Fishbrain Stall / VG10 cover
How fun is rollerblading for you these days?
I frickin’ love rollerblading… almost as much as I used to. The only thing I don’t like about it these days is the self-awareness it brings. I used to use skating as a tool of almost invincibility. Now, after every time I skate, I’m reminded how my body is breaking down and how I am not in the shape I used to be. Don’t get me wrong, rollerblading rules — the rush of landing a trick or sticking a line is still there. I’ve come to accept, however, that the trick won’t be as big or the line won’t be as long. And it’s okay.
First, I’d like to thank ONE magazine, Justin, and you, Mr. Opalek, for giving me this opportunity. It’s cheesy, but I appreciate it. To my wife, Lisa, and daughter, Amelie, who help me find skate parks when we go on vacation, I love you both. Also, to all the Minnesota guys that I’ve been skating with throughout the years and didn’t mention, sorry, you all rule. And everyone who’s let me stay with them throughout the years from Melbourne and Texas, to Omaha, Iowa, Chicago, Seattle, Vermont, all over California, and everywhere else I’ve been but forgotten… thank you. To everyone reading this — keep buying rollerblading stuff. It’s challenging, and sometimes the price isn’t what you’d like, but do it anyways because your contribution helps. Start eating right and staying in shape — those two things will keep you skating at least through your ‘30s. Also, to everyone, just keep rolling. This is one of the few sports where it’s likely you’ll get to skate with your idol and maybe even become friends with him. When I was 14, I never dreamed that one day I’d go on tour with Chris Edwards, or know Arlo, Brooke Howard-Smith, Mike Opalek, Jess Dyrenforth or Pat Parnell on a first-name basis. When you get older, these are the times you’ll be reflecting on, so enjoy them and make the most. Try the rail you’ve always wanted to do. Throw yourself over the gap you’ve thought about until your palms were filled with sweat. Commit to your trick, you’ll thank yourself forever.
Interview by Mike Opalek
MANUEL BILLIRIS AUSTRALIAN VERT SKATER. Definitely one of the earlier dudes of Australian power house vert skaters back i nthe day. He was sponsored by Oxygen and had a pro whell/shirt with Cozmo…back when crowds cheered for vert skaters…oh man this has got me thinking about Crank Straps heel straps. Anyways he had a pro skate with Oxygen-pretty much the Argons with a green buckles etc…