Blader Digest: Actually About Blading

Hey! Did you guys hear about the fixie event that went down on Saturday here in lovely San Francisco? No? Well it was on Rollernews, so that means it was obviously the biggest fucking deal ever.

Anyway, Arlo Eisenberg took the opportunity to showcase his art on the ramps.

And another old-school rollerblader, Azikiwee Anderson helped organize the event.

And that makes great sense because he did help set up the first IMYTA event there at the gates of the X-Games. So, naturally, if you’re going to have a fixie gear event, what better place than the spot where you united bladers across the world in a competition series that was entirely owned by skaters.

But Azik used to be huge in blading other than IMYTA. He owned Able, he ran Empire Distribution, and was part of D-Structure, a shop here in San Francisco that carried skates, wheels, frames, etc. It was a place where bladers could get jobs, find a couch to crash on, or party the fuck out.

D-Structure used to be a nice home for bladers back in the day. Hell, a friend of mine told me as I was about to vacation here before I called it my home, “If you’re looking to blade, just go into D-Structure. Tons of skaters are always there.”

Well, that’s just some back-in-the-day shit now. Like, way back in the day.

I can’t think of anything blading related going on at D-Structure since the Apple RIP SF premiere in 2009. There’s skateboards, spray paint, and other shit, but Azik recently got rid of all the blading back stock. You want gear in the Bay? Go to AMall. But, hey, we’ve been doing that for a while now.

So, some bladers in the area wanted to check out the  fixie event to investigate its “iceness.” Basically, we wanted to hop the fence, skate the ramps, and see what happened. Wanna know what happened? Nothing. We didn’t do it because unlike blade events, there was ton of security, assloads of fences, and all sorts of other shit that said we’d just lose no matter how hard we tried.When Red Bull pulls up with their hordes of free-can toting ladies, they don’t fuck around with the 5-0 presence.

Did a single blader that was there get to do anything but look longingly at the beautiful hubba ledges down the stairs that was went ungrinded by hipsters on two wheels? It’s a rhetorical question.

But still, looking around Saturday had its perks.

Take for example the table at the D-Structure booth:

Yes, some of those are old Able shirts. Apparently, they’re still around because no one wants them

No better metaphorical image sums up the day that when some of the above Able shirts were tossed into the crowd of bikers for product toss. Basically, the D-Structure people felt that since the shirts were going unsold at the shop, they’d be better off thrown out.

So now Azik is doing fixie stuff because, you know, it’s the new fad since blading isn’t making any money. As a business man, that makes good sense. As a strong founding father in the sport, that’s bullshit. I know I’m not alone.

Now I know Azik owns all that old Able shit and he can do what he wants with it, but there’s something strange about the whole event. The question was: where was Azik?

Arlo was there, even if the announcers were dropping his name over the PA system for no reason whatsoever. Don’t know if they were trying to mock him, but it sure as fuck felt like it.

Really though, where was Azik? Some of us—including the never short-tongued Tommy Boy—wanted to show Azik a pair of rollerblades and see if he remembered what they looked like. But where—oh where!—was he on the day of the event he helped put together?

Oh, yeah, now I remember where Azik was: doing play-by-play for the Asian X-Games!

So, is Azik still in rollerblading?

Does the fixie event even mean shit to him?

Does he still want to be part of a sport that he also seems not want to be a part of?

But fuck that shit, just for one second. The most important part of the Asian X-Games wasn’t the part where someone was saying what others were doing, but rather the people doing the shit…

Anyway, back to Azik. He’s not the first person to do something else besides skating:


Fuck, JSF-fam and blader Kell McKenzie took second in the races during Saturday’s fixie event. (Forgot to mention that before.) But you don’t see him  announcing international blading comps.

Sorry, Azik, but you can’t throw out rollerblading gear to bikers while also trying to be the voice of it. You just can’t. I know you did, but that’s some serious bullshit. We’d boycott your stuff, but we already do.

We can’t stop you from accepting a free trip to Shanghai, but when you Shanghai rollerblading like you did, don’t expect any kind of love, respect, or good words from any of us.

Do what you want, as you obviously have no problem doing it now, no matter how double-sided and cross-eyed it is.


Blade or Die,

— Brian Krans

P.S. Buy my book when it comes out. I don’t get paid for this shit, so you might as well buy something to roll blunts on.


  • JSF fam member Kell McKenzie took 2nd in that race how do ya like that.

  • I see your points. I understand why people would think its bullshit. (and it is.) This is not however, the first time this has happened. It will continue to happen. We have WAAAAAYYYYY too many punk asses in our industry. Im just one of the people who notices it. I try not to speak about it too often, cause im not one to get into action to make my industry better. I have no means. Another awesome read. Thanks sir.

  • shoe less dre jackson wrote:

    say it aint so

  • richie wrote:

    i invested in d-structure from the beginning. they stole my money. “get in line”, i know…sad.
    but it’s all good. you live and learn and become smarter for it. things become clearer over time. that’s the magic.

  • Ben Rogers wrote:

    I bet Kell Mckenzie was wearing his King 55 boots when he won that race.

  • FUCK azikwee and FUCK arlo. get tha fuck out of here with this faggot fixie shit. rollerbladers need to realize it was arlo that fucked us over in the first place. both by being a 90’s faggot on tv and selling us out at the x-games for his pride.

  • Josip Jagic wrote:


    I loved your article.

  • So he is making money off random fixie bikers back home completely not even giving fuck about them while he is announcing a rollerblading contest in Asia, and some how you consider that selling out?

  • rachard Johnson wrote:

    Fuck this industry, Bitch im in these streets..

  • RIP HEAT wrote:

    just ask anybody who has ever done business with, or worked for Mr. Anderson how much he cares about ROLLERBLADING. Even if he cared the tinniest of shits, he still robbed and cheated the most real doggs in the game. All so he could go golfing and skiing while these dudes were out there doin it! Z-FUCTURE SF got consumed by lower Haight and became what it’s owner originally had intended it to be, A FUCKING HIPSTER T-$HIRT $TAND! It’s sad because at one point in time you could walk in and you could chill, check out all the newest blade gear, and chat with dudes like JJ and Tory. Now you walk by and just shake your head at that mess. Ps thank god Valo was smart enough to part ways with that thief. +RIP HEAT+

  • I like this blog

  • RIP HEAT wrote:


  • Money problem ?

  • Jeremy wrote:

    Did anyone do any market research before opening the store? It shouldn’t take a genius to figure out that one of skateboarding’s meccas, SF, is not the most supportive and or lucrative place to try to sell rollerblades?! But feel free to keep hating. I’m sure no one will ever use rollerblading as a platform for personal monetary gain ever again (Krans: Buy my book! I don’t get paid for talking shit on the internet)

  • Wow, I really liked Sean’s section in that snowboarding video! Great creativity, all those dudes made what they’re doing look like tons of fun. Can’t wait til there’s more of that in rollerblading again, you know, fun. And the article in the SF paper about the fixie event was really cool. Seems like Azikiwee’s event was a success, regardless of the haters.

  • JNeil wrote:

    This post did nothing but make me go find out what Fixies were and made me think who was the last person to really think about Azikwee.

  • I’m glad that I still live in Ohio.

    All we have to worry about is just trying to skate more than the year before.

    THANK YOU JUSTIN AT AMALL for hooking Ohio Skate up with more product for stop #2 of 5 in our Summer Competition Series!!

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