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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.

 

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

 

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FREESTYLE NOW BMX STUNT SHOWS – Perth Australia Day SHOW

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Freestyle Now recently performed some bmx stunt shows at the Perth Esplanade Australia Day celebrations. Freestyle Now squad members Dylan Schmidt, David Pinelli, Matt Adkins and Jack Carwardine were in charge of rolling out the rad to the masses. It was one of the hottest days that Perth had experienced in a long time. The riders performed some great entertaining bmx stunt shows for the masses. Some rad bmx stunt shows took place over the course of the afternoon with the riders performing a variety of bmx stunts over the portable bmx jump ramp drawing in large crowd numbers for the Freestyle Now bmx stunt shows. One of the shows highlights was the flip train, with all the riders riding close to each other, Dylan backflips, Matt front flips, David back flips and Jack finishes with a flair.(check the below video) Nothing but pure radness. 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 - Australia Day Perth Esplanade - David Pinelli

David Pinelli getting all twisted up as he sends a 360 unlookback with the City of Perth in the background.

Freestyle Now bmx stunt show - Australia Day Perth Esplanade

Clockwise from left – David Pinelli grabs his seat as he takes his feet of the pedals to do this superman seat grab – Dylan Schmidt sending a double tail whip – Jack Carwardine gets some flair action happening – Matt Adkins is cannonballing, no footed double handed seat grab. More photos can be found on our facebook page here

Freestyle Now bmx stunt show - Australia Day Perth Esplanade - Dylan Schmidt

Dylan Schmidt likes to do backflips and sometimes his hands come off. We are lucky he has got skills so he can get his hands back on before landing safely.

 Here are a few quick clips from the Perth Australia Day BMX stunt shows

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FREESTYLE NOW BMX STUNT SHOWS – Rooty Hill Australia Day SHOW

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Freestyle Now recently performed some bmx stunt shows at the Blacktown City Council Australia Day celebrations that took place at Rooty Hill in the West of Sydney. The afternoon started out slow with the crowds building as Freestyle Now got set up. By the time the first show was set to go a good number of people had gathers to enjoy the bmx stunt show. Freestyle Now squad members Lee Kirkman and Shaun Jarvis  were joined by Danny Campbell and John Condie to roll out the rad to the masses who had come out to enjoy the celebrations. Some rad bmx stunt shows took place over the course of the afternoon with the riders performing a variety of bmx stunts over the portable bmx jump ramp and the Freestyle Now bmx stunt shows drew in large numbers at shows time. 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 - Rooty Hill - Lee Kirkman super indian air grab

Lee Kirkman is renowned for his no footed Indian air super seat grabs and the crowds at Rooty Hill were not disappointed

Freestyle Now bmx stunt show - Rooty Hill Australia Day 2017

Clockwise from left – Lee Kirkman no footed can can flying the Aussie flag in his helmet – Guest rider Danny Campbell with a perfect super man for the Rooty Hill crowds – Lee Kirkman spinning a flat 360 – Guest rider John Condie throws a slow bar spin over the jump box for the crowd.

Freestyle Now bmx stunt show - Rooty Hill - Danny Campbell and John Condie backflip

Danny Campbell and John Condie timing their backflips just right.

More photos can be found on our facebook page here

The above is a video from the last show at Rooty Hill. The crowds really got into it.

 Local radio SWR FM 99.9 produced a video of the Rooty Hill Australia Day celebrations, it was a great afternoon and evening had by all and the Blacktown City Council really put on a great events

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Esperance skatepark competition – round 18 freestyle now western Australian skatepark competition series

