Blader Digest: Quality/Quantity

Sorry to those of you that were actually looking for a column last week. Unfortunately for you, but fortunate for me, we had some really nice weather here in the Bay area.

So instead of watching skating, I spent all weekend actually doing it.

It’s a blessed benefit of living in California, but it’s also justified when you pay $1,800 a month for a two-bedroom apartment.

So, since it was rainy as fuck and the garage p-rail is tired out—and I’m about to embark back to frozen-ass Wisconsin—I had a few minutes, so here’s some things that have been going on in the blading world.

Speaking of bad weather…

What’s an ‘off season’?

There are no reasons to not be skating. Weather shouldn’t be one of them.

Clean out your garage and put a rail in there. Keep your sidewalk shoveled regularly so you have at least a little patch to roll on. Drive hours to the nearest indoor park. Fuck it, go to a roller rink if you have to.

Shit, just throw a slider bar in the kitchen and you’re good to go.

Notice how duder has the same stance as his T-shirt?

Our good friend in Montana, Cameron Talbot, recently released this snowy day edit. After being fed up with indoor park skating, he busted out the shovel and attacked the streets the way any good rollerblader should.

This edit proves Cameron’s got the heart needed to endure crap weather.Sure, it’s a lot easier to sit around, smoke some Wow, and watch Netflix for 16 hours a day, but blading is way more fun.

Your ability to rise to greatness depends solely on your determination.

Rob G. knew that shit a long time ago. He’s got a pro skate and a calendar filled with trips all over the globe. And he skates in all sorts of nasty weather. Here’s a nice little example from “Noise.”

Just remember, kids: the easiest things to make in life are excuses.

If you’re not skating, it’s only your fault.

What everyone was talking about

Beat Schillmeier out of Switzerland coming out hard and heavy with this edit (although it’s pretty much a section) for A Chosen Few.

If you haven’t seen it yet, you should really ask yourself why.

Haffey: One Minute, One Spot

Chris Haffey recently took part in Be-Mag’s One Minute, One Spot series. There’s no park ledge skating or curb tapping going on here. It’s Haffey.

It makes me feel bad for whoever is next in the series because, as we all know, following the World Champ would suck balls.

Besides the edit, there’s one thing that stuck out with his accompanying Q&A:

One thing that makes you really angry: The amount of terrible online edits posted to rollernews on a regular basis, or just lack of quality control in blading in general.

I fucking concur.We’ve come up with cute terms for them: throwaway edits, p-rail edits, etc. Still, they end up making the rounds on websites like a staph infection at a prison.

This week, many people took exception to ONE’s “P.O. Box Edit.” In 3:24, there is little skating from Jamie Murrett, unless it’s rolling around the streets of Hartford, Conn., and going to the post office to pick up a copy of the magazine.

While this isn’t showcasing all of Jamie’s talent, it is more of a “support” edit for ONE. (Note: Jamie does ad sales for ONE, along with having other jobs. Oh, and he’s 29, so that is in his plus category)

Watch the edit:

It seems strange to me that ONE would put something out like this considering how high of quality the ONE video was, not just in editing (which Jamie’s edit was well done) but more in terms of the quality of skating. Then again, this is just a promotional edit, so it should probably best be viewed as advertising, not on the same level as other edits.

That being said, I enjoyed it. It was chill and had that great “going through the city” vibe. Just rolling in the streets on the way to spots is one of my favorite parts of skating.

However, I am rarely in the majority when it comes to my opinion. And here are the first initial reactions from Rollernews about the ONE edit:

Others asked that Rollernews not put stuff like this on their site, but judging by Rollernews’ history, they will keep doing it.

This might be part of what Haffey was talking about, but I don’t want to put words (or anything) in his mouth. Then again, people seem to like the edits he’s part of:

While I firmly believe everyone is entitled to their own style and to dance at their own whim—and staying away from the “this is bad for blading” mentality—there is an issue of putting out your best versus just putting stuff out.

The quality of what you put out is dependent on the amount of work you’re willing to put into something. Or, in another words, just because you put your skates on doesn’t mean you have to film.

Jamie’s edit was chill and relaxed, much like how us old-men bladers do things. But, that doesn’t mean a commercial for a skating magazine could have more skating in it.

But if there’s any “blading around the city” edit that needs to be looked at and loved, it’s this one from Canada, where if you haven’t been paying attention, some sick shit goes down:

Freerolling 2 from Charles-Alexandre Nantel on Vimeo.

This makes me realize I need to significantly step up my morning commute skating.

In general, there are too many people making too many edits. They’re hacking and chopping shit together just to make something.

It comes down to quantity, not quality. You can crank out as much stuff as you’d like, or you could just be known as “oh, there’s more from that guy.” It’s your choice, but if you’re wondering why people aren’t loving every single little thing you do, well, maybe you should take a little extra time making those edits—from the skating all the way down to the editing.

Just because you barely land a trick doesn’t mean you can’t go back and clean it up. Really, you should be shooting for the closest to perfection you can get. That’s the difference between you and the skaters you love to watch: dedication to excellence.

If at first you don’t land it cleanly, get back up there and clean it up.

Your move, internet.

Testing out the A4s

There have been a lot of “test” edits lately, most of them coming from Razor’s latest: the Aragon 4s.

And, as is normal with rollerblading, the “tests” are merely edits of tricks with new skates. There’s no objective feedback spelling out the advantages and disadvantages of the skates. There’s, well, just skating.

At least Jamie Brenner out of the UK gave a brief tour of the improvements from the A3s.

But that’s okay because some of the latest edits come with some really good skating and mostly from flow riders who get their skates for free. You can’t really mention any bad stuff about a product and still expect to get free gear, can you? Or maybe there’s nothing bad to mention about the skates. You won’t know until you try them yourself.

Notably recently is one from Killer Kai out of Taiwan. There’s some damn good skating, which we should expect from someone whose first name is “Killer.”

Rollerbladers, we love our gear. We love fresh wheels, silent bearings, and things that need to be broken in. We love gear, mainly because if we didn’t have it, we’d just be doing freestyle walking.

And if you’re in the majority of of bladers online, you love talking about new gear, when who is coming out with new skates, and showing off what you have. That’s probably why there’s

Share what you’re riding and let people tell you if they think it sucks or not. How very, very democratic of them.

The plus side to that is that you can see what other people are riding before you select your next skates.

Skating gear is fucking expensive. If you skate as much as I do, you’re tearing through wheels and soul plates at a rate you need a second job just to afford it. But hey, what other good things would you want to spend your money on? Well, the obvious answers are booze, weed, hookers, and blow, but that’s only for something to do when your body is repairing itself.

Things that make me happy

Girls that blade.

Skateboarding magazines that give people pointers to make fun of blading:

Why would I like something like that? Oh, gee, I don’t know…

A lesson in the line

Hopefully you didn’t miss SHOCK’s “New Gameplan for Your Lines” this week.

Basically, what they’ve done is made a method out of the madness that is the quintessential form of street skating: the line.

They’ve dissected and catalogued various forms of the street line—like the Slingshot and Around the Block—to help YOU with your skating. The piece not only provides visual aids in the form of drawings, but clips and sections to illustrate how they’ve been used in the past. It’s a great tool to get you thinking on how to turn your one-trick days into something better.

Again, it’s a great piece and a must-read. Check it out.

And don’t you dare think of skipping the second installment: NEW GAMEPLAN FOR YOUR LINES PART 2: LINE CONTENT

Stay tuned for next week when we doll out the first installment of the

Blade or Die’s yearly List of People Who f—ing rule!

Until then…

Blade or Die,

— Brian Krans


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