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Hermann Stene – "Open Doors"

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It’s safe to say you will struggle to find anyone who is more dedicated to anything than Hermann is to skateboarding. Having two older brothers who skate as well, his parents were so committed to their sons’ passion that they would choose Barcelona as a destination for family vacations. With the cards stacked in Hermann’s favor, he was able to keep the skateboarding dream going. After suffering and rehabbing from a couple injuries, Hermann is back on his A game and ready as ever to keep putting out insane parts, and maybe even handle some unfinished business, without much distraction. We would love to see this guy’s name on a board in the future!

Soloskatemag Felix Adler hermannstene Hermann Roll On 5050

Roll on 50-50

Yo, Hermann. Where you at?

I’m staying at the Olympic Sport Center in Oslo.

What’s that like?

It’s chill. You get a big room, two beds, a couch, and a TV. In the morning, you get breakfast, go do your workout, get lunch, and then get out and go skate.

Are you out there to film or actually preparing for something?

I came out here to film with Pekka [Løvås], but I cracked my rib in Bryggeriet during Oski Blast the other day. I didn’t feel it until I got back home and started frontside flipping the stairs in the park. Every time I would slam and roll over, it would get worse and worse.

So no skating then?

I can skate, I just can’t take a slam. So I’m not trying anything too gnarly for now.

I’ve seen you at a couple of the skate events this year. How do you feel about being at events like CPH OPEN? I feel for many people it’s an excuse to get incredibly fucked up, but you don’t really party, do you?

I still can’t stand the taste of alcohol, but I can hang out.

Can you update me on the timeline in between getting on Real, initially moving to Oslo, and also getting your knee injury?

I got on Real in 2017, that’s way before I moved to Oslo. I had a couple video parts out that year. After that, I basically had a serious injury from every trip. It took months every time to heal up. I ripped my calf muscle on one and got a bone bruise. I had this Wallenberg one before I got on Real. I got a high ankle sprain and fucked up a lot of ligaments in the leg. I went to Brazil to skate the SLS Open and got knocked out and fractured my elbow. After that, I messed up my knee trying to backside 360 that Tommy Sandoval 20 stair. My meniscus got torn in half. At first, they could tell from the MRI that I had two tears, but when they went in, they said it was worse than they thought. They sewed it back together well and now I’m perfectly fine on that knee.

When was this?

The injury was in 2019 and the rehab was into mid-2020. I could skate a little bit in April. I had to build myself up and continue training and maintaining the skate muscles. It took me more than a year to really get comfortable again.

Pretty good timing with COVID and stuff when it comes to timing though.

Definitely. Now I’m fully back, just gotta get shit done!

Are you going to go back to traveling more? The year started off pretty good with the Gran Canaria trip and Stuttgart missions but then got somewhat slower.

Since I’m working on this Thrasher part with Pekka, I’m trying to follow where he’s going. He’s also pretty busy working with Tiago [Lemos] and all the other homies, too. Me living in Larvik is kind of hard as well. I have my own HPX and a couple homies who film, but I try to stay with Pekka as much as I can.

It was really nice being in Larvik the other day. I love the small-town living and how people were just dropping by randomly. One day when you were gone, your homie just walked into the living room because your mum asked him to check on the cat.

That’s our house, it’s just open for the homies. They just come and go all the time. My mum loves it when there are visitors and it’s not quiet. She hates it when I’m not home.

After being in Larvik for quite some time, you now have any plans to move back to Oslo?

Oh yes, definitely, I love this city. I’ve been in Larvik for too long. I have a couple homies, but they got other interests too, and I basically just skate. It can be a lot of loner sessions. Not the best.

You have some fucked-up spots out there.

Only gnarly stuff, nothing chill. While I’m out here in Oslo, I’ll try to get things done even though my rib is cracked. When I go back home, I got that kink rail and the other rail I need to fix, I’ll do that for sure.

You’ve been fixing up a bunch of stuff out there, you got all the tools and technique.

Yeah, I definitely figured it out. But doing it yourself is not that sick. Actually, it’s alright, but later on when you want to get something done, there’s no one. I can’t film myself.

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Kickflip

Tell me about the DIY you built by the water.

