I was always more into the child adventures, than into money adventures. When story comes from the heart, words are not sufficient This the story about making subculture & begining of this art-sport in Balcan and ex Yugoslavia, It`s also about Serbia, contry once quite closed and unfrendly for all kind of alternative sports This is it, this is where i feel free. In this art-sport you didnt have sport judges, and public and society didnt interfere. And that was the beauty of this. Here you dont have sport team, like in football or basketball, you are all alone against yourself. Everything was created directly on the street, it was new about inline skating. People tend to give names or put some labels on anything that is new and pure. My first quad skates i had 1982, as a child,1979, i dreamed about flying cars and flying boots, and devices, long before modern SF. Faced with constant health problems, dreamed to have devices or power to be above. Late 80`s started seriously, and also made a contact with legendary skateboard Trasher Magazine I was also into bmx riding, and hockey player for few years, and also into boxing & Jeet kune do This is the local place famous for all alternative sports in 80`s and later 90`s Here you could see all influnces of world trends as flash dance, break dance, Bmx, riding styles It was the worlds diversity here in Belgrade It was hard to make this sport popular & acceptable, cause it was new, and strange to people. I felt mocking and rudeness on my skin back in the days. Funny, i lived the moment in 90`s when this became one of the popular sport, and life styles … One of my favorite tricks, wallride, was filmed right here, and also by very dear friend of mine from Zagreb. I practiced that with quad skates as well as with inline skates. 80`s , 90`s, and 2000`s . One of commerial was made here! Earley 86`s i had a chance to hang out with alternative sports legends. Just to mention, we had only one Skate board Shop in 1990, but it closed one year after. So we all had a huge problem where to find any kind of equipment. In the begining I used old shoes with bad buckle i personaly made, and it made my foot bleed. No name skates before Rollerblade Zetra 80`s. They had some old metal frame. Still remember all that pain I felt during and after a ride … I think that I was very persistent and it is all about loving what you do. Few people already asked me, why you don’t try in line skates. My first inline skates were borrowed from a friend Dejan, known as Vrana. It was in 1988 and it was impossible to meet someone who had Inline skates here in Serbia. I already had a long history of driving downhill, speed driving and freestyle with quad skates. After all that experience, I went in another new adventure with inline skates. When I started to ride inline skates, it was mainly on the streets of Belgrade. I was happy just to have anyone who will ride with me. Just to mention, we had only one Skate board Shop in 1990, but it closed one year after. I remember carrying a skateboard wheels to a friend who had a grinder tool. and then waiting the whole night in front of his house just to have anything to put in the frames. Imagining what it’s like to have a real orginal inline skates. In early 1992- 1993 I did many tricks which then were still waiting for the official names. My ankle was bleeding after every 15 min ride, cause of hand made, bad buckle. I`ve spend hours drawing models of inline skates, my imagined models. And now, 30 years after, I can see on the streets something I have drawn long ago. In early 1992- 1993 I did many tricks which then were still waiting for the official names. Early 90s were bad times to live in Serbia, to be young in Serbia.The whole region was in war. There are many moments that were really valuable to live trough. Must add some of my 30-35 years old Ideas from 1989 with snow bindings, also 2003 on Broscow killerloop bindings, work very well on huge gaps! Also 2009 my ideas with 100, and 110mm wheels on aggressive boot! Before Mushroom Blading idea, also before Power blading & 3x 150mm wheels, my idea from 1991, still have drawings… Later, world media, like MTV Crazy sport, started to talk about freestyle rollerblading. I jumped my first 360 over 8 steps in 1991. First 560 in the turns over 10 steps was in 1995. My first jump without hands on handrail slide grind was in 1993. And first royal grind jump on the banister in 1994. Must add that trick called alleyoop topside pornstar first was made in 1994. Than i didn`t even know that there is trick with that name! Most of the tricks I’ve been practicing alone on the streets, although we had a very small skate park, first skate park in Belgrade. 1993, 1994 I got my first jobs, commercials, first interviews for press. I remember when I got my first original swiss bones bearings, and Hyper shirt and cap, and wheels from Bernd Binder and Claudio Luz, and later from Grind H Find it interesting that extreme style was the most popular riding style, and after that came fitness & race. There was a lot of action scenes that have been carried out then, but unfortunately we didnt have cameras. Sometimes even I did not expect that Ill be able to do some scary things. “This is more an art than a sport, this is the state of meditation for me.” The first inline skate magazine I bought in 1993 and then I could see a little what happens in the world, and that I’m not alone in this! This magazine first german in line mag was a world to me! Yes, I can make my whole body from Rentgen footage. In 1992 I made my best score than: I was holding to the car in speed and made 110km/h on my small burning wheels. For example, I flew under the riding truck, you can see it in the movies, but I did it for real! Year 1993 was a very bad time here: war, hunger, criminal on the streets, Without any protection equipment with other friend, i repeated downhill on local road Bubanj Potok, only with one hand glove, made 130km/h. It was still my world, where my soul could feel free. As my piece of eternity It is very hard when you trying trick, which you didnt see anywhere before. I suppose i looked like alian to people here, but i was only doing what i love In early 90`s i mostly ride with Bmx bikers, and skateboarders. There were many adventures, many friendships, stories, many years of laughter and tears as well, those were the years of war, horrible inflations and struggle for survival in Serbia 90`s. I remember teaching kids and adults here in the early 1990s and 1991, when basically no one had enough even for simple wheels we shared between each other and every equipment I got from outside of Serbia,
I gave to someone who needed it the most. I spent a lot of time explaining this artistic sport in my country and to to introduce to people this kind of a game, but most importantly happiness.
