I remember seeing Anton the very first time at a competition when I think he was no more than 12 years old. He was wearing skinny jeans and a red/black-striped shirt doing ollie airwalks, front boards and he pushed mongo. I can´t really say I saw anything that special in him at that point but that would all change two years later – another competition, but a completely different Anton. He did flawless runs with a tech level that was, and still would be, ridiculous. Wearing baggy pants, an NFL shirt and a New Era cap, it seemed like he did not say a word to anyone, he just walked away with first place like it was nothing. Shortly after that he sort of got on Sweet through a local store flow. One day he came to skate with some of the guys on the team, slowly a quiet young Anton became good friends with the others and was transformed into the skater he is today. Anyone who has ever seen him skate knows that he has tricks in his bag unique to the entire skateboard world. He does them with speed, style and a smile on his face, never hating on anything or anyone just pushing the limits of what is actually do-able on a skateboard. - Bjorn Holmenas
Hi Anton how’s it going? As it’s your first interview in Kingpin we might as well start off with a few general questions. You currently live in Barcelona but are originally from Norrköping, Sweden. Am I correct?
Hey Arthur! Yeah this is my first one. I think I’ve been in the mag before in some Sweet related articles but I’ve never had anything just about me. Anyway, yes I’m from a city pretty close to Stockholm called Norrköping. When I was young I just wanted to get away from it, but now I actually like spending time there; it’s a beautiful city.
How was growing up skating over there?
It was fun! It’s a small city so all the skaters know each other and skate together. Spot wise there wasn’t much but now when I look back on those days I’m glad we didn’t have the best spots because it opens you up to different ways of skating and forces you to adapt to challenging terrain.
Do you have any idea why Sweden has produced so many incredibly talented skateboarders despite the harsh winters?
We’ve got a lot of good skateparks, can it be that?
Maybe… What triggered your move to Barcelona?
I first went there with my family when I was a like 14 or something and saw all the spots and I’d seen in the videos. Being able to skate those spots was like a dream come true! I liked the city so much that the first thing I did when I got home was start planning the next trip back. A couple of years later I decided to move over there and I’m glad I made that move. It’s definitely helped me in many other ways in life than just skating. I’ve never been to a city where there were so many different people from all over the world and it’s amazing how funny and crazy some of them are. Not to mention the city’s beautiful beaches, mountains, food, nightlife and attractions to see and enjoy.
How has living there been so far? It’s obviously one of the best places in the world for skateboarding, but a lot of people complain that it’s hard not to get caught up in the party scene or the repetitive Macba/Parallel routine.
The great thing about Barcelona is that you can do whatever you want! If you want to party all day long you can – you’ll always find someone who’s down and certain bars don’t really close. I guess that’s what some people can’t handle…I used to live in the centre before and I did like it, but it was a bit too hectic at times so I moved to the outskirts to get some fresh air. I enjoy the peace and quiet.
As for the Macba/Parallel routine I think it’s great! Especially since we started this thing we call “morgon passet” (morning sessions) a couple of years ago. We meet up at Macba at 11 – 12 and skate for a couple of hours in the morning and it’s amazing! You’ve got the whole plaza to yourself and all your closest friends. It’s all love! It does get quite busy around 3 – 4 o’clock but by then we usually tend to take the session to another spot since we’ll have already spent a couple of hours out there.
Can you tell us a little bit about working on Stee?
To be honest I had nothing to do with it. I really like everyone involved and everything but I think to make a video or video part, especially a collaboration video, the connection between the skater and filmer/editor is just as important as the skating itself. They need to be working together. The skater needs to have a certain input to keep it interesting and make sure him and the filmer are on the same page about what they are trying to achieve with it all the way through. I like being involved and trying to help with it as much as I can and I didn’t feel that I did any of that in this one. But nothing but love to the Mafia they are super nice people and everyone kills it.
Does this mean you had stronger connections with the filmers when you were working on your SML Wheel parts or your Sour section?
When I made my Sour part a couple years back, Isak Lindberg was Sweet’s official filmer and him and I would randomly go out looking for new spots. I really enjoyed that side of filming, it’s one of the reasons why I had such a good time working on this part. Plus he’s such a good filmer! Many thanks Isak.
