Bobi Spassov: King of smooth
He's known in the blading world for his unique style. We talked with Bobi Spassov about what’s essential for him as a blader, and where he draws his inspiration from.
The skatepark is boiling at CPH Blade Days. It’s the final trick in the pros competition and it’s Bobi Spassov’s turn to do his trick. “He's going to try his signature trick - a Fakie Bio 5 to Royale Cess slide, which is very hard”, the speaker shouts out through the PA-system.
The crowd is clapping and cheering. At the end of the skatepark, Bobi stands and waits for the perfect moment to set off. He charges towards the roll in, turns around, skates down the roll in, does the Bio 5, and lands in a Royal Cess Slide.
The crowd goes wild but the young blader is not satisfied, he shakes his head and shows with his hands that he wants another go - It has to be perfect, it has to be smooth. This philosophy is the base of his unique blading style - It has to look perfect, or else it goes into the trash.
A lot of effort to make it look effortless
After the award ceremony we meet up with Bobi, and when we ask him what the secret behind his unique style is, he smiles and says:
“I’m not sure what I do differently. I put a lot of effort into making it effortless. I really like when things look fluid, it gives a certain satisfaction. What I can say is that if I don’t make it look perfect, I’ll do it over and over again until it’s flawless ”, he says and adds:
Trick: Royal. Photo: Bar Erez.
“I take a lot of inspiration from skateboarding, skiing, and snowboarding. Take skiers, they have all these rotations and spins. They can do a 900, stop the spin, and then do a 360. I know that they have more airtime but it’s inspiring to watch anyway. In general, it’s not the tricks that I draw my inspiration from, it’s more the aesthetics, the atmosphere and the vibe that I use”.
A natural part of blading
To many bladers out there, Bobi’s style may seem unique but according to himself, the smoothness is going to be a natural part of blading in the future.
“In one or two generations from my own generation, it will be built-in. The kids are putting a lot of work into their style. They try to make it look effortless and clean when they land. They might not be at the level to do it yet, but the idea is there”, he says.
Trick: Soul Grind. Photo: Michael Witzemann.
He points out that it's a crucial task to inspire the young kids, so at some point, they can start leaving their mark on blading.
“A lot of kids write to me on Instagram and tell me, that they’re inspired by the way I blade, which I feel very honored about. For me, this is the most important, to inspire the kids. If you are smooth, then the kids will naturally copy that”, he says.
Blading beyond grinding
Another sign that the esthetics of blading is changing can be seen on the setup of the bladers out in the skateparks and at the street spots.
“People are starting to skate a flat setup with bigger wheels. This is exactly a part of the evolving of the smoothness. Back in the days, people skated to the rail or the spot. We forgot that blading is more than tricks. I started skating because I liked the feeling of cruising around at high speed. With this kind of setup gaining ground, people are getting speed, grip, and control; they start to skate again”, Bobi says.
It’s precisely the philosophy that blading is more than just tricks and grinds that he is promoting with his style of blading.
“I think it’s time for the blading community to realize that grinding is not everything, all the other aspects are just as important. I’m not saying don’t grind stuff, we’re not free skating, but we need all the different elements. If you only do grinds it's like a skateboarder that only comes to the skate park to skate flat. What about the beauty of the skateboarder that’s flowing in the pool! This just looks so fluid and so attractive, and I think this could be in blading too, and that’s the main concept: smoothness and diversity”, he says.
More control, speed and flow
Another key factor to Bobi’s unique style is his setup, and when you look at his blades they really reflect that he practices what he preaches
“I was already skating that smooth style with 58mm wheels and anti-rocker setup but I felt that I need more speed and more control, so I wanted a flat setup. I ended up getting Ground Control’s Mega Frames, which I use with 64mm wheels. I knew that it would be hard grinding wise, but definitely better for all other aspects” he says and continues.
“I have the Valo V13 boots, which I really like because they’re so tight, this means that I can feel everything I do. I totally get that they’re harder to grind with because they have a smaller soleplate but it’s easier to do stair bash, cess slides. It’s easier to cruise really fast in the park or bowl and make small, fast moves, all things that really matter to me”.
Follow Bobi Spassov on his Instagram right here.