festival, when you see wingsuit segments from Norway, it’s likely you are looking at Voss). Jarle Jalla showed us Rogaland (Rogaland is a comune in Norway, a challenger to Voss, it’s got some of the best and gnarliest roads I’ve ever tested my legs on). The twins were with us on every road trip, so was Fredric the Caveman!
Is there any longboarding at this extreme sports festival?
You bet! It started with a dude named Alex Lyngaas and Morten Bechstrøm. Back then – 2006/7, there were a mere 10 riders, but last year it was 130!
The festival has been going for over 10 years and includes rafting, kayaking, base jumping and wingsuit, paragliding, big mountain skiing, BMX, DH biking, music and parties!
Have you competed there?
Yeah, for five years! And I will do so this year too, skipping Maryhill which always runs on the same dates as this.
Keeping it local. What was it like the first time you rode it?
It was great!! No leathers and almost no experience, I can’t remember how I finished but I was stoked! So stoked!
When did you first win?
Hmm… I haven’t won a lot of races, I got some bad luck sometimes. In the extreme sports festival I’ve been on every part of the podium! From 4th to 1st. I won again in South Africa, no not hot heels unfortunately, but that was great.
Unbelievably enough the time I won Veko (the name of the festival) was the year Patrick Switzer and Jacko were there. That was an even greater bonus!
Is Voss is your favourite track to race?
It’s my favorite event, for sure! The track is great too! It’s in a epic location. You kick out on a short straight so you pick up some good speed then you bomb into a 120 degree right hander which goes under a huge rock, straight into a left hand hairpin and onto the straight with a sweeper that takes you over the river from the huge waterfall, that sweeper is always wet from the waterfall. After a nice straight you find yourself in front of two hairpins, this is the crucial part, they’ve got low exit speeds but are tricky. After the second one, you have a long left and finish!
Sounds beautiful. What is your favourite thing about the festival?
All the different athletes, all crazy nutters who eat fear of life for breakfast!
When did you start racing?
2007 was the start of my quest for the next round.
Is that what you found?
Amongst a lot of other life changing happenings and friends, yes. Now I truly enjoy being efficient down a hill, I love the fact that I can take on any hill! Being the fastest or winning an event will always just be a bonus to me. It’s the moment of racing that keeps me going!
Is there a National Championship in Norway?
Yes there is. It started with the founding of NDSF, Norwegian Downhill Skateboard Federation. 2009 was the first National Championship. The championship is one event only, unlike the cup which includes many races.
How do you fare in the cup?
Faaar down on the list in 2010 dude, at the time we did our cup I was doing the Eurotour, World cuping. In 2011, 14th, that year it was only 3 events in the cup and I skipped one.
Where did you spend the last 2 years?
I’ve been traveling around, South Africa and Australia are the two places I’ve been most, when not doing the Eurotour. In 2010 I worked the whole summer as a circus artist, so no Europe tour then.
As a bear?
he he he, I could do that now! No, I’ve been a juggler as a profession for many years. And if you get the opportunity to work in a proper tent with a good production you do it! For me it was a great part of my life!
Do you have any other mysterious talents aside from juggling?
Not that I know of, but there is so much out there to learn, so maybe. Give me some more years!
Does your juggling skill help your skating?
I don’t think juggling helps, but the view of making things you’ve never done before happen I think I comes from this. I learned that anything is possible, never say “I can’t do that” when you have never tried it. Having an open mind like that has helped me to be a better skater.
What was the difference between skating in South Africa & Australia compared to Europe?
You can see the Southern cross at night and they drive on the WRONG side of the road down there. Well, seriously it’s a hard one to answer! Every road is different.
What do you ride?
I ride my Early pro model, topmount with a set of Munkaes underneath Hawgs mini monsters, 80-86a.
Are these all your sponsors?
Yes and no, Hawgs I get from the shop I ride for; BIG SHOUT OUT TO KING OF THE HILL OSLO! Jørgen I love you dude!
I’ve been riding Hawgs for many years! I fucking love those wheels! Hello Hawgs!
How about Early and Munkae?
Those are my sponsors! I’ve been with Early for many years now! And Josh Rolf just put me on his truck team!
How many of you went?
We were 5. Fredric and I were there the year before, but in 2009 Team Red Wine began and it was a never ending party that lasted 4 weeks!
What is Team Red Wine?
Yeah, us and the hairy grapes! The two Ozzies, Corey Leeson and Adam Yates. We road tripped together, the Norwegians and the hairy grapes all through Europe, drinking red wine and skating WC.
