BLADE LIFE: An Interview with Shane Conn
Although most people may have heard about you by now, who are you? Why are you being interviewed for ONE?
Well, I would be one Shane Alexander Conn, residing in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I would assume that I am being interviewed by ONE because I’m doing something decent on my blades.
You lived in Pittsburgh your entire life, how has the Steel City shaped who you are today?
I can’t even picture myself growing up anywhere else. I wouldn’t have wanted to either, I wouldn’t be who I am today without this town. Pittsburgh is the greatest place I have ever been to, and I am proud to be from here.
So, I’m guessing you consider yourself a Yinzer. What exactly is a Yinzer?
A resident (current or former) of the greater Pittsburgh region. Fanatics of Steeler Football, Penguins Hockey and loathers of Pirates Baseball. A Yinzer also speaks the unique dialect of “Pittsburghese.” If you hear them talk you’ll know they’re from the ‘Burgh.
Pittsburgh has some pretty insane terrain to explore, what is your main motivation for blading the haggard spots your city has to offer?
My main motive when I go out is to try and accomplish something I have yet to do. Not necessarily learn new tricks, but skate something I haven’t skated before or use a spot in a new way. Every trick is a battle here. There is no such thing as a “perfect” spot in Pittsburgh. Our concrete is old, cracked and weathered. But I like it like that, having difficult terrain that fights you every stride you take makes you a better rollerblader in my opinion.
The equipment you use seems to really assist you in tackling that terrain. Why Xsjados?
Xsjados are the most natural feeling skates ever made. I started skating them when they were first introduced, and since then I’ve tried other skates that just haven’t done it for me.
Where do you see your blading going in the next year?
I’m just going to keep blading like I’ve always done. Learn new things everyday and continue to search through the Pitts for new terrain.
Who have you been watching lately? What bladers have caught your eye?
All the Pittsburgh bladers are my favorite dudes to watch. Cody Reffner, Bruce Bales, Jason Snow, Vinnie Fox, Justin Patton, Ryan Parker, Brant Pickup, Matt Plasencia, and the list goes on and on. Other than my crew, I’d have to say Andrew Hall is always killing everything along with Michael Briggs. The Mushroom Blading guys are the shit, too.
How has working on the “Yinzer Blading” edit series helped your blading? I feel like we have explored Pittsburgh more than ever before, could you comment on this?
Yinzer Blading has made my blading a lot more versatile, for sure. I look at everything as a potential spot. We have definitely explored more of Pittsburgh than I think has been done for blading than ever before. We used to have the tendency to just go to the same old spots every session but we’ve changed that. Exploring and finding new and unique obstacles to blade makes everything a hell of a lot more interesting.
If you were ever to move, which I don’t see happening, where would you want to go?
I’d move out of the country for sure. Barcelona or Sydney are the top two places I’d love to visit and possibly reside in. But if I stayed in the U.S., Arizona would be my first choice.
Where did your nickname “Wolfman” come from?
Ha ha, well, it came from a series of unrelated, random events and just stuck. When I was a kid, wolves were always my favorite animals. I was obsessed with them. My first year of high school I took a German class in which the teach assigned my name as “Wolfgang.” Then a year later I met my good friend Hawke Trackler. I introduced myself to him and his only response was “no, you’re Wolfman.” I couldn’t deny it.
If you were in control of the blading industry what would you change?
I’d give more young and talented bladers the chance to showcase their skills and skate for companies. Other than that, I have no comment and could care less about what the rollerblading industry does.
Is blading healthy in your mind? In other words, do you think we are all headed in the right direction?
I don’t think there is a “right direction” to take. As long as rollerbladers keep blading and continue to love what they do I think we are just fine. All the speculation on how blading is going to get big again is pointless and a waste of time. Just blade.
How has blading changed for you? Have you even noticed a difference in blading over the last four years?
My blading has matured tremendously over the last four years, that’s for sure. I used to just show up at spots and skate them like anyone else would skate them. I think a lot more now and keep my eyes pealed for details at spots. I prefer maneuvers that aren’t standard.
Who would you like to thank for this opportunity? I’m sure we will be seeing a lot more of you in the very near future, but what should we be expecting?
I’d like to thank ONE for giving me this Blade Life opportunity, Bruce Bales for the photos and interview, Pittsburgh, all of my friends for always pushing me to blade my best and you, the reader. Definitely expect more Yinzer Blading and possibly more full profiles. I howl in your general direction.
Photos and Interview by Bruce Bales
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Love Shane Conn! Best dude. Thanks One for showcasing his talent to the world.