Justin Miller vs Pete Brandt – OG Groundtactics

Have you wondered watching a contest, and wondered… “hey that score scored a 95, why?” over a another rider who might get a 90 for example….
As flatland progresses daily, it seems like the judging does not, it stands still, we have the same drama to deal with after almost every contest, although this Groundtactics system Chad Johnston came up is not without it’s problems, this does go a hell of a long way, to giving you the rider a justified score for your routine. What do you think?

Defining moments of 2011!

Text by Effraim.

2011, what a year! It’s taken me a few weeks to put this together. Like 2010, I’ve gone through a years worth of posts, I dread to count how many that is or many hours I spent doing this, and picked out the stand out news (rider, industry), standout rider edits/clips, contest news. Everyone will of course have different opinions, but this is my take on 2011!

Feb 3rd was a big date, in one day we brought you the news that Cream was no more, Alain Massabova immediately announced Art magazine was born…Hours later on the other side of Paris, Matthias Dandois and Alex Jumelin announced they had left “A bad thing”, Alex Jumelin joined St Martin the next day, with whole load of signature products scheduled to drop, frame,bars, forks, pegs, etc. Speculation grew as to where Matthias would go, it wasn’t until May 7th that Matthias announced the launch of the “Superb” brand with Ucchie. At this point, I guess we all thought “A bad thing was done”….
A few days later, I was filming a flatmatters exclusive when the phone rang from a foreign number, it’s not everyday I get a call from a foreign number or Martti Kuoppa! I had just pulled the latest clip and was offered a place on the Junglerider team, with signature “e- frame”, Martti also added up and comers Bert Ribul and Navid Saleki, and Toon who is already established as a contest killer! A few months later, Aki and Denes Katona were later added to the team! Martti released his “Holiday” frame, and later in the year sponsored the 2012 flatland calendar.
Right in the thick of the Junglerider news, Round 2 of the Groundtactics dropped with so many good entries, Aki and James White took the top 2 spots, Groundtactics for the most part didn’t seem to take off as well as expected for whatever reason.
Whilst the majority of the Uk flat scene were at the Brighton jam, news broke of James White winning the DeepBMX passion contest in Bremen, Germany, James was a on a roll after his Round 1/2 Groundtactics entries, and took the win home to sunny Bexleyheath! News broke shortly after that James was added to the DeepBMX team. We all wondered what was next for Whitey! But sadly was pretty much the last we saw of Whitey for the year.

No sooner did James disappear, the one and only Phil Dolan came out re-ignited by 2010 World Circuit Champion Viki Gomez who lived in London for a year, for a few months Phil was documenting his progression on the daily, and was arguably riding better than ever! And with the help of James Smith and Johann Chan dropping two of the best edits of the year, as well as Nose manualling the whole of TGM at the Flatmatters launch jam for a pint or two! Good times that I will remember forever!

A Tape – Fenix Bikes – London/2011 – Viki Gomez & Phil Dolan Flatland Session from STYLE43 on Vimeo.

Phil Dolan Rising from the ashes at 40 jam from emer bmx on Vimeo.

On April 4th, Adam Kun and Sevisual dropped one of the biggest tricks of the year, an upside down mega spin whopper, dubbed the “Monster whip”, nine months on and this trick has yet to go down in a contest, will 2012 be the year Adam drops it in a run? Whatever the case, it was a awesome moment for flatland and for Adam of course, the proof is in million hits that crossed over into just about every BMX website I can think of. Congrats to Adam!

Justin and Anthony aka Flat Web TV, celebrated their one year anniversary in style, I feel like within a year these guys are a household name in flatland right now, and are doing things right. The show has come on leaps and bounds, and their monthly round ups of what’s going on in flatland are really appreciated, and always refreshing. To celebrate we put together a big interview with the guys, hit the search engine on the right side of the site to hit that one up if you missed it!

