Interview: Vic Ilg

“If Vic could have made it to all the big contests, he would have been the best in the world. Vic and the Winnipeg crew would have been rock stars if they were in California.”
-Kevin Harris

“As you know, he spun 112 spins at the 1986 Vancouver Expo contest. He holds the official World skateboard spinning record. Although others including myself, have spun more, it was not within an official contest. Thus, Vic holds the official world record and deserves much credit for it.”
-Russ Howell

You may not have heard of Vic Ilg, but if you have you’d know that he is the 1986 World 360 champion. He came in first, ahead of more well-known skaters like Rodney Mullen and Russ Howell.

Vic grew up in Winnipeg and got into skateboarding like so many of us do: a friend had a board and suggested Vic try it too. Vic was hooked instantly. He was able to get reasonably good, quickly, so he found that his junior high school bully stopped picking on him as a result of his skills on a board.

Winnipeg had a few indoor skateparks in the late 1970s and early 1980s, which Vic frequented– one of them he even worked at. There was a small, poorly executed concrete park in the neighbourhood he grew up in but Vic and his friends preferred the ramp they built.

Ramps were fun for Vic but he had a passion for freestyle and in particular a specific niche– spinning 360s. Remember, this was a time when events at competitions were high jump, barrel jump, and maybe launch ramp. Vic got so good at doing 360s that he entered local and regional competitions and eventually qualified for the Transworld Skateboarding Championship at Expo ’86 in Vancouver.

Watch Vic’s winning run here:

The results from that competition:

  1. Vic Ilg (112)
  2. Rodney Mullen (86)
  3. Russ Howell (82)
  4. Kevin Harris (78)
  5. Pierre Andre Senizergues (49)
  6. Daniel Gesmer (46)
  7. Primo Desiderio (41)
  8. Per Welinder (24)

Watch the various competitions from Expo ’86 in the (slightly bizarre) Radical Moves documentary:

Thrasher Magazine has an article that you can read about the competition too: part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5.

Vic moved to Calgary shortly after graduating university with an engineering degree and still works as an engineer in the city. He lives in northwest Calgary with his family and enjoys cross country skiing and biking, both out of his place in Canmore.

The board that he rode at Expo is still in great shape. Skaters that were into doing 360s realized the harder the wheel, the easier it was to spin so most, if not all, of the top 360 spinners used steel wheels on the back. Vic’s board has custom wheels that were made for him by a machinist that he knew.

Market Collective Skatepark: December 10-12 and 17-19

Are you pumped for another installment of the Market Collective skatepark? It’s been a while since they were able to set up the park inside the BMO Centre as part of their local arts and culture market.

Admission is just $6, with kids 12 and under free! Details on the sessions from 100% Skate Club and Academy Skateboard Collective are listed below:

 

 

Where to Skate This Summer in Calgary

Are you wondering where you should skate this summer? Calgary has a lot of options these days so we’ll break them down for you here.

There are now 11 free outdoor skateparks that are located throughout the city. A Google search brings them up but we’ve listed them on our site here. Skateparktour.ca is also a good option for skatepark listings.

Although the City of Calgary has shut down the mobile skatepark program, three neighbourhoods have purchased the City’s mobile park setups. They are Cranston, Livingston, and Mahogany. Livingston has some information about their park on their website and Mahogany seems to be doing a lot of programming and posts regularly on their Facebook page.

Of course there are a handful of DIY spots too. The Bridge, Penguin, and Fonda Slab are the three main ones. You’ll have to find them on your own. The community of Harmony has a private skatepark for its residents.

There is one indoor skatepark– The Compound. They are offering lessons and camps and open sessions. Visit their website for details.

The City of Calgary did keep one mobile skatepark and they are offering free lessons in the communities of Hawkwood, Hidden Valley, Temple, and West Springs. Their website has more information and sign up forms.

If you’re into pump tracks, Calgary has two of them: a larger one at South Glenmore Park and a smaller one in Flint Park in the Fairview neighbourhood. Both are free to use. A new pump track is coming to Inglewood this fall.

Interview: Oliver Holm “Sk8BossOllie”

Last year we received this e-mail: “We are moving to Calgary this summer from Denmark, in our family of 4 we have a very keen 11 year old vert and bowl shredder, that want to focus on his vert skills. We have found a few bowl facilities and that looks awesome  however we have not been able to find any vert ramp facilities, are we missing something or is there no vert ramps in Calgary?”

