Over 7,500 of you cast their votes for the 2013 Ride UK BMX Reader Awards. A few of you walked away with the biggest prize in BMX history, while we managed to trawl through the votes and whittle down our winners for the 2013 trophies. The night was huge, witha few surprise guests ‘rapping’ on stage, and the drinks just kept coming. We’ve asked the winners from every category a bunch of questions about being the best at BMX, and with no shame they happily obliged. Shout out to everyone who attended on the night, this thing just keeps getting bigger. 2014 will again be insane and we can’t wait. Here’s your winners UK…
Brand of The Year: Cult
Words – Gunner. Photos – Javee and Walter Pieringer.
The ‘Brand of the Year’ title is the one award everyone at the awards party wants to know. The competition for this one is huge, with every brand out there wanting a slice. With a certain ‘Scottish’ contingent out to make it 3 in a row, the stakes were even higher this year. Fortunately for Cult the 3-peat was not to be, and the ‘Crew’ took the win. A few people were surprised, a lot not so much… as Cult has had what some might say a banging 18 months. Talk is Cheap, Bas killing everything in his path, Chase and Dak on top form, Alex Kennedy becoming the peoples champ and a container load of top quality innovative products (did someone say Simpsons?). Throw in a set of gum tyres, which were arguably the hottest accessory for any rider out there in 2013, and it suddenly becomes easy to see why Cult were voted the No1 by our readers. Cult Crew take a bow…
You were recently awarded the Brand Of The Year crown, as voted for by over 7,000 of our loyal readers. That’s a lot of people voting and let’s be honest, the competition was pretty strong. How does it feel?
Amazing because we respect the UK scene tremendously… The riders, mags, shops and brands are top notch coming out of the UK, so to be recognised by the readers is a honour.
Did you ever think Cult were in with a chance, taking into consideration you were up against some pretty big worldwide brands?
Not really, we don’t ever feel ourselves that way… We just try and do the best we can to create, promote and maintain cool shit, and hopefully riders can see that.
You have had a strong presence throughout 2013, with Alex Kennedy taking the top spot for Street Rider of the Year and Sebastian Keep with his epic Dirt Quarter cover taking the win also. Throw into the mix Chase Hawk, Dakota Roche, Chase Dehart and the rest of the crew, how much do you think these guys and the rest of the Cult family helped you to win the award?
The team is the reason, straight up. When you watch these guys ride it’s super motivating and you can see how each dude pushes themselves. That creates a relatable vibe, they’re just like you, a rider trying to have fun on the BMX.
I know most of the team are flat out throughout the year, but what are your rough plans for the rest of 2014? Have you got any further plans for team trips, edits, additional riders, maybe even a visit to our UK shores?
Mandatory UK trip at some point, $MALLTALK full length am video is just about to drop, more filming, traveling and maintaining with the same crew.
It has been brought up numerous times in conversations when talking about the awards, especially the ‘Brand of the Year’ category that the competition is tough. Why do you think a brand like Cult, who in the bigger scheme of things is a fairly young brand, took home the gold?
The passion for BMX we have is real, we’re lifers. I know riders can feel that and vibe off it, they know it’s authentic and something they can trust. They know our crew is gonna be out there and we may even cross paths and ride together, that’s the best part…
We know Cult are becoming infamous for their limited and collaboration ideas, so are we going to see any limited edition ‘awards’ products now that you have won?
You may have sparked a great idea, haha…
Final question… can Cult do it again in 2014!
Who knows? What I do know is that we are going to continue to keep pushing regardless of the state of the BMX industry, we are gonna be out there riding, designing, traveling, meeting new friends and catching up with old ones. Maintaining all of this with a humble, thankful attitude. Straight up thanks from CULT CREW to the riders who voted, RIDE UK, SEVENTIES, God Bless The Queen…
UK Park Rider of the Year: Harry Main
Words – Gunner. Photos – Nathan Beddows.
