Issac Golle and Rollerblading

 How did I get into rollerblading? I hardly even know.
   It was something that was always there, I just needed someone or something to, “Show me the light”. Even then, it took me a while to realize the amazingness of the thing that had basically been placed right in front of me.
    The first time I remember seeing aggressive skating was somewhere around the ages of 7-9. Remember the movie, “An extremely goofy movie!”? Remember how that movie involves the X-games, and it was long enough ago that rollerblading was still in it? I do. I remember watching in awe as Goofy’s son, whos name I can’t remember, put on rollerblades and went through an obstacle course containing rails and gaps and the like. Of course it was cartoon so it wasn’t that realistic but I still thought it was really cool that rollerblades could be used for the same thing skateboards were. So after my mom painstakingly unglued me from the tube I ran outside, threw on my dollar store inline skates, which i had only been using for road hockey, and tried to hit a rail. Of course I had no idea about waxing a rail, or what the hell an h-block was, and so the result was miserable and I ended up covered in bruises and minor cuts. It was enough for me to think that I should just leave it to the pros, and for four years I lived in complete oblivion to the awesomeness which i was missing out on. 

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    In that time I tried skateboarding and didn’t have much more success so I decided to stick to road hockey. In addition to this, my family had moved to the states due to my dad’s job and I remember several times catching glimpses of rolling in major events like the X-games. I still didn’t wake up and my family soon moved back to the town we had come from: Parry Sound, Ontario. Of course, we were nowhere near civilization because my father had inherited a 200 acre farm which my parents were determined to keep going. (they failed) Somehow I met this asian kid named Caleb and he said he lived at a camp near by called Muskoka Woods, since his dad was the head chef of the kitchen there. He was into skateboarding and asked if I wanted to come and skate with him at the massive B3 skatepark that they had there. I was 12 or 13 at the time and this seemed like a cool thing to do, so I said yes. However, there was a catch. I had to bring my own equipment and pads because the camp had packed all theirs away for the season. I had my own pads, and I had the choice to bring a wal-mart skateboard or a wal-mart pair of skates. Something told me to bring the skates. I brought them and in the few hours we skated, I barely learned how to go up and down ramps. This was a huge achievement for me and I considered myself a rollerblader from that point on.

     I went to Muskoka Woods several other times with a home school group, (yes, I was home schooled for a while), and we were taken to skate the smaller, crappier B2 park. This was the first time I had ever used aggressive skates and they weren’t in the best condition so I thought my skates were better. However I did learn to air out of quarter pipes and such. Suddenly, I started not being home schooled anymore and I stopped going to Muskoka Woods which lead to, two years with absolutely no skating. I didn’t miss it much though because I still hadn’t been given the full-frontal rollerblading treatment. Close to the end of this two year skateless period my mom got a job at Muskoka Woods as a housekeeper. This meant that me and my brother could go to a camp, which kids pay thousands of dollars to go to for one week, for absolutely no charge. I was 15 and had recently quit my boring job at Tim Horton’s so I decided to sign up for a week doing what they called inline skating at B3.

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    The first day rolled around and I reluctantly got out of bed nice and early so I could go to camp for the day. I honestly didn’t expect more than what I had already been getting out of rollerblading: going up and down ramps. When I arrived at the activity meeting point I heard my name called and turned around to see some guy who was almost shorter than me, almost as skinny as me, and he was wearing glasses. He was also wearing these really stupid looking shoes which I later learned were called footwraps for a skate called xsjado’s and that they weren’t stupid. Until then I didn’t even know skating had its own brand names. Anyways, I thought this guy was kind of weird at first, because the only cool skating type image I knew was that of skateboarders. The guys name was Roger Wilkinson, and I had no idea that he was going to take my viewpoint on rollerblading and turn it completely around.

