The kid, the champ, Ireland’s newest blading hero. Hyperbole yes, but that’s probably how many know him. To me he’s a friend, a confidant, a travelling partner and an inspiration. Yea he’s a bit too self assured, can be full of cocky bravado but it’s all tongue in cheek. Sarcasm comes part and parcel with our crew, it’s the highest form of wit and the Irish revel in using it on the unaware. We had a long conversation on everything from blading to philosophy and in between recently. Herein lays the real Dano Gorman.

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Words: Brian Barron
Photography: Zima Balasz

Alright, let’s start with the easy stuff. What’s your name, age and where do you come from?
Daniel Patrick Gorman, I’m 22, born and raised in beautiful Dublin.

You turned 22 quite recently, you are often referred to as ‘the kid’ but are a young adult now, do you feel you have grown much in the last few years?
Yeah my birthday was in March, I’ve been called the kid as long as i can remember. I’ve always been the young kid skating with the older lads so i guess the name made sense but after winning the Amateur Winterclash in 2015 the lads decided to promote my nickname to ‘The Champ’ haha.

You really ran with that, there was a picture quite soon after of your head on Mcgregor’s body. Anyone that knows you is aware he is a big inspiration, his family are your neighbours, can you explain that a little? You once said you don’t watch much skating but would rather soak up his fights, interviews etc.
Haha yeah I had to claim that one! Yeah his story speaks for its self. He went from living with his parents, collecting the social welfare every week to being a multi-millionaire within 2 years doing what he loves, how can you not respect that?! Yeah I watch a lot of his stuff and I was lucky enough to be in Vegas when he won his first UFC belt in 13 seconds and it was amazing.

Dano Fish Dundrum

You seem to share some similar traits. You are extremely driven when it comes to blading for instance. I’m not sure people realise how small our scene is at the moment. Often we are out in two’s to skate or film. Is that difficult for you?
I love skating now more than ever but it’s annoying not having people to go skating with. Also not having any indoor skateparks is hard because it rains a lot in Ireland, but on the flip side it is good to go out with a small crew if you’re filming or getting photos because you can be more productive with your time.

There were many crews in different counties a few years ago but now virtually everyone has stopped. Do you feel or have you ever felt that you wanted to put Ireland on the map in the skating world? Or are you just doings things as they come?
Yeah when I was growing up skating was massive, the way skating is right now isn’t bad though, it’s a tight community and everyone that skates is doing it for all the right reasons. No I’ve never felt I had to do anything but I do make sure people know I’m from Ireland.

There a line in a song that describes how people can mistake ‘shyness for aloofness and silence for snobbery’. Does it bother you if people presume things about your personality that aren’t true? For instance, you are quick witted and have a sharp tongue. Some might not know how to take it, not realise you are constantly joking?
I don’t give a fuck what people think about me, maybe at first you might not know how to take it but I think anyone that actually knows me knows what I’m like and it’s all jokes… Maybe I should say ‘i don’t care’ instead of I don’t give a fuck hahaha.

Dano Swety

Haha I think you meant it the first way so let’s leave it. One of the people that stepped back from skating was your brother Jason. You two came up together. You once said to me he was better than you at a point, tell me a little about his skating?
Yeah my brother Jay is actually the one who got me into skating, for his communion he had enough money to buy a pair of Salomon st juniors from Rampcity an old indoor skatepark in Dublin. That day i begged my mam to buy me a set of them too. We always skated together and jay was always better at alot of stuff, he was tall so he could jump onto rails way before I could and always had way more tricks than I had but when we were in woodward in 2011 he broke his nose skating and I think after that it was never the same for him and he slowly just stopped skating.

That’s a shame, you guys always fed off each other. He is loving the mountain biking recently so he’s found something else. That Woodward trip is six years ago now, you’ve travelled more in that time than alot of people do in their lifetime, I’m sure it’s hard to pick highlights but is there any place that stuck out for you?
Yeah he is always trying to get me out on the mountian bike with him, seems to be enjoying it. Fuck, doesn’t feel like 6 years thats crazy. I’ve been lucky to be able to travel alot since ive been young. Its hard to highlight just one because there has been so many but i would have to say Barcelona because of the amazing spots, weather and i dont think its possible to have a bad night out there. Copenhagen is another city I’ve fell in love with as you know most people that visit the city do, mostly because of the people and how nice they are, all the skaters there are G’s, the spots are amazing, they have a lot of good skateparks and the RAD crew are always doing shit proper.

