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Freestyle Now North West skatepark coaching sessions tour

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The Freestyle Now North West skatepark coaching sessions tour was five days of good times and great skatepark coaching sessions. In February Freestyle Now squad members Shaun Jarvis, Ben Thomas and Mitch Harris fly into Paraburdoo and got ready for the 4 hour drive to Onslow. Onslow had just had a fantastic new skatepark built and their opening day celebrations taking place and what better way to help celebrate than by having some skatepark coaching workshop sessions taking place.

Freestyle Now - shaun jarvis bmx onslow skatepark feb 2017

Shaun Jarvis gets all tucked in as the storm passes Onslow.

Thursday afternoon was the first low key session with the official opening taking place on the Friday. During this session Freestyle Now hoisted a few mini competitions and fun activities and gave out some rad prizes. On the Saturday it was a long 5 hour drive inland to Tom Price to host another skatepark coaching workshop session. Again some mini competitions and fun activities took place and the participants at the skatepark all had a great time. On the Sunday Shaun, Ben and Mitch managed to do a bit of sightseeing to Karijini National Park before heading back to Paraburdoo to host another skatepark coaching workshop session. The north west can be forever changing and on this day the weather decided to change rapidly with a sudden downpour of rain and strong winds. It lasted for about 20 minutes but long enough to soak the skatepark, though it did dry out just as the session was ending. On the Monday the squad headed back to Perth for some relaxation time and to escape the heat. Till next time a big thank you to the Shire of Ashburton and to all the skatepark users that got to interact with Shaun, Ben and Mitch. Check the video below of the trip to know what took place and how the radness was rolled out.

 

Freestyle Now - north west australia trip feb 2017

Top – Mitch Harris carving the wall at Paraburdoo as well as relaxing at Karijini
Bottom – Lack of animals

 

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Freestyle Now at DownUnderGround bmx flatland finals 2016

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DownUnderGround is the Australian national bmx flatland contest series. Round 1 was in Adelaide with round 2 being a video round and round 3 the finals of series 8 took place in Melbourne at the iconic Imax location at the Melbourne Museum. Freestyle Now squad members Paul Chamberlin, Shaun Jarvis and Jason Parker attended the contest with awesome results. With one of the best turn outs that DownUnderGround has seen in recent years the contest was great. Paul Chamberlain took out the win in the open class along with the series 8 year end title in the open class. Very consistent riding as normal from Paul with some great whiplash combos. Jason parker was a surprise entrant as no one knew he was showing up. Being off his bike for 6 weeks due to his up north work schedule can be hectic but it was great to see Jason there. With two good runs he ended up taking the 1st place in the expert class to his surprise. Well done Jason that was epic. Shaun Jarvis rode well and took home 4th place in the contest and in doing so won the series 8 year end title in the expert class. Congratulation to all three squad members for their efforts at DownUnderGround. Series 9 will be taking place next year so be sure to keep informed about all things flatland in Australia via www.bmxflatlandaustralia.com

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Paul rolling out a plastic man on his way to 1st place in the open class

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Jason Parker with a upsidedown backwards wheelie on his way to first place in the expert class

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Shaun Jarvis fresh from his Japan trip on his way to 4th place with a backyard

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Paul Chamberlain (open class) and Shaun Jarvis (expert class) both taking the year end titles for series 8 of DownUnderGround

 

 

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Shaun Jarvis at Flatark 2016

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Flatark is the biggest flatland contest in the world. Held in Kobe Japan, riders from all over the world travel to be a part of the event. Riders come and enjoy the event others come to compete. Freestyle Now squad members Shaun Jarvis and Paul Chamberlain travelled to Japan to experience Flatark once again. This is the third time they have gone. Shaun competed once again in the expert class where he place 19th in a class of 42 riders. 2016 is the 35th year Shaun has been riding bmx and it looks like he is not slowing down. Shaun sent us a few words about the trip so please read on.

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Elbow glide while the birds take flight at Meriken Park in Kobe – photo by Marcio Massayuki Abe

