Blader Digest: Why I Blade

Obviously, I don’t skate because it’s cool.

We all have seen the trend of the media to hop on the 90s bandwagon that’s rolling through America right now. According to one dude at a roller skating rink, rollerblading, “is on the way out.”

On it’s way out? Not to sound like a hipster, but bitch, rollerblading has been out longer than the people you interview for your story have been alive.

The video above and the video below—along with most coming from anywhere outside of blading—always has the same message: rollerblading isn’t cool.

It’s always the same thing: find some guy who can barely stand, point a camera at him, attempt to get a few laughs, and move on to the next thing.

Everyone thinks that blading died a long time ago. It’s going to take a lot of convincing to change people’s minds, and I know I’m not going to be the person to fucking do it. I’ll do all that I can to help the sport that’s shaped my life, but I’m not rolling around to have people point at me and talk about how fucking bad ass I’m not.

I don’t blade to troll the skate park for underage skanks that are looking for anyone’s attention. Seriously, if you fuck around with girls five or more years younger than you because they like what you do at the skate park, you really need to evaluate your stance in life, grow a pair of balls, and go after girls your own age. All you’re doing is inviting more post-Bieber fans to hang around skate spots and annoy the fuck out of the rest of us.

Besides, those closet Bieber fanatics are just as logical as he is…

I don’t skate so I can have a camera follow my every move. I don’t feel the need to validate my time by documenting everything I do.

Now, I know that’s what populates social media, but if I need therapy,  I don’t air that shit on Facebook. I go rollerblading. Or, I see a therapist. I don’t need to share that shit.

Everyone’s got fucking problems and no one cares about yours. Fucking deal with it.

That being said, if you go out and stomp on your practice rail by yourself for a few hours, you don’t have to edit that shit and share it on Youtube. Edits are supposed to accentuate the best you have. They’re supposed to say to everyone, “Hey, look what I can fucking do when I really push myself.”

If you don’t do that, you can’t call anyone who stomps on your shit a “hater.” Some people aren’t hating. They’re being honest. You’ll never please everyone, little shredder, so make something so awesome that anyone who hates on them should go fuck themselves with a cactus.

Then again, if you don’t think you’re going to be bringing new shit to the table, or blowing people out of the water, turn off the fucking camera and get to fucking work on your skating.If your motivation is to impress people, get mad sponsorships and rule the world, it’s going to take a lot more than a video diary of every time you put on your fucking skates.

This is what you fucking look like…

I don’t skate to get love from the message boards. Unless you’re a masked vigilante, hiding behind a fictitious name is for cowards. If someone says they love or hate what you do, and you have no clue what their fucking name is, why even give them a spasm of thought in your brain?

Still, the majority of the conversation in blading is dictated by those who prefer to scream before they think. They go for the quick punches, which after long enough, can knock anyone out.

That’s not why I rollerblade, but if that’s what makes some people happy, good for them. Life is all about the happy moments, so if someone’s out there, liking your posts, then take it for what it’s worth. If they don’t like what you’re doing, give them AIDS.

I rollerblade because that’s who I am. It’s not just a part of my life, it’s part of who I am and who I will always be. Like anyone else, my skating will wax and wane, from skating every day in a week, to somehow not skating for days on end.

Life is fucking hectic and the more you want out of it, the more you have to work, so sometimes (and it’s fucking sad), you have to sacrifice time doing what you love so you can pay the bills and make a name for yourself.

But that doesn’t mean there aren’t moments where you’re slaving away, wishing to the dearest gods in heaven that you would rather be out listening to the screams of your bearings beneath your feet.

No matter what, I’ll always yearn for smooth concrete and shiny waxed ledges filled with back torques that make my knees burn. I don’t have a choice. It’s inside me and it won’t die because I won’t give it the chance.

I know someday, as I’m old and dying from neglected blading injuries, I’ll still say, “I wish I went blading more.”

I blade because it’s the only thing through my entire life that has made any sense. Too often, I sit around trying to figure things out: events, people, ideas, and new sandwiches. I often fool myself into thinking that if I try to simplify things, they might get a little easier.

That’s about as useful as trying to watch Sex in the City and trying to get an erection. It’s not going to happen.

About 98-percent of my life I’ve had no idea what the fuck I’ve been doing. I’ve been faking my way through most shit. After that, it’s been a veil of feigned confidence and so on. I know the key to getting by isn’t your brains because no one really values those the way they should. No, knowing that you know more than the idiot next to you can get you really far. The rest, well, Google that shit.

At least with skating I know where I stand. If I end up doing something wrong, gravity lets me know. I appreciate that.

Instead of attempting to figure something out, it’s easier to try to accept certain things:

  • Bad shit will always happen.
  • People do fucked up things.
  • No one cares about you as much as you do.
  • You’re not as interesting as you think.
  • There will never be enough money.
  • Little things can go a long way.

I rollerblade because it is the most natural-feeling thing in the world, besides sex, of course. Skateboards, scooters, bikes, and everything else brings too many different aspects into their sports. Their activities involve manipulating objects outside the realm of natural human movement. Skateboarders move their skateboards and bikers move their bikes. Rollerbladers take small extensions of their bodies and cast themselves onto the same objects with even less gear.

The human is the most important thing in skating, not the skates. (Sorry to Valo, Razors, The Conference, Kato, and everyone else, but it’s the truth.) The human form is nearly perfect, so adding the skates make it perfect. It makes us all superhuman.

I blade because it makes me fucking fly. I’m not one of those skaters who can soar through the air like a motherfucking falcon. I’m more like a turkey—the flight isn’t far and it won’t get me into a tree, but bitch I feel fabulous while I’m up there.

I blade because bladers are fucking awesome. Most of my best friends are rollerbladers. We take care of each other. We don’t let stupid shit get in the way of awesome shit. We go to jail for each other.

But I’m not special. Most people who blade, blade for all the same reasons.

That’s it.

Enough of this bullshit.

I’m going to go drink whiskey, smoke cigarettes, and get the fuck over it.

Blade or Die,

— Brian Krans


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