“I feel like 20 though“
With this sympathic announcement 29 year old Frode Goa, Norwegian self-made skate brand founder and partner is on the spot to tell us more about Scandinavian Skateboarding.
Goa – a place not only the one in mystic India but also in Norway and pretty commonly used as we learned – by the way!
FMCS: Frode, tell us a few things about you, your brand and your motivation to run SHIT® SKATEBOARD COMPANY
Frode: I have been skateboarding, snowboarding and surfing for over a decade. Close to two decades now. I started skateboarding at the point when the scene in Norway was very small, and skateboarding was not popular anymore, further more… on the contrary I have been working in Norway’s biggest, and first (and best) surf shop for ten years. I started at the age of 18 just as a part job.
I have been working as salesman, manager and also in the distribution/Import business part. Distributing Adio, Planet Earth, Arcade, Rhythm etc.
This gave me a lot of competency and inside information.
I had to leave that shop when my own business started taking all my spare time. I had to go 100%. And work 24/7. My good friend Kim Stokke and myself founded the brand in 2000, and had been brainstorming about business ideas for close up to five years before we decided it had to be what was closest to our heart – skateboarding.
Right now, it’s 6 persons who work with Shit:
Jens Lindhardsen is Chairman and Partner. Alex Boxill is web master and Partner. Johan Nielsen Jr is Norwegian and Scandinavian sales rep. Fredrik Risvik is cinematographer and I am CEO, founder and Partner.
The Skate Team counts 5 as well: Martin Mentzoni (Norway), Johakim B.Oussalem (Norway), Kim A.Ottermo (Norway), Fredrik Naerland (Norway) and Raffaele Schirinzi (Italy) plus flow in different countries.
FMCS: How come you decided to run a skateboard label?
Frode: As mentioned above, it was a long process and a lot of back and forth for many years. But we just decided to do skateboards since no skateboard brands have made it in Norway before. And when we decided, it was for full throttle.
FMCS: You named your company SHIT – why is that? Does it stand for something?
Frode: After many brainstorms regarding the skateboard company’s name, we found that a well known globally strong youth slang (SHIT) was not used in any brand name at all, and we found that very odd, but perfect. So that’s why we settled with brand name SHIT.
SHIT does stand for “Store High In Transport” I got to know by a friends friend. It is a term of use under sea shipping for over hundred years ago. But this has nothing to do of our decision of the brands name.
SHIT is a well known globally slang. It is provocative and appealing at the same time for the youth.
FMCS: Where do you currently live and work?
Frode: I am born, raised and live in Stavanger, Norway. It is at the South West coast of Norway. It is the surf capitol of Norway. It is beautiful here.
We have an extremely welcoming and nice community, as well as strong population. We also have a handful of foreigners in the community - they just can not leave this set up. Surf, snow and skate within one hour drive. That is like a dream.
FMCS: What inspires you?
Frode: Friends, happy smiling people, girls, family, art books, skate videos, surf videos, music, architecture, nature, drawing, traveling, skateboarding and surfing.
Random nice easy-liked people that cross my path.
FMCS: Does any skater in particular inspire your work or motivated you to start SHIT?
Frode: Jeremy Wray was my Number 1 skateboard hero when I picked up skating in 90’s. I have not seen footage or read about him lately though. The whole industry and community was inspiring and are still inspiring.
But Jamie Thomas, Steve Berra, Cairo Foster, Bill Pepper, Micro Magnum, Kenny Anderson, Red Dragon guys, Bam etc are people I have looked up to, and still do. To have a hero is making you gutsy a bit more and influences a bit too.
FMCS: Tell us more about the ‘SBTC 2006’
Frode: SBTC means SHIT® BEST TRICK CONTEST.
It is a skateboard contest with easy contest format and it is free to join. It is a happy jam session which the one busting the best trick is the winner. We combine the contest jam with a demo.
This is our way to push the skateboarding forward. We do annual SBTC tours. And we have done it since 2002, and we travel with team skaters, and friends to spread joy, and to motivate and inspire beginners, intermediate, AM/PRO’s and old school skaters that haven’t been skating for many years. It is a great “concept”, and it is very fun.
FMCS: How do you find your Team riders?
Frode: We seek wherever we are in a rather random way. We get hundreds, maybe thousands of sponsor enquiries (tapes/DVD’s) each year.
But the skateboarders we have on our team are exclusively hand picked. We seek and we find potential skaters in the communities globally. Through our SBTC Tour, we hook up skaters. And we actually “found” Oussalem and Ottermo through our SBTC some years ago.
Now Oussalem is 15 years and is among the most potential PRO skaters in Norway. He won the Norwegian Championship’s best trick contest this year. And he qualified the street contest and skated through to the Senior semi-finals.
FMCS: Where in the world you like to skate most?
Frode: I actually just love Stavanger and the skateboarding scene here. So I love to skate here.
But street skating in new spots globally are always inspiring and fun. I am not fond of stairs and rails, but love ledges and cruising lines, including flat tricks and lines.
As long as I am skating with good company for fun I enjoy it wherever it is.
Wherever the sun is shining and it is not too cold, it is fun.
Here in Norway we have skate-abilities in the streets from late March to September. October gets too rainy and too cold. But then we head to the indoor parks and also arrange trips to warm climates.
FMCS: To which contests or shows do you travel randomly?
Frode: We have been at ISPO for many years in a row, but find ASR, Bread and Butter and other shows more and more interesting.
I visit all Norwegian contests, if I am not busy with other business trips though. And randomly I show up at contests abroad. That is always a jolly good time.
FMCS: Any weird spots or trips you’ve recently discovered?
Frode: I liked the LP (Love Park) in Shanghai China a lot.
A recently trip to SMP park (known as the words biggest skate park) in Shanghai China was very weird experience, so big.
Smaller more hidden spots that are hard or difficult to skate are fun though.
FMCS: How is the skate scene in Scandinavia getting along?
Frode: It is healthy and growing. The level of skateboarders is increasing fast.
The scene is growing and the community is shaping up to be very good and inviting for the kids.
FMCS: How do you see the development of skating?
Frode: It is more and more “normalized”. It is more accepted by grown and elder with no experience or understanding for the culture. And the elder or oldor skateboarders have positive influence on the kids as well as a good influence to politicians and other adults they now work amongst with.
FMCS: What keeps you busy besides work?
Frode: When I am not at HQ or in front of the PC, I go skateboarding, surfing, snowboarding sometimes, chill with friends, hunt girls, do some fishing, and also fly fishing, drawing…I must mention R/C Airplane are some friend’s and mine latest recreation hobby. It is so witty.
FMCS: Any shout outs or last words?
Frode: I am grateful for the motivating feedback from people I have randomly crossed. Thanks to you whom have helped.
High five to my surf crew; The Mustage Crew (TMC) and Surfsentrum and Vans. And a good warm hug to my close friends and family. Especially Kim and Jens. And thanks for the Interview. Rock and Roll! Skate regards Frode.