Down to the final part of my review of 2012! If you have been following the reviews, you will know they are pretty detailed, and true to form, it doesn’t change here!
September kicked off with some contest news, Lee Musselwhite won the UK Championships for the second year in a row in Bristol. Over in Budapest, Adam Kun won the OSG 3 contest which looked like one of the best events of the year, great to see Mike S on the podium, go back and look through the trailers and contest footage, great contest in all aspects. This is of course served as the warm up to the biggest contest of the year, the Red Bull Circle of Balance in Kyoto, Japan! This was definitely my highlight of the year, flatland on the big stage, and of course I had the honour of hosting the live feed to all of you at home.
When Andy Zeiss, “Hey E, do you think you can talk about flatland for two and half hours with Frank Lucas”. I laughed to myself and thought that is not a problem at all, I planned a loose show taking into account Frank had previously rode in the Circle of Balance event. Unfortunately Frank was unable to make it, so after a few meetings at the event we invited a few guests (The US Haro Team were in the house! Ryan Nyquist, Dennis McCoy were chosen, and a few riders as they would drop out of the contest, and I proposed inviting people to tweet into me with shootouts and thoughts on the events, to give it that interactive feel. The build up to the final show you all watched was incredible, the Haro team put on an epic show outside of the event. It was role reversal in Japan, Flatland centre stage, Park riding as a warm up. Then I started to have doubts, “shit two and a half hours is a long time on your own”, as it turned out, the show honestly felt like half an hour, when your having a blast like that, it’s easy to see why!
Thinking about the event now still gives me goosebumps, and I still have visions of standing up for the last final battle and screaming my lungs off with Dennis and Terry thinking we were going going fall off the top of the bleachers. Flatland this night definitely went to a higher place, congratulations once more to Viki Gomez, achieving his third COB win over a ten year period, something I do not think will happen again. Hosting the show was a total blast and something I will never forget, thank you Andy, Red Bull, and flatland!
The aftermath of the Circle Of Balance was quite rightly taken up with tons of videos from the contest, I especially liked Deep Bmx’s take on it, who toured Japan, and showed that tour vibe, with lil’ parts showing the contest. I also did caught up with the winner Viki Gomez that is well worth a read again, great hearing his perspective and emotion at winning for the third time. Once again if you check the bibliography after this article and can you scroll through each video as you so wish.
Getting back home and back to reality, and the jetlag even though I was only in the land of rising sun for 4 days, was hell for a week. I got back home and remember the first video that I watched was a trailer featuring Shuichi Osada one of my favourite riders from japan, a feeling hit me, why did I come home? Then dropped Aki’s video, right after the COB! This was largely slept on, I’m guessing due to the timing of its release…
September 13th was an awesome day for edits and news! Long beach’s Sean Fontenot dropped a crazy “Never give up” edit with some mind boggling xfted cab stuff and took the harshest slams, this dude has that fire, go back and watch this one! Dedication to the cause! 2012 was a great year for Jean Francois Bouilainne, and he deserves his hook up with Flatware, a few days later JFB teamed up with Sevisual to bring you his “Welcome to Flatware edit!”!
The FlatWeb TV guys gave so much to flatland last year, aside from the regular shows which is enough work, I really thought there individual edits stood out, and the edit from Vancouver stood out, so good to see some fresh Cory Fester footage! The day finished with the Nora Cup Nominees being announced, with many people speculating as always, it was for sure between Ucchie and Dominik.
On September 17th, one of the most underrated riders on the planet in my opinion, Thomas Noyer dropped a crazy edit entitled “Pieces of Combos” that further enhanced his rep in flatland circles. I expect big things from this man in 2013! Pete Brandt and the crew featured in a tight “Clocktower jam SF” edit on the same day. Always get good vibes watching the SF jam edits, makes me want to go back someday!
A day later and Red Bull released a really tight edit from the COB event, the event already had mad amount of coverage, but this came over as being fresh, which is amazing in itself after how much coverage came out.
On the 21st, Yohei “Ucchie” Uchino was voted as the Nora Cup Flatlander of the year! Winning the first two stops of the Word Circuit and a banging 430 part. A part of me does feel this award goes out to early in the year as there still were a few months to go, but hey, it might not have made much difference anyway…
As the month began to wind down, the edits/news didn’t, JFB was on a high from the FlatWare hook and took the win at the FlatDance 2012 event in Slovakia.
I’m always looking for the next “big rider”, and this kid might well be it, all year he released progressive videos! If you do not know the name “Mateus Beckmann”, type his name into the search bar, and watch a young kid enjoying flatland progression, it is beautiful to watch unfold!
