This year Malmö is arranging world championship in skateboarding, in their brand new skate park located in Hyllie. In total thirty skaters are competing about the world championship title in two categories; male and female. Among the males participants is the young and promising skater Chris Russell, who we are lucky enough to arrange an interview with. More than one hour late and in between sessions he shows up. It is the day before the contest is about to kick off, and I am expecting an energetic and exited Chris, however his rusty voice tells me he is not a hundred percent today.
Are you feeling confident about tomorrow?
I haven’t been practicing enough, so lets just hope I can get in there. I´m going to practice a little more later today.
Looking forward to it though?
Yeah, for sure, its going to be fun. It will be a good time definitely.
Do you like it here in Scandinavia?
I love it. Its one of my favorite places I come to every year. Its beautiful, all beautiful people and the skateboard scene is rad out here. Its a lot of good stuff to skate out here.
Is it true your nickname is Russell the muscle?
Any other nicknames you wanna share with us?
They call me man bear kid, nemesis, let me think, what else. I have gone through a few but muscle stuck though, for a while.
Because you always skate without your shirt on?
No, I don’t know, maybe because I am a little more stocky, and I skate kind of like aggressive. I don’t know, maybe that’s why.
Do you like it?
Its not to bad though, could be worse.
I have noticed your tattoos, especially the one on you chest.
Yeah, it was the first one I got, its an old Black Flag poster art. Since Black flag came out of my area and my home town Hermosa beach it represent the love for what kind of music I like, and the love for my hometown and for skateboarding. That’s why its right here to my heart, staying all true to that.
Is Hermosa beach a good place to live if you’re a skater?
I don’t think so, as much as I love my hometown, and all my friends that skate with me there, its really hard to poke them with the stick to get them to come out. People just like to chill out to much, and I am always like, go, go go, wanna go surf, skate this and that. So it is kind of hard, everyone just want to drink beer and do nothing, and I’m like, I cant do that, I got to keep moving. So its good but I have seen a lot of friends growing up kind of fallen to the pool of beach trap like not doing anything and just getting into the drug scene. Not the friends I hang out with now, but growing up I saw a lot of friends getting into hard drugs and overdosing. But that’s kind of the beach lifestyle, a lot of people just think its paradise and they don’t know that there is anything else out there. But, I always had a pretty good crew of friends being into music and art and skate, and that’s who I stick with, they keep a good head on their shoulders, but I still have to poke them with a stick to get them go skate with me.
Three things our readers needs to know about skateboarding?
Well, its defiantly not for the fan of heart. You got to be tough if you want to skate. Its definitely a rough crowd out there, if you cant take that your not going to stick around for to long. And its one of the best things ever, it takes you around the world, and it is one of those thing that just brings everyone together, super rad. It takes you to all these places that you never gone to, at such a young age to, its sick.
You are only 19, and already traveled the world to skate, where do you see yourself in the future? Olympics?
That would be really cool, I think what we are doing here at the park is almost a qualifying so to say. So Olympics would definitely be rad, would be amazing to be part of the first group.
So you feel positive about the development for the skating culture?
It is definitely taking it in to a new territory. Its going to open the eyes of a lot of people that doesn’t take skateboarding seriously. Its really seen as something that’s moving in a very influential thrill for kids and people who brings a matter of trouble to it. Its kind of like I said, it brings everybody together. With the Olympics everybody will get a better outlook on the hole thing. Its not going to hurt skateboarding what so ever, if anything, its just going to make it bigger. It has been a lot of debates that it will hurt underground skateboarding, but underground skateboarding will always be there, and that’s why its underground, its always going to stay relevant and true to heart. So you know, I think its positive.
Coming from a longer stay in Copenhagen, you have caught a bad cough right before the championship, you think you will feel better tomorrow, and ready to skate?
I feel better today, but the last few days has been though, I been taking it easy this hole week. We did a number of it in Copenhagen, we had a lot of fun, but it takes it out of you, you know? So I have been resting since I got here. But even then, its like I haven’t been able to practice that much so, I mean, I feel alright though, I feel semi confident. I am pretty hard on my self to. I just watch everybody rip it, I’m like damn, I wanna get in there and skate. Hopefully today when I practice I will be kicking it, I get all hyped when I watch my friends skate to.
After Malmö what comes next?
I have a one way ticket, so its pretty up in the air.
I´m like thinking after this I would rather go to Italy with my one friend. Just hang out, eat good food, and do whatever. Kind of get that good vibe, and keep it easy and break it up from the hole craziness, settle the nerves. Or, I go to Barcelona and I do this stuff all over again, Ill go and film, and hurt myself and then hopefully I get some clips. I have two choices, but I am leaning towards Italy.
Last but not least, the after party, will we see you there?
Oh yeah for sure, we will definitely have a good time, turn it up, do whatever keeping it lid. It will be sick.
If 1 is tipsy, and 10 is I cant remember my name, what number are you going for?
Oh were taking a level 20 baby! We are just pass the point of not knowing your name, everyone is just getting buck wild. Like you know, keeping the energy high. But you know, I’m sure we will remember bits and pieces.