“This was the third time I had gone to Japan for Flatark. For me it is now a yearly thing to do, and I look forward to seeing so many riders and friends and making new friends. I travelled to Japan with two other riders from Perth, Tim Sutherland and Trent Karow. On our first night in Kobe we went to this small jam at Shin Kobe station that started at 11pm. With one like 2 hours sleep over the past 40 hours i managed to ride ok and won a G-Shock watch from Uchino. A very proud and honoured moment for sure. We met Paul Chamberlain and friend Kit McKenna in Kobe the day after. I rode every day and experienced so many good times. On the day of the competition I finally planned out my run. I felt comfortable to ride at the contest site, the more comfortable you are the more relaxed you can be for the contest. I hit two smooth combos and then with the third combo it fell apart a bit and didn’t go very well. I had not slept well the night before so I was not that bummed as I knew I had rode the best I could on the day, I was happy with my run and that is what counted the most. To find out a few days later that I took 19th place was rad, super stoked for sure. After my contest run  I met Ryo Ishikawa, a young 10 year old who is inspired by my riding, I was blown away that he wanted to meet me. I felt very honoured to inspire younger riders. Later I headed over to Meriken Park to ride. There I met 3 young riders (under 10) and riding with them was a highlight of my trip, they inspired me and they started to copy some of my tricks I was doing. They even brought me coffee, something so small but meant so much. Going to Osaka and seeing friends, and riding with them was another awesome time. Halloween in Osaka was an experience I could no imagine, what an insane night, be sure to check the video of the footage to see what I meen.  The whole 10 days trip was so good. Every day riding, experiencing, learning and being motivated. Looking back on the trip I feel so motivated to progress more and I can’t wait to return. I made a video diary from each of the 10 days adventure and compiled them into one video. Give it a watch to see the adventure and how awesome the trip was over the 10 days. Sure it’s just over 1 1/2 hours but the trip lasted ten days with so much packed into it it was hard not to show this much.”

You can check out more photos from Shaun” trip via his facebook page here

 

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Shaun Jarvis in the middle of a switch before scuffing forward on the front wheel during his contest run – photo by Jason Halayko

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Some backyard action on the big screen as well during his run at Flatark – photo by Marcio Massayuki Abe

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Shaun leaving the contest floor at Flatark 2016 – photo by Marcio Massayuki Abe

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After his contest Shaun met Ryo Ishikawa. Young Ryo was so happy as he is inspired by Shaun’s riding style.

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Halloween in Japan is crazy, this is the crew in Osaka, L to R – Paul Chamberlain, Shaun Tim Sutherland and Kit McKenna. Check Shaun’s video to see some of the crazy Halloween action.

Shaun’s contest run from Flatark

 

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Freestyle Now – Tom Price skatepark coaching workshop

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Freestyle Now recently headed to Tom Price for the Nameless festival to host a skatepark coaching workshop session. Freestyle Now squad members Ben Thomas, Mitch Harris and Jarrod Murfit did an amazing job helping the workshop participants learn new skills and skatepark etiquette. The participants also got to be involved in some skatepark games and mini competitions to win prizes. Ben, Mitch and Jarrod, also dropped into the Paraburdoo skatepark for a quick roll before flying back to Perth. Freestyle Now hosts many skatepark coaching workshop at many various skateparks, be sure to check our coming events page to see where the next one is you can attend. The below video was put together by Jarrod Murfit. Give it a watch to see the squad rolling out the rad.

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Ben Thomas – Freestyle Now interview

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Ben Thomas has been on the Freestyle Now squad since the beginning of this year. Although he had been attending many of our coaching workshops and competitions prior to then as a coach and judge. Recently Ben attended the Extreme Barcelona contest in Spain for the International Scooter World titles where he took home the 2nd place, in a very close competition. For the past five years Ben has placed in the top five at the international scooter world titles. After the contest in Spain Ben traveled to Helsinki and Prague and rode a few skateparks and street spots. We caught up with Ben while he prepares to head off to California for this year’s 2016 Pro Scooter Series.

Ben Thomas at Helsinki - Freestyle Now scooter

Congratulations on your 2nd place at the worlds in Barcelona, how do you feel about that?
Thank you! I feel stoked! is probably the word to describe it at best, I feel like a big boost of confidence has rose up within my riding and just super stoked on it all.

How close were the points between 1st and 2nd at the worlds?
In the final I got 86 points and Jordan Clarke got 88.6. It was only 2.6 point the difference. Yeah very close. Too close.

Did you feel disappointed from missing out by such a small amount?
I guess so in a way, but also not really, because I know I tried my best. I gave everything that I had.

Do you think you could have done anything different in you run to get more points or don’t you look at it in that way?
For sure, I think there is certain tricks that I did or could have done to better my run, but I look at it as I did my best on the day and in the moment so I’m happy! But there is always room for improvement!

Can we ask how much did you win for taking the 2nd place?
I actually forgot to send my details for the prize money, so I’m still waiting on the prize money. I think it adds up to a couple thousand dollars though.

How important is that placing within the scooting world?
I think it is very important, because I have held onto top 5th place in the worlds for the past 5 years, then bringing back 2nd again, last time was back in 2012. I feel it helps to remind people that I am still one of the best out there.

How was this recent trip like compared to other trips you been on?
This trip was one of the best for sure, so many sick times with all the boys. Got to experience many things as usual when you travel, just great bunch of memories to have! I think because scooting is growing so fast that this year was more special, scooting is huge now and to have a trip of that caliber and to place that high in the competition was just incredible.

