Author Topic: Opinion: The brakeless trend is killing flatland  (Read 2164 times)

Offline mal

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Opinion: The brakeless trend is killing flatland
« on: March 25, 2020, 03:22:36 PM »
I believe that the brakeless trend is killing flatland and moving people to other forms of riding,like street.

I will be fast.

Imagine you are a kid or an interested in bmx person in general,you see all this cool flatland action on videos,contests etc and you want to begin flatland yourself.

Most people you see will be riding brakeless,as this is the trend.So you get a bike and start learning!
After a month or so you start getting completely disappointed and discouraged because,obviously,you can't pull jack.

You either quit or start riding something easier like street or park,where brakes are not that mandatory to begin learning.
Because newer riders don't know that all the people they see doing crazy stuff brakeless had brakes for years (or decades) when they were learning the basics.

You can't begin flatland brakeless.Maybe you can but you will end up learning 2 tricks and have no idea where to go next,your riding will be so limited that you will eventually quit either of boredom or lack of progression.You will maybe consider yourself talentless because you have no idea in the world how these people learned these stuff and you can't.

Well,thats my opinion on one of the reasons flatland became such a small percentage (almost non existent) in the bmx riding styles.

Not saying that there are no other factors,like people are more fascinated on more spectacular and dangerous forms of riding,like kingsize ramps and jumps.
Just pointing out something that i think has been kept of the radar.

Please discuss!
« Last Edit: March 25, 2020, 03:32:04 PM by mal »

Offline vortexblue

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Re: Opinion: The brakeless trend is killing flatland
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2020, 05:38:53 PM »
Yay for discussion!

The group of people I ride with almost all have brakes.  Out of 20 or so people, I think 2 are brakeless.  Granted, we're all older, and aren't current pros (some, former pros)...The recent OneLove jam in Newport had a big mix of brakes/ brakeless. 

I think it's all in what you're watching.  If noobs (like myself) are getting discouraged, they're not opening their eyes to the larger scene. 

Comparison:  I track old Miatas; I don't get angry when I can't keep up with F1 cars lap times- they're at a different level.  I can appreciate what they do, but I wouldn't bother to compare myself to them.



Offline nosubsteve

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Re: Opinion: The brakeless trend is killing flatland
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2020, 09:10:18 PM »
I can see where it comes from, removing your brakes is an instant +10 style points in the eyes of most riders, but I personally enjoy seeing the wider variety of tricks, as long as it flows.

Saying that, I don't like seeing someone jam brakes on and hop, I think that could have been left in the past. Just my opinion though, I don't find it entertaining to watch in the same way as I don't find pogos in freestyle skateboarding fun to watch.

Doing them, is another matter! Hippity hoppity sh*t is always going to be super fun :D

To me it's the difference between freestyle, and competition level flatland... I don't have a group of riders to hang with though, so all I see is the media that's spoon fed to me.

It's very unlikely I'll be doing brakeless decades anytime soon though.

Offline Furball

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Re: Opinion: The brakeless trend is killing flatland
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2020, 10:24:44 PM »
29 years into the flatland game, 15 years brakeless. Hardly a trend for me.
I'll post a longer answer as soon as my health improves.
Remember, grammar is the difference between "I helped my uncle Jack off a horse", and "I helped my uncle jack off a horse".

I just started getting into flatland stuff about 3 days ago and suck so far, I blame my sh*tty bike and lack of practice.

Offline aliasdck

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Re: Opinion: The brakeless trend is killing flatland
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2020, 11:21:54 PM »
I don't know, flatland is pretty damn hard both with or without brakes. If you watched two kids progress, one with brakes and one without, I think you'd see them both progressing just along different paths. As hard as flatland is I don't think it's going to matter whether the kid starts with or without brakes because if they are going to give up they would have most likely done so regardless of their brake choice.

