issue twenty three
contributors Editor/Design Cooper Brownlee Amazing photographers Ian Robinson Pete Jaques Dave Rubinch Cooper Brownlee James Patterson James Wade Michael Harris Doug Taylor Chris Cooper Gorak Scott Greentree Daniel Johnson Toby Orchard Dale Turner Jake Bolton Sam Routledge Cam Pianta Daniel Drazetic Stephen Joseph Meaningful words Chris Cooper Sam Illman Adam Ingles Doug Taylor Rhys Yeomans Rene Mans James Wade Nick Harris James Patterson Chris Finnigan Adam Stone Pete Jaques Ben McPherson Mike Ross Michael Oakley Chris Cooper Gorak Daniel Drazetic Phil Johnston Adam Hough Norm Graham Stott Dean Manson Troy Charlesworth Flagz Scotty McGill Cameron Brown Blake Reedman Proof reader Sarah Petchell Thanks To the ongoing support from advertisers, readers and people who buy the merch, all of which helps keep this magazine free! Disclaimer The views expressed in the articles are of the authors and not necessarily the publishers. Be careful on your bike and donâ€™t go trying moves you are not capable of. The riders in this mag have been riding along time. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org Website focalpointbmx.com Dedicated to Allan Briotti, Peter Sablinskis and Nathan Charles.
issue twenty three On the cover Nick had been eying off this set for a very long time, so when the time was right, he came up with this little gem. I knew how much this shot would mean to Nick, so there was no option of missing it and it wasnâ€™t exactly a trick Iâ€™d ask someone to do twice. Nick K, you are a shredder my friend. Barspin, Toowoomba Qld. Photo: Pete Jaques On this page Brock Olive, rough bank downside whoppa. Photo: Cooper Brownlee
Bottom far right: Cam Pianta blasting concrete like its dirt. Middle: Wild style cat, Dean Manson, booming a one footed x over the new spine. Bottom left: D-Cables, three point steezin nac over the new hip.
JAMUARY Photos and words: Chris Cooper
It is apparent that each year, around this time, there seems to be minimal opportunities and hardly a drop of excitement for summer fun in small country towns. I have seen countless friends move to bigger towns or cities to chase the bigger universities, bigger excitement and those elusive bigger opportunities. Each to their own I guess… Jamuary, however, is proving that BMX and small country communities are just as strong, if not stronger, than most cities. Sure, we don’t have massive unis, the largest skateparks or amazing architecture to shred. What we do have is a select few amazingly motivated individuals that are striving to push country town BMX as far as it will go. And I can definitely see Jamuary becoming THE even to kick of the BMX year. As the name ( JAMuary) states, the whole day has a relaxed vibe without the booze. The competition side of things is two minute runs, but with another rider. Two minutes and two riders? I can definitely see this as a breath of fresh air in the comp scene, as it’s riders riding with and not just again their mate. Just like a jam, really… I mean, it wasn’t uncommon to see the two riders training lines around the skatepark. The laughter from both at seven-foot up tells you that this is not a bad thing at all!
THE IMPORTANCE OF JAMS...
This year was Jamuary Round Two, and it was also the day the extensions at Wangaratta skatepark were formally unleashed onto the public. This brings to light the fact that if you want something done about your skatepark, get up off your arse, be proactive and never give in until you get what you want. And if you’re ever driving along the liquorice strip in between Albury-Wodonga and Melbourne, take a pit stop and shred the new concrete waves in Wang. The night before the jam, the showers finally cleared to allow the sun to bake the hell out of everyone there. All the riders rode effortlessly and amazingly with the biggest grins on their faces. The riders that stood out on the day for me were Cam Pianta, Dean Manson and Mini. Check out diversity.com for the wildness! As with any BMX event, the post-event party time is essential, and I’m sure the erotic stories will be lurking their way around “shitbook” in no time. JAMUARY, ROUND THREE – DO IT DREBO! A massive shout out has to go out to Dre Regli and the Sanction BMX crew, and to all the other country town BMX stores that are making their scenes stronger!
â€œ This also brings to light that if YOU want something done about your skate park, get up off your ass and be proactiveâ€?
PHILS BACKYARD Photo: Gorak Backyard Jams are where it’s at! With the sun shining, the smell and sizzle of a BBQ in the air, the sound of drinks being opened and the buzz of BMX’s carving a mini ramp, this was definitely the cocktail for a good day! I’m finding it hard to remember all the happenings of the day (probably due to one too many beers), so I asked five people what their highlights from the day were. GorakThere have been many takes on the backyard ramp setup, from small quarters that would suit a four-year-old skater to monster ramps that even the builders think is big. When I went to Phil Johnston’s house for his 25th birthday celebrations, I was greeted with a sweet 6-foot mini that is a pleasure to shred. The night was packed full of little, black cans for myself and some others had different concoctions, but all that means is a great, ole time was had by all! The photos are evidence of the shredding and the hangover was evidence of the party times. Both were good times. Thanks Phil, and Happy Birthday.
Phil JohnstonIt was rad weather for the jam, so I decided to take my shoes off and ride the ramp barefooted. It was such a chilled day – good times with good people! Adam HoughMy highlight was Norm winning 50 Bucks, from the dare he couldn’t do a drunken ice-pick on the backrail. Graham “The Boss” StottYeah, was a good day. Ride, drink, chill. What else do you need? Happy birthday Phil! Adam StonePhil riding his ramp tipsy. He pulled a perfect run in bare feet and then randomly crashed into his fence! Awesome! NormMy highlight of the day was spending it with rad dudes and doing the one thing we all love! The moral of the story is: build a ramp, have a jam and good times will follow!
“ The moral of the story is: build a ramp, have a jam and good times will follow! ”
“ There is no transition at the bottom, so it’s like riding off an elevated piece of wood.”
