Thursday, 25 December 2008

James Smith reps his riding roots...

It's xmas day, and I'm working on the blog... bmx never stops does it?.....

James Smith has just produced some handmade South Bank t-shirts, been talking to him for a while about it, the project has recently gained momentum pretty fast, I wanted to know a little bit more about it, read on...

Why t-shirts James?
Hmmm, because I don't take the conventional 9-5, I need to at times make my pleasure a business a break even or profit to fund further and future pleasures. In the last year, I have mixed things up between filming/editing/photography, tattooing and most recently printing t-shirts.

Why did you choose South Bank?
South Bank is where I started riding, that's where I met Jason Forde, James White, Phil Dolan, Rasta Dave and countless others over the years. South Bank has maybe looking back, shaped me and my riding. Some people used to go there to ride flatland, others street and now I go there to do both.

Do you see this being for everyone, bikers/skaters, South Bank is very iconic for both especially?
Yeah, totally. In fact I have sold and had requested from all types, including people that don't even ride any form of anything other than a bus to work. In no way am I playing to a particular niche market, it's something I felt I wanted to do, and it seems people have there own reasons for liking the design.

What does the Lion represent?
The Lion is representing a pair of statue's that were situated at the Red Lion Brewery that was on the South Bank (where the Royal Festival hall now stands). After surviving the 2nd World War and the closure of the Brewery, at the request of George VI they were spared being destroyed and were relocated. One stands to this day on the south side of the Westminster Bridge and the other at one of the entrances of the England Rugby Stadium at Twickenham. Several signs around South Bank use the Lion symbol, yet I'm sure 99.9% have no idea, though having said that, it's much the same with every other aspect of life...

So why the t's now?
Well having seen videos and photos of South Bank dating back 25-30 odd years and it still being there, despite recent mentions of uncertainties of it's future. I thought it was time people/me paid homage to it, admittedly South Bank stirs up some real Love/Hate emotions from me, with it being flooded with tourists and kids at the weekends and it being sketchy with crimes at times, it has a roof (that leaks) and it has lights (some that work). Ooooo and recently I found it has parking for my Vespa bang on the doorstep, so I can't really ask for more.

Having just started printing t-shirts, how are you finding that, must be a trial and error process?
Yeah like most people, the rare time I was at college we were introduced briefly to the screen printing process. At the time riding was my main distraction, so that knowledge came and went very fast. In the last few years I have wanted to get a bit creative with art type stuff, but time has been an obstacle.
So with the idea of making t-shirts in mind I did loads of research on equipment I needed and in many cases the stuff I didn't need. On the face of it, it's a pretty simple process, screen + ink + t-shirt, but as I discovered, with a large chest design it's harder than your typical smaller design. So it has been a hit of a hit and miss with the first 30 t-shirts I made. Having said that because this design is so simple and bold, any imperfections gives it character. And if you have ever or been to South Bank, that place is at times dripping from the walls with character. Sadly I'm getting good at printing them now, so I'll have to think of a new way of fucking them up to make them look cool.

So South Bank t's first, what do you see this leading onto, where do you go from here, to other iconic spots around London?
I can pretty safely say that won't be the case in regards to other London spots, having said that due to me and my likes being the driving force behind the direction, it will certainly have a BMX or Tattoo influence in it. I also want to stress by no means is this a t-shirt or clothing company, it's merely a means and a medium to put down and put out ideas I have at the time. At the price I'm doing and selling the t-shirts it's just about breaking even so in no way is it a profit based venture, just a way to share with like minded people.

Merry Xmas everyone!!!!

Merry Xmas everyone!!! Lil hectic over the xmas period, couple of big updates coming to the blog soon, have a good one everyone!

photo credit:andy colver

Thursday, 18 December 2008 goes live!

Flatland heads take note of this!!! Michel Verberg of Flatground fame has been busy!
Here's the press release!
It has been in the works for quite some time now, but last week, we officially kicked off Without further a due, we introduce you to your local sports finder extraordinaire:! So here you have it: the ABC of New Breeders.

