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?