Does Harry Main actually need an intro? With over 37% of your votes, Harry once again walked away with the Park Rider of the Year award, making it 3 years in row. Whether it is his Social Network savvy, or simply taking time out to chat with his fans at the local park or event, Harry is doing something right. He is fast becoming one of the most recognisable BMX riders both inside and outside of the BMX world, and it’s this hard work that has put him firmly on the map. Harry is not surprisingly half way around the world at the time of reading this, so we caught up with him on, you guessed it… Facebook! Go follow him!
Harry so you only went and did a Jamie Bestwick Dew Tour 3-peat and took the Ride UK Park Rider of the Year award… again. How do you feel about that?
It felt amazing! Love the trophy that says UK Park Rider of the Year! It’s something I would of never believed back when I was 15 years old. I’ve now got a solid fan base behind me where I’m able to inspire kid’s enough to look up to me and vote for me. Brilliant! What a night as well at the Ride UK Awards party… thanks for having me.
Once again thanks for turning up this year to collect the award, as we know you’re a busy guy. Is it true you had to fly down from Scotland and are now currently in Australia? Any other big plans for 2014? Any more Harrymainia content scheduled?
Yes this year is going to be a really busy one for me! We have more budget than ever before to work towards the next Harrymainia project, which is gonna be a solely riding piece. I’m also filming for Line9 Action Sports channel where I have my own series called ‘Clocking On’. We’ve been filming for 8 months on that now and it will have launched by the time you read this! Other than that I’m continuing physio everyday, trying to get my shoulder good again and yes I’m currently down under in Australia living the dream! Then flying straight to California from here too. This is the life! Thanks for everyone who has chipped in to make it a possibility… mainly thanks to my mum!
Followers would have seen that your new private park the ‘Hammer House’ is now ready and up and rolling. What was the plan behind that?
Just to have somewhere to ride when I can still feel like a kid and ride, no career worries, no kids, just riding my bike like the old times. Sometimes it gets a bit frustrating when you wanna do something and you’re there breaking a sweat and a kid will be like can I have a photo or something, and because I could never say no, then you have to do it! Then you’ve lost track of what you was doing haha! Don’t get me wrong I’m all for taking photos with the kids all day long, but I just mean there are times when it would be better to just be able to focus on riding and nothing else. So that’s basically what my place is about… me hibernating!
We have also noticed a new line of Harry Main signature parts with a few of your sponsors. How is that all working out? And do you have any input at all?
Yes we have been working on some Snafu BMX parts called the “Magical Line” and then obviously we have the Mainiac Line, which is going through a drastic change, but you will see more of that soon!
This time last year you were just about to launch The Wandering. How is that going and what has the response been like so far?
It’s been so insane man! The Wandering absolutely killed my expectations in its first year. It went from strength to strength. It’s actually one of my main focuses now as I can see how successful it can be. It was my first year with the brand and it was so fun watching my project grow! It is literally me and my mum that work on it, no one else.
Another one for your followers… cars! (anyone who follows Harry knows that he loves cars!) What’s the latest ride, and what would be your perfect car?
I’m driving an Audi S3 Sportback right now. It’s a 2010 model and it’s a sick whip. It’s tuned up to 360 BHP and its 4WD so it goes like a bomb! I’m looking at getting a Nissan GTR but we will see… it’s not whether you can buy one, it’s whether you can run it haha!
Injuries unfortunately played a big part throughout your 2013. How did you manage to deal with that, and is Harry back to 100% again now?
My shoulder was annoying me from pretty much the January of last year, but now one year on things are on the up. It’s finally getting there and I am making fast progress on a daily basis now. I couldn’t even whip before my surgery back in September, and now I’m already back doing 360 doublewhips… so watch out!
Any final words, thanks, or words of wisdom you wanna share with us and your fans who voted for you?
Thankyou so so much for voting for me, it means so much. Also thanks for taking the time to read this and thanks to Ride UK for constantly killing it. I always buzz off Ride UK!
UK Street Rider of the Year: Alex Kennedy
Words – Cleggy. Photos – Nathan Beddows.
Alex Kennedy has evolved into one of the best riders on planet earth, and probably beyond. Unique style, amazing control and a thoroughly nice chap to boot. 2013 was an awesome year for AK, he walked away with the award for Ride UK BMX ‘Street Rider of the Year’, traveled the world and ate some of the craziest looking food we’ve ever seen.
