Checkout: Eniz Fazliov

Ask him what SLP stands for.
By Niall Neeson

Finland has produced a disproportionate number of staggeringly good skateboarders for reasons someone should really look into. Many years ago I put Eniz on the cover of Kingpin magazine with the strapline ‘Never Heard Of Him’, because in time he would surely upend everything. And he has: nowadays, not only have people heard of him, but they tell other people. Eniz is one of the standout talents in skateboarding today, anywhere.

Eniz © Travis Adams

So, Eniz: where are you from, exactly?
I’m from Macedonia; Skopje, originally… but the language I spoke is Albanian.

How did it feel to become the 2012 Kingpin ‘Reader’s Choice’ winner?
Well, I was shocked- I didn’t even know I was part of that kind of thing. I wondered, “Why?”- you know?
My friend Pete (Ruikka) called me one morning and told me, “You’re one of the guys, I’m going to vote for you” and I’m just like ‘What’s going on?’
Then I told all my family ‘Tell all your friends and tell them to vote for me!’ In the end, it was kind of tied with Madars (Apse); some days it was like, thirty-eight percent Madars, thirty- seven me, then back and forth…

I heard your award speech was pretty “unique”…
Yeah, that was the first time I went to that trade show…Bright. I don’t know, I guess I was drunk. Free booze. We had this joke, because people are all there just kissing ass, everything is so nice and everybody’s just talking about how well they’re doing, you know? When I got to the stage, I just said what I thought about the whole thing… which, maybe, I shouldn’t. But- it happened.

EnizFazliov, Crook Popover
Eniz Fazliov, Crook Popover © Deeli

How long were you skating for Alien Workshop?
I skated for them for about three or four years, but I don’t skate for them anymore… we can talk about that!
Simo (Makela) and I got on back when Arto (Saari) got on, and he hooked up us European guys. But then he left and the European team manager changed a couple of times. It was always really hard to get boards and everything, it was just such a mission- when the boards would come, you’d get three or four, but they were, like, two 7.8's and one 8.25.

At first, we were even getting paid, but then without even saying, they just stopped. The new team manager is some woman that I’ve never met, so in the end, it’s like: “It’s a mission- to get paid, to get any boards...”
We never had any trips, and Axel (Cruysberghs) already left, Simo left, so why should I stay? Just asking for boards?

Do you have a back-up plan?
A couple… yeah, a couple. We’ll see, I just want to chill through the winter and kind of see what happens.

Are you working on any other video parts, magazine interviews, or anything like that?
Yeah, we started working on this video that this dude Lucas (Fiederling) is making, it’s called ‘Where We Come From’ and I’ll have a part in that. We’re still working on it, I guess it’s still, like, a year away or so. Still lots of work for that one.

Eniz Fazliov, Gap to Frontside Boardslide
Eniz Fazliov, Gap to Frontside Boardslide © Fabien Ponsero

Favourite local skateboarders?
Simo Makela, for sure. There’s lots of really good skaters, but I’ve been skating with him for many years now and I’ve got to say: Simo.

You’ve been known to skate contests in pretty bad shape, after some long nights. Do you like to skate hung over?
Yeah, I just did three weeks ago! (laughs): Helsinki Hookup.
You seemed to do pretty well…
Yeah,well.. I didn’t feel that well, in case you couldn’t tell!
But there’s always just… party. Three days before the contest: Thursday, you party. Friday, there’s a party, Saturday, there’s a party and on Sunday morning is ‘Pro Skate’ or whatever it is. So they organize a party for the first two days and then expect people to just kill the park.

Gives the Finnish guys an advantage, I think!
Yeah (laughs), I don’t know!

Well, cheers, on that note!

Eniz Fazliov, Frontside Hurricane
Eniz Fazliov, Frontside Hurricane © Fabien Ponsero
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