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Ben Thomas – His Scooter Journey

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Freestyle Now squad member Ben Thomas has been on the squad roster for just over two years now. Always a motivated person on many levels. His energy at all Freestyle now events is always 110%. Ben has been riding scooters for about 10 years now and has been on Grit scooters for the past four years. Ben is one of the top respected scooter riders in the world,  having placed top 5 at the world scooter titles in 2012 – 2016. But Ben is more than just tricks on a scooter, he is also a very competitive person always striving to achieve. These qualities are what makes Ben a stand out within the scooter sport. The below video gives you a bit more insight in where Ben Thomas has come from and his journey to the present. Enjoy.  

 

Ben has the best handplants in the business, captured by Andy Fortini at Port Hedland skatepark

 

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Dez Maarsen – Fight the winter bmx flatland contest

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Freestyle Now squad member Dez Maarsen attend the Fight the Winter bmx flatland contest to kick off the 2018 bmx flatland contest session. The contest was held in Göttingen Germany. Fight the Winter contest had lots of the heavy hitters in the pro bmx flatland curcit. After this first run Dez was sitting in second place behind Dominik Nekolný. In round 2 it was Alberto Moya who had an amazing run pushing him up to second behind Dominik Nekolný with Dez Maarsen taking out the 3rd place. Flatland bmx is the hardest forms of bmx competition with hours of practice put into a contest run and Dez hits the flatland harder then most so you know he is dialed. Congratulations Dez on taking the 3rd place keep rolling out the rad.

 Dez Maarsen captured mid halfpaker just before he switched to another combo Picture by Nils Henrik

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Freestyle Now bmx scooter skateboard stunt show – CMEFU family picnic day

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Freestyle Now recently performed some awesome stunt shows at the CMEFU family picnic day. Taking place at the Melbourne show grounds the set up was indoors. Freestyle Now squad members Shaun Jarvis and Lee Kirkman were there onn the day to roll out the rad along with good friends Jai Bradley and Dean Anderson (bmx), Matty Cerovolo and Billy Watts (scooter) and Josh Dunstone (skateboard). The weather on the day was a very wintery day in the middle of summer with rain coming down in buckets. It was great to have such a perfect indoor location to perform in. the crowds were loving it and getting into the shows with great crowd interaction.

Lee Kirkman has the best no foot Indian air seat grab in the business.

When the last jumps were performed in the stunt show the crowd erupted in so much noise, seeing the riders hit the jump box in a series of back flips, front flips, back flips, front flips and back flips. This was defiantly a crowd pleaser. Freestyle Now performed some radical stunt shows for the families that had gathered and attended the CMEFU family picnic day. Be sure to check out our coming events page to see where and when Freestyle now will be rolling out the rad next.

Freestyle Now stunt shows at the Melbourne show grounds had some awesome riding and great crowd interaction

Clockwise from left – Matt Cerovolo taking to the air over the jump box tail whipping – Josh Dunstone displaying his skateboard trickery to the crowd – Jai Bradley 360 tailwhip just before the crowd makes some noise – Billy Watts is a powerfull scooter rider and this no hander is just the start of his tricks.

Dean Anderson barspins over Shaun Jarvis while the crowd at the stunt show look on.

More photos can be found on our facebook page here

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Freestyle Now bmx stunt show – Michelin Australian Moto Grand Prix

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Freestyle Now recently performed some bmx stunt shows at the Michelin Australian Moto Grand Prix, one of the biggest motor sport events taking place in Australia.

David Pinelli rotates a 360 no hander for the Australian Moto Grand Prix crowd.

The Michelin Australian Moto Grand Prix takes place in Victoria on Phillip Island. Freestyle Now squad members Shaun Jarvis and David Pinelli were also joined by guest riders Brock Horneman and Dean Anderson. Veteran squad member Georg Molnar was also there to handle some of the announcing duties. George has not announced a Freestyle Now bmx stunt show for almost 30 years so it was great to hear his voice over the P.A. once again calling the tricks and amping up the crowd. Freestyle now performed bmx stunt shows over the 3 days at the Michelin Australian Moto Grand Prix. The weather was not show friendly over the 3 days. The first day there were clear skies but strong winds and day two and three the rain decided to play games. Throughout the 3 days and 12 bmx stunt shows Freestyle Now were able to perform all 12 shows. We dodged the rain the best we could with some shows starting in the dry only to be called off halfway through and other shows were striped back to the minimum due to the ramps being wet. Whatever the case it shows the true professionalism of Freestyle Now plus Brock said “We cant disappoint the crowds, they came to see a show a show is what they will see”. The crowds were stoked to see the bmx stunt shows for sure. Be sure to check out our coming events page to see where and when Freestyle now will be rolling out the rad next.

