CJ Wellsmore: WRG gives blading some well-deserved attention
For the first time ever the Aggressive World Championship was part of the World Roller Games - the biggest action-sports event ever. We met with CJ Wellsmore to find out if this is the way to go for blading.
This year, aggressive inline skating got into the World Roller Games' good graces, under the name Freestyle Roller.
Three-time world champion, CJ Wellsmore from Australia, was one of the bladers who were competing for the world title in Barcelona. According to him, the World Roller Games is an important event for blading
"It gives some well-deserved attention from the public. We needed this 20 years ago, and now we are finally getting it. This event is perfect for putting us on the map for the competitive part of the sport."
This is a part of the evolution
When we ask CJ if he fears that aggressive blading will become too mainstream by being a part of a huge and very straight forward event such as the WRG his answer is clear:
"I believe that it's a part of the evolution of blading. Sure we can do the 90's movement of skateboarding and push rebellion against it, but if we want to make a living out of blading we need the acceptance of the general public", he says and adds:
“We still need core bladers, who are only skating street and not entering contests because that is amazing. But in order to show the outside world, how fantastic blading is we need events like this. Once people realize that, they will also see the street aspect of it”
Competitions are a spectacle that not even the internet can beat!
Exposure is an essential element to keep aggressive blading growing and developing. But wouldn't it be more effective to upload clips to Instagram, which potential has a much bigger reach instead of entering a competition like WRG.
“The attention span on the internet is next to nothing. People are sitting expecting to see a banger within 10 seconds. Blading is not always about doing the biggest bangers, it’ about freedom of feet, getting your movements to flow and having fun” he says and continues.'
"A competition like this is a spectacle for the audience. It's in a huge stadium, it looks incredible, you see the different blading styles, feel the flow of the skaters, see who wins, so it a great way to inspire people to pick up the sport”
Can’t get enough of CJ Wellsmore? Follow him on Instagram right here for more awesome content.