“The best of both worlds” might be the best way to describe the people involved in this one. On the one hand, there is the Frog Skateboards crew around Microsoft Paint guru and skate maniac Chris Milic and his homie Jesse Alba, carrying one of the most renowned last names in the skateboard world. And on the other hand, there is one of Europe’s most traveled and well-connected powerhouses, going by the name of Hjalte Halberg of Polar fame. After being melted into a crew for a couple of weeks, the outcome is not only a guest board for Hjalte but endless good times, empty beer bottles, and digital photos on Colin Sussingham’s memory card that are to be enjoyed on the following pages.
Chris: How do you pronounce your name?
Hjalte: Heeeyalteh haaalberr (the g is silent).
Jesse: What is your middle name?
H: Miklaus, it’s like Nicholas but with an M. I’ve never heard of anyone else named like that.
C: This is an important question. [laughs] What is “the thing”?
H: Dat da thing! It’s Paul who says that, you know that? Paul Grund, when he is super serious, he says: “Yeah, yeah, but dat da thing!”
C: How long have you been a pro skata?
H: I’m not really sure, but Pontus turned me pro because he was the only pro on the team and didn’t have anyone to make boards for. At the time, he really didn’t think the company would grow that big.
J: Like IKEA?
J: It’s pretty big, this company.
H: [laughs] I gotta read through this interview before you put it out! I’ve gotten in trouble after saying funny stuff about people before.
J: How is life treating you as of today?
H: Its really good, I’m back in New York, with you fuckers. But it’s cold now! It pretty much turned winter the day I landed.
J: You can say that again. [awkward silence before laughter from Hjalte himself]
J: When did you find your knack for timeless skating?
H: I still haven’t found it really, but when we were watching my parts just now, all I can think about is, “Go faster and do more simple stuff.” [Chris laughs] Seriously!
J: But what about you and Bobby Dekeyzer’s shared part? The new Nike one?
H: [laughs because it’s Bobby Worrest, not Dekeyzer] I tried to keep it more simple for this one. That one was okay, that’s the latest output. It’s hard to film for me, I don’t really like trying stuff for too long, but when you do that, you get a good part. That’s my problem. I gotta start trying harder stuff for a longer time. Get out of my comfort zone. [laughs]
J: You gotta film with Ty Evans for that.
H: [laughs] Pontus or Tao [Tor Ström] is good for me.
J: That’s what Genesis Evans [917 / Frog / Element team rider, editor’s note] always says.
C: Yeah, he once told me, “Bro, you just skate and put it on the internet.” But then once he started filming for the Dany video, he was all about saving these clips. He was a changed man. [laughs]
H: That part is fucking good though! That’s a timeless part and the music does a lot too! It fits his skating so well, this part.
J: Basically, do you. That’s, like, the best skating, basically, basically, basically. [Quote from Bobby Dekeyzer’s Blue Tile Lounge Extended Cut Audio Commentary, editor’s note]
J: We haven’t even talked about what this article is about. [laughs]
H: Yeah, the goodn project! [laughs] I guess I got a guest board for Frog.
C: Oh yeah, how did that happen? [laughs]
H: You were joking about it a while ago.
C: I wasn’t joking! [laughs]
H: But you said [Hjalte impersonating Chrissssay], “It would be cool to give you a guest board, hehehe.”
H: And then I rementioned it to Jesse, you remember? It was after the Frog in China Video because before that I didn’t know what Frog really was, but after the clips, I was super hyped on it.
C: I had a vision. [laughs]
H: Also, I thought it was weird that you guys didn’t have any pro boards but wanted to give me a board before anyone on the team. You should do some pro boards! Americans are way too serious about skating.
H: Why?! You Americans are too serious about the pro board shit, in Europe you just turn the homie pro. Fuck it! It’s not about being “pro” at skating. If you are a sick character, you should be pro!
C: I’ve thought about it, but just doing it without telling anybody, like putting someone’s name on the board and just releasing it. But I also think about the other side, where people like to make a big deal out of it and have a party for the person and stuff.
H: I’ve told the same thing to Pontus! If you have a good idea, just make the board. I don’t mind if on one run I don’t have a board, it’s cool to switch it up.
J: Yeah, maybe I just feel like we aren’t technically “good enough”, but I guess it doesn’t matter.
H: But you are so dedicated, both of you. You are breathing skateboarding every day and you love it so much.
C: Yeah! [laughs] I’m also kind of scared just to put someone’s name on a board and not have a video come out or anything. Everyone who turns pro now has a crazy ass video part coming out when they turn pro.
H: But you should just do the opposite of what people expect and it’s going to be a hit! That’s what skating needs. Give skating the fuck finger.
C & J: The fuck finger! [laughter]
J: But of the topic of the pro thing, that’s how the trip came about for your guest board.
C: Yeah, Jesse told me that you had asked Nike if they would help get you out to New York to do a video for the board and they were down. We were so stoked to have you come out!
J: Yeah, that was really cool that they did that! You came out for ten days and stayed at a beast hotel. How was the experience for you?
H: So good! I miss the weather a lot, it was so nice. The whole trip was so fun. We went out skating all day every day then had beers on the balcony every night. We still got up early and had a plan, and it was the first time I skated New York with a car. Special thanks to Colin for that! We were able to go far out and were really on point.
C: Shout out to Colin and Colin shot off all the photos. [laughs]
H: That was my favorite, that we had a car. Actually, no. My favorite part was the day we went surfing! [laughs]
C: I thought you were going to say that!
H: Even that day, we still ended up skating!
C: What was your least favorite part?
H: Hmmm, I don’t know. Leaving? The whole trip was straight up paradise man! Everything worked out really, really good! Another favorite part of the trip was your slam Chris, where you scratched your nose. [laughs] Insane you didn’t get hurt!
C: [laughs] Yeah, I thought it was insane the door broke even after I tested it with tail drops into it a few times.
J: Yeah, but rolling in was all your weight. I think the tail drop, you could be more light-footed.
H: It was so sick when we went to that party afterwards and I was showing everyone the slam on my phone. Everyone was like, “Woooooooah!!!” That night was epic, and then everyone got kicked out of the rooftop by the cops. Everyone from New York got tickets!
C: Hjalte, remember you were telling me that everyone in America says dude too much? [laughs]
H: Yeah, usually if someone comes back from a trip to America and they are just saying, “DUUUUUUDE!”, then everyone in Europe hates you. It’s just really a lame word, you know? It’s like the lamest of the lamest words.
J: Dat da thing!
H: [concerned] We don’t have more beers? That’s really bad!
J: Should we get some more?!
H: Who’s going?!?
C: Let’s all go?
H: Ok, let’s all go, it would be nice to get some air outside.