Can you tell us a bit about your trip to Helsinki and Prague?
Okay, so my trip to Helsinki and Prague was cool. Never been to those countries before so was a fresh experience. Prague was a very cool place to explore, did a bit of sightseeing as well as riding. Love the old buildings and culture there, very cool. On the first day in Prague we rode an awesome street plaza, built from old limestone ledges and things. We also hosted a high jump competition and best trick on this down rail, was cool to see the locals get involved! Throughout the rest of the days we just rode different spots, filmed and had an awesome trip! I was there for 5 days. Was a great experience to see their culture and would be keen to go back for sure.
Okay now Finland. Finland was really cool! One of the most chilled and hectic trips that I have been on to date for sure. The person I stayed with Jani, was such a cool guy, awesome to hang with! Almost every day there was at least 5 of us just mobbing the streets, skateparks, riding, filming and having a great time! I tried some Awesome Finish foods like the lollies and meals, they were sick. One thing that was crazy about Finland was the daylight in summer, explains the hectic part of the trip haha! So it was summer time when I went over, so the sun over there stays up 22hrs of the day. Which is crazy to me, and I’m sure to anyone that isn’t used to it. You could squeeze a lot in the day, but you’re energy was depleted like crazy, you were up doing stuff for so long. Defiantly a trip to remember also. Was there for about 5 days as well. Would head back for sure!

How do you see Scooter progression changing in the next year?
I think it will change quite a bit, more nitro circus, more competitions, everything will just progress more in ways that I don’t even know yet haha. The future holds many possibilities, as long as we are growing with it the possibilities are endless.

How do you combat the pressure of learning new tricks to stay up with the world best?
It’s really hard, a lot of effort is needed to stay at that peak condition, like practice, making sure you’re tricks are consistent and having new things to throw out there to stand out. Takes much more work that people think to perfect.

You’re heading off to America soon, what are you going there for?
Yes I am heading of to L.A. California, for this year’s 2016 Pro Scooter Series, once again massive prize pool and awesome parks around the world.

How much pressure gets put on you from your sponsors to stay on top, or is it more your own pressure?
It’s probably more your own pressure, I mean, obviously you’re sponsors want you to go well but they never force me or say anything towards me that is of a standard that I have to do. It’s always on me how I perform and that can be quite a bit to deal with.

When will he be doing a flair off the counter of his local maccas?
Never hahaha, don’t buy Maccas.

What are your thoughts on scooters in the nitro world games?
I think that it was a great idea to help promote and showcase the sport, how quickly the sport is growing and to show people what we can do, it’s not just a kids toy anymore.

Would you like to jump that size of jumps?
Yes I would like to give it a go! For sure.

Who is your favorite scooter rider/s?
I don’t have a favorite scooter rider hahah, if I was to have a favorite rider Capron Funk would probably have to be the one, you just never know what’s coming up in his comp runs, he will surprise you with such cool looking tricks and such different tricks also, good to see

Were you happy with your run at the Australian titles and your placing? (14th place)
I was fairly happy with my runs not my placing though.

What do you think of competitions?
Competitions will always be competitive, I am a very competitive person when it comes to sports, that’s what drives me and keeps me at the top. I feel that competitions need to have a level of standard with judging and with the facility that they choose the competition to be held at, it affects the riders massively if they are not organised right.!

Aggression at skateparks towards scooters still seems common, do you think that it’s a scooter problem or just an age of participants problem, what’s your take on that?
Scooters have always been given grief at skateparks, I feel that it’s more of an age dilemma, kids not knowing what they are doing at a skatepark can make everyone’s day miserable that are just trying to have a good time and ride the facility. I get annoyed sometimes when there is hardly anyone at the skatepark that doesn’t have skatepark etiquette. I think that the more people knew about what they were supposed to be doing on the park the better it would be.

Ben Thomas at Helsinki - street spot flair - Freestyle Now scooter

Ben’s flair game is strong on this rad street spot in Helsinki

You get to go to lots of the Freestyle Now coaching sessions, how do you think your presents at a session impacts on the young riders?
I think that my presence is a big impact and influence towards them as a rider or a role model, I try to keep it as real with them as I can and be a good role model towards them. I feel it gives them a good sense of direction for what you can achieve within the sport and that you can become known also. Awesome feeling.

I know you might not like this question because you must get asked a gazillion times but what’s your hardest trick?
I feel that the hardest trick I have landed was a few years back when I landed my 720 Backflip! That to me was fairly insane hahah.

How did you get into scooters?
One day me and a group of mates decided to buy some cheap scooters from I think it was Big W or something, one of the first Blade scooters. Anyways we decided to buy them to ride to school just for abit of fun transport to get to school, this was when I was about 12. We noticed there was a skatepark down the road, like literally less than 50m. So we decided to go there after school and try it out, then we stared to really catch a feel for it, so we decided to leave home extra early to get a morning session in before class started. Then it just took off from there.!

How were you able to climb to the top of the pro ladder?
I don’t really know how to answer this question, I guess just my determination and push that helped me to get through it all I think. I had an ankle injury at the start of it all, so just had to push through that and then just keep ahead of it all.

