It’s been quite some time since I have been on my Blades, however when I heard there was going to be a comp coming to Flushing Meadows, I knew it was time to dust off the ol Fruit boots and blade. The weather in NYC has been unpredictable as of lately and the original date of the comp was scheduled for Saturday June 2nd but was postponed to Sunday June 3rd. Of course it didnt rain on Saturday but by the time we realized that it was too late. This comp would be the 1st NYC comp in the WRS (World Rolling Series) of the season and it was scheduled to be a pure street comp organized by Trevor Johnson & Craig Benabu (IrollNY.com).
I loaded up my chrome bag with my camera equipment and skates and rode my bike from the Bronx to flushing meadows. It’s been a long while since I shot blading photos so needless to say I was very excited. Upon my arrival I saw a crowd of bladers spectating the comp that had already started. I made my rounds and said “what up” to those who I haven’t seen in a long time then threw on my blades to get some warm up tricks in. Not more than 30 minutes after I arrived the rain started coming down which would delay the competition. Once the rain ended, we made our way to the Maloof skate plaza which was located a few yards down.
Somehow I ended up as one of the judges of the comp so I wasn’t able to shoot photos of the comp which was fine by me. I was never really one to try and shoot the action of competitions, i like shoot what goes on outside of the comp. skaters are more relaxed and focused which makes for better photos. So here are some of the photos that I shot from the event while I wasn’t judging.
Danny Figgz – Top Torque up the ledge
Jordan Baez – Backslide
Ruben Prez – Monkey Flip
Carly Sanchez – Makio
Wakums – Back Farv
Sorry for the delay on the portraits, the whole domain switch screwed up up for a moment but the blog is back and working to to be better than ever. On February 23rd the fellas and myself took a drive out to Royal Oak Michigan for the Bitter Cold Showdown. For those of you who do not rollerblade this event is one of the biggest if not the biggest competitive event we have. The opportunity to shoot on the floor during the finals and semi finals is a position that many photographers seek. So while those photogs were busting their ass trying to get that one great shot I took to the sidelines yet again this year to capture some portraits of not on the competitors but those who were in attendance that wanted to get a portrait done. I have to admit that this year the attendance and the energy was blah in comparison to previous years but i still had a great time shooting and chopping it up with the fellas in Royal Oak. I chose to use the same setup as last year, with only my Nikon speed light and shoot through umbrella at 45 degrees to the subject and my Nikon D90 DSLR. Check out the Photos and if you like what you see, repost on whatever Social Network you like.
Brandon Smith – Valo
Chris Haffey Sporting his Handle Bar Mustache – Remz
Jose Henriquez – Flatlines Skate Shop, BX
Montre Livingston – SSM
The Monster Jaren Grob, Definitely one of my favorite skaters and the only rollerblader to make it into Sports Illustrated Magazine.
Troy Dezeeuw : Rollerblader and creator of the Daily Juice Blog & Track Or Die NYC Logo.
Last but not least, My Handsome ass grill.
The Boss Jon Julio pulled time out of his busy Valo schedule to answer some followup questions I had regarding the new The Valo Lights that are scheduled to be released June 2011. Check out the Q&A and photos regarding the Lights only on http://www.yourdailyjuiceblog.com
PJ) The rumors about the Valo light were flooding the Internet for a while. How long have you been working on the Valo light design before you released the final product?
JJ) Hmm design wise.. at least 2 years.. maybe more..
PJ) Since the 1st preview at the 2011 winterclash , How has the rollerblading community responded to the idea and concept of the Valo Lights?
JJ)I felt like it went really really good.. Def stoked to get the response that we did especially from kids who don’t ride valos.
PJ) Now that Valo has ventured into the carbon fiber market, do you feel the Valo lights will receive the same amount of support from the Valo masses as the original shell?
JJ) Advantages of wider and lighter shell will help in a big way. Also having our original parts compatible with all the new Valo Light Parts will help recycle old styles with the new… We will see in June on the reaction! But so far so good.
PJ) Seeing as the shell is 100% Carbon Fiber, are there any concerns with cracking due to daily shredding?
JJ) As of right now nothing serious.. Bailes had one crack but after 3 months of testing.. Im on my 6-10th pair?.. no cracking.. and i have been filming/skating steady for 1.5- 2 months.. Valos are a solid skate as is.
