The Monolith spot in Oslo’s Vigeland sculpture park is one of Norway’s best-known skate spots in those four months or so of the year when the weather decides to play ball.
While the skate scene gets pushed underground to car parks and indoor skateparks, Gard Hvaara decided to test skateboarding’s greatest key to progression – the mighty ‘what if?’– by clearing the spot of snow just to find out if it was possible to bring it back to life in the dead of winter.
To call skating in these conditions treacherous is an understatement – there is an absolute bundle of stuff that can go wrong.
We were surprised at what Gard managed to bang out, considering the conditions, and so alongside the release of his edit from those monochrome sessions, we sat him down to talk dead legs, wet griptape and stone cold bushings!
Hey, Gard – obvious first question here – is taking slams worse when it is so ridiculously cold, or was it so cold that you can't feel pain right away?
I was quite prepared to skate outside! The cold was not the problem – the problem was that wet, icy ground. It didn't make it any easier to skate with stone cold bushings, too!
How long does it take you to warm up in the dead of Norwegian winter?
It's kind of funny, because, I didn't warm up: we got there and started to film almost immediately.
Do you rock double sweatshirts, double socks, anything like that?
On the day I rocked a long sleeve, a crewneck sweater, thermal leggings, jeans, cotton socks, beanie, a jacket and some gloves!
Are you ever really totally warmed up or is it always kind of 'heavy legs time'?
When I skated the stairs I was pretty warmed up; all the other tricks were a little bit heavy-legged.
Did it totally kill that board or could you still skate it after?
It totally destroyed that board – the day after, I had to change it. The bearings wouldn't go around and the wood was heavy, no pop left!