NEWCASTLE Photos: Scott Greentree Words: Adam Ingles Over the last few months, skateparks around Newcastle have come into the public spotlight due new parks being built, in spite of protests from locals, and also because existing parks are suffering from a lack of maintenance. All these issues have made everybody speculate how much longer the famous Newi skatepark will be around so a few mates and I thought we would hold a jam there. Best trick was first and Ash Grundy took that out with a huge 180 over the box jump. Though lots of riders were going big on this, it was Ash’s efforts that scored him $100 cash from Subrosa at Triple Six Distribution. The Big Air in the mini ramp was dominated by Daniel Chiarelli and he was absolutely BLASTING this ramp. I have seen him ride that ramp a heap of times but I have never seen him go so high. I was talking to him afterwards and he said if he had another 10psi in his wheels he thought he could have gone a foot higher. What a freak! Brandon Loupos and the Sydney boys made the drive down and Brandon stuck a flair whip in the mini, while young Reed Hugo got his first ever flairs of his own in the same spot. The Highest Hop competition came next. A lot of riders were keen from the get go, with most of them still in at the 30 inch mark. However, once the bar was at 37 inches, only a few riders were left standing. The final battle came down to Luke Bowerman and Ash Grundy. I ride with Grundy a lot, and I know that the boy has hop, so it was
awesome to see Bowerman sticking it to him right until the final height. Both riders cleared 38 inches, but Ash won out at 39. His efforts scored him his second prize of the day – a pack from Colony, which he donated to the kids in the crowd through a “Rock, Paper, Scissors” tournament. The day’s final event was the Longest Distance off the kicker. This kicker is gnarly! There is no transition at the bottom, so it’s like riding off an elevated piece of wood. The guys were still hammering at it, though. Tim Kmetyk launched off a distance of about eight bike lengths, but local boy Matt Walker took it out going well over nine. This was definitely the scariest event of the day. The guys hitting it were nuts, so well done Matty! One of the non-riding highlights of the day was the MC, John Furlong. He is honestly one of the funniest people I know and at the end of the day I had so many people come up and say the same thing. Another highlight was Street Pete. He is actually a local dude named Kyle (I think) and he took so many spills but kept getting back up. Good effort son! We all continued the party well into the late hours of the night at King St Hotel complete with fist bumping on the dance floor with BMX legend Peter Koh! BOOM. A young local shredder, Andrew “Andy” Leggett passed away a week before the jam. I had his family approach me leading up to the jam asking if we could do a trophy on the day for him. So his family constructed this amazing look-
ing trophy out of bars and a stem and named it the “Andrew Leggett Shredder of the Day” trophy. After talking to a heap of the guys, the votes were pretty unanimous about who this should go to. Daniel Chiarelli was called up to the deck of mini ramp to take the award. This trophy will be perpetual and will be kept at the Drift Bikes store. Huge thanks also go to the boys at Triple Six Distribution who hooked us up with Subrosa Pandora frame, which was given out in a raffle with funds going to Andrew’s family. The raffle made over $800. I’d really like to thank Drift Bikes for helping me run the day. Robbie was a huge help and Josh was getting a lot of footage so expect to see an edit in the future. Thanks to Colony for the free products and thanks to Clint, who gave me a lot of advice leading up to the jam. Thanks to Subrosa for more free goods and also thanks to Highflyer Industries, a new clothing company who gave out a heap of free stuff on the day and rocked up with two of the hottest promo girls in town. Thanks to Focalpoint for the write up and to Scotty Greentree for shooting some pics. Thanks to the Newcastle City Council who gave me $1000 to put towards the day through their “Make Your Place” grant. Thanks to my mates and my Dad for helping me make some stuff for the day. The day was a huge success. We had about 500 people turn up throughout the day and the weather was perfect. See you guys next year! Peace.
BROWNS PLAINS Photos: Sam Routledge Words: Sam Illman The idea for the jam came from my housemate of the time, Trav P. Simpson. I had overheard him talking about it with a kid at Browns Plains Park. There had been a jam held there before (which Trav actually held) and from what I had heard it had been a bit of a dud. He had had a couple too many the night before and woke up the next day to a phone call asking why he wasn’t at his own jam. This got me thinking about a way to make it work for Trav a second time around. That and I had always wanted to put on a jam or competition of some description. We decided it should be a Christmas jam that crossed with my 21st birthday, which was only a few days before. I got started on organising people to help make it happen, while Trav and Dan Stretton got to work building the ramps. It was actually a pleasure to watch those two guys work together. The day of the jam we woke up to a very crap looking sky – it was overcast as hell! But one thing you will always be told when rolling with Cooper B is to always think positive and we did! Even despite getting dogshot with the transportation of the ramps. Luckily, Justy B helped us get to the park so the festivities could begin. We rocked up and there would have to have been over 100 riders cruising around the park. We were so stoked to see so many diverse riders and crews all in one park. The ghetto ramps were laid out and shredded by all. It even looked like the weather was going to hold until the clouds surrounded the park and it started pouring down. Most people left, except some dedicated young kids who got to pour their hearts into the high and long jump on the wet concrete. They were rewarded with giveaways and a pretty good time. Thanks to everyone that came and rode while it was possible. A bigger thank you to Lux BMX store, Dishonor clothing, Focalpoint and diversitybmx for all their support on the day.
“Most people left, except some dedicated young kids who got to pour their hearts into the high and long jump on the wet concrete.”
Right: Daniel Johnson, dipped 360. Bottom: Alex Mamo ruling his Melbourne local.
Photos: Daniel Johnson and Cooper Brownlee. Words: Cooper Brownlee Jams would have to be one of the most importance aspects of keeping a scene strong and unified. It’s a good feeling knowing that there will be a session going down at a specific place. It gives you something to look forward to, especially when you know there will be riders there that you have never met before along with some you may not have seen for a while. It’s a time for catch up, a time to make new friends and also to have a shred! The beauty of jams is that is no pressure, no time limit, no point scoring – it really is just friends having a roll, supporting each other and having a dope time. It was because of the Internet (specifically Daniel Johnson’s addiction to Facebook) that ensure that what started out as just a quick, local jam to get everyone pumped on something fun quickly turned into a legit jam. It wasn’t long before a boat load of riders knew about the session we had planned so it was shaping up to be something special!
Lilydale Bowl is pretty small and, asides from the recent addition of a couple of banks, it is basically a one person at a time deal. I will admit that it probably not the best place to hold a jam but at the same time it gave the jam a real tight vibe. It’s kind of like how you go to a gig at a small venue and you feel more involved compared to a giant music festival. Everyone just fed off each other and did everything possible at the place. So the end result was entirely no bullshit. It was just a bunch of crew riding bikes on a lovely Friday afternoon in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne. Don’t be afraid to get yourself involved in organising a local jam. It doesn’t matter if 10 or 200 people show up, either way you have made a positive impact towards your local scene and those that come will be grateful for all the effort you put in.
“It’s kind of like how you go to a gig at a small venue and you feel more involved compared to a giant music festival.”
D E F E R O TW O
a collaboration of riders and filmers From the early days making the Bendigo scene videos to the present day Defero video series, Flagz has been working on BMX videos most of his riding life. With Issue Two, he took a fresh approach by deciding to have a bunch of crew from around Australia involved in the production. The outcome is a very diverse DVD with no real defined genre of BMX being the video’s main focus. One thing is for sure; you will find something for everyone with this DVD.
So Flagz, how long have you been working on this DVD? Pretty much since the last Defero came out on the Focalpoint DVD. How long was that? Probably 18 months or so. I know you got a few crew involved on this one. Tell us about the whole concept and who else helped with it. I got a really good bunch of guys that got involved in the project.
how you had some computer issues getting it done in time for the premiere. Do you care to share the drama with the rest of the scene? When you don’t have the cash to fork out a large sum of money to have a computer that would make editing a breeze, something is bound to go wrong. For starters, my computer definitely isn’t good by any standards. It’s so slow that you can’t watch your edit until the whole thing is rendered. But that was just the start of it…
The main concept of the video is to try and create Australia’s most wide and diverse BMX video, instead of sticking to the “one city” thing you see with most DVD’s. Defero 2 has filming from all around Australia. There was a section from Brisbane and an Amigos Of Dave Jam section that was filmed by Lucas Comino. Then Sydney was filmed by none other than John Young and Perth from the Let It Bleed star Calvin Kosovich. A whole section of footage was contributed from the boys at Stowaway for Adelaide, and footage obviously from myself and Coops, with a mixed section and the Gonz and Adrian Galaz section.
My monitor blew up on me about halfway through an edit and I couldn’t do anything about it. I ended up using a really old school IBM monitor, where all the colours were completely whack and it would also turn off every five minutes.
Gonz broke his finger pretty bad towards the end of filming, didn’t he? How did that affect the filming for his section? He ended up spiral fracturing his finger and palm bone. That was really crap, because even his last trick he did in his section wasn’t planned, some of the stuff that was planned would have been amazing!! ah well, that’s life.
SO… I had to move everything back to the old PC, remake the DVD menu, burn it and had it finally completed about an hour before the premiere. I cut it real fine there, Coops.
