• Benjamin Hudson – 2014 Flatmatters Awards/Breakthrough Rider Interview

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    Intro/Interview: Effraim.
    Photographs: Gerard Arhens.

    When you see a new face on the scene, it’s one thing to have a great video part. It is entirely another to be the real deal in the flesh, I first had this feeling when I saw Martti Kuoppa for the first time at the Worlds in 1996 in Jugendpark, then again I had this feeling when I met Nathan Penonzek a year later in Huntington Beach, California. This feeling returned at Battle at the Rockies last year, we were all aware of course of Benjamin Hudson and his amazing “Welcome to Far East” edit, I wondered to myself on route to Colorado would Benjamin be the real deal?

    The answer was quickly “yes”, effortless style, crazy pivots and so light footed around the bike. I immediately thought to myself it is like watching a young Nathan Penonzek all over again, which was ironic as Nathan was right next to me on the judging panel. Benjamin won the Breakthrough Rider of the Year by an absolute landslide, and deservedly so. Enjoy the last in series of Flatmatters Year end awards interview, we all eagerly wait to the see what the future brings to this amazing talent from Chile.

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    Waldemar Fatkin – Welcome to We The People Interview

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    Intro/Interview:Effraim
    Photo credit: Ben McPherson

    Big news yesterday when we dropped Waldemar Fatkin’s explosive Welcome to The People edit, I caught up with the man himself to talk about the move, some history, and what we can expect in the future, read on!

    The move to WeThePeople seems like it fits your flat/street direction Waldemar, what excited you most about the move over to WTP?
    Hello everyone! Yes I am very happy to be a part of WTP. I am very excited about few things. WTP has very deep flatland roots and it was first BMX brand I was looking for. Of course quality and design of the products is just the best and I like the crew behind the brand. I am very honered to be part of the family.

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    Bike Days 2015 Day 3

    Text and Photos: Effraim

    Judges view warm up

    I just got back home from Bike Days with nothing but good feelings about this event. If you have never been to Switzerland, every thing runs like clockwork, everything is very clean, well signposted, lots of green countryside, beautiful mountain views, the people are very friendly and polite. It is hard not to love the place!

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    Bike Days 2015 Day 2!

    Text: Effraim
    Photos: Mike S

    Day 2 was all about Pro Qualifying! It was nice to get some sleep after the long day Friday, most of the riders are all staying at a nearby youth hostel which is really close to the contest site. Bike Days is the largest bike festival in Switzerland, plenty of people here on all kinds of bikes, Mtb, Trails, Roadbikes, and plenty more. So nice to be here and see bikes everywhere!

    MD

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    Team France win Bike Days Battle of the Nations!

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    Last night the organisers threw down 200 Swiss Francs for a fun contest, “Battle of the Nations” it was a good chance for the riders to get warmed up for this weekends contest and have a good time too! The final battle with Team France vs Team Japan was so fun to watch, party atmosphere with the crowd deciding the winner. Double routines, riders throwing down hammers. This event had a lil’ of everything, so good to watch! Stay tuned for more updates as I run through day 2 at Bike Days later on, qualifying is going down today at 3pm, riders are just getting warmed up in the main arena.

    Bike Days 2015 Day 1

    Text/Photos: Effraim

    It’s a been a long day for me here on day 1 of the 2015 Bike Days contest in Solothurn, Switzerland. Like I did for the BITR contest in November, I wanted to do do daily updates kind of like in diary form of each of my days here at Round 1 of the 2015 World Circuit.

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    D&J

    One of the best things about flatland, is the friendships you make travelling around country to country hitting different contests. Dan Hennig and James McGraw kindly picked me up from Zurich airport this morning for the Bike days contest after a 3am start for me to get to London Gatwick, the flight at least was a short one at 1 hour 15 minutes.

    Chill

    Upon arriving we went back to Dan’s apartment, we met up with Kevin Nikulski, Dustyn Alt, and Camilo Gutierrez chilling before we made the hour trip to Solothurn.
    I also discovered the riding spot Dan films a lot of his videos from is indeed below his apartment block, dialled!
    The Switzerland countryside is beautiful, so much green land, and mountain back drops. I joked with James McGraw this was the real Battle in the Rockies, as when I arrived in Colorado last year none of us could see the mountains.

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    Martti Kuoppa & Viki Gomez – The Flatmatters Awards Interview

    Intro/Interview: Effraim.
    Photos: Provided by Martti Kuoppa & Viki Gomez.

    The 2014 Flatmatters Online Year Awards for Edit of the Year in 2014 panned out much like the Rider of the Year category, Bombardaros by Martti Kuoppa and Viki Gomez took landslide victories in the Editorial Choice and Readers Choice Edit of the Year category. Over 13 minutes of quality modern day flatland by two of the finest flatland riders ever! I caught up with the both of them separately. You definitely want to read what these two legends have to say about the video and the background work and emotion that went into it! Respect!

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    Jean William Prevost – 2014 Flatmatters Awards Interview

    Intro/Interview: Effraim.
    Photos: Dub.

