(Copyright 2001. The Tattoo. All rights reserved.)

The Tattoo

--- Making a Permanent Impression Since 1994 ---

June 14, 2001

Will he flip for Bristol?

By Mike Nguyen

Matt Lindenmuth has been around for a long time -- and he's only 20.

The one-time champion, who has been Rollerblading professionally since 1994, said the feeling he gets from the sport is indescribable.

"It's just one of those things," he said. "You can't describe the rush. Get some skates and get some air on a half-pipe is all I can say."

Lindenmuth competes mainly in aggressive inline vert competition, or what is sometimes referred to as transition skating.

"It's faster and more more [than street or park]. It flows more," he said.

Lindenmuth, who places near the top of nearly every major event in which he competes, nabbed fifth place in vert at the X Trials competition in Grand Prairie, Texas last month. He came in first overall in the Aggressive Vert Association in 1998.

He said he didn't expect such success when he got started at the age of 14.

"I never had any intentions to go so far," Lindenmuth said.

But he's ready to go farther.

"I'm 20 now, my body is holding up," he said. "I don't see myself leaving the industry."

If and when his body gives out, he said, he hopes to start an inline-oriented company to keep himself in the business.

With his successful career, Lindenmuth said, "I've been spoiled, I guess."

He said he's thankful for all of it.

"I've made some of my best friends in skating," he added.

For now, he's touring the nation with the skaters' association, promoting his sport and giving demonstrations to keep himself busy.

When he has time for a break, he goes back to his home near Woodward Skate Park in Pennsylvania.

"Woodward's a heaven. It has the greatest atmosphere. There's every ramp and pipe you can ever imagine," Lindenmuth said. "It's kind of like one of those utopias."

Lindenmuth, who's already qualified for the X Games in Philadelphia, said he hopes to see the same "good crowds" at the Lake Compounce X Trials that he saw in Texas.

"This year is going to be a big year for skating," Lindenmuth said.

"Some of the other sports like skateboarding and biking have taken more coverage than inline but this year is really going to whine [for inline]," said Lindenmuth, who is sponsored by Rollerblade.

"We're a fairly new sport," he said, "and we went through our growing pains."

Lindenmuth said that if people "give their attention to inline, they're going to see a lot of good stuff. I'm excited, even."

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