Nicholas Swan-The Man We Hardly Know

Nick Swan has always been someone I’ve been fascinated with. I’ve known the guy for about 5 years and I still feel like I don’t know much about him or his thought process. He’s honestly a very quiet guy and usually is in and out of the Utah blade scene with random appearances here and there. But that doesn’t mean he is not busy getting things done on the rollerblading front. The guy is now a family man with a wife and kid to take care of so I would assume that is his main priority. He also now does photography for a living, which for how short of a career he has had he is actually very good at it. Lately, Nick has been seen a whole lot more around Utah, and I specifically noticed he has not been grinding anything at all, he didn’t even have soul plates to give him that option. I thought it was unusual to go that route and later I found out his next section in the latest Erik Bill flick he won’t have any grinds at all. I wanted to take a few minutes and ask him what the deal was with this nonsense( joking, I actually think its pretty rad) and find out what his future plans are and if he wants to try and stick around more often with us Utah dudes. I also wanted to use this opportunity to do a throwback of some of my favorite Nick Swan sections because although I don’t know much about him, I feel as though his skating does all the talking.

-Manuel

nick-air-2

Photo by Kirill Braynin

It’s been a while since most of the crew have seen you. I am curious, what have you been up to these last few years? I see that you have been doing some photography much more seriously. 
I had been working pretty hard to build a portfolio and market myself in photography. Surprisingly it paid off and I do photography and video full time.
People have told me you are filming a new section for Erik Bill and there is absolutely no grinding in your part. Can you tell me why you are going that route? 
I am filming a full part for Snake River Special III.  A couple of years ago I was pretty down on blading and wasn’t feeling very inspired by it. Last June I broke my collar bone and felt really uninspired until I decided to try out a full flat set up.  I purchase them with sole plates and skated for a day and realized rollerblading itself was the shit.  I took the soul plates off and have never put them on since. It wasn’t really intentional or something I thought about. It feels like blading. I just sort of accidentally haven’t grinded for over a year.
Is “normal” blading boring to you these days? 
Not at all. Like everyone I have my dudes that I love seeing. My favorite rollerbladers are my main homies. But I love seeing interesting rollerblading.  Grinding or not.
Do you see yourself grinding again in the near future?  
Near future? I would say no. I still have had no ideas sparking putting on soul plates or a different pair of skates.  Also, as lame as it sounds. Seeing every single hand rail and ledge as a grind is fading. And that feels pretty damn good.  Now I see a lot of gaps and rolls so I am probably just filling that space in my brain with something else.
What set up do you ride currently?  
Stock Seba SX.   I’m near buying another pair. They fit a big foot really comfortably and can be heat molded. Love them.
 
I noticed you have been going to Boise for a few filming trips. Besides filming, what attracts you to the Boise scene?   
My main motivation is Erik Bill. He’s been a best friend and inspiration since I was 13.  It’s really easy to get work done and when not working it’s always a pleasure to chill and drink some craft beers.  Seeing the Boise guys is always a treat.  
 
Do you have plans to keep blading more often once Erik’s video is done? 
Absolutely.  Seeing the SLC dudes has been great and I want that to continue. And I’m pretty sure Erik and I will always work on something. I’m not sure we ever haven’t.  It would be fun to work on a local thing too. If anyone’s got ideas, let’s talk!

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