2017 was quite a year for Texas Flatlanders as a whole, there were some individual standouts as well. One of the amazing things about 2017 is several riders stepped up into the pro ranks in competition and really pushed themselves, Texas Flatlanders hosted several successful events, continued to spread the flatland love (and even some skateboard love) across to other states/people/places as we like to do.
There were also some struggles last year as well, I had an older dog I loved dearly who broke her leg, wound up losing it, and then we had to put her to sleep last year, during this time my riding took a pretty big hit as I spent a lot of time (and lots of money, vet bills are no joke) trying to help my dog come back to a normal life.
I will say it’s not all doom and gloom as we started off this year with a new puppy, she’s a rescued shepherd mix with lots of energy and personality. I also got to visit Hawaii at the end of last year to watch my niece get married, while there I got to skate the legendary “Wallows Ditch” as seen in the groundbreaking Bones Brigade video The Search for Animal Chin. The video was one of the first “skate vids” that tried to follow a storyline, the premise was pretty simple but awesome as the whole video is about searching for fun which is what skateboarding and riding flat etc. are all about anyway, despite the challenges we made it to 2018 and this year is looking amazing just 2 months in!
Here is a shot of my new Caballero Flight Deck I bought specifically for this trip at Wallows and some other pictures of the amazing (but trashed..sigh) spot I lusted after as a teenager (hah)
Bones Brigade video featuring the spot:
I also found 2 more spots while touring Oahu, what might be the most picturesque skatepark I’ve ever seen, and then a perfect covered flatland riding spot right next to it (!!)
Check out these pics:
If you’ve never been to Hawaii or just want to geek on some cool travel pics (I think they’re cool anyway…doh!) check out my gallery here –
The founder of Texas Flatlanders lost his home and more to Hurricane Harvey last year as it raged on several Texas cities along the coast, not long after it happened a few of us got together a gofundme and tried to help out and friends/riders from all over pitched in over 7k to help him and his family get back on their feet, I was lucky enough to visit with them recently and they have a beautiful new home and things are looking great, super stoked to see that all that mayhem have a happy ending.
Here is some footage, may be hard to watch for some of us but it really puts things in perspective
I know this update is long overdue (sorry), in all honesty I’m not much of a “blogger”, I guess since I don’t drink coffee and don’t really have much of a beard hanging out in coffee shops in my skinny jeans with a Mac while I try desperately to look cool banging away on a keyboard is really not my thing, I prefer baggy clothes and being outside to putting up some kind of weak facade so maybe a girl half my age will think I’m cool, meh, so yeah, pass. I will say regardless of that there’s a few things that stick out when I look back on last year like….
Texas Flatlanders was involved in several events in 2017, one of the more memorable ones for me was at Division Park, “Division” is sort of like “the” spot for the San Antonio crew, it’s an outdoor park with newly surfaced tennis courts, it’s a fun place to ride and it’s right off the interstate. (Bonus!) Texas Flatlanders hosted a contest there and had a great turnout. TF rider Bobby Burge spearheaded the effort and showed some amazing riding, during the pro contest there was some bike swapping in the middle of runs by Texas flatland legend Ruben “R-Dogggg” Castillo who grabbed my bike in the middle of one of his runs so he could play with brakes, he eventually put a front brake back on his bike a few months afterwards so I’m not taking credit for how badass he’s looking now with it back but uh…umm…….(haha)
Ruben and his brother Robert terrorized the early contest scene in Texas and they’re known all over and have been riding for decades…and speaking of decades another Texas badass (yeah he’s from England but I’m calling him Texan anyway) by the name of John Yull just keeps on creating new ways to do them and went on an almost complete social media silence for several months last year, other than maybe 1-2 posts (if that) with a laser focus he set out to win an online video series called “Master of Creativity” and absolutely crushed it. The contest was put together by legendary pro rider Martti Kuoppa as a means to try and push riders to do things that had never been done or captured. John did really well in the initial year of the contest and vowed to do even better and showed everyone that hard work and dedication really do pay off, he spent countless hours, took dozens (1000’s maybe?) of gnarly slams and falls, all to craft variations and tricks never really seen or done before with difficulty levels most pros can’t even comprehend, it was really cool to see it all unfold having ridden with John on numerous occasion and watched how he pursues tricks. John also received numerous year end awards from flatmattersonline.com which is pretty much THE definitive website out there nowadays for flatland news (Effraim Catlow does an amazing job, huge props to him!)
Here is a video of the “MOC” riding, it is truly next level –
Here’s a great clip from fellow rider Jim McKay (JMK Pictures) of one of John’s hardest tricks –
There were a lot of riders that entered the contest and there were some jaw dropping tricks thrown down but to do a brakeless decade where you let go of the bike was mind bending. This year the MOC has restructured and added amateur competitors so it should be pretty amazing to see what’s going to come of that, more info. can be found at:
The Texas Flatlanders facebook page continues to grow with both riders from Texas and people all over the world, we get visitors and posts from the biggest cities to the tiniest villages, there’s riders learning tricks on dirt fields shared with soccer players on bikes that are falling apart with little to no money or parts availability, it’s pretty amazing how far FlatLand/BMX can reach. Fast forward to this year and our reach has extended to the reborn AFA contest series! We’re hosting round 1 of the contest series in San Antonio and it’s going to be rad! The AFA was revamped by fellow rider and all around awesome dude James McGraw, we’re super stoked to be throwing this contest and bringing the AFA back to Texas again, I know many of us “old guys” grew up riding or watching AFA contests all over the country and it’s beyond amazing to have that opportunity again, full details can be found here –
(that’s Texas Flatlanders Pro Bobby Burge on the flyer no less!)
2018 is looking pretty amazing already, there are several events planned throughout the year, a lot of guys are practicing hard and trying to learn new tricks for the upcoming contests, and the level of talen just keeps getting higher so here’s to looking forward to the coming year and all the amazing memories it’s going to provide, we’ll see you out there hopefully, have fun and keep riding!