    2014 was a great year for Jean William Prevost, aka Dub! Of course we all know Dub won three awards in the 2014 FM Year end Awards, the Reader Choice and Editorial Choice for Rider of Year and also Innovation of the Year with his IGI peg design. Winning three awards was not all about his riding, but also leading by example with the organisation of RealCitySpin, and not entering his own contest really sent out a message to everyone about what he is about, and on top of that running IGI. I caught up with the man himself to talk about the awards, his plans, contest organisation, travelling and so much more! Flatland is in a better place with riders like Dub involved and giving back, much respect!

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    Dub what a year for you, and the awards! Lot of love out there for you, taking home both the reader and editorial vote for rider of the year, and Innovation of the year with igiBMX peg design. Firstly how do you feel about the awards, and how 2014 went for you?
    Thanks to everyone that voted for me and that help me during my travels. The awards help everyone push and progress together as a scene. Initiatives as this one is what stimulates growth. 2014 has past and I am looking forward now as I am progressing and setting new higher goals in riding and in life.

    Last year you also did a lot of work outside of your own personal riding with organizing the Real City Spin, and this year your event is part of the World Circuit, what can we expect this year with the event?
    Organizing a competition is definitely a lot of work. It being part of the circuit this year will help attract a lot more people and reach out to the youth of Quebec, I want to get as many people as possible to get a taste of what flatland is about and possibly get them on a bike. Lots more warm-up space and special care to the riders needs is what’s to be expected at this year’s RealCitySpin.

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    Forklift in Mexico.

    That sounds great Dub! It is also great that you took young Benjamiin Hudson from Chile under your wing, help with sponsors, getting name out there with amazing videos, do you think that is something thats possible for more pros to do that kind of thing?
    Benjamin’s nickname in Beijing is 螳螂(Praying Mantis), he definitely rides like one as he twists and turns around impossible pivot points. I did what seemed right and I am proud to see him out there ripping it up. I think some Pro’s out there could focus a little less on accumulating material wealth and put more time and money back into the sport. So much more needs to be done to legitimize our sport to grow out of the underground and enable more than the elite few to live from riding and competing.

    What are your plans this year riding wise?
    Hit up the World Circuit and some smaller events also, visit China and ride more
    than last year.

    What are your plans this year for igiBMX?
    Grow the brand and introduce new ideas and concepts to the bike.

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    Ais, Benjamin Hudson and Dub chilling in Indonesia.

    How long would you say you are on the road for per year, and how often are you at home?
    I am definitely away from my comfort zone most of the year, being away from home really gives you a different perspective on the World of flatland and it’s intricacies, there seems to be way more riders out there then I had ever thought.

    What are you looking forward to this year, event wise?
    I am looking forward to BMX Cologne, I have never been and would love to be able to give the best of my riding at this event this year.

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    Who is sponsoring and helping you live the dream Dub?
    Everyone that has helped during my travels and my mom, grandma and sponsors; Amnesia Shop, Nomi Trademark,Konkrete Shoes,514 BMX and Fareast Cycles. I can’t forget Takuji and Benjamin for embarking on the journey through South America and sharing the adventures together, that was a dream and a half!!! I still can’t believe we made it!

    What’s your biggest inspiration in 2015?
    Challenging myself with putting out tricks I’ve wanted to pull for a long time, out-doing myself in competition by refining the movements and opening new doors, put an event together that will surpass any other that ever went down in Quebec and bring creative and useful product to the Flatland scene to help and push the level to greater heights.

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    Dub takes a moment to chill in Mexico with Jesse Puente & Pete Brandt.

    You just won the annual Toronto contest straight off the IGI South American tour for the third time, congratulations for that! Where you travelling to next?
    Next up is France! There’s a place I’d like to visit where Merlin the Sorcerer supposedly rests near a supposedly enchanted forest. I would love to visit mysterious Tibet and the province of Yunnan in China (wishful thinking) and also going back to the IOXC contest in Indonesia being held in Bandung this year will be a treat.

    Any final shoutouts Dub?
    FLATMATTERS!!!

    Related links:

    http://www.flatmattersonline.com/must-watch-jean-william-prevost-double-trouble

    http://www.flatmattersonline.com/flat-ark-2014-semifinal-yohei-uchino-vs-jean-william-provost

    http://www.flatmattersonline.com/jean-william-prevost-battle-in-the-rockies-interview

    http://www.flatmattersonline.com/jean-william-prevost-benjamin-hudson-against-the-current

    Shintaro Misawa – 2014 Flatmatters Awards/Most Progressive Rider Interview

    Intro/Interview: Effraim
    Photos: Shintaro Misawa.

    We start the week with the third in our series of exclusive interviews with the winners of the 2014 Flatmatters Online Year end awards, this time it is the turn of flatland jedi, Shintaro Misawa who was voted Most Progressive Rider of the Year by you the readers of Flatmatters! We catch up to talk about his online videos, practice rituals, his various bike set ups and so much more! Don’t miss this!

    Shintaro Continue reading