What is New Breeders?
New Breeders is a location based web service for the action sports community. Come again?
Ok. New Breeders is a website that will help you find spots and connect with friends.
How does it work?
After you have created your profile, you can start adding your favourite spots. 
In google maps, little pins pop up for every spot created. Add the spot where you and your friends hang out, the local shop, cool events and, of course dont forget about the bar and the club! Once you have added your favourite spots, you can even show off what great stuff you or your friends have done there by adding photos and videos!
When will you need New Breeders?
Have you ever gone on a trip and visited a strange place of which you are sure it must be filled with great spots and locals, but you dont have a clue where they are? This is one place where New Breeders will come in handy. The same goes for your own city: there are still so many spots to be discovered! Filter the spots on sports, discipline, proximity and regency.
Where is New Breeders?
This is the best part: New Breeders is worldwide! Everyone can create a profile and everyone can add their own favourite spots. This way, you freely exchange the knowledge that you add to New Breeders about your own spots with the knowledge of the places you want to travel. Easy as that!
So what are you waiting for?
Get yourself signed up to, start adding your local spots, hook some photos to them, get connected with your friends, discover your own city and plan your next trip. Before you know, you will be hanging out with the locals on the other side of the world!...
Go to

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

From the sky up review

One of the stars of From the Sky up, Aki back to front wheel switch.

The follow up to "Here Comes The Sun" is out now, I bought my copy from FF, the selling factor for me was the 20 min Chase Gouin bonus section, only a fool would dismiss this...
The first section goes to Simon O'Brien, quite a rarity to see him these days. In the modern day era of web videos/over exposure, its refreshing that you dont see too much of Simon, everyone knows Simon is one of the worlds best riders afterall. Could he live up to his epic solo dvd standards? He did raise the bar!!
There are glimpses of brilliance from Simon. Shot in really good locations, I get the feeling this is just a warm up before his next solo dvd hits. Anyway, what does he do? As always from Simon theres plenty of variety, double front wheel boomerang out of a combo, xft mccircle turbine step thru to halfpacker, and my favourite, whiplashes direct to tea kettle, insane!!! Cant' wait for his solo dvd!!!

The next sections goes to Akihiko Takahashi, Zion's Japanese rider. I've heard a few people refer to him as the "Japanese Cory Fester". And from this DVD you can see why, the guy is a backwards riding machine! Long backwards combos with mad technical switches thrown in, snappy style. One of my favourites is all one handed, check this: one handed backwards fork wheelie to backwards crackpacker step over backwards halfpacker to backwards hang5 step over to backwards fork wheelie round to backwards hitch, hard enough with both hands, one handed is epic! I especially liked Aki's part cause you could see he really worked at it, shot over time, so many hard tricks, filmed with nice backdrops also, as a video part should be. The ender to his part is insane, multiple backwards hang five to backwards halfpacker backwards crackpacker walkarounds. Dont miss this section!

Sequences Aaron Frost hasnt featured on a dvd for a while, I believe Mixt was the last time. Aaron has mad around the world  ambidextrous bike skills, flowing from side to side, his part is full of really long combos, one of my favourites is his xft halfpacker ride in from fork wheelie position to hitch to steam bar flip to crackpacker walkarounds. Aaron is good!
The next part is one of my favourites! Ed Nussbaum has the skills, I rode with him at the Marina parking lot in Long Beach last year, and this is where this part is filmed. The opening combo is one of the best on the whole DVD, hang five to 360 flip to steam one kick walkaround direct to halfpacker turbine, talk about buttery! Ed has mad skills front and back wheel, crazy gerator walkaround to xft backwards wheelie pivot to junkyard glide on pedal, so sick! Ed is massively underrated, much respect Ed! 

Matt Wilhelm has the next section, Matt like Aaron hasnt been on a DVD in a while, so this was great to see. Super dialled, looks like Matts section was filmed in one day, shows how dialled he is. One trick I havent seen him in a while that I loved spinning gerator over headtube to switch foot caboose to upside down mega spin flip to mega spin up to blender flip to upside down mega spin flip to mega spin perverted out! That is a combo right there! Awesome! Bobby Carter filmed Matt's part, dialled!

The last part goes to Chase Gouin, do I have to say anymore? Nah......
But I will... This is flatland history right here. Chase's part covers old tricks and new. Some of his tricks are mind boggling, try this (jokes) whiplash to opposite chick whips stomping on the tyre over ten times without touching pegs to xft tomahawk, flat out amazing! Is this guy old school? Give me a break?!!!!
His perverted decade combos on here make new school riders with foot jam decades look stupid!!!!
And theres so called "New School" riding as well on the bonus section, really nice halfhiker turbines, pedal hang five shove its anyone? Loads of nice floating style combo that Chase originated. His part and bonus scetion is comprehensive and not to be missed.
I feel silly typing this, its Chase! The guy is a legend, pay some respect! Go buy this for a piece of flatland history.
Stewart did a great job with this DVD, much better production/editing than HCTS, nice mix of music for the soundtrack, and 8mm/16mm footage also.
I give this a high 4 out of 5.
Whole DVD has feel good factor about it. Glad I bought it.

Saturday, 13 December 2008

James White's 38th birthday jam

Whitey's birthday jam was a timely reminder to all present as to what riding is all about, especially here in the UK.
"Making the best of a crap situation"...
So here we were in the corner of an Asda car park, waiting to see if the rain would stop. It didn't till much later.
It seems to be written that it rains at everything we have organised outside this year, but yet we have fought past the barrier, riding in the rain, and on this day cold tempertures as well.
Part of the day was spent sessioning the corner of Asda waiting for James to arrive.
Most of you will have seen Mario's web edit with riding from all who attended. But what you wont have seen was the banter and enthusiasm between all pushing James to pull his first whopper.
"Come on, I want it today!!!"
"Effraim, give me some shit, I need to be pushed to get this done, otherwise I wont do it, it's been 2 years" was something along the lines of what Whitey said to me.
"Ok, well that tricks as old as you James come on". 
Amongest other tongue in cheek lines from everyone.
As James went over and over,  in reality it was prob 20 minutes, first in his vest top, then no shirt, he meant business!
Couple of tries later, and countless heckles later, his first whopper was born. It was a beautiful moment in the history of UK flat, seeing how stoked James was at the age of 38, to land the whopper was another welcome reminder as to what flatland riding is all about.
Just the feeling of  pulling a trick you've wanted for so long, finally getting it done.
I found it very inspiring, and I know everyone there did.
Everyone cranked open the beers, great end to a miserable rainy November day.
Much respect to James!
Thanks to all the TGM/London heads, Phil D, Lee Wilson, and everyone else who made the effort in making it down to Whitey's for a day to live in the memories forever.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Terry Adams interviewed about his Dreams DVD...

What was your motivation behind Dreams?
I wanted to produce a movie that explained how I got to where I am today. I get tons of people asking how I make a living off flatland. I wanted to let everyone know if you have a goal all it takes is to go after it! If you are reaching for the stars you are at least going to reach the moon. I wanted to showcase my best riding as well, but the main focus was to give people motivation in life and show them anything is possible.

Did you achieve everything you set out for originally?
Yes I did. I had the entire movie structured out on paper before we started filming. I handed that paper to Mickey in the very beginning and we stuck by it the entire film. It is exactly what I wanted so I owe tons of thanks to Mickey for that!

Did any of your sponsors back you with the cost of producing the DVD?
Red Bull helped with flying Mickey and myself to a couple of locations and that was a huge help. Lotek also helped with some finances towards the film. Global-flat was a huge help in promoting the DVD so they were basically a sponsor too. Odyssey has helped with the distribution so a huge thanks goes to them.

What kind of difficulities making "Dreams" did you face along the way?
The biggest difficulty for me was trying to find enough tricks to fill up three riding sections. I am not Martti Kuoppa so my tricklist is not endless. I wanted to not repeat any tricks and I feel like I accomplished that goal. But I must say it was hard for us to film some of those combos. Mickey always did a great job with keeping me motivated and saying "come on man" you got this!

This was the first flatland film in quite some time to have a message, do you hope another riders will be inspired by that and follow a similar path?
I hope they can watch my DVD and get motivated to do something. Even though my story was about flatland. I wanted to structure the film to let riders know that they can do anything they want in life. Being a pro rider, a doctor, a astronaut, or whatever they wanted.

Mickey Gaidos did a great job with the DVD. What kind of background does he have in film making?
I think this question is better answered by Mickey. Mickey followed his dream and works on movie sets and big budget films in New Orleans. He has pretty much taught his self and is now earning respect in the film industry in the area.

A lot of riders are finding it really tough to even maintain product flow sponsors at this present time, how are you finding the recession? Has it affected you, if so, how?
To be honest it has not really affected me at all. I have been very lucky with my sponsors and their support.

Many riders dream of having their own riding spot, you have a kick ass riding spot in your backyard, tell me about it, how did that come about?
I always said the day I purchased a house I would pave the backyard for a riding spot. It was just another dream that I wanted to happen. I cant even believe it when I look out the window.

I noticed that you didnt use to many shots from your backyard riding spot, why did you choose not to, and also why did you not discuss the fact you have your own riding spot? Thats a dream in itself for many riders?
For the first two riding sections we wanted to show as many locations as possible to keep the film looking fresh. We even made sure I was wearing different clothing that meshed well with every background. We felt showing my backyard more than once might bore a viewer that was not a rider. Another goal of my DVD was to market it towards non riders so that all people could enjoy it. I didnt talk about my riding spot because when I wrote the commentary I was not at my new house. I personally thought it was a little off subject to the point I was trying to get across. But after hearing your thoughts.Maybe I could have mentioned it.