Were there any other injury related setbacks during the filming? Not really, except that there were a few riders out there that I wanted to film for this issue that had injuries. They will definitely be in the next issue though. Other than that, we were lucky and it wasn’t really too bad. How hard was it coordinating it all between all of the guys, especially with different camera and settings? It was pretty tough as none of us were really using the same setups. Some might have been normal screen where others were widescreen, or 3CCD to HD. Also none of us knew if it was going to work, but it all came together in the end. As far as “coordinating” goes there were a lot of text messages flying around, as well as a few late night convos and some very pushed back dates. Basically, it was by no means very coordinated, but more like a loaf buttered toast thrown in the air with fingers crossed that they all land butter side up! You were telling me on the night of the premiere
I then decided to move everything over to my wife, Ashlee’s, laptop and I pretty much took that over for a good few months. Everything from that point on I thought was going great, until I finished the video. When I tried to burn the master copy, I realised that something was wrong. Namely, that the laptop didn’t have a burner.
No matter how dialed you have a DVD project there are always problems, aren’t there? Now that the DVD is done, what have you learned from it for future projects? By the next one I want a new camera (R.I.P. VX) and a new laptop. This time WITH a burner. I want to arrange all the filmers to be shoot in widescreen, and set a date and stick to it! Yeah, you broke my VX! What cameras you looking at getting? IT BROKE ITSELF! You are going to hold this over me for a while, aren’t you Coop? I’m looking into buying a Canon 60d, mainly for the flip out screen, so it will be just like a chunky, short VX but with mad quality. YEAH MATE I WILL! So when is the DVD going to be available and where can riders get it from? It should be on sale in shops and on the Focalpoint website by the end of January. Thanks to everybody for being patient. So what’s the plan for the next DVD? It all depends on who is keen on being involved again. I would love it to be just sections from Ape riders from all round Australia, and to give the filmers like a year to finish their edits. I couldn’t think of a better vid!
Nick Hills, rail to over. Photo: Toby Orchard.
â€œit was by no means very coordinated, but more like a loaf buttered toast thrown in the air with fingers crossed that they all land butter side up!â€?
Mikey may not be the tallest guy out there but his huge talent and even bigger bag of tricks make up for his lack of size. The great thing about him is that he is down to ride pretty much anything from dirt to park to street. I’ve known Mikey for a few years, but only really started to get to know him this year. When you have a conversation with him you can bet there will be a few laughs thrown in. He doesn’t brag about how good he is or how high he goes. And he doesn’t need to, because when he rides you always know it’s Mikey. When it comes to his riding he always puts a lot of effort into it, no matter what. He could be riding the smallest place and still be putting the same amount of effort in as if he were riding a massive skatepark. He is always keen to try new things but also loves doing his loved one foot-tables and nacs. If you come by Mikey at the skatepark on your adventures be sure to say hi as he is one of the kindest guys with one of the biggest hearts and he will surely make you feel welcome.
Living the Underground. Words and Photo: Dale Turner.
Date of Birth: 3rd of August, 1992. Where do you live? Queanbeyan, just outside of Canberra. Things you can’t live without: My bike, my family and friends. Bands: Metallica, Iron Maiden, Lucero. Video Parts: Mike Aitken in Anthem 2. Food to eat: Home made hamburgers and chip on a stick. Good Things About Queanbeyan… There is so much to ride in a small area and every spot is different, as well as the young shredders. Not So Good Things About Queanbeyan… The sketchy drifters that pass through now and again.
MIKE ROSS People to ride with: Anyone who is up for new spots, good times and all round riding goodness. Reasons for riding BMX: The feeling you get when you hit up a new set of jumps or drop into a new park. Then there is the feeling you get when you look out the window of the car and seeing something you think you could ride. You will also meet some of the raddest people on your BMX travels. Do you have any interests outside of BMX? Wakeboarding, roller coasters and anything else that gets the blood flowing. What would a perfect day be? Waking up for an early ride with mates, then getting in the car for a trip to some destination. Along the way we would stop at every rideable spot while having a hell of a good time. Then getting home late at night and crashing into bed. Good times!
DOUG TAYLOR contributor insight
Tell everyone where you’re from, Doug? I come from Albury-Wodonga on the NSW and VIC border, however I spend most of my year in Canberra performing various academic tasks. You are currently attending uni, what are you studying there? I am studying Marketing Advertising at the University of Canberra and it seems like an interesting industry to be in. Uni life on campus could not be better as there is always something fun to do and lots of hysterical times.
For Film: Bronica SQA with 80mm lens, Canon AE1 and Canon eos5, and a Nikon 35mm point and shoot for rough weather. 3 x Vitar 285 flashes with Pocket wizards to match. Tripods/Lightstands, Black and White Developing Setup, Epson V700 Scanner matched with a nice big iMac to snuggle the negatives in nicely. Might have a few cameras but I have been lucky with most of the older film ones as they all suit a purpose.
What’s the plans for the future for work? Once I finish uni I suppose I will just see where the rapids take me. I hope to just find a cool place to live with some friends for a year or two, make some money, share some laughs and have a good time. After that I will hopefully find myself travelling the world until I am sick of it. Finally after I have seen what I want to see, I suppose it would be time to think about what a tender child like me is going to do with his life. It should be an interesting couple of years, but no serious plans for now.
Favourite lens to shoot with? And why? Any of them really as it just depends on the purpose. I have only been using Prime (fixed) lenses and I like them for various reasons. But for all you bucko’s with digital cameras, the sigma 30mm f1.4 makes wonderful watermelons in my books!
If you could shoot anywhere in Australia where would it be? Well, I suppose everywhere. Australia is an interesting place, so one could say it makes for interesting photos. Where ever the good stuff is I suppose, but I would like to experience more of Australia and maybe my camera can motivate me to do that. It’s amazing how a little thing like a camera can take you places you normally would not go to.
Can you name some photographers you look up to and draw motivation from? They don’t even necessarily have to be BMX photographers... I went to an Annie Leibovitz exhibition in Sydney about a month ago. It was amazing to see her photographs and it was also an eye opener to see a legit exhibition like that. But the photographers that really give me motivation are the ones that are closer to me, like friends and other associates. It’s good having a brother that is into photography as well, as it’s another person to get different ideas from. It’s always good having a conversation on camera politics.
How long have you been shooting photos for? I started on my 18th birthday, so roughly three and a half years and most of those years taking photos like a headless chook! I still am I suppose. What was the first piece of work you had published in ocalpoint? I think it would have been a photo of Tenna doing some crazy wallride that was featured in a “Sanction” article. Funnily enough, Tenna and I went out to capture images today. Besides BMX photography what else do you enjoy shooting? To be honest I have not shot BMX in so long due as I’ve had a fractured leg this year, so this interview has made me come out of my shell in a way. Lately, I have just been capturing a lot of kind of lifestyle stuff, more in the natural form I suppose. It’s just life and what happens in front of me. I enjoy taking photos like that, documenting life and all that rubbish. Give us a brief run down of your camera set-up… For Digital: Canon 7D with Sigma 10 & 30mm, and Canon 50mm 1.4.
Which is your favourite camera? My favorite camera is currently my Bronica SQA, there is just something about medium format!
What do you think makes a good photo? That’s hard for me to explain, but if it works it works I suppose. Mostly, it just comes down to the feeling and the vibe that a photo can give and how it comes across. It also really depends on the context you are going for and if you can nail it or not. Everyone takes a different photo and I find it interesting how photographers see things in a different light, giving them their own unique style and letting their personality come through in the photo. I like photos that tell stories, and if it’s told right then that’s a good photo. What type of riding “style” do you enjoy shooting the most? I would have to say street, by far, is the most desirable genre of BMX for me to shoot. I’m over skatepark shots, and I would love to shoot more trails. And ride more of them for that matter. I just need to ride and shoot more in general.