FlatWebTV Episode #12: Top 3 Edits from 2011, FWTV Rider of the Year, Why You Love Flatland and more from Everyday Paradise on Vimeo.

A big part of flatmatters, is discovering and doucmenting established talents, I love being blown away by new riding talents, this year there were many, to many to name for very different reasons, earlier in the year Mazar’s full no handed whip amazed me, so much bike control, Shuichi Osada was name unknown to me until 2010, this guys riding is next level! Check the KOG clip below for a reminder what I am talking about, it’s easy to lose sight of the gems with the volume of posts on flatmatters, the list could go on and on, Charles Paty, Stephan Kornely, Bruno Zebu, Waldemar Fatkin, Steve Mulder, Toon, Ciaran Perry, the list is endless….

As I mentioned in the intro, I generally felt this year, seemed a lot less about contest riding and rider edits seem to carry more weight, now before anyone says i’m being negative, I’m just pointing out what I see putting together flatmatters everyday, Terry Adams started the contest year coming out swinging with wins in Toronto and Jomopro, then for the most part disappeared from the “major” contest scene (World circuit, Fise, Masters, KOG, Rebel jam). Perhaps a sign of times. As Terry tells me, this has been “his best year to date”…. This may be a sign of the times. Case in point on rider edits, Moto Sasaki dropped the “10 pedal” edit that for sure was the reason why he won the Nora Cup.
Matthias Dandois had a good year finally winning the Masters that has eluded him for so long, and also regaining the World Circuit title. I would say of anyone, Moto Sasaki and Dominik Nekolny at times brought the fight closer to Matthias than anyone, but whether you agree or not, Matthias won almost all the “big” contests this year without breaking too much sweat. Who’s gonna bring some competitive “heat” in 2012?

Matthias Dandois at BMX Masters 2011 from Global Flat on Vimeo.

As the Nora Cup drew closer, there was clearly only one winner in many riders minds, throughout the year the boss gave more back to flatland than I can ever recall (Groundtactics, Junglerider, daily updates), until Moto Sasaki dropped one of the best/calculated edits of the year “10 pedal” that laid fresh in riders minds, and Moto took the Nora Cup for the second year in a row, peep Moto’s “10 Pedal” edit and Martti’s “Nora Cup Loser” edit, both are amazing!! And the argument who won can go on like the “judging contests” argument appears to go on and rear it’s ugly head. So….

MOTO SASAKI ” 10 PEDAL “ from 3edge-works & Yasushi Tanabe on Vimeo.

August seemed to be the month for flatland getting mass TV coverage with millions of viewers, watching Matt Wilhelm on Americans Got Talent and Keelan Phillips this side of the pond on an hour long programme called “Concrete Circus”, both catapulted flatland into the minds of millions, awesome coverage by both riders!

Everyone knows what an influence Chad Johnston’s Intrikat videos have had on flatland, on August 19th I was stoked to publish the news that Chad got on S&M Pro, and with that he dropped one of the best edits of the year, debuting the elbow glide on the fork, forwards and backwards, as well as a ton of other incredible pegless combos. If you slept on that edit, here it is again one more time, LBC treats!

Chad Johnston – Welcome from S&M Bikes on Vimeo.

One of the best short edits of the year dropped at what looked like one of the best contests of the year, the Groundforce contest in Singapore, with Moto Sasaki bringing a lil’ fight for the World Circuit title edging out Matthias Dandois, this dubstep charged edit went down a treat in flatland circles, peep it again! Dope!

Bobby Carter dropped some really nice articles about flatland life as well as the epic “Beyond the Future” movie which was the first flatland movie to debut live online,Bobby researched a lot of different topics such as “how to make it in the flatland game” interviewing Terry Adams and Matt Wilhelm, and myself and Bobby discussed “too much drama at the contests – what’s going on?”, hit the references at the bottom for all the juice or maybe a good catch up, Bobby seemed to share a similar opinion as myself on the direction flatland was going in. Hit some of the links below for more of the good stuff!



