With the awards dropping on Sunday 10th January, I wanted to share with the flatland community my choice for the Flatmattersonline Top 10 edits of 2015. And thus my break down of how I arrived at picking the nominees and also the winners. If you are paying attention to the site and reading the comments, you will have seen I didn’t count DVD video parts into the mix, as the category was “edit of the year”. I left it plain and simple, edits only (not dvds or dvd parts for example) I also didn’t take one trick edits into the equation, in my mind an edit is multiple clips combined together. This made my life easier shortlisting and narrowing from the hundreds down to 5 down to the winners. With that being said let’s crack on with my top ten list for 2015:
10. Michele Maiolani – Rolling 2015
Three minutes of great rolling footage of the 2014 Amateur World Champion, Michele Maiolani doing his thing in Parcheggio, Italy dropped on June 25th of 2015, Three minutes of great rolling footage of the 2014 Amateur World Champion, Michele Maiolani doing his thing in Parcheggio, Italy! If you remember his riding or don’t know his name, get familiar! One of the best in the rolling game for sure, last year he dropped a bar grab one handed pedal 5 in his run in Koln, and one up’s it here for the ender at 2:50 plus a ton more!
Now just because I didn’t give the video the “Must watch” tag doesn’t mean I didn’t like it. I’m a big fan of Michele’s riding since he first started sending in edits a few years ago.
If you remember his riding or don’t know his name, get familiar! One of the best in the rolling game for sure, in 2014 he dropped a bar grab one handed pedal 5 in his run in Koln, and one up’s it here for the ender ending bar grab one handed whiplash back to bar grab one handed pedal 5 at 2:50 ! Will Michele stay underground in 2016, or make more contest appearances? Whatever the case it will be great to see where he takes his riding in the future.
9. Dez Maarsen – Lost Tapes Part 3
December 2015 was a great month for edits and it continued right here with Dez Maarsen and his “Lost Tapes Part 3” edit, number 9 in my favourite edits of 2015! From the opening combo, forward karl half packer one handed two footed pivot xft steam body varial to halfpacker line at 00:38 I was gripped to this, other highlights for me include the forward karl pivot backwards spinning xft spinning steam shove it halfpacker pivot xft steam line at 2:02 (so many switches with very little deadtime!).
Dez is known as a front wheel killer, but also shreds on back wheel too, I loved the two footed backyard gliding gerator pivot xft turbine pivot back to two footed backyard around the 2:50 mark, and the ending hang ten pivot backwards spinning karl to xft halfpacker line is ridiculous! Much like Michele, it will be interesting to see if Dez can take this level of riding in the edit to the contest floor this year.
8. Akihiko Takahasi – 15 years Riding
Akihiko Takahasi’s riding doesn’t get enough love in my opinion, so let’s show him some right here! Aki’s 15 years of riding gets my number 8 spot for the year. Firstly I liked the concept, you could see the evolution in his riding style. No one does Aki’s tricks, it would be very easy to label his riding as “the guy who does all the crazy backwards half packer combos”, but his riding has so much more substance than just that. Long edits do not normally hold my attention, but I have hit the rewind a few times on this edit to appreciate what he does and brings to our sport. Some of my favourite moves were the backwards pumping crackpacker flip to backwards crackpacker bar flip out at around the 00:50 mark, the backwards dump truck line at 2:02, the exit is perfect! There is so much to take in, I could go on and on, I always look forward to seeing the red and white crane and containers, you just know it’s game time! September 26th was a good day!
7. Keelan Phillips – Nose Manuals Done
On November 17th Keelan Phillips dropped an absolute banger! What I especially liked about this edit, was the concept of pushing one style as much as he could. Which resulted in the multiple 3 nose manual repeat line at around 1:49 is a game changer but Keelan drops a whole lot more to get you stoked, incredible bike control and a worlds first! The level of control on the multiple 3 nose manuals is amazing to watch. With a new ride on Haro Bikes will Keelan hit the international circuit this year, thats a question many of us are talking about.
6. Matthias Dandois – The Flat Side of Things 2
Coming in at number 6, fired up after Flatark it was great to see some new material out of Matthias Dandois on November 12th! I had been waiting for the no handed spinning half packer jaffa whip to halfpacker for a couple of years out of Matthias Dandois (ref: TCU Calling the shots with Terry Adams and Matthias Dandois 2014) and he delivered right here, plus a whole lot more! It looks like Matthias is stoked on riding with homie, Alex Jumelin everyday in Paris during the winter, so it will be interesting to see what he brings this year.
