This month's Global View comes form the land of Sweden, Stockholm and it's brought to you by Andreas Monaxios.
I was asked by Film School Projects, if I could talk about skateboarding in Sweden. To get an insight on the Swedish skate scene/culture, you would have to ask someone else than me. I skate with my small crew and dont really follow whats going on in the ''mainstream'' part which I believe the skate scene/culture here is.............well!
I live in the capital of Sweden, Stockholm and I have been skating since around 2001, I'm now 25 years old and a lot has happend here since I started. I got my first board in late October and October means, that winter's coming soon. Even with the bad timing with getting hooked on skating right before the winter, I immediately enjoyed rolling around my neigborhood for a few weeks just before it got too cold and wet to skateboard outside. I felt the need to skate everyday, as much as possible, something I think that all ''skaters'' can relate to this.
So when it got too cold and the ground was wet and filled with leaves from the trees, I had to seek out somewhere to skate. I knew of the only indoor skatepark in Stockholm but it was a 40 min train/subway ride from my home and it cost too much for me. So the only option left was to skate the garages around my neighborhood. My friend and I would hide outside of some garages, waiting for a car to come and then sneek in right after them. When inside we usually had like 10-20 minutes before someone kicked us out. After a few times of getting kicked out, my friend got bored of this I guess, and he stopped skating. From what I can remember, I kept going there alone and were there a lot of times over that winter.
Spring came eventually and I could skate the streets again, I met some other guys that skated too. We skated togheter everyday. We were a little crew, riding our bicycles from ''spot'' to ''spot'' and we had fun. When the next winter came we said, ''we should go to the indoor park on the weekends''.
I think our whole crew thought the same way back then. The first few times we went to the indoor park. The vibe in the park was very negative and the kids there were arrogant and/or even mean. The thing I likeed about skating was it seemed all about being happy, good times with your friends, and it shouldn't matter if you couldn't do any tricks yet or if you were the best skater in town. The way that park was (and still is), was nothing I wanted to be a part of, so I rarely went there after that.
The winters that came after that year made us skate in different garages and to this day we still do! We skate things like a big loading dock we found that has a roof over it. On that loading dock, we built all kinds of stuff from junk that we found laying around.
Skatepark explosion in Stockholm. From 2005 and forward concrete parks started to pop up everywhere. Every little town/village in the suburbs of Stockholm got a concrete park. I read somewhere that Stockholm is now the city with the most skateparks, in the world! I have a nice concrete park just a stone thow away from my home and I can think of at least 10 more within 30 minutes by car. I skate my park here almost everyday (when its not raining) but the best part of the day is still when we leave the park and go skate the shitty spots Stockholm has to offer. I dont know if it's because I grew up with nothing, skating whatever and whenever ''spots'' I could find, or because skating a park doesn't feel as rewarding as skating the streets, maybe its both.
I see kids skate these parks everyday, they have fun with their friends, they learn new tricks everyday, overall good times it seems but if you ask them to come and join you for a street sesh they dont want to skate outside of a skatepark. They don't understand why you would wanna go skate street when you have a nice park just around the corner. Skateboarding has no rules of course, and everyone should do as they want, but still, it makes me a bit sad to see that skateboarding is just like any other past time (kinda) a past time that you give up when you're bored of the park or when it gets too cold.
It would be a shame if skateboarding turns into just that, a ''past time''. I've lived in a few other countrys over the years, countrys like Greece and Thailand that aren't as ''blessed'' as we are here (with skateparks). What I've noticed there, is that the skaters are more friendly and helpful. It's more of a community spirit I think, and I like that. They have less but still have more in a way.
Anyway we'll see in a few years what the Swedish skate culture will look like, maybe no one will know what street skating is haha. I know I will continue skating the raw and nasty streets here until I'm too old or/and too fat!
*Stockholm has a lot of concrete parks, woodward style parks, miniramps and a few ''plazas'' (kinda) but only 1 official indoor park.
*Your best bet to find Ha$ty spots here, is either industrial areas or schools.
*On the odd, sunny and autumn day, go fast and powerblast thrue the leaves, you can slide for a really long time.
