Pontus Alv: Like a homemade wave.
The ability to find solace in solitude is not always an easy task. For those that live and breath skateboarding, skating can be a means of conquering life’s worst woes. Much like a piece of well-composed music, the skateboard treats its audience, in this case, a passenger, in a subtly different manner upon each return visit. Ask any avid skater and you’ll discover that they’ve experienced this fleeting sense of control, even ability… One day, board and wheels seem perfectly tailored to the feet, responding without disagreement; the pursuit of the radical becomes second nature; muscle memory allows the mind to distance itself from the motions its body, somehow synchronized them, or at least bringing mind and body into temporary harmony. In this regard, skateboarding is less a sport and more a discipline, along the lines of performance dance or traditional Taekwondo.
Still, the process of circumventing worldly concerns and achieving a clear mind does not always unfold effortlessly. There are times when even a veteran artist cannot select the correct shade for a shadow, when a writer lacks the language to turn everyday death into tragedy. Skateboarding is not free from these downfalls. Regardless, a devoted skateboarder needs no more than a board and a dry piece of pavement to find self-composure. Well, sometimes…
Another reason skateboarding transcends the realm of “sport” is because it inspires creation. Apart from inventing new movements, a skater is constantly driven by the thirst for new terrain, new spots. This spirit burrows itself into a skater’s consciousness. The extent and outcome of this ‘burrowing’ is multifaceted. One manifestation of this need to create is the do-it-yourself, or DIY, culture. Sigh. And finally, the impetus for the spotlight of this post is laid… Pontus Alv is one of the godfathers of DIY.
Pontus, a native of Malmo, Sweden, didn’t grow up in an area rich in skate culture. No matter, Pontus began to make a name for himself in the late 90’s. Having cultivated an eye for spots and tricks in Europe, Pontus set out to contribute to street skating (see Mad Circle’s 5ive Flavors and Arcade’s Gumbo). After accomplishing a meager reputation, Pontus continued to champion the notion of skateboarding with a vision. The Strongest of the Strange, arguably the pinnacle of Pontus’ career, showcases a grown man not attempting to blow minds but merely meshing with his world.
In recent years, Pontus has continued to build skate-spots, even revisiting some of his no-defunkt creations. He released a signature colorway for Emerica shoes accompanied by some quality footage. Most notably, Pontus spearheaded a video project called In Search of the Miraculous. Released in 2010, this video is an example of committed skaters and filmmakers working together to accomplish true art.
Pontus, seriously, as you expounded upon skateboarding in your recent interview for Copenhagen Pro, you hit several nails on the head. Here at Like a Wave, we consider thoughtful remarks of this variety to be among the best hammers a skater can drop. As you explained the ephemeral nature of ‘real skateboarding,’ it became clear that you are it, a devoted and talented craftsmen.