So I’ve got a few product ideas for jamskating which would open the doors for completely new movements on quad skates.
This last summer in 2014, I was briefly sponsored by Bont. I wanted to have the chance to change things and Bont seemed like the perfect place for me to shine, while experimenting with new product ideas. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out, to no fault of Bont Skates. But while I was skating with them, I pitched a few ideas and their response was promising.
The problem with quad skates is that they are designed for speed skating and they really haven’t changed much in the last thirty years. However, Jamskating and JB skating have significantly different requirements than Quad Speed Skating. Just like skates for Quad Speed have completely different requirements than skates for Roller Derby.
Just Three Ideas For Now…
1) Low Friction Material on the Outside of Skates for Bootspins.
Yes, you can already bootspin. People have been doing it since 2002 or 2003. But, can you bootslide? No! But wouldn’t that be cool if you could?!
Low friction material on the outside of skates would enable new moves like this, as well as new ground work. By the way, low friction surfaces are the best for jamskating. Concrete sucks of course, but low friction surfaces facilite some of the coolest moves.
This should be very simple to add to a product. I recommend headspin beanie material. Also, I’m just noting from the pictures that it already looks like Vanilla Skates is pursuing something similar to this with their new 360 Boots. It looks like there is a low-friction elastic material which would spin very well, located right over the spot where you would usually bootspin. I’ve been thinking about for several years and this is the one concept that I actually pitched to Bont in early 2014. Not saying Vanilla is copying me, just saying. It would be nice for someone so experienced and creative to be part of developing this sport!
2) Urethane on the Top, Fomac on the Side!
Fomacs. Clay wheels that allow these amazing lateral movements:
While certain slides are very easy with urethane, creativity is limited because you have set your feet such that the wheel rolls. However, Fomacs are too slick on the surface and would hinder some of the footwork in Jamskating.
What if you had the best of both worlds?
You could have a Fomac-like material on the side of the wheel, so that you can slide when your foot is angled and your wheels contact the floor on the edge. And then, when your skate is flat – when you usually want the extra grip – then you can have your cake and eat it too.
This would enable amazing new movements. You could slide across the floor sideways low to the ground, holding one foot and partially supporting your weight with your arm. You could be doing footwork and much more easily transition into a slide, briefly for just a few feet. You could even spin while you slide!
Doing slides would no longer require technical precision in your foot placement. They’d be much easier, making these movements more accessible for skaters. Right now, they are among the most difficult jamskating moves in existance! And the only category of moves which is completely unique to Jamskating. So, wow, you really wish you’d see more of them in battle circles.
Can a N—- Get A Patent?
Oh, right. I’m broke and patents are expensive. Dammit, I should have like 20 of those things by now. In case you didn’t figure it out, this particular idea is patent-worthy!
As far as enabling new jamskating movements, this is going to enable the most! However, this is a drastic change to current wheel design. Additionally, the product would need to iterate through lots of prototypes, since the design would need to account for different stress patterns.
I had envisioned a kickstarter for this, but…
I just don’t know if I want to devote a whole year of my life to this, especially when the opportunity cost is so high. Also, every time I get back into skating, some BS drama happens. Every. Single. Time! If you want to roll with this idea, I’d be willing to work with you or you can just run with it. It’s not exacly going to be easy. But don’t forget that I helped come up with the idea.
I even brainstormed a bit on the marketing:
- Here’s the product brand name: City Slickers. - The tagline: “Slicker on the outside. Grippy in the middle.”
3) Lighter. Better. Faster. Stronger!
Here’s the most important design consideration for jamskating products at the moment: the weight of the product. This not only determines what kind of movements you can perform, but also how much energy it takes to perform them.
How is that, you ask? Lighter skates mean that faster movements can help you match more specific beats in the music – which means that the style of your footwork and dance movement will be different. Not only this, but perhaps more importantly, lighter skates means that you will expend less energy on the same movements!
- That three minute performance? Now it’s Cake!
- Power moves? Cake!
- Impossibly fast footwork? Would you like a slice of cake?
The best place to shave off weight for jamskates? WHEEL DIAMETER!
This idea is less developed, but it seems that changing the wheel diameter might open up new possibilities as well. After all, the current quad wheels were designed for speedskating and not jamskating. However, the most important change here is that your skates will now weigh much, much less!
And this article thus far should validate me as being a driving, creative force in jamskating. I have demonstrated vision and formulaic understanding of jamskating as an art and a science! I have seen things that no one else has!!
Now, For A Little Bit Of Jamskating History
Did you know there are 180,000 ways to tie a tie?
No? Well, some mathematicians recently worked some magic to increase the number of known tie knots from 85 to 180,000! How did they discover 179,900 tie knots in one year? One: they redefined the symbolic language they used to mathematically identify different tie knots. Two: they added new basic techniques that could be combinated along with other techniques to create a multitude of new tie knots. They even created a Random Tie Knot Generator!!
