Randy Spizer had a special way of doing “Farfrompukens.”
One rarely meets a person like John Schmit. He listens patiently while you ramble on and on about your views and opinions, rarely interjecting with his. He can talk shit to anyone with just the right tact so as to never to offend (I’ve seen him make fun of strangers outside a nightclub regarding who they voted for. They both walked away smiling). He’s a better resource than the Internet if you’re looking for a good concert in Minneapolis. I’ve never known anyone who’s met him that didn’t hold him in the highest regards. I’m lucky enough to know John Schmit.
I formally met John Schmit in 1993, outside of a Federal Reserve building in downtown Minneapolis where bladers used to meet and roll. He wore cream-colored palm-protectors, similar to weight-lifting gloves, which were rare those days as most bladers opted for black wrist guards with plastic. I remember him being one of the first people I shook hands with while introducing myself — for some reason I didn’t think to do that before. Aside from his random nap times, Schmit was always down to skate (and occasionally still does).
In 1995, the Royale (once called a shifty royale) was a new trick. Schmit tried sliding it the opposite way and coined it a Reverse Royale, a seemingly appropriate name. He told me via text message that he first did the trick on the Buckingham Fountain ledges in downtown Chicago. A fitting city, as Schmit is known by his close friends as the “white Scotty Pippen.” That winter, he showcased his new trick.
Every year in December, Minnesota bladers drove 8 hours (7 if you speed and 13 if you get caught in a snowstorm) to SCRAP Skatepark in the Chicago suburb of Hoffman Estates. In 1995, Seattle legend Chad Grout was there.
Chad Grout brings a charismatic energy everywhere he goes. He and I jokingly purchased blue roller skates in a thrift store in south Chicago, only to see him frontside a rail with said roller skates a few hours later. His crowd pleasing “We’re Not Gonna Take It” by Twisted Sister, played during his runs on the pro tour, became a staple at each stop. After civically reporting a burglary in Palm Springs, CA he argued with the reporting police officer over my right to buy cigarettes. If something worth writing about was happening, Chad Grout was somewhere close.
Back in Chicago, Schmit showed his Reverse Royale to Grout who quickly learned it and was lacing Reverse Royales all over SCRAP (Skating Cycling Rollerblading Action Park, in case you’ve driven yourself crazy over that acronym). One interesting quirk about Grout is that he loved talking about his Volkswagen. In the early 1990s Volkswagen ran an ad campaign using the German word fahrvergnügen when referring to its cars. Fahrvergnügen translated to English means “driving pleasure.” Chad’s influence by and love for his car eventually named the trick. John Schmit’s chosen name of the Reverse Royale was short-lived and Fahrvergnügen, later shortened to “farv,” took the reign. John Schmit invented it. Chad Grout named it. Thank you both. — Jon Robinson
Here is some “Hoax 2” footage containing SCRAP Skatepark footage as well B Hardin grinding the Buckingham Fountain ledges at 2:24: