If you have lived in the dialup and Discman era, you must have an understanding of how serious an extreme sport inline skating once was. Although many believe that with its exclusion from the ESPN X-Games in 2005 is its demise, there exists but a few whose passion for the sport is untarnished. We are fortunate to come across Filipino aggressive inline skater, Dave Legaspi, who is—without a doubt— born to skate.
We meet Dave on a Friday morning in Aspire, and you’ll get a picture of how my first question turned out as he smiled at my ignorance of the sport and said, “these aren’t Rollerblades,” as he gestures to his boots with wheels, “these are inline skates: a serious extreme sport gear.”
Dave’s inline skating affair started with the influence of his older sister. “I was eight years old when I first wore a pair of skates,” he recalls, “and it was an old one from a friend of my sister’s.”
The concept of inline skating started in 1980 when Scott Olson, a former minor-league hockey player, conceived of a wheeled skate that could help players and skiers train in the offseason. One of the earliest and most popular brands, Rollerblade, Inc., marketed the concept to women and children and that was when the boom started.
According to Dave, the best spots for inline skating in Doha are in Aspire Park, the Sheraton, and the (not always open to public) Qatar Foundation skatepark. “A good spot for an aggressive inline skater like myself is one with a smooth surface, some ledges, stairs, ramps, and rails.” Dave has high hopes on the sport having a gradual rise and a future – regardless of its inclusion in the X-Games or not. “Communities of dedicated inline skaters from around the world exist. The Valo brand, from Japan, is founded and sustained by a passionate skater.” It is Dave’s wish to be an instrument of encouraging inline skating wherever he may be. In fact, he has introduced the sport to four friends he met in Qatar – each one of them owning a pair that Dave helped them acquire. “I am always excited to meet eager
learners. Unlike other sports, there hasn’t been a school, let alone proper training, for inline skating. Shall anyone approach me, I require only one qualification to teach: be fearless.”