Dez Maarsen interview part 2

Are you planning to compete in the world circuit this coming year?
Im sorry my answer is “no” unless I get a big sponsor..It is really my dream to compete in the worlds circuit. But the world circuit is only possible for sponsored riders or riders which have a good job! But then again what do you get back (apart from having a good time of course). Scott said in the interview for flatmatters, that its about riders getting recognition and an official raking to get sponsors (or better sponsors), but the only way to enter the world circuit is to be already sponsored. And is the ranking official? This year there was also the BMX Worlds. And i think its a lot harder to win at this one time comp instead of winning a circuit where in the end only 8 riders really entered in the complete circuit.

As far as I know the World championships as the only official title, its sanctioned by the ibmxff. You are right that the world circuit is only for an elite few, its getting smaller every year. Now you are competing as a pro, when you grew up with flatground, what differences do you see in the contest scene if any?

I’m competing as a Pro, but I think I still miss the feeling of that I really achieved to become a Pro rider by winning or at least get top 3 in Masterclass at a big competition like the BMX Masters. And I think it became bad influence since you have to many riders entering Pro that are not at a pro level. And then the Master class level of riding has also become a lot lower level of riding compared to before or when I was riding Masterclass.
Thats why I really like the system at the KOG. Of course its crazy that Moto must ride Expert, but he is a hell of a rider, so it won’t be any problem for him to get back in Pro class.
And of course this is not for every competition in Japan. But I do think if we want the non-flatland riding audience to enjoy flatland at a big comp there should be some kind of system for who can ride pro and who can’t. I wouldn’t bother to ride Masterclass and to prove that i’m a Pro.

Theres definitely a need for professionals to become “the elite” in order also to push the level of riding up, I hear what you are saying about japan, there’s a system there, and for the most part it works, but at least there is a system, at the Worlds or masters you can just turn up and enter and have a chance to be a professional world champion, to me this kind of downgrades the whole thing. I also dont know what the deal with the worlds back to masters again, all i know is even the masters organisers asked the ibmxff for someone else to take on the worlds, and that is going to be prague 2010…

What is flatland riding for you?

For now i have riding as a part time job. I don’t have to pay any bills so it’s not a problem. I’ll be heading back to school this February, since i do have to think about a future job.
I think riding is always fun, but depends in which prospective. Doing in show as a full time job would be great because riding show is fun! Riding contests as full time job could be a little bit more stressful i think, but would be great to go to many different countries. But no I don’t think it will take the fun away!

So back to school in february, what will you be studying? And also what do you see yourself doing as future career?
I’ll coming to study Media and Entertainment Management. Don’t have any specified career at least i know a direction and i hope it involves a lot of BMX!

Tell me about Lostbmx? Who does it consist of? What are your aims?
My aims for LostBmx is to set a name for the non-bmx riding people, i can explain my self a lot easier to normal people. And it gives you a more professional look. I also wanted to deliver quality to my clients. I think it’s kind of like Inertia in the UK. With the study that i’m going to do i hope learn a lot how to sell LostBmx as product (for Shows and Workshops). Outside the show stuff i hope to get sponsors, do road trips (like the Deep guys) and organize jams and events.
I think if i look back at this year we pretty much made some roots. We started out with getting on national TV with dutch “Got Talent” only i think it was a little bit to early for that. And thanks to you we also got know in the international scene. We still have a lot to learn and to do. So I only see the future positive. Live would be boring if everything would fall in your hands.

Thats very true about life being boring if comes to easy, that makes me think about your riding, are you a natural rider, i remember seeing you at the worlds 04, already having a lot of basic tricks and skills, and consistency, do you have to work a lot to get new tricks, or have you reached a level now where tricks are naturally?

Most of my tricks came pretty natural. But maybe also it’s the way i practice my tricks. I think 90% happens in my head, before actually trying the trick. And I really practiced all the basics very good so i think that makes a big difference! Also i think my body really developed and adjusted to Flatland riding since i started at young age. But still sometimes i have to practice hard for specific tricks, right now im having a hard time with x footed hitchhikers but have been focusing on it and now i learned the Michael Sommer xfooted hitchiker turbine jugler in to inside halfpacker. So it’s working out!

Building up the skills is most definitely important! So you are invited to the Game of Skills contest, what are your expectations for this event?
Yes learning a lot of basics and not skipping steps is very important in progressing! I don’t know what to expect from Game of Skillz, but i think its great someone is trying something new! Im also still waiting for a team battle competition b-boy style!

There’s definitely room for more variety. Tell me about your current bike setup, what are you running Dez?
My current bike set up is as followed:
Frame: Deep, really love it and thinks its pretty strond!
Handle Bars: Og Caramel 3, firts rode Caramel 2 but i like this look more fits nice with the frame.
Fork: Oddessey Flatware fork, Strong!!
Freecoaster: Ares boo 1, Changed allot on the inside but works as a charm (and i tried a lot i think all! freecoasters!)
Cranks: St Martin 160mm, bought them cheap for cheap at flatlandfuel. Before i rode for 2 years Arestic 140mm bur wanted something longer for pedal tricks.
Grips: Odi’s, because there the best;).
The other stuff is pretty basic and less influence on my bike..

Interesting I never tried the Ares freecoaster, lets get back to travelling, of course we know you are unsponsored for travelling, a few years ago you went to japan, tell me about that and your experiences? Does japan influence you a lot with riding?
Yes in summer 2008. I stayed for 1 month and travelled to 8 different city’s. And went to 2 contests. Japan is Mecca for flatland! Every rider should have been there!
I wanted to go there really bad, because i love the Japanese riding styles and most of my favorite riders are Japanese riders, so it does influence me a lot! I also really like the culture! It was just a really great experience and would love to go there again.

