Today Malmö is well known as a ‘skating mecca’, it wasn’t always that way. In the early days, skaters faced less than positive attitudes, a climate that wasn’t always ideal and architecture that wasn’t very skate-friendly. DIY skating was rife but by the 90s skaters started to push back against the constraints – creating a skate organisation in an old garage and laying the groundwork for cooperation with the city.
The city saw cooperation with the skating scene as a way to reach young people who weren’t interested in team sports. It got them active, helped them create social networks and supported the individualist, allowing them to express themselves – something which Malmö has a growing reputation for.
The skating organisation and cooperation with the city grew quickly and by 1998 skaters were given the building Bryggeriet; which at one point was Europe’s biggest indoor skatepark and quickly began attracting big competitions. While Bryggeriet was still the centre of the scene, skaters began pushing for a new outdoor skate park. The strong relationship between the city and skaters was key in moving plans forward.
Stapelbäddsparken opened in 2005. Bryggeriet wanted it to be top quality and in the city centre. The City of Malmö saw the value in creating a skate destination and the result was Stapelbäddparken, which is located in an old shipyard. It’s public, it’s free and it has several areas: a bowl landscape, a ‘street’ area and a series of granite benches designed for both separating the footpath and adding to the street area.
The city and the skate organisation today have a strong and well-established relationship, with a skate ambassador in City Hall and an increasing number of events and facilities. The mutual support has helped attract more and more people to the scene, as well as cement its reputation as a go-to place for skaters. If you’d rather something more intimate and with a distinct taste of street head to Sibbarps Skatepark, about 5km from Kroksbäck. More recently the Vans World Championships was held in the city, and as a result of snaring the honour Kroksbäck Skatepark (also known as Vans Skatepark) was built. Normally when a big championship event rolls into a city a temporary park is built, only to be torn down once everyone heads on to the next stop. Malmö, in keeping with its progressive attitude and reputation, switched things up and built a permanent skatepark instead, in partnership with Vans, Dreamland Skateparks and Bryggeriet, featuring a huge open bowl.
Where to Skate
The aforementioned Brygggeriet, Stapelbädds and Vans skateparks are the best places if you’re new in town – you’ll make friends, and quickly be brought into the fold. While you can street skate, and there are plenty of non-sanctioned places to skate, it’s good to respect the people around you and remember that Malmö’s skaters and the city have worked long and hard to develop a good relationship based on mutual respect. Bear that in mind when going rogue – but don’t let it stop you from exploring this city, which is filled with challenging nooks and crannies.
Find more places to skate and other information on skateboarding in Malmö here.