On August 29th, the news broke of Flatland legend Chase Gouin being seriously ill with a severe mould/fungal infection, that doctors in canada were struggling to treat, the flatland world united and set about raising money to help Chase in his recovery, ironically the flatland world coming together like this, whether you made a paypal donation, you might a Chase fundraiser t-shirt from Flatland fuel or you attended a jam and donated there, the flatland community showed they cared, hopefully we will have some details soon on Chase’s recovery.

Photo by Fat Tony.

Rad Dad introduced some fun contests to flatland this year, and even these got a lil’ serious, as the rules got stretched a just a lil, in the end “Team Germany” aka David Hoffmann and Markus Reich won their contests respectively, David the most Hitch jugglers and Markus the most pinky squeaks, congrats guys!

222 Pinky Squeaks from Markus Reich on Vimeo.

October was a great month for edits and clips, Waldemar Fatkin normally known for his riding, dropped one of the tightest edits of the year, with Stephan Kornely, amazing production, graphics and riding! Over in Austin Texas, John Yull dropped the “Frame snapper”, and brought back that term “freestyle” to everyones minds, such a simple idea based on an old trick “Powermower” and made new, essentially a double footed stalled out decade, but it was fresh!!! Pete Brandt teamed up with Shayne Khajehnorri to bring what I thought was one of the best documentary type videos ever about the flatland life, if you missed this one, catch up now!

Stephan Kornely Felt Bmx flatland 2011 from Sergey Zavarykin on Vimeo.

On November 28th, we celebrated three years of flatmatters, by dropping an riding/narrative edit, on the same day Steve Mulder teamed up with Kip Williamson to bring us all his “Throwback” treat of an edit, Steve’s interview is still in the works, and should be done shortly so keep an eye for that, for now here are those two edits again!


December began with the Rebel Jam, despite the usual bitching after the contest, I think in general the contest was great for flatland, sure the judging needs looking at, but I think the same holds true for every single contest on the flatland calendar. Some great edits dropped in the last month of the year, with the Too Small Bikes Movie, Aki’s 2011 compilation video, Hotoke’s Moxopin edit, Takuya Higa Welcome to Vans edit, Toon’s Junglerider edit, Scott Powell’s Driveway Project and James White’s spoof video! And of course Pete Olsen’s banger edit! The list can go and on, and I have to cut this somewhere, as I’ve been sat for hours per day here going through a years worth of posts for two weeks now, and this beginning to get to me. 2011 was a great year, hope you enjoyed this breakdown of the year and it’s defining moments. Or at least some of them…

Over and out.

Flatmatters 2012!

FlatWebTV Episode #13: Season 2 premier! Martti Kuoppa, Iligan Flat Crew, and more

FlatWebTV Episode #13: Season 2 premier! Martti Kuoppa, Iligan Flat Crew, and more from Everyday Paradise on Vimeo.

“In the Season 2 premier we show how the Philippine tragedy affects everyone, even the flatland community. The new issue of A.R.T. is examined and we dig right into the recent announcement of Martti Kuoppa’s retirement with an interview with the man himself.

Hear from Martti on the decision, riders that influenced him as well as some big news for JungleRider and FlatWebTV for 2012.”

FlatWebTV Episode #12!

FlatWebTV Episode #12: Top 3 Edits from 2011, FWTV Rider of the Year, Why You Love Flatland and more from Everyday Paradise on Vimeo.

FlatWeb TV is one year old! Happy birthday! Congrats guys!

“In this, the 12th and final episode of season 1, we give a well-deserved shout out to Effraim and FlatMatters for 3 great years of documenting, sharing and progressing. We countdown our Top 3 Flat Edits of 2011. Our Rider of the Year award is given out and we find out just why you all love flatland. December’s events and of course the December Jimmy Kibbons Shout Out round out the show.

Special thanks to all of the riders who submitted videos for this episode. And of course thanks to everyone for watching us during season 1. See you all in 2012!”

