21 Feb 2012
Kingpin's Set In Stone - Finland, and a bit of extra Alv.
So that's it, this is the last in the series. This time it's Finland with a lot of rain involved. This place looks like it's going to be amazing as time goes on and more bits get added and seeing as they have a deal to stay on site for the next five years or so there cold be a lot to skate at the eviction party in 2017.
All of the edits have touched upon the hard work aspect of DIY skateparks, this one introduces the discomfort angle quite nicely too. The wet is shit at the best of times but when you are trying to get concrete to go-off against the clock with the rain coming down in bucket loads, well that just taking the piss. But that's what these guys had to deal with and I love that the muck and wet and cold feet aspect of this build really comes across.
The motivations behind this park are set out really clearly at the start. Basically no-one was going to do it for them, so the had to do it for themselves and it seems that the local government were happy to give the skaters temporary residency as long as it meant they didn't have to put their hands in their pockets. And so it began.
In the accompanying article, Alex irvine delivered a gem. It's great to get advice, tips, instruction on how to build, shape and finish concrete and even make your own tools but there is, as Alex points out, only one minimum requirement "That you can ride it"! The cover of the magazine is a portrait of Pontus Alv, who appears in this edit and who I'll be returning to in a minute, crouching in the pocket of an unfinished transition surrounded by re-bar, an illustration of where DIY can go. But Alex is pointing you towards the starting line. A handful of old bricks and mud, some pre-mixed concrete from Wickes/BnQ, a bucket, some water and a trowel and you are off and running.
Pontus talks about the smaller scale stuff in the edit and about there being a greater reward-to-work ratio from making something skateable out of a tiny pour/build and lets not forget, ten tiny pours later you're going to be looking at a lot of stuff to skate.
Staying with Pontus for a second there is aa new edit/interview with him doing the rounds today. In it he talks about his return to his homeland and his feelings about the skateboarding's ability to affect your emotional and mental well being. I can't remember if I've talked about this on here before but I've definitely had conversations with other skaters about the ability of skateboarding to almost act as a form of meditation. To take you out of the maelstrom of all the worries, stresses and anxieties you might be dealing with. Years ago when I was going through a weird patch I would go and skate the vert at Playstation and for the three hours I was there non-of that stuff would enter my mind and I was free of it while trying desperately not to land on my face. I know some don't like to talk about skating in these terms but I am all for it, the more we appreciate skateboarding for what it really means to people, as well as the purely fun aspect, the better.
Take a look.
Well done everyone at Kingpin and Carhartt for putting these together and giving me something to write about. Keep up the good work.
Now go and build something. Who knows, maybe I'll put my money where my mouth is too.