top of page

Automobilen Skatepark - Falkenberg Sweden

Arial shot of the snake run 2022.
Jonathan Lomar 2022

Automobilen: The Forgotten Skateboarding Monument is streaming now on SVT Play This is currently restricted to users within Sweden, yet an international release will be communicated soon that will include full English subtitles.

Don't forget to support Automobilen and join the Facebook group

The story of a lost iconic skatepark Automobilen

Thanks for dropping by, this story is divided into 6 chapters and is a recount of an iconic lost 70's skatepark that has been forgotten from skateboarding history. During 2022 I released a podcast episode that entails much of what we have documented here. If you prefer following along in audio form then please stream here.

Table of contents:

Chapter 1 - The Discovery

This story begins on an average spring day and when spring comes around in Sweden you start to get pretty stoked, the weather gets warmer and you can start to think about skateboarding outside. For anybody that does not live in colder climates they dump these small rocks down on the ground during winter as an anti-slip mechanism, you can't skateboard on the streets or do anything, you've got to go to indoor parks during the winter months. So during spring they remove these things, the leaves start to come out, birds are chirping and it's a real period that you get this pep for life. I guess you feel like the winter's over and there's some hope now that the spring is here, gearing up for the summer months ahead. So it's one of those spring afternoons and i'm on Google Maps looking for some skate spots. Now, I don't really like the modern skating style i've never been very good at it but as a kid I surfed a lot so the surf skate style is something that I really prefer to do. It's always like striking gold when you find a good ditch or bank, even a drain, it's the perfect landscape to do carving, turns and all those sorts of things. So that was my ambition, scoping around on the West Coast of Sweden, looking for anything that stuck out.

After burning two and a half hours doing this I managed to spot what looked like a big pile of concrete. Now there's a town on the Southwest Coast of Sweden called Falkenberg and it's not a huge town it's more of a Summer spot and this is where the pile of concrete was located. It wasn't directly in the city of Falkenberg it's a bit outside in a place called Olofsbo. There was a Google pin on the location but no information was present, it just said that it was a historical landmark, so this got my curiosity going. It was also a little strange because it was on a country property, there were a few houses around it and it looked to me like a junkyard.

Google Map arial of the Automobilen Snakerun
Google Map arial of the Automobilen Snakerun 2024

Before going down and checking it out, I contacted a guy who lives in that area and asked him, "do you know what this is?" I sent him through a screenshot from my phone and he got back to me quite fast confirming it was a skatepark. He said that it was a place where a lot of Swedish kids in the 70's and 80's learned how to skateboard, so for me that was really interesting because this must be a pretty iconic skatepark. So now it was confirmed I needed to go down and check it out and during the spring of 2021 that's exactly what I did.

So I'm driving down from Sweden's second largest city Gothenburg and I've got the coordinates locked in my phone. I'm getting closer and the first thing I see is a private driveway. The map's telling me I should drive in there, so I go in and when I arrive there's a couple of guys out the front doing some yard work. They looked at me really suspiciously and one guy comes over and he starts to talk. Now this guy was the owner, he had acquired the property only around a year ago and he was doing some preparations for apartment construction. He comes over and he's pretty friendly and I asked him "i've seen on the map that there is a skatepark here, can i check it out?" He said "yeah that's fine a few people come through here every now and then to check this place out", so I instantly was thinking wow this is something special. He said to me "it's going to be pretty difficult to skate because it's full of water" so i'm starting to get pretty disappointed but was really curious. It's very surreal, I'm gonna try the as best as I can to explain what it felt like when I saw this place for the first time.

I get out of the car and then start weaving past what almost look like farmers sheds, they are rusted and there's stuff everywhere, including abandoned cars, there's caravans, there's a lot of junk. Then out of the blue I see this u-pipe and it was just the frame. It's rusted, trees are growing over it, it was looking in really bad shape. From there my vision steered away and I see a really dilapidated old set of stairs that leads up to a rickety boardwalk. The stairs are rotted, there's beams missing out of the out of the steps and i'm just hoping that I don't fall through and all this shit lands on top of me. Once I managed to make my way up the steps onto the boardwalk I overlook this old 70's style snake run.