AK, you just won the Ride UK ‘Street Rider of the Year’ award, but you were out of town so couldn’t give an acceptance speech. Could we have it now?
Awesome! I’m honoured to receive this award. It’s been a fun year and this is great motivation to perform at my highest level for the year to come. Thanks to everyone that voted for me.
What are your plans for 2014? Are you sticking around in the USA for a while?
Not too much in the pipeline so far, just Simple Session coming up, which is always fun. I’m hoping to get the opportunity to travel more and work hard on some new edits.
Your Instagram is awesome, you eat some of the creepiest looking food on earth, but it seems to hold you in good stead. What’s on the menu today?
Nice, I’m glad I have caught your interest. I’m thinking about an eggs and berries smoothie, venison pie with sweet potatoes, green veggie juice and a salmon salad.
Were you surprised by the popularity of the gum tyre, and do you take responsibility for the trend? Haha
Haha. Initially everyone was making jokes and calling them ugly. I guess people are afraid of change. For me it was just love at first sight.
Are you currently working on any video edits for 2014?
Yes we have plans to work on some things of course, but nothing is set in stone just yet.
The UK scene has always been amazing, are there any up and coming riders you’ve hung out with who we should keep an eye on?
Yeah the UK scene just keeps on getting better. There are lots of young kids with high aspirations! Personally I’m looking forward to seeing what the ‘Rude’en’ crew have to offer.
I just want to thank everybody at Cult, Nike, Primo, Seventies, and Ride UK for working hard making what I do a possibility!
UK Dirt Rider of the Year: Ben Wallace
Words and Photo’s – Dunk
Ben Wallace is not only one of the UK’s favourite riders, but one who all of the top riders like too. With effortless style and a ridiculous amount of bike control and consistency, Ben is a joy to watch ride. From the moment he starts pedalling you know it’ll be something worth watching.
As a total all-rounder Ben Wallace could have been voted the UK’s favourite rider in pretty much any category, but it just so happened to be dirt this time, which was in the forefront of the voters minds.
One of the UK’s favourite riders is soon to become one of the UK’s favourite exports, with plans well under way to relocate to California. In fact by the time you read this he’ll probably be sat by the pool working on his suntan. We managed to catch him just in time to shoot a few photo’s (though time wouldn’t allow a trip to some warm sunny trails) and ask him a few questions. The UK will miss him, but I’m certain that a move the US will only improve Ben’s riding even more, so what better send off than to award him with a trophy for the UK’s favourite dirt rider!
First of all – the obvious question – How does it feel being voted as the UK’s favourite dirt rider?
It’s a privilege to be voted dirt rider of the year. I started out as you know mainly riding parks and a little bit of dirt and only in the last 5 or so years concentrated on it more. Now to be recognised as a ‘dirt rider’, I’m chuffed.
Winning the award came as a big surprise to you – you didn’t even know you were nominated is that right? How did you find out?
Haha yeah I had no idea, cheers Gunner! It was in fact a late night call from Mike King asking why I wasn’t there to collect my award, which was then followed by a pissed up call from Tom Creasy to congratulate me. I was in Scotland at the time so couldn’t quite pop back, but stoked to get the news.
As a rider who shreds pretty much everything, do you feel like you’ve ridden more dirt than anything else this year to place you at the forefront of peoples minds when they think of UK dirt riders?
For sure, I have definitely been riding more dirt this year and have been invited to some of the biggest and best dirt contests going. I still really enjoy riding park and unfortunately had to turn down my Dew Tour park invite due to getting hitched but hopefully there’s always 2014.
What’s been your stand out moment of 2013 riding wise? Anything you’re particularly proud of or perhaps where you scared yourself?
Stand out moment for sure was riding Anthony Napolitan’s Dreamline course and getting 4th. It was insanely huge and to be fair I’m just glad I made it out alive! It’s not everyday you get invited to ride jumps specifically made to push riders to the edge, usually it’s just crowd pleasing trick jumps. All the guys invited killed it and I was just stoked to be invited.