Can you tell us about your line of signature parts with grit scooters?
Yes defiantly. My current line of Signature products with Grit Scooters consist of my Ben Thomas Signature Deck & Ben Thomas signature Bars! My Signature deck is a very light and but a durable product, coming in at 4.5 inch wide and 19.75 inch long. 6061 heat treated alloy, with a 3 Degree concavity. With the bars also very light weight and durable, they come in at 24 inch wide by 26 inch high. They are made from a new hydro formed alloy, to give them extra strength within maintaining their extreme light weight. I will also be releasing a signature full scooter within the future, so keep an eye out.

Ben Thomas at Helsinki - DIY - Freestyle Now scooter

Leg wrap at a DIY park in Helsinki, possibly at 9pm at night?

Are you a glass half empty or half full kind of guy?
I’m a glass half full kind of guy for sure, more towards the side of an optimist, always try and see the good in a situation or an opportunity in every difficulty.

What advice would you give to someone who one day wants to become pro?
I would say to them, you can do it, as long as you stay strong and will minded, keep practicing and stay passionate towards something that you want to achieve, you can achieve it. For sure.

Do you have any shouts outs or thanks to give?
Shout out to Grit Scooters for keeping me out there doing stuff in the world and to all my sponsors, Freestyle Now of course! Gain Protection & Tortoise pads for keeping it real

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FREESTYLE NOW AT FLATARK 2015 – KOBE JAPAN

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Back in October 2015 Freestyle Now squad members Shaun JarvisPaul Chamberlain and Lee Kirkman traveled to Japan to attend Flatark, the final stop in the flatland world series of contests. Shaun and Lee competed in the competition and placed quite well considering the level of competition. Shaun placed 31st out of 46 riders in the expert class and Lee placed 52nd out of 68 riders in the open class. The three riders started their 10 day journey in Tokyo for a few days then took the bullet train to Kobe, the host city for Flatark and then finished the trip off in Osaka. Shaun made a video from every day showing all the rad things they did, saw and rode and had made it into one long video. Its worth watching to get a scope of the fun that a trip like this can be and to see some great riding from Shaun, Paul and Lee and a bunch of other riders.

Paul Chamberlain Shaun Jarvis lee Kirkman at Flatark 2015 - freestyle now bmx flatland
These three guys above Paul, Shaun and Lee sent in a few words about their travel experience read on and be inspired to venture outside of your city. This year Shaun Jarvis and Paul Chamberlain are confirmed to be venturing off to Kobe to once again experience all things Flatark.

Shaun Jarvis put together a video from each of the 10 days he was away in Japan and then put them all into one long journey video. Check it out to see Freestyle Now rolling out the rad in Japan.

Flatark contest footage from Lee Kirkman and Shaun Jarvis

Shaun Jarvis
This was my second time attending Flatark and venturing out of Australia. Again it was so great and can’t wait to go back. To see all of the international friend again in person (not via facebook) will be great. The trip was so awesome, making a video of each day’s radness was kinda hard but I think I managed to get it all in there. I know it long but there was just so much we did it had to be included. It will be great memories to look back on in the next 20 years for sure. I was really stoked on my contest run, it was a bit sketchy at the start but I sorted that at the end. Im really looking forward to heading back to Kobe and riding Meriken Park, it’s such an inspiring location. For 2016 it looks like I will be travelling with more Australian crew which should make the trip another great experience. Watch the video I made to see how much fun we all had.

Shaun Jarvis at Flatark 2015 mid contest run - freestyle now bmx flatland

 Shaun Jarvis in the middle of his contest run at Flatark, check the contest video for his full run.

Paul Chamberlain
I go to Japan every year for FlatArk. It’s the biggest competition in the world right now. I love Japan, and not a single day goes by that I don’t think about riding at Meriken Park in Kobe. It’s the best spot, the best crew and the best vibe. The contest goes off too. That all sounds cliche, but whenever I’m tired at home I think about going back there and it motivates me to ride more. I don’t even enter the contest, but it makes me want to focus on riding and see what’s possible. Amongst all of the busy busy here right now it’s easy to lose sight of that and FlatArk on the calendar helps me sustain that purpose. Thanks Ucchie!

Paul Chamberlain  at Merikin park 2015 - freestyle now bmx flatland - photo Omar Lammers

 Paul Chamberlain captured at Meriken Park mid combo by Omar Lammers

Lee Kirkman
Wow what can i say about Japan it was a experience never to be forgotten what an eye opener the people there the hospitality is next to none i have never met so many nice people willing to go out of their way to make you feel welcome by far my favorite trip i have ever been on.

Lee Kirkman at Flatark 2015 mid contest run - freestyle now bmx flatland

Lee Kirkman mid run with a no hander stick B- photo by Marcio Abe

Shaun Jarvis at Flatark 2015 X up endo at Meriken Park - freestyle now bmx flatland

Shaun Jarvis getting rubbery armed at Meriken Park with a X up endo – photo by Omar Lammers.

Lee Kirkman at Flatark 2015 rolling at Merikin Park - freestyle now bmx flatland

Lee Kirkman rolling at Meriken Park in Kobe.

