My friend Lee Berman described it perfectly, Copenhagen Open is the SXSW of skateboarding. It’s drinking on the street for 5 days straight and attending multiple contests, parties, jams, block parties and clubs until you literally cannot stand anymore. And because it’s in Copenhagen, a city that promotes the act of skateboarding and actually funds part of the event, it’s far better than any skatepark contest in old fuddy-duddy America. So when one of the contest organizers hit us up about a year ago to come check it out, I knew I had to go document, skate, and punish my body for a week straight.
Hopefully our little 3 minute jenky iPhone edit above (also an homage to my favorite tour section ever) captures some of the magic we got to experience throughout the week.
This was the primary meet up sport every morning – Israels Plads. If you visit, this is where you want to go. This little tranny dream is endless hours of fun and nearby there’s plenty of perfect ledges that almost look too good. It’s funny – filming skating on some of these ledges almost feels vanilla because, by American standards, it looks like a skate plaza.
We had the chance to film a lot with Fred this trip. Skating, drinking, more skating, and even more trash talking. We are trying to edit the footage together right now, and there’s a lot of good stuff, but since our cameramen were mostly partying while filming, some of the footage gets pretty jenky… We will keep you updated on this front, but Fred did film a bunch of tricks that will either come out on here, or somewhere else.
I’m not legit photographer by any means, and this photo should be a testament to that, but I had to include this one. THOM! Yup – out of all the people I saw over the days, Tom Penny was definitely the most striking. I had to document this one with my camera and max out the zoom to catch this rare human being. The best part is, he looks exactly as you would imagine him to. The hat… the brown jacket… the brown Timbs… it’s like you cut him out of a eS Ad from the early 00s and pasted him in the middle of the contest.
This chick doesn’t seem to be too hyped on my admittedly stalker-ish type photo, but I took it because these chicks seem to dress like a lot of other skater girls we saw on the trip – a lot of black leather jackets, overalls, and Converse. Maybe it’s because Polar HQ in Malmo is only like a 45 minute train ride away. It’s like going from NY to NJ, except you are in a completely different country.
As I mentioned, we had the honor of hanging and touring around the city with Fred Gall for a couple of days. And in my eyes, Fred isn’t just a legendary skater, he’s a medical marvel. Throughout hanging with him for 2 or 3 days, I saw him ingest dozens of beers, Jagermeister, wine, whiskey, multiple batches of magic mushrooms, shroom-infused vodka, and really anything that a fan or friend handed him. The incredible thing is not his tolerance for all this, but the fact that he still got up earlier than all of us by several hours each day, and skated and got tricks throughout it all – something I still can’t quite comprehend.
In terms of the actual skateboard contest part of the event, CPH Open feels basically like a block party with a mix of Tampa Pro and the Dime contest. Some of it is traditional park contest skating, some of it is more fun stuff like the fastest trick contest and this water gap contest. On a side note, Nyjah was wearing a jersey with USA written on the front and little boxes for his sponsors on the rest of his shirt – straight Olympics testing it seems. No joke.
This is outside Wonderland Bowl in Christiana, basically like a little skate hippie commune in Copenhagen. It almost felt like an anarchistic town within a town, where you could do as you wanted without anyone bothering you – where you could buy hash, smoke weed, light bonfires, build obstacles and skate freely. Kind of like Neverland in the movie Hook. This is outside of a giant DIY bowl they have there, with a little wooden infrastructure that people continually scaled and jumped off of as it got later in the night. It’s also in the “Green Light District” where you can buy weed and hash in an area that can otherwise be tough to find weed in.
If you go to Copenhagen, you need a bike. Everyone rides here and nothing is too far with a bike. We biked pretty much every day into the night and, thanks to the beer, slowly became worse and more obnoxious riders, just helping to solidify Americans as the world’s worst tourists.
And here we are! Closing it out with a hotdog with ketchup, mustard, fried onions and pickles. Solid street food. After 7 days here, I am glad to be going home to my bed, where I can sweat out the last week and stew in my own filth while watching retro videogame reviews for the next 24 hours. Thank you Copenhagen! I can’t believe people don’t die at these things.