I’m back – some random thoughts about life and blading.

This blog was dead for almost three months. Actually, I haven’t followed blading much during that time. Yeah, I was going out skating about once a week, but that’s it.

Thing is, I was almost swallowed by what you can call “corporate life”. I got full-time job with good salary, but typical 9 to 5, 5 days a week thing. Monday to Friday was daily work routine for me, interlaced with occasional evening skating – weekends were for partying, drinking, and meeting with friends.

And today I had woken up with feeling that something is missing. It really SUCKS to be an adult who works 160+ hours a month. What is the point of pursuing money and focusing solely on work, when money do not give you happiness?

In my entire life I’ve found one thing that gives me happiness every time I do it. It’s rollerblading. In all kinds of weird varieties. When I put skates on and go blade, my mind becomes clear and all worries disappear. I’m enjoying the experience of flowing on concrete. Even sex does not have such therapeutic effects on my mind. Blading is my remedy for life.

And yet, I feel like I’ve betrayed it, only to realize withdrawal effects were eating me from inside. Sure, I could make some excuses. My health condition wasn’t that great during past months as I constantly fight with infections of my air passages, but hey – it didn’t prevented me from going out at evenings and coming back at mornings. So it shouldn’t stop me from blading.

Last Thursday was day-off  because it was Day of Polish Army and also some weird Christian religious holiday that is connected to it (actually, you wouldn’t even know it was Day of Polish Army if you would follow media during that day – all of them focused on Christian holiday, but hey, I am living in what you can basically call an unofficial religious state) so I went blading. At friday morning, I went blading too. And today I was doing it too. I must say, these three days were what I needed to realize how badly I missed riding on boots with wheels attached to them. I’m going blading tomorrow morning.

But that three months hibernation wasn’t entirely wasted at all. You see – It helped me to change my views on many things in blading, and get a bigger field of view on others.

For starters – I came to conclusion that I (and actually – nobody) really shouldn’t oppose/boycott/ridicule any company that gives anything back in to sport, and did not jumped off this ship that barely stays afloat.

I still don’t like Valo and SSM skates/quality/pricing – but It actually doesn’t matter THAT much. If they make skates that people are willing to use, if they are releasing media that help promote the sport, if they are supporting riders and events – I can let it slide that they still use ancient moulds and charge premium price for average products. Razors  are playing game of re-skinning and re-coloring, with prices of their gear slowly but steady increasing but that doesn’t change the fact they produce solid skates. Seba is still a company that I have cold feelings for, but nowadays I’d rather have them around than don’t. I’m not happy with Rollerblade actions and their 2014 lineup (some new “commuting” hardshell skates based on Twisters, third edition of Fusion GM, new paint job on X3, Twisters with carbon frame, another New Jacks and Solo Troopers, no Solo pro-model next year – all black skate with Blank liner instead, to sum it up), I still think K2 is ripping off with their outdated skates.

Point is – anyone wearing a pair of blades that are comfortable and durable is a win for blading. If we will get in to ridiculous “brand wars” rollerblading is as good as dead.

I feel obligated to post something about newcomers to the industry, two boot brands, namely – Oso and Kore.

I know I was laughing at their efforts to create decent boots before, but I must apologize. These guys had guts to start projects in industry that had seen too many of smaller and bigger companies quitting or dying in the past. It takes courage to invest your hard earned money in to something that is not safest business in the world and actually do not give any views to make decent profit in near future.

Oso boots still look hideous to me. Maybe because they look a bit like Nimhs (which never appealed to me) but without raised heel. But after watching this video:

I realized it isn’t a try to make some quick bucks, at all. These dudes seem like decent, level-headed guys who made their idea in to a reality because of their passion and love for the sport. And actually they did it in their garage, using sheets of plastic and sewing machine, without using existing moulds or support of ice skating companies that have years of past experience in making boots. You have to give them credit for that. I’m not a fan of how these skates look – but I also think they wouldn’t bother releasing something that isn’t durable and tested enough. Good luck to them, I hope they will manage to sell enough skates to continue the project. More info on the skate would be welcome though, because right now we are left in the dark – guys, you have great idea, but please tell use why we should support your efforts by buying these boots, please.

Kore had slow (and bad) start. Horrible website and video that were put on the internet few months ago were signs that many things can go wrong with this project, but it looks like they finally started to get their priorities straight. Their skates look OK. Not ugliest out there actually. For obvious reasons I’m not familiar with NY scene, and they seem to focus on that, but whatever works for them. It would be good if they would expand beyond their local market at some point. It would be good if they would release some more info on the actual skate, because “it’s made in NY” won’t work as marketing hook for people who aren’t from there. On a side note – I can’t help but wonder – where is Ramelle Knight? He was supposed to get pro boot from Kore and he is not even listed in team section on the website.

In other “news”, it seems like Bake frames really took off, and they are tried, tested, and accepted by now. I must admit I’m guilty of not buying these yet… but I plan to in near future, as every time I put on aggressive skates with antirocker setup I feel like crying. Even trying flat setup in aggr frames today was more of a upgrade in turnability than anything else. Point is – flat profile 56mm wheels are god damn slow and no fun to ride, for me at least.

I’m also glad Powerblading.org contest “WON IN 60 SECONDS” was such a huge success. Great edits, everyone, my favorite did not win, but I think judges made good choice anyway. Hope to see edition with even more entries next year!

That’s it for today. After all, I have to get up at Sunday morning and go blade!

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