INTERVIEW BY EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Kevin Little @KevinMLittle

One of the biggest issues within the blading community currently is our lack of younger participants. But with the help of organizations like the Blading Camp, they are looking to change that direction. The organizers of the Camp have been putting in tons of work to develop a professional system which teaches the fundamentals of skating and safety, while also fostering a fun and positive environment that will make young skaters and also their parents, feel welcome and safe. We talked with Blading Camp founder Josh Glowicki and also campers Coralie Tan and Lewis Yoxall who gave us their personal accounts of their time spent while at the Blading Camps.


Interview with Blading Camp Counselor/Founder: Josh Glowicki 



Josh, Thanks for taking the time to speak with us about the Blading Camps! To start with, what warm-up methods do you use to get the campers prepared for their day?
Each day we start with our morning rituals class which consists of a mixture of some yoga postures, some light movements and exercises as well as a ten-fifteen minute mediation to focus our intention on what we are going to achieve in the day. As well short visualization exercises to imagine all we want coming to fruition. Nils has been known to make warm up classes before skating the parks. After we arrive to the first skate park we have another short warm up session. This is more focused on strong movements and really preparing the body for the session. Nils is the king and he brings his personal warm up routine with him to camp. It’s inspirational to really see how the top pros prepare themselves. 


Picture: Dominick Wagner
Picture: Dominick Wagner

Explain some of your responsibilities as a camp counselor in teaching a new skater the fundamentals of inline skating? Do riders come down that don’t know how to skate? 
Our responsibilities can be a bit much at times. As we have a camp of all ages all mixed together some time is spent waking the kids up and putting the kids to bed. Making sure they brush their teeth and take showers. Most kids don’t care to shower if you don’t make them. We have had a few riders sleep with the skates on every night for the whole week. I don’t force anyone to do anything. Wanna sleep with skates on, it’s cool with me.
As for the fundamentals. I personally like to gather the youngest and newest riders and start with the basics up. All the coaches we have on the team are incredibly gifted humans. I mean that because they understand people and how to interact with all types of humans! I enjoy working with the kids and I have developed my own system of teaching and I love seeing the reaction when a student learns something new or gets over their fears. A lot really depends on the level of the riders. I will say that there is lots of technique training in the camp but the more I run camps (and Flight Schools) the more I see that as much as there is technique and skill to teaching at the basic root of it all, it’s mentoring. No matter the age. From ages seven-forty+ .We’ve seen it all. It’s about helping to create and hold a space where the rider feels comfortable and empowered in themselves. I’m there to make sure no one gets hurt and to push everyone to believe in themselves. 


Picture: Dominick Wagner

One of the important aspects we see at the Blading Camps is everyone in helmets. Do you require all of the campers and counselors to wear helmets while they participate in the camp?
Yes all coaches and riders must wear helmets at all times. We are proud to be the only skate camp in the world to hold insurance for every rider who joins us, including our staff. The only thing is that everyone must have helmets. I feel like this is a blessing as personally I like that all riders wear helmets no matter the age or skill. I feel like it adds a level of professionalism in the industry that before we were greatly lacking. I mean it may sound silly but if we want kids to get into the sport and stay we as the pros must set an example. And as it works, parents buy the skates, parents buy the clothes, parents register their kids for camp, the parents are in control. I say with my over twenty years of experience that no parent is willing to support their children in a sport where they could potentially die from one fall. We look like maniacs and rebels without a cause. I’m from the nineties. I grew up threw this rebel phase of never wearing pads and never wearing a helmet. Making fun of people who wore their pads. But those days are over, thank God we’ve grown up. The second Moms and Dads see us as the pros skating with helmets all that disappears. Parents support 100% cause their kids are “safe”, I don’t make this up. It’s what I’ve seen time and time again. 


