“It was great to have Anton travel out to Australia recently to spend a little time in Sydney & Brisbane. As the Areas team rider in Singapore, it was great to be able to session & spend some time with such a great guy & rider. We only had a weekend to get the business done, so with Twaffy & yours truly keen for sessions, Kentaro Iba from Japan (who’s living in Brisbane for the moment) down for the cause we loaded up the VW Caddy with the aim of hitting as many places as we could along the way.
To see a little result of what we managed to achieve you can click here for the down low…
Anton & I talked about doing a feature interview for Newcircle & he was up for it. The following are his thoughts… read on!” Shane Badman
1. Full name, age & how long have you been involved in BMX?
My name is Anton Tang born in Indonesia on 1984, move to Singapore when I was 3 and is 26 this year. I rode my first BMX bike at the age of 12 so I have been riding for the past 14 years.
2. How did you get involved in BMX/flatland?
The X-game was the one that influence me into extreme sport, at that point of time I am unaware about flatland because the tv only broadcast BMX riders on half pipe ramps. But it was cool enough to get my attention so from that moment I told myself that I must try this someday. I persuade my dad to buy me a BMX bike at the age of 12 but I spent most of my time cruising around the neighborhood instead of doing what I saw on tv. Fortunately I met a group of great mountain riders who taught me basic foundation such as wheelies and bunnyhop, I hang out with them so often that I almost switch to ride trial bike. But a year later I found out about flatland when I saw these group of BMX riders who could pull tricks like boomerang and mega spin. They show me that there are many possibilities with BMX, the spinning tricks just blew me away so I decided drop the idea of buying trial bike to ride pure flatland.
3. Please describe the scene that you are from in Singapore?
I started riding back in the mid-90s when the flatland scene was relatively strong and it was also the time when the scene begin to decline. On regular weekend up to 20- 30 riders would show up at East coast park or town for practice. I remember vividly the different combination of colorful bikes spinning under the spot light at parking lot. I must admit that the rider’s skills were as impressive as what I saw on video tapes, we have guys who could bust crazy links and tricks like multiple whiplash and death truck. Unfortunately all the great flatlanders have to quit due to work and family commitment.
Right now the lack of flatland exposure here has cause the scene in Singapore to drop drastically to less than 10 active riders. The main problem was due to National Service which every Singapore guys must go through for 2 years. Most of the guys stop riding during this period of time unless he get into some flexible vocation which allow him to go home every day. Unfortunately my vocation was reconnaisse scout which almost stop me from riding completely because my work require me to stay in camp all the time. However after National Service I manage to get my motivation back to ride again because the flatland scene is not dead yet.
In Singapore flatland riders normally ride by themselves in their hometown on weekdays and will travel to Citylink on Saturday for a jam session. Citylink is a large underpass which interconnect major shopping malls, Esplanade theatre and MRT station together. This place is also known as the heaven of 2 wheels for all flatland riders because the surface is perfectly flat and it provide shelter from hasty sun, wind and rain. Despite having less than 10 riders, sometime we do have visitors who came all the way from Japan, Hong Kong, Philippines and Malaysia to ride with us. On top of that we also have big riders such as Terry Adam, Martti Kuoppa, York Uno, Bobby Carter, Pete Brandt, Justin Miller and too many to list down, who have rode here before. There is no reason to miss this spot if you are in Singapore and we are there only on Saturday!
4. How would you describe living in Singapore?
Singapore is a multi-racial country where people live harmoniously together regardless of race, language and religion. The climate here is hot and humid throughout the whole year so you often get perspiration even though you are not doing anything. What I love about Singapore is the safe and clean environment, we have the best transport system and great variety of foods. However life in Singapore is very hectic and competitive because our country is over populated, everyone is fighting for their own space and due to the scarcity of land buying a house or vehicle is extremely expensive.
5. You were recently in Australia & it was great to spend some time with you. How was your trip here? Any memories that stand out?
Australia is such a big country with so much to see, I wish my stay could be longer to explore more. There are also plenty of landscape photographs opportunity for enthusiastic photographer to shot here. What I like most about Australia is the laidback lifestyle, I feel relax enjoying the cool weather, food and breathtaking scenery. In between my stay at Sydney I flew to Brisbane to hook up with Shane, Kentaro and Twaffy. We had a long day riding 3 session at 3 different location. We also visit Clint Miller’s new house and Colony warehouse, he has this bad ass 1964 type 3 which roars like a rocket jet! And those kids from local skate park were totally wicked sick!
I felt that my entire journey in Australia is a great memories, I went to Nan tien temple which is one of the largest Buddha temple in southern hemisphere. I will never forget this place because it was so majestic huge and grand that it looks like it was glowing. I have also been to 7 different beaches to shot waterscape photos, the current was very strong that it is impossible not to get wet. Lastly Shane brought me to Gold Coast for dinner, while waiting at the traffic there was this group of “Gold Coast chick” that walk passed me and one of them smack my ass really hard. I was too shock to react so all I did was watch them giggles away.
6. Do you have any other places that you would like to travel too & if so, why?
Some of the places that I look forward to visit are Japan, Philippines, France and Thailand. I like to check out the places of interest such as Eiffel tower or the mega Gundam statue. Travelling to various country allow me to meet new riders and gain meaningful experience. Beside that I also enjoy eating different variety of foods. I love to go back Australia again to explore other areas which I have missed out, the problem that hold me back is time and money.
7. You ride for Ares & your style is clean & sharp. Who are your riding influences & what is it about the rider that makes them interesting to you?
Ryoji Yammoto and Viki Gomez are the 2 riders who influences me, they were the first few riders who did very technical bar flip switch during their routine. Some of their switch require them to twist their wrist, whip the frame and pivot foot all at the same, it sound and look complicated but this are the styles that appeal me. Another style which I like are those big jumps done by Martti Kuoppa and Terry Adam, they both drop it like a bomb.
8. Do you have any interests outside of riding?
Apart from riding I shot photographs, you can view my pictures at www.antontang.com. I am an IT geek who mess around with computer parts and I enjoy playing classical piano.
9. What does the future hold for Anton Tang?
I would like to travel more places to capture beautiful moments for the world to see and get my tricks as dialed as possible.
10. Any final words you would like to say? And thank you’s?
First of all I would like to thank Shane Badman, Twaffy and Kentaro Iba for showing me around during my stay in Brisbane! You guys are awesome I had such a great time here.
Secondly to my sponsors by Ming’s Enterprise and Aresbykes Singapore, thank you for the opportunity and support which you have given me all this years. And also big thank you to Kris Gironella from Flipbykes Philippines who have been helping Singapore flatland scene.
Lastly thank you to Newcircle for this interview, you guys did an amazing job by promoting flatland in Australia and across the world. I hope to see you again next time and best of luck for the future. Rock & roll !
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