Preface: I first met Viktor in March, 2016, only a month after launching the brand. I was traveling through Denmark and Sweden with a group of friends and was dying to check out the Swedish riding scene. All the "real" resorts were hours outside of Stockholm, but hidden inside city limits is a hidden gem called Hammarbybacken. Just a few hundred feet of man-made terrain, it consists of a t-bar and two runs. I reached out to Viktor out-of-the-blue via Instagram before I arrived and he was more than willing to let me in with the crew (and snag me a free lift ticket). After an interesting commute consisting of subway, taxi, and a couple-mile walk (all in snowboard gear), I made it to the hill to rip with Viktor and the other locals. Now a year and a half later, I catch up with Viktor to talk snowboarding, skating, and Sweden.
Interview: Michael Williamson
1. What's your name/age/where you're from and where you live now?
Viktor Lundberg, 27, from Stockholm and currently living in Stockholm as well.
2. Your home hill is located near center of Stockholm. Can you tell us about the spot itself and the local crew?
Yeah, home hill is Hammarbybacken, located just 20 min from the city center with public transportation. I've been riding there frequently since 2008/2009. It's not the best riding you get in Sweden but the atmosphere is awesome. You get a couple of rail features and a few jumps and a lap lasts just a minute or two. But its great fun! There's not that many snowboarders in Stockholm and the selection of slopes is limited, but I think that brings the ones who do ride together. We're a good crew of different ages that ride Hammarbybacken.
3. How do you think being limited to a small hill with only a t-bar has helped you guys be creative while riding?
Thursdays = snowboarding in Hammarby. The slope closes at 10pm during the week, so every Thursday around 7pm everybody meet up at Hammarby to ride. Two of my friends build and shape the park. When they're rebuilding they often ask us, the ones who ride, if we have any ideas of how the park should be and we usually rebuild it together. The t-bar is perfect for getting to know people. After every lap you can get up the hill with a different person.
4. How is street snowboarding and street skating viewed by the general public? In the US, they've become increasingly accepted, but regularly getting kicked out of spots is still the norm. How does this compare to what you've experienced?
It's pretty chill here. You rarely get kicked out of spots. Often people stop for a second to watch, not to complain.
5. How did you first become drawn to snowboarding? We're you ever involved with traditional team sports?
My mom is from Jämtland, northern Sweden, so I grew up going to the mountains every Christmas and spring break. I started skiing when I was about 4 years old. First time I strapped in on a snowboard, I was like 9 or 10. My dad rented me one and I remember throwing it away after like 30 minutes because I got so mad that I couldn't get up the lift. After that I went back to skiing for a couple of years.
When I turned 13, I got a board at Christmas and now I was more stubborn and learned how to get up with the lift and ride down the hill. To get better at snowboarding I started skating the year after (2004). I got hooked on skating as well and today I enjoy it as much as snowboarding. Before the board sports, I played football (soccer) for about 10 years. I still love it! Shout out to AIK, best team in Stockholm!
6. How was your winter?
This winter I was pretty busy working, so I didn't have time to snowboard as much as I wanted too. I managed going up north a couple of times though, but most of my riding ended up in Stockholm at Hammarbybacken.
7. You had a pretty gnarly ankle surgery last year. How has the rehab process been?
Yeah, I broke my ankle pretty bad last spring (April 1st). It was so silly, I played a flat game of skate with a friend. He throws out a halfcab flip when I'm on my last letter. I flip the board, missing the catch and end up with all of my body weight on my left foot. It tweaks and I could here the bone snap like a twig...horrible. surgery -> they screwed it back together -> loads of rehab exercises. I didn't get to skate at all last year. Luckily it didn't affect my snowboarding this winter. At first I felt pretty stiff after a session but it got better and better. Now I don't think about it at all 🙏
8. Top five things about living in Stockholm?
Stockholm, beautiful during the summer and the location of the city is super nice. In June it doesn't get dark until 10pm. You can hang out in parks, skate and chill til late. We also get snow during the winter time (almost every year) and the snowboarding is sweet. Good atmosphere, good people and nice techno/house parties! 😎
There you have it folks. Thanks again Viktor!