PJ) What is the major selling point that the lights will have over the classic Valo boot?
JJ) I’m real proud of everything about this skate.. As far as the looks goes..The pics speak for themselves and hows the ride? we all been steady riding them for at least a year…cant speak highly about them enough.
PJ) You have stated that all parts are backwards compatible so if some one prefers older parts or skins on the light shell it would fit and vice versa. With the shell being 5mm wider and longer does will that force us to size up with previous skins and parts or will a size 9 skin still fit on a size 9 Valo Light shell?
JJ) Yes it will.. we have interchanged liners, buckles, and skins/souls.. all are compatible with another..
PJ) Did you or any one from the Valo team have complications making the switch from the original shell to the Valo Lights?
JJ) None at all.. but since the original shell we have def. made changes/adjustments since the original samples..
PJ) The Valo team is compiled of skaters who each have a unique style? Are there riders on the team that prefer the original shell to the Valo Lights?
PJ) I’m pretty excited about the new 2 piece sole design, does this add for more speed or durability or is it simply just a new look that Valo is going for?
JJ) it wont be too different considering we asked the whole team for their input.. and all agreed to not change the functionality of the souls. so you will get a similar grind feeling as the original valo soul plates. The new soul plates are a new look more streamline. So now you can choose from 2 separate valo soul styles.. classic or streamline looks.
PJ) Correct me if I’m wrong but the retail tag for the Valo JJ lights are roughly around $359.00 boot only. Do you feel the quality and construction of this new carbon fiber shell will make the rolling community over look the price once they put on a pair?
JJ) Well its hard to overlook $359. BUt due to the quality, cost of materials , and the amount that are being made.. such a price tag is def necessary.
PJ) Can we expect a Valo Light tour this year since the team is filming for Valo 5?
JJ) Actually you can expect us in NYC very soon.. you can peeps the flyer attached.
PJ) I think the biggest question the rollerblading community wants to know is when the “Pimp Juice Pro model” Valo dropping ?
JJ) haha.. we have to talk
PJ) Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule for my blog. Is there anything you would like to add that I might have missed out on?
JJ) 4Life! and V coming soon.. hmm plenty of brewing going on.. looking forward to 2011 and 2012 thanks for everything boss! Valo4lIfe JJ
Thanks for everything boss! Valo4lIfe
My anticipation to attend a single event was never higher than it was for the 2011 Bitter cold showdown for many reasons….Great skating, too many available photo ops, Coney Island, seeing all my fellow bladers from across the world and last but certainly not least the preview of the new VALO LIGHT boot. Photos have been floating around the Internet of Valo’s newest Carbon Fiber Boot. What should you expect from the Valo lights you ask? Well 1st of all the boot is 100% carbon Fiber however the cuff is still plastic, 2 kilos lighter = 1.1 lbs lighter per foot. That’s a total 2.2 lbs lighter than the original Valos.. The shell is 5 mm wider and 5 mm longer. This gives more space for wider feet which should take away the need to toe cut your Valo boot. This is good for me since I wear a size 13 sneaker and I would never wear a 13-15 shell (long boot), I usually get the 11-12 shell and toe cut it and im good to go. I will now be able to get away with downsizing to size 12 with no need to toe cut, Wooooohoooooo!
There are other improvements with the boot as well, there is more of an open shell still with lace eyelets for those of you who lace the shell. These boots are amazing from my inspection which I did thoroughly not only at the Valo booth but on Jon’s foot also (don’t judge me damnit!). The liner has also been improved on the 1st line of the Valo lights which are also Jon’s 2nd Pro model on Valo. There is also a new 2 piece mid sole system which eliminates base plates and offers more of a customizability once the new color ways drop. The new Carbon boot and soles are also compatible with older Valo Skins if you have a personal preference in skins. After speaking to a few of the visitors who attended the Valo booth to view these new boots, there will be many people switching over to Valo once these babies drop. I always Enjoy the energy that the Valo team brings to the trade show. I have yet to see any rider turn down the many photo ops thrown at them. Also valo provides more than enough free stickers and posters for those who attend and visit the booth. The Price tag for the Valo lights havent been released yet but the release date should be late May early June 2011. Here are some shots I took for those of you who were unable to attend this years Bitter Cold trade show.
Jon & the Valo Lights
NYC’s Very own Franco Cammayo & the Valo Lights.