North & South America
Some call it mushroom blading, some call it big wheels, we just call it urban skating. And it has a new face now: Nicholas Swan. If you have seen Erik Bill’s latest VOD “Snake River Special 3”, it is impossible to miss the last part of the video where Nicholas Swan technically and casually skates every possible spot he visits. And now we are proud to present you: Nicholas Swan’s Metroblade video.
Nicholas your “unconventional” style of skating is well received in all different styles. You come from a street skating background, how did you evolve to your current urban style?
I realized about 4 years ago that the aggressive skating I was doing hadn’t changed much for the 13 years I was doing it. I would learn new tricks or grind a bigger hand-rail and eventually start making spots or find crappy alleyways to skate in but all of this started feeling redundant. When Joey, Todd and Leon from the Mushroom Blade world started making videos in Seba FR’s I decided to give 80’s a try. I kept grinding here and there but when we started filming for Snake River 3 I wanted to do a full aggressive section and a full no-grind, urban section. After completing both sections I realized making the 80mm edit was more fulfilling and it’s all I’ve been up to since.
Nicholas, in this video we see you skate the Rollerblade® Metroblade, they work out really well for you. Can you explain the best features of the Metroblade from your perspective?
The Metroblade skates are the most responsive and lightweight skate I have ever put on my 10.5 size foot. When you hit larger sizes in shells you can get some ill-fitting skates that don’t work so well. These skates continuously impress me and I keep learning weird new maneuvers in them.
Did you change any parts of the skates, or shoot the video with the Metroblades straight out of the box?
About half of the edit is Hydrogen wheels and the other isn’t. I tried a flatter profile wheel for a while and am now on the RB Supreme wheel. For me the round profile feels a bit more like an aggressive wheel and gives me more stability with the larger gaps and drops. I am 6’2’’ so too much rebound doesn’t work for me.
What is the favourite spot you skated in your edit and why did it work out so well with the Metroblades?
The ender in this section was the toughest. Honestly, I didn’t know if I could do it and probably couldn’t have done it in another skate. The precision and quick changes from the stall to the jump over the rail was extremely difficult. Rolling into the bank at the end was such a relief and cruising down the path next to the river on the Metroblades was extremely rewarding. I filmed the majority of the Metroblade edit in 3 days with Erik Bill. We mostly skated from spot to spot so finding a lot of content in a small area was fun and easy with skates that are so versatile.
The Metroblade is designed to be a fast, responsive and lightweight skate. Your skating requires ultimate control and response as well; did you get any new insights or inspiration because of the Metroblades?
These skates have definitely given me the opportunity for more precision skating. This section is very different from my SRS 3 section. And the new section I’m currently working on is completely different from this edit. The skates keep giving me new ideas and the confidence to know that I don’t have to worry about the skate not performing the way I want it to.