Zima 1 of 1

Yeah, two parts of last summer were spent there. Casper was an amazing host. They are all so chilled out though, Copenhagen has a very special energy to it. Speaking of hospitality, we were on the road three months and you an extra one. Without the grace of the friends that put us up it wouldn’t have been possible. Do you think rollerblading has a special type of community and ‘family’ that doesn’t exist elsewhere?
Yeah shout out to Casper for being a legend and helping us out big time in CPH! yeah 4 months of traveling and i only had to pay for a hostel for 2 nights, not bad aye. Yes, as i said before about rollerblading not being as big as it used to be, I think that helps when traveling because when you’re at an event you actually get to meet people and become friends and everyone likes to travel and it becomes so much easier when you have a mate willing to put you up in so many different countries. Its cool how a lot of time on our travels we would meet people in one city from another place and once they found out we were traveling they would invite us to come stay with them not knowing much about us other than we Rollerblade. Im not sure that sort of thing exists in bigger sports.

It all flowed very naturally, the first flight being the only one booked to begin with and just working it as it goes. Three months is a long time, if I remember correctly there was only one fight, over washing. Are clean clothes very important to you?
Best way to do it. Yeah clean clothes are essential, more important though is that when someone says they’re gonna take them out of the washing machine so they are dry for the morning, they do ..because no one what’s to travel to another country with every bit of clothing they have soaked in your bag pack.

Zima 1 of 1-2

Haha guilty as charged. What else is important to you in life aside from clean clothes?
Family of course is the most important thing to me. Rollerblading is obviously a huge part of my life I’ve been skating since I’m 6 years old, traveling, staying heathy is important as they say your health is the your wealth.

That’s an old saying and very true. What about other things such as music, art, philosophy. Do these things fit into your life? You have a saying about beauty for instance.. Would you like to tell us what that is?
Yeah of course they fit into my life but wouldn’t be as important as the others but they play a different part, i like all types of music from The Beatles to Kendrick Lamar. Of course there are many great philosophers but Alan Watts is someone I’ve listened to and read a lot about, he is the man…
“Beauty takes time, But time also takes Beauty” – Dano Gorman

That’s kind of a ying/yang thing. Beauty takes time makes me think of a painter at work or a musician composing but the last part the aging of humans and loss of youth. Do you have any fears in that degree, the aging process etc?
I was more thinking of women taking ages to get ready when i thought of it haha, Na man I’m still only a kid and im looking forward to the years to come.
“Today is the oldest you’ve ever been, and the youngest you’ll ever be again.” ― Eleanor Roosevelt

Zima 1 of 1-3

Haha certainly something we have all experienced before.. Especially when we have to wait on Ricky. That’s a great one too, the present moment is really all we have. Getting back to family, you have been part of the BHC crew and on USD for some time now. How’s that end going? Any upcoming projects?
Haha good old Ricky would never say no to a shower, the cleanest man in Dublin. Yeah I got a phone call from Albert back in 2010 and he told me USD wanted to start sending me some skates man, I was so happy to get that call from him and find out that was a dream come through. Not long after i was in Rampworx for an event and was chatting with Mark and he asked if i’d like to try the wheels so he sent me some stuff and ever since then I’ve been riding for BHC and I recently found out I’m getting put on the PRO team and a Wheel is in the works which is amazing! As for projects i just wrapped up with an edit i was filming with Albert for over a year which will be my introduction edit to the BHC pro team, Juiced.

That’s great news, congratulations! That’s something every kid dreams of coming up, their own wheel. I’m sure you will fit in very well. One of your team mates is Montre, whom you would call a friend now. Does any of that phase you? Skating with and becoming friends with people who would have inspired you growing up here in Dublin?
Thank you bro! Yeah Tre is a G, it is kind of crazy, So many skaters I grew up watching as a kid I now call mates andi get to skate, have beers and chill with them. It’s pretty cool but it doesn’t phase me, its something I’ve gotten use to as I got to know them and found out they’re all just as sound as you’d imagine them being.

Yea just regular guys, like any of us. Does that inspire you to skate to a higher level? Those that are around you. I’ve noticed sometimes you can really turn it on, other times you’ll lay back and mess about.
Yeah of course skating with people that are on such a high level pushes you without even realizing it. Yeah it just depends on what mood i’m in or whether i like a spot or not and if its worth the risk of trying harder tricks on it. I find there isn’t much reason to try something scary unless you’re filming for something.

