Photo: Jeremy Stephenson.
“New York City has been a hub for street skating since the birth of the sport and early videos like The Hoax showed the strong scene that existed there from the very beginning. Jon Ortiz knows about the city’s proud blading history more than most people. Alongside the first generation of street skaters that included Rawlinson Rivera, Ryan Jacklone, Joe Dedentro and the Dave Ortega, Ortiz helped establish the city’s legacy and paved the way for future icons of the spots like Mike “Murda” Johnson and Billy O’Neill.
During the rapid rise in rollerblading’s popularity in the early nineties, Ortiz competed regularly at the NISS and ASA events that received a lot of television coverage at the time and he could be seen in the majority of skate videos that were being released with rapid succession. He was also one of the first skaters to receive a pro wheel from the Medium, the notorious wheel company owned by Shane Coburn before he went on to found Mindgame.
Despite the fact that Ortiz has been rollerblading for over two decades, he is still skating hard and can be seen in many of Denial’s recent edits. He is one of the few professionals from that era that remain involved in the industry and he has managed to carve a career for himself out of the sport by organising rollerblading lessons in his home city and judging major blading events including The Bittercold Showdown and WRS Finals. There are only a handful of personalities that have witnessed the birth of street skating and stuck around to see it develop into its current state, so we decided to gain a little wisdom from one of the original New York icons” – WheelScene. Full Interview on WheelScene.