Pontus Alv

Pontus Alv Biography

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Where are you originally from?
I was born and raised in Malmo, Sweden. My father was Swedish and my mother was Polish, so I spent a lot of time in Poland when I was young.

How and when did you start skating?
Well, in the late '80s, skateboarding got big in Sweden, so I jumped on the trend. I started in '87 or '88.

What kind of board did you start on?

My first pro board was an Alva Bill Danforth. I bought it from one of the older guys in my neighborhood.

Did you start out skating in the streets or at a skatepark?
I started to skate the streets around my house, then moved on to ramps and flyouts, etc. I built some small ramps outside my house, too. Good shit.

Who were you skating with at first?
I started to skate with people from my school class, we had a little crew.

Were there any early influences on your skating? Who did you look up to?
Really early was Hook and the Daggers crew in the Thrashin' movie, then just the older guys around town.

Do you enjoy skating in contests and demos?
No, I don't like skating in front of people or being watched. I am not into contest stuff anymore. I used to do all of that, but I haven't done it in a long time. Now, I just wanna ride with close friends at closed spots.

How could contests be improved?
My friend John just came up with a new concept: the Zone System. You have different zones with a judge in each, which would make entrants really have to ride around the whole course and do tricks all over the place. The best thing would to make rules, like it is forbidden to walk around in your run. It should be more of a show with some strict rules.

What do you like about being able to make some money from skating? What's not so cool?
It's great to do something that you love and to be able to live from it, but when your love turns into a job with responsibility and requests, then it takes away a lot of the freedom and the pure feeling of riding a skateboard. The best thing is to make your money somewhere else and just skate for the fun of it and not worry about it.

What do you think of skate videos these days?
Ninety-eight percent of them suck, one percent are okay and the last percent is great.

Do you enjoy filming video parts yourself?
I enjoy filming a part as long as it is for my own video where I have creative control and free hands to do whatever I want. If I can't express myself 100 percent, then it's not fun anymore.

Do you skate vert ramps or bowls much?
Yeah, I try to skate everything--bowls, ramps. Vert, not really--maybe later on in life.

What do you think of the skateparks in Europe?
I like the old shitty ones or the homemade ones. Concrete!

Should skateparks copy real street spots like MACBA or have more trannies?
Why copy something that you can find in the streets? I think skateparks should be super-experimental and full of endless of possibilities--especially when you build them in concrete. So far, I haven't seen anything that is next-level. A lot of the parks are really simple and basic.

What do you like about Emerica?
That they understand me as a person--who I am--and they are not trying to change me or control me. They support me and my way of life--that is the best thing about it. I am sponsored, but I am free, which really makes me wanna do my job and represent. If you put pressure on the riders, things just get worse and it makes you feel bad as a person and as a skateboarder.

Which Emerica shoe do you like? Why?
I like the simple models with thin soles, because I like a lot of board feeling.

Who do you skate with now?
My friends around Malmo, the same people that I've skated with for the last 15 years.

Who are your favorite skaters of all time?
Mark Gonzales. Who else could it be?

What have been the highlights of your skateboarding career?
Mad Circle days, San Francisco days, Cliché days, quitting Cliché to do my own thing, the making of Savanna Side, Steppe Side, the Barriers, Cross Bowl, releasing the Strongest of the Strange, Mongolia trip, meeting a lot of interesting people, etc.--too many good memories!

Skateboarding professionally also means a lot of traveling! What does that mean to you?
Skateboarding and traveling go hand-in-hand. It's a good way to meet and see new people and places. And skating new spots is the best--hit them once and never come back. But sometimes, traveling with skateboarding can be hard when you have too much pressure to produce an article or a video part or whatever else they want to make you do. But, if the vibe is relaxed and you travel with cool people, then it is the best thing ever.

What do you enjoy besides skating?
Photography, filmmaking, concrete building, drawing, etc. I'm into all kinds of creative things.

What are your future goals?
To make a living from something else besides skateboarding, and to build something up for the future, because we all know that we can't be professional skateboarders for life. It's sad, but true.

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