Oh, you know… we’re four weeks into 2014 and someone’s already cracked open the haterade on us bladers.
Big. Freakin’. Surprise.
Steady blade hate has been raining down our way in intermittent fits since as long as there’s been a blader trying to tell someone they’re “aggressive.” It goes with the turf. And come on, if someone told you with a straight face that they were “aggressive” (about anything) you’d probably laugh in their face. So maybe we even had it coming.
And these days that’s not necessarily just speculation. There’s this story about how much skateboarding was collapsing at the same time blading was ascending — going so far as to reference blading as a possible cause! There’s also this story on Outside.com about how snowboarding is crashing and burning, and in it you can see some areas of clear overlap between blading and boarding in regards to how things were done that might not end up being that savvy after all. See for yourselves.
So we did some talking with the ONE crew and some research on the interwebs and came up with a list that some of you may find interesting.
In celebration of Shaun White proving he’s a bigger douche than anyone ever expected, we present the Top 5 Blader Haters:
5) Dave Carnie
First off, he may be a large, hairy, not-so-athletic looking drunk, but Dave Carnie demands you acknowledge that he’s “a total FAGIT that likes to suck cock in rollerblades.” Wait, that can’t be right. Because in fact Dave’s the guy behind the infamous “Rollerblading Hunter” article featuring Arlo, and wore his flattering gold lame skin suit on the cover of Big Brother’s “Boob” video. As the long-time head writer for BB, Dave’s influence rang far and wide. He’s very convinced his ridicule led to our current state, and seems quite pleased with it. “I don’t think it’s incorrect to say that skateboarders mocked rollerblading out of existence.” Also, he’s aware of “Barely Dead,” in which he is mentioned by name.
4) Rob Dyrdek
I have mixed feelings about how bad Dyrdek is for blading, since he’s probably even worse for skateboarding. But beyond that, Rob D hosts his little MTV show and never, NEVER misses a chance to extract a few ratings points or audience jeers at the expense of a blader getting racked. He’s also just petty enough to do things like post on Twitter about how “Skiing is rollerblading” or comment on Facebook when someone calls him out. Rob D is a huge symbol of the typical action sports dip shit, and has been badmouthing us for years, so let’s just hope a nice, abrupt drop in his ratings spins him right out of the limelight.
3) Danny Way
He’s the guy that practically created the era of big stunt riding. He dropped out of a helicopter into a vert ramp. He ollied the Great Wall of China, and also pioneered the mega ramps that today fuel much of the action sports landscape. Danny Way has no doubt pushed the sport of skateboarding forward. He’s also huge dick that has talked as much public shit about blading as just about anyone, so as much as he pushed his sport forward he worked to hold ours back. Did we mention his brother co-founded DC Shoes? Wearing those is like giving this guy a high-five (or helping his mortgage). Bigotry and derision is an old schooler’s game and guys like ol’ “One Way” Way will find themselves on the losing side of segregationists in the long history of action sports lore.
2) Jason Ellis
Besides looking a bit like Goldie the DJ if he got his ass beat repeatedly for about a decade, Jason Ellis came to everyone’s attention back in 2009 when he said a bunch of disparaging shit about blading on the Howard Stern show and, more important to bladers, Brian Shima allegedly sent him a rebuttal email that, depending on your perspective, was awesome or abysmal. But that was the start of our official romance with this be-tatted man-beast, who in 2012 felt compelled to tell the fine folks at espn.go.com “Rollerblading died. The X Games kicked it out, and quite frankly, that was cool. But it’s not enough. I need you to die 5,000 times. I need you 20,000 feet under the ground. That’s where I stand on rollerblading. If you’re a girl and you’re tightening your buns on the boardwalk, that’s okay. If you’re five years old, that’s okay. Anything after that, you’re a tool bag. Know this.” So he’s out there playing cheerleader for us. Keep that in mind.
1) Shaun White
If the Shaun White “morality” nonsense is offending for any reason, it’s mostly because with the Olympics about to air on NBC this asshole and his name are going to be everywhere for about two weeks straight. Then, Jah be praised, he’ll disappear back into the Red Bull can from which he came, but right now the blade state is all aflutter about White going off about how “I did say no to rollerblades because I just had to morally draw a line. I have never really been a big fan of rollerblades. They were like, ‘Rollerblades are huge in Europe!’ I’m like, ‘I really don’t care. We’ll let the scooters slide, but I’m not doing rollerblades.'”
Before you get mad, realize that this statement is the lowest and cheapest kind of publicity stunt.
1) It’s the safest play he can make. This guy who pretends to be cool just admitted to making scooters. SCOOTERS! He says they’re not cool, but silently implies that it’s such a lucrative venture that to say no would be absurd. But blading, BLADING is a sacrificial, populist lamb presented to distract the nay-sayers and sway public support.
2) This guy has nothing to say! Not only does he need to shield his venture from PR blowback, he’s got to appear edgy and “not afraid to speak his mind.” But the fact is that the guy can’t speak his mind. He’s worth a goddamn fortune and has a whole machine that has probably moved from “behind him” to “swallowed him” as his popularity and marketability grew. He’s got to tow the line. That means being “one of the guys.” And all the cool kids are out there worried about blading, right?
But down in there somewhere I’d wager there’s one other thing to consider, and that’s that like it or not — and these guys definitely don’t like it — they recognize that blading is walking the path that leads to legitimacy. That road is paved with persecution and bullshit — exactly the kind of circumstances the skateboarding efforts have created for us. They’ve built us the perfect incubator to develop the very things we lacked — the very things they could sorta actually call us out for. So kudos to them. We’re small but we’ve got a real voice and now we’re a couple generations deep. If Shaun White made a skate, would you let him? Or would you call him what he’d be, a big ol’ PHONY?
I think people were smart enough to figure that out. Scootering is young. I’m not sure they have the same level of heritage and history that even we do. There’s less of a vanguard there to prevent pure exploitation like Shaun White Enterprises (or whatever the hell it’s called) is doing.
So again I say way to go, bladers. Let’s keep on pissing off bitter assholes and over-achieving brats. Let’s hope they never figure us out and that someday we can laugh this whole thing off as the lame brain, small-minded nonsense it clearly is.