Dominik Nekolny – The Flatmatters Interview

* Stickied for today – Saturday July 20th. Updates below Dom’s interview.

Intro: Effraim
Interview: Effraim + Reader Questions
Photos: Kelly Baldwin, Magdalena Stankova, Ronny Englemann.

As I walked into the flatland tent at the BMX Worlds, I looked across the area and saw Dominik Nekolny mid xft whiplashes. My eyes were of course firmly drawn, the link continued with 360 bar flip to halfpacker pivot out to xft opposite carved halfhiker xft whiplashes to no handed guillotine. You could have heard a pin drop.

The rise of Dominik Nekolny to the top I would imagine has been a long hard struggle, and a lonely one too. For me this guy has gone the extra mile which takes commitment and sacrifice. I’ve heard many a contest pro say in the modern day, Dom is the guy to beat. As the clock ticked away during his worlds final, you could see he knew he had blown the world title. For many second would be amazing,for Dom it’s not. And I admire that, he’s brutally honest and wears his heart on his sleeve.
I realised I didn’t know much about a rider I admire so much. Hey Dom, why no flatmatters interview? Few days later here we are…

Firstly Dom, introduction, so how old are you? Where abouts are you from? And how long riding?
So, my name is Dominik Nekolny. I’m 27 years old and I was born and I live in Prague, Czech Republic – Czech. I have started riding in 2003.
What got you into flatland? Was it flatland straight away for you?
I always wanted to ride BMX, since I was a kid. When I saw some BMX in TV, I was always amazed only by a Flatland. So for me it was Flatland straight away – I never care about other ways (disciplines) that much. I used to play a soccer, pretty good actually (but I sucked big time in the beginning), and then I just realized it’s just way to easy sport – so boring for me. So there have started my BMX career.
What was your first bike/sponsor?
My first bike was KHE Titus – crazy bike! After some time I tried to do my own frames and parts. First frame I made was really ugly, but the second frame and fork were really nice and best of all functional. Many brands copied my fork. Anyway in 2009, Matti Röse ask me if I would like to join Autum Bikes / Deep BMX. I said I’m not sure, but then I decided to go for it and that was my first Sponsor. Now I’m really proud to be part of Autum Bikes!
What’s the first trick you learnt?
The first real trick I learned was maybe Caboose and decade – I loved decades – back in the days I could do triple-decades…I wish I have a back brake again…
Can you remember a point where you thought, i’m hooked, this is what I want to do?
Of course! It was just little bit before I quit soccer. I had a new bike and I started to rode like 6-8 hours per day in weekends. That was the time I was like Yeah I’m so gonna ride a lot!

Dom killing it xfted at the Voodoo Jam!

When did you first start competing?
I actually start competing just one year after I started ridding. I just have some few moves, but that what it was about back in the days. Now days people want to look cool at first and then maybe visit the comp…
What were your inspirations growing up riding flatland?
In real beginning I never forget that time, when I pass around National Theatre (main flatland spot in Prague – at least it used to be) and there were like 25 people on BMX riding flatland…Every time I saw it from streetcar I was so stoked!
When did you first turn pro?
It was the last Berlin City Games organized by Matti Röse in a church. Really, really awesome event. I rode just after Justin Miller perfect run and I sucked 😀
Thats interesting. I always thought your work ethic is similar to Justin Miller, pure beast mode, is that a fair comment?
I guess yes – when I do something, I cannot do it just like that…I just cannot give up!
Quite often because of your job, you fly in for a contest and fly out, that must be crazy hard on your mind, body and soul. How do you get around this?
It doesn’t seem like that, but it really is hard. I mean traveling is so nice but also very tiring. Recently I was told, that maybe some people doesn’t like when I come just for a contest and then go home just after it. I was told maybe it could cause some underrating as well… So I would like to be clear about this – I do this kind of thing, cause I don’t have big energy drink behind my ass who pays my life and I have to care about my living by myself. So when I want to go to contest, I’m trying to make it as short as I can to not waste my time I could spend working on my own projects which pay my life. Even I really love traveling to contest, hanging out with my good friends overseas I just have to do it like that – so please try to understand this. I mean I want to support people who’s doing good contest by I’m going for these contest like I was in Osaka for less than 24 hours!

