Good Stuff: Arto Saari

Finland must be mighty proud of the many talents it’s unleashed into the big, wild world¿Nokia, Hanoi Rocks, and now for your enjoyment … Arto Saari. The latter, of course, comes without the risk of a brain tumor and is suspect-haircut free. Up in the north of Europe there isn’t much to do come winter¿this may be why most of the inhabitants become comfortable in so many different languages. For example, Arto can speak seven different languages fluently. Think about it, seven different words for a kickflip. The mind boggles.

Our Finnish friend has spent most of the last year tearing up unsuspecting skate spots in America, much of which has been filmed by Daniel Sturt for the much-anticipated Flip video. For once, a video may finally live up to its expectations. Arto probably had his part finished some months back, so with the video coming out sometime in the first half of next year, you know there’s a lot more to come.¿Skin

Arto’s Good Stuff keeps getting longer and longer, so we emailed him some questions to answer, so it wouldn’t be like every other TransWorld article, where there’re fifteen pages of photographs accompanied by two paragraphs of writing.

Who’s influenced your life the most since you arrived in the United States?

Geoff Rowley, Jeremy Klein, and Ian Deacon at Flip.

When was the last time you thought, “F¿k, I hate Americans”?

Last time I got a ticket for standing on my board. I did not even skate at all, and the cock/officer had an attitude about it¿he wanted to take my skateboard away. There is something seriously wrong with the law enforcement in this country. It does not matter if you have done something or not, they will still treat you like a murderer or a child molester. It is just skateboarding, for GOD SAKE!

What are the five best things about the U.S.A.?

1.) SKATEBOARDING when you don’t get hassled by any dicklords. 2.) Weather in Southern California. 3.) All the vegetarian treats you can find. 4.) Everything is made so easy for you to do. There is seriously some kind of machine for everything. It’s convenient! 5.) You can pretty much do anything and make a living out of it.

What are the five worst things about the U.S.A.?

1.) Some people just can’t understand you, and it does not matter how many times you explain it, they still won’t fucking get it. 2.) Bitter people like cops that are mad at you for skateboarding ’cause their parents bought them fruitboots instead of skateboards, and now they have Freddie Mercury mustaches and are sexually confused. 3.) Pollution. 4.) Traffic. 5.) How people drive in traffic. And that’s just because of the driving test. You could piss on the written test, and during the driving test you could kill a couple pedestrians, and you would still pass.

What percentage of their income do Finnish people pay in taxes?

Too much, but we have a really good socialized system and all that. If you are dead poor, and you don’t have a job, you can still get help.

In your opinion, who’s the best amateur skateboarder in the world?

Sebastien Salami Bastien Salabanzi. Do I need to explain why?

Rank these things by importance in your life: skateboarding, eating, watching TV, smoking weed, family, money, God, nice cars.

Skateboarding, family, eating, money, nice cars, God, and I would probably like weed better than watching American TV, but I don’t do either of those.

What’s a typical day like for you? What do you do?

Get up and get gnarly.

What will you be doing when you’re 25?

Probably just trying to get by, like right now.

If you could have any car in the world, what would you want? Why?

A new BMW M3, so I could get more speeding tickets.

What’s it like to be eighteen, from Finland, in America, and have a new BMW and a cell phone?

Delivering newspapers when it’s 32 Celsius below zero, and you need to take a crap in the woods and you cannot even see your own genitals ’cause it’s so cold.

Whatt’s the hardest trick for you?

Any trick in a pool.

What was the first skate video you saw?

Powell Hotbatch.

What’s the funnest thing to deal with when you’re a pro skater?

Going to the bank¿especially nowadays.

What’s the hardest thing to deal with when you’re a pro skater?

Trying to please everybody.