Masterclasses with M. Kuoppa

     Master classes with Martti Kuoppa

Like I said two weeks ago, for one week Holland would be the homeland of one of the worlds best rider of this time; Martti Kuoppa. Sjoerd from Daredevul (one of Holland’s bmxshops: made it possible for the Dutch flatlanders to follow classes tutored by Mister KGB himself. Martti stayed in a nice hotel in Amsterdam, so every day he went to Utrecht by train, leaving his bike in the Daredevul shop.

Because I was pretty busy with school I only had one opportunity to go to these classes and that would be on the Friday. I heard some nice stories from some friends that went there one of the days before me so I had pretty high expectations.

Finally THE day arrived and I went to Utrecht which is a 65 minute train ride from my town. The location where the master classes where held was just pretty great! It was in a huge sporting complex inside the train station of Utrecht Central station, so when I got out of the train it took me like 90 seconds to get to the front door of the Complex. I already rode there before so I knew what to expect. The temperature inside the hall was abnormal hot. I don’t know why, but there were almost no ventilation possibilities. Only some emergency doors that stood open almost the entire day made it possible to get some nice cool air.

Anyway, the hall was huge, but the floor…. The floor was made of a pretty soft material that caused for some fine rolling-troubles. When you tried to role you needed to have a pretty high speed to roll far. That was really a shame.

BUT…Martti was there as well! So that took pretty much all the minus points away. When I arrived, there where like 10 flatlanders. Martti stood next to Sjoerd in the middle of the hall watching everybody doing his/her tricks. I went to Sjoerd to say hi, and Martti shake my hand while introducing him (like I didn’t know who he was…..)

After a short chat with the man I prepared myself to ride by changing my shoes and take of my coat. Martti told me that if I had any troubles with whatever trick I should ask him to help me. So it wasn’t like a ski class or something where the teacher is doing a trick, and all the pupils are doing it afterwards.

Pretty much all the Dutch flatlanders (read: 100 persons) showed up one of the days to ride with Martti. It was really fun to see Martti do basic stuff like funky chickens and squeakers. He was there to help people and he really did.
When there where no questions, he practised his own tricks which made my mouth fall open so wide you could throw a basketball in it. I could sum up every combo I saw him do, but it’s just too much…

At this moment I only have a few pictures of this event. I forgot my own camera so I have to wait on the pictures that other people made those days.
When I speak to Bram Verhallen (one of Holland’s best flatlanders) who was there the same day as me hopefully he will send me some of his pictures that I can put online for you here

After all I can say I had a really great day in Utrecht with Martti. I heard some rumours that there will be another Master class next year with another Pro flatlander so that looks pretty promising. I hope you’ll enjoy the pictures I have so far. And as soon as I have the others I’ll upload them so you can enjoy those as well.

24th of November 2004 - Pim Ritsel ( Sander Noorlander )