Blader Digest: ‘Bout to Be Bitter Cold

If you’re like me and live in an area where a rain of week causes widespread depression and illness—which is immediately cured with a week of sunshine and 50-degree weather—then a four-day venture back to the Midwest better be for something spectacular.

And I’m not talking about the Testicle Festival spectacular. I’m talking about Bitter Cold Showdown XI—a weekend of drunken blading madness that only a city as no-bullshit hard as Detroit could handle properly.

If you’re sick of me writing about BCSD, then you’ve obviously never been. If that’s true, you are a sad, sad person who is missing out on the best party/comp/drama fest/time of the year. I am not alone in the least here…

Really, there are about 250 skaters registered for three divisions in a comp that spans two days. There’s someone from nearly every continent, but yet again Antarctica is the bastard-child holdout.

There’s really no telling who is going to take it this year. This isn’t a career-based comp to determine the champion of the world, but I don’t know a single blader that would mind having a BCSD sledgehammer hanging up in his or her room.

The last two years at Modern Skate & Surf, it was Montre and Haffey.

The tides could go the way with the premature-champ hoisting crowd and give it to this young man…

Besides the comp, the hotel-destroying nightlife, the kick ass tradeshow, and all of the best bladers in America vying for top spot, well, fuck you. If you need any more than just one reason, then fuck you.

Fine, fuck it.You want a reason? Here’s one, fattie…

At least it will be something a bit different than days of Little Caesars pizza, 7-Eleven hot dogs, and Dunkin Donuts.

But hey, even if you’re just a TV-watching scumbag, there’s always a good reason for you to drag your lazy stoner ass off the couch, besides the fact that Michigan is in fact a medicinal marijuana state. That would be, ah yes, TV!!!

Yes kids, all those professional filmers (and not just the ones whose names you already know) with huge fucking booms and shit were there for a reason.

So fucking sad that blading isn’t in the X-Games? Well, BCSD daddy Daniel Kinney has been busting his ass all year to put together a completely professional production to get blading on TV. And this isn’t some kind of blading in a Saks Fifth Avenue ad bullshit. This is the blader-run deal where skating is out there as it should be. There’s no fancy gimmicks or twists or any of that crap.

It’s blading. It’s raw, yet polished. It’s pretty, yet dirty. It’s wholesome, yet completely bad for you. It’s your illness and your cure.

I’ve seen it. It’s fucking tight.

The best part? It’s narrated by people who know blading: Arlo Eisenberg and Matt Mickey (who I promise to get that owed beer to this year). It’s none of that clueless Mark Shays bleached hair bullshit.

Don’t care about that? Fine, fuck you again.

Maybe you’re just a gear head. Maybe you just want the goods on the blading gear. That’s why you can’t miss the tradeshow.

Wanna see the new Shima Manufacturing boots? Wanna pet the Valo Lights? Want to stock up on wheels at discount prices? Want to get gear without paying taxes or shipping? Ship your ass there and get shit before you can get it anywhere else. You know, shit like this

If you still haven’t found a reason to go to Bitter Cold, then you fucking suck. Please, please  never come to this site.

However, if you have some excuse like you used up all your vacation days to help with the revolution in Egypt, or that so happens to be the weekend you’re donating your kidney to the Dalai Lama, that’s fine. I can understand that.

If you’re still looking to keep up with what’s good at the comp and the surrounding festivities, then go ahead and follow:

@BCSD_News on Twitter.

I’ll be doing my best to keep everyone informed on the goings on of the weekend, JSF-style. More importantly, I’ll be keeping tabs on the tricks you’ll be looking for in the upcoming edits, the products you’ll be buying on your regular order from your local skate shop, and what people will be talking about on the message boards for weeks to come.

If you’re going to Bittercold, or you’re at least going to be talking about it on Twitter, use this hashtag and let’s see if we can get that baby up on one of the top trending topics for the weekend:


Foo Fighters & Blading

Thanks to Joey McGarry for the heads up on this beauty.

It turns out the Foo Fighters decided to use blading in their latest video, White Limo.

Guess what image of blading it is? Oh yeah…

And what does a rollerblader have to do with a white limo? Oh, geeze, you guys are smart…

But, hey, don’t feel bad for the guy. He gets picked up in the limo, parties hard, and ends up being bassist Nate Mendel, so things aren’t totally for shame.

Some parting thoughts

So, after Mr. McGarry sent me the link, we went through quite a written exchange about blading, where it’s going, where its roots derive from,  how greater society views it, skateboading, skiing, snowboarding and more. Anyway, this was part of the exchange, and Mr. McGarry liked it, so I thought I would share.

“…the technicality in all sports is mostly lost on people. Most don’t know the difference between a kick flip and a shove it because the movements are too fast. The same goes for rollerblading.

Sure, the spins and such to grinds are all great for wowing crowds, but I’ve always been a style guy. To me, the best skaters slap a trick down like they don’t have a doubt they were going to land it and then just own the bitch the whole way down. That’s one of Haffey’s strengths (amongst others).

It’s all this kind of stuff where it is this whole ‘we’ and ‘what the sport needs’ kind of bullshit. No sport is united in one seamless vision, nor should it be. The people that stand out are the people that make the sport their own. That’s why you and your crew are so important to skating.

That’s why the Valo team has a different style than the Xsjado team that’s different than the Razors team that’s different from the Nimh team. Remz, well, they seem to have a bit of everything in there and that’s awesome.

Of course there’s always going to be similarities between sports. Skiers and snowboarders go down mountains and jump up in the air and grind rails. Skateboarders, bikers, and bladers share the same concrete, grind the same obstacles, and all jump in the air.

But, bladers are finding their niche. We’re skating things others can’t, we’re going faster, we’re spinning more, and our lines contain tons more tricks. We’re finding our identity, but it’s not in skate parks, but in the streets. It’s not going out just to film clips, but in those daily treks finding spots everywhere we can find them.

Skating, like any fringe sport, is better off if people are confused by it. I’m sure there are too many people who ‘know’ about skateboarding because they’ve seen it on TV or in ads or in any other place where people are using the sports image to further their own agenda.

Blading, no matter what it is or isn’t, is ours and that fucking rules. I blade through the city all of the time and get people gawking at my skates. I’m skitching buses and can hear tourists and other people going to work. Some say good stuff, others say bad things. Either way, we’re not like them. When they see me flying down the city streets at 8 a.m. doing 40 mph behind a bus, they think I’m crazy. I know I’m just on my way to work.

I pass skateboarders on the sidewalk and I pass bikers all of the time. I smile because my chosen lifestyle is more versatile than theirs. If others can’t see it, it is their loss.”

Blade or Die,

— Brian Krans


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