Repost: The internet revolution Part 1

As 2010 drew to a close, there was almost a flood of old videos that many of us regard as classics like e-clips,intrikat “Blend/Connect/Landescape A/B”, Allied Loiter,Focus, Ring the Gack and many more that began being released on you tube,this is amazing for all those who would never get to see these videos or like most of us, we watched these on VHS and had no way to watch them again, I was however beginning to feel guilty posting them all up on flatmatters, so I thought this would make an interesting article. I asked the following question to a whole bunch of different people involved in someway within this debate.More to follow next week.

“As the proliferation of “video classics” floods the internet, I ask the question, what are the positives and negatives of this situation?”

Brian Tunney: (Rider, filmed parts for same thing daily, props groundwork, journalist for ESPN).
I think classic is a relative word, especially on the Internet. For me, a classic might be the Dorkin’ Series or any Baco video, but on the Internet, I feel that the word “classic” could mean anything that’s just a few years old. That’s not necessarily going to the solve the problem, but it is something I’ve noticed over the past 2-3 years. But for the older, more established “classics,” I think getting from VHS or DVD and onto the Web is an important means of actually preserving the form of media in a digital form, for safe keeping, for posterity’s sake, and for future generations to view. I’ll use Chad’s section in “Ring The Gack” as an example. Those Ells videos are never going to be available again on DVD, and VHS tapes don’t last forever. If a younger audience is given the chance to watch Chad Degroot when he was at or near the top of flatland riding, then by all means, we should want that to happen. Chad is a street riding father of two in his mid 30s that lives in Florida and runs a bike shop. Younger generations of flat riders might see him in the occasional Profile ad, but that’s about the only current exposure Chad gets (unless he makes his own Web videos). If more people know that Chad was and still is a flatland legend, that’s a good thing for all of us. Besides, the tricks he does in that section are just as good today as they were in 1994.
I guess the other side of this would be if a “classic” video producer was planning on releasing a box sets of former releases. Then I might say, let’s respect the media, keep it off the Web for the time being and buy the DVDs, but I don’t know of anyone doing that right now. In general though, I would think that everyone who is a die hard flatland enthusiast would want to know the history, and if we can make that available on the Web (which we can), then we should.

Martti Kuoppa: (rider/artist: famous for his intrikat parts, contest achievements, groundtactics, solo dvds, …)
Most of the videos that are shown on internet at the moment are not available on DVD format and they are impossible to get as VHS copies even if you wanted. So, that leads to a situation that the younger riders would not have a change to watch some of the riding that is actually the roots of their current riding.
When I saw Chases & Brandons e-clips I was blown away again, because it was years since I saw it last time and I completely forgot everything in it. And that video is old, and the level of Chases riding in it is untouchable even today.So that was a really positive moment for me because it brought me inspiration and motivation and it was a good day because of that.

I guess it would be that these “pearls” are so easy to access now that it looses some of the glamour they have earned along the way. There is lot of soul and blood donated in there… Maybe you´ll understand it maybe not, afterall I am just glad to be part of the VHS generation.

Bobby Carter: (Rider, owner/editor of Diversion Tv).
Well, first of all, welcome to the information age. We are in the middle of a digital revolution. An era where information flows around the planet more swiftly than the air around us. The positive side of all these videos going online is that people around the world can witness tricks and techniques of years past. Flatland has been around long enough to have a history that can be lost due to lack of access to videos. If you’ve only been riding about 6 years, there’s only a slim chance you’ve seen videos from the 90’s. There’s a whole lot of flatland techniques out there that you can dip into and bring into your own style. You can “dig into the crates” for those rare clips and tricks to sample and develop.

