Rene Hulgreen Interview
RENĂ HULGREEN INTERVIEW
I had the privilege of interviewing one of vert skating's founding fathers, â€śThe Vikingâ€ť Rene Hulgreen. The originator of the Viking flip and he has set the ground work for a lot of the tricks we do today. He did inverted 9â€™s, 7â€™s, lots of different inverts and grind variations. The mark he left on vert skating is still apparent after so many years.
What year did you go pro, and how long were you pro for?
I started making money from skating in 1995 and Roces was my major sponsor, I think I skated my last contest in 2001 in Birmingham England, and then retiring that same year.
What where your major accomplishments, (contests won, etc)
In rollerskating I was happy to become second behind Brian Wainwright at the World Cup in Germany 1991, In in-line skating I was happy when I was at the Lausanne contests no matter how it went for me, I won the X-Games in 1996, but thought it was a big circus and got disqualifyed for skating the skateboard ramp insted of the In-Line ramp, which I think is a big accomplishment.
What are some of the major changes youâ€™ve seen in vert skating?
First the tricks are getting bigger and more crazy, when I stopped skating as a pro
people like Cesar Mora and Tobias Bucher just started doing 1080, now
everybody are doing 900, 1080 and double flips. On the style side I think it
was better in the old days, Benny Huber, Tinu Kunz, Manuel Billiris among
others had great style, and made some big tricks with grabs, now the tricks
are so big, itÂ´s hard to make them look stylish. I donÂ´t mean that they are
ugly, some of them look ok, but some look like a circus act, a great act,
and crazy as hell, it looks dangerous, IÂ´m glad IÂ´m too old and broken for that!
What's your best memory from skating?
I think the people I meet from all over the World and the great time I
spent with them is the best memories I have, but also seeing the World,
skating some great sessions on great ramps with the best skaters of the
time, those are good memories.
What did you learn to help you now in life?
What have I learned? Alot, alot of different things
from a lot of different people and situations.
Do you still skate?
Yes I still skate, not as much as I would like to, I
have some back problems, but when I skate itÂ´s together with Kim Andersen and
Kristian Uhre, and mostly in the summer time.
What do you do now for work?
I have just started working at a micro brewery
called Braunstein near Copenhagen, where I will learn to become a brewer.
Where do you live?
I live in Copenhagen Denmark with my wife Sybille and son
Who did you look up to when you started skating?
When I started skating it
was rollerskating / Quads, and the big name back then was Brian Wainwright, but
I looked up to alot of the skaters from the first video clip I ever saw, it
was a tape from the Monster Masterships in Munster Germany from 1989, and the
skaters were Brian wainwright, Thomas Kalak, Jimmy Scott, The Languth
Brothers Arne and Lars, Martin Broich and Jason Tubb. I also looked up to, and
learned alot from Matt Hofmann and BMX videos, Tony Hawk and Skateboard videos, that
was all we had back then, there were no Rollerskate / Quad videos.
Did you think rollerblading would be where it is now?
Yes, but not for so
long, Skateboarding used to have downs of about 5 years, just to come back a
bit stronger then before, and thatÂ´s what I thought would happen to
Rollerblading, but I guess I was wrong, but maybe some day it will be big
What do you think needs to happen to make vert skating big again?
Again I will bring up skateboarding, this happened to vert skateboarding too, street got
big, and all videos and pic. in the magazines were street skating, but vert
got back, mostly because of the mega names in vert skateboarding like Tony
Hawk. The difference between Skateboarding and Rollerblading is that most of
the top Rollerblade vert skaters are not American. What I think need to
happen is that the vert skaters have to do a lot of hard work to get back in the
spotlight, they canÂ´t just lean back and hope someone will do it for them,
those days are over.
Tell us about how vert skating used to be for you. How were the sessions?
There were many kind of sessions, in the old Rollerskate days it was alot of
fun and plain skating together with Bo ElsbĂ¸l who pushed me to do better and
bigger tricks, and the contest were alot more relaxed, everybody was just
glad that they had someone to skate with. The Rollerblade sessions were really
cool because there were so many really good skaters from all over the World,
and so many new tricks and styles, everyone were pushing each other, and
cheering when someone did a good trick or run. The contest were fun in the
beginning, when I got to the US. but when they got really big, like the
X-Games they lost the magic of a good session and turned into a choreographed show.
Who did you skate with?
While still Rollerskating it was Bo ElsbĂ¸l, Morten Engmark, Tony Martens and Tom Ahlqvist, while Rollerblading I was almost never
home and skated with who ever was where I was, but mostly with the guys
skating for Roces, like Tom Fry, Cesar Mora and Jean Jean Chennet. The time I
lived in Laguna Beach US. I skated with Jess Dytrnforth, Angie Walton, and who
ever was staying at the Daily bread office. The time I lived in Lausanne
Switzerland I skated with Raphael Sandoz, Ivano Gagliardo and a ton of good
young skaters. The time I lived in Munich Germany I skated with Roland
Goschl, Gregor Myzher and sometimes Matteo Attanasio.
How does it feel to have, probably the best vert wheel ever, the Cozmo
named after you?
I was very proud to get a pro wheel from Cozmo in the first
place, they made the best wheels back then, probably still dose, but that it
would become the most preferred vert skating wheel was a surprise, a great
surprise, I was happy, and still proud and happy. I have a fun story about
the wheel, that stuck in my mind. Shortly after it hit Germany there was a
contest, session or Roces show, I canÂ´t really remember, but it was in Bonn,
on a big vert ramp with a spine, great ramp, itÂ´s still there, but when I
had been on the ramp for a while I noticed that everyone with no exception was
skating on my wheel, it was kind of weird, but cool.
What are your thoughts of the pros now and who where do you think itâ€™s
I donÂ´t really follow the skate scene that much, I look at Youtube and the web
sometimes, most of the skaters skating now are people I donÂ´t know, but I like
to see how some of the skaters I know are doing now, skaters like Cesar
Mora, Shane Yost, Taig Khris, Manuel Billiris, and then to see whatÂ´s new trick
wise. I donÂ´t know where itÂ´s headed, but I heard rumors that Eito is
stopping because he is broken, and that is not good, the tricks that the skaters are
doing now are tricks are hard to learn on a normal ramp, and when you fall
you break, and IÂ´m broken from just doing what is now small tricks, I hope that
smaller and more stylish tricks will take over. I hope for all of the skaters
loving what they are doing that vert skating will have a come back, you deserve it !!
Any last thoughts on the industry, skating and future?
I absolutely have no
idea of what is happening in the rollerblade industry, but I just hope no one get to broken or die, itÂ´s not worth it, trust me.
oh, and, much love and respect for the viking!
wow great interveiw, but honestly i've been looking forward to the dvd since the trailer in barely dead
when is it going to be in stores ? ? ?
Xsjado Damien wilsons
Nimh Shima V2
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