It’s a well-known phenomenon amongst bladers — people falling off and disappearing.
And sure, for 99.9% of us, life just does not allow us to, or reward us for fixating on blading all day every day.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t blade.
So we got to thinking — WHY do people stop blading? These are the TOP 10 reasons:
So you fucked around and got caught up, and now you’re in a box. Sucks, dood. We get letters pretty frequently from our big house blade brothers, and while it’s great to have letters from dedicated readers, it’s always a bummer too because we know that’s one more person not out there on their blades. If you’re on the inside, stay up. Walk the line. Get the fuck out of there and stay out. Let’s have low recidivism levels be a blading character attribute. For the rest of you, STAY OUT OF JAIL YA JACK NUTS.
Unless you were a pro blader in the late ’90s and early ’00s, if you want regular money you’re probably gonna need a job. There you go, now you’re a man (or woman). Someone else (possibly a boss that sucks major balls) is in control of your destiny (hours), and now you can’t just hop in your car and hit up the sesh. You are a working person with responsibility. At the end of the day you want to sit on your ass, not bust it. But come on bro, we all have things to do. The trick is making a plan and sticking to it. You want to blade. Even if you bust your ass you’ll feel better the next day at work. That feeling? That’s satisfaction.
This one is a killer for many. Snow. Rain. These things happen. I grew up in Ohio and know the feeling intimately — it’s raining balls but hot damn you just. want. to. blade. Our nearest skatepark was like two hours away, and we made that drive all the fucking time. But skating the same thing over and over again while the park fills up with assholes can turn into more of a shit show than a good session. And lots of you don’t even have a park to drive to. So weather is the universal killer that cuts back on a lot of blading for a good part of the year. Fuck you, weather.
I remember school, and honestly when someone tells me they quit blading because of school I want to punch them in the face. Are you in the MBA track at Wharton? No — go blade. Final semester of med school and up to your ass in cadavers all day? Okay, maybe that’s a solid out. But for real, even if you’re in school and taking your shit super seriously, there’s gonna be some time you can blade. But let’s be serious, you’re not out of time, you’re just worried about being pigeonholed by people you may want approval from later. Get over it. Do you and you’ll meet real people that dig the real you. Schedule your sessions like it’s a class you’re not gonna skip.
Family first. Blade family second. If you’ve bladed for any amount of time at all, this is your life. But damn if fam don’t wanna get in the way of your sesh. And you can’t say no, ’cause then you’re the grown-ass person telling your mother/father/nana/sister/brother that rolling around on urethane wheels is more important to your life than whatever the hell favor they need from you. But take it from me, these family things can come back to haunt you. Family guilt is a motherfucker. So… this one is tough. You gotta do what’s right, but I know lots of young fathers and mothers out there getting their shred on, even with little rug rats tugging at their shirts and heartstrings. And we should thank them — those are future bladers they’re raising there!
Too many dudes have gone out due to this one. But it’s the name of the game. You go big and sometimes you go home with a limp (if you’re lucky). And sometimes you’re straight out of the game for good. Respect where it’s due. But the good news is that blading is changing and you don’t just have to have your little grind rocks to be a cool kid. If you’ve got the itch to roll but have been away or are wary of putting too much strain on that broke-down bod, cop some Powerblades and if you’re young enough you just may feel something you’ve never felt before — the effortless glide of eight big ass wheels with fighter jet cornering. Point being, you can get out there and roll by any means necessary. We won’t judge you for it. Woe be the fool that does.
Of course your Blade Fam wouldn’t make you stop (unless ya’ll are beefing I guess), but there’s lots of different people that are gonna come into your life under the “friend” banner, and chances are that 90% of them will give no fucks about blading. Don’t sweat it though. You won’t care about their kids/dogs/cars/boats/boss/whatever, so you’ll be even. But under what sort of reality could it be okay to let your friends prevent you from doing something you’re into? Unless it’s literally, like, you’re helping them with something and you can’t get to a session once in awhile… come on, son — that ain’t right. Once again, we classify the friends excuse as bullshit. Get out there and let your blade flag fly.
I am 36, have a full-time job, a magazine and website to oversee, a wife, a dog, family… all that. I got out to skate three times in the past two weeks. And if I’m not strapping up my Xsjados to do some hoagies and grinders, then I’ve got my camera pointed at something and we’re on a mission. And if there’s not time or motivation (or a giant bruise on my hip) then maybe it’ll just be some Powerblading around the city for a rush and that unmistakable blade feeling. Dudes like Dante Muse are deep into their 40s and killing it hardcore, Jon Julio is the boss and he’s 36 too, and then there’s even that 71-year-old dude who was cited for blading too fast around a plaza or something. Point being, once again — BULLSHIT. You can still blade. Do it.
