The Terry Adams & Martti Kuoppa Flatmattersonline Interview

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Intro/Interview: Effraim.
Photos: Martti Kuoppa, Terry Adams, Robby Klein, The Agency Photo.

To be coached is relatively a new thing for flatland, some people I have talked to frown when I mention this, others see value and results in being coached (if you are competing). Martti Kuoppa, is as far as I know, the first flatland coach in our history, that uses his personal experiences from years of commuting at the highest level to help others improve their contest riding, and thus…. results.

It was no accident, Martti Kuoppa is one of the most successful contest riders in flatland history, his preparation was in-depth and gruelling, and when you team him up with one of the current most successful riders on the contest scene, Terry Adams the mind boggles at the potential….

Terry Adams combined forces with Martti Kuoppa during the latter part of 2018, ending the the 2019 season with a very respectable 4th place at the UCI World Championships in Chengdu, China.
I wanted to know more, and get into the in’s and out’s, what can Terry Adams, one of the most consistent contest rider get out of being coached to improve his performances I wondered?

Grab a cuppa, sit down and take in this really insightful interview with two of the best riders to do it. Welcome to the Martti Kuoppa & Terry Adams Flatmattersonline Interview….

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Irina Sadovnik: The Flatmattersonline Interview Part 2

Intro/Interview: Effraim.
Photos: Sevisual, Rob Alton, Alex Lang Photo..

Great reaction to my Part 1 Flatmattersonline Interview with the first Women’s UCI World Champion in Flatland, Irina Sadovnik. I know I have said it before, the interviews are a lot of work, and probably what I enjoy producing the most, and this two part interview with Irina was no different. But it has been a whole lot of fun getting to know her, over the last year or so, and I felt the whole flatland community needed to hear her story. Thank you for all the positive feedback from Part 1 last Friday…. Let’s get into Part 2, it’s a good one and well worth a read whilst your on lockdown….

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Irina Sadovnik: The Flatmattersonline Interview Part 1

Intro/Interview: Effraim.
Photos: Nao King, Rob Alton, The Agency Photo, Stefan Csaky, Irina Sadovnik.

As many of us prepare to go into lockdown (some of you may already be) with the corona virus pandemic that already is causing havoc to our daily lives and routines. It’s hard to find something to be positive about, but then I think about the UCI Women’s Flatland World Champion, Irina Sadovnik. Irina is able to bring a smile to everyone’s faces on the tense contest floor, her positive energy is infectious.
It struck me that throughout the last 11 years of running Flatmattersonline I haven’t interviewed many female riders if any at all?! As I discussed with Irina, I felt awful about this, and decided it was time to do something about it.
We have been working on this interview since the UCI World Championships where Irina not only won the world title, but she did it a ruptured meniscus in her right knee!

Travis Collier once said “if you so spread positive energy, nothing but positive energy will comes your way”…
I can’t think of anyone who deserves some positive energy, than the woman that makes all the flatland community smile with her personality. and positive outlook on life.
It’s time to get into it, and find out all about this incredible woman. I asked Irina to dig deep, and she came through with an in-depth insight into her life of which I knew hardly anything about. I am sure I speak for everyone in the flatland community, when say I hope Irina makes it back to riding asap, she is already missed!
Show some respect, ladies and gentlemen this is part 1 of the long overdue, Irina Sadovnik FLATMATTERSONLINE INTERVIEW!

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The Martti Kuoppa Freestyle Tactics Interview

Lionel Cardoso, aka the man behind the Freestyle Tactics videos, catches up with the boss, Martti Kouppa! They discuss Martti becoming a coach, and the teaching methods and experiences MK has learnt along the way to help other riders reach new heights, and of course a whole bunch more. This is pure gold! Sit down, grab a cuppa, and give this one your full attention.

Episode breakdown:

