The Ludvig Billtoft Interview

Throughout the filming of Scandalnavians II, Ludde went on a bit of a rampage. Street, pow, he pretty much destroyed everything in his path, and ended up with a two-song ender. They weren’t too short songs either, and if you didn’t know already, the part marked him as a true ATV. Some people might take it easy after doing something like that, but this year he’s been out with Beyond Medals and has once again stacked enough footage in ‘Relapse’ to fill two banger parts, with shots to spare. Oh yeah, he got the ender, again. It must be a viking thing.

Extracted from Method Mag issue 22.2

Interview. Theo Acworth

Photo. Alex Roberts

© Alex Roberts

 

Kuske [Kristoffer Fahlgren, Scandalnavians filmer] told me that you used to freak out at spots a lot, but you don’t anymore. Did you figure out some new techniques to stay calm?

I got older and grew up a little, got a bit more understanding. As a kid, I guess I was like that, freaking out a lot more and not controlling my anger as much. But now I can see through it, and I know that there’s always another day coming up. I also learned that it’s easier if you are more committed to a trick. If you decided to do something anyway, why wait for it?

You’re one of those ATV riders who crushes it in both street and pow. How do you balance them, and how do they compare?

I always wanted to do both and looked up to riders who did that. I guess when you're from Sweden, it’s more obvious that you that you end up riding street. But yeah, it’s nice doing both. Last winter, I was really hyped to go to Stockholm and ride street. It’s always nice to change scenery every now and then. It keeps me motivated.

 

“He’s super mellow, but you can really see that he wants to get shit done. If it’s a good day with good snow, he’s not going to waste that opportunity. It was so hard choosing his footage. He had enough for two parts, and there’s still stuff that we had to let go because he just has too many shots. It’s good to have him in the crew, he pumps everyone up.”

- Kevin Backstrom

 

Were you hitting new stuff in Stockholm or classic spots? 

I guess a few of them have been hit before, we were stressing because there hasn’t been snow for a few years in Stockholm, and we’ve been lazy with scoping since we kind of gave up hoping that it would snow. But there’s so many new spots, I really hope we get another good winter here.

I always thought it was one of those places that always had snow in the winter. I didn’t realise it hadn’t happened for a while. 

We were hoping to hit it for Scandalnavians, but the snow just never really came. Or if it did, it was only for a couple of days. This year it stayed for about a month. Not loads, but enough snow to film with, at least. 

Unless you’re Nils Arvidsson, then all you need is some frost to ride on.

Ah yeah, you mean the pump track and skatepark stuff? That’s so sick. That’s how it looks for a large part of the year in some areas of Sweden. We don’t always get that much snow. It might just be cold and grey. 

© Alex Roberts

 

Have you been riding street for longer than backcountry?

Not really, about the same time. I used to ride mostly park, so that’s where it all comes from. I guess I like both as much.

You were competing up until quite recently. When did you quit the Swedish national team?

It was the first year that we were filming for Scandalnavians. I hadn’t got any contest results in a long time and we all saw it coming. They said that if I didn’t come to the Swedish championships, then that was it for me. So I stayed in the alps since I had the chance to film for Scandalnavians that winter, I definitely knew I was doing the right thing for me.

Sounds like a natural ending. 

I always wanted to film anyways. But coming from Sweden and going to the snowboard school it came natural that you started doing contests.

It’s definitely a more established way with a path and a schedule to follow. 

 

“Ludde is one of my absolute favorites both on and of the hill. He is determined and a very real person. Looking forward to many more banger parts from him.”

- Tor Lundstrom

 

You don’t have to do it like that, though. It’s so sick if you don’t and find another way, like filming.

Does doing filming street and pow give you double the opportunity to stack clips? Is that why you had so much footage? 

*Laughs* I guess it’s easier to get more shots in a way, but you’re still working with the same amount of time. I don’t know.

Did you know that you had the Scandalnavians II ender before you saw it?

No, I didn’t. It was so cool. It’s insane, actually. Now I’m riding with people that I looked up to as a kid, like Nils, Tor [Lundstrom] or Kevin [Backstrom]. When we were at school in Stockholm, Nils was a god! Writing to him on Facebook or something because we didn’t know him then and freaking out if you saw him. They were like legends to us. Especially as a kid, you see these people as real heroes. 

I still trip out at the people that I get to hang and shoot with, even though I consider them as my friends. I’ve heard that you have another two-song part in the Beyond Medals video ‘Relapse’?

Yeah, I guess so. 

Back-to-back double song parts? That’s nuts, what’s going on dude!?

I don’t know! It worked pretty good with the street footage we got in Stockholm. The first part is street from there, and then it’s backcountry from the Alps, and Riksgränsen. 

© Alex Roberts

 

Anything less than two songs might seem anticlimactic now. Do you ever worry that you’ve set the bar too high for yourself and that it will be hard to follow these parts up?

You just want to try and do better than you did the year before. It doesn’t really matter. It’s sick if everyone gets their best part for the movie. It all ends up together. Especially for Beyond Medals, we’re such a big group of friends who all want the best for everyone. 

How does this part compare to your Scandalnavians ender?

I’m really glad with what we could get his winter with all these restrictions. In Scandalnavians we travelled a bit more and did some trips with a smaller crew, so it was easier to do more natural stuff. Our crew this year was bigger on trips so it was easier to build jumps, so all of us could get shots. So we didn’t do as much natural stuff, but it was sick.

 

“Ludde is one of the best snowboarders I've ever worked with. He's so focused and knows exactly what he wants. It's sick filming with him. He is super motivated and he tries to use that energy to motivate everyone around him.”

- Ryan 'Diggles' Scardigli

 

Have you filmed with those guys before? 

A bit. I’d accidentally been on some trips with them in the same place.

Any good Kuske stories for us? 

The one that always pops into my head is from Riksgränsen. We got home really late after shooting, and we’d had a few beers. He got completely fucked because we didn’t have any dinner. He was like a drunk teenager. We only had around five beers, and he was gone.

Who’s your favourite Scandalnavian to party with? 

I really like to have a few beers with Kuske. Otherwise, the whole Beyond Medals crew.

© Alex Roberts

 

I also heard that you’re trading stocks in your spare time. How long have you been doing that?

Not too long. I just think it’s interesting and want to learn more from it.

Have you made money or lost money? 

I made a little bit.

How much have you made so far? 

Couple grand this year. But I sold most of it because the market has been quite unstable. 

Maybe you should buy some stocks in Methodmag. We’re always a safe bet. 

Always :)