We have been stocking Disco Blox for almost a year now and are proud to have been the first stockist in the U.K. We decided to ask Disco a few questions about his skating and his products to help us get into sliding on the coping!
When did you start skating?
Well, in 2006 I bought my daughter some roller skates. She would roll around while I was skateboarding in the street. Soon we discovered roller derby and would go watch anytime we could. Later we joined the junior roller derby team and I put on skates to become a ref. This was late in 2010. After about a year of being in the derby scene and becoming confident on skates, I started looking at skate parks and wondering how I might go on roller skates? I was instantly addicted. I couldn't trick much but I loved zooming around the bowl and riding the walls. In 2012 I began to travel Australia with the roller derby and I would meet other skaters that had taken to skating ramps. We started a group called "Aussie National Skatepark Tour". We would fly interstate and spend a weekend just at the skateparks. We had a tight crew that were pushing each other to learn more tricks and build the stoke. What was the incentive to create your own grind blocks? I had seen others using grind blocks and I had Fink make me a pair for a skate build he did for me in xmas 2012. These lasted me a few months before I wanted to build new skates and I began making my own blocks. I'm a carpenter by trade and had all the tools I needed to make blocks. Soon I was making blocks for the crew. Then their friends, and then their friends friends. How did you develop the Discoblox you see today? Discoblox have evolved over many years. The trick is having the perfect size block to suit your skate plate. For years I was asking people for all sorts of measurements to offer the block they needed for all sorts of plates in all sizes. We used to bolt them or screw them, even zip tie them to our plates. It was raw DIY stuff. I wanted a grind block that was universal and easy to fit. The result was the Discoblox open ended mounting bar. This allowed me to fit to all king pin skates, at all angles and sizes. The blocks themselves became a regular shape, with the holes drilled to reduce weight. Now that's my signature shape. Up to 2017 I was still making every discoblox by hand in my workshop. It was taking up all my spare time! I had to move toward manufacture. I taught myself a CAD program and documented and refined the design. Now Discoblox parts are produced by a local Adelaide plastic engineer, I still put them together and package them. Where did the idea for the 'Grindspur' in the Outlaw blox come from? I had seen other grind block styles that had begun using steel plate. Also customers were asking me to apply this to my blocks. The grind spur was a way to introduce a steel slide element that was still light weight, and just different. The holes in the blox I inserted aluminium tube for visual effect. Now I had barrels and spurs, Outlaw just seemed the appropriate name! I love them. They look great and make terrific noise as they slide.
Tell us about your style of skating and tricks, what is your favourite? What are you working on? My skate style really reflects my years of surfing. I love riding the shapes of a bowl, flowing through the lines reading the shape. Everyone has at least three go to tricks. Mine is Tabernacle, Taco (frontside and backside) and frontside coping slides. I have worked on making my invert clean. It's a big trick and really gets the adrenaline pumping. I must work on more fakie skating. I have ignored it for years and its limiting my style. Do you have skaters you admire, if so who and why? I really dig @Indytime in Costa Rica. I have followed her for years. I think she is just naturally incredible and energetic. I'm also a big fan of Havoc. Again she is naturally fearless and has style. Locally I skate with Nikita. We always have and continue to inspire each other. I keep an eye on the boys. They do skate differently to girls and I watch to see how they are doing it. Do you have any advice for beginners wanting to get gnarly in the skatepark? Everyone has something inside them that brings them to the skatepark. Some have skills from other sports, some just have a wild imagination. Whatever it is, listen to your own body. Find the style that feels natural. Build on your own ability. A good skate session usually lasts a few hours. In this time there is about 20min when you're at your peak, to push your limits. Learn to recognise this and know when the time has passed. How have grind blocks affected your skating? Discoblox are designed to be at just the right height to smoothly transition from rolling to sliding. Similarly, the platform makes the drop in from coping a smooth transition from stall to rolling. It really is a simple accessory that opens up a new level of skate skill.
Any tips on how to slide/grind for beginners? Okay, cool. Good question. It's a great sensation, and definitely a 'light bulb' moment when you get it. Here's my tips on slide METHOD. As you travel through the transition begin a carve toward the coping. You want your feet parallel as you approach the coping and stay rolling, keep in contact through-out the next moves. Stay with me, a lot is about to happen all at once. Push toward your trajectory. This means what will become the trailing foot is starting the move, pushing opposite to the direction of travel. For me, I'm left leg dominant. This leg makes the push and I lift my right foot to the coping. Meanwhile I'm making a balance shift in my hips, as I move from the pushing leg to the sliding leg. Don't be afraid to exaggerate this like a Hula Hoop move. Now I'm on the coping and managing the slide without spreading my legs too much. I aim to keep in contact as long as I can on the approach, without jumping. A good slide is more of a controlled drift than a landing.
Disco Blox are available in standard: https://www.rollergirlgang.co.uk/product-page/discoblox-coping-mechanism