BLADE LIFE: An Interview with Jon Fromm

Jon Fromm

It is astonishing how much easier and more efficient the internet has made our daily lives. A concept that one generation ago would have been right at home in a science fiction novel has become the norm under which we conduct business, educate our youth, and inform the masses. Because of the internet, someone living in Arizona is able to interview someone living in Florida, then send all of the photos and text to someone living in California where he can edit the info and post, Tweet, blog, or fist-fuck it from Tokyo to Topeka. Without this innovation in technology, the very idea of any of this would be just that—an idea. I bring all this up because this next interview is with someone who I first met utilizing the internet and all of its social networking majesty. 20-year-old Floridian Jon Fromm is all over the internet, whether appearing in numerous edits, popping up in Photo Journals and posts, or chatting with me on Facebook. He is continuously pushing himself, progressing his skating while developing a unique style all his own; which is why you’re sitting down to a computer or, for that matter, looking at your phone and reading this interview. — Ben Karris

Jon, why don’t we get this gig started now: give us the shakedown of a day in Boca Raton. How do things start off in the Fromm household?

Well, a typical day would have me getting up at 8 am to go to my Engineering Internship, followed by an hour for school, and then skating right afterwards with all my friends. It’s a hectic schedule at the moment, but I really enjoy it.

How long have you been skating?

I have been skating for 9 years.

Jon Fromm

Now, originally, we had planned on doing this interview sometime in the winter, even before the Bitter Cold Showdown, but I’m kind of glad things worked out the way they did, and we waited until now, because you skated your ass off at that comp and were one of the few Ams that made it pretty far into the finals. What was it like competing against the top names in blading?

It’s one of the best feelings ever, skating with all the best in the world and juicing yourself to land some sick tricks. I’ve been competing in Pro contests for about two years now, and it doesn’t phase me too bad, but I admit there are times where I get a little nervous.

Is there any one pro specifically that you looked up to while growing up?

I mean of course there is the usual suspects: Haffey, Broskow, Aragon. I look up to those guys all the time. But I would have to say there are three main people I’ve looked up to in skating.

The first would have to be Jeff Dalnas. I met Jeff about three and a half years ago when I came up to film/skate with a local Rhode Island skater. Immediately, Jeff introduced himself and was super nice to me. He didn’t care that I wasn’t some big shot, he just liked the fact that I skated, and was possibly a cool dude. Jeff has always been a good friend of mine, and he is definitely someone people should look up to in the industry.

Next would have to be Richie Velasquez. I met him at Barn Burner one year, and he actually saved my life when he gave me a ride at 8 am so I could catch my flight home from the contest. Richie does so much for skating already with the AIL, and Woodward West, but the way Richie carries himself has always been something I admire. I have never seen him get mad, or get upset. He just loves to skate, and it shows by watching him at contests, seeing him with his family, and being around little campers at Woodward. Sometimes it seems like he is more juiced to teach than the kids are to learn. I think thats awesome.

Lastly, someone who will always be one of my best friends, is Cody Porche. I’ve known Cody for about four years now, and ever since he moved to South Florida back in 2006 we’ve been good friends. Cody pushed me as far as skating goes, but he also taught me how to be a better person. He showed me how taking things too seriously can take the fun out of anything, and it’s sometimes better to just goof around then try to go out all the time and skate for footage/photos. Definitely something I needed to learn when I was younger. Cody now lives in Georgia with David Sizemore, but he will always be someone I look up to.

Jon Fromm

The Panhandle Pow-Wow just happened a few weeks ago, how did you do there? Did you finally land that damn 540 true porn?

Ha, ha, ha. Yeah, I finally got it. Done with those tricks at contests. I didn’t do as well as I would’ve liked at Pow-Wow, but it was still awesome to see everyone at the contest.

How many Pow-Wows have you been to, and what’s your favorite part of the comp?

This was my third one, and let me say that it is becoming an awesome contest. Every year has been different, which is awesome. Blake Taylor, the organizer, is the man. He puts his heart and soul into that contest, and the hard work and dedication he has really shows. So, WRS People, I think you need to contact Blake Taylor about getting some amazing contests going!

Jon Fromm

Were you a victim of the infamous hallucinating-host, Pinky, at all this year?

Ha, ha, ha. Worst dude ever. I will be happy if I never see him again. I heard my friend Sammy Chase punched him in the face. I think Sammy deserves a handshake for that one. Heck, I’ll buy him a beer for that. Ha, ha.

