Sweden’s premier blading ambassador discusses health scares, building friendships and a life spent on the road.
Over the past few years, I have had the pleasure of getting to know a little more about Fredrik Andersson through various European rollerblading events and his stays at Unit 23 Skatepark, and I have learned of one certainty; Fred is almost always the life of the party. At Winterclash 2014, he was deafening me by screaming in my ear at the afterparty and, during his stay in Scotland, he was easily the loudest person during a night out at Nice’N’Sleazy in Glasgow. This is no easy task considering it is one of the busiest late bars in the city and our group consisted of at least ten rowdy rollerbladers…and we were in Scotland! You know you have a character on your hands when he is able to wind up random drunk Glaswegian people, arguably the most sarcastic people in existence, on the street with his sarcastic comments. However, there is more to the man from Eskilstuna, Sweden than his late night antics, much more.
Andersson has rapidly excelled through the ranks of the European blading scene with his exceptional park skating and similarly impressive street skating skills. You may have seen the Freddy in Wonderland edit that he made for previous sponsor USD back in 2011 with the help of Richie Eisler, or the recent Razors edit to announce his entry into the amateur team. Beyond merely being a great skater, Freddy is also an incredibly apt ambassador for the sport. He teaches lessons at his father’s skatepark, ZeroOneSix, was responsible for opening a Hedonskate franchise store at the very same venue and this year he worked alongside Scott Quinn, Josh Glowicki and Montre Livingston to bring the Gypsy Camp inline skating camps to various skateparks across Europe. He is one of the few people taking matters into his own hands to get more children involved in rollerblading and doing everything he can to retain the ones who have already stumbled upon our small but vibrant subculture.
It looks like all of his hard work and dedication to his craft is paying off as Andersson joined the Razors amateur team earlier this year and last month he was awarded his first pro wheel from Sic Urethane. However, it has not all been good news. During a recent competition, Andersson smacked his head and face pretty hard and it gave him such a scare that he was forced to reassess his priorities and now skates with a helmet at all times. Find out about these important moments in his life and more below.
Wheel Scene: You’ve just returned from living in Malaga for several months. How was it? Any interesting stories you would like to share from your experience?
Fredrik Andersson: Yeah, I have been living in Malaga since mid-September – too many stories. I enjoyed all the nights out with the boys and all the good street sessions. Malaga is so good that one story just isn’t justice enough. (Laughs)
What was it like living with Josh Glowicki?
It was good, for sure. He’s my best friend, so who wouldn’t wanna live with his homie? I have learned a lot from him. He is the one who got me into to crystals and other cool shit. Also, he is a very positive guy, so it was always good energy in the house. We had been travelling with each other for the last two months. When it comes to going out at night and alcohol, Joshua have been on a “white streak” all summer and I was totally the opposite. Once we moved here, I was out partying the first month but then I found it not so fun to wake up dead anymore and started to lay off the alcohol and stayed in more. And about a month or so later, Joshua found himself downtown with more early walks home than me.
You have been to A LOT of places this year. Care to tell us which countries you have visited?
America, Canada, Germany, Denmark, Belgium, Holland, Scotland, Latvia, Norway and Spain.
Where is next on the Fred Andersson travel list?
Jamaica is on my mind and a trip back to Asia would be awesome. Next year, I will spend a lot more time back home in Eskilstuna, Sweden, working in the skatepark and so on.
A lot of people think you must be rich to be able to travel as much as you have. How do you afford all those plane tickets?
We have been planning our trips well and having good sponsors helps. Also, a lot of events invite riders, so that’s a way to get around and see the world. But, for sure, it’s not free. Saving up money is essential and to be able to earn some “plata” during travels is jackpot.
How are you adjusting to life back in Sweden? Is it good to be back?
Sweden is amazing in the winter if it’s cold and there is a lot of snow. I like snow, when you have worm clothes and can actually enjoy the softness of a freshly made snowball to you face! (Laughs) But a lot of the time it’s just grey, dark and a mixture of snow and rain that never really freezes, and that kind of weather sucks anywhere in the world. Luckily, I’lI have ZeroOneSix Skatepark to play around in and re-build almost however we want. It’s the best place in the world!
You just got your first ever pro wheel from Sic Urethane. How did you feel when you found out?
Wow! That was one amazing email I got from Kevin. He asked me if I wanted to ride for Sic Urethane and, later on, getting my own signature wheel. It was a no brainier because I already rode the wheels and my brother Josh had nothing but love for the brand. Once the designing part started, it all got real. I’ve always dreamed of making a wheel with my dad on it because of all the years of skatepark building and all-round support for the scene. I got my friend Vincent Lindgren (HangLosers bro) to help me make the design. He sent me a raw picture and I straight up fell for it. Not much has changed since the first design he sent me – saying that, he knew mine and my dad’s past. It turned out better than I ever thought!
You have met a lot of people over the past few years through blading. Who are some of your favourite people that you have met from your travels so far and why?
I have meet waaay too many incredible people around the world for me to put down here in a few lines – I have you all in my heart though. But, for sure, there are some people who have become some of my best friends over the years – Richie Eisler, Josh Glowicki, Nils Jansons, Montre Livingston, Scott Quinn, Alex Burston and Mike Pedersen. We have done so much travelling together and always have the best and easiest of times. We seem to have very similar views on how it all works out in life and the universe, so it’s always a pleasure to spend time with them. It might sound a bit hippy-trippy, but them Gs understand.
How was the Ground Control tour in Texas? That looked like an incredible line-up of bladers and the resulting videos were great. What were some of the highlights?
One of the best trips of the year and my life! We spent one week all together in one suite at a hotel. Skating was nuts, for sure, and it was such an awesome time to meet my friends I have made from the year before when I was there, but also to get to know some new faces, like Carson Starnes and Mason Richard. Austin is a fucking amazing city – they have a good strong blade scene. Also, to mention, the food trucks and underground indie rock playing live in almost every bar, pretty girls in boots and short shorts with tattoos and just looking badass. I love Austin and it’s for sure one city I’m always going to come back to. LST, bitches!
Would you say you have learned anything about yourself while travelling constantly over the last few years?
I have learned so much! I don’t know where to start but, for sure, I have become a more relaxed person in the way of handling stress and so on. I have learned that travelling the world with your best friends is something truly amazing. Also, never to take anything for granted. It sounds cliche to say it, but it’s so true. Life isn’t as long as it feels when you are younger. I have also learned to not be afraid of taking chances and always have fun. I have figured out that life is just about feeling good and having fun; that’s it.
Have you made any plans for 2015 yet?
Make my Sic Urethane wheel edit in the park, of course, get my driving license, buy a car, renovate my apartment and work in the skatepark.
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