At first you’re like “But this one is like ‘Work’,” and it sort of is, but it’s more specific. I get emails from people that are hard up for cash and looking for how to get their blade on. Not people looking for a hand-out, mind you, just people that aren’t gonna buy those new CJ blades and need some ideas. So I tell them to hit up their blade friends to buy parts or old blades. Or to hit the thrift stores, because DAMN we’ve found some cool skates there before. And to hit up their local shop or an online outfit to check out the complete skates priced around $100. That ain’t nothing to most folks, and that’s one of the things about blading. It’s expensive enough that blading on the regs will eat into your pocket. But where there’s a will, there’s a way. Be creative and you’ll be rolling.
The #1 blade-career killer, bar none. There’s no way to count all the dudes that quit blading because they got a girl. I alone know like 20. Probably more if I really thought about it. The funny thing is, I’d really have to think about it BECAUSE FUCK YOU DOG GET OUT MUH LANE this is Blade Life — who needs friends that ain’t got time to blade. They get written out of your life. Don’t be the guy that gets forgotten by your blade homies. If your girl ain’t down with you being you, then brother you got bigger problems than blading. (Hint: It’s the girl.) Respecting each other’s interests and passions is paramount to any long term, lasting relationship. What did you make her give up for you? Yeah, thought so. Point is, you gotta blade and the promise of a future with someone that doesn’t want you to blade should be a GIANT RED WARNING LIGHT. This is not the one. Move on. Strap up. Go blade.
Honorable Mention: Life. But then again, isn’t that what all this other shit is?
Great article! I’m super busy with PhD school but I still make time to shred at least 3 times a week during the summer. You’re right on the dot with girls too. Fuck a relationship where she tells you that you can’t skate.
Great article!! lots of friends stopped blading because one of the above reasons unfortunately! Keep blading!
Good write up. I know a handful of people who have bailed because of these exact reasons also.
As a full time college student for engineering, I still find time to blade 5-6 times a week with a full sponsorship load….It can be done
I also love when people give me the Age excuse…If I’m right, one of the best bladers in the world, Richie Eisler is 31-32? Ain’t nothin stoppin him…
Always keep blading!
I wont call any of the above mentioned reasons, I’ll call them all excuses, if you WANT to blade you will do whatever it takes regardless of your situation or circumstances.
It comes down more to interest and commitment, those unfortunately get mistaken for ”reasons”, you make no fool of yourself being honest with yourself and others.
Fucking cry baby bladers, who cares is people don’t want to blade all the time. Maybe if you were a real fucking friend to them you would care redgardless? Just my 2 cents, you have to blade to be my homie. This aint no clique of cool kids, its fucking life expand your damn minds beyond fruitbooting.
12) Beau “Comment on every fucking thing” Cottingston
You forgot the dude who isn’t up to his own standards anymore after turning 25 and quits because he isn’t “good” anymore…..
My stepdad threw out my skates when I was 13 so I’ll add
And because I blade, I’ll add
Because I’m a dick.
Great read , humorous , as I can certainly related to most of the ten points
You missed the most important one: When you live in a shitty place and the little amount of spots you have dissapear one by one
Ehh, I don’t know about that one Goose. You can make your own spots: learn how to mix concrete and brick ledges. You’ll be surprised at what you can make for yourself.
I just turned 28 this year, run my own contracting business, and have a baby due in a matter of days so I don’t get out very often. Maybe once a month, sometimes less, but I’ll be damned if I don’t have a blast with my KY friends when it does happen.
You can consider yourself an ex-blader the day you stop stalling tricks in your shoes on a sidewalk crack. In front of an important client. It happens.
I have a big boy job, a wife, two wonderful children, a mortgage, car payments and every other bill an adult has. But ya know what even tho I’m not on top of my game anymore and can’t skate every day like I used to I still try to make it out a few times a month. I love rollerblading. I will never stop. Even if my body doesn’t let me I’ll be that old creepy guy at the sessions!
so good one only skates with cameras
17 scene death
razors makes scooters…mosteveryone else quit
Look, I’m 35 with 3 babies. Family is the only reason I’m not our there every day. Yet I still find time, Or sneak time. Blading is my mistress. My wife knows This. My wife and nine of my previous girlfriends ever skated. So girlfriends is a flop. My job by law can only work me for all long a day, so when I single I blade every day after work even I’d it was at 3am. I’ve had 36 dislocations in my shoulder and 2 in my knee all from skating and still blade after 20 years of pain, I don’t ever see me stopping. If I ever got locked up, then I’m making my blades inside, It’s a part of me. Til death stop us part. O know lots of friends that quit due to injury, to them I say skate smart. That whole go big or go home was always a dumb Idea. Go smart go technical cause generally tech tricks don’t seriously break you. Start small, gradually go bigger with wisdom and confidence. Make a foam pit and learn flips in that beats on concrete or wood floors. Don’t have the cash, blade trade on FB I got sl for $80. Excused excuses and poor decisions are the only thing that makes any of us quit anything in life
Sorry some typos.none of my girlfriends ever sKated or liked my skating but let me be me, a job can only legally work you for 5-6 days a week and most jobs only work you 8 hours a day just cause they don’t want to pay overtime. is no excuse for not skating. You work 8 hours and have 24 hours every single day. Pick an hour to go skate. Also in California I’ve skateboarders without legs or arms, with prosthetic limbs still out there. Well you truly allow for them to show you up on commitment. I know bladers with no arms or 1 real leg. That earns instant respect. Where’s your?
