INTERVIEW BY CHRISTIAN HOSOI
INTRODUCTION BY GEOFF ROWLEY
PHOTO BY RYAN ALLEN
Arto Saari is huge! A beast of a man! A total and utter gnarler, on and off the skateboard. When I first saw Arto skate, I was amazed that such a tall human could have such graceful style and board control coupled with a sweet ass style…. all at the age of 15! He didn’t know what the hell I was saying to him when we first met, but the glint in his eye suggested that he was going to stick around in skateboarding and, as we used to say, “Get Gnarly!” He has proved this time and again. If you have ever met the man in person, you will know that once Arto deems you his buddy, he will without question give you the shoes off his feet and treat you like family. He is a damn good person and one hell of an amazing photographer, skateboarder and whatever else he gets his bear paws into. Raw talent, beastly vibes and general good times make up the primal ape you shall read about here..“I’ve been skating the pool and then going and skating street, and they compliment each other in a lot of ways.”
Arto? How are you?
I’m good. It’s been a busy morning.
When was the last time you did an interview?
I can’t even remember. It’s been a while.
Killer. This will be fresh then.
This whole thing will be fresh. I don’t think I’ve done an interview for a couple years now. I’ve been laying low for a little bit, after the Mind Field thing came out. I’ve done a few tidbits here and there, but I haven’t done any major interviews in an actual magazine, which is nice. I’ve got the wheels rollin’.
Juice Magazine is totally psyched on skateboarding, so this will be great for all the readers. You have a family. I met your wife and daughter.
Yeah. I’ve started to form a little family. It’s my wife, Mimi, and our baby girl, Ella.
How did you meet Mimi?
We met through mutual friends. It was through Dylan [Rieder]. Dylan knew a bunch of girls up here and we all started hanging out. I was living in Huntington, at the time, but Dylan was already up here. Mimi and I just started hanging out, and two years later, we have a family. [Laughs] It kind of flew by really quickly. I thought I was coming to Hollywood to have a party, but that turned into a family. It’s still a party though.
[Laughs] Nice. Let’s talk about your homeland. What was it like growing up in Finland, prior to moving to the United States?
I lived in Finland for seventeen years. There were harsh winters, so we’d snowboard in the winter and skateboard during the three months of summer. That’s about as long as the summer lasts. I was just trying to get through the harsh winters and get to those three months of skating during the summer. When I was growing up, there weren’t many skateparks. Now there are. The cities and government started to help out and build skateparks, so kids actually have warm places to skate now. We used to skate cold parking garages or whatever. We’d get kicked out and move on to the next one. We’d skate anywhere there wasn’t ice or snow. If there were a piece of flat ground somewhere, we’d be there. That was basically growing up in Finland.