If the vote was down to you, who would you have liked this award to go to?
I’d have to say Bob Manchester, top bloke and a dirt shredder.
The UK is home to some of the best trails riders in the world. Do you see a difference between woodland-dwelling ‘trails’ guys and ‘dirt’ riders? Perhaps the latter has more of a contest vibe to it. So without putting you on the spot too much, where (if anywhere) do you feel you fit in to this spectrum?
Obviously I’m more of a dirt contest rider due to the way I grew up riding my bike at skateparks and got in to the sport. Don’t get me wrong I would have love to have dug trails but my group of friends weren’t into it so we spent most of the time riding ramps. I am more than willing to get involved helping dig and fix trails but with such a limited amount of set ups in the UK and there bring such a clique of people, it’s hard to not be seen as just a contest rider.
A lot of the most stylish dirt riders seem to be goofy – Priesty, Lima, Aitken to name just a few, as well as yourself of course. Do you think being goofy helps with certain tricks or opens up more possibilities for you? Or is it purely coincidence…?
Yeah it’s for sure a coincidence, being goofy is not that common so it looks strange to most but being goofy doesn’t bring style, it helps when learning opposite tricks but trust me I’ve seen some pretty ‘unique’ goofy riders. It’s all down to the rider. Take Chase Hawk and Brian Foster for example, both stylish and regular footed. Also it’s down to the individual person on what they class as stylish, again people have different opinions and some don’t always agree.
Tell us about your move to America. What prompted it, where you’ll be living, what you hope to ride and if you think it will improve your riding as a whole?
Moving to America has always been on the cards it’s just been getting the cash together to make it happen. By the time this interview is out me and the wife will already be there. I’m heading out to Riverside to go stay with Pat Casey for a while whilst we find a place to live and settle down. I can’t wait to be able to ride everyday and my toughest decision being whether to session park or dirt for the day.
Being able to ride Pats, Stephen Murray’s, Heath Pinters or head up to Woodward will for sure improve my riding. I’ll be riding big set ups and get comfortable throwing down tricks straight away at contests rather than having to settle in due to not being used to riding ramps/jumps that big as there’s not too many contest scale parks here in the UK. It’s gonna be sweet!
And with the big move what do you see yourself getting up to in 2014?
To start the year I’ll be heading over to Australia to my good friend Cam Whites to ride his jam, which I must admit I pretty nervous about. It’s not everyday you hit a 40ft jump. After that the goal is go get my own house and get Adam Aloise over to help build my own back garden set up as well as obviously riding a bunch, travelling and going to contests.
Seeing as you didn’t get to give a speech when you picked up the award is there any people you’d like to say thanks to now?
A massive thanks to those who took the time and voted for me, it means a lot. Also a shout out to my sponsors Monster Energy, Mongoose, Stay Strong, Seventies and Forge Motorsports for supporting me not only in BMX but all other hobbies I am dabbling in, you guys are awesome! Here’s to a rad 2014!
Ride UK Lifetime Achievement: Martyn Tambling
Words and Photo’s – Dunk
For someone who’s been riding for so long Martyn is showing no signs of slowing down. In fact I think the older he gets the more he seems to appreciate every spare moment and uses that time to its fullest. Be that learning a new skill (he’s pretty handy with a camera these days), sneaking in a couple of hours riding after a long day on site, seeking out or building weird obstacles to ride, or just kicking back with the wife and kids, I’ve never met anyone who manages to do so much yet still has time for more. Martyn never seems content with simply riding the normal stuff, he’d much rather seek the unusual and unique, knowing that the rewards are much greater that way – and judging by his Lifetime Achievement award it would seem his efforts haven’t gone unnoticed.
Hugely capable of riding anything put before him Martyn never seems to appreciate how much he stands out from the crowd. He can’t compete with the latest trends in foam-based trickery, and therefore considers his riding less appealing, but it’s the simplicity which stands him apart. That’s not to say he doesn’t go big, Martyn certainly knows how to put a crank in, the difference is he’ll do it on some rickety/slippery/bumpy (you name it) obstacle, which 95% of riders wouldn’t look twice at. All the projects Martyn involves himself with draw you in in amazement and leave you wanting to go out there and seek your own adventure – a fact which he never really considers because this is just what he does. It’s matter of fact.
