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Copenhagen’s Kåre Lindberg is the best thing to come out of Denmark since bright plastic bricks and government-approved entertainment of the erotic variety.

God bless Denmark. After all, the Nordic country situated in Northern Europe has given us so much to be thankful for. For starters, there’s Carlsberg Lager, Roskilde Festival and the incredible vert talents of the iconic ‘90s blader Rene “The Flying Viking” Hulgreen. Then, in 1949, The Lego Group created those wonderful interlocking plastic bricks that have brought children all over the world countless hours of joy over the years. 20 years later, in 1969, Denmark became the first country in the world to legalise pornography, which has no doubt provided just as many adults with countless hours of pleasure over the years. Just as we were beginning to believe the home of the all-conquering Vikings couldn’t improve on perfection, they go and grace the blading world with Kåre Lindberg on January 30th, 1987 and over the past few years he has been making his presence known throughout the world with the same feverish aggression his ancestors displayed in the Middle Ages.

It should come as little surprise that Denmark would produce a skater of Lindberg’s undeniable blading ability and captivating presence. After all, this is a country that has historically proven itself to be one of the most socially progressive cultures in the world. He has taken this philosophy and applied it to his blading, creating a sparse collection of online videos that highlights his eye for an interesting obstacle, a perfectionist’s touch and a carefully considered trick selection that makes him stand out at any session. He’s also a pretty fierce competitor. In August, Lindberg went in hard at Copenhagen Real Street 2014, taking second place ahead of undeniably brilliant skaters such as Albert Hooi, Jacob Juul and Jo Zenk. He was narrowly defeated by Atlanta-to-Barcelona transfer Carson Starnes who, let’s face it, is on a bit of a winning streak at the moment.

Despite the fact that Lindberg has build up a solid reputation for himself around Europe and beyond, finding footage of the Danish street skater is not particularly easy. He made the briefest of appearances in the Ground Control Barcelona edit that was released earlier this year and a split section with Marc Moreno followed shortly after. However, previous to that, his only full-length street sections in recent years include the Spring 2012 edit and his section in Treatment from 2011, both of which were beautifully filmed and edited by fellow countryman and blading video auteur Jonas Hansson. Despite their infinite playback potential, both videos have only managed to amass just over 12,000 views each since they appeared online. This leads us to believe that the talents of Lindberg are currently being criminally overlooked – not that he is particularly bothered. It seems that he is in no rush to flood the internet with footage of himself, instead choosing to display only the finest examples of what he is capable of. This is a man concerned with quality over quantity and he refuses to compromise his vision of blading just to keep up appearances and stay in the public eye.

Backslide on a nice drop rail

Backslide on a nice drop rail

Wheel Scene: When we first attempted to arrange this interview you were suffering from an injury. How did that happen? Are you back to full health?
Kåre Lindberg: I haven’t been injured real badly this year, just minor ones that would throw me off my blades for a week or two here and there. Other than that, I am pretty sure my health is just fine.

Apart from a few clips in the Ground Control Barcelona edit, and a clip at the end of Jacob Juul’s edit, it has been a while since we have seen fresh footage of you. What has been the reason for that?
I did a thing with Jonas Hansson and Marc Moreno while I was staying at his place in BCN. Recently I’ve been filming with Tony Cheetah, Olav Norheim and Patrick Ridder trying to clip up for the Valo EU video we are doing. I’m trying as well to get clips at home in Copenhagen, but the weather and not having my own camera makes it difficult. I have also been getting clips for Marc and Brian Bina. But, to be honest, I am not really the blader who shoots out edits here and there.

What was it like getting to hang out with Chris Dafick and Brian Bina in Barcelona? Have you spent much time with them before?
I met Bina and Dafick at this year’s Summerclash and they went on the Roskilde Festival adventure afterwards. They also stayed in my parents’ crib in Copenhagen for a while after the festival. Hanging with them in Barcelona was sick. They are both really amazing bladers and into pretty much the same stuff as I am, on and off the blades. Other than that, they are very inspirational in the way they pursue life and how they do shit with and for blading. They are really sick dudes that I am sure I will see more in the future.

Any interesting stories from your time in Barcelona that you can share with us?
There was a doom metal festival one day at Forum. A ticket for the whole day was 35 euros but we were only intereseted in seeing the Saint Vitus show, which was the last scheduled band. None of us had the money to pay for entry, so we decided to ninja style our way behind a fence. We got to the Forum and wandered around for an hour trying to find a good spot to get in. Finally, we got all the way around the back by scaling fences and massive concrete blocks at the beach.

We got to what we thought was the backstage area and contemplated on how to get over that last fence. Out of nowhere, Scott Wino, the lead singer from Saint Vitus walks by right on the other side of the fence. We walk over and tell him we are huge fans and ask him if he could open the gate and let us in. He replied that he was sorry but he couldn’t do that and asked how short we were on the tickets. Dafick told him we were broke and Wino pulled out his wallet and gave him 50 euros and told us that was all he could do for us. We were all stoked out of our minds and walked towards the real entrance to try and get tickets, but they told us we had to walk all the way back from where we came.