Could you program a jamskating move generator? My favorite part of programming is that solving a problem requires in depth knowledge of that problem.
WTF does this have to do with Jamskating?!
You don’t get it do you?! In terms of creating jamskating moves, the single most crucial thing you can do is to add new base movements that can be permuted to create new movements! Therefore, every single base movement you add can be symbolically defined and used to combinatorially expand to total number movements. And thus, if most of those basic movements are undiscovered and if someone uncovered a significant portion of them, you might say their contributions were also significant.
Now permute those functions into a generating function…
… maybe throw some powersets in there .. and now you have a conceptual theory of everything! Ok, enough random metaphysical math that I barely understand. *Wouldn’t it be nice if I could, like I donno … go to school for this shit?! *
Powersets All The Things! Yes, even functions and components of AST nodes.
As it turns out, I’m actually extremely intelligent, although I sure wish I could be smart. Enough about that…
Still with me?
So, over ten years ago in Jamskating – way back in 2004 and 2005 – I discovered new variations on footwork and new slides.
Jamskating and Freestyle Skateboarding
A skateboard can be tailored specifically for Freestyle Skating is best for Freestyle Skating. And changes to design in skateboards can open the doors for new moves in Street Skating. By the way, way back in 2005 and 2006, I didn’t intend for my “edgework” to imitate Rodney Mullen’s movements on the board. In fact, I had never heard of him until Summer 2007, when a friend noticed that my new style of footwork – edgework – was very similar to the skating moves employed by old school freestyle skaters.
I got the idea for edgework out of frustration that the number “slides” was severely limited by the requirement of motion – which is precisely what one of my innovations above will solve! What do I mean by this? When you’re looking for new moves similar to the Iceberg, Birdcage, and Loiter, you can permute through all of the combinations of wheels on the ground, which is exactly what I did. That’s great, but most of these combinations won’t work. Why? Because of the requirement that you are moving while holding these wheel positions. This severely limits the possibilities – and makes it really, really cool when you discover a new slide!
#### 2004 - Baby Iceburg Slide - I’m sliding horizontally in this pic
So, I decided that all these hundreds of failed combinations that I considered could instead be footwork steps, although most of these combinations don’t actually look great in practice. So at that point, I just had to iterate through each combination again to discover the ones that were functionally unique or aethetitcally pleasing in some way.
*By the way, this creative process can be applied to *anything. ** And I hope to learn enough Category Theory to mathematically describe it. But, maybe I’ll overview that in another post?
But what is Jamskating anyways?
Also, while many people focused on style, I was moreso interested in the fact that jamskating was completely new, completely fresh and completely wide open, ripe for innovation! It was like skateboarding in the 70’s and 80’s! Most people barely understood what was possible! This is where I would focus my effort. Practice imitating everyone elses movements? Screw that! I was only concerned with what was possible on skates. Maybe it’s cool that jamskating draws on hiphop, breakdance and gynmastics movements. But, it’s what makes jamskating unique that matters. Honestly, $#@! everything else.
This was my attitude at the time. Discover everything possible before anyone else has the chance to. Popular? No. Misunderstood? For the most part. Creative? Most definitely!
2004 - Trek Slide - Combines the Iceburg and Loiter slides
Did I invent everything? No! But as far as expanding on the basic components of jamskating footwork which could be combinated to create new moves – I was instrumental in contributing to that. Also, unbeknownst to me, many of the moves I was coming up with were very similar to those used by Rhythm Skaters and JB Skaters. In fact, until maybe the past few years, their move sets and movements have always been more complicated than those in Jamskating.
Remember, I Selfishly Sacrificed a Free Ride to Virginia Tech for * Jamskating *
It’s too sad when no one appreciates a good thing until it’s gone. Did anyone appreciate my innovations in 2005? NO! The movements were too difficult, even risking injury for some skaters. Literally NO ONE could do them and AFAIK no one even tried until around 2007. Instead, many people ganged up on me in forums online and laughed at what I was trying. You might use the term bullied or, really, mobbed, since mostly one group of people coordinated to cut me out. I’m not kidding.
But you know what the best part was? Knowing the whole time that, a few years after 2005, the current movements of jamskating would eventually become played out. Skaters would then be forced to reach for more moves to differentiate themselves. And therefore, they would be fated to reach out for many of the moves that I had developed. In other words – *it was unavoidable that, at some point, all the crazy moves that some people had laughed at would eventually be adopted and even taken to the next level! *
2004 - Heelburg - Another slide I created, after skating for 8 months.
