Hugo Boserup interview22.10.2018 - Exclusive
You’re home in Copenhagen for a couple of hours between trips. Where have you just come from?
I was away on the western side of Denmark on a skatepark trip with the dudes I was working with (FSR Beton). We visit skateparks that we’ve built. It’s pretty fun.
To check their condition?
Just to skate them and to check they’re all still there (laughs).
How did you get the job?
I was doing… what’s that shit called when you’re an intern at school?
Yes exactly. I was doing that and then when I dropped out of school, they said: “You might as well work.”
How is the company doing?
It’s doing pretty good. They have jobs all the time now. They only work in Denmark, but all these small cities want small skateparks. That’s pretty sick. There is a little wave going.
How long does a typical park take to build?
It varies depending on how big they are, but lately they’ve been building smaller parks, which take a month or two. But I haven’t been to work this whole year actually.
I’ve just been skating. I’ve been on a trip at least once a month and that would jam up the whole work rhythm. You know, going on a trip for 12 days, then you’re working out of town when you’re back, coming back and forth… It’s kind of hard to skate on the weekends and do other stuff when you’re back in town. It’s been pretty nice to just skate and be in Copenhagen.
It must be nice to have some free time there in the summer.
Exactly. I haven’t really left Copenhagen this whole summer. It’s been fucking sick. There have been different people visiting every week. There has been a bunch of shit going on.
Tell us a bit more about the job. When you’re building a park outside of Copenhagen, you live on site during the week, right?
Yes, we are usually away Monday to Friday. Mostly on site at the skatepark. We stay in caravans.
Do you enjoy being away from home and living with those guys?
Yes I do. It’s really fun. But it’s super-nice to be home as well. It can get quite intense when you’re only back home two days a week.
Do you skate much when you’re away working?
When it’s warm like it’s been this summer, and if we’re not pouring concrete, most days we go skate after. It depends how sore you’re feeling too. We work four days – because we drive home on Friday – so out of those four days, we probably skate two or three.
I guess you get to discover all these new places to skate around the country.
Yes exactly. Finding new spots or seeing old spots or skateparks or whatever… That’s really sick actually, going around the country seeing these weird small towns and finding some random quarter pipe or something.
Do you ever find it depressing being in these small towns for long periods of time?
Yes, definitely. In the winter it’s dark outside as soon as you finish work and all you do is go to the supermarket then back to the caravan and eat. There isn’t much to do.
Do you see yourself doing this work longer-term?
I don’t know. I might. Not this coming year, but I would do it again with breaks, so I could go and work for two weeks and be gone for three months. That’s a really sick way of having it. That’s a privilege, working on and off like that. But right now I’m more hyped on just being home and skating.
You just entered your first big competition last weekend, the Vans Park Series in Malmö.
Bowl-wise it was my first big contest. I’ve been to Tampa Am. I did pretty bad there (laughs). I would say this was the first one I entered where I was actually skating and not just there.
How was the Malmö comp?
It was pretty intense – the skating there is fucking gnarly – but it was fun to try. The park is sick. You kind of have to go there and get to know it before the contest, learn all these small lines. Me and Rune (Glifberg) went over there the week leading up the contest and that was really fun, skating it before all these people showed up.
Will you enter more competitions like this? It seems like there are more and more of these bowl competitions happening all around the world now.
Probably yes, but I’d have to learn a lot more tricks (laughs). But yes, it’s exciting and I would be super- down to go because they’re fucking doing these contests in Brazil and all these crazy countries. If that’s a reason for you to go somewhere like that, I definitely wouldn’t say no to it.
Back to Copenhagen, did you grow up there?
Yes, all my life.
How do you feel about Copenhagen being so popular with skaters at the moment?
It’s turning into some Barcelona shit. During the CPH Open it can be really intense. It’s a super-fun contest and the dudes who do it are doing a really great job, but so many people show up and you can’t control all that, you know? So I think at least during that week the city sees skaters as kind of gross, all these wasted dudes riding around on stolen bikes. They are making it hard for every one of us who lives here for weeks after. People are like: “You’re just one of those people fucking everything up,” But this year was super-mellow. It was sick.