The negative is that some of the videos are professionally made and the producers may not know that their work is being distributed around the net. They may or may not want their videos on the net. For dudes making web edits and filming some local stuff it’s not much of a problem. The real issue is when a filmmaker needs to spend money on plane tickets, etc. to get a video made. You spend a few thousand dollars and the video is available for free. Sponsorship may be one answer to this issue. Get a sponsor to foot the bills, make the video, and put it out there for all to share. We shall see where things go and what new technologies come out to help flatland get the exposure it deserves!

Chad Johnston: Rider, owner/editor of Intrikat.
The first positive aspect thats comes to mind is the fact that the information is out there, available to nearly everyone. More people that see it equal more possibilities to motivate. It dates and archives progression as well. I don’t see a negative, unless the person that was uploading the video did a poor job, like if the quality interrupted the content. So far the Intrikat videos that have been put online have been done well. I like how Kala Yasuda did LandEscape and Connect with the proper chapters and credits. I also like how fatboy972 did Blend, two sections. I had thought about how I would do it and would soon forget about it,because it’s not edited in rider sections, it’s all blended together.Uploading it in two sections works great and the intermission is placed well. I trust the other titles that are uploaded to Youtube are done with respect also. Thanks to the people who have put the time in to doing a good job.

Chad Degroot: Rider/artist hugely influential in the baco days, runs Deco Bike co.
It can go both ways. I believe videos are made to stand the test of time and also to be watched. Right? So you can hate on people posting old videos and reliving their glory days, is that really a problem? Maybe a bit if they are charging for them or getting big headed like they were the shit. But truthfully a lot of riders nowadays don’t know or care how or why tricks came about and who did them. Videos back in the day used to be on top of that. We couldn’t wait till a video came out to see all the new tricks and what can be done. Posting vids is just a part of technology and moving forward to archive it. If you don’t want to watch, don’t. Some I do watch, but most I don’t. So if your an online junkie that has to watch all videos, good. Get some knowledge while your doing it. Yes the tricks now are insane, and seem like video game tricks, but that is what it’s getting to. They started somewhere then built to what you see today. I guarantee some shit Osato, Freimuth or The Beast did people still won’t be able to do. Try it. Lastly, you can’t flood the internet. It’s a day to day thing. People want the news or edits now….the internet gives you them now. So that is a positive thing. The only negative thing is the shit talking, but truthfully if you don’t talk shit then you are not human. It’s way easier to type shit than talk shit.

What do you think? Have your say below in the comments..

Exclusive: Aleksi Ritsila Interview Part 2

Intro/Interview: Effraim
Photos: Juluis & Kai Kuusisto. http://www.kaikuusisto.com

An Aleksi original move, in front of bar whiplashes on pedal, photo by Julius.

On wednesday, we dropped part one of the exclusive interview with Finland’s up and coming Aleksi Ritsila, part 2 continues where we left off, we discuss bike set ups, the flatland scene in finland, the competitive spirit, travelling, groundtactics, and much more, part 2 right here….

Tell me about your bike set up?

Bigger frame, like said earlier love the high top tube, feels good, looks soooo good, strong… Low seat for more room. I used to always ride my bars way forward so now I´ve had longer stem for soon 2 years, it makes the bike way more stable and looks better than having Chicago bars hehe. That’s pretty much it, just trying to keep it as simple as possible, S&M is where it´s at!

You mentioned before that flatstyles was a lot smaller than when you first started riding. What’s going on with flat scene in finland? Do you feel any pressure to be the next Martti Kuoppa out of Finland, if there will ever be such a thing?
Well the scene is small. But I can call these guys some of my best friends. I feel especially in the last years we´ve gotten tighter, doing trips, jams, party and all that shit… so much fun! As for Martti there won´t be another one like him EVER, period. He is the best rider of all time, and I don’t accept any other answers. So no I haven’ t ever thought about being someone let alone felt pressure. What pushes and pressures me is myself, thats enough hehe.

