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Hugo Boserup – Interview

Hyped again

Some people will try as hard as they can but never get what they want to achieve, cause they just don’t have what it takes. And then there are people who just go with the flow and succeed cause they simply have it. It’s hard to tell what “it” is, but Hugo Boserup surely is blessed with it. He just looks good on a skateboard. He’s one of the guys you want to see more of. Well, here we go.

You’re in Copenhagen, right? 

I just got back from Columbia yesterday. I was there with Alex Pires, Cyrus Bennett, Max Palmer, and Hjalte Halberg. And before that, I was on a Nike trip from Texas to Arizona. It was sick to see the desert. We jumped on a freight train, it was super sick.

Let’s start at the beginning. I read that you got into skateboarding because you saw the Ryan Sheckler show [Life of Ryan, editor's note] on MTV.

Where did you read that? I feel like I said that somewhere. Fuck, I was skating before that, but I think I watched some of that a lot. Me and my friend would just go home after school and watch MTV and that show would come on. And then we were skating… But I don’t know. Fuck, that’s such a stupid thing to say. I was definitely skating before I saw that show.

Then things started pretty quickly for you. Your welcome clip for Crailtap is six years old. Which means you were 14 or 15.

But we produced that clip with the Danish distribution. It was because Raven [Tershy] came to Copenhagen to film for Pretty Sweet and we were skating and he hooked me up with Lakai shoes, which I later got from the Danish distribution that hooked me up with the whole package, Chocolate and Royal Trucks, as well. I was super hyped on that. But I didn’t really do that much with it. I wasn’t filming a lot, just always skating in the skatepark. I wasn’t really skating with Hjalte at that time, because he was always traveling. We only started to skate a lot together two or three years ago. It was around the time he started to do these little Instagram mixtapes that I thought skating was sick again – because I went to school and was kind of over skating. And then I dropped out and started working at a skatepark building company. Because of that, I got super hyped on skating again. You want to skate after building a skatepark all day.

"I never felt I was really good at skating"

Why were you over skating at an age where people are normally most hyped?

I don’t know. I was just hanging out with my friends, doing nothing. I wasn’t really over skating. I was still skating a lot, but I wasn’t hyped on going filming or anything.

Even though you were already sponsored? A lot of guys would have been extremely motivated if they had been in your position.

Probably because I never felt I was really good at skating. I started to go to a new school after finishing high school and a lot of the people I was hanging out with didn’t really skate. After school, we would just go wherever to play music or soccer or some shit. I guess I didn’t take it very seriously. The guy who had the distribution took me out to film and we would get stuff, but I wouldn’t really pursue it myself that much. But then I started skating with Hjalte and I was getting really hyped on skating. And sometimes we’d go on trips to America. Then I got on Nike because my good friend Ville [Westers] was on Nike and he would get travel budget and stuff. I thought that sounded sick and that I might be able to get some money from skating and it’s easier or whatever. But it wasn’t money that motivated me but seeing that it happened to a friend, I guess. [laughs] That sounds corny.

Was Hjalte kind of your mentor?

No, that’s Peter [Stege], Balder [Lehmann], and Herm [Claus Hermansen], the guys I work with. They would always tell me to skate more. Every time we have finished building a park we would skate it afterwards and that’s always the funniest thing to do. And we’d only be skating with Hjalte on the weekends because we were working in another town. I guess he turned into like a mentor later on when it became about going out and getting footage. But my other friends had the most influence on me. I took the most of all of their advice.

Fs 5-0 in Berlin

So how did it happen that you went from Crail to 917?

Basically, it’s all Hjalte’s fault that I skate for Nike and 917. He introduced me to everyone. Some people think I skate for Polar as well. We just skate too much together, I think. Hjalte is friends with Logan [Lara] and he went on a trip with all the guys who skate for Nike a couple of times. Then Logan came to Copenhagen because his girlfriend was studying out here and he came and skated with us one day. It was really fun. We were skating and talked on the phone afterwards and he told me that I could get some boards if I wanted. But they didn’t even have any boards at that time yet. I really liked 917 though and I explained the situation to the guys at Crailtap and they fully understood because I was really open about it. Then I went on a trip to New York half a year later right when they did the Nike/917 shoe. That’s when I met everyone else.