Is there a clip or trick in the DVD that you are most stoked on?
The 360 backpacker jump back to backpacker.

And finally I have to ask, what is the deal with the cover?
I could sit here and make up a crazy story, but the truth is.... That is exactly what I wanted it to look like. I did not want it to be a riding shot, because the majority of the film is talking about following my dreams. Yes its true. I took off my shirt, oiled my chest, looked at the stars and shot the photo. I am happy with it.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Top fives with the UK's No 1 AM Lee Wilson

Photos sent in by Lee Wilson, loving the pose shot Lee!

Shintaro Misawa
James White
Keelan Philips
Akira Okamura
Pedro Melo

Old hip hop
Al Green
Barry White

Markfield Community Centre Car park
Amsterdam Gashouder
Koln, Germany
Keelans Studio

My boys
Georgina Avery
My parents
Paul Cartwright
Leicester riders

You tube
Global flat

Sony Ericsson Phone
Astra sxi mk 4
Stan Smiths
Makita Tools

Trickstars 1
Dorkin 10
Trickstars 3
Flatland manifestos

Bike Products:
Odi grips
Chase tyres
Macneil OG seat
Geisha freecoaster
Sequence pegs

Shintaro Misawa
Aaron Frost
Ciaran Perry
James Smith

Lost at sea
Maz's TGM and Contest vids
Akira's Soul vid
Elite mindsets
Brian Tunney vids

How do you feel about winning the UK groundroots series?
Im very happy of course, it was great to have a contest series for the AMs, loads of riders competed and brought together the UK riders, thanks to Big E for organising it, if there is a flatland event and you ride, you should come and support it, whatever your level!

Keelan for the frame and inspiration, Paul Cartwright for all the support and parts thanks mate, Kev at Leon Cycles for my wheel builds and parts, Markfield locals, Ollie, Palmer, Aaron, Robbie, Joe,etc, my sons Matt and Dylan, my bro Ross, get on your bike! And last but not least my girlfriend Georgina xxxxxxxxxxx

Friday, 5 December 2008

Musselwhite and Keelan on X Factor tommorow night!

Ssels at Shepton show.
Following a turbulent few hours late thursday night with X factors researchers franitically ringing around trying to get flatlanders, no one was sure who was doing the x factor, Lee Musselwhite and Keelan Philips in the end snagged the gig. 
Performing in front of millions live tommorow night (Saturday 6th december), it is the semi final night for the x factor. About as high pressure as it gets, tune in tommorow night (not sure what time as slightly different semi final nights apparently so check your tv listings) and see what bangers get dropped!

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Cream 31 is about to drop/Plus some News

Cream 31 arrives into Paris Tuesday 9th December, so will be available everywhere else about a week after. In the UK, if you live anywhere near a Borders they sell Cream, worldwide orders of course are available from Flatlandfuel. This looks to be a packed issue. Big up Cream for supporting flatland!

Couple of bits of news:

KHE's Adam Kun is off his bike for at least a month, damaging a muscle in his back. Get well soon Adam! Some big news from Adam in February....

"From the Sky up", Stewart Munro's follow up to the epic "Here comes the sun" is about to drop anyday at Flatlandfuel, full sections with Simon O'Brien, Chase Gouin including 20 min solo part, Matt Wilhelm, Aaron Frost, Ed Nussbaum, Akihiko Takahashi (check Aki's blog also:

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Top fives with TGM's Jason Forde....


Sam Foakes
James White
Phil Dolan 


Drum n'bass
Hip hop


South of France

Web Edits:

Anything from Sevisual
Skavenger pop off
TGM vids
Writing on the wall
Crazy colt remix


Phil Dolan
James White
Jesse P
Chase G


Apple Mac
St Martin


You tube


My mother
TGM crew
The wizard aka Michael


I'm gonna change this to films,etc. On the downlow, Loiter, Khe fitness (my first bmx video), Nowhere fast, Flatland manifestos, these films changed my life.

Bike products:
Chase tyres
8" bars
Plastic Seats
St Martin


Penstar, T-bone, King Joh, Pastel, V-lad, Ras Dave, Maz, Diddy, PC, Big E, Chann, Canteloes crew from back in the day, the whole TGM crew worldwide son, and all the FLATFAMILA wherever you may be.