“I like photos that tell stories, and if it’s told right then that’s a good photo.”
PHOTOS: BEN MCPHERSON
I donâ€™t know Angus Samson from a bar of soap but from the stories you are about to read it seems he is a wild dude on and off the bike. He also hates scooter riders and is irresistible to girls. Read on for more about the man from Millicent, South Australia!
Boom. Rock up at the spot, set up, done. Then again, and again and again and again until I manage to get something half decent. Sorry Gus! Lucky heâ€™s dialed.
Gus Bus is definitely a legit dude. He is always down for good times and will always supply the laughs. Ladies want him and men want to be him. Come to think of it, he is probably the only other person in the world whose nuts I have seen; the dude is ridiculous in the nuts flashing department. Besides the public nudity, he usually putting himself before others, which is always a good trait. For my birthday he definitely paid for over $100 in drinks in one trip to the bar. As far as riding, I think everyone kind of forgets how good the guy is on a bike due to his modesty. He has lots of style, big hammers, and most importantly a good amount of those feeble stall things on quarters to back roll upside down whip to feeble to 180 in kind of things. Yeah, those rock! Ben McPherson.
TIME TO PARTY Gus is a wild dude: a true one of a kind type of person. He does not care what he’s up to, as long as someone’s keen to party.
He has been busted by the cops in my hometown for riding the park in just his undies.
Some of the good times I remember with Gus include driving the two plus hours to his town with another mate, not being able to find him before working out he had been arrested at the local show and was sobering up in the lockup.
He is actually irresistible to girls. They go ape shit for him.
Or the time we had to turn back a few kilometres into a roadtrip because he had hosed out the back seat of his car and it stunk so much. He once machined a cock peg at work complete with ball bag hub guard.
He does big backies and can grow a really dirty moustache. Gus has one of the best styles on a bike and can crank booming lookbacks better than most. I’m stoked to call Angus my mate and I can’t wait to head up north to hang with him. Look out Darwin! Jack karger.
ANGUS! ANGUS! ANGUS! “He has been busted by the cops in my hometown for riding the park in just his undies.”
Angus is the man! He does what he wants when he wants, with his booming arms and murderous good looks (he is probably one of the best looking BMXer’s in the country). Just go anywhere with him and watch the ladies melt at his feet. He is one of the dudes I’ve grown up riding with and the good times we’ve had during that time are uncountable. Whether its jumping two storey, barbed wire fences to cheat out of an $8 nightclub entrance fee, spitting on scooter kids or doing the most perfect lookback air you’ll see, he is always having a good time, which becomes infectious to anyone around him. Gus isn’t the life of the party. He is the party. I’m about to join him at the pub for some more good times before he moves to Darwin tomorrow. We’ll miss you man, looking forward to shredding with you again soon!! Karl Leggett.
Bottom Left: Oh man this place was huge. Old abandoned hospital complex that looks out over the entire Mount Gambier, lucky the local council have been so incompetent over the past 10 years otherwise this might have been knocked down and never ridden. Below: Relaxed alleyoop one foot 270 euro. So many good memorios at this place.
shop 1-2 Miyal Pl Engadine N.S.W 02 9520 1818 www.aboveallbmx.com.au
ONLINE MAILORDER COMING SOON REAL PEOPLE REAL BIKES
The trip started off with everyone meeting at Little Black Bike in Adelaide. After a slow, rainy start and a coffee pit stop we were on our way to meet Ryan Lloyd in Blythe. We arrived at his infamous trails and loaded out to have a roll. A quick scope of the place, a bit of a warm up and things got going. The trails received a solid work out, with pretty much every possible line being done. We had some grub at Ryan Lloyd’s house then it was back on the bus and off to Port Augusta. After arriving in Port Augusta, we located the skate park and stopped to have another ride. As I walked to put my belongings in a safe place I was insulted by one of the younger locals that had a distaste for skateboards. He called me “skateboard garbage”. The park’s layout was quite confusing when riding the place for the first time, but after watching the locals completely destroy the whole place the team had the park worked out and some decent shit went down. By that time it was getting towards the end of the day and we set out towards our next destination, Port Lincoln. Between Port Augusta and Port Lincoln was the place where we were going to camp. On the way there, we noticed some large water tanks that were covered in some unusual graffiti. We decided to pull over and take a closer look, and were surprised to see that one of the paintings was a huge marriage proposal. It was dark by the time we got to that night’s campsite, which was under some outdoor barbecue shelter in Port Neil. We fired up the barbecue and had some food to eat. Black Sabbath was played and liquor was drank.
A quick wheel change on the bus, some cold burnt eggs for breakfast and then we were on our way to Port Lincoln. The bus just made it there before running out of fuel. We unpacked the bikes from the trailer and went off to see what the town had to offer. After being split up from everyone for quite sometime, I somehow ended up at the bowl in Port Lincoln. It is one of the most amazing places to ride and I’m sure anyone that rode it that day would go back to it in an instant. Ryan Lloyd made jaws drop as he effortlessly cruised through the bigger lines that the bowl had to offer. It was time to leave the park and search for some spots. A quick ride down to the beachfront led us to some decent hand rails and flat rails. One of the hand rails landed directly onto sand so we used a wooden table top as a landing. Beech killed the spot, as usual, but shortly after got worked when his front wheel got bogged in the sand, which sent him over the bars. We all had a good laugh. After the beachfront, we found some more spots. The first was a school and Josh K had a chance to show us a textbook gap to wall ride. Nearby were the local football grounds and Rhys Gogel demonstrated a perfect sprocket barspin to over on the fence surrounding the oval. The sun was going down and day two was at an end. A quick stop at a supermarket for food and then a bottle-o for more booze was on the agenda before we went off to find our next campsite. The campsite was in a National Park, which went along the coast somewhere near Port Lincoln. Jase handled the barbecue while everyone else went off to collect wood for the fire. After a casual amount of talking around a fire on the beach, someone decided that it was time to get the fire as big as possible. Soon enough there was a group of boozefilled young men running around the beach with huge burning bushes swinging them at each other. Some of us stayed up a little later long after the others had gone to sleep, so we dragged Jack inside his sleeping bag from one end of the beach to the other in the hope that we could dump him in the ocean. Jack didn’t get much sleep that night.
Jack Karger invert at Pt Augusta park while Collin observes.
Ryan LLoyd one foot seat grab table
Day Three was the final day and we woke up to a once beautiful beach that had become trashed from the night before. Some of the group went for a swim in the morning until someone (who shall remain nameless) did an “aqua bog”. Everything was packed up and it was back on the bus for a quiet and relaxing final day. About half way through the day we ended up back at Port Augusta. The crew had another barbecue and lazed around in the sun. There was a really great jetty jumping spot and most of the crew ended up going for a swim. This particular day was unfortunate for Wogzy seeing as we hadn’t stopped for his daily caffeine supply. I remember looking over at the figure of him in the distance laying down face first in the grass. He hadn’t moved since we arrived in Port Augusta. The bus rolled out and we were on our way back to Adelaide, but we ended up at a local rope swing over a river. Right next to this
was a bridge we needed to cross which had been flooded. Someone took out a skim board and Ryan Lloyd tried to surf across the flooded bridge while Jase and Colin towed him along. Shortly after, we found an abandoned house on the side of a road in the country somewhere and had a quick inspection of the deteriorating building. I was inside the house minding my own business when all of a sudden a shower of stones could be heard landing on the roof. I ran out as quick as I could and saw everyone throwing rocks at the house. By now it was later in the evening and we were headed back towards Adelaide. We stopped for pizza and soon arrived back home at the front of Little Black Bike once again to unload all our gear. Thanks to Jason Cousins at Roadtripz, everyone at Stowaway Distribution, Matt Hodgson and Jack Karger at Little Black Bike, and everyone that was a part of this trip,
Josh Kathigitis gap to wall ride
Photos: Jake Bolton
Intro: Adam Stone
Nick Harris is a great dude and a seriously amazing rider. I’ve know Nick for quite a while and every time I see him ride he drops a hammer or fifty. Being slightly isolated from the rest of the BMX community as he lives in the old mining town of Ballarat in rural Victoria, Nick has developed an original and highly technical style of riding. Nick has a really supportive family and no doubt growing up with a brother who rides and shreds has influenced his steady progression and unique style. He loves to hit the town and have a drink or two and is a great friend to all his mates. Keep shredding bro!