How does it feel that Alex Olson wants you to be on his team?

It’s pretty epic – epic and funny. Alex is super sick. When I met all those guys for the first time, it was definitely intimidating. I flew to New York and met them all in this studio where they were doing the shoot for the Nike shoes they did and everyone was there. I just walked in and said hello to everyone. They all were super cool. They just took me in and we had some beers and a barbecue at Max’s place at night. The next day, we went on a trip, which was the intimidating part. I knew none of these guys or, rather, they knew nothing about me, and then you have to skate and don’t want anyone to wonder, “Why is this kid on the trip?” But I got along with everyone super well. Turned out way better than it could’ve.

Was it a trip to check you out? 

It was definitely to see if I can hang, skate, and if we could get along. Logan likes doing weird stuff, so he probably just thought that it would be funny to bring this kid and see how it would go. It went pretty well. Puked in the tent one night, pretty good.

"Puked in the tent one night, pretty good."

Alex’s tent?

No, me and Logan’s tent. On my birthday. We had a bunch of these small bottles of liquor and threw them all in a plastic bag and you had to find out all these wack-ass flavors yourself. I got super wasted.

How much are the riders involved in 917 when it comes to projects, collaborations, board designs, or whatever? Or is it all up to Alex?

Alex wants to do everything by himself, I think, but he always checks in on what people think and asks for ideas or opinions. He always does his own thing in the end, but he’s very chill about tours and trips. Everything just happens naturally like in a group of friends and he just does all the graphics and gives them to everyone. Every trip is different depending on who can get some time off work. So people just figure out where they go, but it’s mostly L.A. or New York. But there’s no pressure or anything, which is sick.

In the 917 video you skated to Millencolin. Did you choose that song?

No, this guy Stu did. Logan basically finished the editing the day before it was released and we didn’t know which song we should use. We were listening to a bunch and Stu had a good selection and he proposed that song and Nick liked it. They are Swedish aren’t they? Someone asked me if they took it because they thought that I’m Swedish, but there’s no story like that behind it.

Soloskatemagazin Hugo Fillpipe

Hugo Fullpipe diggin

Do you get a lot of invitations to fashion shows or parties now that you know Alex Olson?

No, I wish to get some more of that. We crashed some fashion week parties in Copenhagen. Hjalte was at this one party with a private guest list and he told us that we could just come in. And we just walked into this 40-year-old lady’s party. But there hasn’t been a change in all of that. I’ve been to some shows that Alex deejayed at. He played at this club in Copenhagen when Nike and Soulland had this release. And I saw him playing in Milan at this other party. Maybe it was because of the fashion week there also… I don’t know.

Talking about partying, I heard that you earned the title “King of Copenhagen” because of your party skills.

Who told you that? [laughs] Sometimes we go out with some friends that we have from wherever and which are a bit older, so they don’t know all of the people we know. And one night, we just went out and met all these people and someone was like, “You know a lot of people at this party, you must be the King of Copenhagen.” But I don’t want to claim that at all. It’s pretty lame. It’s a heavy title that belongs to Rune Glifberg.

But the guys that told me about it said that you probably have some good party stories from Copenhagen.   

I don’t know, I fell on my face a couple of weeks ago. I was riding my bike home and split my lip open, bleeding everywhere. Pretty sick. See, I don’t have any good stories to tell. We just like to go to the Meatpacking District a couple of nights a week. They play a lot of house music there. That scene is pretty fun.

"I fell on my face a couple of weeks ago. I was riding my bike home and split my lip open, bleeding everywhere. Pretty sick."

Hugo Fs Tailgrab

So you’re partying a couple nights a week?

[laughs] This is not that type of interview… I don’t know. No, mostly on Fridays and Saturdays, occasionally on Thursdays. 

You’re still living at your parents’ house in Copenhagen, but I guess you’re not home a lot anyways since you’re traveling and working? 

Exactly. It’s stupid to pay rent at a place that you only live in on Fridays and Saturdays. My situation right now is pretty good. I don’t really need to move out, but I’m thinking about it and might do it at the end of summer.

