A few months ago I stopped working for Be-Mag and handed on my position as editor in chief to my beloved sidekick Freddy White. What started with writing for German blading magazines more than 10 years ago, led into running two German online magazines, starting Blading.info and finally using that experience and taking over Be-Mag online & print. I am both proud and thankful that I was allowed to lead Be-Mag into a new direction, and making the decision to part ways wasn’t an easy one.
Yet, it was an obvious one, and this column is me trying to explain exactly that.
Ever since January 1996, when I rolled down a street on plastic wheels for the first time I wanted to be a bigger part of blading. First I wanted to be part of that super cool crew at the local miniramp, doing handstands and all that. Quickly after I went to Lausanne and realized how much more there was to blading. Of course I wanted to become a part of that too. I was obsessed and needed to get my hands on all the magazines and videos. I plastered my room with posters, had to visit as many events as possible, and soon enough I realized that I wanted to contribute as well.
In 2002 I helped organize the first realstreet contest in my hometown of Dresden. We gave out free icecream and sandwiches and organized a little aftershow party as well. It was a full success with 150 visitors coming from all over Germany and even some foreigners. The feeling of creating such good times for so many people was and still is incomparable, and goes beyond all joy I ever had when blading myself. I never took any visitor of our events for granted, and still to this day I sometimes can’t believe that people make their way from places so far away to join us for the good times.
When Winterclash started in 2005 the goal was (and still is today) to connect as many bladers from different places as possible. To bring the world of blading together and have outsiders realize our community is just as awesome as the act of blading itself. That goal remained the same over all the years, the motto behind everything I did. When I started Blading.info, and eventually changed the direction of Be-Mag, the goal was to show the very best of blading, in order to make everyone realize how freaking awesome it is. When I announce competitions, I want outsiders to understand who these bladers are, and how sick what they are doing is.
This is still an obsession, and I believe it grew to the point it has become a problem.
It made me forget that different styles are still a matter of personal taste. It made me forget that there are more sides to blading than the one I like and promote. It made me forget that people that are not into events or media can also contribute in their own way. And all that led me into hating on blading on a daily. I lost understanding for other people’s ways of thinking, and became bitter somehow. While still being a fanboy, I couldn’t understand why other people aren’t necessarily the same way, why there aren’t more media and better events… Being too focused on blading, I lost focus myself, became arrogant and ignorant, and most of all, I lost the fun of working on blade related projects, and the fun of blading myself.
That’s why my decision to step back is an obvious one.
The moment I really started thinking about it, it hit me right away. To keep on working on Be-Mag daily, and traveling the world to announce blading events would be a lie to myself. There are also many projects outside of blading I would like to work on, and this would never be possible while being involved as much as I was. That’s why I want to dedicate more of my time to Winterclash again. Creating events was, and still is, my main interest. I want to work on music festival related stuff, and I want to have the freedom and time to explore new things in life. That’s why I stepped back from Be-Mag, and that’s why 2015 will be the last year of me announcing events or being involved in anything that is not related to Winterclash.
Because Winterclash, obviously, I want to keep on developping and help it grow for many more years to come!
I know, this is quite a wall of text and that’s why I don’t want to bore you any longer. But one thing I still want to mention: after Freddy fully took over Be-Mag a while ago, I went to the Copenhagen Blade Days to help my friends at R.A.D. with that one. I didn’t have much to do and could simply watch the whole comp, and while I was sitting there, watching all these great bladers doing their thing, I fell in love with blading again. Pure excitement kicked in and I felt like when I was cutting out photos from magazines back in 1996. I missed that feeling and I´m glad, thankful and excited to still be a part of this lovely thing called blading. And I still will be for many years to come!
Keep on blading, keep on contributing in your own way, keep on keeping on and see you all at Winterclash 2016.
Thank you for blading.
– Johannes Jacobi
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