Alberto Moya enjoyed a great 2012, released his 360 bar flip Cliffhanger, entitled “Aoosttt” as well as yet another scene video featuring the riding of Moya, Guelo, and Varo Hernandez. Like Thomas Noyer, I expect big things from Moya this year!
Two of the best edits of the year dropped on the 26th and 27th. And in a way summed one of the great things about 2012! Diversity. Matt Wilhlem’s “At home” edit has all cringing at screen with “that slam”, and amazed as always at the speed of his riding! James White “Whitelines” edit follows a calmer route in riding but equally impressive, and his “bikeflip” surprised the flatland world. The term “Must Watch” was seeming to overdone, but was truly worth it. I imagine these two edits played on repeat at many a flatlanders house over the rest of the year!
Jean William Prevost killed it at the Red Bull COB, and was a name now everybody was talking about. His Interview with Marked Mayhem was perfectly timed, talking about his riding, his travels, and contest experience. Another guy to look out for this year, how would he follow up the success of Japan. Toronto is fast approaching…
On the same day I caught up with Flatland legend, Kerry Gatt to discuss his COB experience, this actually turned out to be one of my favourite interviews of the year. If you missed this one, hit the bibliography, great read!
The month finished with a couple of sweet edits from Jesse Puente “Welcome to Wrung”, Davis Dudelis 60 meter Nose manual, and Mike S exercising at LVR! What a blinding month to the growing list!
In October, the edits were still going from the Red Bull COB. This was one was on a different tip though, and focussed documentary style on Deco owner and rider(s) Chad Degroot and Kerry Gatt! Take a peak back at this one, great edit by Hiroshi!
A day later Tom at Sevisual released a dope black and white edit from the The bridge jam in Vienna, great riding from Markus Redlburger, Sebastian Grubinger, amongst others.
On October 4th I was out in Tossa del Mar, an hour north of Barcelona to judge the Rebel jam. Sunshine, beaches, and beautiful postcard views for a week. As always the Rebel jam is run entirely different. And actually made judging flatland a lot easer, if you had to pick winners from the weekend that would be Jesse Puente who had the run of his life, Matthias Dandois, and Alexis Desolneux who hit two of his hardest moves. But the Rebel jam is all about the BMX experience, I hope to go back to this venue one day. Beautiful.
The worst thing about the Rebel jam was the wi-fi, painfully slow which made updating the site very tricky and time consuming more than usual. Whilst all eyes were on the Rebel jam, there are still amazing edits dropping worldwide. Case in point, the Huntington beach edit featuring Terry Adams, Bobby Carter and Sean Fontenot, this edit captured that HB vibe from the 90′s, and whilst it wasn’t a throwback edit at all, it took many of us way back to that time when HB was the capital of the flatland world.
On October 9th,the Flat WebTV guys dropped an amazing post Red Bull COB show, that featured great insight from the winner Viki Gomez, the MC Scott O’Brien, myself on livefeed, Mike S from judging perspective, plus many more. Well with going back and watching this one!
Two days later, Jason Plourde dropped an intense edit entitled “Liberate”, last year it really felt Jasn had found his way, destroying the back wheel with Raphael Chiquet like pivots, and multiple footjam decade variations mid combo, mixing them into whoppers, amongst other tricks. Amazing!
A week after Rebel jam the focus shifted to the other side of the world. Austin, Texas. And the Texas Toast event, plenty on the line for the year end AM Flat titles, TJ Perry took the win in am, we interviewed him shortly after which caused quite a response! Todd Carter was right behind Tj and took the year end title, congrats Todd! (hit the bibliography for interviews with TJ and Todd!) And in Pro, Dominik Nekolny dropped a hammer last combo, that had many saying the hardest line every done in a contest. One thing is for certain, after a bad start to the weekend with the Pralex car getting broken into and Dom’s bag getting stolen. Winning the event, and the year end title in pro, improved things! What a year for Dominik! Texas Toast along with the Rebel jam took a great deal of the coverage during October!
Some of UK scene headed to Bristol (who has one of the best scenes in the UK) for Mayko Lee’s birthday jam, and as well as the Bristol crew putting on a sweet jam for Mayko Lee, they dropped a tight edit a few days after the event, and we caught up with Josh to see what work went into putting the day on! Hit the bibliography if you missed this one, or refresh the mind maybe.
October 17th was another great day for flatland! Any footage of Steve Mulder is awesome, multiple hanggliders are relatively unheard of in this day in age of peg to peg boomerangs, Mulder completely smashed it with 5 brakeless! To my knowledge thats a record, unless he’s beat it himself? Steve?