*You can not purchase alcohol in the regular supermarkets, you have to go to Systembolaget witch closes early and are often packed with people, so bring shit from home to the sk8sesh.
*Get a cruiserboard to go from spot to spot, shit's rough here.
*There is a highschool/college that has ''skateboarding'' as a class, just like soccer or basketball.
*Use ''marschaller'' as wax it will make anything slide. I don't know what it's called in English though.
Andreas Monaxios is featured in Film School Projects video Television(tell/lies/visually) as the Sweden Brodcast, it's located on the video and footage page.
Pushing on a skateboard in Sweden!
This months global view comes from the land of the Swahili tongue, Nairobi, Kenya!!!
Hello, I am Samwel (Slammy) Karugu! I was recently asked an interesting question, what's skateboarding like in Nairobi? Skating in Nairobi, Kenya..Hmm where shall I start. Oldest evidence of skating in Nairobi is a photo of Rick Fink bailing down a hill bomb in the streets of Nairobi in the 70's. Rick Fink has told us that he used to skate in Nairobi with some of his friends in the 70's and 80's when he worked in Kenya, at the time he was installing some of the first IBM computers for the Kenyan Government. Later in the 90's to early 2000's Kenya had other guys like the Talal and a crew who would skate the now demolished Splash waterworld halfpipe, they also built their own halfpipe/miniramp (yes it is somewhere in the middle) and we skate it to this day, it's a crazy half pipe.lol
Futher into the future Kenya's skaters would form a skate crew and the other guys who skated at the time would film Kenya's first skate video 'PLAYSKATE'. This new group of skaters would skate newer spots in the city streets and at the local university 'Nairobi University' and the legendary Uhuru gardens park it has perfect stairs and ledges ( sadly the skaters got kicked out for good and skating is no longer allowed there) most of these guys don't skate much anymore. After thoses days passed newer days would bring other guys. This newer group of Kenyen skaters made Kenya's 2nd video called WAKE UP. I was just starting to skate at that time so i'm in the friends part. A lot of the guys in The Wake Up video are still skating even today.
The guys in the Wake video, started an organization called, The Skateboarding Society of Kenya', (SSK), I know I know sounds like a political party or some comic book characters but through the SSK we were able to get a dope ass skatepark. Also get some awesome skate companies to tour Kenya and made more people aware of skatieboardng in Kenya. Now we are working towards getting a new park closer tro the city center. We even won a 5000 Euro grant through Bright skateboard awards in Europe. SSK helps with creating contests too. We are planning our biggest contest this year! SSK continues to grow, more and more and more. I can see great things coming from skateboarding in Kenya.
So to give you an idea of what it is like to skateboard in Nairobi, I am gonna take you through one of my normal weekend sessions in Nairobi, Kenya. Lets see...........I wake up at about 9 a.m. watch some skate videos then have breakfast and then take a matatu (bus) to the city center without a traffic jam I'll get into the city in about 20 minutes. Now if there's a traffic jam, I am just get off the bus and I'll skate the rest of the way. Normally I will stop at Aga Khan walk Sunken car park and start the session. But most of the times everyone is already there and we warm up with a nice game of skate or skate some of the makeshift kickers. Also we like to skate the DIY'd drops there. Normally it is full of cars or rollerbladers. But normally we just skate the streets and have a great time.
The streets of Nairobi are pretty ROUGH but fun, you have to look a litle bit harder for spots and think outside the box. From gaps to stairs and drops to ledges polejams, jersey barriers and hubbas the streets have them all. We even started on some DIY projects to put more spots in the streets. The biggest problem is the roughness of the streets and busy traffic on weekdays but thats part of the fun too at times, from CBD to downtown you can skate some Nairobi street terrain and make sure you can learn some Swahili while you at it. After hitting the streets we either go to the Nairobi university or Kileleshwa suburbs and Uhuru park or the Shangilia skatepark.
Uhuru park is where most skating in Kenya's at. This place has everything, from the famous Uhuru park Gaps and manual pad to the nice practice stairs to the low and high legdes and just the view and atmosphere of the area. And you can skate it any time you want, well unless there's an event. The place has become so popular with skaters that if you look it up on wikipedia its said to be a skate spot. Despite only the podium being where we skate. A lot of legendary tricks have gone down at Uhuru park almost every skater in Nairobi learnt how to ollie and grind at Uhuru park.