Picture: Dominick Wagner

Are classes split up based off their different levels of experience or age group?
Yes we as an entire coaching unit take the first few hours to observe the riders in a free skate. After this we begin grouping categories of levels. Age doesn’t matter here as we have riders over thirty+ who are learning the basics for their first time. Depending on the week and the style we decide together who takes which group. Nils for instance a lot of time will take the advanced riders who are in need of advanced technique honing while Montre is the absolute best, best, best with teaching the basics to anyone. We had one girl who never aggressive skated before. Within a few hours with Tre, with multiple different skateparks, she evolved into a powerful young skater. She has since returned to every single camp we’ve made since that year first camp. Super proud of you Nadia! We make a lot of group activities where we can again see where we need to focus the work. We are always available for anything anyone may ask or need as many riders come down with a trick they have “always dreamed of landing.”  I can proudly say that 99% of the time the rider accomplishes their goal. 

Do you skate different terrain or are the camps mostly based in skate park environments?
We skate everything. From city skates together, to grinding street obstacles like hand rails and ledges, to up to eight skate parks per camp week! There is also time for flat land skating where we emphasize the importance of being able to skate in its simplest form, ride fakie and being able to look over both shoulders. Advanced level, basic maneuvers. We learn to ride ramps, flips, spins, and most important of all we teach the art of how to safely fall. 


Picture: Dominick Wagner

Besides skating at the camps, what other activities do you have to keep the campers entertained throughout the day?
Camp can be exhausting cause for six days straight we don’t stop. We rise early and we sleep late. That means our days are packed full of activities on and off skates! Some include cliff jumping into a beautiful fresh water lake surrounded by mountains, other times we take a mid day break on the beach. We’ll hike high in the mountains for a trekking adventure. The scenery is out of this world. We tour the famous city of Granada. Walk the ancient streets, shop in the many unique shops on a walk to the top of the city for a view of The Alhambra castle. Even if you don’t skate the tour will leave you in love with the Southern Spanish life. 


Picture: Dominick Wagner

Do you use your skates to commute to all the different spots? If not how do you transport that many skaters?

Unfortunately not. We travel over seven hundred kilometers in six days! We have a Camp Bus where we all travel together. The bus is nice with the comfy seats, cold air conditioning, USB in seat chargers and sometimes WiFi. 
The first year we rented two vans as well as we had two cars. The logistics moving together in four cars was difficult. Cars got lost. We had an accident where one of the drivers backed into a light pole. (Sorryboutya eight hundred euro deposit) But each year we’ve improved. It’s gotten easier. Camp science. And now its about fine tuning the tour.




Although you are the Coach, is there anything that the campers have taught to you at the Blade Camps or things you have had to learn in organizing the camps?
The campers have taught me to remember the purity of the sport and to remember the reason why I started to skate. The sensation of rolling. The feeling of being free. When I created Blading Camps I thought “This will be great, I’ll have more free time to skate and film.” Wrong. I’m now an expert at spreadsheets and excel files. Working with numbers all day and all night, talking to parents non-stop. It takes us a full year of work for that one week experience our riders receive. That being said the campers have taught me to remember why we all do it. They remind me of myself, of the kid in me and how I was at that young age or any age. Same goes for the older riders. The passion they bring down to Blading Camp is felt by everyone. And really that’s what makes this so special. Remember the passion and don’t get lost in what you have to do to sustain that passion.  

How is the response by the older generation of campers that are 30 years or older? Do they mix well with the younger kiddos? 
I’m so grateful for the older generation of Bladers. To the people who grew up skating, took a small break and came back more hungry than ever. Thank you for your support of this project. Without you, the camps wouldn’t be the same. We have had a tremendous amount of support from the thirty+ age group, I like to call them the #backtoblading community. On paper it could sound a bit weird, an eleven year old hanging out with thirty five to forty year olds. But in reality it’s the coolest combination of complimentary energies. It works in two ways. The young kid see the older riders and get juiced and say “I can be shredding still when I’m forty+. And the older riders see an eleven year old do his first hand rail or learn to drop in they themselves get super motivated to learn. So in this way it’s a beautiful balance of give and receive. Also, anyone who’s over the age of lets say twenty five will generally always take care of a younger riders or help him out. So in turn, the older riders unknowing act just as coaches and role models for the younger riders. It’s a magical thing that I invite everyone down here to experience. 

