Kevin Jones: A Pivotal Moment that changed Flatland forever!

Today we have a special treat from the flatland archives that changed modern day flatland forever. Courtesy of Mike Daily and the Plywood Hoods, Kevin Jones and his amazing run from AFA Masters in Austin, Texas, 1987. Miker invited me to write a little something about his influential moment.

Effraim Catlow / Flatmattersonline.

Kevin Jones, 19 & Over Expert, AFA Masters, Austin, TX (May 2, 1987).

Mike Daily, Editor of the Plywood Hoods Trick Team zine Aggro Rag Freestyle Mag! has reached out to Flatmatters for this exclusive world premiere of the flatland run that got York, Pennyslvania’s Kevin Jones sponsored by Skyway. There are so many thoughts that rush into my brain, as (thanks to the Raybo/Dellavalle tapes that Mike was entrusted with to make the Aggro Rag book in 2013), we now get to watch Kevin’s breakthrough run from the 1987 AFA Masters in Austin Texas.

Why do I say Breakthrough?

During this period of time, there were a lot of rumours about Kevin Jones, coming from across the pond. All we had was whatever text was written in the magazines. Most likely that was either Freestylin’ or BMX Plus! at the time–if we were lucky, maybe a photo or sequence.

This is the contest that proved that Kevin Jones was the real deal. Can you ponder entering a contest with tricks that have never been done or seen before? Think about that for a moment…

Then think, Kevin was unsponsored. In my mind, that isn’t a big point but at the time it was, and it turns out it was for Kevin. The video description reads:

“Skyway rushed to sponsor Kevin Jones after his second place finish in 19 & Over Expert at Round 3 of the AFA Masters series held May 2, 1987, in Austin, Texas.

“Kevin pulled stall lawnmower to backwards peg picker into trolley (his head tube-straddling, no-handed scuff); and uptight wheelie (his upside down backwards wheelie while turning the cranks by hand) into straddle.

“Kevin also premiered standing room only (his standing-upright backwards infinity roll); elephant glide (his sitting-on-the-crossbar while letting-the-back-end-of-the-bike-swing-around foot-drag scuff); and then–after he had run out of time, unfortunately–locomotive (his backyard-like progression of his tag sanity hops). Kev actually coasted the locomotive a few seconds without scuffing (locomotive glide), then pulled it off.

“Lew reported in the September ’87 issue of FREESTYLIN’ Magazine:

‘Kevin Jones got the crowd louder during his run than anyone else the whole weekend, including the pros. Every trick he did looked impossible yet was wired. He had a style so fresh it’s gonna take even the best guys a few months to catch up. He did one of those runs that left every man, woman, and child in the arena stunned. He got second place.’

“Haro’s Rick Moliterno–ever the man to beat in 19 & Over Expert–got first. Kevin later told Spike Jonze for FREESTYLIN’ (August ’89): ‘I would have been satisfied if I’d have made the top ten, and then I got second. I didn’t know why there was all the controversy about it…[Rick] beating me. I was just glad to get second, plus I got sponsored. That’s all I really wanted to do anyways was get sponsored. I never really cared about getting first.’”

A couple of things stood out to me about this run besides the originality of the tricks Kevin is doing, that’s a given!

I commented to Mike Daily, it’s like Kevin is battle riding. And what I mean by that, is not battle contest riding. But it’s almost like he’s at a Deejay contest, and he’s gesturing to the crowd mid-trick: “Hey, what do you think?”

And being that the BMX Freestyle world had never seen these tricks before, it makes total sense. Then my thought changed to: “How would you judge this?” I imagine back in 1987, the AFA was largely judged by riders’ parents. This new approach to flatland wasn’t anything that really could be measured. Watch the run again and notice the techniques on show: boomerangs, hopping, scuffing, there’s even a body varial (stubble duck-type move out of the trolley), and rolling tricks, but also the way he connected was very new. The deadtime between the tricks was something that made me think about deejaying, and bboy culture. The gestures! Raditude for a genuine reason is the best. I can imagine this was as heartfelt as it gets.

In the end, the result is not important. The whole world of flatland got to witness this gem and now in 2019 we finally get to see the run that changed the game for us all. Realistically, all we can do is thank Kevin for his vision, and his humbleness.

Let me leave you with a thought: Is this the most important moment in the history of the progression of modern day flatland?

The Flatmattersonline Pete Brandt Interview!

In my opinion, You couldn’t really script this story.. Who would have thought my childhood hero would organise a go fund me fundraiser to get me out to San Francisco and the One Love Jam.

Wait what????

How many would do this or even think about doing this for another rider? It is and was an amazing gesture. So much so I pinched myself at various points of the long flight over to SF. Is this really happening??

As Pete broke the news, aside from my initial disbelief, and thoughts of finally riding the clocktower and going to the One Love Jam. This was finally my chance after ten years of running Flatmattersonline to interview Pete and ask him all the things I was curious about over the years.