Do you travel much down to Helsinki, I know Estonia is pretty close?
I guess I´ve been to Helsinki once every month this summer. Its fun to go by car since it only takes 3hours. another option would be train but everything in here is so expensive, train to helsinki and back with bike is 150e. Estonia is fun also! It’s cheap and fast to go by boat from Helsinki. We did this trip with our crew there a year ago to ride and party. Now we are going to do the same again this weekend:)

I get the impression from doing this interview that you aren’t a competitive rider in the sense of wanting to win contests, but you battle yourself to be the best you can be? What you for do you look for is riding perfection?
Yeah, I´m just not at all about showing off. I hope to do well in contests, since its big part off flatland, but my tricks are more important, you know. That’s why I have always a bit mixed feelings with shows, it’s not me to act all hyped after a time machine. And contest are looking more and more like shows these days sadly… Perfection to me in riding is combos that are original yet not awkward, simpler the better. Nothing extra in the combos, so usually shorter combos appeal more to me. And most important, each trick should make sense to the following one, this is hard to explain, but it´s kind of like a park run: instead of using just the jump box over and over again, you have original lines all over the course. Hehe once again I have no idea if that made sense.

What’s great about flatland right now?
The whole flatland getting closer to rest of bmx (parts/tricks/contests) is in my opinion awesome and what we need. Also there´s so many talented new generation riders on the edge of coming top pros. It just feels like it´s so hard to make a break through in this state of flatland. The sport is defenetly progressing all the time, I mean this year we saw Adam do the upside down tailwhip, bmx history right there.
What are your plans for 2012 riding wise?
I´ll keep having fun and progressing on my bike hehe thats all I know for sure 🙂

Another Aleksi original move, brakeless downside decade, photo by Kai.

These days what would you say inspires you?
BIggest inspiration right now and for the past months or so has been street videos! Besides just being super stoked on the riding. I just love to see some “production” that went into making those, that’s something I’d love to see more in flat as well, would do good for the exposure we get I think!

What kind of music are you into it?
Don´t have a genre I could say is my favourite. Lately been into real chill sounds you know, for riding as well as for just hanging around. I listen to music pretty much always when I´m riding!
Rider wise who do you look up to these days?
I do like Matthias riding, Chad is doing the impossible without pegs, Moto is crazy, Martti´s progression has been something I can´t understand… And I´ll guess I can throw some street riders in here: Alex Kennedy, Ty Morrow, Mike Hoder, Eric Lichtenberger…
Tell me about some of the tricks you’ve invented, this year you brought a few to the table during groundtactics?
Yeah I guess that infront bars pedal whiplash was one, and the downside decade I learned last year. Super stoked on those, had been a dream of mine for a long time! I really enjoy practising these original moves, ideas for them have been staking on my head for years and now have been able to make them reality. If you have ever tried something original, you´ll know those are also usually way harder to learn, than something you can see someone do in a video:) I have few more new original ones you´ll see in the next web edit or in TOO SMALL BIKES 2 which ever comes first, stoked on those as well!
You mentioned you weren’t too stoked on the way contests are going, do you think online contests such as groundtactics are the future?
I definitely think there´s a place for online contests. I think the format is shaping right now and will be interesting to see where these things go. But I hope live contests won´t go anywhere. At the moment I think its balancing between entertainment and hardcore tricks/progression. Since we don´t have that many riders, we have to seek for audience in the non riding people. Which is cool because this way more people see flatland and kids can get stoked on it. So where as I don’t like seeing a contest run like a show, I think to some extent it´s neccesary and I totally understand it.

Any final words to wrap this up Aleksi? 
Thanks to Chad and S&M Bikes, Niels at Sunshine Distribution, Adidas for the support, Martti, family & friends. Thanks to Kai and Julius for the photos, go check: kaikuusisto.com and youtube.com/tsbmovies! And last, Effraim huge thanks for doing this interview, FLATMATTERS!!! Be on the lookout for new edit from me some time soon:) Everyone just keep on riding and having fun! Bmx is the best!

If you missed Part One! Hit the link below!