Pontus Alv

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A person is better understood by his actions rather than his words. Pontus Alv is definitely a man of action. He has done some of the most impressive, craziest, smartest and dumbest things I know. But a person can also be understood by his background and I think his home town, the city of Malmö has shaped his personality more than any other aspect in his not so long but very eventful life. This is where his friends, his (so called) skatespots are. But most of all this is where his heart is. It seems that his first love, Malmö, is the only constant as family, sponsors, trends and phases has come and gone. Pontus is still skating the same spots with the same gang that he started riding with when he first picked up his first board at the age of seven. It is not possible, nor fair, to write about Pontus without writing about the Malmö skate scene. They are so closely affiliated that it is sometimes hard to keep them separated. In a true guerrilla manner Pontus has shaped his own environment in which he lives, breathes and skates.

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Skating with Pontus sucks. He is always keen on going on a skate mission and will pick you up with his turquoise Volkswagen Golf and the only free spot is riding bitch. His small car is filled with essential equipment such as pieces of plywood for run up and landing, photographer Nils Svensson, sidekicks and constant rippers Daniel Håkansson, Johan Linö-Waad and an I-pod filled with hip hop from the epic, but oh so crappy mid nineties. The ride is a pleasant one compared to the destination. You get to ride for a good half hour only to turn up to a spot with no landing or run up. Yet somehow Pontus always manages to produce and deliver. No rock is left unturned and with his pieces of plywood and some rubbish to support them he builds his own spots. He hates the rules set by his surroundings and pays no attention to what you are and are not supposed to do, say or act like to be considered normal. His creativity is triggered by the impossible and, for better and for worse, knows no boundaries. Has never been the one to follow the stream. Only dead fish follow the stream and Pontus is into salmon.

In a sense he is the Don Quixote of skateboarding, a lonely warrior with his own perception of reality. Nils Svensson, his squire is much like Sancho Panza. Nils is friendly, always supportive and has been kind enough not to tell Pontus that the stuff he skates is not spots but windmills. To Pontus it is all the same. Whatever comes in front of him sparks his creativity and makes him happy. Most of all it provides him with enough footage and pictures to be able to please his sponsors and allows him to stay in his bubble and not leave his hometown for longer periods of time. Still he is one of the most productive pros out there. All the footage and pictures you have seen of him the last couple of years is all Malmö made. He has learnt by now that going on tours and moving to where his sponsors are is not his thing. A long time ago he earned the nickname “Taxi” as he has left most tours early by catching the first cab to the airport as soon as he saw his mission accomplished. We, his friends, have said good bye to him many a time as he has “moved” to San Francisco, San Diego and Lyon only to call back just hours later after catching the returning flight home and asking if we wanted to go for coffee and a skate. This somewhat odd behaviour has set him back thousands of euros. Home sickness to Pontus is like diarrhoea, when you have got to go, you have got to go.

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While Don Quixote suffered from the cruel spell which does not permit him to see the truth it is the straight opposite with Pontus. He is a true realist and is not misled by free flight tickets around the world, expensive hotels or free drinks. He sees things for what they are, knows what he wants and that he already has got it. All he wants is right outside his doorstep. He puts local skate missions before tours and friends before team mates. Life has taught him a lesson at an early age. Prior to his dad’s tragic passing when Pontus was 10 years old he was told by his old man to hang on to his skateboard and he sure has. The words of his father Torsten has been his constant motivation. The result is obvious, persuading a pro career at seventeen and still going at it at 28. On his way he has filmed plenty of video parts, built a handful of DIY concrete skateparks, made a full length videoproduction and has another one in the making. We all have our reasons to skate. Pontus is one of those people that does not skate just for fun but does it because he has to. To him skating has always been a way to evolve and express himself. He is convinced that skateboarding is not what it makes you but what you make of it.
You might think he is nuts. Perhaps he is but more likely he is, like Don Quixote at the end, sane and broken.
Either way there is no stopping the Ingenious Hidalgo Pontus Quixote of La Malmö.

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Jani Peltonen