Text by Effraim.
2011, what a year! It’s taken me a few weeks to put this together. Like 2010, I’ve gone through a years worth of posts, I dread to count how many that is or many hours I spent doing this, and picked out the stand out news (rider, industry), standout rider edits/clips, contest news. Everyone will of course have different opinions, but this is my take on 2011!
Feb 3rd was a big date, in one day we brought you the news that Cream was no more, Alain Massabova immediately announced Art magazine was born…Hours later on the other side of Paris, Matthias Dandois and Alex Jumelin announced they had left “A bad thing”, Alex Jumelin joined St Martin the next day, with whole load of signature products scheduled to drop, frame,bars, forks, pegs, etc. Speculation grew as to where Matthias would go, it wasn’t until May 7th that Matthias announced the launch of the “Superb” brand with Ucchie. At this point, I guess we all thought “A bad thing was done”….
A few days later, I was filming a flatmatters exclusive when the phone rang from a foreign number, it’s not everyday I get a call from a foreign number or Martti Kuoppa! I had just pulled the latest clip and was offered a place on the Junglerider team, with signature “e- frame”, Martti also added up and comers Bert Ribul and Navid Saleki, and Toon who is already established as a contest killer! A few months later, Aki and Denes Katona were later added to the team! Martti released his “Holiday” frame, and later in the year sponsored the 2012 flatland calendar.
Right in the thick of the Junglerider news, Round 2 of the Groundtactics dropped with so many good entries, Aki and James White took the top 2 spots, Groundtactics for the most part didn’t seem to take off as well as expected for whatever reason.
Whilst the majority of the Uk flat scene were at the Brighton jam, news broke of James White winning the DeepBMX passion contest in Bremen, Germany, James was a on a roll after his Round 1/2 Groundtactics entries, and took the win home to sunny Bexleyheath! News broke shortly after that James was added to the DeepBMX team. We all wondered what was next for Whitey! But sadly was pretty much the last we saw of Whitey for the year.
No sooner did James disappear, the one and only Phil Dolan came out re-ignited by 2010 World Circuit Champion Viki Gomez who lived in London for a year, for a few months Phil was documenting his progression on the daily, and was arguably riding better than ever! And with the help of James Smith and Johann Chan dropping two of the best edits of the year, as well as Nose manualling the whole of TGM at the Flatmatters launch jam for a pint or two! Good times that I will remember forever!
On April 4th, Adam Kun and Sevisual dropped one of the biggest tricks of the year, an upside down mega spin whopper, dubbed the “Monster whip”, nine months on and this trick has yet to go down in a contest, will 2012 be the year Adam drops it in a run? Whatever the case, it was a awesome moment for flatland and for Adam of course, the proof is in million hits that crossed over into just about every BMX website I can think of. Congrats to Adam!
Justin and Anthony aka Flat Web TV, celebrated their one year anniversary in style, I feel like within a year these guys are a household name in flatland right now, and are doing things right. The show has come on leaps and bounds, and their monthly round ups of what’s going on in flatland are really appreciated, and always refreshing. To celebrate we put together a big interview with the guys, hit the search engine on the right side of the site to hit that one up if you missed it!
A big part of flatmatters, is discovering and doucmenting established talents, I love being blown away by new riding talents, this year there were many, to many to name for very different reasons, earlier in the year Mazar’s full no handed whip amazed me, so much bike control, Shuichi Osada was name unknown to me until 2010, this guys riding is next level! Check the KOG clip below for a reminder what I am talking about, it’s easy to lose sight of the gems with the volume of posts on flatmatters, the list could go on and on, Charles Paty, Stephan Kornely, Bruno Zebu, Waldemar Fatkin, Steve Mulder, Toon, Ciaran Perry, the list is endless….
As I mentioned in the intro, I generally felt this year, seemed a lot less about contest riding and rider edits seem to carry more weight, now before anyone says i’m being negative, I’m just pointing out what I see putting together flatmatters everyday, Terry Adams started the contest year coming out swinging with wins in Toronto and Jomopro, then for the most part disappeared from the “major” contest scene (World circuit, Fise, Masters, KOG, Rebel jam). Perhaps a sign of times. As Terry tells me, this has been “his best year to date”…. This may be a sign of the times. Case in point on rider edits, Moto Sasaki dropped the “10 pedal” edit that for sure was the reason why he won the Nora Cup.
