In less than a week we'll know who the new Reader's Choice European Skater Of The Year is. It's going to be a tough one, the top two nominees were really neck and neck just before we closed the polls. Last year Eniz Fazliov won the award, beating people like Danny Brady, Lucas Puig and Steve Forstner. Be sure to check our website on Friday to find out who get's it this year!
Anyway, here's his Interview from issue 99.
Words and portrait by Deeli.
What was the cock sucking award speech all about?
Ah man, that’s just what booze does to a person. I mean if you feed me with free alcohol for two days and then ask me to say something smart, you’re not doing anyone any favours. But the background for this was that it was my first time at the tradeshow and it just seemed so bizarre that everyone is so pleasant to each other, how everything that everyone does is so great all of a sudden and everyone agrees. About everything. And all of that just made me want to say something like, hey, it’s not all that great, you know, and maybe we’re just here for the free booze after all? I mean we’re all friends and it’s nice, but like all this praise for everything just seemed too much. So looking at it all with Sean James, getting gradually more drunk we started thinking it was more like we’re all sucking each other’s knobs all day. And by the time of the gala I was so smashed I didn’t know what the hell I was doing. I basically woke up the next day pretty miserable, wondering what I’d done. So I’m blaming the booze and the lack of sleep and I hope I didn’t hurt anyone’s feelings!
How was your year?
Just fine really, no serious injuries, filming, some photos, the usual.
Anything that stood out as special?
The Emerica dudes visited Europe for a while and I had a chance to travel with them for a bit, that was good. Got to know them a bit better and had fun skating with everyone.
Didn’t you then do a trip with Emerica in the US after that?
Yeah, but that was basically the only time last year when I was hurt, so that sucked a bit ‘cause I couldn’t do much. But I heard they were coming to Europe again this summer, so hopefully I’ll get to go along again.
Back smith by Percy Dean.
When did you hear about being nominated for this award?
The vote was already on, when Pete (Ruikka) called me and woke me up one morning and told me about it. Pete told me I was up for the award and that I was winning the vote at the time. So I got up and went online to check it, and obviously all the Finns had been going nuts with the voting – otherwise why would I be up there winning when there’s Lucas Puig, Chris Pfanner, Steve Fortsner and all these world class names there?
How did you feel about that?
I don’t know, surprised? I mean I knew all my friends would vote for me, of course, and I guess it would be the same for everyone else, right?
Didn’t some Finnish tabloid newspaper mention it on the website as well?
Yeah, there’s an old skater, a friend of mine, working there as a sports journalist and he posted it on their news. So of course there’s a lot of random people who are into sports reading it and when they see there’s a Finnish guy up for some European award they probably went and voted for me, just because it’s easy.
Frontside flip By Jelle Keppens.
So...what do you think, what made you win in the end?
Pfff...it’s hard to say really. I guess I just have to thank everyone who voted for me! But to be honest, I don’t really feel like I did anything special in the past 12 months. I’ve been filming loads and I have this part coming out in a friend’s video that I’m really stoked on, but I mean it isn’t out yet, so I can’t really feel like I should get an award for that obviously. It’s almost like I need to see that part come out before I can feel like I did something to deserve this, if you know what I mean.
What’s your take on the awards in general, are they important in skateboarding?
I guess it feels a bit odd, but maybe just because it’s a new thing. I mean we’re used to having the American Skater of the Year, so we’re already thinking about who might get it next, but this one came out of nowhere so quickly and unexpected that it’s hard to say what I think about it just yet. I’m sure if this award becomes something that’s given out every year it’ll become interesting to skaters and you might get people thinking about what they’ve done that year and if they might have done enough to be awarded for it. Who knows, time will tell.
Any names you think should’ve been on the list of nominees but weren’t? Definitely Samu Karvonen. He had the last part in the Antiz video, he turned pro and all that. Other than that, Tim Zom.
Front board by Jelle Keppens.
Who would’ve been your pick for Skater Of The Year?
Lucas Puig for sure. No one deserves it more than him. Congratulations on that!
Any plans for the year ahead?
Just more of the same! I’m your typical skater who doesn’t want to make any plans and just wants to go where the road takes me.
50-50 by Percy Dean.