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Behind the Artist: Covering 75’s Rollerblading Icon, SloMo

Retired doctor turned PB boardwalk legend talks all things skati
San Diego Rollerblading Icon Slowmo sitting in a chair next to his skates outside
Q&A with San Diego Rollerblading Icon Slowmo

Each month in 2023, we’re recreating one of our iconic covers from the past 75 years. For September, we asked SD legend, SloMo, to help us recreate San Diego Mag‘s August 1972 cover. Check out the recreation here and learn more about SloMo in the Q&A below:

Can you tell us about your background and how you ended up in San Diego?

I grew up on a dairy farm in North Carolina, went to Duke for my undergraduate degree, then attended medical school, did post-medical training in neurology and psychiatry, and eventually settled in San Diego, where I practiced medicine for about 20 years before retiring at the age of 55.

What led you to become so passionate about skating and how would you describe the feeling it gives you?

I’ve always had an inclination towards the exhilaration of accelerating. Skating provides a unique feeling of lateral acceleration, and for those who are drawn to it, like myself, it’s a sensation akin to worship or an addiction. It’s about experiencing that state of mind that comes with the movement.

Can you explain the significance of the name SloMo and how it transformed your identity?

The name SloMo was given to me by people who recognized my deep passion for skating. It became more than just a name; it transformed me into a distinct character within the skating community. People began to call me SloMo instead of Dr. Kitchin, and it represented this shared passion and feeling among skaters.

You mentioned that skating fulfills a particular human need. Could you elaborate on what that need is and how skating satisfies it?

Skating fulfills the need for a higher mental state, a sense of worship or spirituality. It’s similar to other sliding sports like surfing and skiing, where the feeling of acceleration and connection with gravity becomes a driving force. Skaters, surfers, and skiers all share a devotion to this unique sensation.

Could you describe a typical day in your life, starting from the moment you wake up?

A typical day for me involves getting plenty of rest, about 10 hours a night, although I spend some of that time half-awake. I start my day with a slow consumption of coffee while browsing the internet. I plan my skate session for the day, considering the timing to hit the right crowd on the boardwalk. The rest of the day is dedicated to skating, interrupted only by short breaks for rest and refreshments.

What does it mean to you to be part of San Diego Magazine’s 75th anniversary and to have your story recreated on a cover?

I am deeply honored to be part of San Diego Magazine‘s 75th anniversary celebration. The magazine has always represented the essence of San Diego, and it’s a privilege to have my story featured as part of this iconic milestone. I’ve always held the magazine in high regard, and being a part of it is truly special.


By SDM Staff

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