In the late ’90s, top Japanese flatland riders emerged from nowhere and started competing in the X-Games hosted by ESPN, the most prominent sports channel in the US.
By the early ’00s, it wasn’t surprising that Japanese riders were on the podium of international contests. The Japanese scene attracted riders’ attention worldwide, and they invented new techniques and trends one after another.
Yoshihiro Shinde has been one of the top riders in Japan for a long time. He continues to pursue Flatland while working as a product designer for an enterprise company on the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
He is in his forties and does not ride BMX for a living. However, when he said he wanted to master BMX, his words somehow resonated with me. Even though I had left the BMX scene, I wanted to know what the word meant.
While many riders stick with only certain tricks, he has mastered all kinds of tricks since he started riding. Stating “I want to master BMX Flatland” would probably sound cliche, but I felt he was sincere in his view of Flatland and his weighty words.
He continues pursuing Flatland to master it, entirely different from riding for love, money, or fame. Here is his story.
It’s been a couple of weeks since the X-Games in Chiba, Japan! I had a couple of clips left on my phone from practise, from two days of filming during practise. Featuring the winner Kio Hayakawa, Terry Adams, Moto Sasaki, Yohei Uchino, and alternate Yu Katagiri who didn’t get to compete sadly.
Intro/Interview: Effraim. Photography: Kio Hayakawa & Hikaru Funya.
Kio Hayakawa!! This young talent from Japan is making big waves in the global flatland scene. I met Kio for the first time at the X Games in Chiba, Japan and it was obvious the man is on a mission. Riding more than anyone else at the contest, and so consistent on all his new tricks. It’s kind of daunting to see, and I would imagine even more daunting for his competitors.
There is something wonderfully pure about his riding, and his work ethic. It’s kind of cheesy to say the future is bright for Kio, because he’s already here as is proven by his X-Games gold medal. He kicked the door down, and shouted loud and clear his intentions. His riding does the talking, hammers getting dropped with an amazing consistent ratio.. Let’s get into this interview with two years in a row Flatmattersonline Rider of the Year, and of course X Games Gold Medalist, welcome to the Kio Hayakawa Interview…..
Intro/Interview: Effraim. Photography: Jason Halayko.
After a few days break from my back to back trips to Lyon France and straight to Japan for the X Games. It’s time to get back to posting some content for you all at home.
And next up in the Fm year end award winner interviews is Viki Gomez, winner of the editorial choice for edit of the year 2021!
We discuss the award, filming the part, direction changes in Viki’s riding, motivations with contests vs edits, Titanium bikes and his new video part Rise 4 Ever (which you can watch below!
Yesterday was a good day for flatland, the return of flatland to the X Games after a 19 year hiatus. They started just like every other so far, you collect the bag with your covid 19 test on your door handle, get the test done.
Daily procedure, it is what it is. Boring part out the way, ready to enjoy the rest of the day.
Day 2 here in beautiful Chiba, Japan and my first full day at the X Games. The first nights sleeping is always so hard, and after waking p at 2am, I managed to fall sleep until 7am.
First things and breakfast was a fun catch up with the X Games organisers, and then caught up with riders, Broc Raiford, Terry Adams, Matthias Dandois, Varo Hernandez and many more.
After a breakfast it was time for the daily covid test, and then over to the venue, which I got a great view from breakfast.( Check the photo.)
The stage is set for the return of flatland to the X Games in Japan the home of modern day flatland I think it’s fair to say.
As I went to check in on my journey to Japan, the Japan airlines steward said “we can’t take a French PCR test you have to get it translated before you can board,” after a little bit of back and forth the head steward translated the PCR test. I thought for about an hour that I was going to be unable to make the trip to Japan, thankfully they saw sense and allowed me to check in at London Heathrow, the trip was smooth sailing after that point.
It’s a real honour to be invited to be head judge at a contest I competed in several times.
Intro/Interview: Effraim. Photography: Miguekimage, Linoescuris, UCI, Rafael Black.
It’s time to get into what I hope is the first of many interviews relating to the 2021 Flatmattersonline Year end awards and the winners. First up, we have Editorial Choice Breakthrough Rider of the Year, Varo Hernandez! Let’s get this rolling….
Imagine being on the road for months at a time, not knowing where you will sleep, eat, where you will ride, the list goes on? The daily things we take for granted. Jean-Francois Bouilanne is a free spirit, and lives his life to the fullest. I caught up with him recently to talk about this trip across the states. Read on…
It’s time for Episode 82 of the Flatmattersonline Exclusives and boy is it a good one. I will go as far as saying Renz Viaje just dropped the best clip of the year so far!
This exclusive came about after Renz dropped the bike flip to two footed pedal ice cream catch on his instagram, I hit up Renz and said how about flip in flip out for a FM exclusive.
A couple of days past, and Renz said after three hours trying he got it! Insane!
Renz gave a shout out his his sensai, Yohei Uchino.
Thank you Renz for contributing and raising the level up, this is what its all about. Incredible!