Mikael Jensen: Kula than your average

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We love this big tattooed gangsta. In this conversation we talk about him joining the Bombsquad family, the evolution of his skateboarding and his relationship with Avril Lavinge. Yeah.
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Hej barbie, how are you?
I’m good man. Sitting here and enjoying another interview with you guys. Stoked.

Super stoked too! What have you been up to this week?
Just been working, making tattoos and for the last two weekends I have raced some fun races. Good to be able to work and skate after the crash in Almabtrieb.

There are worse things than being crashed into by Aaron… such as looking like him!

Did it hurt?
It didn’t hurt that much. Probably because of all the adrenaline, but when I got up and took my glove off I saw that something was wrong. I didn’t think it was broken, just dislocated. So, I tried to pull it back to place. That did not work either, so Olivier Gires picked me up and then the medics took me to the hospital. After I was calmed down I could really feel that something was wrong in there. Haha. The x-ray wasnt so pretty. Broken right off. Bummer. Once again my eurotour got screwed.

How can you do tattoos with no fingers?
Now I can, after 6 weeks of healing. Hehe. It was pretty hard before that.
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Were those your first races since healing?
Yes they were, but the finger has not healed 100% yet. It can take many weeks, months even 1-2 years before I have all the movement back on track.

Where were they?
One race was in Kongsberg, got 3rd and the last one was in Oslo. Got to final the first day, crashed, got 6th. Race the next day I was in bad shape after the crash the day before so I took it easy. Got knocked out in the 2nd round, but I was stoked to get in two finals in two weeks. Good finish for the season.

Did you cope well with the disappointment of missing a season you’d looked forward to so much?
Not really. The feeling after I saw the first x-ray was devastating man. They said I needed surgery and I understood that the tour was once again screwed. Was not cool to go home and watch all my friends continue the tour, but hey, shit happens and its nothing we can do with it. But there was a bright side, I got the chance to have a raaaad summer with my family. At least we had a summer in Norway that we can be proud of. Super nice weather pretty much all the time so we had a lot of trips to the beach. It was really nice to spend some time with my girl and kids. Good times. And I also got a new sponsor. Bombsquad Longboarding. Damn stoked about that.

Did you at least hang around for some parties?
At the party at Almatrieb. I was pretty tired after the surgery, but we had 3 days in Prague and went out the first night, it was Sunday so not many people out, but I had good company with Morten Espeseter, Steffen Eliassen, Roar Fønseth and Sondre Selander. We had a good time!
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Roar! Real name?
Yup, that’s his real name. Don’t mess with him. Roar might roar the hell out of ya. He is the most roary ginger I have ever known. Katy Perry made a song about it. Just let that sink in.

Is she the one who sang ‘’skater boy’’?
Nope. That was Avril Lavigne. YEAH I SAID IT!!!! I know my music. My sk8music. Haha. I go waaaay back with Avril yo.

Last time we spoke you were expecting a baby and a new house, how are they?
House and baby are fine. We are really liking it here. Living a bit up in the valley is perfect for me. 40 min drive to work one way, but it is worth it AND, I have the sickest hills up here so I’m stoked. It’s a bit weird to have a big house, big property, cut the grass and shit. Haha. But I like it. The baby boy is 9 months now. Time flies by so damn fast. He is already a big boy.

Is his sister skating yet?
She is trying a little bit sometimes. Funny to watch. She watched me race at the last competition. She had fun. Would be cool if they want to ride some boards in the future. Don’t know if my girlfriend would like that so much. Haha.

Congrats on Bombsquad, it’s perfect. Like pancakes and bacon!
Hehe. Or like peanut-butter and jelly. Thanks. I am really stoked about that.
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You’d been with Early for so long, it must have been hard!
Oh you have no idea. It was a very hard change for me. Early have been so good to me and they have done everything they can to make me and the riders happy so I felt bad when I decided to leave, but for me I think it was a good change. Want to thank most of all Jeremy and his wife Lee that are running Early. They are doing the best they can to run Early beside having other jobs and a house filled with 4 kids so they are doing a hella job to keep Early up and running. They are amazing. I will never forget my month in Australia in 2012, having awesome bbq´s, skatesessions and also my first top ten finish in a world cup race.
I hope I will get the chance to get back there and hang out with them again.

