Flat Snitches: Episode 3 / The Backyard

Intro: Effraim.
Interview: Effraim & Pete Brandt.
Photos: Tim Treacy.

Welcome to Episode 3 of Flat Snitches, an educational resource on the history of trick inventions in flatland. We have a very special guest for our third episode, Ladies and Gentlemen… Tim Treacy from San Francisco! Tim was one of the first pioneers of the scuffing technique in flatland in the 1980’s. San Francisco was a hot bed of creative talent back in the day at Golden Gate Park that are now legendary in flatland circles and via coverage in Freestylin’ inspired riders across the globe.

Have you ever done a backyard? Maybe a two footed rolling backyard in the modern era? Were you ever curious. Where did this trick come from?

Episode 3 focuses on the Backyard, myself and Pete Brandt dig beneath the surface of this trick and interview the man behind this staple move in flatland. It’s time for the interview!

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Flatmattersonline is 11 Years Old!

Text: Effraim.

Good morning everyone!

Wednesday 27th November marks a special day, today I celebrate eleven years of running the Flatmattersonline website!

11 years!!!

In 2008 I said to myself let’s make a place where you can “document your riding, share it and naturally progress!”.
The original concept of starting Flatmattersonline pretty much runs true eleven years on. I wanted an independent place for Flatlander’s to be able to look at fresh content everyday, and help inspire their session that day. I thought if I am looking for someone else, than perhaps other people are too. Interestingly enough, when I started FM back in 2008, video platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo were pretty fresh so not a lot of people were using them and I was relying heavily on original content which eleven years on is something I am going back to and am more inspired by.
From the initial generic blogspot days, to a full website FM that has seen many changes over the past eleven years. I really do have to pinch myself when I think about how many posts and also how much time I must have spent putting content together for you the viewer at home.

Various stages of the site of the past 11 years:

– Posting almost every video out/ blogspot days
– Birth of the website, rebrand.
– Writing Original content
– Detailed contest repos
– Flatmatters exclusives
– Video reviews
– Top 5’s
– Old School Sunday’s
– Classic Mondays
– Throwback Thursday
– Must Watch edits
– Exclusive Interviews
– Year end awards
– Flatmatters How-to’s
– Flat Snitches

As the site grew, I heard a few viewers say that it should mean something to appear on Flatmattersonline, and in a way I kind of like that, and I kind of don’t. FM in my mind shouldn’t be elitist, it’s definitely for everyone. But at the same time, I can’t sit behind the computer all day posting, so something has to give. This is a tough part of juggling what goes past the “Firewall” as James White calls it.

Eleven years on Flatmattersonline is still an independent place for Flatlanders across the globe to visit daily. Via Google analytics it’s easy to see that not every one checks videos everyday, and I can see like 3-4 day cycle of which most of you check videos.

Since my earlier years putting together Totally Intense ‘zine I always enjoyed putting together content. And the part of FM I enjoy the most is gathering original content in whatever form that might come in.

If I can help educate the next generation of Flatlanders with my articles that isn’t a bad thing in my mind. As the natural quality of riding progresses, my motivation to keep going is more driven by trying to provide original content, and help up and coming riders which I have done over the years rather than just copy and paste edit after edit.

Time management is definitely the hardest part of running the site and perhaps the major thing I have improved, at least in my mind. For many years FM would take over five hours a day which affected my personal riding sessions a lot, now I’ve learnt to manage that and not rush content out so that I can spend time riding for myself.

So when you are at home asking why your edit is not online yet? Chances are 1) I haven’t seen it yet. 2) I’m at work or riding or 3) I’m saving it for the next day as I have already posted 4-5 videos.

The birth of the Must Watch edit.

When I think about it, the Must Watch edit was a natural progression of curating all this content over the past 11 years. There has to be a standout video along the way, trawling through thousands of videos.

July 3 2012 marked the birth of the Must Watch edit after a chat with Matthias Dandois the previous month. It was something to the affect of “I love the site Effraim, but I can’t be bothered to trawl through so many edits to get to the good stuff.” It was valuable and honest feedback, as many others may have felt the same but not said anything. I must have stewed on the idea for around a month and came up with the Must Watch edit idea, and that being almost like an award and something people would in time push their level to achieve. In my mind the Must Watch edit is reserved for those edits I rewind immediately, can you imagine how many edits I watch and have watched over 11 years?! The Must Watch edit is something that drew me to hit the rewind right away, in the beginning of the Must Watch I didn’t really write a lot, but as time progressed the descriptions of why the edit was a “Must Watch” started to be published and also it began to get harder to get that elusive tag as the concept grew.

“For anyone who is interested, The first “Must Watch” edit went to Viki Gomez “lost and found” by James Smith on July 3rd, 2012. The Must Watch is seven years old, crazy to think that!”