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Round 18 of the Freestyle Now Western Australian Skatepark Series took place at the new Esperance skatepark. It was the opening celebrations and the skatepark was full of participants and spectators. Freestyle Now headed to Esperance with squad members Shaun Jarvis, Ben Thomas, Matt Adkins and Kieran Ramsay. The day before the competition Freestyle Now hosted a bmx and scooter coaching jam session with lots and lots of great participation. Freestyle Now was in Esperance to host a skatepark competition, this was to be the last round , round 18 of the Freestyle Now Western Australian skatepark competition series. The competition turnout was great with lots of new competitors who were entering their first competition. the spectators were everywhere and supported the competitors with great applause and cheer. At all of the Freestyle Now skatepark competitions there are three classes for competitors to enter, beginners (younger and still learning), intermediates (competitors with some good skills) and the open class (consistent and dials tricks) in the three disciplines scooter, skateboard and bmx. There is also a girl’s class to help encourage more girls to enter. At the Esperance competition there were no open class riders but we think with such a rad skatepark at their disposal it won’t take long before the level of skill increases rapidly. We would like to thank the Shire of Esperance for putting on such a rad weekend and taking care of the Freestyle Now squad. also thanks to our supporters, Colony bmxSacrifice scooters. Round 1 of the 2017 series takes place at the new Wanneroo skatepark on the 13th January. Be sure to check our coming events page for all the latest information.

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Clockwise from top left – Zacyyah Smith took out the 1st place in the girls class, it was great to see so many girls competing in Esperance – Talyn Galic took out the 1st place in the intermediate scooter class with some great skills over the volcano – Nic Woods flippin out on his way to 1st place in open bmx – Charlie Howard was unsure if he should enter into the beginner bmx class as he said he could not do any tricks. It’s not about tricks it’s about participating and having a good time.

More photos from the competition can be found on the facebook page here.

Esperance skatepark competition – 4th December 2016 – Round 18 Freestyle Now Western Australian Skatepark Series – Official results

Girls – 1st Zacyyah Smith, 2nd Mercy Rain Griffiths, 3rd Addison Frahm, 4th Evie Edhouse, 5th Nakita Pirangi-White, 6th Topsea Vanlaws.

Scooter beginner – 1st Jimmy LeeSteere, 2nd Cody Mack, 3rd Elliott Hunt, 4th Flnn Haslam, 5th Kyron Czaplinski, 6th Harley Abdullah, 7th Ethan Dawe, 8th Fraser O’Neill, 9th Tyron Van Der Walt, 10th Hunter Griffiths, 11th Zaine Smith, 12th Taj Liddelow, 13th Deklan Furniss.

Scooter intermediate – 1st Talyn Galic, 2nd Johann Councilor, 3rd Oscar Griffiths, 4th Byron Holst, 5th Jayden Lawrence, 6th Cale Baxter, 7th Ryan McBride, 8th Brody Ogle.

Bmx beginners – 1st Charlie Howard, 2nd Hazza Grant.

Bmx intermediates – 1st Nic Woods, 2nd Dave Berry, 3rd Aaron Israel, 4th Phil Grayson.

Freestyle Now squad member Ben Thomas put together this rad video featuring some great drone footage of the new Esperance skatepark
 

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Freestyle Now turns 30 years old

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Freestyle Now has been rolling out the rad since 1986.

It’s hard to believe but Freestyle Now started way back in December of 1986. Now 30 years later it has grown from 3 young guys just wanting to promote BMX freestyle with BMX stunt shows to an Australian wide entity. Freestyle Now specialises in entertaining stunt show performances, skatepark coaching workshops, well managed skatepark competitions and motivational school presentations all while making sure inclusiveness and diversity is at the forefront of our ethos. By applying the same philosophy that free sports teach us, to our business ethics, we have persevered to achieve our goal of running well-managed events and entertaining performances. We have accomplished this all while promoting the fun aspects of BMX, skateboarding and scooter riding and associated activities. This has, and will always be our main focus.

