Mar 21, 2012 12:31 PM CDT
Up-and-coming Flip am, Ben Nordberg, sat down with us for a quick interview about his life on tour with Flip, dealing with injury and the trials and tribulations of being a young amatuer skater out there in today's world. Here's some of what the young British lad had to say.
There’s a lot of nicknames out there for you. You’ve got "Princess Nordberg", "Lordberg", "Nerdbooger", "Nordsy" and the new favorite, "Nordstrom". Which one is your favorite and how did you get so many nicknames?
I guess my last name is just an easy one to mess around with. It’s Swedish although a lot of people seem to think it’s German for some reason. I like all the nicknames that come out of it, but I can’t say i’ve heard “Nerdbooger” before. I’m pretty sure you just made that one up. [laughs]
How old were you when you started skateboarding and how did you get into it?
I can’t think of the exact date, but i’m pretty sure I was about eleven. I had a pretty standard entry. My friend had a board and I had a go and it just went from there. All the guys I started skating with gave up which sucked but I just kept going with it.
What were some of your favorite spots to skate while growing up in England?
My local park sucks, but because I grew up skating there I learned pretty much everything I know there. I love it now and I still skate it everyday when I’m back there. It’s been there for about fifteen years and hasn't changed much in that time so everything is pretty rough, but I would still recommend going there. If you skate there for about eight years straight, you’ll grow to love it!
When did you start getting hooked up with Flip and how did it happen?
It was at the end of January in 2009. I was just hanging out with my girlfriend at the time and the next thing I know a weird number came up on my phone. I picked up and it was Jeremy Fox. I was a bit taken back and the whole phone call was a bit of a blur so i asked if he could call me back in thirty minutes so I could take in what had just happened. The next thing I knew I was on the Flip team. It was probably my most proudest moment to date. Flip’s video, Sorry, was the first skate video I ever saw and to be skating for Flip was something I never thought would ever happen. I still trip out on it. Thanks to Geoff Rowley, Ian Deacon and Jeremy Fox for giving me the chance!
What was it like the first time you came out to the U.S. to skate with the team?
It was crazy. I’d never been that far away from home on my own and then seeing how good everyone is out here was crazy. It took me quite a long time to get comfortable skating out here. The difference between the level of skating here and England is pretty crazy to see. Nowadays I feel at home over here and feel more comfortable skating here than I do in England. It’s kinda weird.
You've been working on a video part for over a year now. How's that going? Are you stoked with the footage you have?
Yeah, I’m stoked on how everything has come together. At one point I was filming with a few different filmers so my footage was all over the place. I thought the best thing to do would be to get it all in one place and see if i had a enough for a part. I’d like to give a huge thanks to Russell Houghten, Ewan Bowman, Greg Hunt and James Gardner for editing it.
You broke your leg really bad almost three years ago in Long Beach. Did that set you back and make you realize how gnarly skateboarding can get? Did it inspire you to push yourself harder?
Yeah, that was a pretty dark time. I broke my tibia which is the top of your shin bone. I couldn’t walk for roughly three months and it was about another two months until I could skate again and then it took probably another four until I could skate properly. I had to have a metal plate and six pins put in which are still in there. It was definitely a reality check to see how it could all be over in a split second. I learned to be patient through it and and now I try to keep in good shape to try and avoid something similar happening. It definitely did something to me mentally, but in a good way. It taught me to not take anything for granted.
What's been the best thing about traveling all over the world for skateboarding and what's the best story you have from your travels?
All the new people you meet is great. Trying all kinds of exotic food and getting to see how people live in their cultures is also cool. It’s hard to think of one specific story because so much funny stuff always happens, but I think the funniest thing would be when we pranked Andrew Langi on the most recent Flip tour. I won’t tell the whole story because the prank went on for nine days, but if you ever happen to meet Langi just ask him how Nikki is doing.
When you're staying at Arto's house how many times does he have to tell you to make your bed, clean up your crap and put down the toilet seat?
It was definitely a lot in the beginning. I felt really bad so now I make sure the toilet seat is always down. I’d say I’m getting better. To anyone who’s house I’ve ever made a mess at, once I get my own place please feel free to come and get revenge! I deserve it. [laughs]
Favorite skateboarding trick?
I like tre flips and back noseblunts on tranny.
What trick do you want to learn next?
I really want to get switch tre's down, but my body always ends up in some retarded position. I also really want to learn to do legit grabs on tranny.
What's your current set-up?
Flip 8.0" Rowley board, 147 high Thunders, 51mm Spitfires and Gravis "Filters."
Top 3 ams on the skateboarding scene right now?
That’s a hard one. Personally, I’m a big fan of Louie Lopez, Curren Caples and Tom Karangelov.
It's tough as hell out there for up-and-coming ams. Any words of advice from the Nordburgler?
Don't put too much pressure on yourself and just do your own thing.