Video & Article by Matt Garrity
Photography by Gregory Rouvelin, Guillaume Latrompette, and Thomas Camus
Introduction by Daniel Nodzak
A few weeks ago Matt Garrity approached us about publishing a scene report for the first Montreal Blade Weekend hosted by Denis Raby, Marc-Étienne Paradis, and Julien Bodin which took place on August 10th and 11th at various skateparks in Montreal. With the help of photographers, Gregory Rouvelin, Guillaume Latrompette, and Thomas Camus he produced a full edit and article documenting everything that went down. If you’d like to stay in the loop for next year’s event a link to the Montreal Rollerblading facebook group is included at the bottom of this article.
A couple of months ago, I received an invite to a blade meet-up in Montreal hosted by Denis Raby, Marc Étienne Paradis, and Julien Bodin. Skating in Montreal with the crew is always a good time, so with great enthusiasm six of us from Ottawa headed out to Montreal.
The event lasted two days and spanned four different skateparks. The first day we started at Vanhorn Skatepark, a new park constructed under a bridge. Mathieu Lapointe wasted no time getting started by launching himself as high as he could from the deepest part of the bowl.
Soon after, Maxence Valade got to work in both the plaza and the bowl. Skating with speed and tons of style, Max always got a big pop from the crowd.
On the plaza side, all you could see were bladers zipping around the park, with skateboarders forced to the outskirts of the park during the pandemonium. My favourite obstacle to watch from day one was a quarter pipe to down ledge transfer, which was done nicely by Vincent Moreau.
When the event was originally posted, a friend of ours, Yoeri, that we had met at Winterclash asked if any of us could accommodate him for the weekend. Within 10 Minutes, Denis Raby confirmed he had a spare bedroom, and Yoeri started planning for his trip from the Netherlands. Yoeri made his presence felt early by hucking a misty flip off of a ridiculously small quarter pipe.
Unfortunately, the weather was not on our side. However, the architecture was, and we were still able to skate some ledges and rails under the bridge during the heavy rain.
Eventually, the rain let up, and the skies began to clear. We set out in a blader caravan to park #2 for the day. Julien quickly got to work on the BBQ, and thank fuck because after skating for 5 hours already we were starving!
Once everyone ate, and the park was finally dry, the blading could continue. Similar to the last park, our new stop was separated into a bowl section and a plaza section. Fueled by beer and BBQ, we quickly took over the bowl where everyone threw down fast and technical grinds. One surprise was that Yann was skating with a cast. He had broken his hand a month ago, but that didn’t stop him from flowing around the park like a champ.
The next day the survivors went out to the new Vans bowl at Olympic Stadium. This thing is probably the biggest, deepest bowl that I have ever seen in my life. That didn’t stop the boys from ripping around it though. Frank, from Quebec City, came down, as did Dan Millar from Toronto. It was good to see those guys because at one point we were all roommates.
After our session at the "Big O" we headed to Verdun beach to relax and end our weekend by the water. K2 generously provided the organizers with a pair of skates to give away. That honour went to none other than Mathieu Lapointe who tore up the parks all weekend.
All in all, it was a fantastic weekend, and it was incredible to see so many rollerbladers and friends all in one place. I am very excited for next year's event, and I hope it will be even bigger and better than this year!