Flatmattersonline is 9 Years Old!

As I sit here thinking about what’s next for me and Flatmattersonline, it hit me the website is 9 years old!
I’m taking a moment to reflect on what has come before, and thinking what I can do in the future with the site.
I grew up in an era when you had to imagine how the trick worked from a photograph in a magazine/’zine or wait months sometimes years for contest footage in crappy VCR quality. Nowadays we are asking, where’s the contest footage an hour after the event?

As technology advances, are we spoilt? Day to day videos, sometimes seeing contest footage livestream. Is the internet good for flatland, in many ways yes! Look at the documented progression, to document share and progress as I call it. That’s basically how I see a lot of the flatland world working nowadays, everyone is influenced daily to push their level or at the very least to be entertained daily and to be kept informed of what different riders and scenes are up to. The vast source of information (videos) to take in is of course hard to keep up with. I feel sometimes, videos are overlooked and I’m as guilty of that as anyone. You put so much time and effort and thought into something you feel like it deserves more and it’s up on the top of the site for a few days.

Flatmattersonline has become my second full time job. It’s a labour of love that’s hard to describe to you all, unless your inside it. From the daily requests “hey can you post my video”, to searching online for something new and fresh. From the messages about what kind of bike to buy, or how do I get good at flatland? One thing remains so constant, I love all forms of flatland riding! Whether it’s old school (Old School Sundays was born), mid school (throwback thursdays…), or new school, I always believed and still do believe there’s something to take from every generation that can inspire for that next session your going out on.

During the last 9 years I’ve ticked off some dreams I never thought would happen when I started Flatmatters. I was able to put up the prize money for the Flatmattersonline contest at King of Concrete which will return in 2018. I always wanted to be in a position where I could give back to the sport I love. A few years ago, I ticked off another, I started to think about all the work I do and showcase and having some kind of recognition for that on the site ticking off another, the Flatmattersonline Year end awards were born.

I feel like these awards help legitimise what I have been working especially in the last five years with FM. So with that being said, tomorrow we celebrate another great year of flatland! Whether it’s a video part, a MOC entry, maybe it’s a contest run you watch over and over. Maybe a rider is coming through the ranks and it’s pumping you up. There are so many factors that make flatland great and make it matter. It’s been another fantastic year for flatland, and next year already looks exciting with the inclusion of the UCI into flatland contests, plus MOC not to mention everything else that organically happens along the way.

It’s time to celebrate flatland! I have changed up the awards, dropped some categories and added others this year and it’s equal pickings, five awards each for editorial and reader choice. Send in your votes and let us hear your voice!

Thanks to everyone that checks the site daily or whenever you have time, all the riders that send in their edits. Thanks to all the advertisers that have supported over the years, and continue to do so. And last but not least, big thanks to Kurt at BMX Union and Johann Chan for their work behind the scenes on the site and the graphics.

Much love to you all!

Effraim Catlow/FM.