ONE Staff / March 10th, 2010 / Spotlight
PRINT: 15 MINUTES with Rene Hulgreen

Vert skating has never been an American thing, barring Mr. Edwards’ wickedness circa 1990-1994. European and Australian skaters soon dominated this field in the mid- to late ’90s. Their different styles and tricks were a refreshing change for the skate industry. One of these men was Denmark’s René Hulgreen. René was a lot different from most vert skaters — he learned to skate ramps on quad skates or “roller skates,” as most of you might know them. Also, he had a distinct appearance. With his long red hair, and almost always a beer in hand, he was a straight up Nordic viking! The inventor of the viking flip, an awkward mctwist, sort of a side-flip 540, was different, amazing and refreshing. René started skating back in 1988, and his career took him around the world, but after years of touring and traveling he has settled back in his home country and made his second favorite pastime — drinking beer — his second career. At age 39 he is a proud brewmeister and father. “Qua vos vado illic mos usquequaque exsisto beer.” It’s Latin… look it up! — Mike Opalek

You started off as a roller skater, how old were you when you started doing that? I skated on roller skates as a child, but real skating, ramps, A.S.O. I started in 1988, so I was 18.

What was it like taking roller skates to a vert ramp? At first I was just skating around the streets in Copenhagen, then one day someone took me to the local skate park, Fælledparken, where I saw a vert ramp for the first time. There were some roller skaters skating on it, and I went straight up on the platform and within an hour I had done a sit-in, a roll-in and a drop-in; I was hooked.

What made you switch to inline skates? I was on an Interrail trip through Europe and at a vert contest in Karlsruhe, Germany, Raphael Sandoz and Ivano Gagliardo, at that time also still roller skating, had some inline skates with them. Later on the trip I bought a pair of Roces Moscows.

How was that transition? I remember being scared of doing a back flip and going fakie at first, but it only took a week before I did everything I did on roller skates, and a month later I was at the first Lausanne contest, and the rest is history.

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Discussion / PRINT: 15 MINUTES with Rene Hulgreen

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  • shamu - March 10th, 2010

    great interview, great guy and great that you posted this same day as chuck norris birthday 😀

  • Lukas - March 10th, 2010

    This is the best! Real hero!

  • felix - March 10th, 2010

    glad that I was happy enough to session with him some times in germany!

  • qcsky - March 10th, 2010
  • Mike Falcone - March 10th, 2010


  • Arni - March 10th, 2010

    Awesome! Great piece of skating history!

  • Ben Rogers - March 10th, 2010

    Much Respect

  • Collin Martin - March 14th, 2010

    Rene, this interview was a great read. I loved it! Thanks. You are an inspiration.

  • JP - March 15th, 2010

    REné is THE MAN. Nice to read about his “new life”. Somehow we are always worried about where our legends are, and if they’re happy.

    Well, rené seems to be living life very proudly. Thanks for this, ONE : )

  • thumper - March 22nd, 2010

    Rene is a legend… Vert is still being represented here and there’s a vert DVD out now. presents Vert Rollerblading. Check it out!

  • B - May 10th, 2010

    Rene is a total LEGEND! Great interview – I met him in South Africa when he was down here man that guy can drink beer!

    Respect Rene!

  • herman potgieter - August 12th, 2011

    shoo baby Rene….. ledge!!!!! skal

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