The Flatmattersonline Year end awards…
After the concept of the Must Watch edit started to gain momentum, I started to think about all these videos I describe everyday and the need to do something to recognise the work people put into flatland. But, not just rider of the year? I went back and forth with a few friends and the Flatmattersonline year end awards were born in 2013. Johann Chan stepped up to help on the graphics to share the news, and six years on the awards are still running. The 2019 awards will be coming up really soon…

From Flatmattersonline to Judging…

It’s also interesting to think about my role now as a curator/critic//rider, I feel curating Flatmattersonline and having a critical eye and knowledge on what’s current and also whats been done in the past in flatland has lead me to judging events worldwide. And this year specifically the honour of being headjudge at the Fise/UCI world series. On top of that, my work has been recognised by people such as my childhood hero, Pete Brandt who organised a fundraiser to get me to SF along with Fred Gates and James McGraw for the One Love jam earlier in the year and I am already booked in once again for January 2020 in SF/LA. The support for the site really does blow me away, many great memories that will never be forgotten. And I look forward to making more!

FM is a labour of love for me, that will no doubt take many swings and turns in the future. Who knows one day I might actually get round to a FM clothing brand. It’s only taken 11 years so far!!!

I could ramble on, but want to keep as short as possible. Thanks to everyone who has supported FM over the years, all the contributors over the years for which there are too many to name. Johann Chan for the new graphic make over of the site, Kurt Hohberger at BMX Union for all his help over the years, Simon Shorten who helped take all the content from blogspot to a full website and did all the early branding on the new site.

How long have you been checking out Flatmattersonline? And how did you find it? Word of mouth? Social media? Lets hear it in the comments section. Normal updates will resume tomorrow, today i’m taking a moment to enjoy and acknowledge this achievement.

Thanks Flatland!

Effraim Catlow
Flatmattersonine / 11 Years Strong.

Repo: Sportzone Veres Contest by Rob Alton

Text/Photos: Rob Alton.

Four months of hard work finally paid off on Saturday at Sport Zone. The larger room and new floor was perfect! Three riders could ride at the same time and we definitely needed the extra space as there were 36 riders from 5 countries at the event. It was a combined contest, the Hungarian Championships in collaboration with Bringasport (Hungarian Cycle Federation) and the Veres Verseny 2019.

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Repo: UCI World Championships 2019 Chengdu China

Text: Effraim.
Photos: EC, The Agency Photo.

The finals day at the UCI World Championships was a great day for flatland. The day started with Women’s flat and four riders knuckled down and give it their all, Irina Sadovnik was battling a knee injury and with the help of Trish and her medical skills she was able to ride. Sometimes when you are faced with a physical obstacle such as an injury your focus is heightened. The injuries were stacking up in China and kind of became one of the main topics of everyones discussions during the two week trip.


Lionel Cardoso on the MIC duties, and David on the decks. props to these guys who killed it throughout the series and the two weeks in China!

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Day 2: UCI World Championships / Chengdu, China

Day 2 at the UCI World Championships in Chengdu, China was a good one. Starting once again wet with over night rain rearing it’s ugly head. In fact it seems to rain every evening here and certainly when it does, it clears the air.

We headed down to the contest in a shuttle at 8am ready for the 9-10am practise slot before qualifying started at 10am. 36 riders to get through, we were using live scoring in qualifying for the first time.

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Flat Snitches: Episode 2 / The Gadget Whip

What a response, we got from the first episode of FlatSnitches. Myself and Pete are super stoked and humbled by all the feedback. FS is a labour of love dedicated to being an educational resource on the history of trick inventions for flatlanders spanning across all generations of our artform.
What we realised after the first episode is that these are episodes that can be updated as useful information (“art of facts as Pete calls it) comes forward. This wasn’t something we considered when we started FS.
We had numerous riders, for example reach out with further information about Jesse Puente doing the Plasticman after we published the first article. Articles can be updated much like tricks are, you get a refresh every so often and learn more about tricks you love to do on the daily.

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Review: Landscapes 3

Review: Effraim.

I am sure I write this every time I review a video, I feel it’s important to say it without trying to sound like a broken record. It really is a brave move to make an online video these days, especially if you are charging for it online. It’s quite common in skateboarding, but hasn’t filtered over to flatland really.
Landscapes 3 comes in at 1 hour 12 minutes long, I can’t even imagine how much working time that is for the creator, Stewart Munro putting all the pieces together, selecting riders going back and forth with riders gathering footage, picking the music to fit each rider, the list goes on.

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Flat Snitches: Episode 1 / The Plasticman

Intro.

Welcome to a new section of Flatmattersonline that has been brewing, not unlike the cuppa right next to me right now as I get ready to drop this first episode. After a lot of talk back and forth with Pete Brandt, “Flat Snitches” is born and dedicated to help educate the flatland community on the history of trick inventions and most importantly showing some love to the architects that came up with each trick along the way, not to mention the evolution of each move with other riders putting their twist on it.

Who came up with what trick and when, is sometimes a grey area, but myself and Pete Brandt after all our years of experience are as best placed as anyone to attempt to do this.
We Kick off Episode 1 with the Plasticman, and talk to the trick creator, Jesse Puente about the tricks history and evolution into another move entirely.

When I think about Jesse Puente, his energy springs to my mind. I always recall when he commented “You bust, I bust” back when we both rode for KHE in the late 90’s, his energy was contagious. Always thinking about new tricks and concepts, he made me want to have new tricks every time I would see meet him at contest across the globe. Jesse’s energy brings me to the plastic man and his desire to create something fresh.


Jesse, rolling the OG Plasticman in Shimersville, PA back in 1994. Photo: Sean Parker.

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