Martyn’s longevity as a top-level rider is in no small part thanks to his lovely (and some might say long-suffering) wife Stephanie. Life is all about team work, and having been together for over half their lives she’s been through it all with him. Trips all over the place, contests, injuries, but supported him through and through, and despite telling him off (and me sometimes) for taking too long to shoot a photo, she is always proud of her man. With more exciting plans ahead for 2014 let’s hope Martyn doesn’t start to slow down any time soon!
Although some of us had a funny feeling you might be up for the Lifetime Achievement award, it clearly came as a massive surprise to you. How did it feel when your name got called out and you were shoved up on stage?
Yeah it was a big shock for sure, I didn’t really get time to think about what was happening and I’m not the best at receiving compliments, so to get a lifetime achievement was a bit overwhelming to say the least!
It’s obvious to all around you why you won this award, so having been in the limelight since you were a teenager do you feel like you’ve achieved a lot if you were to look back on it all?
I’d say looking back I’ve “experienced” a lot, BMX has always been about that, not how much I’ve “achieved”. I guess that’s why it all seemed a bit weird to me when a heard my name getting called out. I feel that I’ve never set out to make a career out of BMX but I’ve just always tried to enjoy every experience it’s offered me, I’ve never had to do something I’ve not been into 100%. So to get a lifetime achievement without setting out to make a career from BMX just seems odd to me but I guess to receive this award just from loving what I do to the fullest is pretty rad.
You’re probably one of the busiest people I know, yet the least stressed. How do you manage to cram so much in to each day?
I’m not too sure haha, with all that I do I have the same drive. I’m not too sure what it is but I just like to “get the job done” and keep moving on and pushing forward and find out more about everything I’m experiencing or that I’m going through at the time. It’s also about time management and staying motivated, it’s not easy but that’s what makes it good because you only do the stuff you feel needs to be done or the most important, rewarding etc. I just don’t have any time for bullshit and time wasting.
As far as riding is concerned, why is it that you like to seek out the unusual or hard to ride as opposed to what’s right there in front of you?
I’ve always been like that, I like to manage/control what I do. I guess it’s like art you create what you’re thinking, not what you’re told to think or do. Don’t get me wrong I love riding on all levels but riding something you created or found that’s not been ridden/done before just feels so rad and fulfilling.
How do you go about seeking these unique spots? Or is it a big secret?
Haha, it’s no secret, you just need to “want” to find them and also have a creative outlook and put the time in. Once you start you get hooked, well I have. It’s the best feeling when you’ve spent hours/weeks or heard about a place for years and after all that researching you finally hit it, that’s the best feeling you can get, it’s the same with having a trails spot. Think it, Create it, Enjoy it, and it’s all yours.
Steph did most of the talking for you on the night. Now it’s your turn to talk, so who would you like to say thanks to?
This is a hard one, I’d like to think the people I need to thank already know how much I appreciate all they have done over the years, from my friends to all the sponsors, hopefully I’ve said thank you to you all along the way. It doesn’t go unnoticed that’s for sure, you’ve all helped me out massively.
One thing I would like to have said on the night was that there is a whole bunch of guys who fit the bill for this UK award, who I feel have shaped BMX and its way forward for us now, both on and off the bikes. Ian Morris, Stuart Dawkins, Grant Smith, Steve Bancroft. These are just a few of the guys I can think of, but I feel these dudes should get some sort of award in one way or another. But yeah thanks so much for this award, definitely one to show the kids!
HERE ARE A COUPLE OF QUESTIONS FOR STEPH.
Steph, what’s it been like for you, the long-suffering BMX wife, travelling to contests and jams and being stuck at home when Martyn is off on his latest adventure?
It’s been brilliant, I’ve met some awesome people and made some really good friends along the way. It’s been cold and smelly hanging out with all those stinky lads but I’ve definitely had a laugh and when Martyn goes riding I just bribe him so he’s allowed to go. I’ve made quite a lot of money out of him over the years!