5. John Yull – Finale
December 23rd was a great day for flatland. As I sat watching John’s opening slam segment to “Finale” I already knew this was going to be serious. The “Rambe on” track by Led Zeppelin fits, and sets the mood. The opening slow mo shot of the stalled lawnmower to head tube press decade out had me screaming at my laptop,and it doesn’t stop there. Although we had seen it before earlier in the year it was great to see the brakeless backwards decade nailed again and especially when you see the work it took to get it. The simple ideas in flatland are often the best and the front wheel stand one handed boomerang out at 00:38 brought a smile to my face, I think I may have shouted “yes”. It speaks volumes of John’s progression that the brakeless double decade just seemed like yeah whatever, it’s still a crazy trick! I chose to do this “Flatmatters top ten edits of 2015” to talk about each edit in a bit more detail, with so many bangers the Decade to back pegs stall and barspin decade out was overlooked the first time, not to mention the stemmed version at 1:50! John’s style is well suited towards videos, and it’s amazing due to his style how much he get into a 2:06 edit! So many worlds first, I lost count, the track really played it’s part too, this gets my 5th spot for my favourite edit of the year.
4. Heresy – Light
The annual Heresy team edit never disappoints, how do you compare a whole team edit to a solo edit. I had a bit of trouble with this one, on Wednesday 21st October we got a real treat masterminded by Tom over at Sevisual who always sets the mood with the shot captured, the music and the whole production. Put Alexis Desolneux, Sebastian Grubinger, George Manos, and Matthieu Bonnecuelle together and you are onto winner for sure, the only downside last year was that George getting injured 30 minutes into the trip in Vienna. The individual styles each rider gave me a real headache during the awards, in my head I was essentially comparing 4 riders to one. Matthieu’s riding really stole the show this year, and was great to see the readers recognise his talent and also the brand of the year award was spot on! The Backwards facing jump lash at 2:12 was one of the most messed up tricks I have seen in a long time! Great to see Matthieu get the vote Breakthrough Rider of the Year and also Heresy Brand of the Year! Well deserved!
3. Viki Gomez – Something in the Way
It’s too Viki Gomez’s credit that he somehow is able to juggle being a show rider, contest rider, travelling the world doing both, yet able to put new video material every year that amazes us all! Something in the way was a 9:35 long video that broke the internet in the height of summer (August 23rd). The back wheel line at 1:04: Two footed dump truck to backwards xft ice cream half turbine body varial to two footed dump truck pivot back to backwards xft ice cream shove it x over opposite xft ice cream to opposite forward rope on pedal pivot xft time machine was one of the best combos of 2015! Not to mention the xft boomerang two foot guillotine pivot to crack at 4:25 and the pedal five line into xft spinning circle k on the pedal at 7:10. As always with Viki’s riding, great variety and substance and the Nirvana track half way through really set the mood. Viki can do it all, one of the most skilled riders ever!
2. Pete Olsen – S&M Intrikat 2015.
The top two from the awards you already know, S&M’s Pete Olsen and James White. Both dropped compact edits that were hard hitting and to the point, Pete Olsen’s S&M Intorkat edit getting the Reader Choice edit of the year was well deserved!
The xft whiplash pivot backwards two footed front yard pivot step over xft whiplash was one of the most beautiful tricks I have ever seen, go watch it again at 00:38. We of course go on with the multiple xft whiplash then cross his feet over and switching and continuing with the xft whiplashes winding up into x hand backwards hang ten and winding out, like I said before. Beautiful rolling style. Pete has been pushing the no touching the seat for as long as I can remember, and the last two lines, the multiple backwards front yard varial and xfted backwards varial without the back wheel hitting is flat out incredible. Pete took flatland up several notches with this edit! Olsen is awesome indeed!
1. James White – The adventures of James White on the wheels of steel
We briefly discussed this edit during my stay at the Whiteski household on the Level Vibes weekend, and James didn’t give the game away at all!
Much like Pete’s edit, compact and to the point, James dropped the edit of his life on November 28th. And like everything James does, it definitely delivers, smooth, original and a few worlds firsts for good measure! Cutting edge flatland at it’s best right here.
The opening xft lawn pivot to two footed antrider pivot out opposite side full body varial gerator out gets this edit off to a flying start! The stationary full body varial which follows is pure genius! And I personally loved that James’ revisited the bike flip bunnyhop and nailed it much cleaner at 00:24. The xft whiplash hop to backwards xft lawn flip to gerator and the different take on a brakeless smith decade had me rewinding on the first watch. I immediately thought he will xft hitch out of that, which he has done of course since.
Brand new tricks that have never been done on both wheels, it continues with a really nice two footed dump truck round the back coming out forward xft ice cream and out, short sharp snappy combos! James riding style is timeless, and the ability to mix the old with the new shows he is not slowing down at all and still coming up with new tricks and ways to take his riding forward, as its the final edit I may as well highlight every line. And one of my favourites of the year was the xft lawn flip to gliding gerator undertaker to xft lawn flip to gliding gerator to walkover decade out, done so well it looks like he has a brake. There’s no brake, and no touching of the tyre anywhere to be seen.
Not to forget the ender, the double body varial gerator, lets call it a bigger spin?! The whole experience is enhanced for me with James choice not to add music, just the sound of the shoes pivoting. 1:13 is a short time, but James packed the time with so much quality.
The godfather deserves all the plaudits he is getting, a masterpiece in bike control and creativity. Modern day flatland at its very best! So thats a wrap, I wanted to show a little bit of my thought process in deciding edit of the year.
What does your list look like? Let’s hear it in the comments.
Effraim Catlow / Flatmatters