Matthias Dandois had a good year finally winning the Masters that has eluded him for so long, and also regaining the World Circuit title. I would say of anyone, Moto Sasaki and Dominik Nekolny at times brought the fight closer to Matthias than anyone, but whether you agree or not, Matthias won almost all the “big” contests this year without breaking too much sweat. Who’s gonna bring some competitive “heat” in 2012?
As the Nora Cup drew closer, there was clearly only one winner in many riders minds, throughout the year the boss gave more back to flatland than I can ever recall (Groundtactics, Junglerider, daily updates), until Moto Sasaki dropped one of the best/calculated edits of the year “10 pedal” that laid fresh in riders minds, and Moto took the Nora Cup for the second year in a row, peep Moto’s “10 Pedal” edit and Martti’s “Nora Cup Loser” edit, both are amazing!! And the argument who won can go on like the “judging contests” argument appears to go on and rear it’s ugly head. So….
August seemed to be the month for flatland getting mass TV coverage with millions of viewers, watching Matt Wilhelm on Americans Got Talent and Keelan Phillips this side of the pond on an hour long programme called “Concrete Circus”, both catapulted flatland into the minds of millions, awesome coverage by both riders!
Everyone knows what an influence Chad Johnston’s Intrikat videos have had on flatland, on August 19th I was stoked to publish the news that Chad got on S&M Pro, and with that he dropped one of the best edits of the year, debuting the elbow glide on the fork, forwards and backwards, as well as a ton of other incredible pegless combos. If you slept on that edit, here it is again one more time, LBC treats!
One of the best short edits of the year dropped at what looked like one of the best contests of the year, the Groundforce contest in Singapore, with Moto Sasaki bringing a lil’ fight for the World Circuit title edging out Matthias Dandois, this dubstep charged edit went down a treat in flatland circles, peep it again! Dope!
Bobby Carter dropped some really nice articles about flatland life as well as the epic “Beyond the Future” movie which was the first flatland movie to debut live online,Bobby researched a lot of different topics such as “how to make it in the flatland game” interviewing Terry Adams and Matt Wilhelm, and myself and Bobby discussed “too much drama at the contests – what’s going on?”, hit the references at the bottom for all the juice or maybe a good catch up, Bobby seemed to share a similar opinion as myself on the direction flatland was going in. Hit some of the links below for more of the good stuff!
On August 29th, the news broke of Flatland legend Chase Gouin being seriously ill with a severe mould/fungal infection, that doctors in canada were struggling to treat, the flatland world united and set about raising money to help Chase in his recovery, ironically the flatland world coming together like this, whether you made a paypal donation, you might a Chase fundraiser t-shirt from Flatland fuel or you attended a jam and donated there, the flatland community showed they cared, hopefully we will have some details soon on Chase’s recovery.
Rad Dad introduced some fun contests to flatland this year, and even these got a lil’ serious, as the rules got stretched a just a lil, in the end “Team Germany” aka David Hoffmann and Markus Reich won their contests respectively, David the most Hitch jugglers and Markus the most pinky squeaks, congrats guys!
October was a great month for edits and clips, Waldemar Fatkin normally known for his riding, dropped one of the tightest edits of the year, with Stephan Kornely, amazing production, graphics and riding! Over in Austin Texas, John Yull dropped the “Frame snapper”, and brought back that term “freestyle” to everyones minds, such a simple idea based on an old trick “Powermower” and made new, essentially a double footed stalled out decade, but it was fresh!!! Pete Brandt teamed up with Shayne Khajehnorri to bring what I thought was one of the best documentary type videos ever about the flatland life, if you missed this one, catch up now!
On November 28th, we celebrated three years of flatmatters, by dropping an riding/narrative edit, on the same day Steve Mulder teamed up with Kip Williamson to bring us all his “Throwback” treat of an edit, Steve’s interview is still in the works, and should be done shortly so keep an eye for that, for now here are those two edits again!
December began with the Rebel Jam, despite the usual bitching after the contest, I think in general the contest was great for flatland, sure the judging needs looking at, but I think the same holds true for every single contest on the flatland calendar. Some great edits dropped in the last month of the year, with the Too Small Bikes Movie, Aki’s 2011 compilation video, Hotoke’s Moxopin edit, Takuya Higa Welcome to Vans edit, Toon’s Junglerider edit, Scott Powell’s Driveway Project and James White’s spoof video! And of course Pete Olsen’s banger edit! The list can go and on, and I have to cut this somewhere, as I’ve been sat for hours per day here going through a years worth of posts for two weeks now, and this beginning to get to me. 2011 was a great year, hope you enjoyed this breakdown of the year and it’s defining moments. Or at least some of them…
Over and out.