As for SML wheels, it’s something I’m really grateful to be a part of. Guys like James Craig, Danny Garcia, and Raymond Molinar are people I’ve looked up to since I started skating. I like everything about the brand – the quality of the products and how what they put out just feels right. These days in skateboarding some people do things just for the money or to get 50 more followers on their social media networks so I’m glad that there are still brands out there like SML that just do it for the love and passion of skateboarding. It’s 100% owned by skaters and I feel like the skate industry needs more companies like that! If you are in a group of people you feel comfortable and have fun with you will inevitably be more productive. At least that’s how it is with me. When I went to Tenerife to film that part I went with people I grew up skating with and to see those guys skate is so rad! It makes me so hyped! It’s for sure one of the best trips I´ve been on in ages…
What about the Stee filming trip to California? I bet that was a good one. Was it your first time out there?
Yeah and it was such a fun experience! The weather and the beach were amazing and the Sk8 Mafia guys really welcomed us with open arms. It almost felt more like a holiday with a bunch of homies who wanted to do some skating rather than a proper skate trip. I got to meet Marius Syvanen who I got along really well with. Marius is the man! He actually joined us on a trip in Europe after that… good times! Plus on top of being really fun, skating with those guys is actually super motivating. The big difference for me in terms of skating was the driving. In Sweden and Barcelona I just pick up my board in the morning and cruise the streets until I get to where I want to go and I have to say I prefer that to jumping in to a car. Other than that it was amazing. I could easily see myself living over there for a while!
I would love to go to SF or New York one day, it seems like you can get around those cities and do some real street skating without having to drive. For me being around a crew with good vibes is the most important thing and to be honest I don’t care where in the world you are as long as you are a good group of people that know how to get hyped up and have a good time! You can make any shitty spot super fun if you are skating it with the right people!
Moving on to something completely different, I can’t help but notice that you skate switch more than most people. Is there an explanation for this? An injury? The influence of certain skaters?
About five years ago I hurt my foot pretty bad and ended up having to go to hospital for an X-Ray, but to my surprise the doctors told me it was nothing serious. Soon after that Sweet invited me on a trip to the Canary Islands and Tenerife for a couple months and I was like “fuck it, I might as well go. Hopefully my foot will get better while I’m out there…” Once I got there I realised I could only skate switch because whenever I’d move my left foot in any direction it would hurt really bad!
I ended up skating switch for about three months and my foot didn’t get any better. When I got home I talked to some people and got a specialist’s number. When I went to see him he took a brief look at it and instantly asked me: “what doctor did you go to?” I answered his question and he replied that my foot was in really bad condition and that I needed to get surgery right away. I got the surgery and rested for three months. To this day I still vividly remember my first ollie and kick flip after that period of rest. It was undoubtedly the best moment I’ve ever had on my skateboard! It was such a good feeling to be able to skate normally again! The foot actually healed fine in the end and feels great now so I’m really thankful for that doctor’s help. That’s the story about that.
But I have always liked skaters like Brian Wenning and Janoski too and I’ve always skated a lot of switch, even before the injury…
Anyhow the feeling of just cruising the streets and being able to do little ollies on flat is the best feeling, it’s why I started skating in the first place and will always be a part of skating that I’ll love the most.
When I was young I was like any other kid who’d see crazy skating and want to learn trick after trick. There’s a certain age when all you care about is learning stuff. I remember not caring about clothes or style and I don’t regret a thing, but if I look at my old parts today I often find myself thinking: “what was I doing?!” They are the sort of parts that you watch, find pretty funny for 10 seconds but then switch to something else… But that’s the beauty of skateboarding! You learn with time and get a feeling of what you want to do. That’s how your style matures. Doing the same thing all the time would be boring. You want to progress and learn things. I mean this in a wider sense as well – it doesn’t have to necessarily be in terms of tricks, it could be anything. For instance one of my main interests is travelling, something that that you can easily combine with skateboarding. To see and skate new places is such a sick experience! And you learn so much while doing it too.