Offline Timmer74

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Re: Opinion: The brakeless trend is killing flatland
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2020, 02:51:57 AM »
I rode flatland back in the mid 80's to about '92 then stopped for 23 or so years. When I came back I went back to what I knew... brakes all over my bike. After a few years I decided to give brakeless a try. For no other reason than 'why not?'. I instantly lost a huge portion of my relatively limited bag of tricks. Even if I didn't use the brake(s) in the trick I lost some of them. Was mostly a mind game for me. I was so used to having my fingers on the brake lever that not having it there messed with my head. However, at the same time, it felt so free and awesome. I've since gone back to riding a front brake. Just the other day I was looking for the hardware in my toolbox for the rear brake to try again but I didn't have the right mounts for my current frame. I did try putting rear brakes on about a year or so ago for a single session. I literally almost killed myself because I didn't know how to use them any more! After that session I removed them and 'never again!'... yet, there I was the other day thinking about it.

I agree about what you said steve with the brakes being there as long as it flows. I too don't like all the hoppity hop tricks that we used to do back in the 80s.

Brakes...no brakes... To me, I don't really care nor do I think that brakeless (directly, anyway) is killing flatland. In my opinion, it's because:
1) flatland is extremely hard to learn (no matter what version of brakes you're running). This is probably why it's never really been super popular either.

2) finding a good spot can be extremely hard. sometimes you'll find the perfect spot then you'll get kicked out for whatever reason

3) there's so few that ride flatland and many people don't like riding solo. However, I love to ride solo. But, I also enjoy riding with other people. Solo is just the norm for me.

4) I hate to say it, but I think us flatlanders are sort of the 'nerds' of the BMX world. The 'cool' kids hang at the park. I literally will be riding and little kids mock me on their bikes and call me a 'ballerina' or something else that, I guess, is supposed to offend me. it doesnt... Doesn't now, nor did it back when I was a kid in highschool being laughed at by the cheerleaders/jocks. I didn't see them doing cherrypickers, miami hoppers, lawnmowers.... oh wait... now that I think back at those tricks they ARE pretty laughable. 

Anyway, sorry to yammer on there... it's definitely an interesting topic. ride on!
 

Offline nosubsteve

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Re: Opinion: The brakeless trend is killing flatland
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2020, 07:10:18 PM »
I literally will be riding and little kids mock me on their bikes and call me a 'ballerina'

Have you tried not wearing the tutu?

Offline rideflat43

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Re: Opinion: The brakeless trend is killing flatland
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2020, 05:03:17 AM »

I have both front and back brakes..some might call me old school
for that,but I was never into the total brakeless thing and my bike
is still under 20 pounds.I do love the way I can feather the brakes
to slow descent or movement to the point of balance, if you know
what I am talking about in pivoting the bike or in direction.


Vortexblue..do I know you and you were at this year's One Love
Jam 2020 and I have put up photos from that jam on my deviantart
page..


https://www.deviantart.com/samguthriewriter


Offline mal

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Re: Opinion: The brakeless trend is killing flatland
« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2020, 11:20:13 AM »

I have both front and back brakes..some might call me old school
for that,but I was never into the total brakeless thing and my bike
is still under 20 pounds.I do love the way I can feather the brakes
to slow descent or movement to the point of balance, if you know
what I am talking about in pivoting the bike or in direction.


i know what you are talking about,nothing smoother and more satisfying than slow speed floating runs! Most ''new'' school riders look spastic and unstable because of the lack of speed control that brakes provide.

Offline Timmer74

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Re: Opinion: The brakeless trend is killing flatland
« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2020, 08:54:48 PM »
"Have you tried not wearing the tutu?"

ha! No, no I have not... maybe that IS the issue. Hmnnn.... Maybe the tassles on my bars aren't helping things either. You have given me much to ponder!

Offline vortexblue

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Re: Opinion: The brakeless trend is killing flatland
« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2020, 08:43:01 AM »
Vortexblue..do I know you and you were at this year's One Love
Jam 2020 and I have put up photos from that jam on my deviantart
page..
Probably not and yes.I was at OneLove, but I'm fresh back into riding after stopping in 89/90.  I hang out at Hamels in SD on Sundays and HBTuesdays when I can get away from home.  I'm getting over a couple of injuries, so my progress is slow.  I'm not very good, but I like it and have fun falling all over the place.  ;D

Offline rideflat43

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Re: Opinion: The brakeless trend is killing flatland
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2020, 05:51:12 AM »

The San Diego Crew..yeah I know what you are talking about and been
there for a few of the jams back in the days on the pier..myself,OSG and
Ed Beniol went down there and a few others over the years..by the Marina!