Luis Elias Benavides published Part 1 of his Radio interview with flatland legend, Chase Gouin, they discussed his recovery with fungal/mould illness, how he got into riding, his passion for flatland riding, of particular interest to me was the question about judging, where he talks about variety, trickiontary, originality. So much more. Great interview!
I told you the 17th was a good day, and Alex Jumelin teamed up with Fat Tony to bring you a welcome to freegun edit, filmed in Las Vegas, whilst Alex was in town for the Nora Cup ceremony.
What a year for Jim McKay, fast becoming one of the best filmers in the game, another Must Watch from the pre jam for the Texas Toast at the infamous OG spot, such an amazing vibe comes across watching this edit.
Three days later and another great day for flatland edits. What I especially liked about this day was the variety of different types of edits coming in, as you will see if you go back and watch these.
Martti Kuoppa back on a bike! A great day if nothing else, and just messing around with a mega spin full whopper to mega spin decade out! That was enough for me, but the day continued! Jeff Scheer released a really good edit full of different techniques I hadn’t seen in years, but really brought a smile to my face seeing this edit! And holy shit, Sietse Van Berkel in the second half of the year seemed to just elevate to monster status riding wise, absolutely smashing it in his September 2012 edit, great style and tricks from this shredder from Holland. Big future for this guy! Anthony Buglio rounded up a cracking day with a brilliant show from the Texas Toast, really digging the shows isolated to one topic, whether interview or contest, on this occasion, great interviews and riding footage! Top marks FlatWebTV!
On October 22nd, Mr Hyper, Dez Maarsen dropped a sick downside whip to rollback rolled clip! A day later, Chase Gouin Part 2 of his radio interview with Luis Elias discussing his health, signature frame, taking part in contests, favourite riders, suggestions to beginners, and influence of flatland in his life. Definitely worth going back and listening to both interviews.
As the month started winding down, surprise surprise the edits did not! Jim McKay dropped a great short edit with Holland’s Michael Van der Kroft,who went down a similar route to Alex Jumelin with his riding, not touching the seat. It will be interesting to see in 2013, what he gets up to!
Remember the name, Kensuke Hamai! His riding is a mix of Raphael Chiquet, and Yohei Uchino, killer back wheel flow! Big future for this guy if he keeps shredding like he did in 2012! On the same day, Scott Powell released a dope edit entitled “Let the bikes in”, even though it was old footage, I was still amazed at the double foot jam combo in this one! Timeless. Over in Spain, Adam Kun won the MiraFlow contest in Sevilla!
We ended the month stoked on two edits, from Charles Paty and that name again, Adam Kun! I can already hear people saying, oh yeah that edit! Charles Paty killed it in his Superb frames testing edit, killer nose manual combos. On a different tip, Adam teamed up with the Hungarian bank, to film one of the most professional looking edits yet. Both equally awesome edits for very different reasons! A great end to yet another great month!
Now you would think, November.. The weather starts turning bad, nights drawing in, less edits! Wrong! November started like it was the middle of summer in terms of content. I remember thinking wow, this is non stop work! Four amazing edits dropped from the Texas Toast, Dax Wolford, Pete Brandt, and Guelo and Moya, hit the bibliography to watch throughout them.
A few days later, Dax was back with a dope triple turbine edit. York Uno released a really nice edit with “Doke in Kobe”. Joris Bretagnolles won the Vibration Urbaines contest in France. And Jim McKay released “A tips on making better flatland edits” article from TCU, firstly good news the TCU are finally covering flatland, and also good it was someone who knows what they are talking about! Lot of helpful tips to consider on this topic, as we of course flatlanders not film makers.
There then seemed to be a lil’ down time for the first time I can recall all year, of 5-6 days of chilled edits. Then on the 11th, things started to fire up again! Dane Beardsley enjoyed a great year, and took a well deserved first place at the Trans jam in Greenville. Anthony Brogden was spitting feather son the mic during Dane’s run! Go back and watch his second run for one hell of an incredible back wheel line.
Pete Brandt had numerous dope edits throughout the year, but this “Clocktower tales” edit really stood out for me. An inspiration to us all, the man is on it more than ever!
It didn’t seem like Jim McKay was far out of the limelight this year, and on the 12th he released the “Must Watch” edit from Texas Toast. On the same day, Fat Tony released the 2013 flatland calendar with Dane Beardsley on the cover, and Team Pralex on the back. Thanks to fat we had a couple of exclusives on the calendar behind the scenes, hit the bibliography for the juice if you missed these.
S&M made some big statements of intent this year, not only Chad blowing up and dropping one of the best edits. But Peter Olsen delivered a hammer part for us all to drool over, this edit swept across every flatland and bmx website that knew what was up that day, and on repeat for days to come. As it turns out arguably the top 3 edits of the year, were all from S&M riders! Like I said, a real big statement!!
