The Wickedly Cool Skateboards Of Mumbai
Posted on April 12, 2011
Designers are constantly trying to come up a new and exciting look for skateboards, but it’s a difficult task that doesn’t always prove fruitful. The problem is a lack of inspiration. After doing the same thing a hundred or so times, it becomes hard to think outside the box.
And that’s exactly why German curator Tobias Megerle decided to enlist the help of twelve Mumbai-based woodcarvers to create the most radical, super cala fragalistic expialidoshus skateboards ever.
Megerle is a skateboard enthusiast who has been seeking a new and revolutionary skateboard design that could propel forth a whole new culture, complete with “music style, special clothes, [and] whole skater-parks.” After searching the world, he finally found his inspiration in the Mahim neighborhood of Mumbai, India.
“The first time I drove past, I was magically attracted to the carved wooden objects in Mahim—all the open workshops, the woodcarvers sitting on the floor with their traditional tools, working on their items, the whole atmosphere,” he told CNN reporters.
Inspired by what he saw, Megerle started visiting the woodcarver shops and learning more about their craft. It occurred to him then that they (the wood carvers) have the potential to accomplish much more.
“I visited the workshops several times to study their craft and always thought to myself [that it was] wonderful, but a bit dowdy, a bit frumpy,” he said. “All the nice ornamented chairs, divan beds, frames and what else I know not . . . some in the typical colonial style.”
Driven to bring forth change, Megerle decided to enlist twelve of the woodcarvers to combine their traditional art with “the good old skateboard,” a concept that was quite new to many of them. They recognized it as a “piece of sports equipment,” but they didn’t realize the art that goes into creating one.
After working weeks and months, the woodcarvers have finally managed to construct fully fictional skateboards that are elegant and imaginative, but also usable.
“The woodcarvers brought their traditional patterns, the whole set of traditions and processes with them to ‘the city of dreams,’ together with a whole way of life. This project lifts the woodcarvers from the state of craft and inserts their work into the artistic field and frame.”
For some pictures of skateboards and Mr. Megerle himself, check out the photos below: