Blader Digest: God Bless Americana

Y’all seen that new Shredwesier shit? You better have at least heard of it otherwise, well, sorry about your head injury that put you into a coma for so long. Here’s a glimpse of what you missed:

ORDER “SHREDWEISER AMERICAN TOUR” DIRECT FROM DAFICK.

But if you didn’t back it via Kickstarter and feel the need for some freshies in your life, drop the Americana Tour in your cart at you favorite skate shop. If they don’t carry it, get a new shop.

Me, I loved the damn thing. From title sequence to credits. The Shredweiser boys are America, plain and simple.

Since I don’t pirate blade videos—you know, like a fuck-head does—you’ll have to suffer through my text-based review of what the guys put together.

Shall we get started?

When you press play, you’re greeted with an MGM logo remakes with the team mascot, Steve Gasstation, and an intro of VHS quality scenery to Sergio Leone, following quickly to a pain-, weed-, and boob-filled montage of the awesomeness that’s soon to come.

This would be the point you’ll want popcorn.

The adventure begins out of Home Sweet Home Oakland, Calif. And those guys, whether Spaniards or Alabamians, tore this town a new asshole, just as they’ve been doing since their planes landed.

Should you want to see more shredding from Billy O’Neill, Matty Schrock, Marc Moreno, Brian Bina and the rest, follow along as our eager travelers head north where you’ll find school roof lines with Erik Bailey, fun times trimming medical marijuana, and more roof gaps and rail transfers than Big Foot could take a shit on.

Oh, cowboy boots are the new Soap Shoes and zero AO top soul down a kink rail is a thing again, so get with the program.

The grittier the Better!

From there, it’s some double rail bashing with the likes of John Bolino and Kruise Sapstein before segueing into granulated footage of passing roads before abruptly crashing at Slab City, a legendary migratory village where summers are hell and winters are close to heaven, a perfect repository for our wanderlusting clumps of scar tissue.

After a brief bit of respite in the makeshift skate park, we travel deeper south into red rock and unforgiving, yet skateable, landscape of the southwest. If Florida is America’s dick, Arizona is it’s swollen anal polyp, mainly because both are red and live in crevices.

But if it’s red and smells like an asshole, you’re in Las Vegas. And that’s where everyone, including local Tony Rivituso, lets it all ride on some promiscuous use of ditch ledges made of, and surrounded by, skin-clearing ditch concrete. But Seba, with his twist on a back backslide from rail to drop into a bank, well…

Shit. I have to watch it a few more times to wonder how he thought, “This spot? That trick? Fuck it! It makes sense.”

Then Bolino has his ender, which is just so gloriously Bolino.

And it’s all done as an ongoing tribute to Brandon Negrete.

Support your local ‘Weiser!

I credit those guys for a lot of things they don’t get enough credit for. I lived with them for a week to do a magazine piece on them. It’ll need a revision, but it reflects the atmosphere at that point in time.

The amount of talent that lived under that roof in do-or-die fashion was intense and they were part of a large migration to the promised land of California like so many other rollerbladers before them.

It’s those and so many other reasons that I believe the Shredweiser guys continue to earn the respect needed to be supported by their peers. Some people may not like what they’re saying, but they’re writing an entertaining chapter in rollerblading history.

Original art by Austin Barrett

They’re built on heart, passion, and pride. They just so happen to be very fucking loud with it. They’re good dudes, but you wouldn’t want to fuck with them for no reason on a Saturday night. They don’t feel pain like most people do.

And there’s a hell of a lot more of them besides skating. Dafick is running the business side of Shredweiser to keep the party going. Billy is co-owner of Create Originals, which their new frame is going to change shit up. Austin Barrett is now a professional tattoo artist.

Hell, Kyle Lypka had his first opening reception as a ceramic artist last Friday at Roscoe Ceramic Gallery during Oakland’s Art Murmur. And his work isn’t themed around Lisa Frank and My Little Pony:

And watching this video, especially as someone who readily backed the idea on Kickstarter, only juices me up even more to see where they’ll all go.

Kickstarting the Blade Economy

Besides a skate video, our backing money funded something before it happened, instead of forcing athletes and friends to attempt to make up the money after. We helped build that experience, but they were the ones to have the balls to step forward with the idea.

AJ was the first to Kickstart a blade project and he made good on his promises. He provided such a good model that it was easy to build from. CO had a HUGE Kickstarter goal—the largest independent fundraising in blading’s history—and met it because they’re skaters, so they know where people in the industry can invest, but also because they’re strong-minded businessmen who want to put out a good product.

There’s a shift happening. Maybe non-skate brand videos will be funded by the people, and if internet comments have taught me anything, the quality better be pretty fucking high. If the track record for blade projects backed, it has been. Americana is no different.

Hell, you all funded my Kickstarter and mine was directly inspired from AJ, CO, and Shredweiser. More importantly, all those guys serve as good inspiration to get off your ass and do something. The support of those involved show it can be done.

At least that’s what I heard and that’s why I’m quitting my job (most likely temporarily) to end five years of car-less living by living out of a truck for three months while I attempt to tell as many people as I can that my writing doesn’t suck. So thanks, everyone. More on that later.

And like Dafick and the other Shredweiser boys, rollerblading has funded a chance to do something else besides sit at a desk and meander through office politics.

Sounds like a good time to me.

Blade or Die,

— Brian Krans

P.S. — Now that Assault Rifles & Pedophiles: An American Love Story is finished, you Kickstarting fools will be getting some presents in the mail soon. If you didn’t order it and want it, pre-order it direct from me and I’ll autograph the fuck out of it for you. I’ll be letting you Americans know what’s up with the tour next.


10 Books for the Introspective Modern Man Who Doesn’t Read

Not too long ago I had the opportunity to meet a great man. He’s died since then, but his impact on the world he inhabited for 93 years continues to spread his legacy: from advances in scientific research, inquisitions into the English language, and a foundation in a family that does not


Blader Digest: So Long, and Thanks for Everything, Fish.

If you’ve got a Billy O’Neill pro anything—skate, wheel, frame, etc.—hold onto that shit because they won’t be making anymore.

At the age of 30, on Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014, Billy “Fish” O’Neill announced via Facebook that he would be retiring from professional rollerblading.
After a lifetime of showing rollerblading how big gaps can be and how


Blader Digest: A Few Questionable Morals

You guys watch the debate between scientist Billy Nye and creationist Ken Ham? Did you sit back with an open mind? Did you honestly think, “Well, I’m rooted in my beliefs, but I’m interested in what the other side has to offer?”
No, no you didn’t.
Why? Maybe you’re an atheist looking for vindication from a religious


Blader Digest: Shooting Baby Billy Ray’s Boobs [NSFW, Obviously]

If you’re here to see Miley Cyrus’ boobs because this is where Google told you to go, check them out:

Yay! Hope you feel better. See you later.
For the rest of you, you might be wondering what the Disney princess’ chest has to do with anything outside of fodder for enraged pedophiles who say it came


Blader Digest: 2013 Was a Damn Fine Year for Blading

In a few short weeks, we’re going to close out the 2013th year of our Lord. While the U.S. media is busy debating the ethnicity of he and his fat bastard uncle, Santa, we here at Blade or Die hope you get nothing but freshies in your stocking or under your Festivus pole.
From saying goodbye


Blader Digest: How Richie Eisler Saved Rollerblading Forever

Okay, so that headline is bullshit.
It was just meant to grab your attention. Yes, this column is about Richie Eisler’s rollerblading, but it’s also about how eager people are to write catchy headlines. Hell, it’s good business on the internet.
So, to bring you up to speed if you’re new, Richie Eisler put up another of


Blader Digest: Orange Is The New Black

Last weekend was the third installment of The Blading Cup. It was, as it always has been, a damn good time filled with tons of homies, beer, days in the sun, and nights spent running around the east end of downtown Santa Ana, Calif.
You might have heard about it if you read the article in


Blader Digest: ‘Airborne,’ 20 Years Later

Long before the world knew what a cock pushup was, or before chickens became robots, a single cinematic orchestra would conduct itself into the hearts of many, yet immortalized by few.
Yes, I’m talking about the reason why you can’t hear one bro call another “brah,” without responding, “Did he just call you a piece of


Blader Digest: Forever Negrete…

Last week, rollerblading lost one of its most influential filmmakers, Brandon Jesus Negrete.

Negrete had been making rollerblading videos from before he could drive, and the skaters he featured in his videos became household names, or at least the houses that held bladers.
While Brandon’s death stunned our global family, his memory is sure one that will