After getting Europeskate started up over a year and a half ago I needed to look around for information channels already available to get the skateboarding news together. Tackyworld and it’s network of sub-sites around Europe represent and report on skateboarding (and snowboarding) extensively and help support the scene. Luckily I was able to hook up with Sigurd Tvete, Tacky’s Editor-in-Chief, and find out more about what Tacky does.
When, where and why was Tacky started?
Tacky was started a sunny day in Oslo, Norway. I’m fairly sure it was a Tuesday, it was June 1st and the year was 2000. I wasn’t there so I can’t tell you exactly, but I’ve been retold the story many a late night by the founding father. His name is Jean Moe, and is the Managing Director of Tacky, but let’s refer to him as The Skatefather from now on. Anyways, The Skatefather and Morten Nymoen (Tacky.no’s senior editor) ran a skateshop in Oslo, but were more interested in portraying the Oslo scene to skaters than to cut griptape and tighten trucks. It started off as an extensive spot guide of the Oslo spots, and evolved from there. The name Tacky was actually meant to be for a restaurant in Oslo, which was supposed to be opened by an acquaintance of Morten and The Skatefather. The restaurant didn’t happen, and we got the permission to use the name.
Now Tacky can be found in Norway, Italy, Denmark, Holland and Sweden, plus our global Tackyworld.com, and we will be starting up in Finland, Austria, Iceland, Switzerland, United Kingdom and China later this year. Currently there are 25 people working with Tacky on a full-time or close-to-full-time basis, and we will be even more people in a few months. Everyone that works at Tacky, from our technicians to our office cleaning staff, rides a board, and that’s one of our main strengths.
How’s a typical working day in the life of a Tacky editor look like?
A typical day goes like this: Write some e-mails, read some e-mails, reply to some e-mails and write some more e-mails. But seriously, the good thing about being a Tacky editor is that no two days are ever the same. One day you can be on a tour with a team, and the next you can be in a meeting with the council, advising them on how to build a proper skatepark, and the day after that be quoted in the biggest newspapers as an expert commentator on the status of skateboarding in the editor’s respective country. It involves a lot of administration, I tell you that much, because we have seriously hundred of photographers, videographers and writers, and to keep track of them all and make sure we always receive the articles we have ordered is a big job. The editors are the backbone of every Tacky site, and they do a tremendous job! We have been lucky enough to find some of the most passionate and talented people in each country, and they truly love their jobs. Being an editor for Tacky is much more of a lifestyle than an ordinary job in the skateboard industry.
Sigurd Tvete himself
How do you see the future of Norwegian skateboarding? Any names to be watching for in the future?
The future of Norwegian skateboarding is looking bright. The councils are finally starting to build quality concrete skateparks, and there are more indoor parks than ever, due to the Norwegian politicians’ generally good view on skateboarding. The kids are getting insanely good these days (as they are in every country), and people will definitely hear more about Norwegian skateboarders than they have in the past. If I am to name the top five up-and-coming skaters it would be Erik Johnsen, Karsten Kleppan, Jan Henrik Kongstein, Gustav TÃ¸nnesen and Michael Sommer. Those dudes are killing it. Check out Tacky’s video archive to see what I mean for yourself.
What is your opinion about the development of skateboarding in the last 10-15 years, going from a relatively underground movement to a full-fledged multi-million, possibly billion dollar industry?
Of course there are both pros and cons about the massive development of skateboarding, and I won’t try to come up with a “right or wrong” answer. The most obvious advantage is that there are more skateparks, but with that comes negatives as well. I never used to get kicked out of my favourite spot in my hometown, until they made an indoor park there, because now the security finally had a legitimate option for me to skate somewhere else. A negative factor about the massive development is people trying to exploit skateboarding, without giving anything in return. An example of this is of course The IOC (International Olympic Committee), who want to make the International Cycling Union the official governing body of skateboarding. Then again, even this might have some positive effect on skateboarding as a whole, although I can’t see many, so to try to simplify this just doesn’t work. This issue can be discussed for days, weeks, months and years, and no-one will ever be “right”. Our readers are more than welcome to send in a letter to Tacky though, and discuss as much as they want.
If you could interview anybody (living or dead), who would it be?
I think it would either be Mahatma Gandhi or Jerry Seinfeld. Maybe Mahatma Seinfeld, for that one ultimate interview object. Questions would include “Don’t you find it annoying that the airlines don’t have any vegetarian food lying around when you’ve forgotten to order it, when they have two types of meat dishes available?” and “Can you tell me what you like about Indian people?”.
What has been the most memorable skateboard related story ever for you?
Perhaps the first time I covered the Globe World Cup in Melbourne back in 2002. It was my first story for Tacky, and I was so stoked to know that my writing was about to be published on a proper skateboarding site. I was too late to get a media pass, so I had to buy a normal ticket. There was a no-photo policy, and the security threatened me quite a few time to confiscate my camera if I didn’t stop taking photos. Tony Hawk did a 900 and Koston was destroying the course, couldn’t be much better.
The Copenhagen Pro back in July was also quite memorable. We were six people working day and night to cover the event for our six sites. We were literally sitting up till five in the morning editing video and writing articles, waking up four hours later at nine, only to do the same thing over again the next two days. Nobody complained, because we all wanted our readers around Europe to get a feeling of how it was to be there.
Any final words of wisdom for our readers?
Be nice to pedestrians and security, don’t focus your board, think for yourself and smile.
A big thanks from Europeskate to Sigurd and the people behind Tacky. Make sure to visit their site to keep up with skateboarding and snowboarding news worldwide.