BMX Show EU Team.
That’s crazy! I have to ask, as I asked Viki Gomez in a recent interview, for me I see bits of Viki and Justin Miller in your riding. How much influence did those guys have on your riding?
Viki was really big inspiration for me. Everybody knows that, he knows that, even he didn’t like it, I didn’t like it, I guess it has to be like that. From the beginning I loved technical riding and that’s what Justin stand for – and that’s you can see similarities as well. I needed to build up my base on what I really like – technical tricks. But nowadays I think I totally went for my own path. I mean I still do Martti’s pivot, but I’m doing it in my own way and I do Justin’s kick flip and that’s it – really working hard on myself and my own lines and style. And this year I will do some big improvements! No brake! Just kidding-HA-you wish! Never putting down my lovely brake. 😉
It’s no secret it takes a lot of dedication, blood, sweat and tears to get to the top. What preparations do you go throughout to get ready for a big contest Dom?
Yeah you are right – for example I was preparing for 4 weeks of hard practice before BMX World and then you can see…even that was pointless. I think it’s about more than just a practice and preparation. I think it’s about a luck as well. And because I have no luck I have to prepare even more. That’s what I will do next…
Likewise how do you select what combos to use at a contest?
As you know I’m not kind of video-guy. All the links I ever learned they were prepared for contests… So that’s why I’m not doing videos – for me it’s like that – you really learned whatever trick/link only if you can pull it in the contest.
When do you say to yourself, a combo is contest ready?
It’s hard to say, that last combo I was a stupid idiot and tried 3 time in my final run – it should have been contest ready 😀 But obviously that combo was lazy that day 😀 But seriously for me it’s about feeling. If you feel your safe in this combo you can pull it in show for example on a really shitty ground – it should be contest ready.
How do you break up your practise sessions to cater for consistency at contests, & progressing?
I guess I progress the best when I’m pissed. I’m pissed right now about myself so there’s gonna be some progression before I step up to consistency again.
Who do you ride for Dom?
I ride for Autum Bikes, Rubena a.s., 55DSL, G-SHOCK, DVS.
What are your plans for 2013 Dom? Are you entering the World Circuit?
I’m not sure. I participated at first stop – Voodoo, but I finished weirdly so now I don’t know if there’s point to continue. And we have sweet contest in Czech same date as Vigo so I really don’t know. Anyway really want to g-g-g-gooo to Phillyyyyyyy!, but not sure about that as well. Anyway there’s gonna be a lot of contest yet…
What’s motivating you to progress?
My failure…
Who are your favourite riders?
Of course Michi Steingraber for killer “switch”, Justin Miller for being the best, Matti Röse was killing it as well, Alex Jumelin for doing his thing.
Do you ride with anyone?
Almost most of the time I ride alone. Just one for week or two weeks I ride with my friends Patrik Ras and Michal Kupec.
Readers questions:

Alex Jumelin: what is your real job????
Most of the people heard my cover story job as a CAD designer – but it was long time ago I was doing that…now days…you really don’t wanna know…
Omari Hashim Cato: why always white rims!?!?!?!?!
Nice question! Cause I just love it J I mean, I can always change color of the frame, bars and fork and rest keep white so it fits a lot of colors and cause white rims brake the best.
Federico Rodriguez: At what age do you have your first tattoo?
I was 18 so 9 years ago.

Why you dont use tight jeans?
Cause they‘re gay? No, just kidding – it’s just not my thing and it doesn’t fit me…

Why you dont ride backwheel at contest?
1.      Good question!
2.      Don’t take the answers personally! I’m answering to all the people who asking me same questions.
3.      I really don’t have fun with back wheel – why should I ride something I don’t have fun with? To keep the trend? I don’t think so…
4.      I stand for the reason you cannot be as good on both wheel as you would be if you ride only one wheel – it same with everything – you cannot be as good flat/street rider as you would be only as a street or flat rider. Yeah you can say you will lose variety but that’s tax for that. I could do timemachine in the contest to show I can do some stupid backwheel trick, but for what? 2002 Martti didn’t do any backwheel combo in his run – can you say he has no variety? 😉
Dez Maarsen: What’s is your favorite liqueur?
Every non- liqueur drink 😉
Omari Hashim Cato: When’s the last time you did that crazy x foot steam kickflip to wheelchair that u debuted at Fight with flight. will it make a return??
Good question! Actually it will – very soon!
Scott O’Brien: Favorite punk band?
Oh you know me! Kid Dynamite, H2O, New Found Glory, Rancid, Till We Drop and many more!

Back to it…

You mentioned energy drink support, you recently turned down Monster, can you explain why?
Actually its not recently. The information is recent 🙂 Sure no big deal 🙂 It’s simple – I turned down Monster cause they offered me “funny” money – that was first reason. And second, more important reason was that I wanted to show them I have my price – if they want me to support me and I should do a promotion to them, they should support me in a proper way. I will go to contests anyway, I don’t need to be their clown for few bucks. And this is what people should be think about. If every second rider accept silly deal just for wear a stupid hat then he’s destroying whole market – why would company pay to someone twice bigger money if they can get some guy wears 10 meters size logo on his head for 10 times smaller money, right?