Interview: Cooper Brownlee, Adam Stone and Chris Finnigan.
You live in Ballarat, so for those who don’t know, where is that and what is it like living there? Ballarat is a small city about an hours drive from Melbourne. It is famous for its awful weather as it is always cold and windy. It does however have a fantastic skatepark with plenty of cool locals so it is well worth stopping by if you are passing through. I do love to get out of Ballarat as much as possible but I always find myself missing my local friends and family. Overall, I will always have a lot of love for my town wherever I end up in the future. How old are you mate? I just turned 21 and loving it! Outside of riding what do you enjoy getting up to? Well I’m really into films and literature. I have watched more movies than anyone I know! I’m literally obsessed with the book and the film American Psycho, as the author Bret Easton Ellis is a genius.
I’m also really into cars, V8’s to be specific. I love to drink but I’m the kind of guy that enjoys ‘pre’ drinks with mates way more than actually going out. I love to eat KFC and I rarely (if ever) go a day without it. I also enjoy traveling to random places and go on scenic walks, as appreciation for nature and wildlife is important to me. Your brother, Jules, also rides. Is that how you got into riding? Yes, definitely. I remember when we were kids he got a BMX for his birthday and I got a mountain bike and when he was having way more fun I sooked to dad about it and he got me a shiny yellow Mongoose Motivator for Christmas. Dad has always been good like that and I have stuck to BMX ever since.
Above: He did this turn down to fakie atleast 12 times in a row until he finally got one he was happy with. Left: Nick spent a good 20 minutes sweeping water out of the bottom of the fullpipe, just to bang out this bar first shot.
People are always surprised as itâ€™s not a typical career choice. I always wanted to do something really unique.
So your family have always been supportive of you riding? Yes, they have been extremely supportive from day one, as they know it is a positive influence on my life. They have always helped me out with money for bike parts and are financially responsible for most of my traveling experiences. When I was younger, Dad used to pick me up from the skatepark every night with a cold can of Coke waiting for me. I’m very lucky to have such a supportive family and I will never forget their help. I will always encourage parents to support their kids riding as I know how much it means to have family interested in what your doing and what you love. I know you’re at uni. What are you studying and what are your plans when you finish? I’m studying Humanities and Social Sciences, majoring in History. I have always been into History, as I’m a big reader and frequently watch history documentaries. I believe we need to look to the past in order to see the future. In the future I plan to get into the field of research and lecturing. To work on a World War 2 documentary as a historian would be a dream come true! That’s definitely not what I expected as an answer. Is there a lot of work in that area? People are always surprised as it’s not a typical career
choice. I always wanted to do something really unique. As far as work, there are always educational opportunities with history but hopefully I can also get a chance to do actual research for a journal, book, film, or documentary. Basically, like Indiana Jones. I will take it as it comes, but at the moment I’m just enjoying the uni lifestyle and the amount of riding time it allows is amazing. Your style is quite technical and original and really different to most of the other riders in Ballarat. What do you think has influenced your style? My style is definitely way different to most riders I know. I am known for being tech, and I guess it’s my favorite thing, but I’m also just as happy to ride anything really – from trails, flatland, bowls, anything. I think that living in Ballarat has given me a particular appreciation for all styles of riding because I don’t have the opportunity to ride with guys who have as similar a style as I do when I’m in Melbourne. As you said, you seem to ride a lot of different aspects of BMX, so what is your favourite style to ride at the moment? I like to give everything a go but I’m definitely into grinding at the moment. There are so many different variations that you can do, so you can never get bored even just riding a small flat rail all day. I never used to run pegs so I’m making up for lost time. I recommend that anyone who doesn’t run pegs should
definitely put some on because you will not regret it. I’m also into hopping anything and everything. The feeling of a straight bunnyhop up a big ledge is amazing and practicing to hop high opens up so many street opportunities. We were speaking the other day about you riding a lot with the local skaters at the park and even by yourself a bit. Is it hard to stay motivated? I’m the kind of guy who will always be motivated to ride no matter what friends change interests. Lately, it means a lot of solo street sessions in what little street Ballarat offers. As for the skaters, I feel I can relate to their tech lines and creative styles, and vice versa. I believe skaters and riders should definitely stick together and feed off each others’ styles. I am very jealous of the riding opportunities that places such as Melbourne or Geelong offer. That’s why it means the world to me when I do make the trip down to film or go to a jam. You always seem to make an effort to come to as many jams in Melbourne as possible. Any plans to move to a place like Melbourne or Geelong? I do try to get to as many as possible and I’m hoping to try even harder in 2011. I have definitely thought
Left: We walked a fair way to this spot when we could have parked litteraly 20 meters away from it, but the hike didn’t stop nick from getting the feel for the ghetto-ness and toothing this crumbling sub This page: This spot is normally locked up like fort knox, but we somehow walked straight in through the gate undetected with plenty of time for nick to 180 this gap
I believe skaters and riders should definitely stick together and feed off each others’ styles. about moving to Geelong as they have amazing spots to ride and hanging out with Chris ‘Sketchygan’ Finnigan and the guys always keeps me motivated. At this stage, I am happy to finish uni in Ballarat but if I do decide to move it would definitely be to Geelong. You travelled to Cologne in Germany a few years ago and are planning to head overseas again. What are your plans for when you go over? I traveled around a few parts of Europe but did most of my riding in Bonn and Cologne. They are definitely my fondest BMX memories and I want to go back there more than anything right now. My plans this time around are to try and find someone to come with me over the June/July holidays, but I will probably still go by myself if I have too. The bonus is having relatives in Germany where I can stay. How old were you when you went over last time? Who else went with you? I was 16 and I went with my sister and mother. I was fortunate enough to bring my bike and ride throughout most of the holiday. My good friend, Tom Ingles, was also on his own separate holiday so he came to Germany and we rode together for a few days. It was great to have a riding buddy from Ballarat and it was also extremely easy to make friends with the local riders when Tom wasn’t around. What is it that drives you to want to
go ride Europe compared to traditional places such as the USA? There are many reasons but mostly it comes down to the culture and historical aspects of Europe compared to USA. Visiting historical sites is a massive treat for me. Europe is so old and unique that the very landscape puts a spell on you, so to speak. Apart from that, the people are just so chill and easy to get along with and the architecture might as well be designed for riding. Overall, Europe feels like a long lost home to me so I will always want to explore it again and again. I know Ballarat can be a little wild at night. You must have some interesting stories? Oh it can get very wild and I could fill a book with stories from over the years. One night that comes to mind is when a mate’s 21st ended up like a typical Bendigo trail jam. Tom Ingle’s car got flipped and set on fire early in the night, so yeah it got pretty wild. Overall, partying with my Ballarat friends is very important to me as we always have a great time! That’s crazy! how is Tom going? I loved his riding style but haven’t seen much of him the past few years? I’m happy that you mentioned Tom, because he did drop off the map, so to speak. He has recently been back at it and is killing it though. Tom is definitely the most underrated rider I have ever met and would have to be one of my favourite people to ride with as he is always happy to session any spot. We have been
filming some stuff together, so look out for a new Tom Ingles edit down the track. How did you get hooked up by Impurity Bike Company? That happened about two years ago when my friend Jack McIver told me all about them and that they liked my riding edits. I was immediately psyched on the creative products they were producing. They started sending Jack and I prototype parts and it all evolved from there. I am very grateful of the constant support from Nick Huang and the guys at Impurity and I’m looking forward to more good times with them in the future. Since we just kicked into 2011, what are the plans for this year? Another successful year of Uni and hopefully I’ll be able to get to loads of BMX jams and events. I have also got a big filming project ahead with Montage BMX, which I’m really looking forward too. I also just bought a skateboard so I’m going to try and learn the basics when I’m not riding. Lastly, I hope to stay away from injuries and hopefully make it to Europe. Usual thanks… Nick Huang and Impurity Bikes; Jake Bolton for the photos; Adam Stone for helping out with the questions; Cycle City Ballarat; Adam Dyson for giving me filming opportunities; my family and all my mates for keeping me motivated and lastly Coops for giving me this opportunity – it means a lot to me!
