The dream I had for this piece was to make a skate vid, document an afternoon of Herotic proportions and produce some high quality video content of me laughing with skaters, all with the goal of promoting my journalism skills… This dream quickly faded and I accepted a counter offer to join a Facebook group chat in the build up to the second drop of the Herotic collection at F5 Concept Store.
Below is the best of a week long conversation that featured a lot of thumbs up emoji’s, false promises, a bombardment of photos and a very unexpected insight into the badass Nesodden skate scene of the late 90’s courtesy of F5 co-founder Alex.
Herotic appears as an inclusive and ever expanding crew, have you guys always been so open as individuals?
Not really it is just a marketing strategy we are testing at the moment...No, but, to be honest, we are not convinced everyone would describe us as inclusive and open to everyone, but we try to be. When we are 20 people hanging out in a spot, it might be intimidating for some, but when we meet like-minded people, they have a tendency to naturally slide into the crew pretty quick. It is common, in general, however, for skaters to have an inclusive attitude as we are out on the streets a lot and interacting with a lot of different people. It definitely widens your horizon and you learn to appreciate diversity.
How has skating helped bring this sense of ‘community’ or ‘family’ to your lives?
Skating is like playing. Having fun together builds unity. Also, skateboarding is not competitive. To an extent we compete, but it is with ourselves to master a certain trick, or whatever. We all cheer each other on to improve. Having that sense of support from your friends reinforces the feeling of community.
As skaters, you end up spending A LOT of time with your friends, skating, hanging out and generally doing everything together. There are no time limits in skating. There´s no coach telling you that the session is over. When we go out skating we often end up cooking dinner after the session, watching a video, or just going to the club. A ‘skate session’ might just end at sunrise the following day. After hanging out as much as we have over the years, it is just natural that we evolve into something like a family.
My little brother loves skating and always gets harassed back home in NZ by authority even though it is 100% legal. How have you guys found the culture here growing up post skate ban?
The cops in Norway are pretty polite and reasonable. I have never heard of anyone getting a ticket for skating in Norway. Police tend to respect us. Security guards, however, are often disrespectful. We do not generally want to provoke anyone, but when people approach us aggressively or treat us as kids, we might be disrespectful back.
Skateboarding has become pretty accepted in Norway over the years, however, the prejudice of a skateboarder as uncivilised rebells or stoners still lives in some communities. Things have changed though and it is not uncommon for kids to have a skatepark in their schoolyard these days. Our local skatepark also has specific time-slots for ‘Family Skate’ every weekend. Denmark and Sweden, which never had a skate ban, have come further than us. In some cities, like Malmø and Copenhagen, they have skaters involved in urban planning, helping to develop certain public places facilitated for skateboarding. We are not there yet, but time will show...
As an outsider I see Oslo as a city that is constantly changing and full of opportunity, what makes the city special for you?
The majority of the crew is not actually from Oslo. We all came here from different parts of the country after high-school in the pursuit to build, achieve and be part of something. Some took an education, some made a career and some made it as skaters. Oslo is no doubt the best city to skate in Norway and it is also a cultural centre. That might have been an important factor for why many of us ended up here.
Oslo is also the closet thing you have to a big city in Norway. When it comes to culture it is without a doubt where stuff happens whether it be concerts, parties or art exhibitions, it is easier to stay entertained here than in the smaller places. The constant development of the city means things just keep getting better and of course having so much great nature just outside the city centre is pretty special.
Skating has heavily influenced fashion and popular culture, who is the fashion icon of the crew?
I mean who of us is not… All of us are in constant search of fresh gear.
You have made some clothing before and established the Dolphin as your thing, why did a collaboration with F5 make sense?
It is closely connected to the previous question, fashion and aesthetics are important parts of skateboarding culture... The first ‘merch’ we made was pretty DIY and to get an opportunity to realise our own ideas with a recognised fashion store was definitely an offer we couldn't refuse! Also, the brothers running the store have a close connection to skateboarding so it felt natural to go for it.
I was told the name ‘Herotic’ was the result of needing a name for the group chat and a bunch of dudes being way to fond of each other. Are you still as fond of each other now you have a lot more groupies?
Many of us are in a relationship, so the only way we can get some action when we are out partying is with each other. But, we are the best wingmen out there for the ones of us that are in search of female attention.
Lookbook photography by Kristoffer Kumar & Petter Sydhagen
All other photography by Oskar Galewicz