Everyone knows you work a 40 hour job a week, plus riding at the highest level, would you like to just ride flatland full time or do you enjoy to do something different in your life?
If I have to be honest, I`m not sure if I could handle just riding. I would be still doing something very different besides riding anyway. I love riding with whole my heart but I guess I need to stay busy all day long, even I still bitching about that 😀

I’m curious about your new tyre and I saw your stem at the Worlds, tell me about the process of getting your own tyre, and also the stem, what are the measurements? Where can riders get these parts from?
Your right – The BMXWorlds was the first official selling point for my new tire. I think people are still little skeptic and I think they don’t like to change tires 😀 I hated that as well when I was looking for the right one but I can tell you try them and you will be surprised. I’m not saying that cause their mine, I was scared what new tire will be like – but the final result is better than I could have imagined. Now I’m testing my stem. Theres gonna be some little changes, but it’s almost done and it’s gonna be available very soon. All my products you can find on my webstore: – there are all the informations and stock info. Also tires are already available in Germany in shop and their gonna be available worldwide very very soon. I also ship worldwide so don’t hesitate and order 🙂

Dom signing autographs at a lecture, see below for more on this subject..

You run a drugs free program over there in Prague, what does that involve Dom in more detail?
True, true. I’m really proud I have finally starter this project. I visits school and do motivation lectures with little BMX Show. The lecture is cca 45 min long and contains several topics. I’m riding about 2-3 minutes in whole lecture so its about talking, not riding. The major idea is to motivate kids to do their thing. To show them them if they will have some dream they can reach it! I think the project is very successful and I’m working to make it better and better every lecture.

You mentioned brakes, tell me about your brake set up Dom?
I love my brake setup 😛 I ride double front brake fooooooooor…I don’t know for how long exactly…maybe since 2006-7? Actually I use only one brake and the other one I use for like one or two tricks 😀 but i so don’t like my bike with only one lever 😀 So for me it would be no brake or both brakes. You guys know what option 😉

Mid steam 3 pivot to halfpacker at the BMX Worlds!

Of course we all know you just missed out on the World Championship title in the last 35 seconds of your run, that is hard to take. But for sure, you are taking the sport to new levels in terms of difficulty in your runs, what is your practice method to be so consistent?
Could I be even more stupid? Trying some shit 3 times? I almost killed myself…never been that pissed before on myself…but what can I say, it happened and now I have to deal with it. I would like to share that with you, but Im not sure if I actually want 🙂 But one thing is for sure…you cannot reach it with “freestyle”.

What’s your advice to the kids who look up to you, and want to compete at a high level in flatland?
Im not sure if somebody is looking up to me but if they do, theres something for sure I want to tell you. Don’t practice for sponsors, don’t practice for fame, followers or energy drinks. Practice for yourself and because you wanna ride your bike. How I said…I paid my travels many years by myself to visit contest I wanted to compete and I will again if I will need to. If you do it for any reasons above, better stop…

Any final words Dom?
Sure. I would like to thank all my sponsors: Autum Bikes, 55DSL, G-Shock, Rubena a.s. and Nikon who support me and most important care about what Im doing. I wanna thank you to Matti Röse, Thomas Hirsch, Jirka Simanek, Martin Rychna, Jirka Simanek, Christian Hecht, Magdalena Stankova. Then of course to my family, all my friends and people who supports me. And if there are any fans, I thank you as well cause you guys are my engine!

Thanks Dom, amazing catching up with you!

39 thoughts on “Dominik Nekolny – The Flatmatters Interview

  1. Loved the interview. His riding work ethic is on another level and it shows. The honesty is refreshing. A healthy reminder to keep pushing when I feel myself starting to slack.

  2. Such a great and insightful read! I don’t think I knew about the Monster thing, so I found that incredibly interesting.

    Dom, you’re silly to think that there aren’t a ton of riders and kids around the world that look up to and are inspired by you!

    Keeping being you, and I look forward to seeing you again soon!

  3. Nice interview E!

    But I’m still left wondering: what is his day job?

    Anyways, I think I agree with his comment that you can’t get as good on both wheels as you can on just one but, then I think about Viki or Shintaro and I’m not so sure. In anyevent, I guess its just a personal choice and one should be able to ride whatever or however they want.