That took me eight bags of concrete and a lot of work. It was chill actually. Before I built it, I watched Austin Kanfoush’s trick tip on how to build quarterpipes like a hundred times, just to memorize it. Doing it properly would have been more work, I guess. I used a ton of fill and I made it pretty rough. We should have gotten a photo on that.

True. You did film something on it though. Is that for your own project?

I’ll actually give it to John Dahlquist, the Bryggeriet teacher. He’s working on a clip and everyone who went to the school is supposed to have a trick. I was going to film something for it, but then the rib happened and the trick was supposed to be a jumping trick.

How far are you with the Thrasher part?

Getting there! We have a little more than two minutes, but Pekka has a lot on his plate, it’s not only me he’s filming. I hope my rib feels better tomorrow. I have a few clips I really want to get in Oslo and the two rails in Larvik. The lipslide we shot will be in there too. I also still need to do a short trip to Sweden, there’s something I really want to do.

Pekka, Deedz, and you are all from the same place. How was that back in the day?

Pekka wasn’t, like, a filmer back in the day, and Deedz wasn’t really in the group back then. It was more like me and my oldest brother Dan and some of his homies. But that’s way, way back. Me and Deedz are almost the same age. My brother is five years older and I got to know the older guys. Deedz also lived outside of Larvik a little bit. The first time I met Deedz, he showed up at my house to skate with my other older brother Jens. Me and Deedz started skating a lot together after that.

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50-50 Pop over - Carve - 50-50

"When you see the red curbs and yellow cabs, it feels like a movie."

With two brothers who skate, your family vacations back then were skate trips basically?

Yes, kind of. We used to do road trips to Barcelona with my family. I think it’s because my mum is afraid of flying. They went down there, so they could get a vacation and we could skate. It was sick as fuck. I remember the first time being there was surreal. Looking at the spots you’ve seen in skate videos, especially at that time because I was so young. Ridiculous! It’s the same when you go to America for the first time. When you see the red curbs and yellow cabs, it feels like a movie.

You used to skate a lot of contests back in the day, also just to make some money?

Oh yeah! I didn’t use to live off of skateboarding in that sense, all the money I had was from contests. Everywhere in Norway, not really anything European. They used to have pretty good cash prizes at the time. I think I did well in a couple European contests, a bunch of Damn Ams I qualified pretty good at, too. I remember I won the Dew Tour Am one year and the first prize was to go to NY and watch the Dew Tour contest. Not even skate it.

Weird.

But you could bring a homie, so I brought Pekka and we went filming over there and got a part finished. I went to SF afterwards for the first time alone. I didn’t know too many people and I was staying at double rock. Almost three months.

Super crusty on some couch?

So crusty! But it was sick as fuck. I got to know a lot of people, met the guys at Deluxe. That’s how it started, just me traveling to SF by myself.

That’s when you first got connected to Real, right?

Yes, that was the first time I got introduced to the team manager. They started hooking me up with boards when I needed it. I went back home for a little bit, but I just kept coming back to San Francisco after that. I was in the states more than I was in Norway. Harry [Lintell] and I got invited on a trip to San Diego at some point with the boys in the van. That was my first trip for them. So dope, but I was nervous as fuck.

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King of Larvik

Who went on that trip?

Me, Harry, Ishod, I think Zion [Wright] was on, Jack Olson, Robbie Brockel, Ernie Torres, JT Aultz, Justin Brock, Peter Ramondetta… was he on too? I can’t remember. We were squadded up on that.

Heavy crew, no wonder you were nervous. Did you still rock the longer hair?

I had really long hair back then. If we talk really far back, it was down to my shoulders.

On the topic of gnarly dudes, Cardiel is quite an influence on you?

He’s one of my favorite skaters for sure. He is fucking dope, dude. I just watched his "Sight Unseen" part. Also his older stuff I’ve been watching lately. "Cash Money Vagrant" and his SOTY video. Fucking the man! I’m getting one of his Anti Hero graphics tattooed soon!

Sick! Have you ever thought of moving to the US?

I could stay in San Francisco for sure, that’s like my favorite city! The vibe there, how the city is, and the spots just speak more to me than anywhere else. New York too, I like how crusty it is. It’s more appealing and I get more fired up by the spots over there. You can get shit done in L.A. too, but it’s not the same.

Speaking of L.A., how far are you with your driver’s license?

