Words by: John Dahlquist. Photos by Nils Svensson”Boom shaka laka yo here comes the Chief Rocka”
Before we start this you should press play on Lords of the Underground´s track Chief Rocka since that is what you are most likely to hear from Davis Stenströms headphones as he comes flying by you high above the coping.“I’m the, Chief Rocka, so I guess I am in charge! I’m the one with the flow and the grip like G.I. Joe I snatch, I grab, and then I grab the dough”
Most likely he will be going frontside with no grab, using only his front foot to guide the board back into the transition. Chances are he will do a backside air or a 50-50 on the next wall as those are the tricks he would do if he could only do three tricks for the rest of his life. David says he would rather do 200 basic grinds than struggle with one tech trick on flat. Perhaps that is why he found himself alone on the platform at the skatepark when all his friends left to hit the streets wearing trendy cut chinos and five panel hats. With or without someone to skate with David will have a good time anywhere there is a transition, slab of concrete or wooden mini ramp to ride. Like the spots he prefers, David is timeless in his expression and sticks to skateboarding the way it was originally meant to be: straightforward and raw. It’s spectacularly easy to rest your eyes on this little cannonball charging through any given terrain. David, much like a Lord of the Underground, knows how to please a crowd.“For sharper type to battle make the people say ooh ahh”
Perhaps skateboarding is in his blood. Being the son of Swedish skateboard pioneer Tobba Stenström it is easy to jump to conclusions with regards to his talent. His old man has always been an inspiration but never one to push skateboarding onto him. As any supportive father he let him do what he wanted with his spare time: soccer balls, basket balls and land hockey balls have all passed him by, but when the Spitfire wheels started rolling into young David´s life Sweden’s skateboard history took a new turn.
David has spent endless sessions exploring the anatomy of the frontside ollie and perfected the art on trannies all over his hometown of Stockholm. The trick has flown him all over the country and landed him the first prize in the Swedish skateboard series, Betongcupen 2012. “Ask anyone to draw a line on a paper,” says David. “Every person will draw it differently even though it is just a straight line. It is the same thing with an ollie–it’s a skater´s fingerprint. “David´s favourite styles include Mark Gonzales board-over-the-body-style and Grant Taylor´s smooth sweep. “The way Raven Tershy steers the board with the front foot is pure poetry to me. An ollie should never sink like a stone but flow like water. The key is hang time,” says David. As for David it is just the trick that he finds the easiest to do. And it flows.“Boogaloo boogaloo, shake and jump”
At 18 years of age David has spent half of his life on a skateboard. It´s like a never-ending session, his hyper active body and mind just won´t let him stop. The world should be happy he found skateboarding as he would probably be locked up in a zoo with a Tasmanian devil if he did not have an outlet for his energy. Luckily for David he has teamed up with a driven and likeminded hyper-mentor on Polar Skateboard Co.: Pontus Alv. Pontus keeps the spots and filming opportunities flowing. The result of last summer´s skating can be seen in the new Polar promo video: No Complies & Wallrides + Shuvits. “Polar is more about friendship than being stuck on a team,” says David. “No pressure but we all love to skate so it tends to be pretty productive when we go out to film. I appreciate Pontus because when he says something is going to happen it will happen. It is straight forward and no bullshit. ” This inspires David to put his money where his mouth is. Speaking of which: his mouth is a fast-spitting; sometimes dislocated from his brain, but always very funny. Plus it has a freestyle rap setting to prevent uncomfortable silence.“Say what I want because I’m that type of guy.”
In a world where everything is disposable and the lifespan of things rarely outlast the latest tweet, it is comforting to have and up-and-comer like David guaranteeing that skateboarding will be cool even in the future.
“Boom shaka laka there goes the Chief Rocka!”