3 minute read

Alex Sellers is pioneering the HSV skate movement

Put in the work, find people who skate better than yourself and follow them around. Consistency is huge, if people see you working to get something time and time again, week after week, eventually they will help you.

SK8: You are one of the pioneers behind the skate movement in Huntsville, AL. Can you talk about your skate background and how you arrived in the Huntsville skate scene?

I received my first taste of the adult skate scene in DC. I had some pretty amazing skate mentors up in DC, who taught me that discipline and hard work on the wood pays off. If you want to be a good skater you have to skate A LOT. I accepted a job change and moved to Huntsville in 2008 from DC. I came to HSV with the same mentality and almost immediately met some like minded individuals here who also loved to skate and wanted to be better so we linked up and started skating together. That’s when we started my group Talented Tenth, from WEB Dubois’s philosophy that it only takes 1 out of 10 “exceptional men” to lead and effect positive change. Our founding principle is that as black men we have a responsibility to handle our business first, then if time permits, we skate. All the brothers in TT hold their own in the skate world and in the real world. Presently, I am an engineering manager at the Boeing Company and my coworkers are still surprised when I mention that I travel the country to roller skate. So after a couple of years of TT rolling together, we ran into a lot of people who not only enjoyed watching us skate but also wanted to know how they could help promote skating in Huntsville. Based on that feedback we created the We Skate Huntsville movement and the Huntsville Skate Nation. We left it open ended in case other cities also wanted to identify with the skate nation movement in the future i.e. Atlanta Skate Nation etc…

Currently you will see us at local parades, food truck events, local warehouses, downtown Huntsville, etc. We will promote the benefits of skating everywhere we can skate. It’s a lifetime passion, once a skater, always a skater. It’s a sport that you can enjoy at all stages of your life.

SK8: You are known for your proficiency with JB style skating. Where did you learn and who are the most influential skaters who taught you?

I appreciate that statement; however I will state that I consider myself a skater who knows some JB. But it’s really hard for me to detach the style from the city of Chicago, of which I am not a native. On the other hand, I certainly have eaten a lot of JB pills and was trained by some of the best in the game. When I moved to DC, a very accomplished JB skater by the name of Pooh (JB Elite) lived there and he had a cult like following. I remember my first time seeing him at the rink; he had a train around 8 skaters deep following his every move. It was quite intimidating, but eventually I just got in the back of the line and tried to keep up with what he was teaching and went home to practice, practice, practice. My first real skate teacher was one of the people who also learned JB from Pooh. His position was in the front. His name was Ricky and he spent a lot of time teaching me the fundamentals of the JB style, which was challenging because I was also learning to skate at the same time. Ricky was my guy until I left DC and then I linked up with other JB skaters who were in range: DJ of the Rich Boyz (when he moved to Atlanta for a bit), Paul of JB Committee (from Chicago) and DK who worked with me when I was taking frequent trips to skate at Rich City in Chicago on Friday nights. Lastly, another JB Elite member named Don moved to Nashville and I was able to learn a lot from him.

SK8: What advice do you have for up and coming skaters that are frustrated by the process of trying to become great?

Stop trying to be great, just have fun. I have been on the adult skate scene for 12 years and have seen hundreds of amazing skaters. I can count the ones who are being paid to skate on a few fingers. That tells me this is a hobby for 99% of the people who skate. Enjoy your hobby. Of course put in the work, find people who skate better than yourself and follow them around. Consistency is huge, if people see you working to get something time and time again, week after week, eventually they will help you.

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