last month i got back on the skates (rollerblades). it had a been an 11 year hiatus since i completely stopped. i believe once you've dedicated so many years of your youth to something that blissfully dominated your existence that the desire never quite leaves you to go and do it again, to figure out tricks and to experience having wheels directly beneath your feet, and importantly to feel connected to others who are also out there with you. i enjoy how the sport is unpopular and underground. similarly to the music i listen to, it feels personal and magical so to speak to be part of a minority that shares in the passion of something under appreciated. it also feels defiant and powerful to go out on the streets rolling against an activity that has a very public stigma attached to it propagated largely due to the skateboard community/media propaganda.
i owe a large part of the path of getting back onto the blades to a bay area local skater named Kevin Yee. he spotted me wearing an old skate bag manufactured by an obsolete old skater owned company called Senate. this was here in Berkeley, and i was using the bag as a means to transport records to sell to a store. up to that point i wasn't really focused on what was happening in the scene. he brought up a website that he co-runs and when i got home i checked it out and started getting into watching the videos, completely renewing my interest. he also mentioned, much to my surprise, there was a weekly skate session happening in Oakland. I hadn't really seen more than one or two people on the blades during the time i moved from South Carolina to California, which was about 7 years by that point. i started watching the short edits of those very sessions online. maybe about a year later i got around to seeing some of the old and new videos of Kevin Yee's skating which completely blew me away through his creativity and style. then, i came aross the mushroom blading guys, two weirdo Canadians who i feel a deep kinship with, Joey McGarry & Todd McInerney. these inspirations combined with the encouragement from a longtime friend and old skate buddy, Smiley (who also rips!), have given me a new lease on life. i feel so much happier now that i'm rolling again.
hopefully someone who has no idea how fun and exciting this sport can be will take something away from these videos. definitely give the mushroom blading one a chance if you think it too odd at first, the end portion is really ecstatic, Herzog would approve i'm sure. Not to mention probably the first and only skate video in existence to have a Denim song.