The Nairobi University is so fun to skate, the guards suck at times though. In the University we skate mostly stairs and hubbas and legdes and flatground. The biggest skateable stair in Nairobi , a 16 stair set with rails on both sides is located there. No one has ever skated it we just skate the 6 set and 10 set near it, mostly because we are pussies!!!lol Also at the university you can eat some really cheap foods inside the mid session. You can get some drinks and some water and talk to some beautiful campus girls too. If you want you can skate from the university or walk/skate to Kileleshwa or take a matatu also. Kileleshwa is mostly just long steep downhills and wallrides and huge drops like a San Fransisco sort of thing. The roads there are so smooth compaired to the streets of Nairobi city centre. You can basically cruise down the whole area in 20 minutes. Kileleshwa is always nice for chill sessions when I wanna relax. It's never a good idea to relax too much when skating kileleshawa you might get hit by a car too. In Kileleshwa in the famous aboreturm Forest park you can go see monkeys and enjoy some of it's nature/then go back to the city center. If you are still hungry for more gnarly stuff you can take another matatu to the skatepark just 20 minutes away from Kileleshwa.
In order to get to the skatepark one has to walk through sodom slum or through the posh neighbourhood on the other side with all the embassies and mansions . In Sodom I like to refuel with local food like ugali ,chapatti and githeri is sold in the area even some fries in whatever amount you want and fruits like bananas mangoes etc. After walking through the slum you I arrive at the skatepark.The park is awesome.Thanks to SKATEAID and the SSK Located in a children's home the kids who school there and community people get to skate there everyday. The rules there are pretty strict and the administration out there is mostly made up of dicks. But our relations are getting better. The park has everything a miniramp, kickers, stairs, rails, a bowl you name it. You can skate there from noon to 6pm. It's always so fun to see kids running into the park after classes. We usually skate the park till 6.30p.m. We then walk back towards the main road to town through the posh side of the neighbourhood there's a nice view with waterfalls, a river, some farms abondoned buildings and the air is so fresh too. When we get to the main road one can go back to town by matatu or skate back to town via kileleshwa because the road from there to town is downhill. The road back always has little traffic. The lighting on this road is always so little and the road has many surprise potholes and ect. If you can do this you are a real Nairobian skateboarder haha.
When we get to town we skate the streets in the city centre again. At night on weekends the streets are usually very empty. You can start your sessions with the two pole jams and if you are stoked. And when you have to take it easy because of a twisted ankle that you'll usally get. Skate the black and white banks on the main road but don't get hit by a car. Go down the nearest 'smooth road' near stanley hotel. Check out how smooth it is and enjoy how smooth it is compaired to other roads in town. Once you ollie up the curb and enter the pavement with the famous round blue ledge feel free to skate the ledge. You can also hit the cabro paved manual pad infront of you. GO FASTER AND FASTER PUSH. Do a kickflip at 30km/hr as the hookers standing by and watch you. For fun I normally do a powerslide.. then do a line to city hall...Drink the free water there...get back on the road..,manual over the zebra crossing lines, tailslide the flower pot ledges or 50 50 the yellow curbs..do tricks over the 'fixed pothole' gaps and then manual the manny pad at the intersection with the idea that you could get hurt or you could die for sure....ollie up the cabro pavement near IMAX (you dont know what cabro is do ya? ;)) push down it do the big flower patch gap or drop off the curb and do the little man hole gap. PUSH pusshh....Do something over the chains or over the two poles following each other near Teriyaki Japan Hotel. Then keep pushing up... ollie up the pavement on the opposite side near International house ..ollie up that manual pad do the 'outside the box gaps' on that manual pad and right before you is the TNT gap, do something gnarly. You could even wallride the wall beside the gap is already blackened by Skateboard wheels. Becarefull though the TNT gap it is 300 metres after and you may lose your board muhaha.
