2012 Highlights: Rider/Industry perspective (Part 2)

Intro/Interviews: Effraim

As I began reviewing the year, and realising just how many good videos/contests/interviews/scene edits there have been. It hit me that in addition to my review it would be cool to get the opinions of some of the riders/and industry heads that have made these highlights happen. Theres a real sense of things are on the up this year, read on for part 2 of this 2012 Highlights article.

This powerful edit Matt dropped on September 26th illustrates what he’s talking about below perfectly! Go watch it again!

Matt Wilhelm: I think the highlight of the year for me was just continuing to push myself and ride for fun. I’m kinda done with that whole contest thing, which I’ve been doing at the Pro level since 1999. For me it’s just all about pushing myself, and this was a great year for that. Plus all my nagging injuries have magically disappeared. For me the best feeling is just having an empty parking lot, dialed bike, and good health.

George Manos: The highlight of this year regarding flatland should be for me the Red Bull “Circle of Balance” contest.You might think it’s an obvious choice since I participated in this, but my answer still would be the same even if  I didn’t have anything to do with it. Through the years this particular event was presented as the most prestigious among others ,focusing exclusively on flatland and showing the proper treatment and  respect to all the effort the riders put in their craft. After some years of absence it was back this time,  all the hype built until its execution made it highly anticipated and in the end paid off for  the riders and spectators all over the world.As a rider even in my craziest dreams I never thought I would have a real possibility to witness this from so close-let alone ride in it-and to be a part of it ,and feel the energy and tension,the excitement and fun in setting a spectacular show like this was like a wonder and an experience that i will be happy to remember not only for this year but also for years to come.

Chad J, backwards carved pedal 5 at the LBC Underground. Photo by Jeff Z.

Chad Johnston: Agreed, 2012 has been great year! The highlight for me isn’t just one moment, it’s all of them combined. After having to be off my bike for six weeks this last Spring I wasn’t sure I’d even get any productive riding done. After a short time I was back to where I was before, and soon after I was progressing and filming things that were in my head during my down time. Being able to ride and progress on a regular basis and capture some of it on film motivates me to continue and makes this another great year for me! Thanks to everyone that has given support!

Prasheel Gopal: 2012 has been an unreal year; I think any year I can manage to attend every major North American event with Alex and Mark is an amazing year. I love attending and supporting all the circuit events, and seeing so many friends so often, I’m left with many long lasting memories.
The one trip that was a bit more unplanned/unexpected at the beginning of the year for me was my trip to England for King of Southsea. I have developed an obsession with British culture, so I knew I’s going to have a great time before I went, but the contest, the scene, the people, and everything else was just so much more fun than I could have really expected. Not to mention, winning a contest for your first time will obviously be an unforgettable memory (even if I couldn’t have my #pralex teammates there with me).
Undoubtedly, another one of my favourite things about this past year is some how getting my photo alongside my two best friends on the back of the 2013 flatland calendar! And not just that, but to see how supportive and excited others were to see us on there made it feel that much better. Despite not having any financial support and doing so many trips for so long, it feels great that we have communal support, and that Fat Tony wanted to include us.

Jean-Francois Boulianne: For me 2012 have been full of surprise. First, i would say getting hook up by Odyssey/Flatware, then the whole season wich was full of travel and contest. and at last filming a video with Sevisual was a blast. I also wanna thanks everyone that help me out!!!!

Viki Gomez: For me the best highlight of the year has been winning the Red Bull COB for the third time! It made me realized that I have won the contest every flatland rider dreams of! And being the one living the dream gives me a lot of strenght and motivation to keep on riding hard and progressing!

Pete Brandt: I think that the best things for my riding in 2012 was progression. There is a few tricks that are in some recent edits http://vimeo.com/53250654 also I received a lifetime achievement award that was featured on the ESPN site special thanks to Brian Tunney. It was quite an honor to have acknowledgements and show the history of flatland that I had part in. I’ve never been one to rely on what I have done and contributed to flatland but it is nice to know that people remember and continue to document the history.
It was quite a year for web edits and a special thanks to flatmatters for all the support. Peace and respect and flatland still lives in a progressive state in 2013 and to the future.

Dane Beardsley: Best part about this year has been having good sessions with people from all over the place.

Voodoo Jam 2012 from jim mckay on Vimeo.

The Voodoo Jam always delivers good times, this edit got Lisias really pumped up this year, watch it and see why!

