Posts Tagged ‘WheelScene’

Jon Ortiz “Where Are They Now?” WheelScene Interview

February 1, 2012

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.



Justin Brasco WheelScene Interview

September 27, 2011

“If you are reading this and wondering why you have never heard of Justin Brasco, fear not. The New York blader rarely appears in online edits and if you blinked while watching either of The Truth videos by Austin Paz and the Kelso brothers, you probably missed him. Brasco is the muscular guy that appears in the montage sections and lands some bloody hard tricks. This is not particularly surprising, as there are talented new skaters popping up all the time that show a lot of promise. It’s the fact that he skates the same obstacles as the profiled skaters and manages to land much better tricks, which indicates that we may have witnessed another east coast legend in the making without realising it” – Wheel Scene. Read the full interview here.

Tell us a little bit about yourself?
Justin Brasco: I’m 27, which is the new 21, and I feel better than I did at 16. I’ve been skating for about 13-14 years – almost half of my life. I skate for USD, Undercover and Casualty. I’m living in Massapequa with some friends. It’s an hour outside of Manhattan, in the suburbs, with a tight skate scene and it’s close to the beach. I can’t complain.

How did you get into rollerblading?
Back when I first started, around ‘97, I was living in Brooklyn and, unlike Long Island, it was real big and very diverse. There were tonnes of kids doing all different things. My neighbours were a lot older and skateboarded all day, smoked pot and listened to Rage against the Machine. They had girls that would just sit back and stare while they attempted kickflips for hours. At the time, I was a 4ft loner and idolised them. Skateboarding wasn’t my thing, so my parents bought me some cheesy recreational blades from the store. I rolled around a bunch, jumping chairs and garbage cans in my backyard, until I felt comfortable to hit the street with my boys. I had friends from all over Brooklyn that skated. They were killing it and made me want to start so bad. I tossed my skates and went out and got some Rollerblade Chocolates, and from there I couldn’t stop.

I have seen a few clips of you in //The Truth// videos but other than that there hasn’t been much footage of you floating around. Where have you been hiding?
For awhile, I fell off. I was stressing about my future, girlfriends, school and life in general. I put skating aside, and when I skated it didn’t feel the same. It wasn’t fun anymore. Luckily, life started to fall into place a little better and I realised I can’t take life too seriously. I got back out there and started skating a lot more. I began skating a lot to film for The Truth DVDs. While doing this, I saw Fish (Billy O’Neill), (Austin) Paz, the Kelsos and everyone just going all out and killing it. They were so determined and loved skating. It made me realise I needed to focus more and give skating my all because I love it so much.


Austin Paz WheelScene Interview

September 16, 2011

“It seems as though Austin Paz has been putting out video sections forever. He has had timeless parts in The Truth video series, which he created with the help of the Kelso brothers, as well as various appearances in the Valo team videos. It’s crazy to think that his first Eulogy edit was only four years ago. The Staten Island native has since received numerous pro wheels from Eulogy, yet mysteriously still resides on the amateur team for Create Originals and Valo. Paz recently relocated to Arizona, so we decided to catch up with him and find out how his love for blading began” – WheelScene. Read the full interview on the WheelScene website.

First blades: My first skates ever that I can remember were those Fisher-Price plastic skates where the wheels move from roller skates to inline skates. From there I had two other pairs of recreational skates. I don’t really remember the brand but I tore through them and finally moved on to my first pair of aggressive skates, which were Rollerblade Menaces. They were a size three US.

First skate video: My brother was the one who got me into skating and the first video I remember him coming home with was VG5, I didn’t even know there were skate videos or anything like that at the time. My VCR ate my VG5 a few years ago – R.I.P.

First skater you looked up to: I never thought about this before but after I think about it, I remember seeing the best skaters in my home town of Staten Island and remember saying to myself that I wanted to be that good one day. I think the first time I ever noticed how good they really were was when I was skating a handicap rail on my block and a few of them were walking by saying stuff like, “Oh, cool man skating yeah!” and they were jumping and transferring the rails on their sneakers. By that point I couldn’t even picture doing that on shoes, let alone my skates. I remember practicing misty flips on my parent’s bed that night after seeing them, ha! As an individual though, I might have to say Angel Soto was a major influence on a lot of Staten Island skaters in the late ‘90s, but I kind of also looked up to his younger brother Jon because he was really young like me but also killed it way harder than anyone his age at the time.