Fridolin Eelbo has been one of the key figures of the turn of the century blading scene in Europe, one of the most progressive and ballsiest bladers we have seen to date. At a time when most European bladers were struggling to find their unique voice, he was leading the way with fast blading, and tricks on almost impossible to do obstacles. He is also an old friend of Be-Mag, that we always loved to feature in our print and online publications, every each way we could, so when we heard his coming out with a new section, we jumped to the opportunity to talk to him.
Words: Josip Jagic
Photos: Anthony Juvill Arancibia.
What have you been up to lately?
Five months ago I became the luckiest man in the world, my daughter was born, and I’ll love her dearly forever .
With so many other things on my mind, concentration and focus needed to skate at an advanced level is no longer there. It became more difficult. In the past it was just me, the spot and my trick.
Most of all, I am dedicated to becoming a better father every day and teach the basic values needed to be a good person in the future.
What is life like in Panama and how did you get there?
It was a pretty easy decision to move to Panama as my current and past love Milena Carvajal lives here.
Also I have to admit that when I moved to Panama I was very bored with the scene in Vienna because many people stopped skating and the few (rollers) that were left were too hipster-ish for me.
When I got to Panama the blading scene was fairly disintegrated. However, only a spark is needed to ignite a fire and that spark is Miguel Alba, from ROLLER CORP in Panama. After a while the scene recovered both in size and skill level. The government built a very good skate-park next to the Pacific Ocean and boom, now we are stronger than ever.
Panama is a wonderful country, my second home.
How come you decided to drop a USD Aeon section now?
The first time I saw the AEON skates I was totally impressed. They looked great and I consider the idea that the boot and the frame are one piece very innovative. When Miguel put down an order to Powerslide I took advantage of it and wrote to Chris Hack if he’d send me a pair. Chris agreed, asking me to do an edit for them and this is the result. From my beginnings, Powerslide have always been huge supporters of my skating, for which I am very grateful.
The skating is as insane as I expected it would be, how come you find the time to maintain that skill level?
Most of the things I do are basic tricks which I dominated more than half of my life and my idea is to keep it that way. Daily exercise is neccessary to withstand the blows and more or less healthy food. And the most important ingredient of the soup is love for the skates, love achieves everything even if it hurts a little.
You we’re always one of the kingpins of the Austrian blading scene, with the guys that started Be-Mag, such as Mike and Stuff and Leo with Ignition. Looking back, do you have a favorite moment in your blading career?
Austria, despite of having a small scene and with the time it drastically decreased, there was a crib of true street skaters like Jon Elliott, Stefan Horngacher or Gabriel Hyden. When Be-mag printed it’s first magazine skating was top notch. European skaters were no longer in the shadow of the US skaters. One of the unforgettable moments at the time was the “Ignition Tour” with Adam Zurawiecky, Mathias Silhan, Gonzo Jaquez, Sean Kelso, Erik Perkett, Mark Moreno and others. Also competing at the IMYTA in Paris and Shima asked me if I wanted to join ;indgame . Only 2 European skated for Mindgame, Jochen Smuda and me. There are many moments that I remember with emotion but I like to live in the present.
What’s next for you, career and blading-wise?
I’m not big on making plans, but I would like to go to Winterclash to see all the people that I haven0t seen in a long while, and well maybe USD will pay for the ticket LOL.
For the future I would like to have a big avocado tree where I can sit and take a break.
I would like to thank the guys behind POWERSLIDE that have always been so nice to me and never stopped believing in my skating. I also want to thank the Panama people which welcomed me so warmly. Poder sobre 8 ruedas.
I also want to invite every roller to come to Panama to come skate here, you’ll find the best spots and the most wonderful people here.