Interview by Craig Smith
Photography by Jarrod Thackerey & Craig Smith
There hasn’t been much exposure of you up until recently with this ‘Seven Rats’ section coming out, your bonus section/montage clips in Valo4Life and your section in ‘Collective Sky’. Do you feel that you have made an effort recently to push your skating/exposure, or is it something that just happened naturally?
I started rollerblading somewhat 13 years ago and have had the same level of enthusiasm since day one. Over the many years, I’ve bladed all around Australia, traveling to different cities to attend events and hang with the homies. Staying involved with the scene and industry has always been a priority of mine. Rollerblading has given me so many great friends and memories that I naturally want to return the favour by offering all I can. The exposure I’ve received as of late has definitely been a progression of natural motion. Just under two years ago, I got the privilege to blade for Valo. Been offered this opportunity has definitely given me a greater level of motivation. I am most grateful to Jon for wanting me to be apart of a company that I wholeheartedly believe in. Therefore I just want to do my best for him and the team. Whilst my outlook towards rollerblading remains at the same level of passion and dedication, I am now aware of my own personal responsibilities. Filming has always been a fun and enjoyable outlet for my friends and I, though now I see a level of importance behind these endeavours. Valo has empowered me to push my own blading and to embrace the responsibilities I place upon myself. It’s all been an organic process.
You have had some amazing experiences traveling and skating, what has been the best experience so far?
Far out. There’s been far too many. Definitely my last trip to the United States is up there. My good friend Gav Drumm was with me the whole time, which made it all the better. So many good memories. Hanging with all the good friends. Great times all around. Snow-central up in Boise with Gav and Bailes. New York City with Chungy, Jeff boy and Seany. San Francisco with all the homies. Valo4Life world premiere, Halloween and the SF Giants world series win. Unforgettable times. Thank you to all the pals for making it such a blast. Other than that definitely some of the old homies trips up to Sydney. Cave Crew days. Happy Rollers. Rian and Waterlilly. Tuhi Nuhi. Miller. Mat and Julie.
Lets face it, you have created your own unique style, not only for rollerblading but for general day to day living. Do you think that rollerblading has helped you find your identity? Why do you think some people aren’t accepting of this?
Rollerblading has definitely been a major factor in the development of who I am. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without it. Acceptance of difference and diversity, open-mindedness, freedom and personal expression have all come from blading. Things that I may never have found with it. I’ve been so fortunate to meet the wonderful individuals I know through rollerblading, all of which have had influence on my life in one way or another. These friendships and bonds are what make rollerblading special to me. I like to stay focused on the positive people in my life. They are the ones who inspire me to be a better person. With this in mind, it doesn’t really bother me if people aren’t accepting of who I am. The only thing people generally have an issue with is the way I dress, which realistically is just an exterior aesthetic. Those things are irrelevant to the actual person. You cannot truly get a understanding of who someone is without talking and interacting with them. This is when you see what kind of person they really are. You see their morals and beliefs; their passions and interests; their stories and experiences. I’m not one to judge, so I let people be. Everyone is entitled to be the person they wish to be. Through rollerblading I’ve learned to stay true to what you believe in. We’ve all had to defend our love of rollerblading at one point or another, so we’re all in the same boat.
Do you have a certain philosophy when it comes to skating? You seem to be doing really creative lines lately rather than a single trick. To you is rollerblading more about finding tricks and tying them together nicely, or doing single tricks?
Whilst watching others rollerblade, I enjoy watching how they actually skate. Before, in between and after tricks. I pay attention to this simple act of skating. I believe it really shows the maturity of ones blading. How comfortable they are on their blades. This is one element I like to embrace. It is the purest form of fun whilst I’m on my blades. We have the ability to maneuver from one obstacle to another so putting lines together is a natural and satisfying part of blading for me. I find all aspects of rollerblading enjoyable. Whether it be something traditional or creative, I find it all an enjoyable process, which gives the same rewarding results each time. There is not one way to rollerblade. Every person who rollerblades embraces different elements which take particular interest to them. It is all valid. Whether or not you enjoy those aspects of blading is up to the individual. That is why I find blading so interesting. The diversity and freedom to rollerblade how you like is limitless. Personally I like to embrace what movements I am feeling at the time. In the end, it is all a cycle and comes back around in different forms. New challenges and possibilities are something which remain a constant in my blading. The battle between the familiar and the unfamiliar is always present. Pushing forward through this state of discomfort is what enables my progression. It is something that as rollerbladers, we consistently battle within ourselves.
You have experienced filming and editing a video (Collective Sky). How do you relate ‘Seven Rats’ to that experience?
There is quite the difference between what I experienced during the production of these two films. Collective Sky was a homies video. We were a close knit group of friends who enjoyed blading together. We set out to capture that. In comparison to Seven Rats, we had much less of a formal approach. The Collective Sky filming process went for an on and off period of approximately 2 years. My Seven Rats filming on the other hand has been a solid 3 months. This has been a significant difference. The production of Seven Rats was given a much shorter time frame, thus keeping me aware of deadlines and the necessity of organisation. Collectively Sky was a collaborative project between myself, Jarrod Thackeray and Gav Drumm, where each of us took lead in a specific role of production. My experience with Seven Rats has been solely blading. Prior to working with Craig, I had never filmed a video part for anyone other than my pal Jarrod (Collective Sky). Craig is a very capable cameraman. Technically, he is spot on. He is also an open-minded individual, who is passionate about portraying blading to his own professional standards. These qualities have made working with Craig really easy and enjoyable. Plus he’s a real good dude. Top bloke. He is always willing to hear out my suggestions and thoughts relating to blading, filming and editing. I want to do my best for him and he wants to do his best for me. So in turn, it’s a great working relationship. He’s really poured all his energies into this production and I’m really stoked for him as to how the video has come together. I’m grateful to have been given this opportunity. It’s been a great learning experience.
What do we expect from Mr. Pitts in the future?
My main focus is to keep on having fun with blading and continue to support Valo with as much passion and enthusiasm as I can. The future is full of endless possibilities. One thing is for sure, rollerblading will always be present.
Check out the trailer for Seven Rats. The video will premiere on the 22nd of April and will be in stores worldwide in May. Visit the Seven Rats website for more info!