What “is” skateboarding? A seven-ply piece of maple? Thirty-three inches of length and no more? “Not a crime?”
Just as skateboarding often eludes definition — existing in a purgatory between physical expression and existential thought — poetry uses language to access a similar type of feeling and add something new to our shared experience.
Of all the peculiar trends to afflict modern skate videos, not putting skaters’ names is one of the most annoying — especially for anyone who came of age in the latter days of the “video magazine.” (We’ll forget the name of the person who introduced themselves to us five seconds ago, but will remember the name of the dude who did a nollie tailside bigspin in a Logic video 16 years ago…)
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.
“4 Cities, 100 Nuggets” is a mini video featuring some Canadian dudes (…I think?) doing a two-week road trip through North Carolina, Philly, New York, and Boston. That back noseblunt bigspin at Baldi really came out of left field + good to see people coming up victorious over the speed bumps at the recently-knobbed plaza on 110th and 8th (which is sure to be utilized by absolutely nobody now, considering it’s in the middle of the street, with no shade, and across from a 840-acre park full of trees…)
“It’s not a boot-camp for the Olympics.” “No, it’s a boot-camp for life.” Given the stature of its alumni, you likely know of its existence, but you probably don’t know much about the skateboarding high school in Mälmo, Sweden. Skateism has a full interview about Bryggeriet, and how’s its not exactly what you would expect.
“If 2016’s tale of political and social upset is one of old against young and the educated against the left-behind, actually sharing space and interacting with different kinds of people is more important than it’s ever been.” Caught in the Crossfire has an incredible piece on Malmö, Sweden’s status as the world’s most forward-thinking small city with regard to skateable public space.
Pretty sure we were in Spain when this happened (maybe its even older news than that), but official final R.I.P. to 12th & A. They repaved the entire court with shitty, soft blacktop. And there’s a “No Skateboarding” sign for the first time ever…at a school that once included skateboard classes in its phys ed curriculum. Cool.