It’s definitely pretty weird that there are so many people visiting Copenhagen and being that hyped on it. I mean it’s sick. This year a lot of my friends from all different types of places have visited and we have had a really fun time with all of those guys. I appreciate that a lot. What do you say? It’s the bitter with the sweet? It’s a bittersweet symphony.
You compared Copenhagen to Barcelona just now. I suppose one difference is that that Barcelona never really promoted skating or encouraged skate tourism, until more recently at least, whereas Copenhagen seems to actively encourage both.
Yes, they are definitely inviting people way more. The skate lifestyle is so easy here. But then at the same time Copenhagen has shit weather as soon as the summer is over and it’s way more expensive than Barcelona, so I don’t think it could ever turn into a skate mecca like Barcelona.
So you know the guys behind CPH Open pretty well, right?
Yes, they are super-cool. We run into them all the time.
Do you know why they decided to split the competition between three cities this summer?
To not blow up Copenhagen as much because it was way too gnarly last year. You couldn’t see anything and the vibe was different because it was so intense. It was insane. I think all the spots they took people to got trashed, just wasted people fucking up everything around them. So they had some pressure from the city to make it smaller this year. They didn’t even make any fliers for the Copenhagen events. It was just on Instagram: “Alright today we’re moving out here,” which was a pretty fun way to do it. But still a lot of people showed up. They did a good job this year.
You and Ville (Wester) are close friends. How did you meet?
At the skatepark when we were 12 or 13. At the old Fælledparken. Before they re-did it, they had all these old wooden ramps on asphalt. It was super-sick.
I skated the old park. It was fun.
There was a sicker vibe to it back then. It was all fenced off with bushes all around, so there was some privacy in there. It didn’t feel as public.
Ville went to the skate school (Bryggeriet) in Malmö. What do you think of that place?
It’s sick. Everyone who goes there turns out really good at skating, but there are only skaters going to that school, so I imagine it could be really overwhelming and intense: “We’re going to skate the skatepark at school and then let’s go skate street after school,” you know? I went to all the pre-stuff where you can hear about it, the information meetings or whatever, but I chose a normal school in Copenhagen.
Do you spend much time over in Malmö?
It’s fun to go and skate the parks there or skate with Oski (Rozenberg) and Fernando (Bramsmark). We go to the indoor park in the winter all the time.
At the school?
Yes. We drive over the bridge or take the train or whatever and skate that in the afternoons because the park is so good, but then as soon as we’re done skating it’s back home (laughs). Malmö is sick for skating, but it’s pretty strict there. It’s just restricted, I mean compared to how mellow everything is here in Copenhagen.
Copenhagen feels pretty free and liberal, more so than a lot of places.
There’s not really any point in us going to Malmö except for skating. Going out is kind of a hassle. You feel like you’re doing something wrong whatever you’re doing.
Ville got quite famous through Instagram a few years ago.
Yes, from all the school stuff. That’s pretty sick.
These days it feels like he’s taking a different approach: going on trips and shooting photos and filming for videos.
Yes exactly. I think he wanted to get away from that. He didn’t just want to be the guy from Instagram or whatever, to be put in that category. Personally I think it’s way sicker to make an actual video part than having maybe 15 or 20 Instagram clips. I know that he thinks the same, but they spent so much time in that skatepark (Bryggeriet) during the winter, there was no reason not to do it. Those clips were good fun, right?
Yes and they got him noticed.
I heard you and Ville used to DJ together.
Fuck that was when we were like 16 or 17. We did two or three DJ jobs at parties for that company Soulland that did the Nike collab shoe. They would have a fashion week party or an art exhibition or something and we would play, but it was just with an aux cord. We don’t know how to use a mixer or anything like that.
You’re quite close with Hjalte (Halberg) too, right?
Yes, we’re close. We skate together all the time.
And he introduced you to the guys at 917.