We got back to gate were we met Wino. We sat there for 20 minutes and this heavy metal looking guy walks out from the gate we were trying to get Wino to open, and Dafick runs up to him and offers him 50 euros to let us in. The dude didn’t really answer, he just flicked the gate open, so we all charged in to hide in the crowd without paying him. When Saint Vitus went on, we realised it was the drummer of the band who let us in. After the show we met Wino, but he was cool about the whole deal. His words were, ”Oh, it’s you guys.” I heard about your little scam, but that’s cool. Hope you enjoyed the show.” We really did!

Disaster topsoul like a champ

Disaster topsoul like a champ

How is filming going for the Valo EU video?
It’s been really good so far, but fall has come to Denmark so it’s gonna be hard to get clips from now on. Other than that, I think we are on a good path as far as the footage goes.

When do you think it will be finished?
Not sure, but I think editing starts around Christmas, so I guess it will come out early 2015.

Which cities have you visited so far?
We’ve been filming in Barcelona, Oslo and Mannheim and Frankfurt. And of course I’ve filmin in Copenhagen.

You guys have been filming for Valo EU for almost a year now, right? You must have a lot of footage stacked up so far. Do you have any more filming to do?
I wish I could say we were done, but I still need a handful of tricks, which can be a mission to get at this time of year in Denmark. But I’m sure I’ll get it done. I’m crossing my fingers for dry streets on the weekends.

Do you have any projects planned once Valo EU is finished?
I am on a mission to stack up some cash and then head back to Barcelona to skate and hang out with the homies down there.

It seems like online edits have replaced DVDs as the primary source of blading media. Which edits have you enjoyed so far this year?
Marc Moreno’s 666, B Free and John Bolino’s Vibralux edits are super sick, and I hope that a lot more people will spend those next to nothing dollars it costs to download those edits, and that goes for whatever else is being put up. You pay so little and get so much! Support for fuck’s sake!!!!!

Safety grab gap into bank

Safety grab gap into bank

Are you working or studying at the moment?
I was studying up until now. It was media production and management, but I hated it so I dropped out. So now I am working for a friend, and blader too, who runs a maintenance and construction company. It’s hard work, especially in the winter, but the money is pretty good and the people I work with are all friends from back in the day who listen to metal and do not give a fuck about your hair or “swag”. They are solid dudes who like to work and have a good time doing it.

How did you get hooked up with Valo and Ground Control?
In 2008, when the Valo pro team came out for Roskilde Festival and ended up staying at my place for week before the festival. I skated and hung out with them and showed them around the city. Later that summer, Julio hooked me up with a pair of blades and it all went from there. I was stoked out of my mind when the whole team was standing right there outside my apartment door. Hahaha!

Stefan Horn was at the Pony Cup (which is a local Danish comp in the south of Denmark) and after the weekend he got me hooked up with GC. I’ve always skated GC, so it was really rad to start skating for the company.

Do you have any other sponsors?
I also skate for Chimera Wheels and get support from Skatepro.dk.

For people that have never been, what would you say are some of the best parts about living in Denmark?
Hmmm…. To me, the best part about Denmark and Copenhagen, which is the city I live in, is the homies and my family. Spring and summer here is amazing. People open up and come out of their caves. There’s a bunch of stuff going on everywhere almost every day. The blading scene is very strong as well. There’s a bunch of really good bladers who are down to do different stuff in the name of the culture. Everyone backs it up and whenever there’s an event we always have a kick ass time.

How does it feel to come from the country that invented Lego and was the first to legalise pornography?!
(Laughs) Well, I had a ton of Lego when I was a kid and loved playing with it on a rainy day, and porn on a rainy day is not too bad either. I don’t really think about it much more than that though.

Denmark is also renowned for being home to the Vikings in the Middle Ages. Do you have any Viking ancestry?
Unfortunately, I do not know my exact family history, but I am Danish, I am blonde, I love beer and I love to travel, so I’m sure there’s Viking blood running trough my veins.

“I don’t mind flat setups, I don’t mind bigger wheels, but I fucking hate powerblades!”

Is there anything you think blading is lacking or missing at the moment? What would you like to see change or develop in the near future?
More money to the right people, less internet bitching, and STOP mixing fitness blading with what we do. If anything, try to promote our shit on fitness sites, magazines etc and let’s get those people to buy stuff from real blading minded companies – not the other way around! Fuck you and your big orange wheels riding around town! And fuck your “Hey, do you even know how fast you can go and how hard it is to do grinds on these blades?” How about fuck you?! Buy blades, wheels and frames from companies who are fighting to maintain an image and a level of coolness to this culture. I don’t mind flat setups, I don’t mind bigger wheels, but I fucking hate powerblades!

Do you have any other passions apart from blading? I have seen you wearing quite a few band T-shirts over the years if I am not mistaken!
Yeah, I am really into music, heavy metal and hard rock to be more specific. I also play myself. It helps me be creative and let off some steam when the weather is shit, which it is a lot during the fall and winter.

Photos: Beatriz Conde-Corbal and Mads Madsen.

Watch videos of  Kåre Lindberg HERE.

Sweatstance to drop

Sweatstance to drop

Topside acid

Topside acid

 

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