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The original Freestyle Now squad members L to R Shaun Jarvis, Brad Dyer and Georg Molnar taken at the Fremantle Speed Classic in March 1987

Freestyle Now began as an idea in mid 1986 by three friends Georg Molnar, Brad Dyer and Shaun Jarvis. 1986 was a year of new things for these three friends. A new sport was emerging, BMX freestyle. This is what brought these three guys together. In Perth Western Australia where they lived the small BMX freestyle community was tight. There were only a handful of riders and Georg, Brad and Shaun were in the core of it. Shaun started in the BMX racing scene in 1981 and raced in Western Australia until the new emerging freestyle sport took hold of his senses in early 1986. Within a few months, he took a spot on the newly formed Redline BMX trick team which was put together by Padbury cycles bike shop. It was through this shop that word got around about other riders, this is how Brad, Georg and Shaun met each other. The very first show that the Redline trick team did was at Whiteman Park for its grand opening in August 1986. Although this team did a few shows they only lasted a short time and in the later part of 1986 Shaun left. It was upon this leaving that the three friends got together to form their own BMX freestyle team, Freestyle Now.

Where did the name come from? A very popular magazine from America was called “Freestylin”. Freestyle is what the riders did, it’s what they called it. Now is an action word as in do it “now”. So Freestyle Now was the name that Brad, Georg and Shaun settled on as it seemed fitting.

In 1986 the only form of information available in the BMX world was through magazines. There was no internet to gain instant information from. Only the magazines had the information and this was sometimes up to 6 months old by the time it would reach Perth from either America or England. BMX freestyle teams were all over these magazines, from the large factory teams to the little group of friends that started something. It was this that inspired the formation of Freestyle Now.

The sole purpose of Freestyle Now when it was formed was to promote to the masses the newly emerging sport of BMX freestyle. This was done via BMX stunt shows. December 1986 was when Freestyle Now did their first ever show at the Mullaloo primary school which was followed a few weeks later by a performance at a Christmas dance event in Girrawheen It was the start of something that no one could ever imagine would survive still all these years later.

The second show Freestyle Now did was at the Girrawheen Christmas dance

With the first show done new locations were sought for more stunt shows. For Georg, Brad and Shaun it was all about the promotion of BMX freestyle. Another medium that was also emerging out of America was the “Zine”. A small photocopied magazine that was produced by various people. It was another platform to promote BMX freestyle. So the three guys brought a second hand photocopier and started making the “Freestyle Now zine. These were produced using photos and a cut and glue method. They were put into bike shops and given to other riders. It was a very D.I.Y mentality. With no prior experience it was just hands on and make it work, a true Freestyle Now philosophy.

Another good friend of the trio Todd Triebler, who had also been on the same BMX freestyle shop team as Shaun in early 86 was recruited to announce the stunt shows and as a backup rider. These guys were tight, inseparable, spending every moment they could riding together, learning new tricks and exploring Perth.

The BMX freestyle scene was growing steadily in Perth and the need for regular gatherings was required so Freestyle Now went ahead and held its first competition in January 1988. Riders came from all over to attend. The only way to spread the news was through word of mouth and the Freestyle Now Zine. The competition was a success, so more were organised. Over the next few years, many competitions were held.

The whole ethos of promoting the new sport of BMX freestyle was complete, BMX stunt shows, BMX zines and BMX freestyle competitions.

In time Georg Molnar started to move on from BMX and left the Freestyle Now team and Brad Dyer returned to America. Shaun and Todd recruited new riders into Freestyle Now and kept on performing the BMX stunt shows.

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Todd Triebler on the left and Shaun Jarvis on the right at the Bruce Rock show in 1989 performing double no handed cherrypickers.

When the 90’s rolled around a major shift took place in the sport of BMX freestyle. It was as if overnight every rider had quit and stopped riding. There was still a core group of BMX freestylers but the need for competitions had passed. With Brad now in America, the drive to produce the Freestyle Now Zine was in a standby mode. The promotion of the sport had shifted to just the stunt shows.

Over the coming years, Todd and the other riders moved on from BMX and their association with Freestyle Now. This left Shaun Jarvis at the helm steering Freestyle Now into the future. When there were no riders to perform at the stunt shows Shaun just went out and did solo shows. The need to carry on the promotion of the freestyle sport was what drove Shaun to keep going. After 30 years you can check out a list of all of our past stunt shows on our past stunt show page here.