It's not huge, but it is quite deep, in a pretzel shape and is clearly not from this era. What's surrounding it is just bush, entangled in weeds and trees. I'm thinking "why is this thing here, it's so out of place". The construction is so iconic, you've have these transitions that are really steep and sketchy and in the centre you have this dip, it almost looks like a big pothole or donut that you can roll into. It is amazing and my first experience of this place was like something from an Indiana Jones film. I remember saying to myself "fuck, how has this place just fallen off the map when these old skateparks are so rare, there's not much of them left in the world".

So after I'm taking it in I get really disappointed, because it is as the owner said the whole thing is unskateable. it's completely engulfed in water, there's branches, there's mud there's so much crap poking out of it. It looks like the Loch Ness Monster's gonna come up and fucking snatch you when you start right down into it, it's just an absolute mess. There's also huge cracks in the concrete and the terrain is super rough. So I'm standing there and I'm thinking "it's amazing but it also looks like shit" and my mind is racing "how has it been left to get to this point". So the owner comes back over, he's just kind of checking up on me I guess because I am on his land. We had a conversation about the park and he obviously understood some of it's value. He said to me that at some point he was going to restore it but you never know, if you're not a skater yourself it's a little hard to really take these sort of things in and see their true value. The skatepark is also on quite a big chunk of his land so if he is doing development I was feeling a little worried that it could be bulldozed like so many skateparks before it.

Landscape photo of the Automobilen Snakerun during 2021
Tim Findlay 2021

Another landscape photo of the Automobilen Snakerun during 2021
Tim Findlay 2021

So knowing I couldn't skate it I ended up pulling out my phone and took some photos and videos. I wanted some evidence of this place, as I had a feeling that it's days were numbered. I didn't know anything about when it was built, I only knew from the guy that I had contacted, that if kids were skating it in the 70's it has to be a pretty old skatepark and up there with some of these iconic ones from from that era.

After taking some documentation and having a chat with the owner I got in the car and I drove back home. I didn't really do anything else about this place for at least six months, but this skatepark was on my mind, it was stuck in my memory, every day I would think about it. I had the pictures and videos on my phone and it sounds corny but it felt like this place was in some way trying to reach out to me, I felt really connected to it. So as i'm letting it mull over in my head for months I got so curious that I needed to do some research and try to figure out as much about this place as I possibly could.

Chapter 2 - The Research

So my first actions taken in doing research were some basic searches, now the information that I had was it was called Automobilen and it was a snakerun, so obviously I searched for those two things. A couple of results popped up, the first one is a Swedish site, and the first thing that struck me from the information was the fact that it said Automobilen was the first commercial skate park to be built in Sweden. So right there and then I was like okay this is really important. The second thing is it mentioned that Tony Alva rode the snakerun during his first European Tour in 1978. So now I had this date of 1978 and I'm thinking, all right that's pretty old and that stacks up pretty well compared to some of the oldest skateparks still existing. There's a couple of other images on this site, there was some more modern shots taken from early 2000's of when the skatepark did look in much better shape than it does now and there was also some old pictures that were taken from newspaper clippings. Yet apart from that there wasn't a great deal of other information online.

Picture of Magnus Appelgren getting air riding the Automobilen Snakerun. Featured in GT Newspaper dated July 1978.
Top - Magnus Appelgren. Bottom - Thomas Forsman, getting air at Automobilen. GT Newspaper July 1978

Automobilen Snakerun, during 2002. Shots taken by Anders Almseger.
Anders Almseger, 2002 @platypusmag

Automobilen Snakerun, during 2002. Shots taken by Anders Almseger.
Anders Almseger, 2020 @platypusmag

I jumped onto Instagram and also Facebook and there is sporadically a couple of pictures that people have put up, yet not much information around it. I had the idea of getting onto Facebook and creating a group I also managed to find some old Swedish skateboarding groups, i joined those and basically just started posting the photos that I had found in an attempt to get some interest and find out more information. This actually had a good impact, one guy sent through some photos that his father had taken in 1979, some other photos that were sent through were from around 85 or 86. Then there were some images from the early 2000's up to 2010. I also discovered some videos, one of which is the Swedish Skateboarding Championships that were held in 1997 that took place at the Automobilen Snakerun.

