ONE Staff / April 26th, 2013 / Spotlight
Zebastian Cassel Was Shaped By The Cold

Zebastian Cassel

After watching the video I got to thinking about the blade scene in Sweden — what’s it like these days?
The scene in Sweden is a relatively small one as for now, compared to maybe France and Germany. It’s pretty centered around the indoor parks we’ve got since the climate is what it is — 7-8 months of horrible conditions for street skating and, if we’re lucky, 4-5 good months when you can actually be outdoors without freezing your ass off. There is a positive side to it though, according to me at least. Since the indoor parks keep us in one place during winter season, I feel the whole scene kind of merges together and bonds, and ideas are born. I guess we tend to be better park skaters, overall, but of course there are a few exceptions — Swedes that try to be abroad during winter and get their street-game on early. I also have to mention that Fredrik Andersson and his dad are doing wonderful things for the young-gun scene around their park in Eskiltuna, and if I had to guess they have about 50 kids shredding their park like little devils, with more acceding every day. I try to learn as much as I can from Freddy and his dad in order to help the scene around my local park. Just recently we had a very successful event. For the second year in a row I’ve put together an annual thing, so I’m pretty sure within a few years the Swedish scene will be thriving thanks to this preparatory work we are doing right now.

Who is considered the most successful blader to come out of Sweden over the years? (I’m totally drawing a blank!)
Ha ha, there’s no wonder I guess. We are for sure under-represented in blading! Overall, I guess with the exception is Fredrik Andersson, who I have to say is by far the most successful blader coming out of Sweden. I think it has a lot to do with the fact that getting good coverage in blading media today is very much based on contacts, and getting out there in the first place so people actually know you exist outside the country borders. I guess we Swedes in general are a bit too comfortable right here at home, ha ha.

Shot from the edit.

The project depicts a tight crew through several park sessions. Did these all go down this winter? So is this like a time-capsule of the blading that went down so far in 2012/2013?
Yeah for sure, that’s what I was aiming for as well. I know for my own sake it’s quite enjoyable to be able to look back at certain periods and remember the good ol’ times you had with your buddies ,so this was my vision for this winter of 2012-2013 as a time-capsule. It has a lot to do with the fact that these recent couple of years the crew I grew up with has moved on to family life and studies in other cities, so I was kind of stuck here by myself as the only survivor, you know. Then last fall two of my original crew affiliates moved back home, and I figured there might not be another winter season that we’re all in the same city so we’d better make use of time.

Two parks are featured: one being the Andersson’s Zero One Six. Are there other parks you guys hit up during the winter, and these are just your favorites; or do these two spots represent the only choices you guys have for winter-time shredding?
Both yes and no; we do have other parks but they’re quite far away compared to these two, and as far as I know not very fitted for rollerblading and not really worth the travel. I guess since skateboarding mostly rules the skateparks, with more money and more people committed to it, they tend to have the upper hand in construction matters in skateparks. The skatepark “Hangaren” in Linköping is my local park and I’ve been engaged in the skatepark committee for three years now, trying to keep the park more suited for blading than it would have been if not for someone taking care of it. I do enjoy skating my local park a lot, since I designed and helped build most of the obstacles, so it is for sure my favorite skatepark in Sweden. As for Fredrik’s Zero One Six Skatepark in Eskilstuna, it’s about two hours away by train and it’s even more suited for blading — almost exclusively so — which is amazing. Both in terms of how much dedication Fredrik and his dad puts into that skatepark, and in keeping it being Sweden’s largest stomping ground for young-guns. The support from Hedonskate is also one of the keys for the park and the scene there being what it is today. It would surely be my favorite park if I spent more time there.

In this video I was introduced to Stephanie Midhammer and learned she is your fiancé. Are you married yet? When is the wedding? What’s it like filming/blading with your wife-to-be?
Ha ha, no, not yet since she wants the whole shebang! (The girl gets what the girl wants since I’m hopelessly in love with the woman, ha ha.) We’re not really stressing it right now, what with me studying and living off student loans and her working part-time to be able to skate as much as possible. The economic situation will have to improve before that happens, but it’s for sure happening in the future. I think we have quite a rare relationship which is nourishing for both of us in terms of personal growth and career-wise. Blading and filming with Stephanie is for sure frustrating at times, with such a tight bond between us and the fact that we’re pretty much always together at home/blading or doing other stuff. We do at times bug each other I guess, but surprisingly rarely does that happens. I think the fact that she got into blading quite fast and learned the “inside” of my dedication for blading and started to share my vision makes her my most valued companion and blading buddy, since she respects it and wants to be a part of what I’m doing without questioning the time and money I spend on it. The fact that she got sponsors and is in fact the only active female aggressive rollerblader in Sweden does open a lot of doors for me as well, and every time we blade together she’s a pure reminder of why I love blading.

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