Presumably you didn’t know too much or care about BMX when you first met, now that it’s probably as much your life as Martyns do you like BMX, or could you just take it or leave it?
I do like BMX and think it’s an inspirational sport, and I enjoy watching the people I know do it.
How does it feel looking back at Martyn when he was a teenager compared to where he is now? Has he changed much as a person?
He hasn’t changed much at all, always trying to get away with riding every night of the week and as excited by BMX as he ever was. He has all the same morals he’s always had, and that’s why I try to support him as much as possible because without BMX he wouldn’t be the same person. The only thing that has changed is now that he’s a bit older he’s a right fun sponge haha.
You definitely took control of the mic at the awards night as Martyn seemed a little dumb struck. So now without any interruptions and a wider audience, would you care to repeat what you said on the night?
“Right give the mic to me, (Martyn – “I’ll hand you over to the wife she’ll sort it out”) lets get one thing straight the award should go to me really, after all the years I’ve spent sitting in cold freezing skateparks, watching the same BMX videos over and over again” (Paley tries to pipe up again) “I don’t think so rapper boy its my turn now you’ve had yours! No in all seriousness this award couldn’t of gone to a more deserving, humble guy, give it up for Martyn!”
That was pretty much it from what I can remember because then he got crowd surfed across the floor.
World Wide Rider of the Year: Chad Kerley
Words – Colin Mackay. Photos – Brandon Means.
Seeing Chad develop from a 14yr old kid riding the Clairemont park in San Diego to recently winning the X Games Street crown has been truly amazing. Chad has basically ridden his whole life with many of his younger years spent at the BMX track, which is where he learnt his incredible bike control, which you can also see in everything he rides today.
Chad’s a dream to have on the Premium Products team with him being a super pro bike rider but also being an appreciative and easy going guy. He has all the time for his fans and gets bombarded with daily mentions across social media and still finds time to reply to as many as he can.
Chad’s officially made it in BMX and he knows where he came from. He’s found his own riding style and has kids all over the world linking tricks from spot to spot just like CK himself.
How do you feel about being voted the Ride UK ‘Worldwide Rider of the Year’?
I feel honoured. Thank you guys.
There are a lot of guys out there who could have taken the title, who would you have voted for?
How did 2013 treat you?
It treated me really well. I started it off with a sick Nike trip to Barcelona, which was my first time there. Went on a bunch of fun Markit trips and dropped MARKIT ZERO. There were a few awesome Cinema trips, and Dan’s Comp trips for Roll Call that also dropped. And the contests were also really fun. It was a big year.
With 2014 now upon us do you have any plans for the year ahead?
Yeah I have some plans for sure. I definitely want to keep filming and drop some stuff and there’s a couple of trips planned already within the next couple of months that I’m looking forward to.
After such a busy year, can you pin point one specific highlight?
The premiere for MARKIT ZERO at Texas Toast was a huge highlight from the year. Too many good times from that trip!
Having won this award it is clear that a lot of people look up to you and your style of riding. What riders still inspire you?
Yeah it’s definitely an honour. A lot of riders inspire me like Garrett, AK, Bruno, Ty, and Dak. Nathan too, the way he gets down on rails is really inspiring… everyone just kills it.
As Premium also won the title of Ride To Glory champions in 2013, how possible is it that the UK may see a Chad Kerley visit for RTG 2014?
Yeah I know Connor Lodes had a lot of fun on that trip, I’m considering it! I want to make a trip out to the UK this year regardless.
Finally, and it’s what the readers all want to know. The nose wheelie at the end of your Markit section… was it pulled first go?
Haha! No way, I spent a good amount of time at that spot. I didn’t go over the bars luckily, but I took my time and didn’t rush it.
Would you like to thank anyone?
Everyone that supports me, my parents, all the homies, Markit, Nike, Premium, Cinema, Dan’s Comp, Go Pro.