Paul Chamberlain Shaun Jarvis Lee Kirkman at Nara in Japan 2015 - freestyle now bmx flatland

Lee, Paul and Shaun at Nara deer park in from of a 1000’s year old temple on the last day in Japan.

More photos form the adventure can be found in Shaun’s facebook photo album here

 

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Freestyle Now bmx stunt shows – Carnarvon Tropicool Festival – raw video

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Freestyle Now recently performed some bmx stunt shows at the Carnarvon Tropicool Festival. It was a two day drive there with the portable jump box in tow. Founding Freestyle Now squad member  Shaun Jarvis was joined by reserves squad member Brady Thomas and good friends Warren Bowers and Nathan Philps. This is a raw video from show 4 on the day. You can also see the Carnarvon Tropicool festival video which will give you a look at the whole 3 days festival as well as some radical drone footage from our first warm up show from 10am. Make sure you check out our coming events page to see where the next Freestyle Now bmx stunt shows will be going down. If you would like this type of great entertainment at your next event please get in contact with Freestyle Now with your requirements.

Freestyle Now show 4 at the Carnarvon Tropicool festival – raw video

The carnarvon Tropicool festival is a good time

Below is drone video from Freestyle Now first show on the day

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Freestyle Now bmx stunt shows – Carnarvon Tropicool Festival

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Freestyle Now recently made the long trek to Carnarvon, 900kms north of Perth, to perform some bmx stunt shows at the Carnarvon Tropicool Festival. It was a two day drive there with the portable jump box in tow. Founding Freestyle Now squad member  Shaun Jarvis was joined by reserves squad member Brady Thomas and good friends Warren Bowers and Nathan Philps. Freestyle Now performed some great entertaining bmx stunt shows with many rad tricks taking place. The people attending the Carnarvon Tropicool Festival. were entertained from the great performance that Freestyle Now put on. Freestyle Now performed 6 shows on the day. The two days after the Carnarvon Tropicool Festival Freestyle Now stayed in Carnarvon and hosted two skatepark coaching workshop sessions with a large amount of participants really getting involved with some great skatepark skill building.
Make sure you check out our coming events page to see where the next Freestyle Now bmx stunt shows will be going down. If you would like this type of great entertainment at your next event please get in contact with Freestyle Now with your requirements.

Freestyle Now bmx stunt show - Carnarvon Tropicool Festival June 2016 - Nathan Philps no hander backflip

Guest rider form Queensland Nathan Philps get his vertical directional rotational on without his hands on the grips.

Freestyle Now bmx stunt show - Carnarvon Tropicool Festival June 2016

Clockwise from top left – Brady Thomas like to show the style side of bmx, groundchuck over the box jump (seat grab) – An all out squad assault on the ramp, Shaun Jarvis on the deck performing a mod hopper, Warren Bowers dose a flair and Nathan Philps get the crowed amped – Nathan Philps is superman – Warren Bowers whips it good.
More photos can be found on our Facebook page here

 

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Freestyle Now squad member Jason Parker York Jam America trip

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Freestyle Now squad member Jason Parker recently fulfilled one of his long dreams and headed over to America to attend the York Jam in Pennsylvania in America. Jason has been an important member to Freestyle Now since he was enlisted on the squad in 1999 with performing bmx stunt shows around the nation and being heavily involved in the production of Behind the Bars with Shaun Jarvis. Jason sent through some good words about his trip and a few snaps so read on

“Well I guess ever since I started riding freestyle BMX way back in 1995, I came across a video called “Wheelies” That video had, and still has some of the best flatland riding caught on film. Ever since seeing that video, I have wanted to go to York Pennsylvania to ride at the annual event called ‘York Jam’.Earlier this year, while I was on Facebook, I saw an advertisement for the “25th anniversary of York Jam”. I decided just by seeing that ad, that if I was rostered off work, I was going! It was that easy. I looked up my roster and checked that I could go! All that was stopping it, was a decision of “was it worth it”? That was easy to decide. I had always dreamt of going to meet the best riders from the world, the riders who made flatland what it is now! So I said this is it, the Jam has rolled for 25 years, if I miss this one they may not have another! It was the easiest decision I have ever made. So next I was booking the flights and accommodation, car hire etc. Then I thought I would see if anyone wanted to come along. I ended up getting my friend Simon to join, he was stoked!

Simon and I had started riding together back in 1995. He knew the video and the people we were heading to go and hang out with. It was game on! We were booked and ready to go, next I received the worst news from Simon, “man I have broken my leg and torn an ACL and Ligament too”. Oh no way, I was like “so I guess you can’t go”? Simon was like “hell no, I’m going”! So despite the major setback Simon pushed through the pain barrier and discomfort and made it along for the ride.