You mentioned how great it was to get the call from Albert regarding USD. Tell us a little about that and Albert aka the yet… Has his chicken eating ways influenced your own food choices?
Albert has been one of the best street skaters in the world for a long time in my opinion and I’m sure a lot of people agree with me on that. From winning IMYTA Final Four to having 3 Pro Skates and Countless Pro wheels, he has been an inspiration to me and its amazing to see him still skating at such a high level even now. Everyone knows myself and Albert do enjoy eating some chicken, I’ve tried to cut out all other meat other than Chicken but i still reckon Al eats more chicken than me, Professional Chicken eater that he is.

Yea even now he can come with something impossible.. Such as that move on the fairview box a little while ago. Let’s talk about tricks specifically. Do you have any rituals or way to approach something extremely difficult?
He hasn’t lost a thing, Yeti is a good lad. I just try to picture myself doing the trick and landing it how I want over and over again in my head to build up confidence to try it. Then just repeat the process because landing it first try is overrated as you know well Barno.

That’s pretty solid. Visualise and do… Or in my case, try. What are your thoughts on landing forward?
The Law of Attraction. You’re doing alright for an old man. Depending on the trick, I think you should land fakie from a forward trick and then if you’re doing a zero spin, truspin or AO Trip you should 180 out of it and land forward or 360 out and land backward. Tricks like savanah and Backslides can look good landing forward or backwards but I’m sure everyone’s got different preferences and won’t agree with that.

I guess it all personal preference at the end of the day. Yoda says in Star Wars ‘There is no try, only do or do not’ Just keeping on that topic, yes you will visualise and build up, but when it comes down to it, he’s right. Do you find it easy to get to that zone or level of focus? To make a thought reality..especially when so many elements are at play.
Yeah I find it really hard to plan to do a hammer or a trick I’ve been thinking about for ages because it makes me nervous. I find I skate better when I don’t have time to overthink a trick but enough time to know that I can do it, I won’t try a trick I don’t think I can land.

Zima 1 of 1-4

That’s a good philosophy, will keep your body in better condition rather than over jumping your reach. So, we have talked about inspiration a little but who’s blading out there now do you find really interesting?
Yeah its not worth it, your body takes enough damage within your reach. Farmers always been a favorite of mine because he has always been a step ahead of everyone from the age of 15 and still to this day he has such a unique look on skating and is doing the biggest kinks,crazyiest neg tricks etc. Joe’s skating is really enjoyable, you never know what he is thinking or what he is about to do, I think he has brought back a fresh style to park skating. Broskow of course because he can do everything switch and natural with such a soild style, that just to name a few.

You must be looking for to #champagne, Sizemore in there too. Looks like it’s going to be incredible. Do you have any favourite skating movies?
Yeah I’m looking forward to champagne it looks amazing, the last edit they did was amazing. As for favourite skating flicks I would have to say USD tour, Words, Meantime, Vine st, Chapter 2, SOTA, Cayenne, Delfon Dio to name some that came to mind…. Actually throw in On top, drip drip and valo V.

Drip Drip lol.

Hahaha!Zima 1 of 1-5

Solid choices there, couple of classics mixed with the great new stuff. So we have covered alot of ground, lastly I wanted to ask you.. What, if any are your plans for the future? Even in general terms?
To travel as much as I can for as long as I can to as many places as i can. I’ve got no real plans I’m just taking things as they come, I’m too young to be making plans for tomorrow never mind the future.

So take each day as it comes? That’s good idea for all life not just youth.
For sure, i tend not to plan to far… its worked out well so far so i’ll keep it lit.

Indeed.. Keep the ball rolling.. Or skate. Well that about wraps things up, are there people you’d like to thank… Or tell off?! The choice is yours!
Could be here all night thanking everyone that has helped me out over the years but shout out to everyone that has sorted me out with a place to stay and showed me around cities and just been a G in general. Thanks Zima for taking the time to come out and take photos for the interview and cheers Barno for taking the time to have a chat.

And that’s a wrap….

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Back in 1997 we started with our first e-mail newsletter which soon turned into a website. In 2001 we launched the first issue of Be-mag Print. Besides that we're producing fashion and have released 4 DVDs.