Riding with your crew, pushing each other and having a blast is one of the cornerstones of this fun old experience we call snowboarding. Now, since the democratisation of videography, more and more crews are producing edits from their exploits and some of them have gone beyond the traditional ‘bro-cam’ cuts to produce entertaining, imaginative, or just downright hammer heavy video content. We’re stoked on that, so over the season we’ll be throwing the virtual Shakas to some of our favourite Euro crews, and up this time is the Fat & Furious guys, consisting of Swedish brothers Abbe and Theo Hjellström and their buds. We hit up Theo for the F&F lowdown...
How old were you two when you started snowboarding? And when did you start filming each other?
We both were about eight years old when we started. Abbe is two years older than me so he started a couple years before I started. In the beginning it was all about riding, then we both started to compete a bit in some national competitions some years later. But we didn’t start to film until later still when our mother bought a camera that we borrowed, and we made season edits and some other crappy clips, hahah! Then three years ago we got a fisheye lens for Christmas, and that was the time F&F started.
You’ve had a lot of success with the Fat & Furious episodes, what made you want to make those in the first place?
We were sat in our cabin in Kläppen and suddenly Abbe said "We have to start a web series!". We did make a movie the year before with some friends, and we felt that we had so much more fun filming than we had when we went to competitions. We wanted to start something that we could put our own touch on, and show how much fun we have when we’re riding. So it all started as a fun thing, then we got our eyes opened that we really could make something out of it since some of the big snowboard magazines started to share our videos on their sites!
Who are your favourite people to ride with, apart from each other?
It's always fun to ride with our nearest friends who really ride for it’s own sake. Like Simon Jacobsson who appears in some of our episodes. He has a unique style and perspective on how to ride a snowboard and that’s why it’s so awesome to ride with him. Others to mention are dudes like Johan Nordhag, Måns Hedberg, Karl-Anton Svensson, Ylfa Runarsdottir, Ludvig Billtoft, Niklas Mattsson... they are all so fun to go snowboarding with!
What do you think about social media and snowboarding? Is it easier or harder to get noticed now?
Well, it’s pretty good since I think it’s easier for riders like us to be seen nowadays than it would have been a couple of years back. But at the same time it was so much cooler back in the day when you had to make a tape that people had to go buy at the local skateshop to watch!
Your episodes from this past winter were crazy good! What was your favourite episode to make and why?
Thank you man, it’s so nice to hear! We think that the first episode (F&F HOMETOWN) was really fun to make, it is a street episode from our hometown Skövde. We've been lurkin’ around there for some years and found a lot of fun spots that we wanted to ride. But we don’t get a lot of snow every year so we just had to make one from there when finally enough snow came! And all credit to our filmer, Lowe, that made the episode magical with his camera skills. He’s a wizard.
Aside from your own stuff, what was the craziest thing you saw someone do this winter?
The craziest thing we’ve seen this year might be Cole Navin's Real Snow part! He’s insanely fun to watch and he brings so many cool tricks and combos that you would never think of!
Where is home? Where is your local hill to go snowboarding?
We come from a small island in the southern part of Sweden called Torsö. And since the bigger mountains are in the northern part of Sweden we only got to ride up there like one week every year, when we went with the whole family back in the day. But we did have our local hill, Billingebacken, in Skövde (the place where we filmed the Onboard 60 Minute Session) where we got to ride like two days every week during winter season – it is a 30 minute drive from Torsö. We also built our own park in our backyard with homemade rails and small kickers, haha!
Who inspired you when you were younger? Which crews or movie productions where you looking at? Who inspires you the most now?
The first snowboard movie we ever saw must have been Standard Films TB10, Optigrab. And we just watched it over and over again, constantly on repeat, haha. There are some seriously heavy parts in that movie, like Travis Parker, David Benedek, Jussi Oksanen and Andrew Crawford's parts, for example. Their style is sooo damn sick and the soundtrack is just too damn good as well. It’s just a whole other feeling to watch those old snowboard movies than movies nowadays.
The Helgason brothers have for sure been a big inspiration for us. It’s always fun to watch what the guys are up to, 'cause they show what snowboarding is all about: having fun. And it’s pretty obvious that they have found themselves in snowboarding. But we still love to watch really old snowboard movies and catch some inspiration from kings like Daniel Franck, Ingemar Backman, Johan Olofsson, Peter Line and others from that generation.
What have you learned while making your webisodes?
We think that we’ve learned a lot. For example that you have to think outside the box if you want to get your ass seen in this world, since a lot of crews releases banger edits all the time. But we think that it’s a bit of the fun part with what we’re doing, you don’t need to have the largest trick bag, you just have to be a little creative. I think what we noticed the most is that if you work hard it pays off, since we’ve got pretty good feedback on what we’re doing, which is so fun!
Is the web series a way to pay the bills?
Well, the Fat & Furious series is not the way we pay our bills. Not at all actually. Instead we work hard all summer/fall to save enough money so we can be free and travel around during the winter and make the web series possible. That’s why we haven’t been able to film outside Sweden as much as we want, 'cause it’s simply too expensive to do for us right now.
What are your plans for the coming winter? Another series or bigger and better things?
We haven’t really decided what to do for upcoming season yet. We want to continue filming, but maybe change the concept in some way. The Fat & Furious project have been so much fun, but we’re thinking of making something else to next year instead of the web series itself. All we know is that we want to keep film with some different people and spread our joy to the rest of the snowboard world in some way!