Why team ‘’red wine’’?
Well that is a big chapter, but to cut it short it started with the heatwave in Europe that year, everybody was drinking warm beer, the Norwegians found out that red wine is much better when it’s warm and we didn’t have a refrigerator, so we went to the store and bought heaps of the cheapest red wine we could find, this was Jarles genius idea, so great! No joke, and then we became team Red Wine.
You’ve mentioned Mr Yates twice already, is he your special friend?
He is a true friend yes, we are the same breed him and I. I love that guy and we have shared a lot of great moments traveling! After the ‘09 tour he came to Norway and I showed him some of our hills, he was the first international I know of to come skate the gnarly West coast of Norway.
His love for the sport and for people is unbelievable, those who get the opportunity to get to know this man would say the same! True grit!
How was last season for you?
It was really good, the Euro tour gave me a chance to show myself as a fast racer, since day one of WC I’ve wanted to be a part of the top. But when you are at the bottom you think its close to undo-able.
Last year I won my favorite race in Norway, Voss, I won Houteq in South Africa, I got 5th in Insul Germany and 5th in Teolo Italy! I ended up 8th on the WorldCups overall! So I was pretty stoked that it was possible. All the work started to pay of! But it’s strange to be faster than some of your heroes from back in the days. Very strange and I have to be careful, there are a lot of Norwegians and Swedes who are looking super fast. So no time to rest!
What did it take for you to finally perform as well as you wanted to?
Patience and experience. I kept focus on having fun when racing, I don’t skate to be the fastest like I mentioned earlier. It really gives you a boost when you can start to take on the REALLY fast guys, you move so close to the edge of what you can do, but you know its possible, if they can I can! Maybe even better. Why not?
8th! Well done. Were you the highest in Europe?
Thank you! Yes, I believe so
Nice! How do vikings celebrate their victories?
Well I mentioned team Red Wine earlier, the readers can guess how that went down! It can get wild, anyone who has partied with us at Kozakov or any other event with Norwegians knows… Sometimes the lights are on but there ain’t anyone home!
Is this your highest IGSA ranking ever?
At the moment we are speaking I’m ranked no.1 but the season has just started so things will change, I hope I’ll see my name up there more this year, preferably at the end of the season!
What are your plans for this season?
Same as last season, skate hard and make the most of it, I’ve learnt a lot from last year and the two other WCs so far this year. So I’ll see how it goes. No injuries!
You’ve had serious injuries in the past?
Knock on wood, no! I’ve been blessed with luck! Hit by cars and buses – crashed into people and hay bales… but I’m still here, I busted my knee at a Q-Tip show in Voss some years ago, so now I must skate and party with a neoprene brace, but that’s nothing.
Haha I’ve seen what happens to hay bales you crash into!
Yeah, I reverse the process, I turn it into hay again.
Choose 3 numbers between 1-32
7. 1. 28.
7 – What is your favourite meal?
Hmmm. Fuck I eat anything! except fish n chips! Thank you Cape Town.
1 – What do you take with you when you go for a skate?
Helmet, gloves and balls.
28 – What superhero would be best at skating?
I would like to say Steve McQueen…. but he doesn’t qualify for the question I think… It must be Spiderman, grip, grip and more grip. He just needs to be fatter! And bader! He is a bit of babyface without that mask.
Haha awesome stuff. Thank you so much for your time, it’s been great chatting to you!
Thank you for a nice chat mate! It’s been a pleasure even though I flatspotted my ass.
Your ass was flatspotted before today!
Ha ha! no that was Leif Marks’ ass! He made a good effort in Bo-Peep doing so.
Did you enjoy your weekend here?
I did, even though it wasn’t my kinda hill or race I had a great time!
What is your kinda hill/race?
Well, I’m a big guy, I like bigger and longer hills! It’s nice to have some places to overtake and some time to recover from being overtaken!
Any thank yous?
Yeah, Jørgen, like I said, you’re the man! The hairy grapes! TeamRedWine! And to all the up and coming Norwegian DHers; Get some! Ah, I almost forgot; Rafikis bar in Cape Town, you serve the best stroh rum! May the party last forever!!
One more thing. Drink your red wine, love your mom, and if you’re Norwegian check out the band Skada and Kim Laland! They are really great
See you in Stockholm in August?
Don’t think so. Europe is calling!
Haha, you must pick up the phone when she calls!
I always do! She is a hottie!
Edited by Louis ”Birthday Cow” Selby