Why An Academic Skateboard Conference?

Words by Adam Abada
Photography by Norma Ibarra & Michael Worful

“Huh.”

That’s what I heard each time I told anyone, skaters or otherwise, that I was traveling to Sweden for an academic skateboarding conference.

“I didn’t know that was even a thing.”

It’s the second one, actually. I skipped last year’s in London, not wanting to commit to a trans-Atlantic flight for something that definitely had the potential to fall flat. But, when media started trickling back from Bartlett School of Architecture, which hosted the inaugural Pushing Boarders, I knew I would not make the same mistake next time around. Once I heard Malmö, Sweden — arguably the world’s most progressive skate city — was chosen as Pushing Boarders’ next destination, I booked a ticket. Then I spent six months trying to convince someone to come with me.

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