Do you have a favorite memory from all your years of working with Blading Camp? 
Hard question. Each week is unique and completely different. All depending on the vibes the people bring. But there have been so many amazing memories. A good one has to be when a fifteen year old rider did his first hand rail. It was a drop rail. He choose to do a mizou, and the rail wasn’t the easiest for his first street rail. He was so motivated and focused. It was the fine line of allowing people to be free and choose what they want to skate, and making sure my fifteen year old student doesn’t get broke off! But he was so focused and in the zone. He didn’t take his eye of the rail the whole time before when we were talking. I saw it in his eye that all he needed was someone to tell him “ You got this.” Lets just say, Sander LACED it so good! The whole camp went nuts and created even more of a bond between the whole crew. Proud of you Sander. See you in 2020 bra.  


Picture: Dominick Wagner

Can you explain what is Flight School? We’ve seen this all around for years! 
Blading Camp – Flight School are two different things.  It started as one of our signature classes we did during every camp we made. It was our class on “How to fly, how to ride ramps and get loose on the jump box.” It’s hands down my favorite program. I love teaching this class and the riders are really receptive. Flight School is also the name of our one day camp program. It’s a six-eight hour crash course. We’ve been blessed to make Flight Schools all over the world, last year for the first time we made a Flight School in Medellin, Colombia with over seventy riders! Now we have Flight Schools planned for Winterclash and with Urban Street Zone every few months. It’s great because its a nice way for the riders to get a taste of Blading Camp without the full week in Spain. It works great as the majority of Flight School riders end up coming down to Malaga for the Summer Camp program!


Flight School at Winterclash 2019


Is there anyone that you would like to thank in making the Blading Camp’s a success ?

 I just want to say thank so much to everyone who’s reading this or who’s taken the time to support the camp movement.  We’ve put so many people on skates and not only that, we’ve given them a place to feel safe and in a community which is going to do a lot more than just produce kid who buys skates one time. We got lifers. 
Thank you to everyone who has donated to Blading Camps. We’ve given over 1,000 Euros in donated money to kids /people from all over the world to come and live the Blading Camp experience! Look for more of this happening in 2020! 


Interview with Blading Camp attendee Coralie Tan


Ladies Week 2019


Hello Coralie, thank you for taking the time to answer our questions. To start with, what week did you attend? 

Ladies Week 2019 


What was your favorite trick that you learned during the Blade Camp?

I have learned soooo many tricks but I’m super happy with the alley oop makio on a ledge. 


Did you get any significant injuries while you were trying to learn some new tricks?

No, I take care of my body!! And we have time to try everything step-by-step with the best coach’s advice!




What was your favorite place that you skated during the camp?

All the places were crazy cool but my favorite was the Malaga Rock skatepark!  

Aside from skating your hearts out each day, what was the best memory that you had on your trip?

Difficult question for me haha, every moment is the best memory but I was really surprised by the group’s cohesion and the friendships that are created between each girl. The atmosphere was the best! 




Is there any trick that you didn’t quite get that you want to go back for redemption?

Even though we are a week on skates, the skateparks are so big and cool that i didn’t have time to exploit everything. I want to go back to the big bowl of Malaga rock skatepark and San Pedro skatepark! 


Being able to meet so many incredible people at camp is quite a memorable experience. Who did you connect with the most during your time at Blade Camp? 


Before the camp I already knew Coach Manon Derrien, she’s my best friend and I’m lucky to be able to skate often with her, but I have really discovered the personality of Mery (Munoz) and Montre (Livingston) who are such beautiful people and really good coaches. I met some ladies who skate quads and share a new way of riding with them, I met the little monkey Kate who rides hard and is only eleven! And all the super staff who work hard to give us the best feeling of freedom and the best smiles !!! But my best meeting was with Paola, a bladie from France like me, but at the opposite end of my city. We created a real bond of friendship. Thank you Blading Camp! 



