10 Questions: Jaakko Ojanen
- As a child, what was your dream profession?
I started skateboarding when I was seven. At that time, I really didn’t know what my dream profession would be. I was probably dreaming to be a professional skateboarder but it seemed to be unreal.
- What does it take to become an internationally known skateboarder?
Nowadays, there are so many really good skateboarders all around the world. I think it’s getting harder to be noticed, since everyone is so good. But I think you have to have something that stands out from the others: style, tricks or even the spots you skate.
- How do you prepare before demanding tricks?
Usually I don’t. Most of the time I get the idea at the spot while just skating around. If you try something dangerous, where you might get hurt then of course you have to think about it twice and be more focussed. I don’t usually prepare myself in any other way than just getting mentally ready and warm up. Seems to work best for me.
- Where do you go to relax?
Home, Finland. Sometimes it’s hard to rest when all my friends are skating, hah. Also, I like to just walk around with my camera not really knowing where I’m going to end up.
- What does your perfect weekend comprise of?
A little bit of skating, of course, seeing friends, having good food and drinking some beers! When I’m in my hometown, we usually end the weekend with Sunday bingo at this bar/restaurant. I never get bingo, though…
- If you could only eat one dish for the rest of your life, what would it be?
You would probably get bored no matter what you choose. Recently, I’ve been enjoying salmon with tomato pesto. Some veggies too.
- When travelling around the world, what do you miss most about Finland?
Friends and family. It’s always nice to come back. Sometimes I miss sauna if I’m somewhere cold [laughs].
- What is your dream skateboarding location?
I’ve been skating in so many places. Some cities in Europe are just so good for skating, you find spots when you just skate around in the city. That’s the best thing when you don’t know what’s coming and you find something good that you didn’t expect to find.
- What is the biggest moment in your career so far?
When I was able to skate again after having a back injury three times in a row. I think I lost hope that I would ever be able to skate again during that time.
- What skateboarding-related startup would you like to see founded by Finns?
It’s hard to think about anything that skaters would need other than a skateboard. Of course, it’s always fun when there is some skateboarding related events/competitions etc., and in recent years these things have been really good, thanks to Suomen rullalautaliitto [Finland’s Skateboarding Association].
Photo: Teemu Heljo