Topical: Is it time for flatland to return to "BMX" contests?

As the Bmx flava returns to flatland, two piece bar designs, basic double diamond frame designs are becoming more and more common place…
I think its time for flatland to return to BMX, there’s a common feeling in the air, lot of talk recently with us “golden oldies” in the UK, “flatland forgot it’s roots”, this post is dedicated to a few contests that have included flatland in the bigger picture in the last few years, how many new people are exposed to flatland that wouldn’t be otherwise… What are the benefits to flatland being included in more bmx events? And to counter react, what are the benefits to flatland staying solo?

Dominik Nekolny’s final winning run between the ramps from the 2008 German Championships, feel the vibe…

The Fise contest in the south of france has supported flatland for many years, look at the crowd, damn!!!

The jomopro contest last year promoted by Flatland fuel’s Pat Schoolen reached a bigger audience, live internet streams, tons of street pros watching, Catfish does a great job on the mic,hyped crowd, this looks like being the biggest contest of the year in the US in 2010…

22 thoughts on “Topical: Is it time for flatland to return to "BMX" contests?

  1. Gosh huge topic there.
    IMO All the greatest contest had mixed disciplines
    Holeshot, RiderCup, Bicycle stunts, Metro, Backyard, Urban games, BIKE, KOC.

    I guess alot of organisers approach it from a business point of view. Wether it's financially feasible for them to make a 25 foot quarter or build a makeshift flat area?
    If the floor exists anyway, it's alot easier, but it's sad when you it's not done properly and it's just stuck on the side.

  2. Flatland being included in more bmx events gives maximum exposure and promotion to those who are not familiar with it therfore it can grow on a larger scale if people take an interest, in a sense it can get a message across to a bigger audience which is great ,and the benefit's for it to stay solo and "low key" or "underground" using those terms , it can also grow but on a smaller scale within the hardcore dedicated riders working together lets face it flatlands overlooked anyway in the media so it won't hurt it but as a specatator sport overall any exposure big or small would be a positive step into the promoting flatland.

    Dominik Nekolny vid was incredible.

  3. Including flatland in "bmx" contests is great for exposure and can also lead to some type of evolution if street pro's start to get more involved.

    We still need flatland-only events but there is huge space for flatland to expose to a bigger audience in other bmx events.

  4. Great responses from all, thank you!
    With regard to the KOG, that is flatland only, and that does work in japan! I think it only works there though!
    Major plus points are the exposure that is other lost, is gained, take this years Worlds for example, a massive flatland section on Props 74, which wouldn't have been on there at all if this was a flatland only event. There are occasions when Props covers flatland well, but for the most part flatland coverage gets thrown to one side.
    The major plus point for me is the exposure to a new audience (i,e, the rest of bmx!!-there might be kids out there that don't know how to get into flatland), it is after al more daunting than ever in some respects.
    With this bad winter we've been having this year, I have spent more and more time at the lab, a local multi storey, this I normally ride by myself, but this year Mark Webb and Alex Coleburn have been riding there, brushing up on their footjam/tailwhip nosepick skills, the corossover between flatland and technical park riding is more prominent right now than it ever has been.
    A lot of fashionable tricks on ramp are flatland tricks, how many kids do you see doing hang nothings at your local park, but they stop there? Having flatland in bmx events would help no end, towards getting the sport we love more recognised, and also greater numbers participating.

  5. Good point raso, that I forgot to mention, flatland only events of course still need to happen, hardcore events such as level vibes happened when we had a thriving scene here in the uk, i remember a time when we had the easter jam at southsea, the sawston jam in cambridge, the worlds, urban games, king of concrete, this helped contribute to a huge scene, things are brewing, and most definitely on the up.

  6. The most important factor from my own personal point of viewpoint, is to see new fresh blood coming through.
    So, Other than the odd individual and the tiny pocket scenes dotted sporadically across the globe, there is not any significant substantial numbers coming through to make you feel confident that Flatland could stand on it's own two legs.

    If we want Flatland to grow then we need to bring it back under the BMX umbrella. There are certain things we need to do and a lot of it could perhaps be down to good timing.

  7. I hear you trev, there isn't a lot of avenues for new blood to come through in the uk scene, this year for example, really only Level vibes, was great to see Yinka, Mizo is coming on leaps and bounds, Andy Hale, apart from that im struggling.
    Good timing certainly helps, I have a few ideas for different things, but i am working on some stuff that I hope helps the scene grow in the next year.
    With regard to sharing tricks, expand on that trev, i think i get what your saying….

