Few days ago, I got this article from someone who wishes to remain Anonymous. A lot of interesting points maybe from a different perspective than you. I have been observing a downward spiral that a lot of people aren’t seeing. People everywhere that ride flat aren’t recognizing what is happening and are definitely not looking at the big picture. I hope that me writing this at least has one person take a step back and realize the big problems. Yes I have left my name out, because I do not want to be attacked for the things I have to say.
* Old School Flat riders are what killed flatland. The lack of respect in this statement alone is astounding. On numerous sites conversations are happening saying old school riders didn’t progress enough and that they killed the sport. I wonder how anyone could be so blind. Look at Kevin Jones or Chase Gouin. If you say they haven’t progressed flatland then you are off your rocker. How do you think every trick came to be? Old school riders invented them. Those “New School” tricks where done a decade or more ago… they have just advanced into a new stage. Yes they have been altered, put in different links, scuffed and pumped beyond belief, but think about who first discovered that trick. If you think old school tricks and riders didn’t progress think again. It’s similar to this… We started having light with a flame, and then Ben Franklin invented the light bulb. Which we have now taken and “progressed” it to a light bulb that can last for years on barely any electricity. Just like flatland. We went from one whiplash to Chase thinking up unimaginable ways of whiplashing. From singular tricks, to scuffing and pumping, slow to super fast speeds, links made up of 10 tricks. Old school invented new school. It is Progression! One day our new school will be old school and a new generation of flatland will appear. All riders are inventing new ways to link and new ways to progress. Stop putting down old school riders. Without them, you wouldn’t have 90% of your tricks.
* Old School vs. New School has got to stop.
If you want a sport to keep moving forward you all need to come together and stop comparing, asking each other to change and trying to force beliefs on each other. To be honest it would move the whole sport forward if there were not any categories. Look at a sport like Football. They look up to the players that started the sport, applaud the men that walked that field before them. We should be doing the same. No old vs. new, no categories, just flatland! We ride how we want to because it is FREESTYLE! Let one another have passion for the way they ride and have respect for it!
Think about what that means. That you are riding the way someone makes you feel you should ride. Stop. Just ride how you want and progress towards your OWN goals, no one else’s. If you aren’t enjoying what you are learning and aren’t riding how your heart desires then you will stop progressing and / or stop riding. Don’t think that you have to pick a side or ride old school or new school. There shouldn’t be any pressure towards a new rider to ride one-way or the other. There shouldn’t be teasing over riding with or without brakes. A new rider can ride however they want… but to push them to follow a trend.. Like brakeless is bad… they will loose passion for it because the amount of tricks will go down and the tricks will be harder for them to learn brakeless first. I am all about riding whichever way feels right… but learning building blocks usually with brakes will let a new rider learn quicker and will keep them in flatland. Rather than pressured to do advanced tricks that are so hard and frustrating already and then minus the building blocks will only turn them away. Every rider has a style and a goal… don’t push each other to ride a certain way or to follow a certain trend. If they want to learn an advanced trick before they know the building blocks go for it…but we need to motivate each other in positive ways that can help our riding rather than limit it.
Talking badly about other riders, other techniques, judging and styles is what kills flatland. Opinions are good to have, IF you can voice them diplomatically and without putting someone down. If a forum is up and all people see is bad mouth about styles, judging, riders, contest floors, media and so on…Why would any sponsor, venue, park, contest coordinator or big contest want to include us. The first thing they assume will happen is that the flatlanders are going to put them down, damage their reputation or make them feel horrible when they worked their ass off and spent a lot of money to try and help out the sport. We need to recognize that whenever we complain about something put together for us, there are serious consequences. And of course no one will EVER be happy with how judging goes down but you have to try and view it from all sides. As hard as that is. And even if you still don’t understand or agree is there a reason to go on and on for a month or more? Not only are you preventing sponsors to want to provide for the next contest, you are in a way disrespecting riders who have no control over the judging. It also may make other riders not compete the following year because they don’t want to be talked badly about if someone doesn’t agree with their placing. You should really just look at all of the contest and remember how great it was to ride, or to jam with other riders. Look at the BIG picture! That is what really matters. Remember no matter which way a contest is judged that there is always going to be someone unhappy about it. Get over it.
* Live feed should be prohibited, because it prompts more riders to come and support the contest. Live feed only ignites bad talking on forums. These people don’t get the feel of all of the riders together. Also this shows supporters (non-riders) that flatland is a family and we came to support fellow riders. This will probably also stop the flood of bad mouthing by people that weren’t even there. Show sponsors for contests, the coordinators and the venue that we really do appreciate it and their efforts. Which in turn will get us more contest, which means the sport, will grow larger and more appreciated. We need to always show the coordinator respect. They have taken time out of their life, spent months of planning and money on us. So no matter what happens at a contest we need to show that person we are grateful.
* Respect other riders. Respecting other riders, helping and encouraging others rather than putting each other down or talking smack is what builds momentum for flatland. Sadly, I’m noticing more and more that respect and tactfulness have been lost. If you don’t like another rider why is it that you have to belittle them, why not just leave it be. Most of the time people talk down about other people to see if others will respond because in a sad way it makes them feel better about themselves. In the nicest way…. Grow up. I don’t ride for approval, but for the love of flatland. It is a small community and supporting and encouraging will let it grow. New riders don’t want to be afraid of getting talked down to, or to ask questions. So we should show to ourselves and others that the passion we have can be transferred and that will welcome new rider, more contests and more jams.
This is a big problem. I’m sorry, but talking shit and ungrateful comments should be taken down. We are adults and should know how to talk about things, and if you don’t have a good thing to say don’t say anything. If there is rumor talk or hatefulness it should be removed. Realize that all the negativity is de motivating. It helps nothing and kills the sport. I know some wont agree but it is fact. On numerous occasions riders, without me saying anything, talk about how depressing global flat is to read and how they don‘t want to ride after reading the negative comments. I already know your response… “Don’t read it then”. Well that is just bullshit to be frank. Global is for flat riders so we shouldn’t have to “not read it“. Just remember everything has a consequence. Negativity is diminishing this sport. Why would someone want to be involved in a bad mouthing sort. They want to see the passion and positive feedback. Let’s face it, Global is in need of serious monitoring.
I hope that you all have actually read this without bias and understand what I am pointing out. We started riding for fun and then love. We need to remember this and motivate each other, teach others and keep flatland alive. We need to respect flatland and each other. If we were to bring other riders up and not bad mouth, think of were flatland would be and what level it would take us.