When I happened to be in Copenhagen for the CPH Open, I met up with Marius Syvanen in a small Danish pub. Marius is one of those type of people you can already tell from their outer appearance that they have traveled the world and have seen quite a lot. He seems to live an enjoyable life far off the stressed and hectic world, which has given him a very carefree and humble character. As soon as we had been done with the interview, he drank down the rest of his beer, took his board and skated the curbs in front of the pub as if there would be no better place to skate in the whole world.
Interview & photos by Paul Röhrs
First of all, tell me about your roots. I read you originate from Helsinki?
Yeah, just a bit outside from Helsinki. My parents and me moved to the States when I was about five. I still have the rest of my family in Helsinki and I come back to visit them for a couple weeks every summer. I just came here from Helsinki right now and this was the 22nd summer in a row that I go back and forth.
Have you ever thought about moving back completely?
Maybe later but now not really man. San Diego’s weather is hart to beat.
It is a well-known fact, that in San Diego you became close friends with the guys from Skate Mafia. What do you say about the enduring rumors about you being on Skate Mafia for real one day?
Haha! Fuck yeah! I am the TM! But you know, of course this always has been a joke. People have saying this to me for so long like Wes and Tyler. Even on my first photo in a skate mag I had a Skate Mafia board. This was like ten plus years ago man. They are my dawgs! Straight up for sure! But still, Habitat for life!
I just have seen the Levis documentary about the building projects you and the rest of the team did at various places in the world. Tell me a bit about it. How is it to travel the world and build all these skate parks in those sometimes rather remote regions?
Yeah, that’s an epic experience for sure! It’s a give back to communities that don’t really have going so well, you know. It’s like get there and support skateboarding to literally give back something.
Some people might wonder that you actually are a pro skateboarder and now you seem to pursue a rather ordinary job building something with your own hands.
Haha! That’s definitely right! But it’s fun and I learn a lot! Joey Pepper really knows how to do everything proper and kind of like shows us how to build all these things.
How is it going right now with the Levis projects?
We just finished a project in Detroit, Michigan, and we are talking about something possibly in Finland for next year and maybe Vietnam. We definitely will keep on going!
Then I saw this clip of you guys went to Patagonia, which is pretty far south. Tell me about it.
Oh, yeah! Argentina! Man, that was definitely incredible! I guess no professional skateboarders have ever traveled down that far in South America. It was wild man! We went to all these cities that were super poor so it was pretty rough most of the time but we still found some shit to skate here and there. One day we also went to this national park, I can’t remember the name of it, but there was a bunch of penguins on the beach and all these seals and stuff, then suddenly killer whales came out off the water onto the beach to fucking eat the seals. Dude, that was crazy! It was raw nature, although it was still some kind of tourist attraction.
Last but not least, as you are pretty much of a traveling man I heard you are also into photography. Is that correct?
Yes, for sure! I love photos! They help me to remember all these trips, events and experiences, which sometimes would be lost because I have a bad memory. Haha!
Thank you for the interview and I wish you a good stay in Copenhagen!
Thank you, too! Let’s get some beers man! Cheers!