Happy to bring you Victoria HK’s newest edit by Wietse Thomas, straight from our Hong Kong friends with a worldwide team. Great people skating great spots. Read the full article down bellow.
Feat. Mons Bøhmer Rud, Jens Ugland, Jasper Dohrs, Mikey Silva, Ruben Alexander Soon, Marty, Patrick Riberg & Xiao Ja
Filmed & Edited by Wietse Thomas Photography by Wietse Thomas & Owen Yu Article by Wietse Thomas
Before I tell you about the times we had, I will tell you why this trip happened in the first place. You might want some context. In the summer of 2018 Ruben Alexander Soon graduated from skateboarding high school (Bryggeriets gymnasium in Malmö) and found himself a free man in a big world. Yearning to get closer to his roots he decided to move to Hong Kong, his dad’s child- hood home. I am badly informed about the detail’s of young Ruben’s spiritual journey in that billion people city. I don’t know if he found himself. But what he did find were other skaters, fellow beings with nothing to do but roam around crusty streets and sit under the ever glowing lights of the city’s many night shops. This was all Ruben ever dreamed of, and during those nights friend- ships that span continents were formed.
Victoria HK is one of those brands that ties a scene together, it is a platform to make things happen. During his year away Ruben got to know the whole Victoria crew, got involved with filming and even joined the team for a trip to Taipei. A year later when corona hit hard and Ruben got stuck back in Norway, Arthur (Victoria’s driving force) gave Ruben the opportunity to hook up some of his friends in Oslo with Victoria boards and clothes.
A Victoria Norway division was born. Last January after more than two years with restricted traveling we found ourselves with the op- portunity to do our first trip together. There was no question of where that would be. Tickets were booked and the word spread through the rest of the team. Arthur made sure we had a place to rest our heads. We were counting down the days.
The first to arrive were Ruben, Jens, Mons and me who had a very smooth trip from Oslo besides a hectic and icy pitstop in Helsinki. The rest of the team arrived spread out over the coming days, Jasper flew in from Bangkok, Xiao Jay from Taipei, and Patrick, who had just spend a month in Ghana, came a little later after a short 24 hour hello and goodbye in Oslo.
Our senses went in overdrive those first days. The pace of Hong Kong is quite overwhelming, es- pecially for those used to the quietness of Norway. We had to accelerate. On the third night we started wondering if we hadn’t already been there two weeks. Our jet lag fitted perfectly into the rhythm of our local skate and nightlife guide Sean. He showed us where to skate at night, places to go for a cheap bite and how to handle the city’s absurd amount of security guards. Every night we met more of the local skaters and our crew grew bigger by the day.
I remember cruising along the covered walkways with a crew that big got me feeling like I was part of a notorious gang. As the days started to blend into one another we had managed to already get a lot of footage. Even tough Mons had broken two ribs five days before we left for Hong Kong trying to get a snow- boarding clip, this did not slow him down at all. From the first to the last day he was always look- ing for spots to get a clip. One night we were to have a pizza party with the whole team. Mons was so tired he was napping in the metro on the way there. When we got to our stop, someone pointed at this ledge sticking out at the bottom of the escalators. Without a doubt to his mind Mons got on to the bank, dropped in and slid the ledge. With an extra clip in the bag we contin- ued our way to the party. I’ve never seen anyone go from being practically asleep to total focus that fast.
At times it felt like we were more on a culinary holiday than a skate trip. Almost every evening was spent at yet another amazing restaurant, sharing an incredible amount of different dishes. We went over the whole spectre of dining possibilities, form sketchy looking family restaurants to fan- cy Japanese style diners. My favourite’s happened to be those places with hygiene standards that made me a little sceptical at first. Being a big group of hungry skaters at a cheap restaurant we got to order everything on the menu. It was around these round tables, covered with pink plastic cloths and cutlery you had to wash yourself, I felt most grateful getting to know new people on the other side of the globe. The local skaters took us with them on their daily routines to places most tourists wouldn’t get to know about.
Everywhere we went we saw spots. We felt like kids running around in a playground, shouting out every possible trick we could come up with. Hong Kong is a place where concrete grows organi- cally, every downhill street and alleyway will open up new possibilities. The problem with skating in Hong Kong is that you will have to pick your battle, security guards or crusty concrete.
After another night of sitting in front of the 7/11, bold tricks were claimed on all the spots we passed on the way home, only to get a reality check the next day. This habit got so out of hand
that it turned into somewhat of an argument trying to define who was the biggest claimer of the trip. But we don’t need to talk about that here. One of these spots right up the street from our hotel is a metal railing standing sideways in front of a downhill street, the thing is pretty tall and in the run up you have to cross a street with taxi’s and busses speeding by. The first time we tried this spot was at night and we were surprised about how hectic it still was there, it often took five minutes or more in-between tries just because of the traffic. We didn’t get the clips we wanted and decided to try again another time. We went back on our last full day of the trip which also turned out to be a public holiday.
The streets were crowded with people. While Mons and Patrick were trying their tricks, a crowd had gathered mak- ing this already hectic place even more intense. Mons managed to make this spot into a little downhill line, doing a manual on one of the crusty sidewalks higher up and still getting the speed to ollie over the rail. The crowd was satisfied for now. Patrick was going for a nollie, no easy feat. He seemed to get closer every try all the while attracting more people around the spot.
At some point there were at least three hobby photographers sitting down next to me trying to find their angles, and probably twenty more people filming on their phones. The police drove by shouting at us through a speaker and we decided to take a rest and let the whole scene calm down. When we started again Patrick got into the zone quickly and suddenly out of nowhere put one down. Both feet were off his board mid air but somehow he managed to catch his board and roll away. After he landed we were shown all the pictures and angles filmed by the numerous spectators. Patrick even got a note from the girl that had been watching the whole session. ‘Never give up’ it said.
I want to thank Victoria HK, Arthur, Mikey and everyone at More Good, Sean, The people from The Figo hotel and everyone else that welcomed us. Thank you for two unforgettable weeks <3
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