Mattias Wiberg doing a backside stall in the Automobilen Snakerun, July 1979
Mattias Wiberg, 1979

Mattias Wiberg riding the u-pipe located on the grounds of the Automobilen skatepark. July 1979
Mattias Wiberg, 1979

Anders Löwander CIRCA 1985 / 1986 setting up for a turn riding in the Automobilen Snakerun.
Anders Löwander CIRCA 1985 / 1986

William Hörmarker in 2008 getting air over one of the transitions on the Automobilen Snakerun.
William Hörmarker, 2008, photo by Martin Hallberg

Apart from getting some great photos and links to some videos, I was sent through a link to an article talking about the boom of skateboarding in the 1970's in Sweden. This article was called the Concrete Wave written by Gunner Almavik. There's a brief paragraph in this article that mentions the Automobilen Snakerun and I managed to get some really good information from it. I got a date of when it was built and that was 1978, there was also some other photos on that article. One was of the the u-pipe that was taken in 2011 and it was obviously in terrible shape then as you can see the broken Plexiglas that still existed at that point. When I checked it out in 2021 there was just a frame left. Also featured in this article was the original plan of the snakerun that was submitted as a part of the building permit application.

Photo of the broken u-pipe that stood next to the Automobien Snakerun. Photo was taken during 2011.
Gunnar Almevik, 2011

Original plan of the Automobilen Snakerun 1978.
Automobilen Snakerun plan - 1978

After finishing the Concrete Wave article I wanted to check out where this skatepark stacked up against other parks throughout the world that still exists from this era. I naturally started searching around Europe and the first thing that popped up was The Rom skatepark in the UK. What struck me was the fact that The Rom was built in 1978 and there was an article from a English Newspaper stating that this park had gained a Grade II Listing, which means that it had been recognised as being a historical landmark and was actually protected. This was a real eye-opener for me because The Rom was built in the exact same year as Automobilen, The Rom's been protected, it's been restored and people are still skating it to this day, yet a stones throw away there's another 1970's skatepark in Sweden with this same type of significance that's just rotting and completely abandoned. The information that I pulled together from what I could find off these few sites and the media that I had pulled together from the Facebook group, I thought let's try and have a bit of a stab in the dark and contact a couple of skateboarding magazines that may take an interest in this. I got a really fast reply from Confusion Skateboarding Magazine and I got a response from the editor Jonathan Hay and he was pumped and thought it was a great idea to put together an online article about the skatepark. I was just grateful that somebody else thought it was a cool story. So knowing that Confusion was going to publish this in an article it was real go time for me to dive into the skateparks history.

Chapter 3 - The Article

The first place I started with my research was trying to find old newspaper articles about Automobilen. As I mentioned there's very limited information online so I thought that this could be the best way to try and put some of the pieces of the puzzle together and fill out the article as best i could. I managed to find an online newspaper database and this database was run by the Kings Library in Stockholm. Now when you're searching this database it's a little difficult because you can't actually get the full article in front of you, you enter keywords and then you get these little extracts. Those extracts will just mention parts of the sentence in which match the keywords that you searched for so I had to keep it pretty basic and I was just searching for anything around "skateboarding", the name "Automobilen", "snakerun" and the location in "Falkenberg". I narrowed it down to 1978 which was helpful in limiting the amount of results that were shown. So i'm browsing through and there wasn't too many results, I think i'd scrolled through about two or three pages before I got a hit. There was a small extract mentioning the location in "Falkenberg" and "Automobilen". I knew that this had to be something that was talking about the snakerun. So from there you have to go through the process of ordering the articles and they arrived in around one week.

