BLADE LIFE: An Interview with Nicky Adams
I caught up with Nicky Adams while I was in Montreal for a weekend. We skated one of his favorite ledges in Westmount park for an hour, and then had a fun session at the Taz skatepark. I decided to sit down with him do this little interview to accompany this edit. We spent a lot of time together this summer filming, skating, and chilling with a couple of brews. Hope you guys enjoy this! — Immony Men
So how have you’ve been, Nicky?
I’ve been good, man. Just living.
What have you’ve been up to?
Mostly skating and working at Taz… teaching kids at the skate park.
What is your job at Taz?
I run the summer camp. I give private rollerblade lessons to kids and adults, or whoever wants to learn. I do some other stuff, like organize camps with schools. Sometimes a school will come in and I’ll teach a class or two. You know, some classes are up to 60 or 80 kids at a time. I also do the occasional demo here and there. Casual skate related gigs.
I heard there is a Nicky Adams workout?
Yup, something I do with the kids. Drop to the ground give me fifty! Give me fifty jumps with your skates on. Lift up your knees as high as you can! I just try to make young kids stronger on their feet while they are on their skates. Get their balance up, get them ready to fall while putting their arms down. Making them do push-ups, jumping jacks, everything. Give them a general full body work out before they get out there and start falling over themselves.
So you’re annual income comes from rollerblading, right? What does your daily routine look like?
My annual incomes does come from skate demos, teaching, private lessons… My daily routine depends whether I’m training or not. I go through phases at the gym, but usually I start my day off at this breakfast joint called Comsmos. I’ll follow it up with either skate videos, chilling, or organizing some skate plans for the day. Then I head out and skate at the Taz, now that I’m working there. And normally when I’m not working I’ll try to street skate, or if I skated the day before I’ll take the day off. In general everything I do is skate-related.
What got you into rollerblading when you were the age of the kids you’re teaching?
At their age I was all about it. That was my bread and butter, you know. I was constantly told what I couldn’t do, so I just wanted to prove everyone wrong. And then at that point, throughout the relationship with my family and all, it was definitely a way for me to get out of the house and get away from the bullshit. Family shit. Yeah, sometimes that’s just what you need to do. That’s what I lived for and it’s still what I live for.
Who was your role model when you were growing up?
My role model back when I was younger was Danny Laroche; he played a big part of my life. He taught me a lot, showed me what it was to be a rider. Serge Maheau and Pierre Berube, these people took me under their wing. We are just talking about Canada, those were the people around me, everything.
We talk about rollerblading keeping you out of trouble, and that you learned a lot from rollerblading. Would you like to elaborate on that?
I mean most definitely, skating was what kept me out of trouble. It allowed me to get away from things that were bothering me in my life. Just putting it out there, I dropped out of school to follow my dreams, which were skating. Traveling around the world, blessed with that opportunity, definitely allowed me to see all different parts of the world and see how people were living. For example, I got to visit Morocco; it was crazy! Going to France and Japan and Germany, all of the places I have been. People live their whole lives without seeing that, some people haven’t stepped out of their hometown. So I’m definitely grateful I got to see and experience those things.
I think it’s important to see what happens locally within your community. For instance when we go skating in NDG, people stop you to check-in, and you are pretty humble about it.
I guess that’s what a lot of people don’t get to see outside of the skatepark. What the everyday guy that skates doesn’t know is that I’m a man from his neighborhood. For sure I get a lot of love from my city, especially from my area, NDG (Notre Damn de Grace). I shake a lot of hands, you know. I love that. No matter where I go, I know I made a difference in people’s lives.