I first travelled to SF when I was seven years old with parents, then again at 14 years old and to compete for the X Games in 99, and 2000. The city definitely strikes a chord with me, it is my favourite place to travel in the world. So much history here, the bridges, all the different cultures, the views each way you look, the people, you can ride around Embarcardero and see all the famous skatespots just a throws away from the legendary Clocktower spot that Pete rides everyday, making the 40 minute BART commute from across the bay in Fremont.

I have met Pete numerous times over the years at contests across the globe, and even at the San Francisco X-Games twice which we discuss in the interview.
I haven’t however, hung out with Pete for any considerable amount of time, until this dream trip. I think it’s fair to say we got along so well I now consider Pete a close friend and we share a lot of the same music tastes, views on flatland, we both vibe off skateboarding, and best of all just a lot of laughs and good flatland sessions.
As I approach my 45th birthday in March, seeing Pete still going as hard as ever was a massive motivation to me “hey you can still do this and work a full time job and juggle family life with kids” and be an absolute monster to boot.

There are multiple layers to Pete’s life, which we cover in this interview. The term “legend” gets over used a lot, but Pete really is a flatland legend. And in fact as I now call it he is an “architect”. Pete has helped shape the spot/artform we all love, have you ever shove-it’ed mid trick, done a crackpacker, held a hitchhiker on the peg instead of tyre, used plastic pedals, use a freecoaster, these are all things Pete invented and made them popular and the list goes on.

The man deserves a BIG interview so much I can’t even stress this enough. Our sport/artform needs to respect the architects that shaped what we love today, and Pete is still going hard and infact I can almost guranteed he’s the last to read this and will be out shredding at the clocktower without a care in the world other than riding his bike and doing what he loves on the daily.

Over the years, I have met just about everyone in the flatland scene and Pete is the realist rider I have met. This guy eats, sleeps, and breathes flatland, and he totally gets it.

Grab a cuppa, and make some time to learn about one of the best riders to ever do it. Ladies and gentlemen, let’s do this, the Flatmattersonline Pete Brandt Interview! This is for all the hardcore riders out there, proud to bring this exclusive to the flatland scene.

Effraim Catlow / Flatmattersonline

The Flatmattersonline Pete Brandt Interview Teaser!

Have you ever met your childhood hero? Last month, I got to hang out and ride with Pete Brandt for the first time for an extensive period of time, since I have known him. When I received the news that Pete was organising a Go Fund page to get me out to San Francisco and the One Love jam. To be honest, I didn’t really know whether to scream, or shed a tear, what I can tell you for sure is I was very hyped and super excited to get out there. I can remember talking to myself and saying, “right this is it! It’s time to get the interview I always really wanted on the website.”

I had the time of my life, riding and hanging out with Pete everyday during my trip to California. After approx two weeks of editing, plus going over footage, and general tweaks that come with putting something like this out (I have never worked on a video for so long, hence why FM updates have been a little slow…). The full interview will drop this Friday, today to whet your appetite here is a little teaser.

Words cannot express how hyped I am to drop this interview on Friday, Pete is a true architect of Flatland, and a man that deserves the utmost respect from all of us!

Stay tuned!

Repo: The 2019 One Love Jam

Text: Effraim.
Photos: Effraim, Juan Lopez, Bobby Carter.

The 9th annual One Love Jam in Newport Beach, California was lived up to all the hype I have heard over the years. We were staying around an hour away in Corona, and I believe it was James McGraw who said “it will be sunny at the beach Effraim”. I remember thinking “yeah yeah, that’s not going to happen”, low and beyond we arrive at picture perfect Newport Beach and the sunshine is booming, girls in bikinis everywhere, hockey players, and a fast smooth newly resurfaced riding spot which is large enough to hold 120 riders pretty comfortably with a California beach backdrop.

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One Love Pre Jam – San Francisco / LA trip Part 3

Good morning everyone!

Yesterday was a good day, we arrived the night before to Robert Castillo’s house in Corina, California.After a nights sleep it was time head out to Long Beach, Corona to Long beach is around an hours drive. LA traffic which can be horrific, we hit up a In and Out Burger joint just round the corner from the jam. The spot looked familiar and sure enough I had been to this burger place before. Must have been like 9-10 years ago, funny how your memory can jog in an second.

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San Francisco Trip – Part 2

Yesterday was the first dry day of my trip to San Francisco. Dylan Worsley from We Bicycles arrived in the morning, and myself, Pete and Dylan headed from Fremont to San Fran by BART. 40 minutes later, we were at Embarcadero and the Clocktower is across the road. The ground was still really wet from and early morning shower, Pete has the Clocktower on lock down and has a let blower, squeechie, and to my suggestion added a towel to the fix to get the riding spot dry.

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Repo: San Francisco Trip Part 1

Good morning everyone!