I heard that you also have your own privacy in the room you’re living in right now because you have your own door at the back. So what do you use that door for?

To go in and out?

I was told that you use it to bring girls in and out without your parents noticing.

Fuck this interview! [laughs] Might have happened once or twice. It didn’t happen that much. I have a girlfriend now.

"Fuck this interview!"

Another story I’ve heard… you will like the question: someone told me that you celebrated the loss of your virginity at Jarmers Plads, the ledge spot in Copenhagen. What was going on there?

Oh man, I don’t come up with any of these things. I went skating the day after I lost my virginity and told these guys… Jonas Skrøder had said he would buy a bottle of vodka for me or Ville – whoever would lose his virginity first. And when I did, I was all hyped and told them and they gave me the bottle of vodka. And we were skating at Jarmers Plads and went home to my friend’s house afterwards, he cooked us dinner and I guess we had a party. But it was a Friday though. So all the older skaters that were with us found it funny or whatever. I guess that was kind of a déjà vu for the older guys. All the older skaters in Copenhagen took really good care of us though. I’m very thankful for the group of friends we have here.

You talked about your friends from FSR Beton who took good care of you too. How did you start working for them?

When I went to school, they’d always take me on trips to the skateparks they were building. They always told me that if I finish school, I could become the engineer of the company or whatever – joking around like that. But then I dropped out when I was 16 and two weeks after they were like, “Okay, what are you gonna do?” And I was like, “Skating or whatever.” And they told me, “You can’t be at home all day, being lazy, you should come and work with us.” I tried it out for a week and I’ve been working with them for four years now. They are the best, they always let me take time off when I gotta go on trips.

"Jonas Skrøder had said he would buy a bottle of vodka for me or Ville – whoever would lose his virginity first"

Why did you drop out of school?

I didn’t like going to school. I had my friends, but everyone else was kind of bumming me out there. And I have never been good at doing homework either. I just wanted to drop out and rather be a craftsman. I knew that I’m not gonna be a doctor or something.

Wasn’t it hard to get out of school and switch straight to hard work?

Definitely. It was very exhausting. I fell right asleep when I got home for the first weeks. I couldn’t stay up. I kept on drilling myself in the hand because I didn’t learn how to use power tools, but you just pick it up pretty fast over time. I still have a lot to learn.

What is your favorite obstacle to build?

If you build something really big, it’s sick to skate but sucks to be built. Basically, it’s never really fun to build anything, because it’s pretty hard. But a regular quarter-pipe, for example, is pretty easy and you get a lot of fun out of that.

Where do you stay when you’re building a skatepark and how is it to live in little towns for a while? 

We mostly stay in living containers, classic job-site house setup, and we just live there. It’s sick because you’re close to work, but you definitely see some pretty boring parts of Denmark, which can be interesting too since you never really stay there for more than a month or two. We were in the second biggest town of Denmark for half a year and that was really sick because I got to see how it was to live in that town. We were skating and hanging out with everyone who lived there.

Soloskatemagazin Bs Ssmith

Hugo Bs Smith

But how is it to live in a container for months?

Pretty tight. We go home on the weekends. It can become pretty tiring. But it’s sick too because I’m with some of my best friends, so we’re just skating or doing something fun after work. And you work more if there’s nothing to do anyways. Like, are you gonna work with your friends for a couple of more hours and make money or hang out in a container?

How many days a year are you out there building skateparks?

Maybe around 100. Because the season kind of stops in November/December and begins in March. Basically, we’re off work for half a year.

Is it getting problematic that you go more and more on skate trips now?

It’s definitely annoying because when I work for them, they kind of rely on me. And some of these trips are rather spontaneous – like, I get asked two weeks prior. It makes me feel kind of guilty, but they never complain.

You said that those guys took you under their wings early on. What did you learn from them? 

Everything kinda. I guess I’ve only seen good ways to see how to handle situations. You see how your moves in life can go. Like, they told me, “Don’t go to this production school. You’re gonna waste your time doing this.” Just a lot of good advice I’ve learned from. They just taught me how to do everything kinda. You learn to shut up, I think. Because they just tell you to shut up when you talk a lot of shit. You start to figure out when not to talk.

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