I just got done with my theoretical exam. My driving instructor is signing me up for the practical exam, but he doesn’t know how long it will take. I might get it this year, but I’ll have to cancel if I’m on a trip. Hopefully, he will just keep putting me on the list. Maybe I’ll get it done in September, I really want to go back to San Francisco over the winter.

Where do you stay when you’re over there?

I’ve always been staying with my homie Mack [Scharff]. Mack’s the man, always lets me stay on his couch. And I’m as annoying as I am, yard selling my shit because I’m really bad at keeping my stuff together. I’m trying to see if I can rent a room from someone this time.

Living on other people’s couches gets old pretty quick.

You feel like you’re in the way. Mack also has a girlfriend, and you want to give them some space. You’re messing up everything with having your shit everywhere. Unless he really invites me to come back staying at his couch, I don’t know, they need their space.

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Boardslide

How’s your mum’s shop going?

Pretty good, I think. It goes around. She can get new products and stuff. She knows which brands are cool and sell. We just got to keep her updated on what she needs to put in the shop. I think at some point she wants her own location instead of running it out of the skatepark. It’s basically hardgoods she sells, a little bit of clothing, no shoes.

What are you skating these days?

I like the Superstars at the moment, they’re incredible. I like the Tyshawns because they have more protection. You can jump more shit and not get a heel bruise. Superstars could be a little thicker in the heel, but it’s a great shoe.

Speaking of hucking, are you going to go back to Wallenberg?

The big question! I’ve been there five times. The feeling of rolling away will always be in my head. Lately, I haven’t been bigflipping so much, I’ve been doing that so much I had to mix it up a bit. I know I won’t lose the trick though, I feel like I have that trick in my feet. I really want that one at Wallenberg; I really want to do it. I want to go back, but I gotta be in bigflip mode.

It’s already been quite the odyssey?

First time I was there, I couldn’t really clear the set. I’d bigflip and tap the last stair. Second time, we put the roll in further back, so you could roll in from the roof that’s sticking out of the building. Then I got the speed and started sticking them. I think I had like three in a row that I stuck and I couldn’t roll away. It’s so much speed. I remember I backside 180’d it just to make sure I could roll away. I came back a third time, not sure if it was with Chris Joslin or TJ Rogers that time, but I’ve skated it with both. I stuck it so many times. When I skated it with Joslin, he ghettobirded it fourth try. I had this one where my foot slipped off and all my weight went over it. It felt like I broke my foot in half. That took me four months to recover.

Does it mess with your head when you try something like that again after getting broke off?

Not really. I have been trying it again after that. When you skate for so long, you know from experience that shit like that happens, but it doesn’t happen often. If it happens two times in a row, then you’re just so fucking unlucky. I’m not trying to think about it that hard. If I’m maintaining my legs and my body like I do right now, I know I’m strong enough to take it.

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Switch Frontside Shove It

"As long as you can skate the way you want to, you should do that as long as you fucking can until you can’t."

You have a bit of a training routine.

The biking thing I try to do every day, but then I also have a full exercise three times a week. I’m not trying to do it too much, just enough to feel strong but not be tired. You can do shit too much and get the opposite effect. It can fuck you up and you’ll get more hurt instead of getting better. You’ve got to make a plan that works for you. I just have to be better at eating healthy. I eat a lot of shit.

That was going to be my next question. What’s your favorite snack?

Something like chocolate, or an acai bowl.

Something you know you shouldn’t?

I gotta say, do you remember those “Lefse” [traditional sweet Norwegian flatbread] things I bought?

Yeah!

Those have been hitting pretty good lately.

I forgot to stack up on those before leaving.

I can get that shit for you, just remind me!

I will! Maybe I’ll see you soon. You were talking about going to Stuttgart again to revisit some spots we didn’t hit the last time. Is that for another project?

I just want to get shit done even if there’s no plan for it. If you ride for brands, what are you doing if you’re not producing? I’m not working on anything for Deluxe or a Real part right now, but I’m not going to sit still. I’m going to produce footage and work on another project, like right now with Pekka. If you’re just chilling, you’re wasting your time – at least when you are in your prime. As long as you can skate the way you want to, you should do that as long as you fucking can until you can’t.

It’s all you want to do.

Skateboarding is the best thing ever. It’s my life.

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Frontside Lipslide

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