It seems as though Austin Paz has been putting out video sections forever. He has had timeless parts in The Truth video series, which he created with the help of the Kelso brothers, as well as various appearances in the Valo team videos. It’s crazy to think that his first Eulogy edit was only four years ago.
The Staten Island native has since received numerous pro wheels from Eulogy, yet mysteriously still resides on the amateur team for Create Originals and Valo. Paz recently relocated to Arizona, so we decided to catch up with him and find out how his love for blading began.
First blades: My first skates ever that I can remember were those Fisher-Price plastic skates where the wheels move from roller skates to inline skates. From there I had two other pairs of recreational skates. I don’t really remember the brand but I tore through them and finally moved on to my first pair of aggressive skates, which were Rollerblade Menaces. They were a size three US.
First skate video: My brother was the one who got me into skating and the first video I remember him coming home with was VG5, I didn’t even know there were skate videos or anything like that at the time. My VCR ate my VG5 a few years ago – R.I.P.
First skater you looked up to: I never thought about this before but after I think about it, I remember seeing the best skaters in my home town of Staten Island and remember saying to myself that I wanted to be that good one day. I think the first time I ever noticed how good they really were was when I was skating a handicap rail on my block and a few of them were walking by saying stuff like, “Oh, cool man skating yeah!” and they were jumping and transferring the rails on their sneakers. By that point I couldn’t even picture doing that on shoes, let alone my skates. I remember practicing misty flips on my parent’s bed that night after seeing them, ha! As an individual though, I might have to say Angel Soto was a major influence on a lot of Staten Island skaters in the late ‘90s, but I kind of also looked up to his younger brother Jon because he was really young like me but also killed it way harder than anyone his age at the time.
First blading event you attended: The first blading event ever was a local skate comp at the only skate park in Staten Island in 1997. It was only a year after I started skating and everyone was telling me to enter it and that I could win for my age group. I was sceptical but I competed anyway and actually won at age nine.
First European event: My first and only European event so far has been Winterclash 2008. The comp was ridiculous and it was cool to experience an event outside the US. I suck at comps so I obviously didn’t do good, but it was still so much fun. I’d also like to add that the Afterclash was probably just as good, if not better than the actual competition. One thing that made the event so fun was that somehow a bunch of my boys from New York were able to make it and we were all chillin’ out in Germany together.
First sponsor: Eulogy was my first sponsor, I forget what year it was exactly, maybe around 2005. Fish (Billy O’Neill) was riding pro for them at the time and Isaac let him put a couple people on flow and I was one of them and it grew from there.
First serious injury: I think my first serious injury was when I broke the radius in my elbow. We were skating a makeshift launch ramp in my neighbourhood and I think I slipped trying to 720 it and landed right on the inside of my arm. I skated home and knocked on the door and my dad answered and the first thing he does before I even get to say anything was grab my broken arm and say: “It’s cold outside, you should be wearing a sweater.” I think this happened sometime at the beginning of high school.
First bit of trouble through blading: I’ve gotten a number of summonses from skating for trespassing or destruction of property or whatever but it only hit hard once. Myself, as well as a few other friends, always got summonses for skating in Staten Island, but they never show up on your record so everyone disregards them. A couple of years ago, myself and two friends hopped this fence at a school to skate in my neighbourhood and cops saw us walking in there so they stopped us and checked our IDs. The cop came back saying two of us had warrants and were going to be arrested. They said I only had one warrant which I didn’t get since I’ve gotten more than one ticket before from skating. They couldn’t tell us what it was for ‘til after we went through bookings but I later found out that it was from skating a place that was under construction in Manhattan while Fish (Billy O’Neill) was getting a photo for a USD ad for his new skate. I probably just disregarded it like every other ticket, but the Manhattan ones will get you, I didn’t know that. After spending the night in jail, I had to do two days community service which I completed. A month later, cops show up at my house at 8am one day saying they had a warrant for my arrest for not doing the community service. I had no proof that I did it so they took me out of my house and brought me all the way to Manhattan, which was a little more than an hour away to go to court. Long story short, they let me go – eventually. Not a fun story.
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