I must admit I didn’t know what to make when Shintaro changed his name on the edit above, it totally surprised me! Was it a joke or for real?! I have admired his riding for years, effortless precision, perfect technique, and flat out buttery. I wanted to catch up with Rayyan, it’s so hard not to call him Shintaro! Does anyone find that? Anyway heres the interview, enjoy!
Firstly congrats on your new found love..Rayyan, I guess first and foremost, the name change? Tell us more about it?
When we convert to Islam, we can get the name of Islam. I was born in Japan, my old name Shintaro is not a Islam name. I hope to live in a Islamic country (Malaysia). The name is very important. I got a new name, “Rayyan Ibrahim”.
What are your plans for the rest of the year?
To join a big competition in Malyasia in October maybe. I’m looking for a job in Malaysia now, i am planning on moving to Malaysia in 2011.
Leaving Japan is a big move! How do your parents and friends feel about it?
No problem for me. I can live anywhere maybe. Being a flatlander is tough life, and Malyasia is close, only 6.5 hours from Japan. But the culture is very different. I need to study many things.
With your new found religion, what aspects of your life will change?
No alcohol, no pork. It was big problems for me! Alcohol is necessary to our communications..I was thinking so. But…Malaysian riders are Muslims. They are very kind hearted and relaxed all the time. I like that.
Who are you sponsored by these days?
It hasn’t changed. I don’t know yet detail, and some sponsors continue already.
What is flatland riding for you?
The bike is part of my body. Riding is good exercise.
I don’t think i’ve ever seen you touch the back wheel riding flatland, tell me about this choice of riding, front wheel only?
Yes I am 99 only Front wheel. I am not so technical. Both wheel riding I can not.
Over the past few years you have had many good sections either online or dvd parts, do you have any DVD parts in the works right now?
Maybe not, that is great idea! I filmed some clips for a new DVD this summer. I hope to use these.
What got you into flatland?
Competition, making a lot of friends. Practise is good for the mind and the body.
If you could be a coach for a kid from the beginning in flatland, what would your advice be?
I would not say anything, let them make their own choices. If they get some trick, lets try filming together.
Growing up in Japan, to the outsiders looking in, the scene looks so big, is it really like that on a day to day basis?
I think the same as other country, important is professional mind. We are just more desperate to move individually, waiting for great futures.
How did you get started in competing in contests? Did you begin with KOG’s? Or was there something before?
I tried to compete for the first time in KOG 1998, I had good times in Fanfancy in Osaka.
What do you see as the reason Flatland riding is so popular in Japan?
Flatland is matching the characteristics of Japanese culture. Accuracy, Agility, Endurance, Delicate, etc.
Will it be hard for you to leave such a great scene?
It is the same also in Malaysia.
You just announced that you won’t compete anymore! Why is that?
Yes I hope to stop competing and rest riding too. I used too many times and money for BMX. These are great times, it was too fun. But I can not see other world. My life is only bike now, it is not good. I want to see other world more.
Any thanks to close this Rayyan?
Many thanks to everyone, all the sponsors that keep on supporting me! They bring me new hope to my new life, because we are friends.