Jason Parker York bmx Jam trip 2015 holiday snaps

Holiday snaps surrounding the epic bike bag pack up – clockwise from top – That’s LA in the background, The girls from York Jam, The 25th York Jam crew, Looking mean on the Harley Davidson factory tour, New York New York, The yellow Stang, Chillin at the York Jam, Riding at Santa Monica. Photos by Simon Johnston

We left Perth flying via Sydney and then flew onto Los Angeles. We saw Santa Monica Beach, Hollywood, and Huntington Beach. As fate would have it, when we left Huntington Beach Simon noticed a rider in the car park. I was like “No way! That looks like Gabe Weed”! We decided to go see who it was, Yep it sure was Gabe Weed, he was just about to have a ride. We had a yarn and rode some flatland for a bit. Simon and I could not believe it, what is the chance of meeting one of the best flatland riders like that. We then drove down to Las Vegas in a Ford Mustang. That is a must if you are ever going to go see Las Vegas, Simon drove most of the way. We went to Hoover dam then arrived at Los Vegas. After we were in Vegas for a few days we headed to the East coast landing at JFK airport, New York. We had made it to the big apple AKA New York. We did the tourist thing and saw Brooklyn Bridge, Empire state building, and the Statue of Liberty. We also ate the best Pizza ever!  NY is not my scene that’s for sure but the Pizza is so good. We got out of NY and headed to the place we had been waiting to ride since we started riding. The drive was awesome, we saw so much. Once we made it to York we got on the “Buffalo wings” and did a wall mart visit. Simon was loving it! He wanted to get a bike and ride at the jam.

So Friday 11th Sep 2015 the Pre jam day arrived. We headed out to find the spots that were on the advertisement. No one was there yet. We decided to do a Harley Davidson tour while we waited for the jam to start. The place is heaps cool. Interesting fact that Australia is the second biggest purchasers of Harley Davidson other than the US. So about 3.00pm I get a message from Brett Downs on Facebook, Saying “Let me know when you want to go ride”! So I replied “I’m at the Hidden Spot now”! So I was doing a manual and a car pulled up. It was Brett he was like” You want to come ride, with Kevin and me at the Pit”? I was like “Yeah that would be sweet”. So Simon and I followed Brett and we meet up with Chad, Ivan, Terry and Kevin. It was so cool to see Mr Jones ride in person. He cranked up a heap of speed put one foot over the bars and did the longest no handed nose wheelie I had ever seen! EPIC was about as good a word I can think of to describe it. The man is KING! I could not believe how lucky we were, to be able to hang out with these guys. The typical BMX crew, who I had never meet before, but felt like I had known them all of my life! So after hanging with the crew, we headed back to the Hidden spot and started to meet some of the people who also made the long journey to York P.A. Riders from all over the US and Canada had made the effort to be at the 25 year jam. It was so cool to be apart off. We rode until about 8.00pm then headed out with everyone!

Jason Parker York bmx Jam trip 2015

Clockwise from top left – Jason at Santa Monica Beach hitting up a decade – Meeting on Gabe Weed at Huntington Beach – Hanging out at the York jam undercover due to the rain with James McGraw – Meeting legendary flatland rider Kevin Jones

The day had come and after 3 months with no rain in York, the only thing that could ruin travelling over 18000 Km’s was RAIN! Yep it sure did “It pissed down all day”! But in typical flatland style we had plan B. Lucky the locals knew of the best spot in York for this 25 year jam to push on. We had a whole multilevel car park all to ourselves. Well unless the local authorities were to show up! Everyone headed, to go ride in the car park out of the rain, It was awesome I think at least 150 riders made it for this year’s jam. Also we had six girls show up to throw down some flat action, they were all awesome!!  The rest were “two tired”. No that was just a real bad joke! Mark Eaton was cranking tunes all day it was like being in the video “Wheelies” but it was real life. LOL some awesome riding was done and heaps of tricks were pulled. After a full day of flatland, we headed out yet again. We made heaps of new riding friends for life. After a huge night with Lincoln and Matt, everybody reunited and jammed again at the George st spot on Sunday. It was awesome getting to meet hero’s you never think you will ever get to meet in your entire life. So many good riders and the scene was like when I saw “Wheelies”. Thanks to Diggs and everyone who organized York jam. Simon and I left the next day we had 28 hrs of flights and 2 days of travel ahead of us. And then straight back to work for me.

For anyone who has a wish to or thought of an event that you have always wanted to attend, just go for it and make it happen, you will be so happy you made the effort.
As the saying goes Freestyle Now…….. Before it’s too late. Ride on!”

