After hearing and reading a lot of rumours about yet another large concrete skatepark project which is being planned in Sweden, I got in contact with one of the main figures – Ants Neo – to get some answers from the source. Ants has been involved in skateboarding for quite a long time, over 30 years to be exact and he is one of the main guys behind the Stockholm Suburban Surfers
. And if this hasn’t caught your interest, Stefan Hauser, the man behind Placed To Ride and the StapelbÃ¤ddsparken in MalmÃ¶, Sweden (where the Quiksilver Bowlriders finals 2007 and 2008 took place, massive park!), is heavily involved in this project as well.
Make sure you check out the Subsurfer forums for more 3D construction plans which will make you drool and read on about what Ants has to say about this good looking project!
What is the idea behind the Highvalley skatepark project?
The vision we first had was to “ADHD-build” a small park at the top of the hill at HÃ¶gdalstoppen, but we were all so busy or lazy and nothing happened. Instead it evolved to something much bigger on the paper. The city liked it and we got all politician sides to promise us funds for it. We want to create a skatepark containing all styles and levels of skateboarding, from old school to new school, from beginners to pros. In addition to the concrete park there will also be downhill skateboard slopes for speeds up to 80-90km/h. The complete skatepark!
Which people and/or organisations are supporting the project?
The people behind it are the founders of Stockholm Suburban Surfers, a boardsport club since 1984. The names are mainly Johan SandstrÃ¶m, Hans Koraeus, BÃ©atrice Hallman, Fredrik Attebrant and me. For skateboarders that don’t know us, some of us has been skateboarding for over 30 years. Naturally we are more old school oriented in our skating, like transitions, slalom, flat land freestyle and longboard. Our first intention was of course to build something only for ourselves, but as the project grew, we included street skating to be the biggest part in the park.
Where will the park be built and when? Any dates as of today?
The park will be buillt in the suburb southwest of Stockholm in a place called HÃ¶gdalen. Translated it’s “Highvalley”. It’s a old leisure area for wintersports and dog walking. We have at the moment no date when the park will be built. Now after the finished design, we will calculate the price tag and then ask the city politicians for the fundings they have promised us. We will also start working to get sponsors.
Several propositions in the form of 3D drawings have been popping up on the net (Subsurfer forums). Who is actually involved in the design and development phase of the park? It looks like Stefan Hauser (Mr. MalmÃ¶ as I like to call him) is heavily involved here as well…could you give us some insight into this?
Yes, Stefan is the man behind the design. We have arranged meetings to discuss the project and design and we have a forum where members have been able to upload or discuss what they think. Now when the design is ready there will only be smaller adjustments made.
A project with these dimensions needs some serious funding? Where will this be coming from and how helpful is the government in Sweden in general?
I know all this seams like a crazy dream, but we have got the support of all sides of the city politicians to fund this project. As we see it, a lot of sports in Sweden get support for building their facilities, now it’s time for skateboarding.
How did you get involved in the creation of this park and what is your background in skateboarding?
I found the place when I was walking with my old dog. First I noticed the 900m longboard run, then two fiberglass fullpipes in two sizes. I invited friends for a session. Six years later in 2004 the session turned into an event going by the name â€žHighvalley Classicâ€œ with over 2000 spectators and 50 sponsors. After that I started up the sleeping club again to create the park. My background is over 30 years of skateboarding. I like vert skating best. Big transitions.