You mentioned before about the Dutch scene becoming dramatically smaller, is there much interaction with park and street riders in Holland?
Park and street is a lot bigger in Holland. And the riders are also getting a lot better. I think soon we’ll have some new pro park riders coming from Holland. They have a lot of jams, meetings and contest so that also keeps it strong.

Is there possibility for the flatland scene in holland to join the bmx scene, seems like it would help a lot?
We had a small mix in this year. But this was more like an extreme sport contest, so also skateboard and all the other stuff. But I think it would be great if flatland could be mixed in with the total bmx freestyle scene! The street riders also really enjoy to watch flatland at the contest we had and they were very positive and impressed. But then again is the question how many flatland riders will show up?! Then we really should make every event international to get enough riders so flatland is not shown as the miner discipline in bmx, in the sense of that its less cool to do flatland.

It’s for sure at an interesting point, I sometimes ride with Mark Webb either at the skatepark or at the local underground, more often than not, its away from the “crowd”, no one sees it, i think flatland has almost been hidden away, now the rest of bmx don’t really care about it, flatlanders helped isolate flatland in a way. From what you say, I think the dutch flatland scene would benefit greatly from being included in the rest of bmx…
This is kind of leading on, do you include the rest of bmx in the lost bmx shows?

I haven’t include the park bmx stuff in to lostbmx shows, but i have been thinking about it. And there isn’t also really such thing yet here, like the Haro show. It would be nice but maybe for later on. For now its more that i’m included with other peoples shows.

So today is your birthday (December 29th), what you got planned Dez? 21st is a big birthday..
So all the Birthday craziness is over! I held a session today at our spot and it was really good! 19 riders showed up and thats a lot in here as i all ready mentioned before! A lot of new riders/beginners show i think 2010 will be a good riding year with new motivated riders!

It would be great if we could include flatland into the rest of the bmx scene. And indeed flatlanders helped to isolate flatland. Since we have our indoor sport we haven’t been riding much outside. Last summer Irode a few times and i almost forget the strange looking faces off small kids wich have never seen it before. It would be great if we could have flatland out of the underground. Like flatground 2003 was held at a bicycle-fair, so a lot of people saw flatland then. Holland has a lot of this fairs, since cycling is really big in Holland.

Who did you look up to when you started out riding, and how has that changed up till now, who do you look up to now?
When i started out riding first, i looked up to the locals and the guys from soulcycle. Later on i discovered the internet i was a fan of Simon O’brien for a long time and Viki Gomez. After that i really got in to the japanese riding and i still am. Have been a big fan of Shinde, his riding over the years that guy can do a lot. And also Yanmar, really loved that you gave him some props on your blog, he really deserves it. Yanmar was also something i asked a lot about in japan. Like what happened to him since he didn’t seemed to be in competitions anymore. The best thing i could make out of it that he was really confused when every one started copying his style. He is a really big respected person in Japan! To bad he doesn’t speak a word of English. At the moment I look up to Matthias, since he really turned into a BMX rockstar, for me he is really pushing flatland in the right direction with the whole “A Bad Thing” crew. For riding influence also, but last year it was a little bit less. Adam Kun has also been an influence for me. And for the last years i have been really enjoying to watch Moto and Hotoke ride. So i think we are really on a same line with that.

So no sponsor dez, riding as part time job with shows, contests are at a minimum, if you could only go to one contest, which contest would it be and why?
My dream has always been to compete in the “Circle of Balance”. But I don’t think it would be coming back. If could only go to Masters, since it has been a tradition, since I have been riding. It’s one big BMX party!

Any final words to close this interview?
Thanks a lot for this interview! And may 2010 be a good flatland year!
Thanks for your time Dez! All the best for the 010..

4 thoughts on “Dez Maarsen interview part 2

  1. "And I think it became bad influence since you have to many riders entering Pro that are not at a pro level. And then the Master class level of riding has also become a lot lower level of riding compared to before or when I was riding Masterclass.
    Thats why I really like the system at the KOG. Of course its crazy that Moto must ride Expert, but he is a hell of a rider, so it won't be any problem for him to get back in Pro class."

    So true..I remember sitting through 57 riders two years ago at the Masters, and at least 30 riders were not of a pro standard, and i think it spoilt the contest, but is also understandable that they let people ride to pay the bills, such a shame, it cannpt be more prestigious. I think then the standard of riding would grow, as riders fight to stay pro, or get into pro, it means something…

  2. Very interesting discussion. Dez, you are very spot on about so many things… I can relate to where you are at right now being in a small scene…

    And I think a REALLY important thing about flatland contests that most people miss is the spectators. They are the future of flatland!

    Thanks for the inspiration!
    I like how you found different ways to life off flatland (lost shows) because this is where the money is. That is how I have always seen it, because the best of the best (yanmar, jeff desroche) prob go burned out and frustrated from tring to make a living off flatland. I took what i had seen an found joy in shows, talent contests & just riding at busy spots and seeing all the little kids light up like they never knew flatland was possible!

  3. STOKED on this kid. Great interview Effraim. I was kind of skeptical..I figured "meh..just another cocky kid." Ive watched his vids for awhile, and even posted comments towards his direction on global-flat *SNOOP* But damn…Kids..Got it..He has a goal in his mind of what he wants out of the sport, and not what he is demanding. Real admirable. Wish the best for you Dez and the Lostbmx team!

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