Visitor: Colin Kennedy
In the late 90′s, the eyes of the skateboarding world were focused on California more than ever. At this time, the British company Deathbox moved across the pond, rebranded themselves as Flip Skateboards and took the skateboarding world by storm. Europeans rippling the California pond? Unheard of.
Even more unheard of was European companies making a global name for themselves while remaining in Europe. The gap left by Deathbox’ departure was soon filled by Panic- and Blueprint skateboards. With well produced videos set in the rugged historic milieus of Britain, Blueprint showcased UK talent in a new aesthetic. For many skaters around the world, the coarse and drab UK spots bore more resemblance to their own surroundings than LA ever could.
Colin Kennedy was one of the distinctive skaters of this era and has remained a fundamental part of Blueprint Skateboards to this day. He and his teammates were skating on a level on par with the US and with characteristic personalities and styles. They helped prove the point to their generation of British and European skaters that it was possible to live in a place like Glasgow and have a credible place in international skateboarding.
Colin’s career as a professional skateboarder has spanned nearly two decades and he has maintained his base in Scotland throughout.
On his many travels with Blueprint and Nike SB, we have been fortunate enough to have Colin visit Malmö from time to time. We caught up with him a while back to see how he was and what he had to say about his time here.
Skate Malmö present: Colin Kennedy
Where are you based these days?
I am based in Edinburgh in Scotland.
What have you been up to over the last few weeks?
I have been around at home working and taking care of my family for the last 3 weeks after a busy summer, I have two girls, one aged six and the other aged two, they keep me very busy. I was in London for a meeting on Monday for the day regarding shoe designs with some of the designers from the US and some of the UK team, after that I rushed to catch a quick Blueprint dinner meet up to celebrate the release of Tom Knox’s online video part, which in case you haven’t seen you should, it’s stunning. On the following Friday I headed back down to London for the weekend, we had an overnight skate session with the UK nike team through the streets of London; It was a follow up to the ‘one night in Paris’ clip we filmed 2 years ago. It was as always heavy going but in reflection a lot of fun, I think I stayed awake for 36 hours straight and I passed out on the plane home on sunday night, perhaps overdid it a little.
What brought you to Malmö the first time?
Basically Danijel Stankovic. We have been good friends for years through our personal skate connections and also through Nike. We came for a skate trip with the late Document magazine, it was myself, Tom Harrison, Michael Wright, Jerome Campbell and of course Danijel. Danijel had always been insisitng I come and visit and finally we made it happen and from then on it has been something of an annual tradition, although I must say, this year I have failed so far to return.
What brings you back here?
Accessability, the skate scene, the transport, the northern european weather, the clean air, the close proximity to Copenhagen, the rugged skate spots, the bike culture, planksteak, meatballs, folk ‘n rock coffee, hospitality, Sibbarp skatepark, TBS, Danijel Stankovic and Maria, the Oresund Bridge, Wallander visual references, the post watershed 3% lager(not really). There are infinite amount of reasons to visit this post industrial town, and more for me to experience on my next visit I am sure.
As a skateboarder, what do you like about Malmö streetskating?
More than anything the fact that you can actually street skate and you are not bound by excessive security, traffic and overpopulation like other larger cities. As I said, accessabiltity is key, you can literally roll or ride from spot to spot with not much getting in your way, no time wasting. I feel it is akin to my birth town of Glasgow, Scotland, itself also a post industrial ship building port town and with similar architecture and imperfect skate spots with character.
What do you think is the strength of the Malmö skate scene?
A forward thinking city council that embraces skateboarding, the skate school, Pontus Alv and his DIY ethic, Danijel, Streetlab and all the locals who are proud of thier scene, thier spots, thier local industry, thier parks and thier fellow skateboarders. It is not what you have, it’s what you do with it that really matters.
Do you think you’ll be back here in 2012?
Give me shit if I don’t.