05/08/2013 | by Arthur Derrien
The Histroy Of: Control Skateboards
1994 Or was it 95? In any case, the original Finnish skateboard label, Control Skateboards, was founded by a group of talented skaters in Helsinki. Sorry it’s all a blur and nobody really remembers, but those were the fuzzy good old days and since then the baby has grown up to it’s teens, turning about 15 years old this year and is simply called CTRL today.
1994 The key players in the creation of Control were probably Tuomas Vuorensola, Samuli “Hessu” Heino and Aki Kärjä. Tuomas, or Tumppi for short, came up with the name in the backroom of the local skateshop Union Five. Aki provided the agenda and Hessu, in his own words, talked himself into the team, and as history would have it, immediately took charge. Aki was perhaps the best known Finnish skater outside of Finland at the time with footage in Transworld & 411 videos. He is now a serious investment banker in NYC, where as Hessu runs things for Fenchurch out of Hossegor and Tumppi keeps building the Helsinki skate scene with his shop Grey Market Supply.
1996 Surely the most monumental film to date in the history of Finnish skateboarding, Control’s debut “SISU” comes out. Sisu is Finnish for some sort of gnarly courage, obviously a word that is desperately needed in any language used for describing skateboarding.
1997 Arto Saari joins the team for a year or two, before the sneaky talent spotting people in the United States (Platinum Skateboards) tell him he could make himself a really successful career by leaving Control and moving on to the other side of the Atlantic. And boy, were they right.
1998 Before leaving us, Arto has his first video part in the legendary CTRL film called “Teens”. This part remains amazing to this day, it’s a standard setting Arto part, for fucks sake.
1998 Teens also features a long part by the most mysterious skater in Finland called Peke, establishing him as the solid base for Control’s direction for the years to come. Coincidentally, Peke has some clever feet to board action footage in Arto’s part in Sorry some years later.
2000 Hessu, Toma, Peke, Hakki and Tatu spend two weeks on the road, touring the cities and small towns around Finland in a successful effort to solidify their reign over the Finnish skate market.
2000 The world sees the release of Control’s third video “Koodi” end up a messy fair. Because of some weak directing or something involved in the making of the video, the team doesn’t like the result. Nobody really wants to speak about that now. Nevertheless the skating is rad.
2005 After the disappointment of “Koodi” in 2000, the CTRL crew embarks on a five year journey to film the seminal HEL video, released in 2005 as the first free cover mounted DVD with Kingpin. In the process, the team spend three winters in Barcelona and Malaga. Some riders, most notably Hakki, Hessu, Toma, Jassu, Paul Ahero and Mikko Patja, come, go or come and go.
2006 Long time employers Esa and Freeman, sales and marketing executive and art director respectively, buy out the former owner of the company to change direction. Everybody knows that it’s a hard world out there for a Scandinavian skateboard pimp and that’s why the main focus from 2006 onwards has been the growth of the clothing line. All in all, CTRL is proud to be one of Europe’s oldest skateboarding brands and today CTRL is sold in over 30 countries and is known worldwide as a clothing brand with roots heavily in skateboarding. The hot new video is in the works – “coming soon, yeah right” – as the skateboarding advertisement world would say.