The 5W’s with JON ORTIZ!

          Jon Ortiz is the true definition of a legend. He has left lasting impressions in the rollerblading scene with his trademark style that has influenced pretty much everybody out there who have seen him skate. Jon Ortiz was one of my influences when I was coming up in the rollerblade scene back in the mid-90’s so it is an absolute honor to have him take the time out to answer the 5W’s. His in-depth and truthful answers make this a classic in my book. Enjoy kiddies!

You have been a major factor in the beginning roots of the NYC skating scene while influencing pretty much every skater when it comes down to style. WHO were some of your rollerblading inspirations while you were coming up?
JO: Well, I started so long ago that I was amazed by every skater I met and tried to learn as much as I could from anyone I would come across. But, I was truly inspired by the original innovators such as Chris Edwards, Tom Fry, Arlo, Manuel Billiris…you know the people that made up mostly all of our vocabulary of tricks.

          But, the one person I REALLY looked up to and wanted to skate like was T.J. Webber, he is still my favorite skater of all time. That boy dripped style while just being himself without trying. Nowadays, I look up to and encourage anyone that has a passion for skating like the way I do.

Your skating career has easily spanned over a decade and you are still going strong, WHAT keeps that rollerblading fire burning for so long?
JO: Hmm… It’s quite simple. That same fire I have for skating is the same fire that I have for being alive. It’s the same fire I have for wanting happiness. Without skating I wouldn’t exist. It doesn’t define me and I don’t define it, but we are one and the same. It sounds super hippie status, but that’s the easiest way to explain it. I’ve tried numerous times in my life to quit, it just can’t be done. Whatever my life has in store for me, you best believe I’ll have my skates right next to me.

Activities such as teaching & traveling to Woodward, skiing, going on blading tours, etc seems to take up all of your time. WHEN do you have any non-rollerblading down time and what do you do in your freetime?
JO: Yea, everything I do in terms of making a living revolves around skating, so it takes a lot of my time and I’m proud of that fact. I hope to make that last as long as I can, hopefully forever. I’ve always thought that living in NYC has given me the opportunity to still make money from skating, which is a hard, almost impossible thing to do. I get to teach skating in public/private schools, and also run my own private lessons with Go and Roll Inc. When I’m not skating you can find me hanging out with any one or all of the members of “The Commission”, which is all of my oldest friends through skating consisting of mainly all NYC OG’s..

          Or you can find me in my crib making the hottest beats I use to throw in random skate videos and such. Or catch me cruising around Manhattan on my bike looking for some action hahaha… I never skied before but I LOVE to snowboard. I love it as much as skating, but I generally suck at it compared to skating. And yes, Camp Woodward aka The Land of Make Believe.. I’m going tomorrow as I write this, and try to go as often as I can in the Winter. Nobody is there and I have the entire place to myself, its heaven.

WHERE do you see yourself in rollerblading within the next 10 years?
JO: I really don’t know where I will be in 10 years, I’ve never been the type to map out my future. I just let things happen for the most part, which is why I always say I’m a lucky dude.. I do know I will be skating if my legs let me or will be doing something within the skating community. By then I will have been skating nearly 30 years, that’s an insane thought!!!

WHY did you recently trim the length of your shoulder length hair?
JO: My hair was out of control!! I just needed a change really. Plus, I like being a little more anonymous since lots of people don’t recognize me at first. And lastly, I look younger without the hair, nowadays I need all the help I can get.

…(and sometimes…)HOW have you lasted so long in an industry where skaters come and go out of nowhere?
JO: I really can’t answer that, I don’t know. All I can say is the day I put on my skates for the first time, I knew I would be doing this forever. I’m still here by the grace of all the people and my family who have supported me all these years. And the fact that I love skating as much as life itself, there is no need for me to be doing anything else. It’s sad great people come and go in skating, but I’ll always be here having fun doing what I do best.

Roll for Life….

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10 Responses to “The 5W’s with JON ORTIZ!”

  1. gary murphy Says:

    I’ve been a fan of this guy since the good old Blizzard Productions days! Uncommon Ground was the first skate video I bought (with saved up lunch money) and really introduced me to style, thanks to Mr. Ortiz. You’re THE MAN Jon!

  2. i met jon ortiz on puerto rico back when i started blading about 8-9 years ago on the ledges of El Escambron(spot where the IMYTA Puerto Rico was) where he was skating by himself when i got there… i remember this like it was yesterday, why? because of his extremely humble, friendly and motivating personality who didnt care how good or bad i was at skating, he just shared his experiences on life and rollerblading, to just teach a complete stranger, as myself…i think that people like jon are the true pros and not only that, theyre real legends and teachers of what rollerblading is really about. my hat’s off to him, and i can only wish him the best of luck in everything…

    -welvin cruz.

  3. […] “Well, I started so long ago that I was amazed by every skater I met and tried to learn as much as I could from anyone I would come across. But, I was truly inspired by the original innovators such as Chris Edwards, Tom Fry, Arlo, Manuel Billiris…you know the people that made up mostly all of our vocabulary of tricks. But, the one person I REALLY looked up to and wanted to skate like was T.J. Webber, he is still my favorite skater of all time. That boy dripped style while just being himself without trying. Nowadays, I look up to and encourage anyone that has a passion for skating like the way I do” – Jon Ortiz. Read the rest of the interview on Shutupandskate. […]

  4. kelly buttaz! Says:

    I remember in 1994 (16 years ago!!!!) meeting JON at the brooklyn banks along with Joe D, Ron hunter, Ray mendez, and I even think rawlinson and Brian smith were there! Jon had the sickest smoothest most buttery backslides in the universe! And from what I see above in the pictures, he still does! Love u jon! The 90’s was the most influential time for my skating! I am who I am because of u!

  5. wow, it sucks there’s a fucking CCS ad at the end of an interview with a rollerblading legend. nice.

  6. Erick Garcia Says:

    Legendary OG!! Jon Ortiz has style like no other…those backslides have always inspired me. It’s guys like Jon that keep me skating hard. The last time I saw Jon was at Bittercold earlier this year and just seeing him skate brought a feeling of the good old gromet days haha I still get star struck when I see NYC legends like him. Good read!! keep skating hard Jon!

  7. Uncommon Ground was the first video I ever saw as well. Even though it had been out for a while at the time it blew my mind. So glad to see that pic in this interview of him soyaling. Him and champion set the standard for steeze with their soyales.

  8. […] Read the full interview on SUAS. […]

  9. This wAs dope

  10. old skool jun ny Says:

    wow!!!! My boy Jon Ortiz we came up at the same time love you bro hope to see you again…much luv Junito M

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