UK Retailer of the Year: The Source
Words and photos – Robin Pearson
The Source have done it again and got most of your votes for best retailer this year, which is the third year in a row. I’m not going to lie, I felt fairly confident that this would be the case. I mean, I wouldn’t have necessarily bet significant amounts of money on it but if you had asked me before the awards party if I thought betting on The Source for best retailer again was a safe bet, I would have encouraged you. I made my yearly trip down to Hastings to hang out with shop owner Marc Moore and see just how it feels to score a Ride UK Reader Award hat-trick.
So, Marc, your shop has won the award again. Are you psyched?
Yeah, to win it three times in a row is great. I didn’t think we would! It’s really good to get it for the third time, it’s mental. There’s not really much else to say other than that!
Are you doing anything special now it’s a hat-trick?
Not as such but the award really celebrates last year, which was our tenth year in business. We did a bunch of collab products and it was nice to celebrate like that. And then at the end of the year to win best shop again and also best edit for Kriss Kyle’s video was awesome, it tied in nicely.
Remind us of the collab parts you did.
We did the S&M Fids frame, the United seat, some clothing with Etnies, there were some Ben Lewis bars, we made a bunch of bags and keyrings and stuff, and there was also a BSD stem at the end of the year. They’re all the brands that we’ve always supported and who have always supported us, so it’s good to do some limited edition things with them.
Three years in a row… You are clearly doing it right. Is it really hard to keep the shop up to standard?
Well it doesn’t really look after itself, we put a lot of work in. We’re always trying to do things differently and work on stuff we’re into. We try and do our own thing and luckily people like it, which is good. It seems to be going well so far, so we’ll keep doing it.
What are your plans for the near future? Since the bowl has had an update in the last year or so, what else are you going to work on?
We’re working on trips for this year, we’d like to do some cool trips with the whole team really, proper road trip style. I think there are plans to get another phase going to develop the ramps in the garden too, which should be good. It’s so small that it’s fairly limited but there are a few lines that we can make better. Apart from that, much of the same: trips, videos, a few other projects we’re about to start on, hopefully it should all come together through the year.
One thing that you, personally, are better at than some BMX shop owners is riding your bike…
Well yeah, I ride as much as I can! It definitely helps when you have a shop with an indoor bowl and ramps in your garden… It makes it easier to keep riding. I live next door to the shop so I’ll be doing the washing up looking out at the ramps. I suppose that’s a lot of the motivation behind riding my bike, as we have a successful shop that allows us to build cool stuff to ride.
Anything else you’d like to add about winning this award again?
Just a big shout out and thanks to everyone who works here at The Source, everyone who voted for us and has supported us all these years, thank you.
UK Skatepark of the Year: Rampworx
Words – Gunner. Photos – Rampworx.
The skatepark category award is always a tricky one. Some die-hard street urchins aren’t into it, some even boo, but then most realise the importance of the ‘local park’ within a scene. Once again this was a close fought affair with 3 very different parks battling it out for that top spot. But when the votes were counted Liverpools finest walked away with top honours, and why not? It is one of the longest running parks in the UK (if not THE longest), it’s clientele reads like a UK BMX Hall of Fame on any given night, and the changes and improvements it has made over the last 12 months are amazing. Rampworx take a bow.
Winning the UK Skatepark of the Year award and having so many people vote for you must feel pretty good? Was it expected at all?
To be honest it was a real surprise for us to win. We didn’t expect it at all. So many skateparks are popping up overnight there is now a huge amount of variation for people to chose from. So to find out that the riders had chose us was very humbling.
You have some pretty high profile riders frequenting the park on a regular basis. Do you think this helped?
We are lucky enough to have seen some of the best pro riders on the planet grow up inside our skatepark. On any given night you could have the likes of Benny L, Paul Ryan and Harry Main just floating around the park, it’s crazy. We are very fortunate that our local riders are great at interacting with the new grassroots kids, these kids are what keeps the industry alive and our riders get that, so yeah I think this would have really helped simply because people enjoy visiting the skatepark.
I know you have made various changes to the park over the years, with the most recent being the new street plaza style set up, but do you have any more plans for extending Rampworx in the future?
We have invested a lot of money into the skatepark over the past 12 months to keep the park fresh. Hopefully before the year is out we will also have a second skatepark. We are just ironing out some details, but keep your eyes peeled for that one!