In late 1996 the sport of BMX freestyle seemed to be coming back, new riders were emerging. One of these riders was a young Jason Parker. Jason had heard about the Freestyle Now stunt shows through friends in the south-west area of Western Australia where he lived. When Jason moved to Perth in 1998 he managed to track down Shaun through an advertisement in a national BMX publication for BMX products that Freestyle Now was then distributing. The two guys started riding together. It did not take long for Shaun to recognise Jason’s riding potential, and he was asked to join Freestyle Now in 2000. In an ironic twist, when the two riders met for the first time Shaun showed Jason some BMX photographs, one of the photos was of Shaun at the very first BMX show that he did with the Redline BMX trick team, the one at Whiteman Park in mid 1986. Jason was surprised to see the photo because as a very young 6 year old Jason Parker was in the crowd that day and saw the show. The two new friends could not believe it, Jason remembered the whole show, how a tram came in through the middle of the show location and stopped the show leaving some riders on the top of the ramp. Even to this day, the two riders can’t believe how ironic it was. Jason is still riding and involved with Freestyle Now today and apart from Shaun is the longest serving squad member.

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Jason Parker joined the Freestyle Now squad at the start of 2000. This was Jason’s second show at the Toodyay Moondyne Festival in May 2000. His first show was at the Denmark Country Fair in February 2000

Over time more BMX shows were performed and new riders were recruited into the squad. But now with the growing popularity of BMX, the need for competitions became prominent once again.

In the early 80’s Co-founder Shaun Jarvis helped organise BMX races on the local BMX dirt jumping/BMX track that the youth of the town of Quinns Rock had built. Organising BMX competitions was nothing new as he had done it before as a BMX racer and then as a BMX freestyler. The need for well managed events was something that was required to help with the growth of the BMX scene. Some of the first competitions that Freestyle Now organised were dirt jumping competitions in the late 90’s. These morphed into BMX skatepark competitions for local government and community organisations and were very successful. Freestyle Now was then asked to manage skateboard competitions as well as BMX and then with the rise of the scooter scene the whole skatepark culture was catered for in competition management. All of our past competitions can be found on our past competition page here

In 2001 community T.V. was starting to emerge in Perth via channel 31. There was a show being air called “Cruzin” a show about Perth hot rods and the car street scene. Shaun was watching this show and realised that a show about BMX could be done. Shaun called up Jason and said “do you want to do a television show on community television”. Jason said “sure why not!” and with no prior computer experience or video editing experience “Behind the Bars” was started. The show was a nine part show with each show airing every 4 weeks. It was a major undertaking at first. In the same way, the Freestyle Now zine was done with a D.I.Y. mentality so was Behind the Bars. Learning as the show progressed was the format. It was just hands on and make it work, a true Freestyle Now philosophy.

This is the first episode of Behind the Bars which aired on Perth community television in 2001. All the episodes can be found on the Behind the Bars media page here

With BMX, scooters and skateboards being a great youth involvement activity it was not long until Freestyle Now started its motivational school presentations. These school presentations were to help keep the youth motivated to pursue their dreams and goals. Using the medium of BMX, scooters and skateboards as a way of delivering this motivational message, with self discipline and consistency you can reach your achievement. Tricks done on BMX, scooters and skateboards are a great example of this

To help grow the competitions and to also help new riders Freestyle Now started to host skatepark coaching sessions. These sessions are designed to help younger participants or those needing to progress their skills.

With show performances, competitions, coaching, publications and promotions, Freestyle Now is advancing into the future with positivity paramount. The past was great but the future holds larger aspirations. Freestyle Now continues to grow by using our fundamental ethos of courtesy, respect, inclusiveness and diversity within our cultural industry. Please always remember to Freestyle now……….. before it’s too late…………….