Lísias Tabarelli: First, a fantastic edition Of Jim Mackay, that has done a great job, hard to do, a detail: ALONE – image and editing. This video have a great quality, diversity of riders and a great contest: https://vimeo.com/45403543
The second video, I’m with my editing, that I did out of BMX Masters –12, that I call ”Euro Treino”
Europe was my first international trip, where I improved my clinical look about Flatland.
This video I show a great diversity of brazilian riders, and big brazilian friends.
2012 was a very nice year to me, especially because I won the Competition Original Trick of KHE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqqeP2pTmbQ and arrive on stage at the BMX Masters recognized by a hidden talent.
I’m not very good where in I do, but I try keep the style, deviating of problems with sport on the planet.
I love what I do, my job. Flatland family is a hidden talent, gradually unraveled.Thanks.

Mark Kuhlmann: This year has been the best year yet for me riding wise. I wasn’t sure how the year would turn out at the beginning of 2012 because I had a lot going on and wasn’t sure how much time I could commit to my bike. My wife and I had just bought our first house and we took on the task of gutting and completely redoing the basement without any prior renovation experience  That took up a lot of time. Just as we finished that at the end of summer, I took a new job and due to its new location we sold our house and are currently waiting to move into our new house (with even more work needed!!!) 
It has been a challenge to fit riding in on a somewhat consistent level but I still managed to hit all the stops on the #AMFLT circuit and the Voodoo Jam with the encouragement of my wife and the support of my #pralex brothers Prasheel and Alex. I’m so glad we could go to all these events because we made so many great memories (Perogies in Toronto, the City Museum in St Louis on our way to Jomo, the photo shoot in New Orleans, just having a great time riding in Anderson and partying at night, and all the ups and downs that came with going to Texas). I was finally able to shake off my nerves at a contest and ended up doing well a few times. The highlight of the contest year was definitely winning expert in Voodoo Jam. I won’t ever forget standing there in shock and disbelief that it was happening while watching Prasheel jump up and down. 
On a personal riding level, I’ve just recently met some riding goals with tricks that I’ve always wanted to do when I started riding like whoppers and some new crossfooted tricks. It feels great to have finally reached a point where I can do them. Time to set some new goals and push on in 2013.
Whether it be a new trick, or a new memory, 2012 set the bar high and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Quite a year for Bert, not only having one of the best parts of the year in my opinion, but also invited to the Red Bull COB and battling Matthias Dandois. I got goosebumps watching this again this morning. Read on to see what Bert has to say!

Bert Ribul: I want to start off by saying that 2012 has been a great year for flatland and the best year for me so far riding wise and personal life. It started off by me posting my winter video and you guys gave me soo many good reviews and got me really pumped up. Thanks!!
Then in July i went to Germany with the the Finnish guys to the BMX WORLDS, although the event was rained out and most of the events got canceled, we still had a really great time there and luckily flatland was the only event that wasn’t rained out. I qualified at 6th and ended up getting 12th place and we had great sessions with everybody and met soo many new people, again thanks for the great times there!
Then in september one of my dreams came true, I got the opportunity to travel to Japan for Red Bull Circle Of Balance. That was just simply amazing and I wish I could visit Japan in the near future again. RB COB was the highlight for flatland in general this year!
too many great things happened there, I would have to write another article about that hehe. The biggest thanks goes to Red Bull and all the organizers and all the great people I met there and made this trip happen. That was the trip of my life.
after Japan i went to Spain with Aleksi Ritsilä for the rebel jam. it was a great event as well, Spain is like paradise, we seriously didnt want to come back from there, at one point we even gave up getting to the airport at 5 in the morning 😀 Spain is definitely a place i would love to come back! It was like a really great vacation at the end of the year, and again thanks to everybody that was there and made it happen. It was a lot of fun!
Those were the 3 highlights for me this year besides many smaller trips and demos, but those 3 really stand out and I’ll never forget them. Now that the year is ending i’m struggling with winter spots again, and riding quite abit of street aswell, because of the lack of winterspots here. Just take as much fun as i can out of bmx in general and practicing alot for the next year which promises to be even better, because i have some big projects coming up which i cant talk about just yet.
Thanks to Flatmatters for giving me the chance to write this small article.Have fun!

Pat Schoolen: Moto Sasaki at Jomopro. I never tire of watching Moto’s fluid, original and crazy hard riding.