This past spring while fighting off the no-snow blues, I was scrolling through my Instagram feed full of pow day TBT’s and skimming contents when suddenly a glowing post stuck out among the rest…A video of industry badass, Sierra Quitiquit, charging down a boardwalk on a pair of rollerblades. Instantly, I caught the blading bug. So with a leap of faith and an impulsive $175 purchase, I acquired my own pair of rollerblades in attempt to stay in tip-top slope shape all year round.
A week later, when I finally got the notification in my student email that I had received a package, I ran straight to the campus mail room to pickup my blades. I proudly carried my box of blades throughout campus, knowing that its contents would soon make me the coolest kid on campus. However, one small issue began to surface in my mind…I had no idea how to rollerblade. Sure, skis were second nature to me and I had gone ice-skating a few times, but the thought of flying down highly-foot trafficked paths around campus was accompanied by images of collisions, side swipes, and chipped teeth. However, little did I know my college campus had already been infiltrated by the blading bug. Was I the last person to hear of this trend, or do I just happen to roll with some rad peers? (No pun intended). These rad peeps showed me all the blading basics, and I was soon charging down the streets of campus with minimal carnage.
As I continue telling the story of my rollerblading roots, I will introduce the Boulder Blade Brigade. Soon after I hopped on my first pair of blades, I moved down to Boulder, CO for the summer. My favorite possession amongst all the suitcases I brought across the country: my rollerblades. I was super stoked to blade down Boulder’s world renowned bike path system; however, blading alone still intimidated me. Could I hang with the pro bikers and elite runners that traveled these same paths? What if I wiped out into Boulder Creek? After a few solo attempts, I fortunately found the Boulder Blade Brigade. This gang of rad rollerbladers gathers with the sole purpose of blading, socializing, and goofing off with fellow bladers. They helped my beginner self down hills, gave me a few pointers, and had the great idea to blade into a restaurant for brunch! Needless to say, it was an honor to roll with the Boulder Blade Brigade, even though I quickly realized that they were way to profesh for me.
However, with the exception of my time with the Boulder Blade Brigade, I only saw one other rollerblader all summer. This makes me wonder why more people (especially skiers) aren’t out shredding the pavement. So in the interest of my curiosity, what do you think? Are rollerblades a license to badass or a 90’s fad?