Our community of rollerbladers often talks of what will “save blading” — but what about saving ourselves? Does that include figuring out what we want to do with our lives and getting on with it? In the case of Nick Riggle that seems to be the case, as the former pro skater that influenced your favorite influencers releases his first novel through Penguin Books. That’s a big deal! Nick’s On Being Awesome parses his life/academic experiences into a handy guide to being your best — a challenge to which all bladers can relate in one form or another. Probably more than you know! So we caught up with this PhD-weilding professor of philosophy to bring a few key points about the book to light. When you’re done, be sure to order a copy for your shelves!
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Nick, when did the idea to write a book present itself?
As I was finishing my philosophy PhD dissertation at NYU I got the idea for an essay on what it means to “suck” as a person — it struck me as a distinctive kind of ethical failing connected to other ways of being or acting: being a killjoy, blowhard, shameless self-promoter, and so on. As I was getting some thoughts on the page, I realized that the opposite of sucking is being awesome, which is related to virtues like being down, game, chill. It grew from there. The book has a whole taxonomy of ways of sucking and being awesome.
Why do you think your blading background prepared you to speak to the public about “being awesome”? Who is the target reader for this book?
I first realized I loved writing by writing skate articles for Daily Bread. I wrote several little creative pieces for DB back in the day. But some of the inspiration for my theory of awesomeness came from the kinds of communities bladers create with and for each other. There’s a lot of love among us! The way we appreciate and encourage each other while developing our individual skating styles — that’s awesome.
The target reader for this book is everyone. It’s really about how to live well together, so if you’re interested in that, then the book is for you. But there’s a few special moments for bladers.
Why should rollerbladers order this on Amazon and read it?
See what your boy Nick Riggle has been up to! But seriously there’s a whole section on the “awesomeness” of skating in chapter 6, and I have some choice words of praise for Julio, Haffey, and Broskow. (Also don’t forget about IndieBound.org and your local bookstores!)
When was the last time your considered yourself a professional skater? Remind everyone who your sponsors were?
I suppose I was officially not pro by ’02 or ’03. My main sponsor was Salomon — I helped design the epically good Salomon boots. But over the years I was pro I was sponsored by Dyna Wheels, 976 Clothing, Third World, Runners Project, maybe some others I’m forgetting. Also, and forever, Peld.
What setup are you rolling on right now? And how often do you get to blade?
Valo TV2 Hemp, anti-rocker. And a big wheel setup with Rollerblade boots and Flying Eagle Supersonic 3×110 frames. The boots hurt my feet so I’m looking for something else. I try to get out once a week, whether it’s big wheeling, skatepark, or something mushroomy around my house. There’s a good crew in San Diego, so someone’s always down to skate.
Anything else you want to add before people click on this link and order the book?
Thanks for the support! It means a lot to me to be supported by the blading community. Also check out this Cap’n Crunch ad I found on the back of an old comic book at the flea market.
Check out Nick Riggle’s book ON BEING AWESOME here.
Nick Riggle been awesome since been awesome.