Flatchat with Martti Kuoppa (Part One)

Since 1996 Martti Kuoppa has helped progress modern day flatland more than pretty much any other rider both in contest riding, and infamous video parts on the intrikat videos, solo dvds (moments), and Impulsivity (the new kgb video). How does someone who contributes so much to the sport handle the high and lows, how can Martti match what hes doing on video? , I wanted to ask Martti about the struggles, to dig beneath the surface of a flatland genius. This is the first part of two part flatchat, enjoy.

So Martti the kgb video came out a while back, and you reached yet another level, how do you find it starting to ride again after dropping such a banging video?
What happened with that project was that I went to Thailand and I filmed my new stuff there. Then right after I went to Madrid to film all the whiplashes because it was already winter in Helsinki. So, I finished whiplashes and went home and started waiting Viki to finish his stuff. So basically I put that material aside, tried to be satisfied and continue riding. Then the video just came out like 3 months ago to my house and I have watched it only 3 times so far…
Just for the fact that yes, right now as it is winter and I cannot ride as much as I would like to I cannot top that level, or even think about it…
Were you happy with how it turned out?
Yes. Only trick I am bummed is that hitchhiker flip that I don´t continue rolling, but that is my next goal. I will pull it with a nice roll.
Yeah, thats gotta be so tough. I would imagine a lot of takes just for that one?
About 1500. With the video parts and everything regarding my riding I got to push myself a little to be satisfied. Otherwise, I just keep thinking I could do it better and better. But I have to draw the line somewhere, otherwise I loose my mind and it´s been pretty damn close to that already.
Haha, just a few. Would you say you have to be obsessive about flatland to be great at it?I mean you have put so much into flatland, I remember when I first saw you in Koln 96
I don´t suggest to be obsessive person. Flatland and the repeats of tricks made me obsessive person and it affects my life sometimes..13 years went very fast Effraim…Damn
Since 96 you have contributed so much, both with videos and contest riding, more than any other rider I’d suggest, now you help run a company, but its far from glamorous life, that must be hard..
Yeah. It is not like a real superstar athlete in flatland. But, I chose my way, I had faith into flatland and passion. I chose to live flatland life which gives sometimes some problems, but also it gave me many good experiences.
I always remember that time in Raliegh NC when you went out filming so early right after landing, you filmed almost whole part with Chad (Infinite pieces), I think those were the best days of flat, by that I mean, flat was highly progressive, and the riders earnt decent with x games and stuff..
And I went to ride and pull all my tricks 5 o´clock in the morning before to catch up the 8 o´clock flight to America. Obsessions… But yeah, I do miss those days somehow..

I guess you had something to prove back then.
What’s the motivation now when you proved everything?

Yeah. I wanted to see where I can go with my skills, it varies. I am scared to catch that obsessive way of thinking of repeats. I simply cannot repeat my tricks, or try to make them super dialed, because then I just feel like leaving my spot.
I can imagine that! Watching the kgb dvd gave me the feeeling that “this is whats been mising from flat for last few years”…
So those crazy days at the comps for me was a prove. I prove that with enough of repeats in hard circumstanses I can be very consistent rider with difficult tricks. I don´t want to prove it again, plus, young Martti was more flexible. Haha.
Yes i remember so many crazy reflex saves you made over the years..
But the old Martti is more flexible in the head.Will power..
It is about how much you really want to pull it off. You have to really believe in back of your mind that you can stay on your bike no matter what even you are about to crash.
You can make pretty nice saves with that attitude, maybe that kind of riding don´t look so stylish, but what counts, pull the trick or not.

KGB Martti Kuoppa Freestyle 2007 Thailand 2 from inTRIKat on Vimeo.

That hang five no hands jump to crackpacker springs to mind.Determination to make it happen
That is the best trick of my life, ever, I would say..
I want to see someone pulling that one off or give it a try, hehe sorry for my cocky attitude..
There’s that guy in France (mika), but he’s in doing it in circle, slightly different technique, still awesome though!
Yours was pretty much straight i’d suggest thats much harder.

damn hehe
Even still that trick for the most part has been untouched for years, that must be satisfying..
But actually, I wouldn’t say it is the best trick of mine. All the tricks are different and therefore it is stupid to compare. They are difficult on their own way.
Years on, that’s still a video trick, I dont see anyone dropping that in a contest.
Sure, That was year 2000.
Amazing, on the green quamen, some have called that your most creative period?
For me the best trick I have seen in flatland in general is Chases double brakeless rolaid.
2000 – 2002 I believe that I came up with new style.
Yes I did some good money. fast come fast go..
Much partying back then?
Too many stupid things in my life, I guess it all started around those times. Afterwards I understand why and so on, but I don’t regret a thing. It’s my artistic side that is in control for many of my actions.
That’s awesome. I guess also when you won the worlds in Köln, that must have been a highlight
I blame on that. hehe
I remember you saying you wanted the world title
That was. I am still proud to say that I have won the world champion title. Which I will again this year in Köln. Hehe.
I sense your joking, but I think you could, depends on your mindset..
True. Half of me is joking and half of me is thinking, hmmm, 5 more months is enough to get in good shape with tricks. And I know that I don’t necessarily need to learn any new tricks, because I can open the suitcase of tricks I already have and choose the good ones and dial them in.

(more flatchat to follow tommorrow)

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