By Andres Pachon
A. Pachon, a journalist and skateboard addict, is a full-time writer for SHIT® Magazine.
Many cities around the world have skateparks; some of them stand out because how big they are or how cherished they are for the skateboarding community. Some cities may even lack (or not) enough skateparks to ease the demand for grinding, but they do sustain themselves by being built in such a way that the architecture of the city is a skatepark in itself. Yes, there are those two kinds of skateboarding cities; but there’s a third one. That third unity transcends both the number of skateparks and the city’s urban layout in a synthesis, one which is enable by the acts and spirits of the skateboarders who roam it. That third kind of city is Copenhagen, in Denmark. The surprise factor that the Danish capital adds to the already twisted and unique skateboarding scene is one marvel to behold. Let’s have a look:
Annual CPH OPEN
Photo: Mikael Cho (Unsplash)
Denmark is the birthplace of LEGO company, a national treasure that rejoice on the pride of being the perfect combination between toys, building blocks and multiple themes and contexts. In short: the original template for any Do It Yourself (DIY). Overall this captures the whole essence of Copenhagen and its skateboarding community. Copenhagen, as a skateboarding city, is built annually block by block with both traditional and new styles by popular demand in the CPH OPEN. This festival is held all over the city to five to ten days and consists on a massive takeover of the entire city by local and foreign skateboarders.
Basically, it’s an independent movement that seeks to appropriate everything in the name of the skateboard. Is skateboarding culture at its peak. Teams, crews, managers and even the city council join in a coalition to make everything inside Copenhagen shredding material. The public can build ramps, half pipes and even whole parks in a very DIY way. Contests and tournaments, performances and happenings fire at will 24/7 during all the open festival’s life. Music, photographs, arts and even politics are focus solely on skateboarding. Indeed, it is a long week where contrasts and differences vanish, people from all over the world unite under the board and even the most divergent person or faction can reconcile with them peers.
Celebrated or Rejected?
Photo: Mikael Cho (Unsplash)
Sure, it seems oddballs run the show. That’s precisely the twisted hint and what makes it so special. Before, during or after CPH OPEN, the skateboarding scene is always on an active takeover of the public space and build their own skate spots in the pears, abandoned warehouses or wrecked buildings. This doesn’t come peacefully, for some politicians stand against it and even call these takeovers ‘illegal’. Skateboarding is not illegal or banned per se, but there will always be people that try to limit it.
However, the spirit of the skate law stands still and does not gives an inch to anyone who tries to stop its waves. As a Danish philosopher from Copenhagen would say: ‘A self is synthesis between the infinite and the finite; between the temporal and the eternal’, and he would also say that the self is a relation that relates itself to itself. Confused? Think of it the next time you grind through the streets of Copenhagen and perhaps you’ll understand how its uniqueness can only be conceived from here and not from other place.
Read also: Skateboarding in Oslo