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    We walked up the really long hill to B3 and Roger lent me a pair of skates that didn’t have a brake on them. I later on learned they were made by a company called, “Remz”. We got to the skatepark and I still wasn’t expecting much. I padded up and put on Roger’s smelly skates. We were given a quick tutorial about the rules of the park, and then told to go do, “crazy awesome tricks and stuff”. Roger had disappeared somewhere and I started rolling back and forth, back and forth on the ramps, thinking I was amazing because i had good balance. After about 10 minutes I got bored and went to look for Roger to see if he could roll back and forth better than me. I did not see what I was expecting. I turned a corner just as Roger aired a spine ramp, and busted out a front Royale across a long length of coping. I was amazed and stunned and confused all at the same time. Where did this come from? I thought this kind of rollerblading only happened on that goofy movie! Over the course of the week I learned to frontside and backside stall, and was refreshed with some old things I had been taught. Roger introduced me to the underground world of rollerblading, Chris Haffey, Aragon, Razors, Remz, Chris Farmer, basically everything I needed to know to get me intrigued. I went back for the last two weeks of summer in which time I learned about the different soul tricks and how to grind a ledge. I have only been skating for just over a year but I’ve learned a lot of new stuff and I am getting better and loving every minute of it. And that’s my story on how i finally found rollerblading.

Thanks Roger, you got me addicted!!!!!

 

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– Roger wilkinson
Photos by Katie Demetrious

Warren Hutton’s Story

Guelph Ontario. A small community with not much going on. In general, it does not help youth find many interesting things to do. I was in this position about 5 years ago, when rollerblading was not a part of my life. I still remember the first time I ever saw rollerblading. I was loafing around home, flicking through channels when I passed by an ASA event. Dominic Sagona was ripping through the park course with his t-shirt half on, and style I’d never seen before in my life. From that point on, I knew I wanted to start rollerblading. My 15th birthday was one of the happiest days of my life! My mother knew that I had a new found glory with rollerblading and decided to take me to sports shop and buy me some skates. Once I got to the shop, I saw TRS’s on display and I ran right towards them. The moment I held the skates and tried them on, I knew I was going to be a rollerblader. I remember when I brought my skates home, I skated in my basement for hours, just rolling around and jumping over things. It was a rush that skateboarding and other pass times, the media glorified, didn’t deliver to me.

Once some of my friends saw the skates, they needed some too. I was bringing kids into rollerblading just by getting into rollerblading myself. We would meet up everyday after school and on weekends to go skate the University of Guelph. I have vivid memories of our first grinds, gaps and switch-ups. Rollerblading built our friendships to a level I’d never thought possible.

As the years went on, and some people decided that rollerblading wasn’t for them, I continued doing what I had grown a passion for. Once I began rollerblading on a regular basis, I started meeting new rollers, including a couple of people that influenced me greatly. DP, Sean Knight & Paul Pursell were the Guelph crew at the time, and the moment they saw me with my Broskow skates, they took me under their wing. They taught me what I needed to know, and showed me how far rollerblading could, and would take me. Skating with older dudes was scary at first for me. I felt like I needed to impress them for some stupid reason. They would tell me things like, “Just do tricks that you think are sick,” and, “Skating is all about fun, if you’re not having fun – you’re not doing it right.” As the years began to pass, trends went in and out, music tastes changed, and fashions became old, but rollerblading was always number one on my list. It was just as fun, if not more fun than when I began. I started to progress, and I wasn’t the only one noticing. As I continued skating and gained a “flow,” or feel for skating in general, everything became possible. Rollerblading constantly progresses for me, each and everyday there is always something new to do.

The summer of 2007 was my “stepping stone,” if you’d call it that, into the actual rollerblading community. DP would tell me about competitions, the crowd, the hype, and the all-around fun the events created. He was always begging me to go with him to the competitions. Once summer rolled around, I had a lot of time on my hands, so DP would help me fill in that time with rollerblading. Practice, practice, practice. I began filming clips and getting photos with DP & Knight, they showed me how truly amazing rollerblading could be. It’s not just the simple act of skating, which makes it amazing. It’s also being with other people that share a passion for it, just as you do. They always find the time to skate and chill. As I began coming out to sessions, I started to see it throughout the entire Ontario scene; a tight-knit group of people who are progressing the sport of rollerblading everyday.

Looking towards the future of rollerblading in my life, I have plenty of plans. I am working out a way to move to Calgary for the summer to work with Dallas Kurtz and Alien Inline, teaching kids how to rollerblade. I am also looking forward to the many opportunities arising with sponsorships and what not. I have no idea what will actually happen, but I know that rollerblading will guide me down a path that I will love. I never pictured myself to be so committed to just one thing in my life, but I think rollerblading is perfect for me. Rollerblading has gotten me through many personal battles and keeps my mind in a place I like. Rollerblading has done so much for me, and I will continue to show what I can do with it.

