As an American, nothing makes me feel quite as stupid as talking to any non-American. Those conversations take my nearsightedness and overall unworldliness and put them on fucking blast. So when Sour Skateboards asked us if we wanted to interview their newest Swedish pro, Simon Isaksson, I flinched at the task. Here’s this completely level headed guy who speaks at least two languages, has a European sophistication, and could fix the busted IKEA shelf in my kitchen with his bare hands.
When I learned we would be conducting the interview over email, I was relieved. I could hide my American megalomania behind silly questions and try to make him seem like the Swedish weirdo. Well, lucky for me, Simon was happy to play into my tomfoolery. He was also generous enough to send us a “documentary” about his life as an influential European pro skateboarder. After finishing our e-interview, I’m convinced Simon is a jolly, well-endowed fella, and more importantly, I’m confident in my expert knowledge on all things Swedish. The American wins again!
I read that prostitution is technically legal in Sweden. If you ever needed to make some cash would you pimp yourself out? How much would you charge?
I’m very bad at setting a price at anything, even if I would need to sell a board behind [team manager] Björn [Holmenä]’s back. I usually only sell cheap to friends so I don’t think I would survive long in that business.
Who do you think are hotter, Swedes or Americans?
Probably Americans. They seem happy and in most cases they only exist in the mind of Swedish people. Not many Americans visit Luleå, that might even be an NBD.
What do you think Americans should know about Swedes?
We are quiet, creepy, sleepy, and have to wear very bad pants and underwear.
What do you want to know about Americans?
How they can be so hyped and stoked all the time? Is it all the sugar and XXL coffees? Can they sleep?
We don’t interview many people from outside the U.S. What is your opinion on us?
I was in San Fransisco this summer. It was very nice for the first week but one thing I did not like was the price of everything you need to survive. The spots were funner than I had imagined, it was easy to connect with people, and America has very good pants and underwear. The rest might be forced out of me at a bar somewhere if I’m in bad shape but it was definitely a very interesting trip.
Growing up in Sweden, who were some of your favorite skateboarders and skate videos? Was Ali Boulala a big deal in Sweden?
Growing up in Sweden was very nice. I did not really know there was anything else to skateboarding other than playing with my friends. Not until lately have I started watching some videos, but it’s mostly because I love seeing spots and think filming is as interesting as skateboarding itself. Ali might have been big in Sweden but he was not there to play, wax stuff, sweep gravel, and shovel snow when I grew up so he did not really exist.
What are some Swedish words for tricks?
We don’t really talk that much but I guess it’s the same with a more Swedish accent.
Are you a Pro or a Euro Pro? Which one gets the most ladies?
I’m definitely euro pro. I don’t know much about pros but they seem to have it together. We are spending most of our time walking hungry along motorways trying to find a spot or a train to take us back. I guess a pro would take “the car” and eat something else than a bag of chips on the session. A pro must get more sex, since they must be able to afford going to the dentist. I shot this interview on antibiotics since my teeth almost fell out one week into the euro pro life. I can’t wait to see what the future has to offer, but I hope to stay euro pro since no one would invite me to be awkward at events or contests with that title.
Do you know if your ancestors used to be vikings? Do you ever try to channel that viking spirit when you skate or search for skate spots?
Oh, I haven’t thought about that but that’s interesting. I can definitely feel the urge to find new land and there’s definitely something weird going on in my mind when I try a trick for too long. It usually turns out fine since I’m still clean on paper.
I heard Swedish guys have the hardest erections in the world because they need them to smash through ice in the winter. Is this true? Have you ever used your erection for anything other than sex?
I’m sorry that’s very false, we would never try to smash through ice. If you fall in you freeze to death. And Sweden wants everything to be extremely equal so we can’t really use it for something else since half of the people don’t have the opportunity.
I read that in December, your town Luleå has only about 3 hours of sunlight for the entire month. What hobbies do you do to stop from killing yourself? Do you have lots of sex?
Yes, and those three hours of sunlight you will miss as well because you are not ready for it. I can’t think of any specific hobbies I have and since I was not a euro pro back then and I did not have a lot of sex. I spent most of my time playing in the snow. No special health techniques beside eating enough and trying to not get snow in your gloves and shoes.
A few years ago, Facebook opened its first international data center in Luleå. Are you worried about Facebook creeping on you?
Yes, I heard it’s because it’s the best place they could find for a natural cool down for the servers and good space. In other words, it’s very cold and a lot of forest, but I actually like it that way. Too many people makes me want to go to bed and then I have nightmares about skateboarding in a T-shirt. I’m not worried. I don’t have too much respect for the internet but somehow here I am expressing myself in an internet interview.
What happens in your nightmare where you skate in a T-shirt?
I’m from a cold place so I’m used to wearing layers, and I spend most of my skateboarding sessions on the ground. I want to recommend fleece to the rookies that have it together and got their tricks on lock. In case they are going to try my lifestyle someday I can assure you it slides well and feels cozy.
Swedish people have their own Santa Claus, called Jultomten, but in order to get presents from Jultomten, you have to fight a reindeer. Have you ever fought a reindeer?
No, I have not, but reindeers are here and they definitely don’t fight. You can just walk up to them and it’s like you’ve been friends forever. But maybe that’s why I don’t have the most Christmas presents under the tree.
Do you ever hunt reindeer or other animals?
My family is really into moose and reindeer meat but I haven’t hunted. I’m just their lost kid that went to Spain and tries to find cheap potatoes. But maybe hunting could be my future hobby so I can use the viking spirit to get free food and have a reason to be alone in the forest.
I read that IKEA will release its first skateboard in May 2018. Do you want to try to get sponsored by IKEA?
I believe I’m already on their flow team. I got a card saying IKEA Family and got my name under it. They offer me pretty nice deals in the restaurant but free meatballs is a big dream to me. I eat there a lot so soon they will probably start to recognize me. I hope 2018 is my year.