Nothing Else Matters
Kevin Lapierre, the new face of Canadian rollerblading, has a passion for the sport that borders on obsession.
It looks like the resurgence of Canadian rollerblading is well under way. Roll Toronto has been providing the world with regular online edits for quite some time now, Richie Eisler has done some amazing work with The Conference over the last twelve months and released some ground-breaking material of his own, and young Kevin Lapierre appears to be at the forefront of the new generation of progressive bladers to emerge from the country. The 19-year-old has been making a name for himself over the past year with over five online edits that clearly highlight a rapid progression in style and technicality. His section in the Montreal scene film, Family Matters 2, is full of fast, solid skating, big gaps and technical grind combinations, and his entry into the ‘Fan Favourite’ WRS Uploaded World Finals received over 9,000 views. Yes, he lost out to Mathias Silhan, but there are many seasoned professionals that would have met the same fate had they gone up against the French legend.
Lapierre grew up in Drummondville, which is situated 100 miles east of Montreal, giving the blader a thriving metropolis full of skate spots within driving distance to develop his talents. He first discovered the sport at 13-years-old, when he decided that he wanted to try something different from all of his friends who were involved in mainstream team sports. It took just one experience on a pair of rollerbladers for him to decide that this was something he wanted to commit a lot of time to so that he could master the craft. In the space of six short years, he is well on his way.
In 2011, Lapierre was spotted at many of North America’s biggest blade gatherings, including the Panhandle Pow Wow in Jacksonville, Florida. He also took to the streets and caused some havoc in Philadelphia and owned some of the spots made famous by Jeff Dalnas in Rhode Island. This year, he has already attended Bitter Cold Showdown XII and plans to return to Pow Wow and compete at all Canadian events. He is also seriously considering attending one of the FISE events in France. However, he does not consider competitions a priority because he believes them to be “too competitive” – no kidding, Sherlock.
When he is not out filming for projects to increase his profile within the blading industry, Lapierre can be found touring with Jagger, a stunt team that travels across Canada, performing shows at music festivals and other mainstream events. He also works at the newly-opened Shop-Task in Montreal and organises small events for the younger bladers at his local park. It seems pretty safe to say that Lapierre’s whole world is blading at the moment and, with impressive skills like his, it is easy to understand why he would want to try and take it as far as he can. When asked about what he hopes to do with his future now that he has finished high school, he responds: “My plan is mainly to collect the most money possible to make more contests and street skating events around the world – and to make good edits.” Sometimes the simplest plans can be the most effective.
It is easy to see why some people have compared Lapierre to Atlanta’s David Sizemore in the past. They are both incredibly gifted skaters that like to attack rails and gaps with a lot of speed, both sponsored by Rollerblade and, until recently, both skaters wore helmets. However, in recent years Sizemore has ditched his lid and, if his newest edits are anything to go by, so too has Lapierre. He claims that he started wearing a helmet after he sustained a serious head injury three years ago, but now that he has regained his confidence he no longer feels the need for it. Looking at some of the huge gaps and roof-high rails this kid goes for, perhaps some form of protection would be a wise choice.
When discussing who he believes is at the forefront of the sport at the moment, Lapierre instantly references Valo poster boy Erik Bailey and his reasons for doing so hint at the modern consensus among young rollerbladers that feel their favourite professionals should release regular online promotion in order to fuel their fans’ need to see fresh footage of them as much as possible. “Right now, Eric Bailey does a great job of representing rollerblading because he puts out a lot of edits and skates well in contests.” Regardless of the blading community’s polarised views on whether or not a good professional should release several edits a year and perform well at contests is justified, one thing is certain: Kevin Lapierre has what it takes to go far in this sport, and he is just getting started.
Words: Dan O’Neal Photos: Guillaume Latrompette and Guillaume Roy
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