Over the 30 years Freestyle Now has progressed so much. This is one of our stunt shows from January 2015

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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 squad members – DownUnderGround video round

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Congratulations to Freestyle Now squad members for their recent placing in round 2 of DownUnderGround. Shaun Jarvis 1st in expert, Jason Parker 2nd in expert, Paul Chamberlain 2nd in open and Lee Kirkman 3rd in open. DownUnderGround is the Australian bmx flatland competition series. DownUnderGround is now into series 8. Round 1 took place in Adelaide in April and now round 2 – the video round has just recently concluded. As Australia is such a vast country DownUnderGround has two physical rounds (round 1 and 3) with round 2 being a video contest. Round 3 the finals take place in Melbourne at the Melbourne Imax location, on the 26th November and again Freestyle Now is supporting the event. This is one of the events you don’t want to miss. Check out the round 2 contest video submissions from the squad members to see the radness.

Shaun Jarvis 1st place in expert class

 

Jason Parker 2nd place in expert class

 

Paul Chamberlain 2nd place in open class

 

Lee Kirkman 3rd place in open class

 

It’s time for the finals of series 8, DownUnderGround 2016 the Australian national bmx flatland contest series. Round 3 the finals of series eight is taking place on the 26th November in Melbourne at the famous Imax location. It will be a great time with riders from all around Australia heading to one location to meet up, hang out, ride, and party. Make sure your get there from 12noon to 5pm to witness some of Australia’s best bmx flatland riders. The contest is supported by Freestyle Now Colony Bmx , GAIN protection , Anchor BMX , Nothing Wrong , Level bmx and Solid Signs. All the info is on the flyer so make sure your attending.

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Dez Maarsen – Freestyle Now interview

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One of our newest Freestyle Now squad members, Dez Maarsen recently hit up some large bmx flatland contests in Europe last month where he was placing consistently. We caught up with Dez to seek out some information about the contests his new sponsor hook up with St Martin, his first meeting with Paul Chamberlain and how to talk to girls.

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Dez Maarsen learnt this 180 body varial 7 years ago, still one of his favorite tricks – photo Bram Berkien

Congratulations on getting on the St Martin team, what does this mean for you?
Yes really stoked! It’s a big honor to be added to their team and to ride and represent their new parts! The new parts look amazing and I can’t wait to ride them. It’s definitely great to have a sponsor that makes parts that fits my riding! I’m happy St Martin is sticking to the pure flatland parts and I get to promote them with my riding.

Can you tell us about St Martin, who they are and what they do?
St Martin is a BMX Flatland brand from France and have been a big player! It was started by Manu Massabova and Alain Massabova is the team manager now. Alex Jumelin has been the face for the brand for a while now. They have been a big player in flatland for quite some years now. They have a large team consisting of new riders like Owen Bohn from Mendoza in Argentina and some OG riders like Jesse Puente from the flatland fugitives fame and Chase Gouin who is one of the originators of modern flatland riding as well as Aude Cassagne from France, she has an good style. St Martin make two styles of frames plus they have forks, handle bars, cranks, sprockets, stems and pegs. Its a good all round package of product on offer. I’m really happy to be riding some quality flatland equipment.

Why do you ride flatland?
When I started riding BMX, Flatland came pretty natural to me. I picked up the tricks pretty quick and just got hooked on the feeling of learning new tricks. The first BMX riders I met where flatland riders. They showed me which tricks to learn and the lifestyle around it, visiting jams and contest. I just fell in love with flatland and I still love it till this day!

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Dez spinning at the Sosh Freestyle Cup that took place on the beach in Marseille France – photo Melissa Zucchiatti