Places you have ridden… Düsseldorf Uni Ballarat Shed (R.I.P.) Geelong Waterfront Plaza Bonn Cathedral Flem Banks Bands to listen to… The Strokes Lucero Genesis New Order The Sounds Good things about going to uni… Learning Loads of free time to ride Parties Meeting new people Centrelink support Bad things about going to uni… Essays Due dates Cost Low income Stress People to ride with… Jules Harris Tom Ingles Chris Finnigan Adam Stone Adam Dyson Stunts you like to do… Tooth hangs Ice grinds Hang fives Bar spins 540’s Movies you have watched… American Psycho The Prestige Pulp Fiction A Clockwork Orange, Rules of Attraction Places you want to travel to… New Zealand Barcelona California Egypt Antarctica People to watch ride... Randy Taylor Ty Morrow Chris O’donnell Mathias Dandois Adam Hough Reasons to ride Bmx... The people you meet The places you go Creative thinking Street riding The amazing lifestyle in general!
This was the last spot nick wanted to hit for the day.. Just as we got there the wind started picking up and the rain started coming in, but he still got his whip before we called it quits.
T R OY C H A R L E SW O RT H working hard for it
â€œAfter I pulled it we checked the camera and worked out it took just about 150 tries to get it. Whatever!â€?
I can’t remember, did we plan to hit this spot for this photo or was it just a random session? From what I remember, we were out getting clips and I wanted to do an ice to suie on a flat rail. Cooper Brownlee and DJ told about this flat rail, so we headed there. Do you remember how many shots this took or how long it was? We were definitely there for a few hours. After I pulled it we checked the camera and worked out it took just about 150 tries to get it. Whatever! You are well known for your suicide moves, so why was this giving you so much trouble? I don’t really know. My hands just wouldn’t fly back to that “lock it in, Eddie” spot. I was just being a homo.
Did you ever think about just stopping and coming back for it? I was getting tired but I had Coops and DJ there saying, “Do it Salad! Come on, Salad. This go, Salad!” I pushed though like a true athlete and since I don’t live in Melbourne I just wanted to put the clip in the bank and move on. Any injuries whilst getting it done? Nope. I think I missed my hands once but didn’t get hurt, which was really, really cool. Now that it’s over and done with, and the photo is in print, was it worth it? I’m pumped as it’s a really, really cool photo and it’s going straight to the poolroom. It’s also fresh content to show the baby girls at Thriller and the Fox, which leads to Biggie G getting kisses, which is well worth the hassle on the streets.
No matter what type of riding style you enjoy doing there are always the dudes who are well known and get a lot of coverage. This is fine as, more often than not, they deserve every bit of it! Focalpoint wanted to start a series of articles dedicated to going out there and finding riders that have had none or very little coverage, but are still out there killing it and are keen to keep on doing so. This issue we look at park riders and what exactly makes them tick.
Photo: James Patterson
SCOTTY MCG ILL Photo: Cam Pianta
Age: 17 Where are you from? Benalla, Victoria. What is your local park? Metal Mayhem, Benalla’s own. My park consists of about one line and heats up to about a thousand degrees in summer but becomes wet from all the dew in winter, so it’s hard to win against Mother Nature, but it’s still cool. What motivates you to ride park over other types of riding styles? Well, in such a small town there is very little effort put into designing cool architecture for sweet street, and the council always demolishes our dirt jumps if we dig, so I don’t have much of an option. Do you enjoy other types of riding like trails or street? Despite being rather deprived of dirt here, when I get the chance to travel to places like Hendo’s Yard to ride I always have a fun time. As for street, it’s always a sick and chill session when you’re manualling curbs, but it’s never anything serious. What do you enjoy most about your local park?
I love how Benalla’s park has a bigger spine and a big box compared to every other park I ride. It’s sick to get some decent air rather then playing around on a little three foot quarter!! Single cable gyro or brakeless, and why? Gyro! I always have and always will, because you’ve got to be able to sling the bee’s without untangling shit every run. What is the most annoying thing about riding parks? I’m sure we’re all in agreement here, when I say scooters! Top five parks you have ridden? Over the past two years, I’ve ridden all the parks in Canberra when I’ve headed up there for White’s Jam. It was amazing! So I would have to say (in order from best to worst) it would be Civic, Woden, Gungahlin, Rampfest and finally, my local. If you could go and ride anywhere in the world where would it be and why? I would die to ride the Compound or Lav’s yard in the States! They both look like that much fun with the sweetest lines and big transfers. What could be better? What was the last park you rode? My beloved local. It was a chilled Friday night session with Cam P and Hendo present, as well as all my other boys.
"My park consists of about one line and heats up to about a thousand degrees in summer but becomes wet from all the dew in winter"
MICHAEL OAKLEY Photo: James Patterson
Age: 21 Where are you from? Sunbury What is your local park? Sunbury skatepark. What motivates you to ride park over other types of riding styles? I guess I started off riding skateparks more than trails and street. I started with skateboarding then went to BMX and skatepark riding just stuck as all the trails and street were too far from where I lived. Do you enjoy other types of riding like trails or street? Yeah, I love a good set of dirt jumps, but it’s hard to keep a good set going. We always had some built up in Sunbury but the council just kept ripping them down! Street is fun, but I like it more for the atmosphere with a big group of guys just riding around. I’m not really a rail or stair person, as it’s too rough for my style of riding. What do you enjoy most about your local park? I’ve been riding there for about 5 years and it’s always fun to ride. The park is not really spread out, so you can get plenty of speed for the hips and all the quarters. All the transitions
are good, not lumpy at all and the locals are a wicked group to hangout with. Top five parks you have ridden? Woodward West, Mission Valley in San Diego, Rampfest, Monster skatepark in Sydney and Sunbury. Single cable, gyro or brakeless, and why? I go with a gyro because I do a lot of whips and bars. It also helps for the tech riding What is the most annoying thing about riding parks? SCOOTERS! They sit on the coping. Goddammit, just move back five feet or you will get foot jammed!! If you could go and ride anywhere in the world where would it be and why? I want to go to Woodward East because I have been to West and it was amazing. I have only heard good things about it and that Megaramp air bag looks sick. Oh, and Mirra’s warehouse definitely, as any place built by a BMX rider would be an absolute dream park. What was the last park you rode? It was Rampfest every Wednesday 5-9 with all the guys. It’s always a fun session.
