ONE Staff / December 11th, 2008 / Blade Life
BLADE LIFE: Dan Barnes #1

Dan Barnes — Fishbrain to Fakie

BLADE LIFE is an idea that we’ve used in different ways since its beginnings, but the intention was always to provide a skater with a portal through which they could show people what it was like being a rollerblader. Sometimes we’ve used it to show life on tour, and other times we’ve highlighted pros like Dominic Sagona, but in each instance the story is the same: life as a blader. And now that torch is handed off to Hamburg, New York skater Dan Barnes. We first met when Dan came to California to get clips for the ONE video. Later the idea was born for him to show what it takes to be a skater of his caliber when living somewhere like upstate NY. Dan thought the idea sounded promising, so he’s been busy shooting photos and getting clips for a series of these posts about what’s going on in his area in regards to blading and, well, just being a blader. Enjoy his first entry. — ONE

Dan Barnes — Fishbrain to Fakie

A few Buffalo BLADERS were out skating one day in South Buffalo, what generally has nothing to skate, and we were throwing out ideas for the next spot. As it always goes, everyone can never agree on a spot and then I remembered about this school they had remodeled two years prior what had a burly extending curb/ledge. We agreed to check it out since no one had ever seen/skated it and it’s always good to observe a new spot.

We arrive at the spot and everyone was in shock at how sick it was. It had that very modern California appeal to it, definitely something not seen too often in Buffalo where the buildings are relatively old and built with architecture not suitable for BLADING. I randomly had very rough sandpaper with me that day because I had other intentions to work in a completely different ledge. Anyways, we used it and rubbed the ledge extensively and then put a heavy coat of wax on it and it was ready to be skated.

Since then I have always wanted to Fishbrain the ledge and when Nick Demarchi set up his flashes and was ready to shoot some photos I told myself I had to do it. I approached it slow a couple times and just got used to locking onto the Fishbrain. It was so scary because at the initial lock-on point of it the ledge was basically a curb but at the end had an 8-foot drop over stairs. I was confident I could land it so I started cruising at the ledge and my third try I completely over-jumped the ledge and racked my ribs and literally bounced off of them and landed on the grassy hillside next to the ledge. I honestly said I was done and didn’t want to try it again, but my friends pushed me to do it and encouraged me try it once more.

The last attempt I gave it my all and tried everything to avoid falling again on my ribs. I cruised up to the ledge faster and more confident than the other attempts and just remember locking on, being blinded by the flashes for a brief second and then landing fakie and rolling away with my best friends going crazy. I was so excited and happy that my friends pushed me to land it and didn’t let me leave the spot on a bad-note. As we all know, there is no better feeling than having your best friends pushing you to land something and you do…. That’s what ROLLERBLADING is all about. — Dan Barnes

Photo © 2009 Nick Demarchi

Discussion / BLADE LIFE: Dan Barnes #1

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  • Travis - December 12th, 2008

    Its been years since I’ve strapped a skate on to my foot. And when I say “years”, I mean its been 8-10 years since the last skate session. When I was around 14-16 years old, all we did was live and breath skating. Nothing could stop us, or even get our minds away from anything that didn’t relate to skating. Being in a huge crew of skaters was always fun, challenging, and gave you a sense of camaraderie and well being. When you see a ledge, rail or some kind of gap, and think to yourself, “I cant possibly do this”, and have one of your friends smile and say, “just go for it”, is an extremely surreal feeling. Planing out how it will go down in your head, and trying to get away unhurt, all while being “taunted” by people who haven’t even tried themselves, is funny situation. If you mention to someone how amazing something could be, then you better be prepared to actually try it out. In a sense, you mention it just to have your boys push you to do it. In your head you know its nuts, but at the same time, you really want to land that trick. So you put yourself in a position to be pushed by your fellow skaters. It always feels good having 10-20 people watching and cheering you on to accomplish a trick. Falling, cursing, debating, and attempting all over again is therapeutic, and puts you in a zen state of mind. But after all that, nothing, and I mean NOTHING feels better then sticking the trick, and having all your friends tackle you in celebration of your accomplishment.

    After all is said and done, you look back at what you were once a little afraid of doing. As you look, you think, “what was I afraid of? Hell, that was fun”. The freedom, the camaraderie, the discovery, the simple fun… THAT is what rollerblading was all about.

    While I’m much older, yet, still young in the bigger scheme of life, I have just got back into skating. Sure, I don’t have a huge crew to roll with, or even the same abilities I once had. But, its still nice to get out there and just stick a few tricks, get some exercise out of it, and go home happy. Its funny to notice how your ideals change once you grow older. I enjoy skating now, but in a different sense of it all. I in noway am trying to relive my past, but just do something I enjoy thats active. Although, I will support something I know could be possibly beneficial to someone younger then me. Sorry about that, I’ve rambled on for much to long.

  • Jay Cottrell - December 12th, 2008

    dan barnes is the man, been killing it for years and he has a great taste in skates…so glad hes not my size…sick fishbrain dan

  • tammy t - December 25th, 2008

    You rock Dan!!!

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