Start downloading now, before you’ll finish reading at least one of these should already sit on you hard drive (if you have relatively fast connection that is):
Yesterday I spoke with Ben Brillante, who said if I liked Rollerbledar, I should watch videos from RollerFR DVDs. It took me a while to remember that I actually know these, as I watched them more than three years ago, but then I barely knew who are those guys whose skating is filmed.
Good thing that Ben pointed me to these. I should probably post them there first, as these pre-date Rollerbledar, and were filmed in 2003 and 2004, years that can be easily called golden age of freeskating. You can see that French community was really strong then.
I won’t get in to much details what you can see in these videos, because I don’t want to ruin surprises for first-time viewers. But yes, you will see skating of guys from Rollerbledar, and MUCH more – you’ll even get a chance to take a look at how skaters rip the streets in a distant Africa! Original Salomon Bladecross events, with competition so fierce, that makes current WSX series looks bland and dim in comparison. People skating on all kinds of rollerblades and quads. Even people grinding on quads! A little bit of aggressive skating. Greg Mirzoyan riding Remz haha. Both Ride on Babylone parts – edits that to this day are in top of freeskating videos. Groups of skaters bombing down the hills. It’s all here. More than two and a half hours of footage awaits.
Do not expect HD quality, ultra polished footage edited with post-production effects. Remember – materials for these were filmed in years 2002-2004, by people of various skill regarding camera handling, with different equipment, under different conditions. Pacing and editing is inconsistent, as these videos are basically a compilations of edits by different authors. But do not worry – there aren’t any portions that could make your eyes bleed.
For me, these videos are testament of better times, times when freeskating was really huge deal. Times when people were crazy about it, and Salomon produced skates that were truly designed from the ground up for this skating style, without cutting corners. But also times when France was pot of fresh ideas, when no two freeskaters had the same style, and when almost everybody modded their skates to hell, with all kinds of parts, and if parts weren’t available, they were making their own. For example in one clip you can see skater using Tecnica Twisters with Razors cuff and custom soulkit on right skate, and that’s not for show – he grinds rails with them.
Now we have it easy – powerblading frames, Seba soulkits, colored parts… More and more people buys freeskaters, but still guys who are in these clips can outskate almost everyone from younger generation – almost ten years ago. L’Eveil and Soon also portray something that few videos do – friendship and pure fun of skating. You really can feel these guys just enjoy skating, and enjoy doing it together, even when they race in Bladecross and fight for the first place. It’s rare nowadays to see such great spirit of rollerblading. Something has been lost during these past years.
Watching L’Eveil and Soon should be obligatory seance for new skaters, simply because both of these videos are statement on what is most important thing in rollerblading. And that, my friends – is freedom.