The 5W’s with AL DOLEGA

          AL DOLEGA is a walking historian of everything Rollerblading related. I have a ton of RESPECT for him and his inspiring knowledge of our industry and it’s products. He has paid his dues for years with his skating, his years running Octona Skateshop, his years running NIGHT Hardware, promoting the Michigan scene among many other things that he does to help keep Rollerblading going strong. Here he is as the latest victim of SUAS’s random 5W’s.

WHO do you see as the new school rollerbladers that will carry the torch for the Detroit scene?
AD: I like that you specified “new school”… that lets me make the list a lot smaller, haha. I’d say Detroit’s strongest new jacks would be Chynna Weierstall, Jake Cawley, Cody Boulay and Brett Urbas…even though they’ve all been skating for years and nobody around here really considers them newschool…maybe middle school at the worst, they’re still new jacks to everyone else, I suppose.

WHAT is going on with Night Hardware?
AD: Sadly, Night Hardware is no more; Mark and I made the hard decision to finally pull the plug at the end of ’09. Functionally, Night had been pretty much dead for a while, I’ll admit it; Mark and I were both just too busy to give it the time and attention it needed in the last couple of years. The state of the economy inside and outside of rollerblading certainly didn’t help either. It’s sad, but we both see it coming back some day. Even if it doesn’t, Mark & I still have some other things up our sleeves.

WHEN did you first realize that you loved rollerblading?
AD: My answer would vary depending on how you would define loving skating. The common answer to this seems to always be “Immediately! Love at first sight!” or something like that, but that’s silly. Infatuation is not love; love is a two-way street and infatuation is a one-way sidewalk. If I had to pick a finite point I would say it was around late 1998, early 1999, two and a half years or so after I started skating.

          The kid who got me into skating had quit, I’d moved across town, I’d crashed my car, didn’t have anyone to skate with, didn’t know any spots within skating distance… and it only strengthened what I felt for skating, instead of weakening or straining it, which I thought even at the time was what should have been happening. I actually found it kind of ridiculous, myself, how much fun I had launching out of curb cuts and grinding yellow curbs on the way to the one spot I found a mile away. I found it ridiculous but I didn’t care. Maybe that was love, maybe it was some other point along the way, I’m not sure.

WHERE did you get your vast knowledge of everything rollerblading-related?
AD: I wouldn’t consider it vast, but it’s just from being a nerd about rollerblading, really. It’s a short answer but it’s true. Some people know every line in Star Wars by heart, some people know every statistic related to their favorite sports team… me, I can tell you the thread size for a soulplate screw on a skate made ten years ago, haha. Selling skates for ten years or so also didn’t hurt.

WHY won’t you let your hair grow back?
AD: That’s a question for Mother Nature, not me.

(…and sometimes)…HOW does Al Dolega unwind after a long day of skating?
AD: Skating IS the unwinding. So, then how do I wind back up? By re-entering the real world, I guess, just like any other skater. Jobs, bills, school, relationships, etc- that’s the stuff that makes the escape of skating so sweet.

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2 Responses to “The 5W’s with AL DOLEGA”

  1. AL IS THE MAN. FUCK YES. Someone needs to make a Dolega pro skate. Long time no speak holmes go on AIM again sometime and let’s plan another road tripzzzz

  2. Yeah very nice

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