Canadians have accomplished some truly amazing things on the world stage. Vancouver’s own Man in Motion Rick Hansen circumnavigated the globe in a wheelchair. Astronaut Chris Hadfield spent five months orbiting the planet and live tweeting the experience. The guys in Nickelback became huge international rock stars despite everyone claiming to hate Nickelback.
Now a Regina man may achieve the seemingly impossible — making rollerblading cool again. Video footage of daring young man Richie Eisler flying through the air with the greatest of ease on the streets (and structures) of Vancouver has recently gone viral. And for good reason. He’s like some sort of bearded, cross-training Peter Parker who clearly hasn’t been told Vancouver is supposed to be No Fun City.
I’ve always thought it was strange how people collectively decided inline skating suddenly sucked, especially here in Canada where we so are so into the regular kind of skating that we combined hockey and ice dancing to make an unlikely hit TV show. Logic would suggest the off-ice equivalent, which doesn’t include the option of slamming on the brakes but adds the possibility of being run over by a car, would be considered even more badass. Yet somehow rollerblading became symbolic of everything that was wrong with the nineties, like scrunchies, nü metal, dial-up Internet or Steven Seagal movies. A lame, oft-repeated joke probably also turned off a generation of insecure dudes from putting on what became unfortunately known as “fruit boots.” (Some rollerbladers’ stubborn insistence on trying to copy skateboarding moves by pointlessly grabbing their boots when airborne probably didn’t help much either.)
Hula hoops, Buddy Holly glasses and fluorescent clothing are all trendy again now. There’s no reason the good times can’t roll again for bladers.
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