Alek Oestreng, Ståle Sandbech, and Olav Stubberud grew up together in Rykkinn, Norway, with Len Jørgensen just down the road. They rode their local hill every day until the lifts stopped turning, determined to etch out a living snowboarding. Back then, Alek would write “RKN” on his skateboard as an abbreviation for Rykkinn.—“N” in Norwegian sounds a lot like the word “one” in English. It was decided: RK1 was the name of their crew.
Born of self-reliance, RK1 comes from an environment that forced them to shape their own features, and they believe: “If we came out of a resort that had everything, we would have just ridden that. But we had to build our own stuff” A lot has changed for RK1 since their childhood days in Rykkinn, while much has remained the same. Each member of this crew has seen success within snowboarding, and respectively busy schedules mean the boys don’t ride together every afternoon like they did growing up, but RK1’s bond persists along with their love for snowboarding—especially its creative element.
So every spring Alek, Ståle, Len, and Olav get together for a park shoot on a course they design just how they like it: a little bit weird. By now, creativity has become second nature to RK1, and the crew agrees, “Snowboarding is not something you should do by yourself.” For RK1, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.