For those who don’t know, how did the opportunity come about to own and run your own park, and the big question is, has it all been worth it?
People are opening skateparks left right and centre to try and make some quick cash, but then close up shop. We have seen it all before. We hate to break the news to them, but this is not a get rich quick scheme. We have been doing this for 17 years, longer than most people have been riding. Ian Robinson and Rob Godfrey are our original founders and they both put every penny they had into the project, they re-mortgaged their houses to kickstart this project and have come close to losing everything on more than one occasion. It’s hard hard work with little to no financial reward. But as cheesy as this may sound, we do it for the kids, the grassroots and to keep the sports we love so much alive. So when we see the positive changes we have made to peoples lives, it is definitely worth it.
A lot of people include Liverpool when talking about key areas of UK BMX. Have you witnessed changes and growth within the local scenes? Do you feel it’s better now than say 10 years ago?
The scene is constantly changing and evolving. One minute Liverpool is the place to be the next it’s Scotland then London. We have seen the highs and the lows. The older “scene” is unbelievable, as there is some crazy talent coming out of the skatepark Jay Hobson, Franny Wright, Liam Vance, Anton McGuirk the list is endless. But for the younger side of the sport it’s not as strong as it used to be. The scooter boom has affected BMX grassroots as not as many younger kids pick up a bike now, which is a real worry. We started offering free BMX coaching to local schools to try and get kids on BMX bikes and in to skateparks. Without new kids taking up the sport, it’s game over. This is why we encourage older riders to talk to the kids in skateparks and encourage them to ride a BMX, not just shout at them to get out the way. We all had to start somewhere.
Big shout out to the JayDog! All our local riders, you are why we keep our doors open and every single person that has visited us over the past 17 years, you’re the only reason we are here. Thank you.
Ride UK Cover of the Year: Issue 181 Sebastian Keep
Words and photos – Robin Pearson
Before the Reader Awards party, I’m pretty sure the popular opinion was that Bas would win this. When you come up with a dream project like he did, see it through to reality with Red Bull’s backing and then produce an image like this one for our front cover, you’re going to have an impact on people. The impression that this cover photo and his ‘Quarter Master’ videos left on the BMX scene was substantial, so it was no surprise when the results were announced and Bas went on stage to collect his award. But obviously with all the work that went into creating the project and shooting that photo, it’s not all about Bas. Granted, he’s the guy who’s actually up there in the sky above a quarry in the Welsh countryside, but as you’ll come to appreciate when reading Bas’ comments, he’s quite humble about it.
How did you feel about winning the award?
It does mean a lot. I’m more stoked for everybody else who was involved in the project, especially Rutger Pauw who shot the photo. Obviously I’m happy but I know how much it also means to other people who put a lot of hard work in. I know they’re all into it and it’s nice to have that recognition. Awards mean something to people. It’s nice to know that a lot of people voted.
Did you have any idea that you might win? I was ready to be surprised if you didn’t win it…
Well, everybody told me they thought I’d win, but I’ve learnt over the years to never expect anything. I was excited about the idea of possibly winning, but you know, don’t count your chickens before they hatch.
I bet it’s your favourite ever cover of you as well, right?
Oh definitely. When I showed up at the awards party, I hadn’t actually looked at the cover for a couple of weeks and then I walked in, had a beer with some friends and saw it there on the wall, blown up massive. I thought, wow, that does look awesome that big. It’s a nice occasion having the big covers, giving out awards, bringing people together, it’s good for the UK scene. It might even help progress things, make people strive for something.
I remember Matt Priest taking his giant cover print from the 2012 awards back home and struggling with it on the train, pretty much like a big cardboard cut out of himself.
Haha. At an event in Amsterdam I had my name printed on a giant display banner, my girlfriend convinced me to fold it up and take it, then I ended up using it as ID to get back into the hotel because it was the only thing I had with my name on!
Amazing. Is the big print going to stay here at Seventies or do you have space for it in your house?
It would be good to have it on my wall at home but it could be a bit too much. They have various things up on the office walls here, I’ve got a few bits that I’ve never ended up taking home… I think they like this cover here anyway.