Easily one of the standout riders at Nitro World Games ScootFest and Scooter Best Trick was Roomet Saalik. The Estonian powerhouse can do some of the nastiest tricks in and out of rails, go mach speeds in the bowls, put together crazy lines in a park, and throw down some of the most difficult tricks ever done on the Giganta Ramp. However, there is so much more than just tricks behind this rider. There is a history like we’ve never seen before.
Now, as someone who was a team manager for a few companies for years, I can tell you that sending a sponsor video is probably the least effective way to try to get picked up by a company. When searching for riders, I would look at local talent in certain areas, determine not only if the rider was of a high caliber in their riding, but also a solid representative overall in their lifestyle. Videos and tricks just don’t do it for me. Not to mention, it is really hard to get the whole picture from a video. A rider may not be as good as they seem on video or, on the contrary, they might just be better than their video representation.
Let’s rewind back to 2013. An unsponsored Roomet Saalik is only 13 years old. Throughout the winter and spring of that year, Roomet worked alongside filmer/editor Erik Mumm at a few local skateparks and street spots. The project? Roomet Saalik’s infamous “Sponsor Me” tape. I still remember the day this video came out, and I couldn’t believe a 13-year-old kid was capable of the tricks that Roomet was doing. He starts the edit off with a 1080 over a small box jump. This trick at the time was only being done by a select few guys and was still rare to see from them. It was easy to see from that day that Roomet Saalik was already a well-rounded rider, lacing tricks in every discipline and not repeating a single trick throughout the video. Watch it for yourselves and let the chills run down your arms. It truly is magical.
I still say it to this day: This is the only case I’ve ever seen where a “sponsor me” video actually worked (at least to that level). Roomet was immediately picked up by Phoenix Pro Scooters and placed on the pro team. The rest of the team was a bit confused, as they had all worked for years to achieve pro status on one of the most reputable companies in scootering at the time, but they were willing to give Roomet a chance because they recognized his abilities.
That year was the second year of the ISA World Championship, and the whole Phoenix team took a journey to the UK and teamed up with District on a full UK tour. I was lucky enough to join this tour, which is where I first met Roomet. At the time, Roomet didn’t speak a single word of English. We had to communicate with hand signals and single words to try to get him to understand what we were saying/doing. Even with the lack of communication, we all had such a good time together, and the Phoenix boys welcomed Saalik to the team with open arms. He had become a part of their family, where he still sits to this day.
Fast-forward five years later. Roomet is still destroying competitions and also finding time to make some crazy videos. Traveling the world and leaving his mark is Roomet’s M.O. I mentioned the first trick in his “Sponsor Me” video was a 1080. This past year at Barcelona Extreme, Saalik was able to put down a 1080 tailwhip rewind and also the World First 1440 on a scooter. Still considered a young buck at 18, Roomet continues the grind. In Paris he was so close to taking Ryan Williams off the top spot with two insane tricks: a 1080 frontflip and a 720 frontflip no-hander. Unfortunately, on his last jump, he went for a 1080 frontflip no-hander — a potential World First — and lost the scooter mid-air. Roomet is my pick for the 2019 Best Trick contest. He’s coming for you, Willy!!!
About the writer:
My name is Jake Hershey, known in social media land as Nekbeard. I was born in ’91 and started scootering in ’02! I was born and raised in New Jersey, but made my way to the West Coast in 2014. I now live in sunny San Diego where you can catch me at Linda Vista skatepark almost daily. Scootering is a passion for me, so I hope that you like what I have to write!