-Roger wilkinson

Me and Muskoka Woods

About two years ago, in the spring of 2007, I found myself working fulltime at a Wendy’s. That’s right, I was cooking chili, flipping burgers, and taking orders. Believe me it was a lot less glamorous then it sounds. I was pretty much the most diligent worker there and after 5 months they wanted to make me a shift manager. That’d be the life, telling useless teenagers to remember to ask if they want fries with that. I thought. God is this what my life is going to be like for the next couple of years! I was praying for a way out, and in a sudden turn of events rollerblading stepped in. It came as a call from a friend. A once in a lifetime opportunity, which would come to change my life entirely.

It was on a Friday afternoon, and my friend Brian Lofgren called me up. He had heard from a friend of his, Jen, that there was a summer camp called “Muskoka Woods” looking for someone to be an inline instructor. Brian couldn’t go because he had just moved out on his own and needed to have a job to pay his bills, so he instantly thought of me. It was a full-time position, which would entail me moving up to the camp for the next ten weeks to teach kids how to aggressive skate. It paid very little because they would take you room and board directly off your paycheck and give you what was left, roughly $110.00 a week. I didn’t really care though, because it was just the thing I was looking for to get away from Wendy’s.

That weekend Brian and I drove out to Kitchener to meet up with his friend to find out more about the camp. After hearing about how great the camp is, I decided to apply, and did so online on the following Monday. On Wednesday I had an over the phone interview, and on Thursday I received a contract offer via email. The only catch was that the contract started the next day! Sooooo I went into Wendy’s Thursday afternoon, about 2 hours before my closing shift was about to start, and quit. To say the least they were not happy about it, but it was an opportunity of a lifetime and I wasn’t going to let Wendy’s stand in my way. I signed my contract with Muskoka Woods and started to pack for camp. The next morning, I met up with Jen to hitch a ride to camp to start my summer as an inline instructor for Muskoka Woods.

My summer at camp was amazing. I would skate for 6 hours a day teaching kids how to skate and do tricks. On my free time I could skate more or flirt with one of the many hot girls on camp. The food was free and always prepared, there was a lake for swimming on the really hot days, and there wasn’t much “real” work to be done. I couldn’t have asked for more. My skating got exceptionally better, I got to take part in some crazy games and activities, and I met tons of awesome people, including my now long term girlfriend, Katie Demetrious. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because she has helped us at CanadianRoll by taking awesome pictures and helping us with filming and editing. Without Muskoka Woods I wouldn’t be were I am today, and it all came from rollerblading. Rollerblading was the only, and I mean only reason I ended up at Muskoka Woods that summer; and to be honest at times it seemed like I was just suppose to be there. The way I see it, I was simply meant to be rollerblading. All of the best things in my life have stemmed from it and it has made my life better. Sometimes I wonder what my life would be without rollerblading, and all I can picture is me standing alone in a pickup window wearing a gay uniform and head set, asking the fat guy in his huge diesel pickup truck with an engine that is to loud to hear over if, “He wants fries with that?”

– by Roger Wilkinson

The Dirty H Hits Up Inflow Skatepark

yesterday was probably the biggest snow storm of the year, so the natural thing for us in Hamilton to do is go to a skate park. Roger Wilkinson called me in the morning and our conversation went as follows.

Roger: “You rolling today?”

Nick: “It’s the worst storm of the year”

Roger:”I have a car”

Nick:”O.K, lets roll”

Here are some pictures I snapped of Roger. Also, thanks to Marcos Horta for coming out, and finally doing the down box!

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-Nick. D

Re-Post; Hamilton Edit

I figured with the site update I would repost the Dirty H (Hamilton, Ontario) edit , that was made by Roger Wilkinson. This gives everyone a little taste of Hamilton rolling. Be on the look for another great street edit some time around April (talk about advanced notice).

-Nick. D

Funny Video

The only thing that makes this funny is that the person in this video is dead serious, and it was shot during a time period where talking about drugs was taboo. Also, this is an advertisement for a drug rehab center. Classic!

-Nick. D

Video Games: Jet Set Radio

Welcome to another part of my lifestyle, and I would think a part of other rollers lifestyles as well, videogames. This is a look back at the Jet Set Radio series of games. If your a roller chances are you have played, or heard of these games. go HERE if you want to see the look back of the game.

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 – Nick. D