What is that lesson? That maybe, just maybe, all the money spent on molds, and innovative materials, and carbon fiber, and complex mounting solutions, and skates without cuffs, or skates that fit over shoes, or, or — oh my god the USD Legacy! — could and would have been better spent on tours, and contest circuits, and hiring marketers and sports agents for athletes, and generally investing in the SOFT CAPITAL of our community.
All these many skate models and years later it’s clear that tried-and-true molds of years past aren’t just “good enough” — they are very good. They do what is expected and allow manufacturers, retailers, and skaters to have a relatively low financial bar of entry into our sport.
For 15 years Jon Julio proved that with Valo. Sure, he had a skin hiding the truth, but that truth was there and eventually broke out into the spotlight with the V13… and now as THEM capitalizes on those same truths, Roces is again in a position to dispose of pretense and return to their powerful roots.
Meanwhile, we’re here wondering how many thousands of bladers would still be out there actively shredding if all those untold hundreds of thousands of dollars of hardware innovation had instead gone into reminding everyone why we want to skate in the first place. — JE