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Freestyle Now at Flatark 2014 – Kobe Japan

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Back in October 2014 Freestyle Now squad members Shaun Jarvis, Jason Parker and Paul Chamberlain traveled to Japan to compete in Flatark, one of the stops in the flatland world series of contests. The three riders travelled there with a few other Australian riders for the contest and most importantly good times. Spending a week in Japan the group visited Osaka, Kobe (the contest city) and Kyoto. Riding every day, sightseeing, experiencing new culture and making new friends. The three squad members sent in a few words about their travel experience read on and be inspired to venture outside of your city. This year Shaun Jarvis and Paul Chamberlain are again venturing off to Kobe to once again experience all things Flatark

Freestyle Now squad members at flatark 2014

Left to right Paul Chamberlain, Shaun Jarvis and Jason Parker at the Flatark contest site in Kobe Japan

Shaun Jarvis – I had never been out of Australia before, so I was a bit nervous on what to expect. I knew it would be a bit of a culture shock. So much happened over the ten days it’s so hard to tell everything. It was an experience I’m so glad to have been on. Meeting new people and seeing new things is what inspires me to travel. Here are some of the experiences that were the highlights of the trip.
I travelled with Jason from Perth and Paul said he would meet us at Osaka airport, well no Paul there to meet us, so only armed with the accommodation address and not able to really communicate with anyone due to language barrier it was a late night train mission to get to our accommodation. Two trains later, we finally get close and exit the train station to the street, build our bikes and ride towards were we think we need to go. Counting the streets on the map as we pass them, a left turn, another can you help us, we finally get to our accommodation about 11:30pm to see Paul standing out the front. A little surreal. After travelling for 18 hours I just wanted to shower and sleep. Not as easy as you would think. Paul had taken care of the accommodation and we were staying in a traditional Japanese capsule hotel. So the format to get to your bed was as follows, Take shoes off, take to counter, get your shoe locker key, put shoes in locker, go back to counter give shoe locker key back, get clothing locker key which is also bed number, take gear to locker, change out of cloths into sleeping cloths. To shower you headed down stairs to the bath house, take off cloths and put everything into bath locker take key with you on wrist, yeah it was a confusing system. Anyway so first night was a team bonding experience with Paul, Jason and myself experiencing the traditional Japanese bath house, being naked together with a bunch of other guest all bathing and showering, something I never thought I would be doing when I stepped on the plane in Perth.
The uniforms the people wear are awesome, it’s like a privilege, or to show the importance of their job, train drivers, nurses, police, security, rubbish men, there seemed to be a uniform for any job. It was great to see and I thought it seemed a very respectable thing. We were riding late at night in Kyoto and went down a street then down a side ally where there were these workers in well dressed in uniforms and helmets, I did not know what they were doing, pushing wheel borrows of bags, and turns out they were the rubbish men collecting the trash, in their uniforms.
The contest was awesome, so many flatlanders of all ages. In the expert class (the class I was in) there were 3 groups, a total of 45 riders, many from Japan and some from around the world. I was lucky enough to be in the first group so I got my run over with early.  The call was up for practice/warm up, something like 15 riders all trying to roll on the special built stage for the contest, it was daunting, and I found that I had to not be so polite and force my way out on the floor as I was struggling to get a roll in. In the end I started to feel comfortable riding on the stage, my name was called for my turn, I was so nervous, my first international competition. Hundreds of people watching. Most of the time at the DownUnderGround flatland contests it’s mainly just riders that I know. I had a run planned out, we had a minute and a half to throw down, and I stumbled a bit at the start but then got my groove on and had a flawless last half of the run. I was pumped, as I knew that I rode my best. The best part was a lot of the other Japanese riders came up and were giving me props. I was more stoked on the mutual respect from the riders than the contest run I had just done. In the end I placed 35th out of 45 riders.
On our last night in Japan we were in Osaka. We were heading out to go ride with the locals at the university. It was a fair long ride from where we were staying. Being vegan and gluten free in Japan is a challenge and on this night we were riding to get food on the way to the riding spot. During my stay I found it hard to eat with the others as most of the eateries did not have vegan and gluten free food so it was constant visits to the convenience store to get rice, cabbage and bananas. This is what I mainly ate, and lost 2kg while in Japan. On this the last night my energy levels were low as I had not had much to eat so I was pumped to get to the eatery for a meal. To say I was greatly disappointed when we arrived to again find that they did not cater for my diet. So to not get lost I just road straight up the same street, taking a left or right turn could spell disaster by getting lost, all the streets look the same. So after a 5 minute ride I found a supermarket, yes a score. I walked out of there with a great selection of fruits and raw vegetables. Sitting on the streets of Osaka I had a feast. By the time a meet back up with the other riders and headed to the university to ride I was full of energy, this was a great example of food equals energy. When we got to the riding spot everyone had a bit of a ride and then slowly they just started talking and sitting around saying how cold they were, rugged up in big hoodies. I on the other had just wanted to ride and ride I did. One of the best sessions I had in Japan, so good I ended up going shirtless and still sweating hard. The others could not believe it, here I was riding shirtless while they are all just standing around shivering in the cold.

Shaun Jarvis in Osaka for flatark 2014

Shaun Jarvis on the last night of riding on the trip in Osaka, tomahawk.

Paul Chamberlain – What can I say about it. Even though my life is here I’m always a little bit sad to leave and a little bit too excited to set off. Whatever you do there, it’s a rewarding experience because it’s always so different from here. There are lots of great flatlanders there too. You can get a year’s motivation in just a few minutes sometimes. Japan. I’m really proud of all the boys for making the effort to attend. We’re all over 30 and have plenty going on back in Oz so it was a really precious time to just roll together. We did three cities, Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe. The pics will tell some of our stories, and the rest, well you can come with us next year!