So while I'm waiting for these articles to be sent through, I got another tip coming from a skateboarders group on Facebook and it mentioned that there was a guy who was making a documentary about the snakerun and his name was Jonathan Lomar. I got his contact details and sent him an email asking how he was going with the documentary. I mentioned the fact that I was also looking into the snakerun because I went down there the previous year and I was really taken back by it. Jonathan got back to me pretty fast and was stoked that there was a little bit more interest generating about this place. We had a bit of a dialogue over email and I sent him through a bunch of stuff that I was looking into and also some of the images and information that I found. He mentioned to me that there was a push to have the park listed as a historical landmark back in 2008 which was actually submitted on behalf of the same guy who wrote the article the Concrete Wave, his name was Gunner, along with another individual called Lars-Eric Jönsson, they submitted an application to the local council. So what was surprising was the application was rejected stating that the skatepark was way to dilapidated to be listed as a historical landmark. I thought this was insane, the whole reason it should be listed as a historical landmark is so that it can be protected and restored and it doesn't decay anymore. It just seemed really convoluted and a bit of a bullshit response so I was even more pissed off at that point and the fact that the local council obviously didn't give two shits about it. They'd be happy for it to sit on private land and rot and meanwhile the same councils are building other modern parks for hundreds of thousands of dollars but for them to actually protect something from the 1970's this unique and they won't do that I thought it was just total rubbish.

After multiple conversations with Jonathan I managed to get the articles sent through from the King's Library in Stockholm. Now this was really exciting as they sent through a PDF that contained the whole newspaper from where these articles existed. I start scrolling through, scrolling through not really seeing anything that's relevant and then boom there was this big article and picture of the Automobilen Snakerun. It featured a guy sitting on the bottom of the snakerun on more of a profile view and behind him there's a couple of kids that are doing tricks. The little caption underneath said it was the owner and his name was Olle Andersson. So now that I've got the name of the owner who built this thing, it felt like a few more pieces of the puzzle were starting to fit.

So as I'm reading this one specific article it gave some really good information. The first thing which was really surprising was the fact that the owner had no idea about skateboarding until two weeks before he submitted an application for the building permit. There was also some information in regards to where the skatepark is located. As I mentioned earlier it's located just outside of a town called Falkenberg on the Southwest Coast of Sweden but the place being called Automobilen, isn't significant to the actual snakerun. Automobilen is in reference to the fact that the property was originally a hotel / roadhouse and it was a hotel when the skatepark was built. That wasn't the only thing it was, it was a nightclub, go-kart track and it was a whole bunch of other small little businesses, so it was kind of this mismatch of things and the snakerun was just another one of those compliments to the place.

Knowing a little bit of history about the 1970's boom of skateboarding I think there was a lot of people that were trying to cash in on the popularity of the sport so I think that Olle probably knew that there was some money to be made in skateboarding and he put this skatepark together for the fact of charging admission and just trying to cash in on the hype. As I kept reading through the article it mentioned that the park was going to be inaugurated the following week and that was really interesting as I could piece together a bit of an estimate of when the skatepark was opened. The newspaper article was dated the 2nd of July 1978 and this was a Sunday so somewhere between the 3rd and the 9th of July the park opened. Now I've always been trying to find an article that mentioned specifically the opening just to try and get a time stamp but as far as I know there's nothing that exists so it's in that window between the 3rd to the 9th of July 1978 when the park was open.

Chapter 4 - Carter Team

Proving that the online database was successful I jumped back on and was trying to find anything in reference to the opening which i mentioned before I could never find but what I did actually come across were a few more articles that were written specifically talking about the snakerun, yet they were following Sweden's first skateboarding team and they were called Carter Team. Now Carter Team were down at the snakerun doing some promotional shoots before it opened, the article also mentioned the specific names of the people who were in the team and from there I thought it would be a good point to contact these guys.