Some raw video footage of the Freestyle Now bmx stunt shows at the Michelin Australian Moto Grand Prix.

Clockwise from top left – Brock Horneman captured in mid double tailwhip while the rain clouds start to approach – Shaun Jarvis took to some stationary flatland skills when the ramps became too wet to ride. Chickenhook on wet grass – Dean Anderson was smashing the tricks out like this backflip all weekend – Freestyle now had to move show locations in the afternoon on day 1 and 2 to the camp grounds for a late afternoon bmx stunt show, David Pinelli with a big turndown backflip. More photos can be found on our Facebook page here.

Brock Horneman posted on his video channel a video from his time at the Michelin Australian Moto Grand Prix with Freestyle Now

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Dez Maarsen – rolling out the rad

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Freestyle Now squad member Dez Maarsen has been super busy over the last few months, travelling Europe, winning contests, finishing school and being involved in a big theater production. Currently Dez is about to compete once again at Flatark in Kobe, Japan. We caught up with Dez to get the low down on what he has been up to and to do a catch up on all the contests that he has been rolling out the rad at. Read on.

Dez Maarsen captured mid combo switch at the Ruhr games.

You have been hitting up a few contests lately which one were they?

After not competing for all most a year I hit four contests in one month. So a contest almost every week. It started this year with Ruhr Games at the beginning of June. It was an invitational contest for European riders. For European conditions it was extremely hot during the finals. Due to a busy tour schedule and school I wasn’t able to really prepare for this contest. The weather conditions didn’t make it any easier so I ended up riding so well.
I decided to take trip to Croatia for the Croatia BMX Championship to get more in de contest mood. This contest was held on the boulevard in the beach town of Baska Voda. It ws good to see a lot of riders from Eastern Europe from Czech and Hungary making the trip to Croatia. The contest was held in the evening, so during the day we had time to enjoy the sunny weather and chill at the beach. After a small qualification the finals where in battle format. During the contest I got in a nice flow and hit some combo’s I was really stoked about. In the final with Dominik Nekolny and Chris Bohm I took some more risks, but didn’t finish too much combo’s, so I had to do it with 3th place.

At the sea side town of Baska Voda in Croatia Dez powers through one of his original combos, check the feet, you know he is about to pivot on them pegs.

A week after Croatia it was time for the second edition of the Urban Sport week Amsterdam. We had a small turn out since Nass aka the Worlds was held the same weekend. Riders from all over the Benelux made it to Amsterdam. Viki Gomez who is originally from Spain, but is now living in Luxembourg made it to support an up and coming contest instead of heading to the Worlds. The contest was hosted in the centre of Amsterdam and we had a nice OSB floor for flatland on Sunday. The weather was hitting over 30 degrees, which is pretty special for Dutch weather conditions. My trip to Croatia got me back in the contest flow and this time I kept it together during the contest. I managed to pull all my bangers in the final jam battle with Viki Gomez, Gilles van der Sompel and Sietse van Berkel, scoring me first place on home turf.

Dez spinning cross foot at the Urban Sport week contest in Amsterdam where he took the first place podium.

Nothing like the taste of victory on home ground.

 

Speed and flow is the Dez Maarsen trade mark style, and it was evident in Amsterdam.

Then it was time for one of the biggest contest of the year, the annual BMX Cologne contest. Again the contest was held in the bumpercar arena which made sure there was a great floor and awesome ambience! A couple of big names that made it last year where missing, but still the level was top notch and almost all the top pro riders from around the world made it. Almost 40 pro riders entered which was pretty much the highest entry I’ve seen all year. During the qualifications I managed to drop a solid run that scored me second place. Unfortunately the day of the finals my run it didn’t went as I wanted. I’ve noticed that sometimes it is nicer to qualify in a less higher position. This way you don’t have to wait for all the riders to pass and you just focus on your own run.

The BMX Cologne contest is one of the biggest contests of the year and to qualify in 2nd place out of almost 40 pro riders is no easy task. Photo by Melissa Zucchiatti

I’ve noticed that sometimes it is nicer to qualify in a less higher position. This way you don’t have to wait for all the riders to pass and you just focus on your own run. 

