What The Pros are Rockin’: Arto Saari

File: Arto Saari Interview

Interview by Skin Phillips

What board are you riding right now?

It’s a board, a skateboard¿I don’t know. It’s a blank board with loads of stickers on it. I’ve tried to do this shape for the past year and a half, but they Flip just can’t get it together. Every time it comes back, the shape is all out of it. Basically, I stole Andrew’s shape and got it done on prime wood so it’s not so steep. I ride pencils all the time. Every time I get a board, it’s different.

What do you like most about it?

That it f¿king works.

What size boards do you prefer?

The bigger the better.

Do you have a preference for concave depth?


Do you do anything special with your griptape?

It all depends if I’m in the mood or not.

What wheels are you riding right now?

Geoff’s Arto pronounces it G-off.

Do you ever try a different hardness?

I’ve tried different hardnesses, and I like them hard. I ride Ricta’s¿the core ones G-off Rowley’s 54 millimeters.

Do you care if your wheels are colored?

Not really. If they go forward, then that’s okay.

How often do you set up new wheels?

If I see wheels laying around on the table and I’m not feeling too lazy, I might do it. Not too often.

What are the smallest wheels you’ve ever ridden?

Back in the day, I rode those Powell wheels that were the littlest wheels around. My friend got them. He wore them out, and then I got them. They were little¿to the bearing pretty much. The wheel was just all tar and gravel.

What bearings do you ride?

Swiss bearings when I can get them.

Do you use any bearing oil or speed cream?

I don’t use any lubrication. I hit that shit raw dog and bail.

What trucks do you ride?

Independent 146.

What do you like about those trucks?

They’re the best trucks. They work the best for me, at least.

Do you ride them loose or tight?

It depends if I feel loose or tight. It all depends on the day. If I’ve got a really bad hangover, and I gotta skate Tampa or a park, I usually tighten them up ’cause I’m just all over the place. But if I go out at night with Geoff and Mark and skate street in front of a gas station in Tampa with no shirt on, then I might just keep them loose.

How often do you change your trucks?

When they fall off my board.

Do you use riser pads?


Are there any rituals you have to go through when you set up a new board?

I just whap it together, throw the griptape on there, put the bolts on, and hopefully it’ll be done. There’s no routine ’cause there’s no routine in my life¿it’s just a mess. When we got to Tampa, I had no razor blade, so I had to cut the tape with my lighter¿the whole room smelled like burnt plastic.

What shoes do you skate in?

éS Accels.

What do you think is the most important feature in a shoe?

That it doesn’t feel like a snow boot, or look like one.

How long does a pair of shoes usually last you?

A week to five days.

What size shoe do you wear?

You don’t need to know that¿it’s not for public knowledge.