I honestly don’t think I have watched a video this many times after buying it since the days when you had to wait patiently for over a week for the VHS/DVD to show up in the mail. State of the Art (SOTA) is a video that will remain relevant for years to come. In my opinion it represents rollerblading in a way that can be enjoyed and respected by not only those within the community, but also those on the outside. It brings professional grade cinematography and editing to an industry flooded with mediocre standard-def fisheye edits.
Don’t get me wrong, there are a handful of people out there that produce professional content and completely rock the hell out of a VX1000 and a .3x. But it is always a breath of fresh air, or more so a breath of new life, when something of this caliber documents something that you love. Similar to how juiced you are to hold a physical copy of ONE or Be-mag vs. scrolling over a “pic of the day” on Rollernews. It’s great to see blading depicted in a professional and artistic manner rather than what comes off as a bunch of teenage kids destroying private property.
Those willing to invest their time and resources into rollerblading need to be supported, and there is no better way to directly support them than through purchasing VODs. If you complain about the state of rollerblading or that COMPANY X is not paying their pros enough, then you need to take a step back, stop acting so entitled, and actually do something about it.
Companies have P&L’s (profit and loss analysis) that they need to worry about, and in such a small industry it is no small task to keep a company afloat. Yes, we all need to keep buying their products so that they can continue to make them, but in addition to that you can contribute to the strength of the industry by purchasing VODs. Through VODs you’re able to directly reward someone for putting an effort into rollerblading. Take for example Alex’s Portland edit that he and Amir worked on for over a year. It was $5. For $5 you got close to 20 mins of some of the most perfected rollerblading you will ever see. You got hammers in an era where that’s not the norm. Alex gave every one of us grown-up groms a reason to jock a pro again, from Dickies to toe rolls. Every rollerblader, whether you skate everyday or only once every couple of months, should have bought that VOD. Same thing with Chris Smith’s VOD and some others. If you watched that and did not donate anything towards it then you are a part of the reason rollerblading is stagnant.
SOTA was $20. Pretty steep in terms of a rollerblading VOD. But Jona’s gear, travel expenses, his time, the value you can put to his skills, etc… $20 is nothing. Now I am not sure how many people have purchased SOTA but I am sure he’s not rolling in money from the video. Hopefully it’s enough to keep him involved so he puts out a couple edits here and there, and with a little luck hopefully puts`out another video in the next couple of years.
Visually, the video is awesome. Great quality, creative angles, it really makes blading look rad. Unlike Jona’s last video Traitment — which was incredible — SOTA follows a more traditional blade video format filled with montages and sections accompanied by a pretty great variety of music. The video has great flow and is enjoyable to watch start to finish. There are also those sections that you’ll find yourself skipping forward to for juice before going out to session.
The video documents all that’s great about blading: exploring different cities on skates, finding unique spots to hit, sessions, and just having a great time with friends. There is progressive blading from seasoned pros like Sizemore, Montre, Soichiro and Rob G., as well as up and coming faces like Howie Bennett, Kare Lindberg, Danny Beer, Josh Glowicki, and a really well rounded global mix of other bladers. It’s close to an hour in length and packed with a great variety of different skating that you won’t see in any other video that is out.
In conclusion let me say: Twenty bucks well spent. Buy it. Put your money where your mouth is and stop complaining about the (State of the) industry (Art) and let’s collectively do something about it.
Buy State of the Art HERE