02:40 : Martti’s feelings after the UCI Worldchampionships
03:23 : What made him switch from riding to coaching
04:59 : What made him start MK Format, his online coaching program
06:45 : What motivates him as a coach
07:56 : His conception of success
09:37 : The people that had the biggest impact on him
10:32 : What he teaches
12:18 : The importance of mentors in success
13:40 : The biggest lesson he’s learned
15:22 : Relying on feedback to improve riding
17:16 : What inspires him
19:08 : The importance of routine and repetition in success
21:37 : The proven methods he uses to get results at contests
23:17 : The importance of non-riding practices to support your skills on the bike
25:39 : How to manage the difficult balance between creativity and consistency
26:31 : How to deal with overwhelm
29:45 : The techniques used to maximize energy and stamina
31:47 : His stress management tips
36:56 : The best investment he’s ever made
37:48 : How to make it to the top of the game
39:07 : What most people are not ready to do to become good
41:27 : The book that changed his life
42:16 : His favourite quote
43:48 : The advice he would give his 15 years old self
45:36 : The advice he would give his 25 years old self
46:45 : On longevity in riding
47:58 : Staying at the top after 40 years old
49:05 : It’s not all black and white…
52:46 : On still appreciating riding after all these years and gold medals
53:29 : About coaching in a traditional way, in a live context
54:26 : Coaching in person at contests
54:46 : More advices
57:02 : Master of Creativity
57:17 : Last words

James McGraw & His Custom New Ride

Intro/Interview: Effraim.
Photos: James McGraw.

I’m good friends with James McGraw, and even I was surprised that number one he left London Bikes, and number 2 that he managed to keep this custom ride build quiet off social media until it was done. After a quick chat with James, I was pretty curious about all the details of his new ride and figured you at home might be as well.

Like everyone else on social media I saw your new bike post. No more London bikes and a custom bike build, what’s the story?
I feel very blessed that for the past 30 years I have not really had to pay for a bike. I have had a lot of sponsors over the years and London Bikes has been one of the best. For me the change is not any kind of bad blood or issues its simply time I do something 100% my way. With a sponsor you get some input but ultimately there are trademarks of a brand that you deal with. Ultimately I just no longer am willing to compromise my riding just to get a free frame. My new bike is built around how I ride and the style of tricks I want to do. My next birthday will my 50th and with age come ailments that hinder my riding. For years I was a front wheel prominent rider, however I developed really bad back issues due to the leaning and body position of front wheel tricks. At one point I considered quitting do the the constant pain. Instead I found back wheel to be therapeutic in the sense that I ride in a more vertical position which relived the pain I developed from leaning over on front wheel. With that said Will from London has made a very good bike that he designed for what fits his riding, for me it is way to short and I feel limited to back wheel. I took a look at all the bikes I have rode over the years and really thought about what geometry worked best for front wheel and back wheel. I realized the last time I rode front wheel I was riding a longer frame which in theory allowed me to stand more upright during the tricks. I also looked at seat post angle which directly affects the position of your seat location. With the old seats you could move your seat forward or backwards on the seat rails to compensate position but the new seats you can only change the angle of the seat. So seat post angle is a very critical point of reference depending on your height and the style of tricks you wish to do. Also we made sure to build the bike around the forks I ride to insure that the rolling head tube angle is exactly as I desired. Different forks can manipulate the rolling head tube angle of the bike depending on the length of the forks. Bottom line is after months of really thinking about these factors I realized that I could build a bike based on my body size and ailments that would allow me to ride both wheels again. Simply put at my age I don’t know how long I will be able to keep riding at this level, so I built this new frame in a effort maximize my potential as a rider and remove any limits I may have due to a production frame that has a more generalized geometry as opposed to a very rider specific frame.

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Voodoo Jam 2019: The Scott O’Brien Interview

Interview: Effraim.
Photos: Fat Tony, Leo Furmansky and Red Bull.

It’s the Voodoo Jam this weekend in New Orleans. I caught up with the main man, Scott O’Brien for this exclusive interview. To talk all things Voodoo, sit down, grab a cuppa and enjoy this one.

Voodoo Jam is just round the corner Scott, what’s the plan?
It’s been 15 years since the first Voodoo Jam and the plan hasn’t changed much at all since then. Focus on a quality event and the riders experience. I believe the more simple we make things the better the event is. The riders are what Voodoo Jam is all about so I try to stay focused on that.
Other things surrounding Voodoo will be a Pre Jam on Friday and the after party. Both of these events are made for the Flatland BMX community to just come together and hang out as real humans not social media world we live in nowadays.

We will also throw a Best trick contest into the mix of the finals. I’m sorting out some details with that now and I’ll release those details soon.

Lot of meetings back and forth with Terry? What are you guys mostly discussing mostly?
Yes Terry and I meet often about Voodoo. We discuss everything that goes down with the event. He handles sponsorship, funding and media. So we go back and forth on that. I run the actual event along with a ton of other things. It’s a team effort for sure so we have to stay in contact all the time.

Who is sponsoring the event this year?
Red Bull, Raising Canes, Tiger Balm, Flatland Fuel, Profile, IGI, Heresy, TTM Lifestyle, Grind Legacy, Scuffington Post, Monolithic Eric, Hector Garcia with Neue Creative.

