In 2018, 20 years deep into his skate life, Jörgen Nijmän has finally filmed a complete video part. That Jörgen had not managed to do this before is quite incredible. For all of his obvious skill and dedication he has but fleeting skate video appearances. Jörgen has certainly been around cameras. He is himself a photographer with an array of stunning work to reflect on. His photographs have captured scenes in places few could imagine.
He now resides in London with a renewed sense of creativity and vision, pouring those energies into his skating. Jörgen has an elastic style, with a distinct lack of seriousness. Those who know him well understand that his style is strongly linked to his personality. Knowing Jörgen in a more intimate way, living with him, you understand different things about him. His elasticity is not only embodied but is how Jörgen operates as a person. He is open minded and passionate. His lack of seriousness relates to how fun and infectious it is to skate with him. However, in this epoch of his skate life, we sought to explore a vision with intent. We put to one side the notion that this wasn't ever going to happen. We proceeded calmly and took no longer than a few weeks to translate our ideas to film.
Words & Video : Leon Humphries,
Photography : Tom Sharman & Gareth Morton
I asked Jörgen to make a few comments about himself and on the process we have just undergone...
For those who are unfamiliar, could you tell us a little about yourself?
Name, Age, heritage & where you're at right now?
My name is Jörgen Nijmän, I'm 32, and I’ll be 33 when this comes out. I was born in London to two
Dutch parents. I then grew up in Pakistan and Uzbekistan and moved back to Tunbridge Wells around the age of 11 where I worked my way through secondary school.
I'm in a pretty good state/place right now. A few years ago I stopped working as a carpenter/stand
builder and began working within the Health and social care Industry, supporting people with severe
physical and learning disabilities and am really happy to be involved in that.
The hours are pretty good too, so I have more time to skate now than before and I'm ceising all the opportunities I get.
In the past I also studied documentary photography. I love all forms of photography but am particularly
drawn towards photojournalism. My camera is usually always by my side ready to try and capture
any fleeting moments or insights into our human nature and existence.
You had never filmed a full skate section before. Could you talk about the process of filming a
section and what the completion of this process means for you?
Well the section came about quite spontaneously. I moved from a quiet village in Kent, with no skate
scene, to a 5 bedroom house with 3 other skaters. This has motivated me and made me far more
pro-active with skating recently, especially over the last winter. There is always someone around in
London to skate and hang out with. I never really started with the intention of filming a skate section
but the clips started stacking and it eventually seemed like the obvious thing to do. I didn't write a
trick list, nothing was planned and so all the clips were from chilled sessions with friends in central.
Making the section has only increased my love for the sport and motivated me to carry on improving.
Throughout the filming I kept pushing myself a little more. It hasn't been the easiest. I am probably
not the fittest person and have been dealing with all sorts of minor injuries that can be frustrating
when I have such a strong desire to push myself more in skating.
What constitutes an inspirational video part? Do you have any in mind?
Could you talk about your feelings when viewing your given examples?
Hmmm ok, this is a tough one actually as around 10+ years ago I would have fainted over any Franky
section with the associated ‘biggie’ tracks that any older skater would recognise and relate to.
However now I prefer sections where skaters really pick apart the nuances in architecture, are
imaginative in the spots they skate and creative in the way they traverse or negotiate spots /
obstacles. I can't really choose a section that I feel is completely inspirational but I can definitely
think of some skaters and tricks that fit the bill for inspirational. Andy Spary, Neil Ingall, James Bower,
yourself (Leon), Gareth Morton, Louis Packham and pretty much everyone I skate with that’s pushing
themselves. As far as the wider international scene I would say Chris Farmer, Mushroom Blading &
‘Vine Street’ are definitely some current inspirations to name only a few. I have to say my favourite
trick of all time is Oli Short's toe roll ender in face the music, if I ever need inspiration I can just
visualise tricks of this calibre to be inspired. I've been watching a lot of mushroom blading and find
their clips the most inspirational at this point in time as it's all new to me. There seems to be an
endless amount of creative possibilities and ways of linking tricks. It's kind of mind blowing the
crossover between recreational/freestyle and street (aggressive) skating right now. Just when you
thought it's all been done e.g. 720 disaster kind grind, 450 disaster back royale in Barca (Forum) etc.
There are skaters coming along making the tricks and space between the “rails” or grinds look even
more impressive than the classic rail skating we are all so used to. For me it's all so new and inventive
that I can't help but be proactively curious. Actually when I think back over the last month I have to say I have been glued to some of Leon Basins sections. When I watch his skating I feel like I'm watching something new and aspire to do the wizardly manoeuvres he demonstrates with such finesse.
What elements of your personality are evident in your skating?
Could you say more about the relationship between personality and skating?
