By Kai Teo
Photos: Malmö Skateboards
Address: Bergsgatan 14, Malmö, Sweden
As a kid, I’ve never hung out with the skaters. Because they’re too cool.
Their languid manner, their badass attitude, their freedom on the boards, always kinda “outcool” you no matter what you do. Yes, even if you play in a band, the skater would still be a little more badass than you are.
So here’s the problem. I don’t like to feel less cool than anyone. So as someone who doesn’t skate, being seen with a bunch of skaters would be social suicide. You’d be the one taking care of their boards while they get laid behind the half pipe.
But that changed completely the first time I stepped into Malmö Skateboards.
Graffiti artists, painters, writers, photographers, musicians, bums, pensioners, alcoholics, party animals, and a few skaters. It was a circus of freaks unwilling to eat the pie that mainstream society has served, a gathering of creative souls unfazed by capitalistic ideals, and the hub of cool.
Half the people that are here have never stepped onto a skateboard before. (fuck yea, I’m not the only loser). And half the people that visit don’t even buy shit. They just sit around and chill.
But you see, the reason why all of us naturally feel welcomed here, and refuse to leave, is this: We’re all bonded by the common philosophy of freedom.
The belief that your freedom ends where another person’s freedom begins.
And that alone, opens the floodgates to just about anything. Yep, anything goes in this shop. Just as long as you don’t interfere with another person’s freedom. Like even if you’re a big fan of having sex with watermelons, you’re alright here, as long as it’s not my watermelon.
Anyone can paint on its walls, anyone can pick up the guitars and rock it out, and anyone can sleep over in the basement once in a while. As long as you obey rule number 1. And rule number 2? Don’t get arrested.
I guess that’s how I see the essence of skate. Yea, what the fuck. I’m in no position to say this, because my only experience with skateboarding is Playstation’s Tony Hawk Pro Skater.
Yea you really should try the game out man. Right from its debut on the PS One, the game-play has been phenomenal. Super interactive environment and near-infinite configurations for every character. And all those tricks that no one does in real life. That was the closest I’ve come to being cool.
But I digress. Back to the shop.
I’ve kinda made Malmö Skateboards my living room. And no, I haven’t bought shit here either. I know they carry Tunnel boards and Jimmy’z clothing, and on top of that custom boards designed by local artists. But that’s about all I know. Oh yea, trucks and wheels and other stuff skaters buy.
But here’s what’s important to me: the couch is comfortable, the coffee is good (and free), and the vibe, fucking amazing.
I’m not here to advertise for the shop. These fuckers aren’t paying me. I’m just here to share an experience. It’s kinda like a hangout for poor people with a rich pool of good energy. Nope, no hardcore politics talk over here. We don’t even believe in the system. We believe in humanity.
So pop by sometime, come hang out, learn to skate, or just do jackshit. Or see what happens in here everyday on their facebook page.
How do they make money? That, I have no idea.