Blake Herlache is an up-and-coming prospect who may be a new name for some, but Blake has been steadily killing it for many years up in the tundra of Green Bay, Wisconsin. After watching his recent profile from “FEEL GOOD!” we reached out to Blake about doing a “One Minute / One Spot” profile for us, and he was super quick in tackling the task & came back with one hell of a finished product. We know with Blake’s talent that you will likely be seeing much more from him in the future! Our editor Kevin Little had the opportunity to speak with Blake and got him to open up a bit about his blading roots & much more! Peep what he had to say:
KL: Hey Blake, thank you for taking the time to speak with us. To start, can you tell me your name, where you live and how long have you been skating for?
Blake: Absolutely, it’s a great pleasure to do this. My name is Blake Herlache (her-lash), I live in Green Bay Wisconsin, I’m 34 years old, and I have been skating for 21 years.
KL: So, you live in Green Bay, Wisconsin, which is most known for the NFL team, the Packers. Tell me about living in Green Bay & a little history about the skate scene there.
Blake: Yeah, Green Bay is a trip. It has a large variety of skate spots being a mix of small town with big city vibes. It’s split up into different suburbs and the west side is not even an option on game days haha. Packers pride is bigger than religion here.
The scene here for a bit was really only Logan Smith and me and fluctuated a guy or two … and Kenzie of course our local quad queen haha! The scene has actually been growing recently which is wonderful, a lot of old heads getting back into the sport including Josh Ulrichsen who came back 2 years ago, after a bit of a hiatus. It’s not a long drive to Chicago or MNPLS which are both giant hubs for skating in the Midwest and we’ve skated and grown relationships with people in both directions.
KL: The Wisconsin winters are rather brutal. How difficult is it skating in the frozen tundra during the winter time? Are there many indoor parks or covered spots to skate in Green Bay?
Blake: Man, isn’t that the battle of the Midwest?! We have one indoor locally in Green Bay called GBASO (Green Bay Action Sports Organization) that just opened back up this year, and has a lot of the ramps and obstacles from the old Lake Owen (RIP). We went some time without a park when their old building was sold by its owners. After having to close down their old location, the hunt for funds and a place which took almost two years. There were a few months, more than one winter we settled for a box or p rail in someone’s basement just to be able to strap up. There are a few good options within two hours from here as well if we feel like new scenery.
KL: Who were your favorite skaters growing up and who are your favorite skaters currently?
Blake: I mean first off hands-down, AB (Alex Broskow) of course, (Chris) Farmer and (Brian) Aragon were my early first idols.
My favorite skaters now get a bit difficult, I still love all the same early legends previously listed but with social media and our ability to share these days, it’s a lot harder currently to pick just a few. If I had to choose my Top 3 right now I’d say Sean Kelso, Luke Naylor, and Sean Keane.
KL: Wow, those are some solid picks! You admitted in previous conversations to being a fairly introverted individual, how has skating helped to improve your social skills and bring you out of your shell?
Blake: Well for starters, it’s introduced me to some of the most important people in my life. The ones who drag me out at least once a week.. my crew haha. But on top of that, I’ve met so many people who have influenced me not only in my skating but to me as a person. It’s broken me out to find people who have similar passions I would never have interacted with. It has brought me to places like Chicago for the Riot (Windy City Riot), Iowa for the Ruckus and I even skated in the Bitter Cold Showdown in Detroit!! I spent tons of time in MNPLS and MN with the “Two Cents crew “ after Wilson Robinson, a Minnesota native spent a few years going to college at UWGB. I’ve gotten to interact and skate with people I idolized and grew up watching like Jeph Howard, the Kelso’s, and all sorts of big names and local heroes.. name one sport where that frequently happens the way it does in ours!
KL: This is completely true too! I remember your best trick at the Iowa River Ruckus event, which that park looks absolutely mind-blowing, by the way. Tell me about how you approached the trick and that feeling of winning that against some pretty serious competition.
Blake: Okay, so two years ago I took the best trick at Iowa Ruckus (the first big comp I skated) based on two tricks, A fakie full cab fish down a down hub and also a hard spin sweat-stance on the down hub parallel. The sweaty being the more notable. It’s a fun story because I had actually gotten my new Blank SK’s about 4 days before the comp and having never ridden 4 down. it was new and different to me. However, I had large frames for top-sides. Both of these are tricks I hadn’t pulled out in probably 4 years each and with the excitement of skating with some familiar-to-me-faces from the Midwest, I just had one of those sessions where you are just feeling it. Both tricks were thrown first try which is pretty unreasonable to me but I was living in the moment and was beyond excited to be sessoning in a big group of shredders.
KL: What are some of your favorite obstacles to skate?
Blake: I’ll probably take some heat for this but… I love square ledges. I fractured my hip 2 years ago at the Ruckus on the last spot and since that time my back hasn’t been the best, though has recently improved. I’ve toned down the larger spots and fine-tuned my technical skating and creativity. Give me spots that are transferable or have multi-use.
KL: If you had the opportunity to skate anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Blake: I think Spain. The edits there look so cool their spots are all so creative with the amazing architecture. I’ve never traveled outside the U.S. I think that would be the most surreal experience.
KL: What skate setup are you using currently? And to help with your skating, do you have them setup in any specific way special to you?
Blake: I am skating the Rollerblade black Sean Keane Blanks, 4 down stock wheels, and frames with the black with purple MyFit Crown liner. I recently went to 4 down to solve my hip and lower back issues. Prior I had Ground Control feather light 3’s with plastic rockers. and picked MyFit liners to cope with a bolt and plate I have in my ankle from an old blading injury. With a lot of liners I can feel pressure on the bolt which isn’t painful, but not comfortable either. The MyFIts solved that issue for me.
KL: I feel ya, buddy. I have 5 pins in my right ankle so I know the importance of good liners. Do you have any upcoming contests, road trips or skating events that you are going to be participating in this year? Will we be seeing you on the road at any point in the near future?
Blake: Tough question to answer, my travel companion Logan Smith just recently took on a full apprenticeship at a big tattoo shop in Green Bay making it a bit harder… I have been contemplating getting back for the Iowa Ruckus, and getting a few trips up to Minnesota again. I think we’re gonna try to get to some events it’s just gonna take a bit more planning than previously.
KL: Do you have any friends or family that you would want to thank for their support over the years?
Blake: Obviously for starts, my parents. Dealing with a kid who was off the walls, ADHD, and allowing me to find a positive release like rollerblading, letting me spend whole summers at the skate park. I mean I pretty much slept there. Buying me my first skates and paying for me to go to parks.
And after that, I gotta give love to my scene! Thanks to Logan Smith who has documented all my blading. Josh Cardenas, the guy basically taught me to skate fakie, Holland Deyo, handrails, and switch-ups brother!! Special thanks to Josh Dubman who made the track for my One Minute One Spot and would take me street around his hometown when we were like 15, and Josh Ulrichsen and Wilson Robinson who both taught me and Logan our formula for skating filming and just all together sessioning! My sponsors Kenzie Crowe at KillStraps and Aaron Schneider at Blue Dragon Skate Shop (previously Arnold Benedict Clothing). Much love to anyone I’ve met through skating. Believe me, there are many many names that I’m forgetting to list that deserve credit here.