An Interview With Palen

One of my earliest supporters on YouTube was a guy from Sweden. He had a channel on his own, was putting out great content, and had a relatively large following. His name, Palen. We’ve been exchanging comments for about five years, and now, he’s here for an interview.

I’m Palen, born initially as Daniel, but as a 12-year old, I got that nickname, and it has stuck with it ever since. I’m from Umeå, north Sweden and I have been making skate content since like 2007 ish!

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You have recently split your original YouTube Channel into two. What made you do that?

My original channel Palenskate was made for my skate videos. Somewhere along the way, I uploaded some training videos, and they did way better than my skateboarding videos. I had one training video go viral, and that gained me tons of subscribers. It kind of broke my channel because now basically all my subscribers were there for the training stuff. So I would upload skate content, but my subscribers do not click on that. So I decided to make a training channel and a skate channel instead. To keep things 100% on each channel! It felt weird having over 20K subs but as many views as I had on my new skate channel with like 100 subscribers.

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Comparing your older content to the newer one, increased athleticism and overall fitness stand out. Tell us about your body transformation and workout routine.

Well, I was almost 260 lbs, and that is no weight to skate with, I can tell you that much. I had to get fit for skating and for life in general! I always liked the look of a stronger athlete, so I did not wanna lose weight by going on a diet and looking like an empty sack of potatoes. I went for more weightlifting and a slow process. Overall I slowly lost lots of fat and gained muscle! Ever since I got lighter, skateboarding became so much easier! As for the routine, nothing special, push & pull split and consistency over a long period! Patience and consistency were essential!

What are the most significant differences you notice being in better shape?

Everything got more manageable on the board. I could skate longer, my joints hurt less, I could pop higher, skate faster, etc. Only benefits. Before, I had some problems doing a simple task like putting my socks on! In general, I have more energy and feel less tired.

In some of your videos, you’re skating this huge metal pipe thing in the forest. What is the story behind that, and how did you find it?

It is an old log flume. It was used to transport logs to a saw factory. It used to be much longer back then, but they saved the end of it as a monument. A very skateable monument! It’s close to where I live, and there is a museum with a playground nearby. I’ve gone there since I was a kid!

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Where does your obsession with Underflips come from?

It’s not an obsession, more like a trick I always found easy and have had much fun experimenting with. When I was fat and chubby, that was the one trick I felt I still had down, so I tended to do Underflips often. They have sort of defined me as a skater. I’m the Underflip guy.

With you living in Sweden, I’m sure you don’t get a lot of dry summertime to skate. How long do you have until it starts to snow again, and what do you do during that time?

We usually can skate from May to September, so that’s ok. October and November are dark and wet. It never dries. These days we never know when the snow comes. A couple years ago, it was barely snowy on new year’s eve, and 2 winters ago, the ground was white from the beginning of November. During the dry time that we get, I try to skate as much as I can! We actually have midnight sun up here, so the summer is pretty fantastic while we have it!

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If I were to visit you for a skate trip, what places would you show me?

Probably the pipe in the woods, Steelpark in Luleå is cool. Otherwise, our local street spots. That’s my turf.

We’ve recently discussed skateboarding equipment shortages due to COVID-19 in our podcast. Did you guys also experience any problems?

No, not really. We do not have a physical skate shop in Umeå, so we order online. So far, I think it has gone well. Maybe a bit longer shipping times but otherwise, no interruptions!

What skate brands do you swear by?

Thunder trucks are the only trucks that always have held up my different weights. Haha! All other brands have fallen to pieces. So Hail thunder! Then I have a wheel sponsor, Empire wheels. They are actually really great, and I was involved early in the process, so I kinda got to have the wheel made how I like to skate them. Which is 101A rock hard street wheels! They suit my style of skating!

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Tell us about your setup.

I always skate 8.0 deck. This is a rule I never break. It’s the perfect size for my type of skating! Thunder trucks, obviously. Bearings I really do not care, I usually just get the cheapest ones. Same with grip tape. The Empire wheels are 52-53mm does not really matter. And that is kind of it!

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