Didrik Galasso is one of the most naturally talented skaters we have seen in a while, and as far as we can tell, it seems like he has everything going for him. He’s got a good-paying shoe sponsor, owns his own apartment in Norway, and regularly puts out clips filmed all across the world. Anyone who sees his life would think he’s living the dream we all strive for as kids when we first get into skating.
The tricky thing is that things aren’t always as they seem, and people only put as much of themselves out there as they are comfortable sharing. Going into this interview, we wanted to talk to Didrik about what he was planning to do now that enjoi seems done and dusted. We had no idea that the convo would bring up serious personal issues he’s faced with mental health, both because of the situation at enjoi and a mix of other intimate issues. Although we were a bit taken aback to hear about everything, we felt it was essential to hear him out and share his stories with you all.
It wasn’t until recently that skaters felt comfortable enough to discuss struggles like this publicly and this isn’t meant to be a sob story or guilt trip, but rather a reminder to look out for one another, talk about how you’re feeling, and look for support when you need it. Odds are, it’s right within arms reach and you don’t even know it.
On the days you’re not skateboarding, what are you up to?
I’ve been drawing and getting into tattooing a lot. I’m really just in the beginning. Like last week I drew something that I like, but then a week later I’m super interested in something else. I’m trying to figure out what my style is.
I’m into dark art, like some Greek mythology shit. I’ve never been into that, I feel like I found another world, you know? I watched an anime series on Netflix called Blood of Zeus. I’ve watched it like three times in a row. It’s like all the stories of Greek myths. My dog’s name is Zeus too. My dad gave him that name and I was like, “Fuck. I don’t know. Are you sure about Zeus?” And now I fucking love it.
What kind of tattoo styles inspire you?
Fuck, I guess if I had to say it would be “ignorant,” if that’s even a style [laughs]. You just have to close your eyes and hope for the best outcome or be happy with whatever you get.
You recently announced your departure from enjoi. What was going on over there from your point of view?
Nothing bad happened with me and enjoi or Louie. I didn’t want to be the first to quit, but I’ve wanted to quit for like two years. It was just time for me to move on. And as you may have seen, for the last one or two years, I’ve been skating other boards. In the end, maybe it’s a selfish thing but I can’t unsee my fucking face as a character or like the panda graphic and stuff like that, you know?
Over the years, things have changed with enjoi and Dwindle. A lot of people got on, people got kicked off, and people quit. It happens everywhere, but I’m getting older too. I didn’t have that much say at enjoi. Louie told me I can do whatever but I can’t change the logo. That’s why I wanted to maybe do something else. Maybe get some graphics that I’m hyped on.
If you weren’t riding the boards for a while, why did you wait so long before announcing it?
Announcing it sucked. Two years ago I wanted to talk to Louie and quit. I was almost ready to do it, but I stayed because I was dealing with my own personal stuff too. I guess that was not the right time for me to do it.
How did the conversation with Louie go?
It almost felt like breaking up with a girl or whatever. I talked to Louie and he pretty much said everything that’s going on makes no sense. He said things are happening and people are not going to be happy. I was coming up with my own conspiracy theories about what was going to happen and then he was saying exactly the same thing I was thinking.
They don’t care about the skating or the skaters, so it’s probably tax stuff. The big corporation doesn’t know anything about skating. I heard that the factories aren’t making Dwindle boards anymore because they haven’t paid.
If Louie was going to start a new company would you ride for him again?
No [laughs]. We can be friends, and I’m down to go on trips if that’s a possibility. But no, I quit for a reason. I think he knows that too.
Do you have a new board sponsor?
No. I still have no plan. I’m riding Deluxe wood, thanks to Spitfire. I’m skating a twin tail right now because I was on a trip with Ishod and he was talking warmly about it. I was like, “Fuck, he’s the best skateboarder, so I have to try it.” But I keep saying, “What about the Twin Nose?”
I also tried two boards from Hockey and Fucking Awesome. I like the big square nose and tail. My enjoi board was totally different. I want to slide longer, so having my tail and nose going in doesn’t work. If I skate Dunks then my whole Dunk is on the ledge.
Is it ever isolating, being in Europe and riding for an American brand?
Yeah, over the last two years, I felt isolated. I wanted to be with the [enjoi] team. I miss Wieger a lot. And, of course, I miss Ben, you know?
Right before Ben killed himself, we wanted to do a lot of new stuff with enjoi and graphics, and that shit is still on my mind. Like fuck, that kind of changed the whole skate industry. For me, it broke me down and helped me up again.
I definitely went through shit with my mental health growing up, and it’s kind of crazy to see something like what happened to Ben happen. I kind of experienced a similar situation to Ben, after he died. I saw what he did and I almost did it too. You guys hit me up last year for an interview, and other people had been trying to hit me up, but last year at this point I was in a mental institution. Like, inside a fucking prison [laughs].
I’m thankful for it now and I learned a lot about myself. My closest friends and family knew about it. The hardest part for me is that I feel like people need to actually let me be. It’s a lot of insecurity.
What was happening in your world that put you in that mindset?
There was a lot going on in my life. This was a little after Ben died, and right as I was trying to quit enjoi for the first time. I was also dealing with relationship issues, and a family matter as well, so it was a lot of stuff that just exploded all at one time. I had a bit of a breakdown and my friends and family brought me into the mental institution.
