Long Beach Flatland Jam 2007


In this day and age, when Flatland is struggling in general, the need for grass roots flatland jams becomes more essential than ever. All around the world Jams are becoming moreimage common place than ever before, they have born out of necessity. Not everyone wants to compete, for some Flatland is social meeting point, for some its hardcore riding, what’s common is the people involved love flatland and need an outlet.
Organise a jam in your area, introduce new people to flatland, you could set up a clinic and have people teach basic flatland, you could even have a bike demonstrating what a flatland bike is, you may take that for granted, but not everyone knows. …Be productive.

I made my almost traditional trip out to California for my third intrikat jam in a row, the lure of winter sunshine and warm temperatures holds too great for a UK flatlander.
This trip I stayed with the head honcho is Diversion Tv’s Bobby Carter, we rode at the Hollywood jam spot “Studio City” for five hours or more every single day learning new tricks. And in the evenings discussing our main love...flatland.
Bobby showed me all the tourist spots of Hollywood, check the photos.image
The talk the week leading up to the jam was that it may rain, did it ever rain in California I wondered. Those guys tell me a 50 degree day with slight winds is a bad day…
The jam day came around soon enough, awoken by Blue skies blazing through “the lab”, its California dude, come on.
We hit up breakfast, and then went to pick up Hollywood Steve, and arrived at the infamous Wilson basketball courts around 11. At this time there were only a few riders there. So we went to get food supplies for the day and meet up with Terry Adams who was staying at Fat Tony’s house just across the road.
Terry was coaching this lady who works for Red Bull how to do a flatground bar spin on the back pegs. About half an hour had past by this point and we went back to the jam, the riding turnout had certainly gone up a notch or two with maybe 25 riders out there, what especially stoked me this year, was to see more beginner guys out there. This gives me hope for the future of flatland.
imageThese jams are all about “growing the scene from grass roots level up”, so in this respect I think this was the most successful Intrikat Jam so far.
One am rider stood out in my mind, they call him “Vegas Mike”, he busted out a ton of nice inside rolling moves, multiple inside hang five turbines to inside spinning fork wheelie to inside spinning hitchhiker, and also crazy close to hitchhiker 360 flip to hitchhiker in straight line…
The media were in full flow, Fat Tony was there covering the proceedings for US Ride and Bmx Online, and Bmx Plus were also there, Bobby Carter (Diversion Tv) of course in attendance as well as myself covering for UK Ride.
There were quite a few pros in attendance this year, Terry Adams, Travis Collier, Pete Brandt, Jesse Puente, myself, Chad Johnston, Ed Nussbaum, Sean McKinney, as few as few others. What stoked about this jam was the number of up and comers in attendance, bunnyhop whips seemed to be getting thrown down at will at one point I recall, (is that a beginner trick now?)..
The media mainly shot with Terry and Travis, as everyone else sessioned hard, the court was fairly packed all day, everyone sessioning in different groups.
Pete B was doing this nice multiple hitchhiker turbine whip to circle k to halfpacker into a long ass combo, the previous night Pete was doing halftime shows at a NBA game, so adapting from a gymnasium glass floor to a rough slanted floor must have been a nightmare.
imageFresh onboard his signature Sickchild, The riding of Chad Johnston particularly caught my eye, no brakes as usual, but no pegs, pumping nose wheelies into scarlo squeaks whipped round into framestand tomahawk, pumping death truck on the pedals, Chad actually pumped stuff that I’ve never seen before, it was awesome and refreshing to see. Chad is amazing.
Travis had a nice new combo onboard his signature Macneil, infront of bars two footed frontyard whipped round to pumping xfted tomahawk flipped to halfpacker.
Hanging out with Terry Adams is always awesome, good to see Terry recovered from his burst appendix. Terry is the media machine, and had Fat Tony and the dude from Bmx Plus shooting him at random points through the day, check out Terry’s v-spot vid here on global flat to check his latest combos.
I had a really good day sessioning and got few combos done I’ve never fully done before, seven crackpacker turbines mid long combo was the highlight for me. Psyched.
Jesse Puente turned up around 2, during one session I had with him he did this crazy coasting g-roll with his foot on headtube no footed, no words to describe that!
imageAs the jam slowed down Bobby Carter started sessioning this crazy string hoop ball gadget, minutes later Bobby was trying to roll a hitchhiker and loop the ball into the hole all at the same time, check the photo.
The jam was a total success in my eyes, just over 65 riders in attendance.
The low point of the day was getting kicked out by the Police around 330pm, at which point we went to go riding at the Marina riding spot (where Trevor Meyer rode on Mixt), some riders went to Cal State to ride, as we got to the Marina it started raining (although enough rain to stop riding), so it wasn’t a big deal getting kicked out. Myself and Ed Nussbaum rode in the rain whilst everyone moaned it was to cold and wet…It made my think of the divide in riding conditions a rider from California would have from a rider in Europe. I even learnt a new trick in the rain, whip to crackpacker whip to halfpacker, Ed has a solid mix of crazy pivots front and back wheel, and is super underrated, was a treat to session with him both at this spot and at Studio City earlier in the week.
imageAfter the session went down everyone met up at a taco joint to talk about the days riding and hang out catch up, from there we went down to find an art gallery that everyone was supposed to go to, almost the first shop I saw when got out Bobby’s XB, was this skate shop, I walk in, and there’s Leo Dumlao!! Only in California!!! As it turns out these guys in this shop had just opened and were having a party, free beer, hip hop beats, and computer, it made for a cool wind down from the days riding.
We arranged to meet up with some riders for an after jam at Studio City the next day, which turned out to be really awesome, this was a great trip. Thanks to Bobby Carter for being an amazing host, Chad and Amy Johnston for organising the Intrikat jam every year, Chris Day for the free goodies, and all the riders for making it what it was. I think I captured it well at the time, “you know it’s a good jam when it gets shut down”...

2007-12-15 - Effraim Catlow