Fun article but missed a few relevant reasons
If my girlfriend told me I couldn’t skate shed be gone, I already gotta put up with her wanting to skateboard instead cause its “cooler”.
I like your list. I have skated for fitness for a good 15 years and just this year drove by the Louisville extreme park and knew I had to go.
I now inline skate several hours per week I am single and middle aged but with plenty of time to dedicate to learning verts and half-pipes-pads help, too.
Thanks for completely validating the 2-year break I took for my MBA program. It wasn’t Wharton, but a top ranking program none-the-less. I feel having the means to build a new house with a skatepark in my basement kinda makes up for it anyways.
#6 family didn’t seem to include having kids, but I know plenty that have stepped back after that (not me though)
‘bro’ can eat a dick. Razors still makes skates. Your unwillingness to accept others and their activity of choice ups the douche-bag population in the blade world, hence amending your #17 addition to the article. D-bags kill scenes and most certainly do not make blading look appealing. Take a seat and let the rest of us have our fun.
Cool article, Justin. Thanks for the entertaining read.
Good little read.
I would also add, “no one left to skate with/relate with”.
One of the big reasons for some people to fall off from blading is that through the years, your actual blade friends all do other things (family, music, work, all the others listed) and then you’re left skating alone with a group of kids. Sometimes it can be fun, other times it can be downright depressing.
Your view of blading will be extremely different than the view of someone in their teens or early twenties and maybe you feel self conscious about doing backsides and souls when kids are throwing down big moves. As a result, maybe you start doing something else to get that rush you used to get from blading ranging from music/bands, road cycling (Mike Wilson), truck driving (Eric Perkett), to other hobbies like photography (Brian Bowen Smith, Tyler Shields).
I have tried to get old friends who used to be “core” bladers to come back and roll around even on big wheels and for them, they’ve found passions in other outlets and they don’t have the drive to skate anymore. Although it may be sad, they’re still your homies for life and it can’t take away the amazing memories and friendships you’ve developed through the act of skating.
5) Injury – My knees are the bane of my life and will eventually lead to the end of my skate life. Having said that, I can’t ever see myself not being interested in blading in some capacity.
I’ve never thought about quitting, there have been times when I’ve not been able to skate for long periods of time, but I just go with the flow! Also, as you get older you learn to accept friends quitting and juggle work, love and life! There’s nothing wrong with not being able to skate 4 times a week like you used to it, it’s just part of a natural change in life. I’ve just never understood why people just completely stop.
Great read, made me laugh a lot. Especially the last one. I’m sure anyone who isn’t super new to the game can relate to this. Only one overtly missed out, that from my experience has been the end of many rollerbladers is substance abuse/addiction. When guys start partying really hard they rarely get out of bed early to blade on the weekend. Its very sad when this turns to not at all.
Wish I realized that last one years ago, never would have lost 5 years of skating, but have been back in the game for a while now & never been happier
Great article. Love beiing strong to all of the reasons. I have a job as a teacher, i am over 30 years now, have 5 kids who partly also are addicted to blading. Also my knee hurts from time to time and i am the only blader in town. Never the less i try to integrate that blading passion into my life whereever its possible. Get to work on freeskates, collect my children from birthday parties on blades, join boarder and bmx sessions on local skatespots by blades, skate that tired nights trough the city and travel for hours to get to the midnight skating in a bigger citys skatehall when the kids are sleeping and the dishes are cleaned up. My wife doesnt share this love but if she wants me she has to want blading too.
Love 4 life
Greetings from germany
I’ve been skating alone at the UC Davis campus for a year now and I’ve been photographed numerous times, everyone who talks to me gives me props, I’ve got two girls wanting me to teach them, and 7-8 random peoe rollerblading around as transportation because of me…this isn’t much but let’s not focus on why we stopped…the sport never gave up on us…now the sport needs us…what did rollerblading really mean to you? Guys, none of these reasons means we need to stop…we were all hardcore people able to take ridicule with a smile, take pain with a smile, and skated under any circumstance. We still are those people and the sport needs us back! Watch your favorite skate video and tell me why you can’t skate…! If you’re like me and get teary eyed when you watch your favorite skate video then go back out and ride!!!
I love blading . Loved to be exact. As a kid I didn’t care how it made me look, dorky or not. Now at 23 and in college I do find myself thinking if I look retarded if I started blading again.
Just strapped into my old Solomon ST9s after a…. Counting…. 17 year hiautus! The obsession is back, instantly. I’ve been blading all over my town, tearing up the local college campus, skate park, I’d never take them off if that were possible. I just bough my son a pair of blades and am excited to help educate a new generation. What a wonderful thing. I’m only sad i missed out on so many years of something I truly love.
Beau Cottington been a bitch since his wife ditched him