© Austin M. Davis
Matthew Dombowsky strapped on his skates and took a few strides down Main Street on Wednesday afternoon. In a video that's getting lots of online attention, Matthew's brother Mark was skating down Main Street.
Dombowsky brothers turn frustration into light-hearted video
Matthew and Mark Dombowsky captured a Saskatchewan winter fantasy in a popular online video.
Posted to Matt’s Instagram account on Monday, the 15-second video of Mark skating down Main Street in Moose Jaw had attracted more than 450 likes by Wednesday night.
“We’ve all thought about doing that at some point,” Matt said.
“It’s a crazy place to live. I just wanted to poke a little bit of fun at why we live here. It’s something people can relate to.”
Matt, 26, said they filmed for about an hour in different icy parts of the city before deciding to take on Main Street. Mark, 25, posted a video to his own account where he pretended someone stole his shoes from the outdoor rink so he had to skate home.
The day after the video was filmed, Mark returned to school in California where ice skates are far less practical forms of transportation.
But even in Moose Jaw, it’s still a rare sight.
“It’s kind of odd to see somebody skating down Main Street. It’s not something you see everyday,” Matt said.
He said they took precautions to keep Mark safe during the filming. The brothers waited until low-traffic hours and followed behind him in a truck to make sure he didn’t get hit by a vehicle.
The positive response to the video didn’t surprise Matt, even though its number of likes was triple his number of followers before posting the video.
He said it may ease some of the frustration Moose Javians have about the condition of winter roads.
“Let’s just laugh about it. I think most Canadians have a pretty good sense of humour, so we just deal with it,” Matt said.
Even though it was comedic and the Dombowsky brothers claim to have taken safety precautions, Sgt. Cliff Froehlich of the Moose Jaw Police Service described it as “a dangerous stunt.
“I guess (he) was just trying to prove his point about the conditions of the street,” Froehlich said. “By all means, we do not encourage or suggest anyone get out on to the streets like that and perform those types of activities, whether it’s skates, skis or sleds.”
Froehlich had seen the video before being contacted by the Times-Herald. So had City Manager Matt Noble.
“Actually, I’ve skated down streets of several cities I’ve lived in over the years,” Noble told the Times-Herald.
“I thought it was a light-hearted approach to a perennial issue and problem in all communities. I liked their comments and their attitude.”
Noble said he could go skate on main streets in a number of communities, so Moose Jaw’s Main Street being compared to a skating rink was nothing remarkable.
“I took no offence to it at all,” Noble said.
Only three of Moose Jaw’s four street graders are operational, and six recent water main breaks have added complications to the snow clearing and removal process. The city has hired an outside contractor to help with the task.
The eldest Dombowsky didn’t want to put too much blame on the city for the icy conditions.
“I know they do what they can,” Matt said. “It would just be nice, as a citizen, to see some progress.”
Austin M. Davis can be reached at 306-691-1258 or follow him on Twitter @theAustinX.