It’s funny how skating is different for people. I personally see skateboarding as art and nothing else. It’s like everyone can draw a hand on a piece of paper but everyone will draw that hand differently. Skateboarding is exactly the same, I can watch Gino or D. Gar or someone just pushing and get super hyped to go skate! For me it’s about how you do the tricks you do and how you feel whilst doing them.
You mentioned that travelling is one of your main interests and I’ve noticed (from the likes/comments on our Facebook page) that you pay close attention to European skating. What are some of your favourite skate scenes?
London is definitely my favourite! I really like how the city looks and it’s got that raw feeling about it… I’m into guys like Chewy Cannon and I recently watched the City of Rats video and I love all those spots. There’s definitely some real street skating going on over there. I think I’ve been a fan of the city ever since I first saw the old Blueprint videos. Tenerife is also one of my favorite places for sure! Take the plane from where ever you are to that island and you’ll forget about all your problems. You can really relax on that island…The weather is super good, there’s no stress at all and it feels like people really know how to chill over there. Not to mention the spots! There are so many good skate scenes in Europe at the moment but I have to say Hjalte Hallberg, Jonas Skröder and the boys from Copenhagen are really killing it these days. Then of course you’ve got France’s Flo Mirtain, Lucas Puig and JB who are all amazing and the Sweet boys are always on fire…
What about Lyon, France? We sent you out there to shoot/film for this video part/interview and I know having to be productive when you are out skating with a bunch of people you’ve never met, in a city you don’t know can sometimes be a little bit tricky….
It was AMAZING! The city is big but you can get around easily and there are so many good spots over there it’s crazy. It was my first time in France and the Lyon scene is really sick. The locals are super friendly and the spots are incredible. It’s also the first time I met Sam Bailey and what can I say… he’s the man! He’s the one who made this Kingpin part happen! He’s an amazing guy to hangout and film with. Thanks Sam! Thanks to Flo Mirtain, Nikwen and everyone for the good times and showing me around. They are killing it over there, big ups to all the locals! It was so sick to see JB skate his plaza (Hôtel de Ville) too… A true legend right there! I also got to go on a little road trip to Geneva, Switzerland with the Cliché guys. That place is great, so many good spots and good people! I’d like to thank Jéremie Daclin and everyone for letting me come!
Bjorn (Sweet’s team manager) mentioned that your teammate Jonas Skröder just got accepted in a prestigious engineering school. Is going back to university/ studying something you ever consider?
I’m stoked that he did that! That’s good for him in so many ways. I’m convinced that everything you do outside of skateboarding only makes you a better skateboarder. If you’ve got other stuff going on you just get way more hyped when you actually hit the streets, just like when you are a kid. I remember bottling up so much energy when I was at school that when it would finish my homies and I would just go mental and unleash it all on our boards. Right now I feel like I’ll probably go back to studying again in the near future. I wasn’t really hyped on high school when I was younger but now I kind of like the idea of getting back into it. Studying is just like anything else, you need to be interested and motivated to do well.
What did you do before devoting your life to skateboarding? University? Do you have any other major interests?
When I was young I played a lot of sports, mainly football and ice hockey. I actually played hockey for a couple years but realised it wasn’t really for me when I got older…I’ve never been a competitive person and when I quit playing sports, skateboarding just took over. I also got into drawing and decided to go to art school. I really like drawing but I have to admit that I’ve been quite lazy with it over the last couple of years. I’m sure I’ll get back into doing it more often in the future though…I think it’s good to have something like art or music in your life. These things allow you to create something personal, something that helps you express your feelings. Plus it gives you something to do at all time. Those activities are similar to skating in so many ways. It’s probably the reason why I never owned a video game. Actually no, I got a Gameboy Advance once when I was really young but I think I only played it for like five minutes… I know it seems funny to some people, but I’ll always much rather draw or try doing something creative than play computer games.
Great. Thanks a lot for this Anton; hopefully these pages will have given our readers a taste of your creativity, at least in terms of skateboarding. Actually one last little question: the Bright European Skater of The Year awards are coming up, who do you think should be ESOTY this year?
Erik J. Petterson or Lucas Puig.