1996/99 – The peek of rollerblading popularity in Poland. Without cellphones, internet and the Be-Mag messageboard, every rail in the city was occupied by random group of bladers, who were just class mates or friends from the hood. Local TV stations broadcasted various rollerblading footage and when you wanted to know what's up with the industry you could just picked up a magazine from a newstand - polish ones as well as foreign ones like Daily Bread or Box.
Since the beginning Mirek stood out from the rest with his fast progress and incredible tricks. When others tried to soul Mirek already threw Zero Fishes or truespin kindgrinds on hard down rails with ease.
As a coincidence together with downfall of rollerblading at the beginning of the 21st century, Mirek had an accident which forced him to quit skating for more than a year. With the long period of recovery he had plenty of time to think why rollerblading suddenly started to decline in Poland. The answer was simple: no skates, no skaters. So the story began...
Quickly getting in touch with the right people Mirek went to Austria by bus just to bring a few pair of skates to Poland. His stubbornness and passion for skating have been rewarded gradually – bus deliveries were changed into a small shop in the garage and later with the help of close friends the idea of a skater owned company appeared.
Hedonskate as it is known today is a result of Mirek`s hard work and his unique ability to gather the right people under his wings. Hedonskate is also a reflection of his hedonistic approach to life, 'Green is better' lifestyle, endless love for rolling, heavy hangovers, constantly changing hairstyle, head full of crazy ideas and his famous, overused quote “spoko” (means it`s ok). So if you ever planning a visit in Poland feel free to contact Mirek and expect the unexpected.
Intro and interview by Tomasz Szymczyk (aka Simon)
Edit and pics by Hedonskate
When did you decide that the time was right to establish a new skateshop?
Funny story :) I was working at Ignition doing stuff in my area but I knew a lot is going to change after we join Eu (May 1st 2004). I talked to Leo Donhauser (Ignition) about it, but we did not find any reasonable solution to work together. So I decided to open hedonskate.com and do my own stuff.
How did you get in contact with rollerblading?
I was a kid, I saw other kids on blades on my playground. I thought this is a cool thing so I pushed my mum to get me a pair of skates. After that we played a lot of hockey and then HOAX II came from somewhere and the consequences of Hoax 2 are still present:)
Mirek Ragan 2009 from Hedonskate on Vimeo.
How is the scene currently in Poland and Eastern Europe in general?
Besides the fact we don't have so many parks we can see more kids on blades year by year which is very positive for us (referring to the people working in our funny industry). One thing which we have noticed as well is that so many "old" school skaters are coming back. Yeah that's pushing our sport hard:)
Yeah that's so true. And we all saw Aaron Feinberg ripping it up again. Great times. Where do you see the focus of your company for the next years?
We still need to work on a lot of technical problems which companies from Western Europe don't have (custom, taxes, fees etc). So here we need to put a lot of energy and time into those things to make the process more smooth. Then we will see what happens!
You are also very active with tours and competitions, what are some of the things that you are planning?
As for competition: We run our organization called GREEN (greenorg.eu) which cooperate with the Polish Inline Federation based on a project called PRL (Polish Rolling League ) which is very similar to the WRS, but focussed on the national level. The goal of the project is to attract more "nonrollerblading" companies to put money in our sport. It was a long and hard process, but it was worth while to do and we finally see some "green" light.
As for TOURS we are active as usual in 2010:
in July we went to Sweden with Demetrious and Fish. Check out the be-mag live-updates here.
More info also on the Hedon facebook page.
In August we organize the big "WE.TOUR" in Romania.
In September we are doing the Polish Silesia SkatePark Tour - it's part of the action to push our government to create a professional park in our area :)
You are also branching out with your shop, what are some of the projects you are working on?
There are some serious projects we are working on, it's too early to say more, just be patient. The main project we work on since day one is to make skaters support brands run by skaters for skaters. That's the only way we (as bladers) may achieve something in our industry.
Hedonskate always has very bold-styled advertisments. What is your message with those?
The message was simple, to let people know that something is going on, that some new fresh blood is coming, and we got it:) Since day one our adds were controversial, people talked about them and now everyone who blade knows about hedonskate.com -> a shop started from scratch without any business knowledge, but with 100% dedication. Started in Poland -> where the hell is Poland?:) You know what I mean?
Yeah! I exactly know what you are talking about. Why the slogan, Green is better?
That's the color of our shop and we want to let people know that we are better than others, maybe because we are a 100% skater owned company, maybe we have other aspects, the time will show.
Also we all love green, we all love our planet, we love to chill at green grass with a breath of fresh air - this is what we are!
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