You recently attended some rather large competitions which ones were they?
Yes it was a busy months of June and July for contests! There were 3 contests in 3 weeks and besides that I had to coordinate another one here in The Netherlands the day before the Cologne contest in Germany. The first contest was the Matthias Dandois Open in Marseille France for the Sosh Freestyle Cup. It was great vibe with a stage at the beach and just good times hanging around with everyone. I rode pretty solid. Tried some stuff on the back wheel for more variation and had a struggle with my x ft hakfpacker. But yeah amazing times here with all the riders. I got 9th eventually.
Then there was BMX Cologne in Germany. A contest I’ve been to since I started riding Flatland. After last year’s absence I was really stoked they returned the contest with the bumper car area (one of the best contest built flatland floors). I managed to pull a no touch run and pulled the final banger!! My signature 360 pressure flip to inside halfpacker! Have wanted to do that at Cologne for a longtime so that was definitely the highlight of the competitions I went to. Ended up in 4th place! So stoked! Only 0.3 points difference with Matthias and I would have made it on the podium!
The week after it was time for the BMX World Championship hosted by the IBMXFF in the UK near Bristol as part of the N.A.S.S. festival. It was the first time I went to the UK for a contest and the whole trips was epic. Unfortunately I didn’t ride the way I wanted to in the final, but still got a 6th place, a decent ranking.

Dez Maarsen - BMX Cologne in Germany 2016

Dez Maarsen took out a 4th place at the recent contest in Cologne Germany – photo Melissa Zucchiatti

Dez Maarsen - BMX flatland World Championship hosted by the IBMXFF at the NASS festival

Dez Maarsen place 6th at the IBMXFF World Championship at the N.A.S.S. festival.

How do you prepare for contests?
At every session I do I try to do my contest tricks. Sometimes I mix them up within combo’s and just freestyle with the combo’s. When I go to the contest I prepare a run in my mind and only focus on those tricks when I’m at a contest. I make sure my tricks are hard and mostly original and dialed enough for the contest. To dial them I try my contest tricks on different surfaces.

Do you follow a certain training regime leading up to contests?
This year was pretty hectic taking care of the contest in The Netherlands, doing shows and working on other stuff. I usefully have a regime just to ride 4 times a week, eat healthy and not go to any party’s the weeks before the contest. I’ll definitely gonna be doing this for Flat Ark since I will be able to focus the weeks before that without taking care of other obligations.

How important are contest placings to you?
I think for every competing rider the placing matters. And I always strive to get a high placing, but when I’m at the contest I don’t worry about what placing I might end up. I just focus on making sure I pull the combo’s I prepare for the contest, since in the end as a flatland rider it’s the only thing you have control over. The past years I’ve been putting in a lot of work in dialing some of my hardest tricks in, with the hope to pull them in a contest and see progression in my contest runs. That’s my main strive in a contest.

What does the rest of 2016 have for you, what contests are you looking at attending and do you have some new combos in the works?
My next contests will be King of Paris and Flat Ark in October. In the meantime I will busy with a big show project also in October. I definitely will be working on some new combo’s before that contest! Then I want to head to another contest in November and then work on new tricks and want to bring out a new edit!

The modern trend in flatland at the moment seems to be either you are a front or back wheel rider, where do you fit into that?
For the past years front wheel has definitely been my specialty. However I’ve also been working the back wheel and it has been really fun. Definitely feel I have still a lot of tricks to learn on the back wheel and I like the challenge.

How did you get into flatland bmx riding?
At the beginning I wanted to ride Freestyle, but it was really hard for me. I was just a small kid with a heavy bike. Then the first BMX riders I met where flatland riders and I was amazed by the tricks. Also we didn’t have any skateparks in my hometown, so flatland was the only option. Back then we were also with a nice group of about 5 or 6 flatland riders, so there was always someone to ride with. Also there was Flatground in Amsterdam which was the first BMX event I went to and the vibe was amazing.

 

Dez Maarsen and his final “no touch” run at the BMX Cologne contest in Germany

Who do you ride with on a regular basis?
My brother Bodean, Gino Stuart, Jorrit van Drumpt and Erik Hogers.

Who would you like to ride with on a regular basis?
Dub and Benjamin Hudson!

What is life like living in Holland, is there a lot of cultural differences to other parts of Europe?
The one thing that is really a Dutch thing is that everybody rides bikes! That’s something that only happens in Holland. Besides that the Dutch are very outspoken and straightforward. Also I do feel the Dutch are more tolerant. However sports don’t play a big roll, accept for when you play football its hard work to make it as a professional athlete.