What’s it like staying in a Spanish Country side house with over 50 skaters from all over the world?

It is a rollerblading family with only good time, fun, sharing, joking, eating all together… 


Would you recommend Blading Camp?

Absolutely!!! 


Do you think you’ll come back?

For sure!! Each year ahahah! 


Any comments or anything else you can say to our Be mag readers?

Yes, bladies and guys, if you want to live the best experience to share roller blading, you must to go at Bladingcamp!!



Interview with Blading Camp attendee Lewis Yoxall



Hello Lewis, thank you for taking the time to answer our questions. To start with, what week did you attend?

Mixed Week 2019


What was your favorite trick that you learned during the Blade Camp?

My favorite trick that I learned from Blading Camp was a zero spin front backslide, scary but such a cool feeling trick. Apart from that I was just working on general flow in transition and switch tricks



Did you get any significant injuries while you were trying to learn some new tricks?

Luckily I didn’t really take too many heavy bails this year. There was one at Coín skatepark where I had to sit down for a good thirty minutes though. I landed a 720 to flat over the driveway but wasn’t happy with the landing so I tried to clean it up a bit and landed heavy on my knees on one attempt, which sucked!


What was your favorite place that you skated during the camp?

My favorite skatepark from Blading Camp was Fuengirola. There’s just so much to do there, it’s not quite as big as Malaga Rock, but there’s almost everything you could want to skate. Amazing bowls, ledges, rails and the general atmosphere is always great at that park.


Aside from skating your hearts out each day, what was the best memory that you had on your trip?

There’s so many memories to choose from. Aside from my own skating it has to be between watching my friends land some crazy tricks and all the little moments in between the skating like at the camp house and the beach & lakes etc. In these moments you really build friendships with the other guys at camp and get to know everyone. 




Is there any trick that you didn’t quite get that you want to go back for redemption?

There was a trick I wanted to do at Antequera on the long drop rail to the side of the jump box but after a few tries trying to jump onto the rail I decided to leave it as I wasn’t feeling at my best. I feel that sometimes you have to know when to stop and come back to a spot another time. Even if you know you’ve got it you can feel a little off and that’s it, kind of a frustrating situation but it’s best to be safe than sorry haha.


Being able to meet so many incredible people at camp is quite a memorable experience. Who did you connect with the most during your time at Blade Camp? 

I’ve met so many people at the camp over the years, some came back each year like myself, so obviously I’m a little bias and will always connect with those guys the most as we’ve skated together lots of times around Europe since we first met in 2017. However, each year you meet new people and everyone at camp is awesome, they all have the same interest as you and after spending the week together you’re one big family. 




What’s it like staying in a Spanish Country side house with over fifty skaters from all over the world?

Staying with fifty+ people in one house in Malaga… crazy. The previous two years it was half the amount of people each week so when we arrived at the house this year you quickly noticed how busy and lively it was. It really is like living in another world, a blader’s paradise for a week. You live together, eat together, chill together, it’s just awesome.


Picture: Dominick Wagner


Would you recommend Blading Camp?

Would I recommend Blading Camp? No question, it’s an incredible experience. Great blading, great food, and great people, combined with the Spanish sun and an amazing location, what more could you want? 


Do you think you’ll come back?

This year was my 3rd year at camp and I will definitely be coming again next year.


Picture: Dominick Wagner


Any comments or anything else you can say to the Be mag readers?

I think I’ve pretty much said everything, but I’d like to give a quick shout out to the whole Blading Camp team. From the organizers, chefs, coaches, drivers, cleaners and everything in between they really have created something unique and amazing. Thank you so much to all of you for the hard work you put in day in & day out to make Blading Camp happen, you’re the best!


Picture: Dominick Wagner

If you are interested in living the incredible Blading Camp experience, be sure to visit their website and follow Blading Camp on their social media.

www.bladingcamp.com

Instagram | @bladingcamp

Facebook | BladingCamp


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