  4. Damn, That was an excellent interview.

    I am not sure if Dom will read any of these comments but i would like to say:

    Dom I greatly appreciate that you work a full job and that you are promoting a balanced lifestyle of riding and other skills. It is extremely important for riders to have a variety of things.

    Finally, props for drawings the line with the sponsors. We are not clowns for other people, we ride because we want to. Cheers to that!

    – Alex

  5. Telling it like it is. Much respect.

    What I got from this interview: function before fashion.

    Flatland needs more people like this and less clones. Did I just say that?!?!

  6. Good interview and I respect his level and personal pursuit with flatland but it’s poles apart from mine, I thought the same thing when I read the Art mag interview a little while ago. Guess thats why he is winning contest and i’m at home falling off for hours on end trying to learn something that hasen’t been done yet……

  7. WOW! this interview made my day!.. what a great insight ive learnt from DOM. i havent enjoyed an interview like this before. keep pushing and motivating DOM. many riders look up to you in many ways.

  8. So what’s the deal? Is he the “Magic Mike” of Prague? haha. Not that I judge either way, you gotta do what you gotta do to keep doing what you love.

    And Lee: I’m glad you are at home working on some unseen stuff, you might not get the spot light as much but you certainly get the respect of your peers for it which is at least as much of an accolade as winning a contest if not more. Here’s to both of you staying true to your own goals.

  9. Holy shit! My new favorite. He doesn’t buy into the bullshit and just wants to ride and progress, how refreshing is that? I used to shit on him for being sooo front wheel heavy, but now I get it. Dom, keep fighting the good fight!

  10. Great interview. The guy works 40 hours a week and is still able to ride like that!!! There is hope for me yet!

  11. Dom is on some hard shiz. That xft whip combo is like a cobra strike in slowmo 1000fps with some tortured dubstep and smoke. I can’t wait to buy that Lash frame and get all the tricks it comes with.

  12. Very good interview, the problem is want to do something with the heart, and have broken shoes, not get parts for your bike or is realy expensive, trying to steal your bike,practice flatland in South America is difficult 🙁

  13. Thanks for all the great comments everyone! There is a lot to admire about Dom’s riding and attitude. Totally agree with what he had to say about Monster, if we as flatlanders under sell ourselves that damages the sport and its credibility in the long term.

    The point Dom makes about judging how long he’s at an event for, that is very sad to hear.

    His work ethic – he mentions he needs to work harder. I disagree with that, if anything, Dom just needs to take a tiny step back and learn from those mistakes.

    It was pleasure to work on this interview with Dom. I will leave it stickied up for today as I didn’t get the interview up till mid afternoon yesterday.

  14. This is a great interview. It was cool to read about training methods.

    I really admire the “pay your own way” point-of-view. That’s applicable beyond riding into the rest of life. Props, Dom.

  15. Very cool. Interesting how mere words can make me want to ride, without even being able to place the name with the tricks. I wish I had more time to stay current, but life eats up time.

    Regarding criticism for hit-and-running contests, I’ll never understand judging people for anything, but for something so silly…it just shows people’s insecurity and weakness. We all have our own path, I respect his.

  16. great interview but saying “I don’t need to be their clown for few bucks.” is like calling the other riders CLOWNS. smh 😛 but your style rocks stands out very much from the pro field / world!!!

  17. I’ve always wondered how much most pros make off each sponsor they pick up. Matthias told me a while back he gets a check from each of his sponsors every month, but I have a feeling that level of commitment from a company varies from country to country. It wouldn’t surprise me to learn that in the Czech it’s pretty different from France or the US. Hell, I don’t think most companies in the US pay their riders at all. Great interview though.

  18. Didn’t I read on a old comment or interview that Dominik is a Tatooist?
    Good interview also! and I am sure there are a significant number of fans out there!!

  19. Que buena entrevista muy inspirador…. me agrada lo que dice de las marcas. hoy por salir y mostrar el flatland a caido en este juego de la publicidad.

    What good interview very inspiring …. I like what he says of brands. today to go out and show flatland has fallen in this advertising game.

  20. True to the heart. Dom is a solid individual that follows his dreams and making it work. He is like the most of us who love riding but still need to survive in the modern world and he figured out the way. This is very inspiring and reassuring.
    Dom’s life is one of the key motivating factors that pushed me to move to CA at 38 so I can ride more.

    On a dif note, I love running into Dom at contests here in the US and talk to him in our native Czech language.

  21. Pingback: DOMINIK NEKOLNY – LITTLE EDIT | AUTUM Bicycles Berlin

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