4 days later was all about Matthias Dandois! On this day he won the Com’in Lyon contest and released a really well produced and thought out whiplash how to, that set the standard for how-tos in this digital era. Amazing quality and insight into the trick!
As November wound down as I busy getting articles ready to celebrate 4 years of Flatmatters! Rather than just an edit this year, I wanted to have exclusive content dropping all week to celebrate, and we featured during that week, two part rider perspective on 2012, a interview with the master of the foot jam decade, John Yull, a two part huge interview with Viki Gomez! We announced our media partnership with BMX Union, The Merged, Freecoaster.com, and Can I Dig it? And also during that time Alex JUmelin had a dope TCU interview, Sietse Van Berkel continued his amazing year with another banging clip.
As we rolled into the last month of the year. A few sponsorship chains were happening, firstly Yohei Uchino signed for Red Bull, and Matthias Dandois quit Ares Bykes.
On December 6th besides the part 2 of the rider perspective article dropping, Kenshiro released a sick quad decade clip, that had many of us talking! Most notably, Flat Web Tv held their 2012 awards show, and I was truly honoured to be considered for the lifetime achievement award, let alone to take the award. Watch the show above to see who else won what, if you missed it!
Now we don’t see a great deal with Brian Tunney, but when we do it is always a treat, classic rolling style, and his edit on December 7th was a Must Watch! Also on this day, the KOG organisers released an amazing expert class edit, and Sergio Balu from Brazil “amazed us! Sorry couldn’t resist, in reference to title before you ask!
December 8th was another good day for edits and even though it was towards the need of the year, the edits and sheer volume didn’t slow down hardly at all. One of the things I will take most from the year would be that fact alone, pretty amazing when you think about it. Anyway, on this day, it was great to see Catfish release a “world-wide” that reflected his travels, different cultures, wild partying and the odd amazing flatland move here and there. Thats a good watch! Com’in Lyon also released a tight edit from their contest. And over in Tokyo, Yohei Uchino narrowly beat Viki Gomez for the top spot at the G Shock Real Toughness event.
On December 12th, the news that Same Thing Daily 3 was in the works dropped. Sietse Van Berkel dropped a clip in 0 Celsuis, Ciaran Perry released some amazing old footage of himself from 2008, and Tyler Gilliard’s Welcome to FreeGun edit dropped, hopefully we will see more from this guy this year!
After much speculation, the news dropped that Matthias Dandois was riding for Haro Bikes! And would be riding Dennis Enerson’s signature SD frame. In a random bit of news related to this, I just got word today from hare manager, Colin McKay that his Welcome to Haro edit will be dropping anyway! So hold tight!
December 17th was a great day for flatland, both Sam Foakes and Matthias Dandois released sick edits, that reminded me of old times those two going head to head, anyone else notice these guys seem to have a habit of releasing edits on the same date. Also on this day, Scott O”brine put down the mic, and let us see him shred in New Orleans, dope vibes from the City Park riding spot!
On December 23rd, Adam Kun released a Must Watch edit from his last session of 2012! And whilst many of us were occupied with Christmas. In japan, the KOG/WC Finals were going down, for me it was a shame that due to the scheduling of this event, no one from outside of japan was there. It kind of diminishes all their hard work thats gone on in previous rounds. Nevertheless as we all know, the riding at the final event of the year was absolutely mind-blowing, with Hotoke taking the win, Yohei Uchino taking the World Circuit, could Dominik Nekolny have taken it? We’ll never know. And Moto Sasaki finished 3rd with a dope 1 minute long combo that on any other day would be enough. Go back and watch this edit again! Pure fire!!
Things slow down on Christmas day? Hell no! On Christmas day Alex Jumelin and Jim McKay released “The style the life” with some of AJ’s best riding to date! And FlatWebTV interviewed Chad Johnston and Peter Olsen who both won awards respectively.
On Boxing day, the KOG edits were in full flow, and ESPn released a really dope interview with Simon O’Brien. early stoked to see more of SOB shredding in 2013!
On December 28th we broke the news, that James White as on S&M! And fittingly the year ended with James White teaming up with james smith to bring you his Welcome to S&M edit! Not to forget on the same day a dope flashback edit from Waldemar Fatkin, expect big things from this stylecat this year.
And that as they say is a wrap! What an incredible year that I hope I’ve done some justice if you can be bothered to read through it all! I hope more than anything that this article in its three parts acts more of an archive that you can refer to! Big respect to every flatlander on the planet that has brought content to all of us worldwide, and kept the scene moving forward! 2013 will have a hell of a job trying to top that!