Pushing Boarders: The Social and Cultural Benefits of Skateboarding



This August 14-18th, a unique lineup of professional skateboarders, community leaders and renowned scholars from around the world will converge in Malmö, Sweden, for the second annual Pushing Boarders event. 63 panelists from 19 countries will join forces to examine the unconventional role of skateboarding in fields as diverse as education, urban planning policy, humanitarian aid, and gender identity.

Pushing Boarders 2018 Recap

PUSHING BOARDERS MALMÖ is a collaboration between Pushing Boarders, Skate Malmö Street, the SKATE 2019! Photo Exhibition, and the Smörgåsboard Skate Film Festival. The event, which celebrates the social and cultural impact of skateboarding, will take place at venues across Malmö, with panel discussions held at Bryggeriet skatepark and Moriskan Pavillion, plus pop-up skate events, photography, and film screenings at different venues across the city.

Skate Malmö Street 2016 Recap

Highlights of the event include ‘Skate & Educate,’ a discussion hosted at Bryggeriet to explore the potential of skateboarding as an immersive and transferable learning tool. ‘Sacred Spots’ opens a discussion about the cultural significance of two iconic skateboarding heritage sites: Philadelphia’s Love Park and London’s Southbank. 


Pushing Boarders will also host professional skateboarder John Rattray and ‘Skate for life!’ founder Madeleine Uggla, who will introduce and thread a theme of mental health awareness in skateboarding throughout the event.

In the ‘Globally Stoked’ panel, we hear from local skaters from Peru, Palestine, India and South Africa about their experiences working with International NGOs, and find out how skate scenes can be developed in a sustainable way with the communities’ needs at heart.


Some of the biggest names in skateboarding and academia will travel to Malmö to join the panel discussions during the week, including: Lacey Baker, USA Skateboarding Olympic hopeful; Dr. Jessica Forsyth, co-founder and executive director of the Harold Hunter Foundation; John Dahlquist, founding member and vice principal of Bryggeriet High School; Atita Verghese, founder of Girl Skate India; Kristin Ebeling, executive director of Skate Like a Girl; and Rick McCrank, professional skater and TV presenter.

Tickets are free, but places are limited. Register for yours at www.pushingboarders.com

Schedule | Venue: 

Wednesday 14th August | 17:00 – 20:00 | Welcome event | Folkets Park

Thursday 15th August | 10:00 – 16:30 | Q&A discussions | Bryggeriet High School

Friday 16th August | 10:00 – 14:00 | Q&A discussions | Moriskan, Folkets Park

Saturday 17th August | 10:00 – 16:00 | Q&A discussions | Moriskan, Folkets Park

Sunday 18th August | 10:00 – 14:00 | Q&A discussions | Bryggeriet High School 


Lucy Adams, Professional Skateboarder and Chair of Skateboard England: “Pushing Boarders is a fantastic opportunity to show the social and cultural impact of skateboarding around the world and raise the profile of skateboarding in Europe as we see international experts in their fields come to Malmö.”

Gustav Eden, Skateboarding Coordinator for the City of Malmö: “Pushing Boarders really is unique in how the conference gathers a cross-section of the skateboarding world. Everyone is welcome, everyone has a voice. From leading academics and industry representatives to grass-roots organisations and minority spokespeople. There is no better platform to evolve the skateboarding culture and we are stoked that Malmö will have the opportunity to host, and to be a part of the conversation.”

Ryan Lay, Professional Skateboarder: “Pushing Boarders is the only event of its kind, finally giving skaters the much-needed space to add a little bit of depth to this strange activity we’ve spent a lifetime with. Much more than just a place for academics, journalists and historians to unpack the latest work in our world, the real feat of the conference is in providing a platform to people who have been able to harness the truly transformative power of skating throughout the world.”


Aram Sabbah, Local Manager, SkatePal (Palestine): “I’ve seen first hand the life-changing benefits of skateboarding and I’m super excited to tell my story and share experiences with other people working with skate NGOs around the world.” 

Dr. Indigo Willing, Griffith University, Girls Skate Brisbane: “Pushing Boarders makes visible many of the immense but rarely talked about social benefits of skateboarding globally, and not just for skateboarders. As both a researcher and community volunteer, it is a great platform to shed light on what is working and where we need more support, critical reflection and connections.”


Stuart Maclure, Long Live Southbank: “Pushing Boarders is an experiment. It is a chance to bring together the most and least heard voices in skateboarding, to talk collectively about issues within and outside of skateboarding—how they impact our lives, our identities and our practice. Malmö is the most progressive city in the world in terms of including skateboarding in the daily life of the city and so is a natural partner and host for these conversations.” 

Pushing_Boarders_2018 – Credit_Emil_Agerskov

About Pushing Boarders 

Pushing Boarders is a collaboration between London-based non-profit groups SkatePal, Re-verb Skateboarding, and Long Live Southbank, together with Athens-based diversity skateboarding magazine SKATEISM. The event is a celebration and critical discussion of the social and cultural impact of skateboarding. www.pushingboarders.com 


About Skate Malmö 

Skate Malmö is a collaboration between the City of Malmö and the Malmö skate scene represented by Bryggeriet. Originating in an events production partnership, it has grown to involve a broad range of projects developing Malmö as a city for skateboarding. www.skatemalmo.se 

About Bryggeriets Gymnasium 

Bryggeriets Gymnasium in Malmö, Sweden is the first skateboard-focused high school in the world. Founded as a non-profit NGO in 2006, the school aims to include skateboarding, art, photography, and film in an education leading to a high school diploma. Bryggeriets Gymnasium believes in a strong relationship between students and teachers as the best means for learning and works with formative assessment as a prioritised method. www.bryggeriet.org

SAMSUNG CSC – SKATE_2019 – Credit_Sarah_Meurle

About SKATE! 2019 

The SKATE! 2019 exhibition is part of the project Skateboardkulturen, created by the Kristianstad Museum in collaboration with Bryggeriets Gymnasium, Blekinge Institute of Technology and local skate associations from all over the country. The project is financed by the Swedish Inheritance Fund. Skateboardkulturen’s aim is to highlight a growing subculture from various perspectives. The project is a touring exhibition focusing on minorities and youth within skateboarding culture. www.skate2019.se

About Smörgåsboard Skate Film Festival

Smörgåsboard Skate Film Festival is an event where people and organisations in the skateboard community come together to share their stories with each other. The festival concept invites members of the public to nominate a person or organisation to curate a 45 minute slot at the festival to tell unexpected and personal stories from across the world of skateboarding. www.smorgasboard.se

Pushing_Boarders_2018 – Credit_Emil_Agerskov

Support for Pushing Boarders Malmö 

This event has received funding and support from Kristianstad Museum, Arvsfonden, The City of Malmö, Skate Malmö, The Bartlett School of Architecture and The Skateroom. The Pushing Boarders Travel Scholarship 2019 is supported by Vans. 

SKATE_2019 – Credit_Emil_Olsson

Credit: Pushing Boarders Malmö Press Release

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