After a big theater tour, writing my thesis and hitting a contest almost ever week I decided to take a good rest during the summer. After not riding so much there was one contest close to home on the agenda. This time I made a trip to Antwerpen, Belgium for Antwerpen City Drops. There was a small turnout of Dutch and Belgium riders with the appearance of David Hoffman from Germany and Martin Drazil from Czech. We were blessed with great weather all weekend! Antwerpen City Drops was hosted by the City of Antwerpen and had wide range of Actions Sports. The disciplines where spread over the city and BMX Flatland and Dirt was hosted next to Antwerpen historical Castle, giving the contest a cool ambiance and a lot of spectators. I was pretty solid the whole weekend and manage to hit all my contest combos in the final jam battle and took home the win. All round there was a great vibe at this contest. All the riders hanging out after the contest and jamming. This is really what flatland is about.

Antwerpen City Drops bmx flatland contest was a sweet victory in the battle finals for Dez Maarsen. Such a solid finals run.

 

The pure power and style of Dez was in full effect at the Antwerpen City Drops contest battle finals.

What ones have been your favourite and why?

The Urban Sport Week Amsterdam was definitely the best. The event is as set up great this time and I rode the best here. The victory was really great with all my friends, family and theater show colleges to cheer me on! And I was stoked to pull all my bangers after struggling at the previous competitions. I even saved a trick for the final that I manage to pull in the last second.

St Martin has a new prototype frame, can you tell us anything about it?

The geometry is the same as the previous Opera frame, there are just a few minor changes on the frame to make it stronger. The strawberry patented wedge seat clamp has been replaced with different seat clamp. Then the chain stay is more cleaner and has some fancy bended tubes and thicker dropouts. The frame I’m testing isn’t heat treated so I won’t be able to truly test its strength.

The new prototype St Martin Opera frame is in current test mode, its looking solid.

You’re heading back to Flatark, it’s been 2 years since your last time there, what are you looking forward to the most and the least? 

I’m the most excited about the Japanese riding scene to hang out and ride with the riders. The scene is still top notch and so strong. Now with all the super young kids riding BMX Japan is making sure flatland will stay alive in Japan. Also i’m looking forward to the food!! Can’t wait to have a bowl of ramen. The thing I’m looking for the least is jet lag and qualifications. Arriving in Japan on Wednesday, with qualifications on Friday I hope there will be enough time to get ready.

Dez Maarsen in 2015 at Flatark in Kobe where he placed 8th. Here is hoping for a rad result at one of the biggest contests on the flatland contest calendar. Photo by Marcio Abe.

 

Dez qualifying run from Flatark 2015

You have finished your school studies now, what were you studying? How will this help moving forward? Are you glad it finished with?

Getting this bachelor degree feels like such a big win. It was a long journey to get this. Struggling with dyslexia, school was never my thing. After dropping out of school at the age of 17 after getting my high school degree, riding BMX and traveling where my only ambitions. My mom supported my decision as long as I found a job. After working at soulcycle BMX shop for a couple of months I got the best job a young BMX rider could ask for. I was approached by ISH a theater group that makes breakthrough theater shows by using urban sport and street arts. I saw them preform a year before and back then I toughed it would be so awesome to be part it, so it was definitely a dream come true. For two years I was performing in sold out theaters and traveling and Romania and China to even to shows there where big high lights. After two years unfortunately the tour was over. I saved up enough money to finally make my trip to Japan where I spent over a month travelling across the country with my homie Gino Stuart. Competing at the legendary King of Ground contest making the final of pro contest for the first time at the Prova Cup in Hiroshima. After I was super motivated, but had to get a job again and ended up as dish washer. I decided I had to be more pro active in getting shows. Media & Entertainment Management seemed like a fitting study and with the right motivation, taking some test I was accepted to my local university.
Studying and riding went pretty good together. I still had plenty of time to ride. Unfortunately studying and competing didn’t always go so well together. Sometimes I would skip exams and risk getting expelled from the semester by skip mandatory classes just to go to competitions abroad. At the end of college I was pretty deep in competing since I no longer had mandatory classes. Riding was more priority since I was competing in the World Circuit. After doing that for two years it was really time to finish college. Getting back in college mode was hard, so finishing it was a hard time. Many months of no riding and rejected graduation studies passed. But the same determination I’ve for riding kept my going and after struggling for almost two years I finally graduated and I’m a proud owner of a Bachelor in Arts.
For now I want to focus on BMX, traveling, riding shows and competing and slowly make a transition to pursue a career in the real world.
Thanks to my supporters St Martin, Soul City Cycles and Freestyle Now.