I am going to try to get down to La La Land soon and I have some vacation
time and get the same Hotel at Costa Mesa and just got down there to just
ride and hang out..mostly with Gabe(Weed) and Edgar P. and maybe JP
since they are fellow Fugitives and also Martin who is an old friend of mine
and Eddy F.It is the ,matter when this f*cking virus thing ends and I will be
down there!


It is good someone knows what I am talking about feathering and brake use
for direction and slow descent for seconds balance in the guiding of bikes
movement and direction.It is an old concept that us Fugitives used and the
Hoods did also in our early days of a more modern type riding..when flatland
in late 1987/early 1988  went to a more fast rolling and scuffing type riding
and brake feathering and use was more of a determined factor in flatland!

Offline khe killah

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Re: Opinion: The brakeless trend is killing flatland
« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2020, 01:36:04 PM »
I ride brakeless, mainly so when i learn to roll i don't have the safety net and I'm forced to learn the balance point. Its for my own personal progression and i think i have learnt a whole lot more since i went brakeless and push myself.

That being said, when it comes to watching flatland i prefer mid school era of riding with brakes. The newer stuff is just a bit too fast and repetitive, and i find it gets boring to watch quick.

But as with any sport it has to progress and evolve or it gets stale. Matthias is merging street style with flatland and he's damn good at it. I can't decide if i think its a good thing for the future of flatland but there is no denying the skill and creativity is mind blowing.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2020, 08:30:32 PM by khe killah »

Offline mal

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Re: Opinion: The brakeless trend is killing flatland
« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2020, 09:08:57 PM »
I ride brakeless, mainly so when i learn to roll i don't have the safety net and I'm forced to learn the balance point. Its for my own personal progression and i think i have learnt a whole lot more since i went brakeless and push myself.

That being said, when it comes to watching flatland i prefer mid school era of riding with brakes. The newer stuff is just a bit too fast and repetitive, and i find it gets boring to watch quick.

But as with any sport it has to progress and evolve or it gets stale. Matthias is merging street style with flatland and he's damn good at it. I can't decide if i think its a good thing for the future of flatland but there is no denying the skill and creativity is mind blowing.
i agree on all points.
Sometimes you tend to use the brake on a trick that really doesn't need it and that may result in difficulty learning the trick or learning it wrong or taking you a lot of time.However i truly believe that it is very difficult,frustrating and limiting to start flatland without brakes!

I also mainly watch midschool flatland content too.More interesting,diverse riding.
On a random midschool contest of 15 competitors you get to watch probably 10 different styles of flatland riding.

On a new school contest almost all of them are doing the same tricks,add to that all the spinning turbining and pumping and you almost can't tell who is who,just guys going fast in small circles.

On a midschool contest lineup you'd have chad degroot,day smith,trevor meyer,paul osicka,andrew farris,dylan worsley,kerry gatt,leif valin etc all with personal styles and different and creative tricks.THIS is fun to watch!

Now? You get spinning guys!Thats it!

As for the future i see a lot more flatland tricks entering the streets and street riders having runs similar to flatland ones,with multiple trick combos on the same line.
I don't see flatland changing though,just shrinking because of the difficulty of the genre and kids trying to start brakeless and giving up.I think that now,the average age of a flatlander is not below 30.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2020, 09:46:31 PM by mal »

Offline rideflat43

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Re: Opinion: The brakeless trend is killing flatland
« Reply #14 on: April 05, 2020, 05:57:34 AM »

I use to ride with CareBear all the time in Danville and then also Walnut Creek
and he has a unique style and so does Dylan Worsley who is a fellow Fugitive
also.I have pretty much rode with everyone that you mentioned MAL and they
all do have different styles in rolling and rotations of their bikes and direction
and speeds.


Carebear by the way is our nickname for Kerry Gatt and Drew,Gabe and Jeff
Tsai use to ride with him all the time and him being a Kiwi or New Zealander ..
The railroad and the Danville church were we all rode at and Kerry worked at
Danville Hotel in the restaurant across the street from the Railroad parking lot,
back in the days!