What’s the format this year?
It’s the same format I used 15 years ago. With two exceptions. Top 14 will go to the finals and top 4 of the finals will battle for podium spots. 3:00 runs of course. The final battle is 1:00 each Three Times. So each rider will go three times for 1:00 in the final battle.

For two years I believe we experimented with head to head and I didn’t think it was fair so we got away from that.
The way we do it has a great mixture of traditional with a jam style battle at the end.
I’m taking 14 to the finals because I just love for more riders to have opportunities.

Voodoo is a high energy contest, where does your inspiration come from for the format and feel of the event?
I’m always inspired by the riders themselves, living in New Orleans, music, traveling and of course I get a lot of inspiration when I ride.

If you had to give you three priorities for a Flatland event what they would be scott and why?

Secure a great location. Because location is everything.
Schedule is most important. Staying on a tight schedule allows everyone to enjoy the event and no sitting around. Time is valuable. Somethings happen and things run late at times. But you must keep a tight schedule.
Don’t force things. If it’s not gonna work don’t just throw it together. There needs to be quality in what you do. If you can’t find quality then it’s not worth doing. Flatland BMX deserves quality in its presentations.

Who you are psyched to see ride this year?
Sergio Balu for sure and the Thailand riders as well. But I honestly loved to see everyone. It’s an honor to be in the same room with all of these guys.

For all those that can’t make it, will there be a livestream?
Yes Hector Garcia will be interviewing riders and live streaming most of the day. It will be on Voodoo Jam Facebook page.

If you could give three places people should go and see in New Orleans, where would they be and why?
Do your research and visit local restaurants because the food is amazing here. Definitely walk the French Quarter area and check out the vibes on a Saturday or Sunday during the day.
Everyone says Bourbon Street but I say Frenchman Street at night hit up some local jazz music and enjoy that.
Uptown New Orleans is also amazing with beautiful homes and shopping on Magazine Street.
Um, that’s four haha.

For anyone sitting on the fence, cant decide. Should I go to Voodoo or not what would you say to them?
Well I don’t want to convince anyone to be honest. Just ask the riders that have come to Voodoo if they enjoyed it.
I always love to hear the first timers say, “Why haven’t I been coming to this”
It’s a Flatland BMX Party. Why wouldn’t you come ?
Besides, we never know when the last one will be.

Good luck for the event, Lot of people supporting the Voodoo jam Scott, any final shoutouts?
First off shout out to all the riders that travel to Voodoo Jam because they are the ones the contest is for and they are the ones that make it special. They have enriched my families life with an experience like no other. My kids have a better understanding of this world because of their experience with Voodoo. For that I will always be grateful to the riders of Voodoo.
Id like to thank my parents for being super rad humans, my family for all the support, Terry and Vanessa Adams and the entire group of people that support Voodoo.
Trophies Brian and Lil Robert.
My second in command Paulo.
Hector Garcia for his endless help and always sending me stuff on time.

The Sietse Van Berkel Flatmattersonline Interview!

Intro/Interview: Effraim.

At the FiseWorld in Hiroshima, Japan last month it was on my list to catch up with the Flatmattersonline 2018 Breakthrough Rider of the Year, Sietse Van Berkel!

Sietse is one of those riders that has been on the brink for a number of years, last year he stepped up in a big way blowing the flatland world away with his final submission for the Master of Creativity finals and taking a well deserved win.

I dig into what went into his Master of Creativity entry, his horrific head injury that followed, from being the MOC winner to judging. Winning the FM award, his elegant style that is like no other, getting on Four pegs and Deco, his mindset training for contests and some surprises came out throughout the interview that I won’t spoil.

This is pure gold, is down grab and cuppa and listen to what Sieste and I have to say in our one hour 14 long conversation that taught me a lot and hopefully you at home listening.

Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s time for the Sietse Van Berkel Flatmattersonline Interview!

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Dez Maarsen Interview Part 1 and 2 / How to Build a Career in BMX when you’re the underdog?

It’s already a good week here on Flatmattersonline, yesterday we had Matthieu Bonnecuelle’s amazing new edit. Today we have the Dez Maarsen Interview, Lionel Cardoso made the trip from Paris to Holland to catch up with Dez and discuss his life, habits, his daily routine, growing up with in Holland, his fears, motivation and really dig into how Dez built his career. This interview comes in two parts, so you are definitely going to want to grab a cuppa and enjoy this one!