Daniele Lenzi : Freestyle world is cool!
The Italian skater, Daniele Lenzi, not only an international judge but also a judge trainer! This year, he was awarded by WSSA for his judging involvements. Here Daniele tells us his skating story and shares his passion of skating with everyone!
P.S. How and when were you introduced to the freestyle skating?
Daniele. It happened in last century: on August ’96. Some of my riders friend and I went to Lausanne Roller Contest to see and live what we were told to be a happening on wheels. Unexpectedly there was also a slalom competition which rules were simple: one single pass on 20 cones of 80s hand-chronometered, plus one pass with no possibility to get back on cones for freestyle points. Sum of both runs made somehow the ranking. The game looked cool to me, especially that i had spent the whole spring and summer at the park, practicing on the local spot, playing with the hills, waving through street work cones spaced by 1,5m. So I chose to join the competition and It ended with a not-so-bad 4th place, but the real grand-prize I won was this undeletable freestyle slalom mark I bring within me from there. It was a good choice.
P.S. Why and when did you start to judge?
Daniele. I started judging in 2010, on the local B’Battle competition at my hometown, although at that time my focus was more on skating than judging. Years later I understood I would be far more useful to skating as a judge than a competitor, so happily decided to let it flow this way and totally ended enjoying it.
P.S. What did you feel when you were awarded for the Judge Involvement by WSSA?
Daniele. Pride. Because my efforts and dedication were recognized by WSSA people, who share the very same involvement I was awarded for.
P.S. What is the most important quality for being a good judge in your opinion?
Daniele. To be a good judge, a few of these quality will definitely be needed: very quick and good analysis capabilities, both on details and global picture at the same time; being able to build a good motivation for every decision taken (and there’s a lot of them to take); good work organization and planning, but at the same time being ready to deal with unexpected issues to solve; moreover being able to do all this in a full teamwork situation. Good experience will hone all these good qualities, so newbies judges should not feel inadequate when realizing they have done common mistakes.
P.S. What is the most difficult part of a judge's work?
Daniele. Sometimes keeping concentration all day long in the highly noisy competition environment is very hard, at some point, your brain needs to recover to fill with energy.
P.S. The most memorable competition for you?
Daniele. No doubt, WFSC 2015. It was really the first time I had the privilege to judge all the awesome skaters from the four corners of the world.
P.S. What do you think about the slalom evolution through the years?
Daniele. Freestyle slalom is a really young sport, so it’s no surprise that it evolved so fast and will continue to do so in the next years. Also, as every other freestyle sport, it is driven by the organized madness we call “creativity” and this played an important role on its evolution. Defying gravity - especially on one wheel only - may look like the name of game from some years, but skaters don’t have to forget that gravity can be defeated in “cool” and very “stylish” ways, which is obviously better than doing it in “ugly and uncool” way. In other words, reaching and performing the most difficult moves in order to try to beat competitors has been the main driving force for everyone, but many top level skaters have learnt to perfectly execute the tricks, and understood the importance of performing successfully the most difficult moves and transitions. In the future many new difficult tricks will be invented for sure, but I think that only the tricks that could be done properly, with good quality and totally mastered will survive to live the next day. The others will be forgotten.
P.S. Some words to the skaters?
Daniele. As a judge: be smart, so know all the rules and follow them, in order to “help” the judges on their difficult tasks. As a convenient side-effect your skating will be read better and better judged. And be fair over all.
As a skater: freestyle world is cool, so skate cool and be cool, and thanks everyone for being part of it.
Polina Semenova for WorldSlalomSeries.com
Photo by Ksenija Komarchuk, Shirley Tay, Giuseppe Diaco