Also, here in Norway, it’s super illegal to smoke. You get a really bad reputation for doing it here. People look at you weird. My parents don’t like that I smoke but at least they know about it. I always wanted them to know, you know. But talking about it with them helped me. I dealt with it and I’m still dealing with it and I feel better than ever. Like, I’m talking to you and shit is good [Laughs].
So when you’re feeling overwhelmed by the pressure, or overly judged for being yourself, are there any techniques that you have to ground yourself?
Not really. I’m super hard on myself. I guess that’s the way to say it. When I hear someone else talk about someone who is hard on themselves, I’m like fuck, I’m worse on myself.
One thing I could say is that I finally feel good. I can finally make jokes again. I’m not scared to speak. Before, I didn’t want to be in the way or say stuff I meant. I would always just be there but not say anything. I have felt that a lot in the past.
What was being in the mental hospital like?
I learned a lot about mental health there, and it was a win-win. I got help and I also wanted to know what it was like inside a mental institution. I don’t know what it’s like in a lot of other countries, but Norway is fucking good. It made me a stronger person. It made me think about everything because you have the time to think about your life three times back and forth.
It’s not a joke, it’s not for everyone, and in the end it’s not really for me. I didn’t quit, the doctor threw me out. I wanted to go and my mom wanted me to go, but I missed two or three sessions to visit my mom and when I came back the doctor was like, you’re not coming back. I called my mom and I told her I was out. She said I would have to handle it myself and I promised, I told her I’m not a kid anymore. I did a lot that my mom wanted me to do that I never wanted to do. In the end, I took some positives from it.
When did you permanently start living in Oslo?
The beginning of COVID. I bought that apartment in May 2020. I have been living here for two years. It was the right moment. The prices of apartments dropped a lot in Norway, and then Nike started paying me, so I could afford it. I wanted to buy a place because I’ve never really rented one before. I’ve always been couch-surfing, especially in the earlier days. But I’m actually working on fixing it up so I can sell it. I want to move to Lisbon. I already know the place I want to move into.
Lisbon is pretty much summer all year and a bit more of my vibe, I hope! It’s beach life all year around. Oslo is the best place in the summer time but it’s really depressing in the wintertime.
Are you handy? Are you doing the home repairs yourself?
I wish. I think I’m handier than I think I am. My dad was here, and at first, I just wanted him to leave. Then when he got here I got motivated to help and do stuff. When I’m here by myself I don’t want to do anything like that. I just need a kick to get me started with the handy stuff, and with skating and everything else I guess. I always need someone to be like, “Just do it.”
Did you ever think of moving to California at any point?
I did. I used to stay in Long Beach a lot. I stayed at Brandon Jensen’s house who filmed for RVCA. That’s how I met Nestor [Judkins] and pretty much everyone else. I would spend like three months here and three months in Long Beach. In and out all the time. I was pretty young. It was from like 18 to 21 when I stayed, and then I left. Fuck, I had a fake ID the whole time I was there [laughs].
I love Brandon, but I stayed there for so long. I just felt trapped staying in Long Beach overall. It’s seriously hard to get out. Everything moves so slow there and everything around Long Beach moves so fast. Now I’m kind of settled in Europe. It’s so easy to move around. The visa and all of that make it more complicated as well. It makes me think, why would I want to leave everything I have here? But if I have to move somewhere I would be down to live in New York or SF for like a year or something.
If you weren’t skating what would you want to do?
I would love to open a restaurant. All my family loves cooking, I love cooking. I’ve been raised that way. If I didn’t skate I would have gone to a cooking school. I could’ve gone to that instead of going to skate school, but I preferred to go to the skate one [laughs].
What kind of food would you be serving?
My favorite spot is one that’s kind of buffet style, one that’s so proper that the menu never changes, but every day the food changes. You could go seven days a week and it’s different every day, but you know what you’re getting on Mondays, you know? But don’t put that idea out there, yo [laughs]. I’ve been to a couple of family-owned places like that that are amazing. What Tyshawn [Jones] is doing is amazing. I would love to go to [his restaurant]. It seems fucking sick.
I love cooking Indian food and spicy food with a lot of sauces. I’m a vegetarian, so I do a lot of paneers. I do a lot of tomato-based sauces too. I also cook rice and beans, broccoli, spinach with onion and garlic. I just like cooking basic things that are cheap.
When I first go to an Indian restaurant I like to get their saag paneer first, then the next time I’m there I’ll get something different. I usually want to taste the saag paneer because it’s so basic and everyone’s is so different everywhere. You can judge a place based on that.
Over the past two years, has your perspective on the skate industry changed?
Definitely, because for the first time ever, I’m stuck thinking about skating and the industry. I don’t really have too much to say because no one’s going to listen to me. There are a lot of different people in the industry; core, corporate, skaters, probably some football players, video game makers, who all think they’re trying to benefit the community by taking some and giving some back. I don’t want to just take up space. I’m just here for the ride.
If I made enough money to not skate, maybe I wouldn’t care about filming because I would just enjoy skateboarding. Then I would work a regular job and skate on the side, like a fucking toy, as it pretty much is [laughs]. I never expected to actually earn enough to have an apartment and buy what I want to wear. I’m thankful for Nike and everyone at enjoi in the past that gave me shit. There are a lot of people that have taught me a lot along the way. There are also a lot of cool new people that I just met too.
I don’t really know what’s going to happen. Maybe everyone drops me next year, but in the end, I’m not going to quit skating.
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