It was from Oliver Holm and his dad, Soren. We replied with some information and didn’t think much more of it. That is, until we saw Instagram user @sk8bossollie blasting on the vert ramp at 403 Eastside.

We caught up with Oliver and Soren for a quick chat to learn more about them.

What’s your story? Where are you from? How long have you lived in Calgary and what brought you here?
We are from Denmark, but Oliver was actually born in London, UK. When Oliver was two years old we moved to Barbados for a period of 4 years, when we got back to Denmark Oliver turned six and got his first skateboard for his birthday. In 2019 we got the opportunity to move to Calgary and as we all love skiing and snowboarding, We jumped at this adventure and moved here in July 2019.

Did you have any pre-conceived notions of Calgary before you moved here? Did anything surprise you?
Only that it had great skiing, it is super beautiful and very cold and snowy during winter. We’re surprised to see how hot and sunny the summer is, that’s just awesome.

Where are your favorite places to skate?
In Calgary it is New Brighton skatepark, 403 Eastside project vert ramp and Huntington Hills skatepark.

Who do you skate with?
Here in Calgary it’s Anton at the 403 Eastside vert ramp, Lakin at New Brighton and sometimes Gio at Huntington Hills. Sometimes we get lucky enough that Roger from ToplessPizza makes a real long drive to skate with me.

Who are your sponsors?
Big Thanks to these guys: Toplesspizza (Roger) my very first sponsor and such a great guy to skate with. The Red Dragons – I am so stoked that I got to meet them this summer and to be accepted on to and riding for the Red Dragon team, just made my entire year.

How old are you? How did you get into skating?
I just turned 13 this past September.
When I turned six, I wished for a skateboard, as during a holiday in Maryland, USA I had seen two older guys coming down the street doing kickflips and it looked so fun and cool. I got the board, and my dad took me to the local skatepark and later to a skateboarding school on Saturdays. I was too small to do any real tricks, so I quickly understood that the fun part was to drop into the big bowls and get lots of speed. I still get a big kick out of that

Any favourite skaters? Favourite tricks?
Clay Kreiner, Ishod Wair and Elliot Sloan(and many more) are some of the greatest.I have been lucky enough to skate with two of them.
My favorite trick is a McTwist, which I landed for the first time in February 2020

What are your plans for the future?
Travelling the world skateboarding, hopefully I can take my skateboardingto the next level and participate in in some of the great competitions aroundthe world. My mega dream would be the Olympics, Dew Tour, and X-games.

New Private Skatepark in Harmony

The new community of Harmony has an outdoor skatepark that was recently completed. We had heard the park would be private so we reached out to the developer, who said, “The skateboard park in Harmony is designated for the residents as their OAH fees pay for it, however in the future it will be open to the public on a pay per use basis.”

Although this new skatepark will not be directly accessible to most Calgary skaters, the good news is that we have more than a dozen outdoor skatepark options in the city. Pictures of the Harmony skatepark below:

 

New Calgary Pump Tracks

We’ve been really lucky with skateparks lately– Calgary now has over a dozen free, outdoor concrete skateparks that are located all over the city.

In the past month, two pump track have opened. What is a pump track? It’s a closed loop track that has a lot of humps that can be pumped in order to maintain speed. They kind of look like a snake run or skatepark. They’re primarily geared towards bikes, but skateboards are allowed on them. We recommend using larger, soft wheels for maximum speed as the asphalt surface at both parks can seem a little slow with smaller wheels.

Fairview Pump Track is located in Flint Park. It’s up from Flint Rd SE in the south corner of the park. There is no parking lot and parking in the alley is generally not allowed. There is street parking Fielding Dr SE or Fairview Dr SE.

Enjoy this clip from Matt Allen cruising through the Fairview Pump Track:

 

More recently, a new pump track opened in South Glenmore Park. It’s located near the West Parking Area near the west end of 90 Ave SW and is a short walk along the pathway. If you park in the West Parking Area, walk north toward the reservoir and then east along the pathway. You can’t miss it!

The park was designed by Velosolutions and they have a bit of information about it on their website. The photos below are courtesty of Wilco Southwest’s Instagram.

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