After all that madness we skate to Sunken buy some street coffee and Samosas or bread and relax and talk about the day, politics, skate videos, music or play a few games of SKATE till 8.30pm. After that.... then we go home. If the session didn't tire me out, I skate up the reinsurance plaza's 3 set. I'll do a line then skate the Uchumi supermarket 5 set with the homies on our way to the bus stations. We'll say our goodbyes and soon I am on the bus to go home again tired, sore, happy, stoked, while thinking about how awesome life is and I am ready to do it again the next day.
THANK YOUS GO OUT TO.......
FILM SCHOOL PROJECTS
GNAIROBI SKATEBOARDING FOR LIFE
Africa skateboard magazine
Arap skate distribution
BY: Samuel Karugu
A skateboarder’s life in Nairobi
10 Facts, I Bet You Never Knew About Kenya!
1. Kenya is roughly the same size of Texas at 362,040 square miles.
2. After coffee, Kenya’s biggest income generator is tourism.
3. For the Kenyans, however, coffee is considered an export product, not something for local consumption. The local favorites are tea and beer.
4. Kenyans usually drink their beverages hot or at room temperature. Hot beer, anyone?
5. Some of the oldest known paleontological records of man’s history have been found in Kenya.
6. Kenya’s Great Rift Valley was formed around 20 million years ago, when the crust of the Earth was split.
7. Most Kenyans are either very poor or very rich. Very few can be classified as middle class.
8. Before marriage Kenyans still pay a dowry to the bride’s family, which starts at 10 cows.
9. The men of Kenya are allowed to have more than one wife.
10. Kenyan environmentalist Professor Maathai won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004. She was the first African woman to do so.
This months global view comes from an up and coming environment! Skate Nepal!!!
During June 2013 some friends (Samip Kursh) and I were contacted by a small crew of skateboarders in Kathmandu, Nepal. They called themselves "TRE S" at the time. The TRE S crew was interested in setting up an event for Nepal's first ever Go Skateboarding Day. They were reaching out to anyone and everyone for support. We got linked up via Facebook through friends of friends of friends. After some planning and a lot of help from my friends, I decided that I would travel to Kathmandu to build a small movable skate park and help host The Go Skateboarding Day event.
It went off without a hitch, we built several obstacles and somehow managed to host 2 skate comps. One in Kathmandu and the other in Pokkara. (YouTube link) While we were in Pokkara we met Nepal's OG, the man who has been keeping skateboarding alive in Nepal for decades "Ram C Korelia". Ram
Has dedicated his life to skateboarding since childhood. He has built 2 concrete skate parks in Nepal of his own accord. And now he has opened Pokkaras first skate shop.
After I returned to Bangkok my friends and I wanted to continue supporting the Nepali skate scene. We set up a Facebook page called "Skate'N'Donate Nepal". https://m.facebook.com/profile.php?id=423956434383790
We made donation boxes and left one at every skateshop in BKK. Of course Thailand being the generous place that it is, donations came pouring in. Within the first 6 months we had collected close to a hundred skateboards and it kept growing. When ever friends would travel from BKK to KTM they would bring as many boards as they could carry. Big thanks to (shop names) for supporting the Nepali skate scene then and now.
So, after a year and a half I got word from Ram that he was about to complete a concrete skate park that was open to the public and recognized by the government. All of which are first for Nepal. And on top of that he was also ready to open Nepal's first Skate Shop. It was a very exciting time and I was stoked that he asked me to come and be a part of it all.
I travelled back to Nepal in early and what I saw was amazing. The number of skaters had
grown exponentially and their skills and style had improved so much. They were shredding the streets. And what's more, there was a new generation of young skaters 8-10 years old being taught by the crews that helped set up the previous comps. So Samip, Ram and myself set up a competition and it was a blast.
I hope to continue this project supporting the Nepali skate scene and hope this article inspires skateboarders all over to be more proactive in creating industry in skateboarding world wide.
Shout outs to Kershune Westcott ... Samip Jung Khadka... Andrew Luis Staley for organizing all of this. Shout outs to all the SKATERS in Kathmandu and Pokkara for all the hook ups during my time in Nepal. A special thank you to all of the skate shops and companies in Bangkok like:
LITTLE CHILD SHOP
Our hearts go out to the family and friends who lost the lives of their love ones due to the massive 7.8 earth quake on April 20, 2015.
By Shawn Ward
Good times in Nepal