Round 1 of the 2018 UK Flatland Championships took place last weekend in Margate, Kent. Margate is a seaside town about an hour and half from central London for all of you reading this outside of the UK. Matti Hemmings once again is the man behind making the event happen, this year a different location and a better set up. Dreamlands, an amusement park smack on Margate seafront which somewhat bizarrely to me, goes in land rather than out towards the sea, two years ago we sat on the seafront having fish n chips after the Wheels and Finns festival and wondered what Dreamlands was. A great use of space and in terms of planning, this place is epic. You wouldn’t know this amusement park was even there, if you drive along the seafront road.
Intro/Interview: Effraim. Photo credits: Christina Johnston, Greg Higgins, Spike Jonze, Jeff Z, Paul Vail,
Kai Kuusisto, Amy Stewart-Johnston.
Today I am stoked to publish this much deserved interview with the man behind Intrikat, Chad Johnston. Chad is a flatland lifer, and has contributed so much towards our artform over the years, he has helped many riders careers via video parts and getting their names out to us all, not to mention inventing and documenting so many tricks that have inspired us all across the globe. If that’s not enough, Chad also designed a signature line of products/frame with S&M. Despite all this, I feel the man is underrated, and I wanted to show the man some love and thank him for all he has done for me over the years. Grab a cuppa, this is a long interview that deserves your attention. Let’s get into this!
How long in the game Chad, how did you get into flatland? It’s crazy to me, I remember sending you money through the mail years ago for Reality Tv Part 1 and here we are 2018 doing this interview.
Haha! We’ve been in it a minute. I got my first BMX for my 10th birthday. Prior to that I was riding a hand-me-down stingray type of bike. I don’t remember how I got it, or when. I do remember my dad teaching me how to ride it without training wheels. As soon as I figured it out, it started raining, but I didn’t care, I kept on going.
Today I made the trip from Southsea to Kortrijk in Belgium via the Eurostar out of St.Pancras, London. I arranged with contest organiser, Barre Neirynck to be picked up in Lille, France which was just hour and half from London. Dez Maarsen kindly picked me up and drove me direct to the event.
It’s Day 2 of the Bike Days contest, and already yesterday I felt like I have been in Switzerland for a week and it’s only been since late Thursday night. Relaxed lifestyle, old architecture, very clean almost every where you look, and amazing Swiss typography that brings back memories from my university days.
Saturday is all about qualifying, I headed down to the contest to post the Day 1 repo before we got started judging the contest at 3. When I arrived Dominik Nekolny was the only rider on the floor, and as usually completely going off, it’s really hard to try and update the site whilst wanting to watch Dom ride and go through his practice routine all on board the Deep Blitz frame, Frank Lucas was stoked.
On Thursday night I flew into Zurich, Switzerland for the annual Bike Days contest. Dan Hennig kindly picked me up from the airport and we kicked it at his new house out in the beautiful countryside on the outskirts of Zurich. Dan picked up Dustyn Alt and Maik Speer on Friday morning before we made the one hour trip to Solothurn.
Intro/Article: Effraim. Photos: Bobby Carter, Kai Kuusisto, Alicja Korbinska, Tom Sevisual, Keith Mulligan.
All so often we only see the polished finished article, we turn up as riders at a contest and amazing riding, and flawless runs, or we see a “Must Watch” edit here on Flatmattersonline. What we don’t see is the blood, sweat, tears and psychological games that riders struggle with behind the scenes. I have faced this quite often over my riding career, and when it comes, it tells me “it’s time to switch things up”.
Every rider is different and that is one of multitude of things that we all love about flatland. I found something as simple in concept as learning something with bars forwards or backwards, learn something opposite or sometimes ride a different spot than I normally would. I have this saying in flatland, “learn everything you can, there are no bad tricks to learn, as flatland will catch up and bite you on the ass when you need that trick the most. I wondered about what other riders do to overcome this natural process of riding flatland over the years. ”
Jimmy Biondi got in contact with a readymade article that is sure to get you talking. Hydraulic Magura Rim Brakes in Flatland? Read on for more details.
World Premiere January 2018
Hydraulic Magura rim brakes on flatland Bmx
Created by Jimmy Biondi.
What Is it?
As you can see on the picture, the idea (since it has never been done before) is to have a new type of brake system (hydraulic instead of cable) that fits the flatland requirements in terms of braking power, design (slick rather than bulky with a lot a scuffing place), light weight, maintenance free and comfort of use. Needless to say that “price friendly” or simply “price beware” does not come into the equation.
Like I said in my review of Landscapes 1 last year, DVD’s in the modern era are a sad rarity in our scene from my perspective, during the last two years you can count those on less than one hand. Dane Beardsley’s Same thing daily project and IGI’s travel video are all we have had. Stewart Munro from Australia stepped up to the plate with an ambitious project to collect and edit together rider sections from all the planet, when you think about that in the modern internet culture and free edits available everyday it almost seems like a thankless task.
Thankfully Stewart stuck to the task which being so far away from all the other riders is I can imagine a tough task to collate together. The downloadable video straight to your laptop is catching on in other sports such as Skateboarding, more recently massive companies such as Adidas are releasing their projects for a small fee online. Will it catch on to what is essentially a small flatland audience? Only time will tell…
Landscapes 2 starts with a nice intro describing verbally the feeling of flatland and what it’s all about “it is a mirror that shows each of us who we are”. There’s always a unwritten formula to making a DVD, banger section to start, middle and the all important who got the last section. Would this follow suit, 52 minutes long let’s get into this!
Day 5 of the trip, it’s Friday. The build up to the contest is getting real, everyone is moving just that one step faster. We woke up to sunny skies again, and I wondered if I would get through this annual trip to Colorado without seeing the snow. James, Todd, Will Redd, and Bill Nitschke started to talk about making an edit for the week, of the best clips, but needed an intro. After much laughter, James started playing the Geto Boys “Damn it feels good to be a gangsta”, next thing the house and the cars outside made it feel like a movie set. It started the day off continuing the great vibe that’s been here all week in Monument.
Day 4 was the best day yet, I got the flatmatters daily updates done early and walked outside to sunny, but windy as hell conditions. I started washing the floor, which felt like it has become a daily operation. You gotta do what you gotta do to get the best out of riding spots, and James spot is literally perfect. Once his garden gets grassed, I would imagine this spot will stay for the large part dust free. Mates Tucek joined me and helped sweep the spot, I said to Mates I wanted to pull something new today and right as we started filming the winds picked up. Tumble weeds flying past us, and dry leaves smacking you in the face. It felt a little bit like this was a bad idea riding the spot today, but it passed and I really wanted to get back on the progression trail.