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Oski is one of a kind. A style unlike anyone else with a work ethic to match and a deeper understanding of the role he can play in the lives of others. In the first of our new series, we sat down with Oski to chat skateboarding, sharks, shops, injuries, Olympics and more. Read on, and enter your details below to win a pair of his signature dunks.
So you’re recovering from a knee injury right now, what happened and how did you get injured?
I was in Austin, Texas whilst filming for my latest video project with Nike when I injured my ACL. I then had ACL reconstruction surgery in Sweden, which went really well. It meant changing my plans a bit but means now I will be at home in Malmo for the next 6 months getting my knee back to 100%. Right after I injured myself I didn’t think it was that bad but when I had it checked the doctor told me the slam must have been harder than I thought. Its good though, I have good physio’s and doctor’s here so its a great place for getting back stronger.
You have a shop in Malmo right?
Yes it’s called Rapsfield, it’s been open for 6 months so far, it’s a work in progress but it’s been so interesting. It’s mostly vintage and some skate but yeah mostly vintage. In Malmo it’s kind of unique as it’s a selected vintage store so we focus on more rare and interesting pieces and brands.
Where do you get the stock from?
Anton, my partner in the store, purchases it from retailers around the world, brings it over and then picks through what he thinks fits the store and the rest we usually give to organizations in Malmo that give clothes to homeless people.
So did the injury stop any progress with the Nike part?
Well it wasn’t ever really supposed to be a video part more like a commercial with skateboarding in it but along the way I just really wanted to film as much as possible so by the time I got injured I had 80% of the video done already. I wanted to finish up in Mexico with some enders but obviously that didn’t happen. All in all, I am stoked on the project and the injury came at an acceptable time in the grand scheme of things.
The launch included a pretty memorable photo from a basketball court, did Nike build that for you?
No, it’s actually a spot we found in New Jersey. Most of the video was filmed in Austin but I also filmed in LA & NY but quite often I would travel to New Jersey to shoot with Fred Gall and Elias Parsley who shot the ad. I love New Jersey as there are so many interesting spots. He was the one who brought us to that court. It’s a crazy place. When Sandy hit it created water damage which warped the hardwood floor of the court creating these bank/quarter pipes in the court. We went to shoot on the banks and shoot some flip tricks but then we noticed the hoop was perfectly in line with a bank to use as a transition for a landing so after some slams…it worked real good.
So with your signature Nike drop how come they were able to change the swoosh? There is hardly anyone I can remember who had a shoe where they changed that?
We were working on a colorway and I was looking for inspiration. There were a lot of crazy colorways coming out at the time and I wanted to stand out in the midst of all that. I wanted something that was memorable and unique, very different to a lot of other drops but still you can wear it everyday.
The swoosh is great to work with as it’s such a famous logo that’s easily recognisable whilst re-imagining it.
I’ve always been fascinated by sharks, they’re so scary and huge but also mythical creatures who have been around since the dinosaurs and they are kind of the few that made it. So I sketched it and presented it to Nike and they were so open minded to the idea and they worked together on it. I showed them the drawing I did and then Bryce Wong on his first attempt nailed it with what I was thinking straight off.
That’s the thing with creativity and bringing to life your vision and finding someone who can do that for example I would never have been able to make this shark look how it does without the help of Bryce. I know for me, I’m dyslexic, so I am quite bad at reading, writing and organizing things so I always just look for people that can help round out my skill set. We all have strengths and weaknesses its just recognising yours.
Have you been surprised by the reaction to the shoe?
How many people got tattoos with the shark?
So 1 guy got it first, so he tagged me and I reposted it and so then a bunch more people got the tattoo. I was kinda like “damn what did I start?”. I still get people tagging me with their new tattoo. At least 25 people got the tattoo in the end as far as I know from people who tagged me.
You also started the Oski foundation right?
Yes ,we’re working on it now. We’re making steps to bring it to life.
The purpose of the foundation is to have a positive impact on people and areas in underprivileged parts of Sweden through skateboarding by funding and building skateparks. There is a lot of gang violence here in Sweden and per capita there are the more fatal shootings here than anywhere else in Europe. There is a lot of gang violence here and unfortunately because of the way the laws are written a lot of the gangs get under 18s to do the worst crimes as they won’t get such heavy sentences. Here in Malmo one of the biggest area codes is Roosengard and they a lot of facilities there like skateparks, few football pitches and the people there don’t really move out of there. A skatepark can really change the direction of an area and peoples direction in life so the idea is to try and change peoples lives for the better.
I guess this reflects your own journey in skateboarding?
Yeah so I started in 2006 and there was a new skatepark built near me which Nils and John Magnusson opened which is where I skated all the time. So the foundation is John from Brygeri, my agent Kristoffer and I. It will also be an interesting one as I get approached by brands quite often on the corporate sponsors side which I turn down because it doesn’t really fit but this means that now I have a way to bring in new partners to benefit the community.
You have your own truck company now too right?
Yes, Lurpiv, it’s going well, it’s been a really interesting but challenging project. To build a truck is fun but its also really hard. I’ve been skating the first model for a while and I really like them. I guess I have a lot of projects on so sometimes it’s quite a lot.
Yeah so you have a shop, foundation, truck company, co-owner of ūmmi and you have your own career to push also. That’s a lot, what else are you doing?
Well we have a skate contest coming up in August in Malmo. It’s a lot but on each project I have a good group of partners who help drive each project. I guess from the outside it looks like a lot but each one has been an opportunity which is essentially a team effort. Out of everything skateboarding is still my main priority. It’s what gives me happiness and keeps everything else going.
So last year was the Olympics, how was that for you?
Well it taught me a lot for sure. It was new to skateboarding, so it taught me how to cope with all this pressure of being in the media eye. I was struggling because I felt like the pressure was getting to my head because when I got there I kind of realized straight away that the park wasn’t really my style. The park was quite different from parks we qualified on so it had a vert bowl feeling which was a challenge for me. Early on I had to accept this course was going to be tough for me. The vert skaters like Keegan Palmer and Pedro Barros these guys had a big advantage so it was a bit of a mental struggle to accept the reality that I had no chance to podium. Then the media expects you to perform well especially after finishing 2nd in the event before the Olympics so you have a bunch of media expecting you to get a medal. It was a position I grew from for sure dealing with everything that comes along with the olympics but it was a great experience.
I also saw you were staying at Tony Hawk’s house recently. How did that happen?
It was quite surreal to stay at his house and eat lunch at his place for sure. He’s a super generous person and I knew him a little bit but I skate with his son Miles quite a lot and Tony just seems hyped to have people around. He also has a house with a couple guest houses and we needed a place for a month and he was so kind to invite us in.
He’s over 50 right?
Yep mid 50s. Right now he’s injured but when I stayed with him he was skating everyday and it was super inspiring. He’d wake up early, take care of his businesses and partnerships, then skate for a few hours and then come back, spend time with his family and it was cool to see.
For the rest of the summer it’s rehab, Copenhagen pro, what else?
Yep all that and hopefully New York for a week and maybe the Caribbean but most just focused on rehabbing my knee whilst also learning and progressing other areas of my life. Definitely send over some ūmmi for Copenhagen pro it should be super fun.
Thanks so much for your time, it’s been great to catch up. Enjoy the buzz!
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