I honestly had never experienced manipulative behavior like this and I was caught completely blindsided – I thought that everyone was, for the most part, good at heart. I thought that if you helped other people out, they would return the favor. I didn’t expect to be stabbed in the back – over and over again – by one of the skaters closest to me, someone I had spent a great deal of time and effort teaching. Someone I never, ever, ever should have trusted under any circumstance. This was the first time I was burned by letting a sociopath get too close to me.
Note: When you work with a sociopath, you need pieces on the board to pin them with. Because to them, everything is a chess game. You may not live this way, but you have to anticipate and constrain their behavior because they have no rules.
By the way, I never really knew that “playing stupid” was a thing. Being fairly intelligent and always wanting to learn more, if I were to play stupid, I would stunt my own development by preventing others to identify what I had yet to learn. So I could not even comprehend that behavior, even when people tried to warn me. Some people just have really manipulative role models, I guess.
It’s also important to note that, for the most part, I only experienced this behavior in 2005. Skaters today often wonder what I’m talking about. Take a look at the breaksk8empire forums and you’ll see. Oh wait, you can’t because now they’re offline.
Sometimes, my life feels like a bad made-for-tv Disney movie. You know – the ones where some new kid moves to your town and makes all your old friends hate you. You try standing up for yourself, but somehow, this manipulative bastard just uses that to make everything worse! THATS WHAT MY LIFE FEELS LIKE!
Do I get pissed off when I see the people who mistreated me traveling the world and enjoying success, while everything I sacrificed my free college for is mostly forgotten? Absolutely!! I really try not to act on it – because good for them, they succeeded and for the most part, it’s not the people in the spotlight who fucked with me! However, it’s very frustrating because it should not have ended up like this. I honestly feel like I’m stuck in this wierd parallel universe.
But By Far the Worst Part?
ALL of My Video from 2004, 2005 and 2006 Was STOLEN!!!
$##(@! !$&$( @$ @% @# !%#$@#!$@!## $@%@%#!
I had two camcorders stolen: one at Summer Nationals 2005 and one at Summer Nationals 2006, which was 30 minutes from my home. So that’s great … Now I don’t have video evidence of all that revolutionary stuff I was doing on skates. Oh, and some other jamskater probably got all of my practice video!! Of course, I have no idea who did this. But, if you do, please let me know. I’ll pay! :)
I didn’t realize the implications of this at the time – remember, I didn’t have anyone coaching me or advising me on the decisions to make. I also didn’t have an SEO budget either – not that I even knew what that was at the time. I just thought, “Man, that sucks. My $500 camcorder I bought just got stolen. Shucks.” It was OK though. I still had some video on my hard drive, the one place where I saved everything. Remember – this was the age of camcorders and Windows XP. Mostly before Youtube, which was technically 2005.
Just Kidding, my hard drive was stolen from my Home Rink in 2008!
This occured immediately after I had finished moving everything off of my own laptop and onto my external hard drive. You really couldn’t pick a worse time to steal my hard drive. I lost everything. Pictures, videos, music. All of it. Steal $100 from my wallet. I don’t care. Don’t steal my history!
That’s some really fucking bad luck, my dude. If I didn’t know better, I’d say fate was strategically fucking with your life! Or maybe God just hates you. But, you probably shouldn’t accuse anyone or assume that someone is fucking with you – because then you’d be paranoid!
If you have any SESSION VIDEOS of me skating, please let me know. I’ve been desperately looking for 2004, 2005 and 2006. Not really looking for competition videos, but session videos.
I’m sorry this became a negative post.
I really hate doing this. It doesn’t really help anyone. I haven’t even gotten into 10% of what I could cover. But I’m tired of having bits and pieces of information about my story floating around, just to be portrayed as someone else sees fit. I don’t get it. I deserved to have someone backing me through all of this. I deserved that in 2005. But now? As far as jamskating is concerned, my life and opportunities have been shattered. I did have some people across the country helping me in 2005. I was also very young, a bit immature and completely not ready too face this om my own.
Just like Rodney Mullen’s dad tried to put a stop to his skateboarding for college, my mom wanted to prevent me from wasting my life with this, so I could focus on school. And in many ways, maybe she was right. Obviously, not every story can have a happy ending. And in my case, in 2005, I feel like several people focused their energy on redirecting my energy. So basically, instead of building anything, I accomplished very little because several people were either directly countering my energy or trying to get me to refocus my energy on school. And in the end, I built nothing because my energy was completely dispersed and unfocused.
Bitter about this? Absolutely. Does it have much to do with my ego? Not really. It’s just that I’ve been left in the position where I never got the opportunity to build anything, where my life’s work was just kicked down by a few manipulative assholes, like a sand castle at the beach. So instead of being in the position of a successful jamskater, where I can help other kids come up, where I can teach, and where I can pursue that life – I can’t. I don’t have that potential in my life anymore. Not really.
Sometimes, things are broken and they can’t be fixed.
However, I have learned and grown from these experiences.
If you have true friends in your life, keep them close.