Do you have any advice on how to talk to girls?
Let them do the talking.

What do you do for income/work?
I’ve been running my show and clinic company for 7 years now and at the moment I’m working on this pretty much full time. Don’t need to have side job at the moment.

You recently helped organized the flatland contest at the soul contest in Amsterdam, can you tell us how that can about?
Action/Urban Sports are finally getting more recognition in Holland. Amsterdam decided that they also wanted to put themselves on the map in supporting action/urban sports, so last April they hosted the Amsterdam Urban. Soulcycle was in charge of the BMX competitions and we put down a pretty good flatland contest and next year we are planning on making it bigger!

When was the first time you met fellow Freestyle Now squad member Paul Chamberlain, and can you tell us a bit about that first encounter?
I saw Paul for the first time at the BMX Worlds in Cologne 2004. I think we both competed in expert class. That was when he was still living in the UK. The next time I talked to Paul was I think at the Red Bull Circle of Balance party. I was really drunk and probably said with a shitty English accent impersonation some quote from Get Him to the Greek (a movie with Russell Brand, which pretty much looks like Paul). And I think the other times I ran into him where also in Japan and me being drunk and asking him to say “stroke the furry wall”. The last time I saw him he told me he finally watched it and said it was actually pretty funny.

You are currently doing studies, what are you studying and why?
After high school I only focused on riding for 4 years. Then at one point I was motivated to start to study for event and artist management, since that was pretty much my interest back then. For the past few years I started to focus again on my career since I didn’t have to attend any classes anymore. However I do feel it’s time to finish and get my bachelor in economics. Studying still has never really been my thing, so I’ll be so relieved when I’m done!!

Is it hard to be original in bmx flatland?
It’s the hardest thing to do in flatland! And flatland is already a very hard thing to do. But in order to make it to the top you have to be original so you definitely have to challenge yourself and be creative and be really hard on yourself. However in order to be original you have learn other tricks first. Still people are coming with new tricks so it’s great that see that flatland is still evolving.

 

Dez ended up in 4th place in Cologne with a flawless run plus he got to pull this banger, his signature 360 pressure flip!(in this video)The level of riding was insane.

Can you tell us anything about the flatland scene in Australia?
As far as I can see there is a small but loyal flatland scene in Australia. With DownUnderGround making sure there are events where the riders meet up. I think events are the most important thing in flatland to make sure riders get together and motivate each other. However I hope to see some young riders coming from Australia soon! I see that Australia is doing really good in BMX Park so why not any new blood in Flatland.

In which direction do you see flatland moving?
In contest way’s I think we’re getting to a system that works the best for the riders. The past years there have been so many different contest formats. Besides the contest I see that we’re actually busy with the future of flatland, which is a good thing. I think we need to grow the sport and have everyone feel involved. About flatland riding its self I don’t know what kind of things we gonna see. I just hope that every rider will challenge himself to progress, to see their riding as their identity and an expression.

In 20 years time where will Dez Maarsen be?
Hopefully Flatland will be involved in the Olympics and I get to be a coach.

Function or fashion, Which do you choose, And why?
There have been some good changes in flatland like the double diamond frame. Also the bikes become stronger because of that. However I still need a functional flatland bike for my tricks. Flatland is already hard enough. So yes function is first then fashion.

Possessions, do you have too many or do you try to live without many?
Collect memories not things right! I didn’t grow up with much stuff so I’m still not possessive. Just live with the things I need. However I do have trouble with throwing away stuff!

Shout outs and thank yous?
Yes I went to thank my mom for always being supportive with my decisions in life! Want to thank my dad for pushing me to aim for the highest things. My brothers for being really amazing guys! And everyone that saw potential in me and gave me a chance to presume my dreams! And big thanks to Freestyle Now for the support and the good questions!

 

Dez in his secret training facility working on his contest runs

 

 

Dez working on some more diversity with this back wheel combo

 

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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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