La Gomera Interview with Mathias Tollefsen

Hey Mathias, hows things going?

Great! Just came back from skate paradise so i’m still pretty hyped about the trip! although it’s nice to ride some snowboard here in Norway aswell.

 

How was the drive down to Spain?

We actually flew, got some very cheap, 950 NOK, tickets back and forth from Torp.

 

Wow,thats cheap! Tell us who all went with on this trip.

Ali Nas,Kim Bo,Magne Ørvik,Charlie Cockman,Julian Baxter,Johannes Aalholm,Adrian Jancey,Petter Reinhem, Geir Arne Røynestad,Raul ‘Raz al Guhl’ Salinas

Thats quite a big crew! First night,how was it?

Arrived at Tenerife around 5 pm. Getting the cars was ofcoarse a hassle, got two small citroens instead of proper station wagons which we asked for. Given we already were 11 ppls (one too many) and a lot of camera equipment it got pretty cosy i the cars. We had to pronounce a “Grom car” (the one with 6 ppls in). We got one run down the very foot of Teide, the road where they usually host rally on the island, so that road was easily dubbed the rally-road. It was starting to get dark and it was pretty gnarly since none of us we had skated for a long time. When the sun goes down it gets dark fast so when we were at the end of the run it was almost completely dark.

After we set up camp at the top of the hill. I checked the temperatures b4 the trip and was confident we thermometer wouldn’t drop below 15 C so everyone brought summer sleeping bags..   ofc it dropped to 5C. So no one really slept anything the first night making us pretty grumpy the first day of skating, or at least i had a bit of a temper 😉

And i thought Vikings were used to the cold…How was the first day out on the hills especially coming straight out of the Norwegian winter?

 

The first day was mostly about getting back into shape. We didn’t know Tenerife so we skated the main road up towards Teide which was pretty easy going  to start with. We stopped at a steep, curvy road and had a session just to get back in the different slides not having to care about the traffic. Especially the groms had to freshen things up before they felt confident enough on the big roads.

Did the groms behave?

 

Well, Charlie hooked up with this local chick at the market place in the village where we lived., Playa de Santiago, one of the first evenings..  The word must have gotten out that a young charming boy was around town cuz a mother came along a couple nights after pushing her 16 year old daughter on him, which Charlie was very happy for and easily discarded the earlier chick for this one…  It’s pretty obvious the dating culture is a bit different further south.

Haha,thats hillerious.So,the next day.What was the plan and where did you go?

Lets talk about the locals…

First about Tenerife, we were only there pone day and didnt get to meet any local skaters. But it’s within my understanding that one should hook up with local skaters, and they are happy to do so, to let them instruct you one where it’s ok to skate, and how you should skate and so on….  the community is not that big and they prefer to control it somewhat…  which is very understandable.

About La Gomera, there arent too much local skaters so let’s talk about the local citizens in general. They were pretty much the reason we got the police at us…  A good tip would be to let the locals know that you are there in some way..  Next time we’re going i guess we are gonna call the police station in San Sebastian and bring some signs to put up in the hills you are skating for the day.  One local dude came along and asked if we were local “Agulo’s” (name of the village nearby) we answered no and then the police came along one hour laterish.

Whats the vibe there?

Good culture, not like the other tourist traps islands of the canary islands. Good restaurants, good food but the economical situation is not that good in spain these days and it shines through a bit in the man in the street.

Julian lost his board?

Indeed…   We unloaded all of the boards from the car at the top of maybe the sickest road we found all week and Julian was supposed to drive down and forgot to put his board back into the car. When we went back up it was gone.   The road was therefore quickly dubbed “Julian’s Tap”.

Ok,the hills man,whats the deal?

Fast and turny enough to have way too much fun, and smooth enough to be able to standy the entire mountain (almost).

In basic the whole island is a circular mountain. All roads leads to the top and there you can choose your destiny. So just get on the bus in the correct direction and you’re good.

The mountain is longboard paradise..  you can find something that suits you for sure, we were skaters of very different skill and it turned out great…  Bombing/freeriding/sliding no problem.

Norwegian businessman Fred Olsen started with the infrastructure (meaning roads and buses) when he tried to make this island a tourist shithole like the other canary islands..   He fortunately got interrupted by the economical crisis in 2008ish and there’s only one hotel with some germans in so most of the culture is intact.

How did it feel when you came back? Did it change you?

Of course. I haven’t been too much around the world for skating, but i’m damn sure this is one of the Mekka’s. My skating got a lot better, i feel like I am lot closer, maybe even closing in towards my goal. which is skating without having to sit down. Regardless of speed.

Should this trip become an anual thing?