As many of you will know, Pete Brandt who happens to be my child hero growing up organised a go fund me page to get me out to the One Love jam in Newport Beach, California this weekend. When I was younger, my parents took me to San Francisco on holiday and I always loved the place and everything about it, so much character in this city. So as you can imagine I am still pinching myself that I am actually here. I can’t thank Pete, his wife Karissa, and everyone who donated to help me get here.
I arrived into San Francisco on Monday, after an 11 hour flight and almost three hours in the customs line I was pretty tired, but also pretty excited to get riding and make the most of this dream trip out here.

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Re Up: Jean William Prevost Podcast

With Jean William Prevost aka Dub taking the 2018 Flatmattersonline Year end awards by storm, it seems to me as good a time as any to repost the podcast with Dub from last year at Bike days. It was really interesting to catch up with Dub and pick his brains and here his opinion on judging, the flatland scene, competing, and the struggles he faces day to day.

The 2018 Flatmattersonline Year End Award Nominees are…

Hello everyone!

Great response to voting this year for the 2018 Flatmattersonline Year End Awards, this really is a labour of love for me and my chance to really give back to the content that I post throughout the year and also reach out to you the readers of Flatmattersonline. Thank you to all the readers that took the time to vote, this years voting was really interesting. A definite shift towards how you decide and who you vote for. Let’s get right to it..

– Effraim Catlow / 10 Years of Flatmattersonline.

Editorial Vote:

Rider of the Year:

Matthias Dandois

Yu Katagiri

Jean William Prevost

Alex Jumelin

Sietse Van Berkel

Edit of the Year:

James White – Stop the World

Benjamin Hudson – Done Deal

Matthieu Bonnecuelle – Riding Waste

Jean William Prevost – Puro Flat #2 Spring

Denes Katona – Rolling Stone

Most Progressive Rider:

Jean William Prevost
Sietse Van Berkel
Alex Jumelin
James White
Yu Katagiri

Outstanding Contribution:
TBA ON ANNOUNCEMENT DAY.

Line of The Year:

Austin Luberda – 3:05 from the Autumn Flow edit.

Jean William Prevost – 3:52 End Line Puro Flat 2.

Yu Katagiri – Bikeflip line at 3:00 from the Yu Katagiri 2018 edit.

Sietse van Berkel – Final Round Entry from Master of Creativity 2018.

Dominik Nekolny – Best trick from Sport Zone contest.

* Go back and search and watch these! Incredible…

Reader Choice:

Rider of the Year:

Yu Katagiri

Ryo Katagiri

James White

Jean William Prevost

Sietse van Berkel

Edit of the Year:

Jean William Prevost – Puro Flat 2 Spring

James White – Stop the World

Denes Katona – Rolling Stone

Yu Katagiri – 2018

Joe Cicman – The idea in brief

Most Progressive Rider:

James White

Sietse Van Berkel

Ryo Katagiri

Yu Katagiri

Jean William Prevost

Contest Run of Year:

Dominik Nekolny BMX Cologne Finals

Jean William Prevost Fise Chengdu Finals

Ryo Katagiri BMX Cologe qualifying

Dominik Nekolny Hungarian contest

Yu Katagiri BMX Cologne Finals

Breakthrough Rider of the Year:

Mates Tucek

Sietse van Berkel

Julian Baron

Austin Luberda

Kio Hayakawa

Year end award winners announced:
Friday 11th January.

The 2018 Flatmattersonline Year Awards!


Design: Johann Chan.

Just a few weeks ago, I celebrated 10 years of running Flatmattersonline. Thank you for all the positive feedback on the site and on my social media, it’s pretty amazing to me that the site continues to grow as we now move into it’s 11th year. Next year I have some bigger plans with the site that I am really excited to get working on in the new year.

Now it’s time to get to the 2018 Flatmattersonline Year End awards and if you have already scrolled down you will notice I keep the same format as the 2017 awards. Who’s going to win this year? Who do you feel has had the best year, what do you look for? Contest results? Must Watch edits? Giving back to the sport? Perhaps something else…

Without further a due, it’s time to start researching and digging back through the year at what’s gone on.

Editorial Vote:
Rider of the Year
Edit of the Year
Most Progressive Rider
Outstanding Contribution
Line of The Year

Reader Choice:
Rider of the Year
Edit of the Year
Most Progressive Rider
Contest Run of Year
Breakthrough Rider of the Year

What’s the Deadline for voting?
Voting closes New Years Eve at 12 Midnight GMT.
Monday December 31st.

How do you vote?
Send your votes through to: effraim@flatmattersonline.com – entitled Flatmattersonline Awards 2018.

Nominees announced:
Friday January 4th.

Year end award winners announced:
Friday 11th January.

Please note:
Voting only counts via email, and you must vote in each category to be eligible. Plenty of time to go through edits over the festive period and look back via the site on the highlights of the year that will follow over the next few weeks, take your time and good luck and most of all enjoy the process!

Effraim Catlow
Flatmattersonline / 10 Years Strong!