Ex Yugoslavia, now Serbia, was in a horrible situation, Can’t understand the struggle of those years for basic
equipment and life here. I remember teaching these kids how to drop a quarter pipe, how to make their first rollerblading steps…. When they made them in 1991, it was sensational here in my country. I still remember the faces of kids, who were rolling with us and living happiness in dark moments in Yugoslavia in 1993! A long time before rollerblading became known as a sport here! Imagine a world without law…. This was my country! Although our teenager years were all messed up, we have always managed to find the way to make things look brighter. I can`t describe what meant for me to have simple magazines or stickers ! I knew many famous media people at that time, and all of them i helped to learn how to Inline skate, and how to represent this art – sport here! In 1994 a group of people who ride with us slowly gathering. Publicity became biger and biger. And things are getting interesting and exciting for our country! This was our leap of faith – jump place, i execute this 1992. With fitness skates 2m high, 4,5m long. Mat Hoffman once said : Im the nightmare of my father, and an orthopedic surgeon’s dream. In 1996, I was told that I wouldnt be able to drive anymore because of a serious knee injury! And that injury Im still dragging! 1996 On rehabilitation, in swimmngpool i’m still trying to make some tricks in water. After mini skateboard Ada park 1991- we have only street, that was all street ride, very interesting, full of fun, but also very risky. We didn`t have any skate parks here. I remember when, as a teenager, I send a thank-you letter and a small pressed flower and a lot drawings to the owner of the German company Grind house. They also help me then a lot when i need it most! I remember one sad story about my friend Miljan who died on the street. He cut his throat on the glass window. I ran into police car begging for help. We waited 45 minutes for ambulance to come, but sadly it was too late… In early 90`s i still loved to sometimes blade alone at nite. But i was aware, and i knew! That if i fall on street, no one will come to me, especially on time if i needed help! My first commercial for local store was made 1991. 1994 i got invited to do my second commercial. After a few years I was in some serious commercials. I was guest in some TV shows, always promoting rollerblading. Even american MTV filmed 93`s what was amazing this years in Serbia, sadly I dont have that video tape. Then our group of inline skate riders became larger, and every part of the city had its own group.That was the begining of the inline skate scene in Belgrade… There are tons of stories about serious local downhills, most of us didn`t have any equipment. Im very sad when I remember that in the golden era of inline skating in the world in my country was a war. Best years of my riding I couldnt spend on traveling and meeting the world best inline skaters … 1993 I got letter invitation from Guido Groppy, Rollerblade Europa to come to Italy. That was a time when Inline skating become huge thing. In 1997 I made contact with Angie Walton, owner of Daily Bread. It interesting that after 20 years I found her over internet and she said that she still keeps my atrworks I sent her back then. I`m thankfull for her help back then. There are more kind people that helped me in these 90s. Unfortunately I didn t keep all letters. But still have some some of them. In 1996 inline skating becomes the most popular sport in Serbia, and I was sponsored by Rollerblade. That was the moment when many people gather around me. Some of them were really there only for the sport, but unfortunately many was there because of the money. I wasnt interested in financial part, I was in skating long before it became popular, while it was popular, and now, when its not ! I was sponsored 10 years by Rollerblade, and about 4 years by Bauer. Unfortunately, you cant stand alone in all this. If you dont have rich family, parents, you get sabotaged by those who have it all. I have a nice memories and a warm story about making our first official club, Extreme art. Also about first competition. We had a lot of tours promoting our sport. I even got the chance to meet our mayor then, Zoran Djindjic. But everything that is in the begining open hearted, soon becomes rough fight. Many people I gather around soon started to exclude me from group. I even remember when all those people, my so called friends, left me all alone on stairs, where we use to hang out, and gone to make shots for some commercial. I felt all alone and never wanted to compete with my friends, by any means. I always wanted only to enjoy in something that I love in what is part of me. I had a chance to meet Marko Milosevic, son of our president in 1999, Slobodan Milosevic.
I ride on the opening of his park in Pozarevac, Bambiland. This is a huge story itself… In 1998 I officialy became inline skater for Bauer. I tried to forget all the bad things that happened with my ex-friends… That was also the year when we had first Halfpipe-vert ramp in Belgrade. It was a sensation. That was my true love, that was my dream. Unfortunately, we had it only for 2 years, and we could practice only 2 weeks before some competition. It wasnt enough! We couldnt practice enough. I always took first place, but it wasnt even 40% of my skills. My only and truely support was my mother.She gave her last money in the years of the war to buy me original inline skates. She told me that she understood my passion, watching me in my room with one poster on the wall. She was a fighter. She had a rough time here because she wasnt from Serbia. She had a fight with cancer from 1992. Things were getting harder. For many years I have spent many rides in pain, quietly, not talking to anyone… Her final fight was is 2007… After that I retired from rollerblade. I could speak to nobody… There were two competitions. On Extreme art competition I wasnt even invited, but I went on the other, Bauer. Night before that, I ended in ER with bended knee. They told me that this is the end of my skating. I was broken by physical pain, and broken with grief for one person … In the morning I got ready without warming up, wrapped my knee and compete with the guy who arrived from abroad and who could practice every day, and we here just 20 days before the competition! 1999 was the year NATO bombed Serbia.
I used night sirens to go downhill rides around town. I remember I wrote for one magazine that it was a real extreme games! I even gave some interview for BBC and CNN about situation in my country. In the year 2000 I was again sponsored by rollerblade company. Also worked as editor of our first extreme sports magazine. It had 11 pages that I edited and propagates the sport in our area! With Rolerijada organisation, most famous since 1997 in Serbia, I had some kind of contract in year 2000. We had a very good cooperation for years. Agressive inline skating soon was out of the scene and became underground. I always liked peacefull places. I never liked crowded places, to be honest not even competitions. I alway wanted only to do what I love. Word friend has a serious meaning to me.
I dont take people for granted.Through this sport I had a chance to learn about people and their behaviour. I felt betrayed by people whom I helped, people whom I gave my hand and opportunity to create something. Some of them I even learned how to skate. Many of this moments left serious marks on me. In 2008 dirty campaign against me was on. Now it was some new young generations who wanted to think that all started with them. I simply continued to do what I love and I ignored. That doesnt mean I didnt hear what was going on! In 2009 – 2010 I definitely was only in street ride: race, agressive and freeride. I put 110mm wheels on agressive skates and everybody told me Im crazy for doing that. I still love to ride at nignt and test those wicked combo wheels ! I must say thanks to all those dear people from abroad who helped me with equipment all these years. They made my life worth living!
I m deeply thankful to Zoltan Zifko, friend who is there for me! And also Vladimir ! It s imposible to explain how is it to ride in Serbia with almost 40 years. How is it to try trick after several months in recovering. How is it to keep happiness in heart in country where happiness doesnt live. Only survival. I have one interesting story. Back in 1994 I got from Crag Caryl and Dave Stone, owners of Hoax movie, small photo cameras for one-time use. We were supposed to take pictures of our tricks and we could be in the movie. But my “friends” stole one camera from me, and we lost the chance to be in the movie. One time in this exact place, I have met Toto Galiano, one of the participants in legendary movie Hoax. I was thrilled to meet one of the legends at the place where I was skating as a teenager.One of my child dreams came true. I asked him is this sport dying. And he told me: No, we are the sport! Its very hard to explain to young generations how it was like 30 years ago. For a year or two, I will have 35 years of skating. 35 years in sport that is not socially acceptable, but a sport that has a lot more soul, in comparison to these who are acceptable socially! Thank big M