What made you decide in the end?
Bombsquad is a brand that I can relate to in pretty much every way. They work with tattoo artists for graphics on some of the boards. I’m a fulltime tattoo artist so one good reason right there. They make really awesome boards and the new lineup is really good. Head Honchos Tanner and Wes are also heavily tattooed. Hehe. Two rad people running a damn rad brand. I don’t know the crew yet, but after chatting with several of the guys, I’m stoked to be a part of that crew. They seem pretty stoked to have me on the team as well. One of the main reasons that I changed is that we have Bombsquad in stock at the webshop I’m riding for, Longboardgarage. Sondre, who is also riding for Longboardgarage is also a rider for Bombsquad so it’s gonna be easy to work with both.
I feel that I fit into that crew pretty well. Like I said, it was a very hard change, but I feel it was a good change.

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Could you choose between skating and tattoos?
No!

When are you going out to Texas?
I’m planning to go there next year around Maryhill. I’m also hoping that Angies will be around that time. Or some other events. Would be rad to hop on the Bombsquad bus and have a sick road-trip. It’s pretty far from Texas to Maryhill, but a hell of a road-trip it would be. Hope to spend some time in Texas as well.

Which of their boards will you be riding?
Right now I’m in love with the Agent Orange. The board itself is pretty much as big as the boards I’m used to, but have a bit shorter wheelbase. Very unusual for me, but after some time I got used to it and it works really well. Had a podium finish (3rd) first time I raced it so it works for me.

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Any other changes to your setup/sponsors?
I also started to ride for Footprint Insoles. They make the softest and most comfortable soles to skate with. NO, NOT BREAKSOLES. Hehehe. These soles go INSIDE the shoes.

What did you race on in Oslo?
Agent Orange WB 27.5

Ronin Trucks Pro Lites 174mm 40/30

Venom Cannibals 76mm 76a

Venom Bushings 98a boardside, 91a roadside

Bombsquad footstopper

What was special about this event?
Haha. Everything man. You never know what Alex Lyngaas and Jørgen Egeland are up to when the Tryvann Downhill Challenge is on. This year we had a wall of death. Wall full of haybales, 6 man heats and 4 ways out of the wall, a kicker, slalom section, tricky chicanes and a tunnel of love.

Who is Mr Lyngaas?
Mr Lyngaas is one of the sickest dudes I know. He is always positive and you just want to smile every time you meet him. He was one of the first guys I got to know when I started to skate in Oslo. Insane dude. He is a legend.

Did anyone die on the wall?
No, but we had some sick crashes. Hehe. I tore it down one time since they had built it to narrow for one run.
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Had you been to many Tryvann Downhill Challenges?
I have been to them all. I think this was the 5th or 6th one.

Was this edition different?
Yup, with the wall of death, kicker. Too bad it was the goodbye, RIP contest for King Of The Hill.
Jørgen has been keeping the shop together since the start and it’s really sad to see that he has to close down. The downside about having webshops taking over.

Did Jorgen cry at the end of the race?
Haha, no he did not, but what he did was awesome. He said that they want to give the podium finishers some trophies instead of gear, cuz the sponsored riders that are on the podium sell their stuff anyway or give it away. So he told all the kids and the non sponsored riders that were on the podium to take whatever they need from the leftovers from Jørgens shop. To a certain limit of course. That was rad that he did that. It was highly appreciated.

Where would Norwegian skating be without him?
Personally, I wouldnt have had my start in downhill skating that early. And I think that would be the same for pretty much everyone too. He organized events together with Alex and made the scene grow to what it is today. Without them the scene wouldnt be like it is today and we would still be grabbing stinkys. Haha.

Not to mention all the beards he’s inspired!
True that!

Where did you kick off your season?
Our first rides usually starts in Sande. A mellow sweeper hill just outside my town. It is actually one of the most boring hills in the world, but it is the hill that dries up before all the other hills so we can skate it and feel the board under our feet for the first time in many months. That feeling is great. First race is usually in Volda. Rad race. It has been raining and snowing there when we have raced. Super fun. Not so fast, but its really techy so you get the chance to train your skills early in the season and that’s good.
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How did you do in Volda?
Pretty bad! Got knocked out in the 3rd heat I think. Was leading into the last corner but got my knee in the ground for some reason and hit the curb. I have been in the final every year I’ve been there so I was a bit bummed, but its racing hey. Got 2nd in timed qualies though so the fatties are still fast.

Speaking of fatties, you guys lost a good member – TB!
Damn deserter. Haha. Yeah he lost a good amount of weight. He is fit as hell and fast as fuck.

Would skinny Kula be faster?
Nope. Haha. Fat and aero is the key.

