…I awoke on the hardwood floor, my neck severely tweaked from my short but heavy slumber. The aroma of freshly brewed coffee thickened the air, enough to motivate me to my feet. Outside the sky hung neutral gray, a dense wet mist, leaving the ground wet. Outdoor skateboarding was canceled for the day so it was off to the indoor wooden skate facility of Bryggeriet for the day’s activities. We stopped by a local pizza restaurant and fueled up on food and caffeine and some kind of Swedish sauerkraut concoction. We walked the remaining kilometers until we reached Bryggeriet. Several bands were gearing up to rock out for the background soundscape and people of all ages were skating the “small” bowl (with over vert wall), the big bowl (refurbished with Viking Block Pool coping), the huge street course (constantly being reworked for maximum enjoyment) and the vert ramp.
Bryggeriet skatepark is an exercise in new age Socialism. No, I’m not an expert in the subject of governmental structures, but allow me to explain what I mean by “new age socialism”. Bryggeriet is a skateboarding school. From 9 in the morning until 4 in the evening the students attend the skateboarding school. Is there math, english and history? Sure, probably. These guys seem intelligent enough but for sure there’s one thing they teach the kids: SKATEBOARDING 101, 102, 103 all the way up to ADVANCED SKATEBOARDING. The Swedish government funds the program, to some degree, for kids to learn how to skateboard, film, photograph and learn a basic education. The students can actually get reprimanded if they are slacking off and aren’t skateboarding enough! How does that compare to YOUR high school? And next door, for good measure, there’s a girls’ dance school, which I assume is of a similar ordinance, except for dancing instead of skateboarding. So yes, maybe Socialism seems like evil Communism to some of you, but it seems like it’s working out pretty damn well up there in Sweden.
The bands played, the people skated, and before you knew it, the day’s event was over and it was onwards to the next: Pontus Alv’s WORLD WIDE FILM PREMIERE of IN SEARCH OF THE MIRACULOUS the highly anticipated “sequel” to the skate cult classic STRONGEST OF THE STRANGE. We headed to the bar across the street from the old charismatic cinema with Malmö’s usual suspects, only to meet up with 20+ more Malmö skaters & friends. A few libations were taken down, and it was time to queue up in a fairly long line and get ready for the film.
Ticket check, coat check, up the stairs, past the bar and the big white screen awaited the film. Pontus’ girlfriend and another girl were interviewing different people on the couch with a full broadcast TV camera pointing in people’s faces and projecting on the big screen. I felt sorry for the unfortunate souls that were being selected to be interviewed, how embarrassing that must have been. Then John Magnusson spotted me watching from a distance and said, “come on, we need an english speaking person next, come with me…” So there I was, between two pretty Swedish ladies and a large video camera pointing in my face, getting interviewed live in front of a few hundred people about the soon to be released Confusion Magazine. I just tried to ignore the camera and pretend some girl was talking to me at a bar… Ok enough about me, back to Pontus. The film was highly successful! I’ll save the full review for the print version of Confusion #2, but everyone seemed to enjoy it by the loud response to certain sections and the applause at the finale. I’d even go as far to say it was better than his first film. I’ll have to watch it again (and again) as it’s packed full of skateboarding, artistic filming and a very introspective narrative about Pontus’ personal life. All the skaters from ISOTM are close friends with him and the film is dedicated to the recent passing of his grandmother and grandfather. The film is heavily focused on southern Sweden DIY skatespots, many of which Pontus pioneered and organized. If there’s a premiere in your city, go see this film. You won’t be disappointed, unless your taste in skate films sucks.
The next morning, the sun was shining and the Sibbarp DIY contest was on! My camera gear was not in operation, due to poor planning (shall we say) and I arrived at the contest late feeling like a fisherman without a pole. As chance would have it, there were numerous other photographers and more than one was willing to kick down some photos of the day’s skateboarding highlights. DJ Kalle Hell was slaying it with a diverse range of music to hype everyone up and he surprised me when he threw on a few tracks that I didn’t think had made it over to Sweden, including bands like Santa Cruz’s Highway Murderer’s ….The coffee was flowing for the weary, the BBQ grill was in full effect for the hungry and the DIY Skateboard tent was set up with materials to design your own skateboard graphic with pens and paints for those feeling creative. At the end of the day there was a winner – young buck and Bryggeriet graduate Fernando Bramsmark and another Bryggeriet alumni, Andreas “Snoken” Lindström placing in at least the top 5. With teachers like Nils Svennson, John Dahlquist and skateboard legend John Magnusson, it’s no wonder these guys are growing up to be super skate stars, which is one of the reasons the future in Malmö is looking bright!
Photos of Bryggeriet: Jonathan Hay
Photos of Sibbarp: Martin Palsson
Words + Video: Jonathan Hay
BONUS (POINT & SHOOT PHOTOS) by J. HAY