Hmm I'm not totally sure. I like to think I'm flower power, anti-nuclear, peace loving hippy, but my
skating is quite erratic and I am somewhat bored of too much rail skating or overly complicated
switch-ups. I'm definitely turning to the dark side where I would love to work elements of big wheels
into my street skating or vice versa. Skating has always been there for me curving what could have
possibly been a very misled youth. Without blading I do think I'd be either depressed in a 9-5, a slob,
or possibly on the streets doing illegal things and being involved in gangs and crime or worse jail. The
community and friendships blading gave me has made me who I am. For example, Mike Welland was
a few years older than me but was an absolute legend and used to go out of his way to phone me
and pick me up in his car, giving me the chance to be inspired and become a part of something
bigger. I think the question should be “What elements of skating and the skate community are
evident in your personality?” It's taught me patience, perseverance and many other life lessons and
skills. Skating has definitely made me a better person,
I think I am quite a creative person and in my section you won't see a huge trick vocabulary or tons of
switch-ups as I like to work on my safety tricks and use them in a more tactile way. This means I skate
more obstacles and try to be creative in the way I tackle them. Like I said I'm a little bored of down
rails to be honest, unless there is another element to them that makes them interesting.
Do you have fond memories of the 90s?
SS1, DNA, Hoax 2, Skibadee, Daily Bread, “Child” all day travel cards. I could go on for days.
We have moved through different eras of skating.
Could you say something about the era we are currently in?
I think “aggressive” inline or street skating is diversifying with so many individuals standing out from
the crowd with their own new and inventive styles. People need to get away from the stigma that
street skating is limited to only a select list of “aggressive” grinding or spinning tricks. I'm sure there
will soon be a flood of recreational skaters that blow the street skating/aggressive communities
mind. If you ask me we all start as recreational skaters who begin along the lines of learning to go
backwards/fakie and moving onto jumping stairs etc. I don't know of many people that bought street
skates or any other aggressive skates as there first pair, being that Oxygen Argons & Poppies were
some of the best and most innovative skates at the time. I think there is naturally a crossover and we
should embrace it. Having said that, I've been skating anti-rocker for the last 15 years and absolutely
love it. However, as I'm getting older I appreciate the health benefits, well-being and generally more
risk free, relaxed nature of big wheel/recreational blading and look forward to branching out within
Any ideas or concepts you would like to work towards in the future?
Yeah definitely, I have a real soft spot in my heart for Kurdistan as I went out there and worked as an
English teacher on two separate occasions totalling in almost 2 years spent with the Kurds. Whilst I
was there I went to the skate rink most evenings in the park and as I didn't know the language it
helped me to make friends and of course learn the language. I can also see how skating could be a
powerful tool for promoting peace, mindfulness, a sense of community, happiness, health and not
just that but also be used as a tool to spread love. Young children in refugee camps all around the
world could benefit so much from owning a pair of skates or sadly even just a toy. ‘’Make blades not
war!’’ Obviously blading isn't the only thing that can do this and I have no bias towards it, whether it be skateboarding, football, cycling, art etc. We need to promote more sports and creative communities around the world in a bid to conquer war and hate.
That being said, yes, I have a few concepts and ideas that were initially discussed with yourself about
trying to bring attention the tragic Kurdish situation in the middle east that has been raging for
decades and seems to be hugely overlooked. I want to bring awareness to the most loving culture
and people I have come across. The Kurds were/are pivotal in the fight against Isis and Islamic
extremism. Without them Isis would have grown over the last 10 years, not dwindled and fallen
apart. The Kurds are an ancient people and have an affinity / oneness with nature. Not surprising as
their roots lay in the Mesopotamian Zoroastrian religion and cultures of the distant past, located in
and around the “Cradle of Civilisation”. It is said, “The Kurds have no friends but the mountains” this is partly true as every time a dictator like conquering force comes along they seek refuge in the
mountains where they feel just as at home as in the city. However they don't need an excuse and if
you are ever lucky enough to visit a Kurdish city on the weekend, expect to be treated by a ghost town as most will have packed the picnic tables and bbqs and heading for the Mountains.
However, this being my first section and the unplanned nature of the filming particularly on my behalf,
I thought these ideas may be somewhat complicated and be best saved/worked on for future projects.
Thanks Jörgen, is there anything else you would like to say?
Thank you everyone for taking the time to read this and watch my profile! I would especially like to
thank Leon for all the help, support and constantly inspiring me to skate. I’d also like to thank my
Mum and Dad for all the great work they do abroad and always believing in me. My bro, sis, Jake,
Charlotte, Kerry, Spary, Norton, Sharman, Welland ofc, Beaford, RecSquad for all the great London
vibes, Kreol Lovecall for the inspired and thought provoking music.
Too many amazing friends to name, you all know who you are,
thanks for putting a smile on my face you lovely and incredible people!
Love and respect to you all.