  8. Well pretty much along the lines of what you had mentioned earlier.
    There is crossover stuff going on.
    You sessioning with street riders alike can only have a positive effect.

  9. Any event that includes flatland will increase exposure, whether its flat only, bmx, or flatland linked up with something else.

    I must note that the rest of BMX dropped flatland, we didn't just decide to pack up and leave. (X-games, CFB, Metro, Ride UK…)

    Why did they drop flatland in the first place?

    I think it's important to understand the answer to that question as people push to have flatland back underneath the "BMX umbrella."

  10. Good point Bobby, but there are bmx events that currently support flatland, (jomopro, fise, masters/worlds come to mind), I think for the most part flatland bitching about everything got "us" kicked out of the x games, certainly the bs series, etc)..
    There are definitely things we can do on a grassroots level that will help flatland grow.
    Is there any developments on flatland in the dew tour bobby? I know there issues around the production, and the way flatland is presented, I guess that also had big factor in why flatland was booted out of events such as the x games…

  11. I do think we have to get over this "Flatlanders got shafted"!! thing.
    I'm sure Vert riders don't have the same hang up (pun not intended!!)

    Each discipline has it's time with a series of ups & downs inbetween.

  12. The inclusion of Flatland on Props 74 is a great step as Props is very popular and lets not forget Chris Rye who owns Props was the brains behind the Baco vids and himself a rated flatland rider, i may check this vid out E sounds good.
    As for flatland being promoted or recognised or expanding with new blood you have to remember most kids who get into riding are attracted by the " big air " and "burly" aspect of bmx like street,park,dirt etc as flatland would seem too much hard work or effort and most kids who ride have friends who ride street,park,dirt etc as well so in that sense they are easily led and get bored easily.
    But as i see it, it will grow in general on a smaller scale riders can interact with others on the internet,how to dvd's,flatland fuel etc there is a lot of positive's but i also see flatland worldwide say %15 for example of riders are flatlanders in terms of popularity it will always take a back seat over other disciplines.

    Think i mentioned this before but i've spoken to kids who ride who didn't even know flatland existed how mad is that ? they should learn the roots of this sport or at least educate themselves it's our passion and i doubt in say in 2 years time most kids who ride alternative disciplines of bmx will still be riding, where as most flatlanders for the long haul stick with it as the creative side of riding will last a very long time.There is a special bond i find with flat riders that we can all share i doubt you will find that in any other sport its unique long may it last.

  13. I can believe that howard, flatlanders ride in obscure places, dingy carparks, hidden away, its not in the magazines, how would kids know, i honestly believe this is almost like a 5 year project to get flat back on the map, build up local structure etc and branch out.
    Local jams, invite other scenes, make it happen!

  14. Yo E,
    I'm not sure what the status is on Jomo Pro/Dew Tour, but it seems as though it's would be big job that would need the dedicated attention of a few people to keep everything on track and push it all the way through to completion.

  15. Thanks for getting back bobby, im guessing esp the dew tour would definitely require a "team" to constantly be working on the tour.
    Jomopro seems more realistic, does look like an amazing vibe in that building…

  16. The rest of bmx/tv see's flatland looks like circus tricks everyone wants to see big,burly and dangerous riding ,i think the public in general find it hard to understand flatland to them its very alien and they would not know a hard trick from an easy one if it's to do with t.v ratings or popularity then flatland always takes a back seat in the BMX contest format.A solo flat comp promoted within the flat media websites,forums etc can generate new blood as the word spreads around ( word of mouth ) is a great communicator in encouraging and developing new riders , as i feel we are somewhat distanced from the rest of bmx .Good or bad flatland will survive but on a smaller scale.

  17. I wonder sometimes if the format dictates conservative riding, it doesnt encourage oneself to push as hard as you can, contests such as groundtactics push the artform forward, but thats only with the already existing riders…

  18. Maybe contests dictate to certain riders to pull their hard stuff but in general riders pull all that in a session,on their own etc as contests there is pressure on the individual more of a mental battle but as long as their are riders wiling to have a go that's what counts Progression usually happens outside of a contest i mean everybody has their good and bad days , i don't think that would have an effect on flatland returning to "bmx" contests as at most events people watching from an outsiders point of view cannot tell a hard trick from an easy one.

  19. Really difficult that i think everyone in flatland is still searching for the answer, looking forward to seeing how Michael Sommer's Game of skills turns out, this could have a great positive outcome on we are seen by the rest of the bmx community.

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