VANS – CRACOW DIY ADVENTURE – Article

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POLSKI_1

It is usually when all the plans fall apart and things start to go wrong when the Real adventure begins. It is not any different this time. There is something magical about having your usual possibillities taken away – it’s when the creative moment comes and you have to get out of the warm and cozy comfort zone. This is when the real fun starts.

 

Emil Wolan / fs feeble
Emil Wolan / fs feeble
Filip Dziewięcki / fs hurricane
Filip Dziewięcki / fs hurricane

Being forced to stay at home and remain in our local area during the early 2020 made us rediscover Kraków all over again. This time we checked every inch of the place more thoroughly than ever before. Not only have we visited the old spots or found some new ones – during these days we also decided to pay a visit to our old friends in the suburbs – The Kostrze and The Myślenice spot. No matter how many of us believed in the pandemics, the flat earth or any other strange thing going on – these places seemed perfect to spend some time out of the overcrowded city spaces and avoid all the Covid madness. Out of pure boredom we started to think of how to influence and create a better reality around us just to find ourselves coming up with new spot improvement scenarios the other minute.

A couple days later Andrzej Kwiatek (One of the Skate Or Die owners and a Vans longtime teamrider) shared his plan to build some new obstalces at the Kostrze DIY – the spot he initiated a couple years back. So here is where the whole idea started to grow. “If we can’t go anywhere far, let’s give a new life to our nearby spots and let’s just do something local.”

Filip Dziewięcki / fs hurricane
Filip Dziewięcki / fs hurricane
Bartek Piguła / bs air
Bartek Piguła / bs air

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You have to know that this particular year was supposed to be a special one for us doing projects with the European Vans. We already had a couple trips planned and things were about to get better than ever before. The time came for us to make the Polish “Off the wall” crew shine bright. I couldn’t imagine a more unfortunate moment for any sort of pandemics and lockdowns to happen for us. As they say though – worry about stuff you can impact, not about stuff you can’t. Couple phone calls to our partner in crime – Marcin Niemierko (VansPL) – and here we were re-adjusting our travel plans and the Vans PL trip budget so to fund building of concrete obstacles instead of skating spots abroad, so to buy powertools and concrete, instead of plane tickets. I have to give a massive shoutout to Marcin for being the raddest dude out there and helping us big time with the whole project from the very beginning! I’m sure without your brilliant support it could possibly not happen at all! Thank you for helping us to organize the funds and most of all for believing in the power of DIY!

Andrzej Kwiatek / fsa
Andrzej Kwiatek / fsa
Mateusz Kowalski / bs tailslide, Mateusz Okuła / tailblock
Mateusz Kowalski / bs tailslide, Mateusz Okuła / tailblock

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Przemysław Hipler / Lien indy to tail
Przemysław Hipler / Lien indy
Bartek Piguła / salflip
Bartek Piguła / sal flip
Przemysław Hipler / Gap to lipslide
Przemysław Hipler / Gap to lipslide

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As we had all the formal part done we were able to start bulding. During May and June of 2020 – when most of you were at home, most probably preparing for the end of the world – me and the Skate Or Die skateshop crew were running around the bushes somewhere out in the suburbs of Kraków, carrying tons of concrete, hundreds of liters of water, trying to create all the magic that could launch you up into the skies on your scooter! Good times most definitely!

For those of you who have been involved with building spots before – I don’t have to explain that the biggest power of every DIY project are the people. The skateboarding fanatics behind the building process. The people who put their free time into creation of something more valuable than any treasure in the world. People understanding the power of teamwork and the beauty of achieving stuff together with your friends. This project was just another opportunity for the Skate Or Die skateshop crew to show they are the realest and the most devoted to skateboarding culture! Greatest thanks to Kamil Caputa, Cep Karpicho, Andrzej Kwiatek, Pierre Dziedzic, Jędrek Maczugowski, Justin Davies, Pablo Palider, Janek Piasecki, Wera, Szatiman and Miśka the dog for putting tons of work, free time and best of their attitude into creating something that was meant to stay and serve the local skateboarding community in Kraków. Something that is supposed to be the escape out of the overcrowded city spaces, for those of us who strive to skate no matter the circumstances and value the freedom of skateboarding the most.

Mateusz Kowalski / bs boneless
Mateusz Kowalski / bs boneless

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Mateusz Okuła / fsa
Mateusz Okuła / fsa

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Bartek Piguła / bs tailslide
Bartek Piguła / bs tailslide

Both the spots we built are situated in nice and green areas so they’re fun to spend time or even camp at. Especially the Myślenice spot is a good location to set up a tent, fish a little and have a barbecue with your friends. Unfortunately both the Kostrze Spot and the SOD skateshop disappeared unexpectedly from the map of Kraków recently – remember them – but don’t be sad for too long. Every time something ends, something new begins. Keep your fingers crossed for the crew and all of the upcoming projects. In the meantime have a moment to think, stay inspired, build a spot in your area. If you’re ever around Cracow and want to visit Myślenice spot or light up a candle for the Kostrze – don’t hesitate to ask locals for the location info. Please make sure to take care of the place. Pick up your trash and be respectful to the local communities. Take a couple minutes to see our edit we made to inspire you to skate a lot and act on your local territory.

Tekst i zdjęcia z budowy: Mateusz Kowalski
Zdjęcia deskorolkowe: Kuba Bączkowski

 

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