RENE MANS Photo:Cooper Brownlee
Age: 18 years old. Where are you from? The classy Carrum Downs! What is your local park? Frankston Skatepark. What motivates you to ride park over other types of riding styles? Because it’s the easiest to get to, and it’s always there and available to ride when you want to go for a stunt. Do you enjoy other types of riding like trails or street? When I have ridden trails it’s been good fun but there are none around so I never really get the chance to ride it. Street doesn’t really motivate me that much, so I only ride it if I want to have a little fun. What do you enjoy most about your local park? There is a good vibe. All of us riders get along well and have a good time. It’s a park that allows you to do whatever you’re in the mood for. Single cable, gyro or brakeless, and why? I recently was brakeless, but switched to gyro because I’d been brakeless for a while and wanted to see what different stunts I could do. What is the most annoying thing about riding parks? SCOOTERS, hands down! Especially the little scooter riders asking if you can do backflips. Top five parks you have ridden? Frankston, Chelsea half pipe, The Shed, Hill & Dale box jumps and Dandenong Skatepark. If you could go and ride anywhere in the world where would it be and why? America. From what I’ve seen in magazines and videos it make me want to ride the parks because there seems to be heaps around and they look so different to Australia’s parks. What was the last park you rode? Frankston Skatepark.
"There is a good vibe. All of us riders get along well and have a good time."
CAMERON BROWN Photo:Stephen Joseph
Age: 19 Where are you from? Brisbane.
Single cable, gyro or brakeless, and why? Brakeless because I snapped my gyro cables about four years ago and enjoyed the brakeless lifestyle.
What is your local park? Technically, Cleveland but due to all this lovely weather that QLD has been getting lately, Ramp Attack.
What is the most annoying thing about riding parks? Scooters. I think everyone agrees on this one.
What motivates you to ride park over other types of riding styles? I broke my collarbone last year and it was easier on my badge-holder to ride transition.
Top five parks you have ridden? Woodgate, Five Dock, Caloundra, Ballina, and Kuraby.
Do you enjoy other types of riding like trails or street? I enjoy riding a bit of street here and there, but I haven’t ridden dirty in a couple of years. What do you enjoy most about your local park? It’s pretty chilled out, and it’s just down the road with a bunch of cool locals.
If you could go and ride anywhere in the world where would it be and why? Anywhere in the UK because I have been planning on heading over there for a while. What was the last park you rode? Caloundra. Today was the first bit of sunshine Brisbane had seen in months and couldn’t let it go to waste.
BLAKE REEDMAN Photo: Pete Jaques
Age: 16 Where are you from? Dalby, Queensland.
Top five parks you have ridden? Caloundra, Hervey Bay, Pizzy, GC Compound and Capalaba.
What is your local park? Dalby Skatepark.
Single cable, gyro or brakeless, and why? Brakeless. I just don’t like the feel of brakes.
What motivates you to ride park over other types of riding styles? I ust like riding skateparks at the moment as it’s fun. I would like to ride trails but there aren’t any near Dalby.
What is the most annoying thing about riding parks? That they are always so crowded and it can be hard too get a good run in.
Do you enjoy other types of riding like trails or street? Yeah, street is pretty sick but there is not a great deal of stuff out here to ride. I’ve never ridden trails before.
If you could go and ride anywhere in the world where would it be and why? Probably Mirra’s warehouse or The Unit. They look sick as.
What do you enjoy most about your local park? It’s really spread out and is really good to learn on. All my mates make it fun.
What was the last park you rode? Dalby skatepark.
"I broke my collarbone last year and it was easier on my badge-holder to ride transition."
When did you start filming BMX? I started filming BMX about two and a half years ago in mid 2008. What made you pick up a camera and start filming? I’ve always been into films in general, whether it be a Hollywood feature or a Props issue. I wanted to combine that love of films with my love of BMX and from there I started to make edits. You shoot HD now, so how do you find filming with that rather than with traditional SD cameras? Shooting in HD is great. It’s getting to the point where most quality BMX edits are being filmed in HD and it’s great to see. DSLR’s have the great advantage now that they are able to shoot in full HD, mostly due to the ability to easily change lenses. What was your first camera? My very first camera was one that my grandpa bought me for Christmas one year. It was a tiny, mobile phone quality camera and was really awkward to hold, let alone film with. But the first camera I used for filming BMX was an entry level JVC Everio. They are a pretty decent camera, but the problem is you can’t control anything in the camera at all. What camera are you shooting with now?
At the moment I film with a Canon 550d and it’s great. You have complete control over everything from the shutter speed to your lenses. It’s also great that you can get a full professional look for very little money. Would you recommend riders who are getting into filming to go straight into HD and something like the 550D or start with a camera that also has a manual zoom, so they learn that aspect of filming as well? I think the most important thing in any type of filming, not just BMX, is camera placement and composition of the shoot, and sometimes in BMX filming that is neglected. So starting to film BMX on something like the 550d could be a little confusing because you have so much to control, like whether it be the aperture, shutter speed, ISO, focus and of course the hundreds of lenses that all give a very different feel to the shoot. So starting on a fixed lens camera with a zoom could be a great way of understanding composition, then from there moving into the manual settings of the camera. Also coming from photography would be a great advantage in shooting video with DSLR’s in that you already have a good understanding of how the camera works. Recently you mentioned that you are studying film production. Was it because of BMX that you chose that path? Yeah, BMX really paved the way. I’ve been wanting to do some kind of Arts Degree
I have been seeing edits from Adam in various spaces online for the past six months or so, and over that time they have also progressed in quality. After a few conversations, I discovered that Adam was also studying film production at university, a decision that stemmed from his filming BMX. Adam is the first in this article series to focus on riders whose skills and career paths have been shaped because of BMX.
Thread the needle bars to fakie. Photo: Cooper Brownlee.
“...at the start of 2010, I bit the bullet, made the move to Melbourne and started a degree in Film Production. BMX was a major influence on this decision” for years now. So, at the start of 2010, I bit the bullet, made the move to Melbourne and started a degree in Film Production. BMX was a major influence on this decision, firstly because I wanted to keep making better and better BMX edits. But it also was because I wanted to start to make short films and explore other areas of the film industry. Are you enjoying the course? Tell us a bit more about what it involves. The course is great. I’ve been doing it for about a year now and it’s giving me a very advanced overview of the whole industry along with a bit of the history of film and also early technology. But over all it has been awesome so far. Would you recommend other riders out there who are into filming to get into something similar? The course has really helped me with filming BMX edits as well as with short films, music videos and stuff like that. It also allows me to put my own personal touch on everything. So if you’re keen on learning about all the aspects in the film industry then I would recommend the course 100%. How did you find out about the film courses? Also was it something you had to finish year 12 to get into? Well, I found out about the course though the internet really. In Melbourne there
are only a handful of Film Production degrees so I just looked around and did my research. I applied as a mature age student as I finished year 12 in 2004 with no intention of doing a degree. But I think having high school under my belt was a good idea. There are plenty of dialed BMX and skate filmers out there these days all over the world, who are some that you look up to regarding them filming/editing work? In regards to web edits at the moment I think the guys at Mutiny Bikes, including Joe Simons and Walter Pieringer, are a real influence on my edits. Also Hadrien Picard and Stephane Karle who won 1st place in the Nike 6.0 “Standby Barcelona” (which is easily my favorite web edit of 2010). DVD wise, for 2010 would have to be James Cox’ “This Is United”. With how many web edits get produced everyday, there is nothing like a very cinematic, structured BMX DVD and James has done very well in “This Is United”. I also really look up to people like Spike Jonze that started out filming skateboarding or other action sports and moved his was into features to become quite well known. What’s the plan after the course is done? There are so many opportunities in the film industry so I think the sky is the limit, but I will always film BMX so working for a BMX company as their resident filmer would also be awesome.