Yes. He knew them from going to New York. He was like: “Meet my friend,” we all skated together in Copenhagen and I started getting boards from them. So yeah, he helped me out a lot with that.
You mentioned in your Solo interview that the older guys at Jarmers Plads look after the younger guys.
Yes, definitely. They would take us under their wing. From showing us video parts to buying us food and taking us around on trips and everything like that. They were all a really good influence on us.
Who are some of the other older guys at Jarmers?
Peter Stege, Morten Westh, Balder Lehmann, Jonas Skrøder, Dino and all the other heads who come up there too.
I know you skate everything, but the skating you are best known for is pretty different to Hjalte and Ville’s skating.
So how does it work when you skate together? Where do you guys go?
We just go skate street mostly. We’ll go to random spots. We just kind of take it in turns going to spots each of us wants to skate. I mean for Ville and Hjalte it’s the same in terms of filming, but I probably need a little transition or something. I can’t really film a three-trick ledge line. Actually I have tried lately, but I don’t find it as easy as those guys. But it’s usually pretty funny. I’ve been trying to learn nollie flips from them (laughs).
So you take it in turns, transition then ledges and vice versa.
Yes, but we’ve never actually talked about that. We just meet up somewhere and we go skate and then something happens. We’re just hanging out. We’re all friends, so that makes it a lot easier because we help each other out too, like: “I found this spot you’d want to skate…”
Where’s your favourite place to skate for fun in Copenhagen?
Maybe Enghave. It’s a small skatepark by the skate shop (Sidewalk). It’s the park with all these small quarter pipes and bumps and shit – asphalt ground but concrete quarters and banks. I live right around the corner, so I can go on my own and just skate around at night.
Which is your favourite park you’ve helped build?
Probably the under-the-bridge spot in Copenhagen, the DIY.
Where you shot the tailslide?
Oh yes, we took Joel there. That’s probably my favourite place.
Was that place built unofficially, without permission?
The city owns the land, but one of the guys from the indoor park talked to the council and we got permission to build there. So that’s pretty sick.
That is why Copenhagen is so much better compared to other cities.
They were like: “You can have this space, but we can’t promise you for how long,” and there’s nothing in writing so they can do whatever they want. Basically they could tear it down tomorrow, but I think there is a common respect around these things. If you’re enthusiastic about anything, the city will let you do it, whether it’s a football team, whatever.
Can you name any younger, up-and-coming skaters in and around Copenhagen?
Yes, Vigge Woll. He’s definitely one of the sickest skaters. There is a bunch of kids at the skatepark (Fælledparken) right now that all kill it. They popped up the last two summers.
Can you talk a little about riding for 917?
It’s really sick how everyone on the team is friends. They all live in New York, so they go out and skate together all the time. We have a group chat, just talking shit, but this summer it feels like I’ve seen someone from the team every month. Since April I’ve been with someone from the team, either in New York or in Copenhagen. Lots of the team skate for Nike, so there are those trips too. We’re going to Atlanta next week. That’s going to be really sick. We’re doing a new video I think, so we’ll be filming for that.
How is it travelling with those guys? Does Alex (Olson) join you on tour?
Alex comes on all the trips. They are pretty mellow. We do a lot of fun stuff. It’s not super-gnarly. It’s just about skating and hanging out, camping or something like that. Just nice times with your friends, fun missions, finding a random spot, that type of thing.
You mentioned you were in New York earlier this year.
I was there for almost two months this spring.
Were you there to film for the new 917 video?
Yes, I was filming as much as I could. It was kind of rough. There was so much other shit going on too. I just had a great time (laughs). I got photos and clips, but I could have gotten more.
What are your plans for the rest of the year?
They’re doing a Nike SB tour around the UK right now that I’m supposed to be on, but I have to go to my friend’s birthday out in the countryside, right now actually (laughs), so I’m going to join that trip on Monday and then the Atlanta trip after that and then I don’t have any plans after that. I’ll probably go to LA or SF.
Do you have any plans in life longer-term?
Oh shit (laughs). Yes, skating and then trying to figure out a way to make money after skating while still skating.