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 his edits. You should have seen a few by now or you should feel bad. Well, that bearded Canadian who’s seen more of the globe than Google Maps decided to put together another rollerblading tour of a major city.

If you’re not new, you’ll remember his Barcelona edit:

So then he decided to go back to the homeland to show Vancouver what the fuck is up. The first clip alone is amazing. Good job to Danny Beer for filming it.

If you don’t believe me, start singing “Happy Birthday” (but don’t let anyone hear you because it’s copyrighted) when he jumps on the barrier. It’s more awkward when you finish the song and Richie’s still going than it is when people sing it to you on your birthday.

And yes, Aggressive Mall asked how fast he was going. Doing my best to calculate the distance and time, Richie’s average speed was 22 mph with an estimated top speed of 32. (I’d show my work, but fuck you.)

The first 22 seconds of grinding has live traffic, big risk, control, and produces the same tingles as Erick Garcia skitching B. Smith’s motorcycle on the old Bay Bridge and cessing down an off-ramp as seen in V.

Fun fact: a blader, Ryan Evanchik, helped build the new Bay bridge. For historical perspective, the area has been waiting for a new bridge that wouldn’t create the same catastrophe that happened during the 1989 earthquake. Guy’s work may save some lives. Buy him a beer.

Anyway, Richie’s edit goes on beyond the first trick. And it’s just a continuous stream of solid blading that is Richie Eisler.

You know, for the kind of stuff he’s doing on a regular basis, I could learn to forgive Canada for Bieber.

So this one went through the normal rollerblading media cycle. Then I nearly shit my pants when I saw the edit make the front page of Reddit’s /r/video subreddit. I posted Richie’s Barcelona edit there long ago when the usual rollerblading gif made it’s rounds. I think the title that time was “So close…” or some bullshit.

But Richie’s edit got around like something itchy in a college dorm:

Greatest fucking liu khang straight air.

Let’s just say the waters were quite tepid, as they have been typically towards our sport. Shit, a few weeks ago people were getting up in arms over a DC hat from years and years ago because someone found a picture on an internet search.

So then Richie’s edit made the rounds. Since it was a YouTube video—meaning it was fair game for anyone to post anywhere—writers paid shitty wages cranked out anything to surround the text. Since all these Buzzfeed-esque writers aren’t paid dick and only want your click, they watch a video, slap at a keyboard for about 30 seconds, and hit “post.”

Basically, they could work for this site, but we don’t accept advertising. This shit’s about the love, yo.

I, have, however, interviewed for jobs like that and was grateful I didn’t end up at them. There’s only so much one man can write about Miley Cyrus twerking and still be able to read Hunter Thompson, Ernest Hemingway, and Charles Bukowski without complete shame.

The 10 Tops of Rollerblading Comments

But even if people are making the same jokes about blading, they generate views, unique users, PVPV, and all other sorts of fun terms that mean revenue. It doesn’t really matter how something looks so long as someone looks.

And each set of comments basically follow the same pattern:

  • joke about coming out to our fathers
  • Jet Set Radio/Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater reference
  • “Who knew people still rollerbladed?”
  • comment from kid who pretends he skateboards
  • overzealous response from rollerblader “defending rollerblading”
  • post from guy who used to skate until he was “too old” at 19 and the last pair of skate he owned is from either USD or a company that no longer exists
  • 90s references
  • response to someone posting about where to find good rollerblading content and products (Way to go, dedicated internet user!)
  • Airborne/Brink reference
  • another stream of gay jokes (someone gets banned for using “faggots”)

You Still Clicking?

You ever post something you don’t like on Facebook just to online protest it, or go to a site you claim to hate yet can’t stay away from (*cough* Rollernews *cough*)? Well each click of that precious little mouse you’re scrolling determines what sells and what doesn’t. (If you’re reading this on your phone, no one has really figured out advertising-driven copy on mobile, so if you can figure out a business model, let’s talk stock options.)

The plus side of all of the weird social sites picking up Richie’s edit is that people got to see it. There aren’t millions of people looking around wondering where they can find rollerblade videos, so if anyone picks it up, cool.

Even if they’re on a show about watching videos on the internet…

If they’re douches about it, don’t hang around their sites. Pretty simple.

I found most of the different instances of Richie’s edit making the rounds because of the How to Be Unpopular lads, and I’m glad because when it comes to anything dealing with Canada or rollerblading, they’re my trusted news source. If you don’t listen to their podcast you should. They’re really smart, articulate, and funny as fuck.

The main thing is this: the edit got tons of eyeballs because sources outside of rollerblading were viewing them.

So did the kids who skated in GoPro’s Video of the Day on Tuesday,—and you should read Chris Duke’s interview with that video-maker on ONE—but you cannot fuck with Richie’s skating in anyway.

Dude slays it.

He’s getting Skater of the Year from me, even if he goes full Rob Ford on us.

Which let’s face it, Richie’s edit was the best press for Canada in a few weeks. Then again, when you live this close to America, some of our crazy is going to rub off on a guy.

Here’s the Bigger Lesson

Just like how where you spend your money determines the market (please, dear Lord, use Amazon as little as possible), where you point your mouse and click determines the kind of content gets replicated.

The more you support something you claim to hate, the more you fund it. For sake of argument, let’s say you go to Rollernews because that’s the only place to see blading edits—which is a bullshit argument because many other people do it—but dislike how much people hate on every minute detail, realize that without your visits and clicking, Rollernews would have no way to pay its bills.

Being shameless for the sake of money isn’t a good thing.

Just saying.

So, if someone posts some bullshit anti-rollerblading thing and think you’re going to change anyone’s minds by voicing your opinion in a column, think again. You’re telling the writer that his post—measured not by overall impact to society, but it’s availability to drive up page views—was a success. So he or she or bot will do it again until it stops being popular.

Don’t want to see blader bashing in media? Don’t fucking click on it. Don’t fucking share it with some self-righteous status update. Just fucking ignore it.

Fuck, that’s Morgan Freeman’s stance on ending racism, and that mother fucker killed it in Driving Miss Daisey, a movie about fucking racism.

No matter what it is about you or what you do, if you go looking for people that don’t like it, you’ll find them. They’re there, but they’re like the Boogie Man: they disappear the second you stop believing in them.

Support what you like, ignore what you don’t, and just fucking let it go.

Then go blade.

Blade or Die,

— Brian Krans

P.S.—I don’t make any money here, but I earn a few bucks if you buy my books direct from Rock Town Press’ Big Cartel. People that have read them seem to like them.

Freeze Tag On The Highway by Brian Krans.


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