Are you unbeatable in a straight section?
Maybe. Haha.
gangsters

Have you gained any new skills after this season?
After the last couple of competitions I feel that I have. After getting the Agent Orange board I feel very safe and I have also been exploring doing highspeed slides into corners instead of footbrakes. That is very new to me and I’m stoked to get rid of that mental block doing slides into corners.. Especially toesides. At my first competition with the new board, I was gunning into the last corner doing toesides and I got 3rd. Stoked about that.

What was stopping you from sliding into corners?
I am 250 lbs and have to slide like 30 feet before everyone else. Haha. It’s a bit difficult because when I race I see where everyone else is breaking and I want to do that in the same spot, but now I’m pretty comfortable to the slide before the corner and into the apex. I still need to practice it a bit more ofcourse, but it is so much fun doing slides. I also have been practicing standies now. Haha. 250 lbs standies are not seen everyday.

Damn. How many wheels do you get through in a week?
Not many actually. I work too much. But if we hit the right hill I can easily slay a wheel to the core in a few hours.

What difference does sliding later have on your race performance?
Well I have to footbrake much more earlier than drifting, but since I’ve gotten comfy with slides I noticed that I could keep up with the lighter, techy guys in the technical sections.

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Is there a wheel shape suited to heavier skaters?
Haha. Well I go damn fast and slide like hell on my Venom Cannibals. That works. Shitchyeah.

What other events did you attend after Volda?
Grefsen (IDF Nationals), Almabtrieb, Kongsberg and Tryvann I think it was.

No Voss this year?
Had to work to make money for a Eurotrip that got fucked. Haha. No Voss last year either. Raced Maryhill then. But I’m actually going to Voss this weekend. I’m gonna pick up some furniture outside Bergen for my girl and then we are stopping for a few days in Voss. I can’t wait. Forecast says rain, but I could not care less about that.

How was Grefsen?
I got 4th in the race, Adam won so I got 3rd in the Nationals. That 4th would maybe be a second place if I hadn’t been grabbed and used as a slingshot 50 meters before the finish line.
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Haha is that legal?
Well at that time he thought it was, I don’t know. It was a stupid decision and it made me angry as hell. He gave up the spot so I at least got the position that I deserved so that was cool, but there were more riders passing me because of that so I feel that I could’ve been higher on that podium.

Seems like there were a lot more events in Norway this year!
Yeah, more events. Stoked about that. We have organizers that do a good job now finally so there are more.

More organised races means gangsters on world cup podiums?
That would be rad. Haven’t seen it yet. Wonder who will be the first.

Who is the Norwegian DH champion?
Don’t know yet, this years points haven’t been put out yet.
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What are you going to be up to for the rest of the year?
In just a few weeks I’m starting my paternity leave for 3 months. Gonna hang out with my son. Will of course skate as much as I can before the cold comes around. Skate the indoor park. They have a new bowl now that looks insane.

What are your plans for 2014?
My plans for 2014 is once again the whole Eurotour. Lets just hope that I will actually finish the tour. Haha. Maryhill and some more races. Have not seen the dates yet for the US races, but I’m planning to at least have a month over there and hopefully do some travelling with Bombsquad.
I’ll try to attend most of the races in Norway too. Maybe some freeride events, but main thing is Eurotour and the American tour.

As always it’s a real pleasure to talk with you MJ. Looking forward to seeing a video of you and Chubbs!
It’s always a pleasure to talk with you too G.

Any thank yous?
First of all I want to once again thank my girl for putting up with me and the long hours I’m at work and out skating and travelling. Keeping our house and family together. Couldn’t love her more for that. She is the best and I love her.

Thanks to all my sponsors:

Bombsquad Longboarding

Venom

Rockstar Energy

Ronin Trucks (Family)

Longboardgarage

Footprint Insoles

Wuchttec

Want to specially thank Longboardgarage for having me on the team and having rad skaters on that team. We skate A LOT together and it helps everyone of us to progress to be better skaters.

That team has rad skaters like Sondre Selander, Nico Crozier, Morten Espeseter and Roar Fønseth. They are all sick skaters and I love skating with them. That crew could not be better.

 

Links.

www.bombsquadlongboarding.com

www.venomskate.com

www.rockstarenergy.com

www.ronintrucks.com

www.longboardgarage.no

www.fpinsoles.com

Follow me on instagram @kulatheviking for rad pics and a insight in my life as a skateboarder, tattooartist and familyman.

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Thanks Morten Espeseter for being a beast photographer.

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