Photo of the Carter Team, sitting on the Banana Bowl, Sweden's first skate spot.
Carter Team - Johan Hillnäs, Thomas Forsman, Peter Klock and Magnus Appelgren

Promotional flyer from Carter Team
Promotional flyer from Carter Team

An image of an interview of all members from Carter Team.
Interview with Carter Team

Image of Thomas Forsman and Peter Klock riding the Automobilen Snakerun. Image taken from Expressen on the 30th of July 1978.
Thomas Forsman & Peter Klock riding Automobilen. Expressen July 1978

Carter Team and Thomas Forsman at Automobilen. Expressen July 1978.
Carter Team and Thomas Forsman at Automobilen. Expressen July 1978.

The only member from the Carter Team, Johan Hillnäs, who was still alive had his details online and I sent him through a text message then we kicked off an email conversation. Johan gave me some really great information, Carter Team actually helped Olle Andersson come up with the design and this makes sense because as Olle had no idea about skateboarding he needed to have people who were involved in the sport guiding him. Some other interesting things were the park was built quickly and the quality wasn't the best which started to deteriorate pretty fast. You can actually see that from some of the 80's shots with the cracks in the concrete forming and it's starting to look a little bit sketchy. The fact that he built Automobilen so quickly and Olle not having much of an idea about skateboarding, wasn't the best combination in the end. I also received information that the u-pipe was sold to Olle by the manager of Carter Team, Kent Forsman. This u-pipe was portable and the Carter Team would take it with them when doing skateboarding demo's throughout Sweden.

Chapter 5 - The Archive

At the same time I was getting some great information about the early days and construction of Automobilen, I managed to get a lead that potentially there were old photos of the the snakerun in the Cultural History Museum of Halland. Halland is the state in which Falkenberg is located, so I reached out to the museum and one of the lady's working there found an entire roll of negative images which have never seen the light of day. I could see there were so many shots of Carter Team who were down there doing trials on the skatepark and this was definitely the most extensive photography collection that exits of the skatepark. She also sent me the original application that Gunner and Lars submitted to the local council to try and get Automobilen listed as a historical landmark. This paper was a gold mine for me and there were so many pieces of the puzzle that got put together.

The document states that the building permit was approved on the 20th of June 1978 and when I'd found the article talking about the opening that was dated the 2nd of July 1978. So between the 20th of June and the 2nd of July Olle built this 35 metre concrete snakerun which is impressive. Also the fact that this guy had no idea about skateboarding until two weeks before he sent in the building application, it's nuts. There's also more information about the u-pipe which wasn't always located near the snakerun, it was originally placed at the entrance to the hotel which was some type of marketing stunt that Olle potentially was trying to pull off. As the snakerun is located on the old highway that used to link all the smaller towns from the bigger cities on the Swedish Southwest Coast and obviously being a hotel / roadhouse makes it a good location for passers-by. Olle was probably thinking to put the u-pipe there and capture those people going on holidays or taking a trip down south. What ended up happening in the Autumn of 1978 is that Olle had no permit for the u-pipe to stand where it was so he had to move it, which ended up being placed next to the snakerun where it lived until it was completely removed in 2022. This was a bit of an indication for me that time is really ticking for this skatepark and I was really scared that maybe the snakerun would disappear next. After scoring this image archive and also the original application that was submitted to the local council by Gunnar an Lars I sent all this stuff through to Jonathan and he was overwhelmed.

