FACES OF THE CPH OPEN

This year’s edition of the Copenhagen Open was kept a little on the mysterious side.

So mysterious, in fact, that we didn’t know if the event  was actually happening until the week before.

The madness of last year’s edition left the organisers with no choice but to switch the formula up a tiny bit. What they came up with was moving the contest to a larger, equally as liberal city a few hundreds of KMs away: the promised land of shish-kebab, Augustiners, and probably our favourite city in Europe right now: Berlin. On top of this, the genius minds running the show decided to take part of the crew on the road and organised semi-secret stops, allowing for more private and original gatherings in Copenhagen and Amsterdam. We’re sure you’ll understand then, why saying no to the invitation was out of the question.

And whilst we always struggle with is explaining to the non-skateboard-initiated folks when they ask what the Copenhagen Open actually is, one sure thing is that the event’s uniqueness lies strongly in its ability to bring individuals together. We simply don’t know another gathering in the world allowing such proximity between world famous athletes, fans coming from all horizons, and random street-lurkers passing by. It is this bond between people that makes it so unique.

Talking about people inevitably leads us to Lukas Gansterer. If the name is not familiar, he’s the dude just below, if that helps.

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dark_white — as most people know him — is a photographer who’s known for documenting people up-close. Really close in fact. We first met Lukas midway through the Copenhagen Open, but we’d noticed his presence from the very first day. The man is in fact quite hard to miss if he’s nearby. On top of wearing the brightest, whitest garms, he spends his time flashing his camera in people’s faces, without warning, during any time of the night or day. And the fact that he makes no distinction between rock star-status skaters and randomers mall grabbing their board is what we love about his approach. No one is put on a pedestal and you truly feel that every individual contributes to creating the big melting pot that the CPH open is.

So instead of publishing action photos documenting tricks that you have probably already seen live on Instagram, we decided to favour the following collection of flash-dazzled specimens. A tribute to these unique characters — legends of an era or anonymous heroes of the day — who shaped the magnificent smorgasbord that was the 2018 edition of the CPH Open.

Photos by Lukas Gansterer (check out the DAY/NIGHT galleries above and below) — Portrait and text by Yentl Touboul.

And if you haven’t already done it, check out “A Tale of Two Cities” — our ode in motion to this year’s edition of the event.