I was born in… Melbourne. I am currently living in... Cockatoo. My sponsors are… Connections BMX and Sputnic BMX. I work… too much. Today I am… bored and unmotivated. But I would rather be… in a tropical forest. When I get up in morning the first thing I do is... do 1,000,000 push ups. Something I would like more of in life is… perfect days. If there were an eighth day in the week I would spend it… in a cave. When riding street I hate it… when I cant do a large mono. The last park I rode was … Monbulk! The rider I looked up to the most when growing up was… Nasty. If I had a chance to do it all again I wouldn’t… Eat Mcdonalds. The most useful product to come out of the BMX industry in the past couple of years would be… Pivotal seats. The next road trip I go on I would like to hit up… Trails. The most enjoyable part of BMX… is flopping over some jumps. Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of… birds and other wild animals. A website I check out frequently is… Google. Something you wouldn’t know about me is… that I hate corn. When I’m done answering these questions… I’m gonna have some toast and go for a ride!
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Issue 23â€™s prerequisites for the Photo Project were to basically shoot a photo on something that has been modified or sketchily built to be ridden. This one turned out to be a lot hard than we first thoughtâ€Ś
Rider: Sam Illman Photographer: Cooper Brownlee Camera: Nikon D700 ISO: 400 Shutter: 1/125 Aperture: f3.2 Lens: Nikkor 2.8, 80-200 Lighting: 3 Vivitar 285HV’s, all on ¼ power. One to the left behind the pole, two to the right side and front. So, to be honest, this was not my original plan for this shoot. Stu Munro and I built a epic quarter extension in a drain in Brisbane two months ago, but the following day the council were mowing the area and discovered it and got rid of it quick smart. Then the plan was to hit up this hip in a drain in Melbourne but Mother Nature wasn’t on my side with that one and the floods stopped me from doing that. So then the back up plan came into action. I remembered we concreted up this jersey barrier about 5-6 years ago but hadn’t ridden it for a couple of years. Flagz let me know it was still all good so with four days until I had to have the mag done I took Sam Illman down to the spot on that way back home from a Geelong day trip. We were pushing it with daylight running out fast and Sam not having been there before to ride it. Even the cops weren’t on our side, as we got to the street it was on, they pulled us over thinking we were trying to avoid the booze bus up the road. With that little episode over we quickly got in there, setup and 15 minutes later we had this shot. It took a while but I am still happy with the end result.
Rider: Steve Van Ginneken Photographer: James Patterson Camera: Canon EOS 40D ISO: 400 Shutter: 1/40 Aperture: F3.2 Lens: EF 15mm f/2.8 Fisheye Lighting: Canon 580ex II at 1/4 power to right. Achiever TZ 250 at 1/2 power to the left. Triggered with Cactus v4’s The box is in a place called The Mill, in Warrnambool. It’s an old woolen mill that was shut down years ago and is full of asbestos. Over the years there have been many ghetto skatepark builds in there, but in the last couple of years, parts of the mill have been knocked down for housing development, causing some of the awesome parts to be knocked down. About three years ago, there used to be an indoor park there which had a full big box, vert wall, quarters and everything, as well as a foam pit (made from lots of wool string) and a bike swing (which was so freaking’ rad as it felt like you were riding a half pipe and you can do quad whip airs). That area got knocked down, unfortunately, and since then other things have been made, just to be pulled down by workers or abandoned as police presence has increased due to loud, noisy, good for nothing scooter kids going in there and causing havoc. This and a ghetto, half-finished, seven-foot quarter are all that is left.
Rider: Karl Leggett Photographer: Ben McPherson Camera: Nikon D90 ISO: 200 Shutter: 1/200 Aperture: F6.3 Lens: 10.5mm Fisheye Lighting: Two Vivitar 285hv’s at 1/2 power to the far left to light up the scene. One Vivitar 285hv just next to me at 1/4 power to pop right in Karl’s face. Karl’s driveway has been home to a few obstacles over the years like bunny hop bars, ledges, kickers to nowhere, and now this. It’s a super tight vert wall, wedged up against his house. The fish kind of exaggerates the transition on this but it is definitely tight. The lack of transition on it makes it sketchy to ride too. Karl hit it a heap of times for me and we ended up with this. Easy!
Rider: Mike McMah Photographer: James Wade Camera: Nikon D200 ISO: 125 Shutter: 1/250 Aperture: f2.8 Lens: Nikkor AFD 80-200 F2.8 @ 80mm
bottle of Jamieson’s and a Gatorade bong. It definitely looked like somebody (or some people) had moved in.
Lighting: 2 x Sunpak 622 flash @ 1/2 power. One behind to the left, one in front to the right.
The setup itself is pretty cool, lots of pallets, some ledges, kickers and random bits and pieces. For the shot, we wanted to shoot something pretty basic, and Mike has been into hop whips lately, so whipping off one of the ledges was on the cares. Mike’s wrist was a bit busted up so it took a few attempts to commit, but it got done pretty quickly, all in all.
There’s something creepy about abandoned buildings and this place is no exception. We’ve known about it for a couple of months now, and over that time it’s been slowly filling up with more and more graffiti, broken bottles and syringes. This means that more and more people have discovered it, which increases your chances of running into other cats while you’re in there. That creeps me out even more! So on the day we went out to shoot this, the roller door we usually use for entry wouldn’t open. It was not looking good. As a last ditch effort, we tried the regular door that was chilling to the side and what do you know, it opened! We were then greeted by a bed, a whole bunch of clothes, a pizza box, an empty
So we creeped around the place, freaking out and hoping we aren’t going to run into a syringe wielding junky or something. That’s pretty dramatic I guess, as the dude sleeping in the bed was probably just someone who had fallen on hard times. But still, we were freaking the hell out.
After shooting this we set up a wallride, which got ridden a bit until someone got wrecked. We then chilled, and heard someone enter downstairs. It only ended up being a harmless old dude who was kind of slurring his speech. After a few minutes of pottering around, he started playing with his phone and called someone. Not really keen to find out who was actually on the end of the phone line, we got the hell out of there real quick. I was NOT keen to run into his mates when I’m lugging around a camera bag full of gear!
Rider: Josh Fountain Photographer: Pete Jaques Camera: Canon 5D MK2 ISO: 100 Shutter: 1/250 Aperture: F3.2 Lens: 24-70 f/2.8L Lighting: 2 x Vivitar 285HV flashes. When I was thinking of ideas of how to shoot for this project, I had so many but every single one of them went out the window when things started to flood here in Queensland. The roads got shut, riders couldn’t meet up, and the rain just wouldn’t go away. This photo was shot just after Dalby’s first round of flooding and probably a few days before the big one hit. Josh had a huge amount of timber and ply sitting in his yard waiting to be used for his ramp plans, so we decided to make something out of it. It basically consisted of a 15-metre run-up on ply boards, which led into a box Josh put together. This was followed by a second box that we stacked a little higher, with a slight incline (behind the rolls of wire). It always seems to be a race against the weather for me, and this time was no exception. We knew storms were forecast, so we quickly smashed this ghetto construction together and I got Josh to hit it like a ski jump. With no word of a lie, the second he landed, the storm clouds went crazy and we ran for shelter as fast as we could from the rain. The wind was so strong it ripped a ladder out of the pool and sent sheets of plywood down the street.