Paul Chamberlain in Osaka for flatark 2014

Paul Chamberlain at the Osaka University on one of the late night riding sessions that went down.

Jason Parker – Where to start ? Arrived at Perth International airport at 3.00am meet Mr Jarvis. Checked in on Singapore airlines went to the lounge and had a killer breakfast. When we arrived at Singapore we checked out the Changi airport we caught a train within the complex to our next terminal and had lunch at another lounge. After hours of sleep and movies we made it to Japan. We got through custom’s hit Macas and looked for Paul Cee. Now it was like 11.30pm no Paul. So we decided to catch the train headed for Namba.  We got our tickets and hauled ourselves on to the train. After 1.5hrs we got to Namba station Osaka. Then the stations were closing up for the night. Shaun and i thought sick “were going street riding”!!. We got out on the streets and built our steads up. Now we headed for our accom. Our first roll on the streets of Japan. Flatark here we come ! Sure we had no idea were to go but as bicycle freestylers this is our way of life. Any rider knows this is part of the adventure. So after 15 min we were lost. Lol but hey who cares. We found some dudes that told us we were close but didn’t know where we actually were staying. Then we headed down some more streets and Shaun says “what’s that joint” ?. Well the flatland gods were leading us straight to our main man “Beefy”. Yes we found Paul Cee. Standing in the door of “what’s that place”. Sweet 2.30am just about 24 hrs after leaving Perth we can now Party. Lol Things are starting out different to Oz.
Our bikes have to be locked up outside under a subway like 5 min from where we are staying. Our beds are “capsules” and to top it off no showers but good ol bath fun ;-). Welcome to Japan. So after a great sleep i run into a ol mate Ron who i didn’t actually recognize until the aussie accent came out. Wow what a shock well after checking star bucks talking samurai swords and seeing Osaka castle we had our first session. I was pumped i finally pulled my link for the first time since creating it in my head in August. Just need to do it on the Sunday. So we had all the crew Shaun, Paul, Shane, Chris, Matt, Ronnie and Luke. We went and had Saki with some amazing Japanese food and beer. Day 3 was heading to Kobe so we grabbed another train and 1.5hrs later we arrived. Paul led the way we got our next capsules sorted and went down to check the Flatark comp. Well wow wow wow never seen so many flatland bikes ever! And the Japanese kids were just incredible. I felt someone tap my shoulder I turned and Ag was standing behind me. He is a local Japanese legend who travels the world living and riding flatland. I was so Stoked to see him after getting to ride with him in Sydney a few years earlier. We had a brief session with the crew Bobby, Terry, Ryan, Vicki, Dez and a few others. Then it was open class Qualifiers so we headed to watch Beefy go and represent. The level of riding blew my mind the consistency was just like watching a YouTube edit. These guys meant business lol.
After the Qualifiers we got ready to head to the demo and first party of Flatark. A few more beers and some cool stories from the riders at the event then the moment everyone was waiting for to see the Flatark ark judges do this demo. They got crazy for the crowed and rode with style and grace like only all that experience of a lifelong flat rider has. Old and new school all in one. Then we headed home so we could get some r and r before the 8.00am sign up of the expert class. So the day had come feeling nervous and excited we all head back to sign up. They had 3 groups in expert Shaun group 1 Chris and myself group 2 and Matt group 3. Well me and Chris lucked out probably with the easier group. Everyone rode so well and gave it their all. The experience of the comp was the most nervous I have ever felt ever on my bike. But anyone who wants to see the best flatland in real life needs to go to Flatark as its insane level of Flatland for competition. The open class have to battle for the top 12. This is the most grueling and craziest way for a Flatland comp as it’s awesome for the crowed watching but for the riders it’s more than riding one or two sick runs. It’s a battle of the fittest and that really makes this comp challenging mentally and physically for the rider. So after realizing I had smoke coming out of my head and pinching myself I saw the podium results and then typical rider fashion P A R T Y. We got to go on this boat and hang with everyone from the comp.
It was EPIC ! Once the boat ride ended we rode the streets of Kobe and made our way to a night club hanging with everyone again. Then we got back to the capsules about 4.00am. Our accom run out at 10am so we then headed to the train station at Kobe and I departed the crew for the trip home. Was good fun travelling with no camera or phone or any electronics not even a map. Yes I did make it back home somehow. Lol. Flatark is a must for anyone who loves Flatland.

Jason Parker in Osaka for flatark 2014

Jason Parker only went to Japan for a few days but enjoyed it so much, cross footed McCircles  at Sakuranomiya. Osaka.

More photos from their epic trip can be found on Shaun’s Facebook page here

The below video is the footage from the contest runs that Paul, Shaun and Jason did at the 2014 FlatArk contest in Kobe Japan.

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