Pontus Alv: a radically refreshing view on skateboarding

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Given that I’m now a (beginner) skateboarder, I thought it only prudent to blog about an actual professional skateboarder whose view of skateboarding meshes with my own. His name is Pontus Alv, and he’s a Swede who’s been building skateparks in Sweden since 2002. I first discovered him in the June issue of Transworld Skateboarding, which has a two-page story on him. He’s a sharp, politically radical guy with a thoughtful view of skateboarding that’s exhilarating:

“We must never forget that skateboarding is not ruled or controlled by the industry. The industry and the pros and companies are still just a business side of skateboarding, which is still very small compared to all the skateboarders outside the industry that don’t give a shit about companies and business. All the skaters around the world who are just out on the streets skating together, that is skateboarding and this I think will never go away–the freedom of just riding and expressing yourself. That can never be bought.”

For someone who’s spent a lifetime suspicious of marketing and brands, this refreshed me like a cold glass of water. He continued:

“I’ve always seen skateboarding as something more that tricks and the latest performance. That is what the sport is based on–results and ranks. For me, skateboarding has always been a way of living life, an output for positive and negative things, a way of expressing ideas, visions and feelings, friendships and so on.”

In about 50 words, Alv came closer to articulating my own view on skateboarding than I did in 2,000. So wish I’d discovered him a month ago…

 

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