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Freestyle Now at Onslow skatepark activation

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Freestyle Now recently travelled to Onslow to host some skatepark coaching workshops. Freestyle Now promotes inclusiveness at all of our skatepark activation sessions and Onslow was no different. The skatepark coaching sessions were open to all participants of any age for bmx, scooter and skateboard. Squad members Shaun Jarvis and Kieran Ramsay invited rad skater Adam Pacynko along for the journey. The trio played the “Game of life” on this trip, like on all trips, with Adam doing the most pushups. Lots of radness went down at the skatepark during the few days the trio was there. It is great to travel to remote areas and engage with skatepark users, getting them to learn new skills and help them roll out the rad. Freestyle Now hosts many skatepark activation sessions with bmx, skateboard and scooter skatepark coaching workshops, jam sessions and private sessions. If you want more information please contact Freestyle Now.

 

Shaun Jarvis nohanded fakie stall.

Freestyle Now squad members are always there to help skatepark users of any skill level and of any age. Inclusiveness is the key important factor for all Freestyle Now events.

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Freestyle Now skatepark coaching and competition in Karratha

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For the past several years Freestyle Now has been returning to the Pilbara and the City of Karratha to run some skatepark coaching sessions and skatepark competitions. We have met many skatepark participants over the years and we have watched them grow, progress and achieve. When you see that moment when a first trick is pulled or a goal has been achieved for the first time it is an amazing thing to witness. Although it may be very basic for the more advanced rider, it was a time that you too were just like that mastering the basics. This is one of the joys of hosting skatepark coaching sessions.

 
Freestyle Now squad members Shaun Jarvis, Mitch Harris and Hudson Goodchild were sent on the task to roll out in the City of Karratha. The trio visited Dampier, Wickham, Roebourne and Karratha skateparks for some skatepark coaching workshops and Nichol West skatepark to host round 11 of the Freestyle Now Western Australian Skatepark competition series. this video highlights some of the moments when the skatepark participants achieved their first time goals as well as some skatepark action from Shaun, Mitch and Hudson. A big thank you to the Youth Shed crew in Karratha.

Shaun Jarvis at Dampier skatepark

 

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Freestyle Now in Port Hedland

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Last month Freestyle Now travelled to Port Hedland once again to roll out the rad and engage with the skatepark users of South Hedland and Port Hedland skateparks. Freestyle Now squad members Shaun Jarvis, Dylan Schmidt and Kieran Ramsay were there for 3 days for some skatepark coaching sessions and skatepark competition. The game of life was played on the trip with Kieran Ramsay being the winner. (if you say the word “mine” you have to drop and give 10 pushups)Watch the video for more information on this. It is always great to head back to Port Hedland and see the progress that the crew there are making.

 

Dylan Schmidt stretches out his arms for more lift in the air at the large South Hedland skatepark. Photo by Kieran Ramsay

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Australind skatepark opening day

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Some people believe making a skatepark is easy and happens relatively quickly. How wrong they are. Back in June 2010 the seed was planted to upgrade the Australind skatepark. This was not an easy task. The Shire of Harvey wanted the community to raise $50000 to help build the park. Right away Freestyle Now was in there to help with attending fundraising days and getting donations at our events and matching dollar for dollar those donations. It was hard work for the community to really get this awesome skatepark built. After 6 years the final go ahead was give but some of the government agency funding had been cut from what was initially going to be given. So it was a quick retry on design to try to accommodate a $1.3 million park down to $900000. The final design and build works well. Construction started early this year, seven years after it was seed was planted.

Dylan Schmidt with a superman over the new jump box at Australind skatepark

Nigel Heidt who was 10 and Dwight Eckersley who was 11 at the time were not happy with the inadequate portable skatepark that was in Australind. Dwight and Nigel, along with Nigel’s mother Sabine Heidt, put together a petition which they presented to the Harvey council with more than 400 signatures. If you want something you need to go and get it, and that is what they did.

Freestyle Now was there at the opening day celebrations to roll out the rad but unfortunately so was the rain. When the rain stopped we dried up parts of the park and let the radness flow. It rain again and we did it all over again and again and again. Nothing was going to stop the flow of the radness from the Freestyle Now squad and the locals attending the opening day celebrations.

 
Squad member Shaun Jarvis had a radio interview on ABC South West about the skatepark and that interview provides the soundtrack to some of the opening day celebration video footage,  be sure to give it a listen and watch. Some photos of the day can also be found on our facebook page here
 

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CJ Martinez – video – Freestyle Now recruits squad member

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CJ Martinez has been on the Freestyle Now recruits squad for almost a year. The young 12 year old knows how to skate and skate well. On a recent outing we managed to get some clips of CJ rolling out the rad with his style. Not really being a rail skater it was great to capture his first down rail on video. Bowls and vert are his favorite terrain to skate and we will have some more videos of this epic young shredder soon. Expect to see some more of CJ as he grows into his skating.

 

 CJ has got some rad skills like this handplant on the spine at Kwinana.

 

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