I’m looking at your photos that JE sent over to me. What was it like shooting with Dustin Spengler for this interview?

Well, Dustin has been one of my best friends for, like, seven years now. So shooting with him is like just skating regularly. I don’t get nervous or anything. It feels like a normal session, which allows us to get a lot done.

Jon Fromm

Speaking of these photos, I remember in one of our talks you telling me that you weren’t even super juiced on them and were going out that weekend to get more, you mentioned how you really cared about how this turned out and wanted it to really look professional, and that stuck with me. I feel like in these days of blading, we have to support and promote those most interested in growing our industry and with the will-power and dedication to do so. Anyway, with that being said, from someone on the come up point of view, where do you see yourself in the future of our industry?

Well, thanks! That means a lot to me. Skating has been my life for the past nine years, and I try to do my very best when doing anything skating wise. I try to do my best to rep sponsors, because I appreciate all that they give me. As far as being in the Industry, I plan to keep at it as long as I can. Although, the whole real life aspect has started to hit me. Now that I’m in college I have to think about a career, and have a plan for myself. I would love to turn pro in skating, but even if I do, I want to have a backup plan that would allow me to support myself. I know I won’t be able to skate forever, so having an education, and a job, are important things to me.

Jon Fromm

I talked to your buddy Rob Squire and he told me some story about your car breaking down or something at a toll booth while you guys were going out of town? Care to elaborate?

Oh man. I thought this story would never get out. Ha, ha oh well, here it goes. So, me and Rob were on our way down to Miami because Doug Urquart was down filming for “Barely Dead” with Franky, Julian Bah, and Joey Chase. We wanted to go down, hang out, and see if we could snag a clip. On our way down we had to stop for gas. I got out of the car in a rush and proceeded to fill up. I wasn’t really paying attention, so I grabbed the far gas pump, thinking it was the cheapest. Well, that last one was actually diesel fuel. So, not knowing this, I went to get on the highway, and as I was going through a toll my car started spitting, making noises, and then it just stopped. I had to pay $80 to get it towed, and then $2,000 to get it cleaned and all fixed up. It was a big mess. The funny thing is I never heard the end of it from my Dad. He gave me so much crap about it. Ha, ha, ha. He worked in a garage as a kid, so to him this was a kick in the face. Also, my whole family never lets me live it down. They call me “diesel” when they see me, and I still get gas cards for Christmas and my birthday saying “remember not to use diesel.”

Jon Fromm

Jon, thanks a lot for doing this interview and coming through with such sick photos. If there’s anyone you want to thank or shout-out, now’s your chance.

I’d first like to thank my sponsors: Razors, Ground Control, Print Brigade, Scribe, and Asphalt Beach. I’d like to thank Geoff Acers, Mac McMeans, Jamie Murrett, Chris Piascik, Dan Fabiano, Derrick Frey, and Steve Larios for all their awesome support. I’d personally like to Jon Julio for giving me my first shot in rollerblading. I may no longer ride for Valo, but what Jon did for me meant the world. I’d like to give shout outs to all my South Florida buds: Rob Squire, Matt Genna, Alec Zavell, Gregg Heartmann, George Holmquist, Jimmy Cisz, Michael Ginsberg, Juan Herrera, and Sebastian Seufferheld. Also, a big thank you to my parents, Fred and Charlene Fromm, you guys have done so much for me, I love you.

Interview by Ben Karris

Photos © 2010 Michael Ginsberg and Dustin Spengler.

Leave A Comment

rob squire - Wednesday, May 19th, 2010
bWeis - Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

Sick! turned out great Jon! hope to see you soon

Plong - Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

So Sick!

Stefan B. - Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

“I feel like in these days of blading, we have to support and promote those most interested in growing our industry and with the will-power and dedication to do so”

Fucking. Truth.

Exactly why Jon Fromm should have more coverage. Kid loves blading and gives a shit about doing it right.

I will see you sometime this winter boy!

Web - Thursday, May 20th, 2010

“I feel like in these days of blading, we have to support and promote those most interested in growing our industry and with the will-power and dedication to do so”

thumper - Thursday, May 20th, 2010

yeah dog see you out here this summer right?

RollaBall Inc. - Thursday, May 20th, 2010

this is simply cause JON FROMM is the shit …. We all appreciate u Jon and this is how the rollerblading community does that

Chris Piascik - Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

Congrats Jon! Thanks for the shout out!