One of the cool things about skating is being able to meet somebody from halfway around the world and instantly becoming friends. Fortunately, I don't subscribe to that unconditional-love 'campfire sing-a-long' concept because, unfortunately, most rollerbladers are whack. I don't mean their style or their skill set. I don't mean their interests or gripes with the world. None of that petty shit, honestly. I think the key element that rollerblading is lacking among its fleeting participants is 'being real.' For whatever the reason may be, my overall observation is that rollerbladers tend to lack some sort of common sense which ultimately makes them, (please pardon the politically incorrectness), something of a 'social retard.'
Agree? Don't agree? That's fine. This is but a mere observation borne from my unconscious studies over the past two decades. I don't know why it is this way but this is undoubtedly the way it is: rollerblading attracts weirdos. That's a good thing, though. Skating has always drawn from the underbelly of society to some degree. But sometimes that weirdness and the subtle insecurity that comes with it is harnessed and molded into something both outstanding and organic. Maybe rollerbladers have a difficult time being themselves because of that deep-seeded guilt of branching off from skateboarding much like the American Colonists did from the Pips back in the revolutionary days. Hey, doofuses. Listen up. It's time to accept yourselves as something unique. Fuck anybody who says rollerblading is irrelevant or incompetent; and fuck any Lobsterback who tells you that you must still bow to the Queen. That's coming from an oft described Anglophile, too. (That means I admire the shit out of England and it's damp-yet-dry society. There. Saved you the time looking it up on 'The Google.' You're welcome.)
Where was I headed with all of this? Ah, yes. Pat Ridder.
I've met this dude just this past Spring when he visited Philly for the first time. Then I met up with him again about a month or so later when he took his second trip out on a hefty-priced plane ticket. I've loved Pat's skating from what I'd seen on the internet and such over the past few years, and whenever I spoke with him through the same means the conversation was always so natural to the point where when we finally met in person at Joe's Steaks on Girard Avenue it was just like seeing an old friend. It's funny when somebody you've never met from a country you've never even visited can jump right into the crew and it's almost as if he was there from the beginning. I mean, Philly has its obvious quirks and qualms with the skate world and perhaps the world in general; and we're probably not the easiest city to lay your head down and feel at home. Upon his arrival however, it was easy to say that our German brother was sworn in as immediate family from the moment he stepped foot off that aeroplane. He really dealt with a lot of shit that most skaters just can't withstand, let alone produce so prolifically at every spot. Jet lagged night session at Municipal. No problem. Philly cracked and choppy sidewalks at every spot. No problem. Fifteen-hour skate days, the suffocating humidity, mentally-exhausting hood spelunking, trying to make nothing into something in a completely foreign environment...the man could hang throughout it all. And he maintained a solid sense of humor, too. Respekt.
Bacemint has been a blessing for us all thus far as it's given us even more motivation to get out there and put consistent work in the streets. This is easily the hardest working crew in rollerblading and I say that unabashedly and without hesitation. Seeing the support worldwide from such like-minded, self-motivated individuals is what I have enjoyed most about this process. We're all happy to have Patrick Ridder as an honorary Philadelphia member, and we are excited for being able to showcase his talent in the upcoming video, ("Trust the Process"), as well as any future releases that may come along.