Blading.info correspondant and Be-mag writer Seán Ó Dálaigh has launched a new project, documenting all the pro-skates released since the very beginning, in 1994. Get a bit more detail below and be sure to check out the project progress updates on the official page.
Some had quite a few more than others — Brian Shima and Jon Julio have almost 30 between them. Many had only one, but one is enough to get listed. I’m talking, of course, about pro-endorsed blades.
Like many, I’ve been blading since the early 90’s and during the weekly sesh at the skateparks, am fond of nerding out about blading history and the smaller details. What colour was so-and-so’s frame on his 1998 pro skate; what was the best Mindgame wheel graphic ever; how could Daily Bread get that certain trick/blader name wrong, which was Petty’s natural soul foot, how many pro blades did Shima really have, etc?
As I couldn’t find any kind of historical record online, and arguments over the details were mostly from memory, I built a list. For fun initially, but I thought it might be useful for the new blood who’ve been in the game for a few years, or less.
I wanted to create a comprehensive document of all pro-blades ever released, from the Rollerblade Tarmac CE (Chris Edwards) back in ’94 up to the latest Valo JJ Light 3 (Jon Julio) and beyond.
It could certainly be argued what constitutes the criteria for who’s worthy of being ‘inducted’ into a Hall of Fame. I’m running with one simple metric — that your boot sponsor deemed you marketable enough to produce and sell a skate with your name on it.
Now this metric alone throws up questions — are all bladers on the list equal in stature, contribution and influence on the sport? No. Further, there are plenty big names who, through internal politics, sponsor shortsightedness / stubbornness, career threatening injury or controversy, never received a pro skate? Tim Ward and Bryan Bell spring to mind. However, rather than pass judgement, this simply aims to factually document the pro-endorsed blades historically
I’m excited to get this off the ground, and so I’m launching this with 50 pro-blades listed, with at least one per year since ’94, and with a view to continuing with weekly updates throughout the year until complete. Thus far I’ve 220 on the master list, as of March 2013, and naturally it will grow.
To keep costs at zero, I’ve chosen to use the platform of a Facebook page, enabling public interaction, sharing and discussion for bladers around the world. Feel free to tag, comment, praise and debate on the page. Like/follow the B.HOF to receive regular updates as this builds toward completion, and toward the 20th anniversary in 2014 of the first ever pro skate.