Archive photo of Thomas Forsman & Magnus Appelgren at Automobilen 1978. Photo by Börje Försäter
Thomas Forsman & Magnus Appelgren at Automobilen 1978. Photo Börje Försäter

Unknown riders skateboarding Automobilen Snakerun in 1978. Photo Börje Försäter
Unknown riders skateboarding Automobilen Snakerun in 1978. Photo Börje Försäter

Olle Andersoon and unknown riders skateboarding Automobilen in 1978. Photo Börje Försäter
Olle Andersoon and unknown riders skateboarding Automobilen in 1978. Photo Börje Försäter

Unknown rider doing an handstand at Automobilen in 1978. Photo Börje Försäter
Unknown rider doing an handstand at Automobilen in 1978. Photo Börje Försäter

Unknown riders skateboarding Automobilen Snakerun in 1978. Photo Börje Försäter
Unknown riders skateboarding Automobilen Snakerun in 1978. Photo Börje Försäter

Magnus Appelgren skateboarding the Automobilen Snakerun in 1978 - Photo Börje Försäter
Magnus Appelgren Automobilen Snakerun - Photo Börje Försäter

As time passed I gradually figured out that there had been people over the years who really had the the Automobilen snakeruns best interest at heart. Apart from Gunner and Lars who submitted the application to the local Council there's was also a restoration plan that was drawn up for the by a company called Bryggeriet who operates down in Malmö and the guy who was trying to push this restoration plan is called John Magnusson. John Magnusson is a really influential Swedish skateboarder so I had hope at that point that this place was actually going to be restored or some kind of arrangement could be put in place with the owners of the land to make sure that it's protected and still standing for future generations.

Chapter 6 - Tony Alva

The final mystery when it came to Automobilen was the whole Tony Alva story. I didn't know whether this was hearsay passed down from generation to generation, yet I've seen it listed in two sites that he visited Automobilen in 1978. If this was true then credibility for the skatepark would skyrocket. If I could find something that could tie Tony to the snakerun it would really help the overall cause and give this park even more of a boost for it's historical value.

I started hunting through pictures on Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram. I found out there was a specific photographer at that time and he was called Wynn Miller and he's taken most of the most iconic shots of Tony Alva from the 1970's and 1980's. Wynn Miller was also the photographer that toured with Tony during his first European Tour in 1978. During that tour he arrived in Stockholm and did some demos there and some areas north of Stockholm in a place Solvalla. He also made his way down to Gothenburg, in which he disappointed fans and refused to skate at one of Sweden's first skate spots The Banana Bowl. He claimed it was far to dangerous and that it sucked. After his visit to Gothenburg rumour has it that he did go further south to Falkenberg and skateboarded the Automobilen Snakerun.

Newspaper clipping advertising Tony Alva's appearance at a competition in Solvalla, Sweden.
Newspaper clipping advertising Tony Alva's appearance at a competition in Solvalla, Sweden in 1978.

Tony Alva skateboarding the u-pipe at the Solvall skateboarding competition in 1978.
Tony Alva at the Solvall skateboarding competition in 1978. Photo Wynn Miller

Tony Alva at the Solvalla skateboarding competition in Sweden 1978.
Tony Alva at the Solvalla skateboarding competition in Sweden 1978. Photo Mynn Miller

Article mentioning that Tony Alva refuses to skate Swedens first skate spot, The Banana Bowl. August 1978.
Article mentioning that Tony Alva refuses to skate Swedens first skate spot, The Banana Bowl August 1978.

At the same time that I was rummaging through photos of Tony Alva online, it was posted in my Facebook group that Tony Alva did skate Automobilen, basically one group member called Pål mentioned that he was down at the snakerun on an average day and out of nowhere Tony just turns up. I mean that's pretty crazy especially for being the late 1970's before social media and the most famous skateboarder from that era turns up at your local park, it would have been mind-blowing.

After scouring the internet to try and find anything that resembled Tony Alva skateboarding the snakerun, I was was left unsuccesful. I'd seen so many videos of Tony in Sweden during 1978 but they were taken further north in Sweden. So the last shot I had was trying to pull together any old skateboarding magazines from the 1970's that were published inside Sweden and there were a couple that came out at the time. One specifically was called The Skateboarding News and this magazine only released two issues. I thought that maybe it would be a good move to look into because they were both dated from 1978. I managed to find these two original magazines in the humanitarian library, part of the University Library of Gothenburg. This was actually a bit of a story in itself because I went down there and I couldn't take the magazines home, I had to sit in a reading room, when I got there they were in pristine condition. They were in a plastic sleeve and when I pulled both of these editions out they looked like they hadn't been touched in almost 40 years, they were brand new. I went through the magazines trying to find out if there was anything about Tony Alva but came up with nothing. There was, however, one feature of Automobilen which was a review of the snakerun. A skate team went down there and said it was a "thumbs down" to the snakerun writing the quality wasn't the best, they were also talking about the fact that the u-pipe was poo quality and they confirmed some of the stuff that the member of Carter Skate Team had told me over email. It was clear that a stigma was really building in the early days of skateboarding there because a lot of the local kids and a lot of the skate magazines and skate teams didn't really want to be associated with the place. Olle also didn't really make it easy for people because he was trying to charge admission and there were newer skateparks that were free opening up in some of the bigger cities. I think a lot of people felt that Automobilen was a little bit off the beaten track and they may as well skate at their local parks in some of the bigger cities. I think that's a reason why this place fell off the grid and quite quickly lost people's attention.

Review of Automobilen in The Skateboarding News 1978.
Review of Automobilen in The Skateboarding News 1978.

As some weeks passed I managed to get a hit through my Facebook group again and a Pål the who member skated with Tony at Automobilen posted a photo that was taken by Wynn Miller of Tony Alva doing a Bert Slide at the top of this wooden ramp. When I looked into this image before it was added in our group it was posted on Wynn Millers Instagram account and Wynn credited it to being outside of Paris. When I mentioned this to Pål he was adamant that it was taken at Automobilen and not outside Paris. I then went about decoding the image (featured below) and jumped onto Google Maps street view and put myself at the front of Automobilen. I had to work some different angles to line it up then, boom it is clear as day that that cottage on the left hand side on street view is the one that's represented in this shot by Wynn Miller. I have added the original image from Wynn and the street view images below for reference. The chimney is exactly the same, there's the intricate woodworking on the a-frame of the house. You can also see that there's wooden skirting boards that run around the white exterior of the cottage which is unmistakably taken at Automobilen. The other part which has even more evidence for this shot is the tree line, which still stands. So where is Tony exactly in relation to the snakerun? The photo is taken on the old slalom run that still exists on the property. He is on at the start ramp which is about 150 meters in front of the snakerun. You can see in one of the archive photos what lies at the end of the slalom run, which was the u-pipe and adjacent is the snakerun.

Tony Alva at Automobilen's slalom run 1978. Photo Wynn Miller.
Tony Alva at Automobilen's slalom run 1978. Photo Wynn Miller.

Street view of the old slalom run at Automobilen 2023.
Street view of the old slalom run at Automobilen 2023.

Street view of the old slalom run at Automobilen 2023.
Street view of the old slalom run at Automobilen 2023.


As it stands today Automobilen is intertwined on a very fragile set of circumstances. The skatepark still exists and the owners haven't tried to remove it yet so there's a lot of things here that are still flying in the air. Exposure, getting people talking about it, getting it recognised for its heritage and having it circulate on social media, plus having the documentary released in Feb of 2024 are important. It deserves credit and at the end of the day it's just a very mystical, cool place that should be protected for future generations. There's already so many memories and so many stories attached to this skatepark it would just be a travesty if one day it was demolished and wiped from the skateboarding world.

Tony Alva has been contacted several times about commenting in the documentary, yet has not been willing to make any statements in regards to the skatepark without financial gain, which is very unfortunate. There should in my opinion be more work done by these iconic skateboarders to showcase these places and help protected them.

During my research regarding Automobilen I have, however, met some very interesting people that do share the same passion for protecting these places. Two academics called Iain Borden and Patrick Quinn have been publishing academic papers around the importance of skatepark preservation. They also released an article during 2023 listing Automobilen as skatepark that should be saved. I also took the liberty of gaining their expert advice for an podcast interview, which you can listen to here.


bottom of page