TOP TEN: Wallride Photos by Robin Pearson | Ride UK BMX

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TOP TEN: Wallride Photos by Robin Pearson

Ten of the best and the stories behind them.

Words and photos by Robin Pearson

Wallrides are awesome. Continuing the TOP TEN theme of pure, essential BMX riding, the wallride is a simple move that can be done in all kinds of ways. And, as you’ll see below, it can also be photographed in many different styles. Every set up is different – whether it’s a gap to wall, a wallride down stairs, between two ramps, or off a drop – the wallride can open up a spot.

To the outside world, wallrides are easy to appreciate. I can’t tell you how often some flabbergasted member of the public has run over to a spot and exclaimed, “Did he just ride down that wall?!”

Curved walls are arguably one of the coolest things about BMX. Straight up, vertical berms on the street, which let you generate centrifugal force to keep you stuck to them. How awesome is that? There are only a couple of curved walls in this feature but they’re both high grade.

Wallrides are a wonderful balance of physics. They’re also one of the finest aspects of riding a BMX. Here are my Top Ten wallride photos.

01 – Anthony Watkinson, London, UK.

Let’s kick this off with a banger. In the early 2000s, Anthony Watkinson was a name associated with park riding, often seen stomping a double tailwhip air. Like many others, Tony moved over to the street side of things and came out SWINGING with heavy moves like this insane wallride to flat in central London. When there’s something this big going down, with security on the way, it can be nerve-wracking. This one had me shaking when I was pressing the shutter. Tony had the more difficult job and he handled it like a boss.

Originally seen in The First Ten Years: An Interview with Anthony Watkinson in Ride UK issue #173.

02 – Gary Young, Tenerife.

VANS Let it Ride 2011 was an awesome trip around the Canary Islands with some of the biggest names on the Vans team. Rubio took us to this amazing derelict reservoir spot in the south of Tenerife. (The same one where he dropped in on a curved wall…)

Watching Gary power wheelie towards this massive wallride gap was a real treat!


03 – Rob Andrews, Stroud, UK.

When I think back to the first time we did The Warehouse Project, all I can really focus on is the cold. It was like a freezer in that building so you had to do what you could to stay warm. Rob Andrews chose to set up big wallrides! You know when the whole team is totally stoked on their TM getting a photo or clip? Rob is an awesome team manager.

04 – Bruno Hoffmann, London, UK.

London Calling was a crazy good time. An ambitious project with amazing results. Along with the rest of the Federal team, Bruno killed it all week in the way only Bruno can. I was stoked to see him pull this wallride over a rail to 180, as were the rest of the boys!

05 – Mike Miller, Le Havre, France.

Unfortunately, Miller doesn’t ride any more but he’s left quite a legacy. Check out our TOP TEN Tables feature for more evidence.

This photo concludes one of the most exciting moments I’ve had in BMX. With one failed attempt at riding this behemoth of a curved wall, we had to give it one more chance on the last day of the trip. Wash all the dust off the wall, drench it in cheap french cola, pedal as fast as possible, hope and pray the tyres hold grip, pack up and race to catch the ferry… It could have gone many ways less favourable to the way it did! See the edit below.

06 – Joe Embrey, Lowestoft, UK.

It was a long process getting Joe’s Ride UK interview done. That’s no bad thing! It was awesome to take our time with it and be patient, meeting up for a weekend every now and then and riding new places. One of the final shots was this one, of a classic wallride down stairs over a rail. Joe was injured over the summer this year but he’s back on his bike now, so I know he’ll be stoked to see this again.

07 – Matt Priest, Cambridge, UK.

The first full interview feature I did for Ride UK was with Priesty in 2012. We wanted him on the cover so it had to be special set up – cue the ghetto ramp wallride in some moody old car park. Classic! Matt killed it that day and as well as coming away with the cover shot (below), we also shot a few BIG wallrides. This was another full speed moment. Love it.

08 – Gary Young, La Mesa, California.

Cobbles are tough to ride on at the best of times, let alone when they’re extra chunky and vertical. Gary Young proving again that he can pretty much ride anything!

09 – Dan Boiski, London, UK.

The simplicity of this photo does it for me. We were treated to a solid week of sublime weather last autumn so Boiski and I made the most of it and cruised around London every day – standard procedure! Very productive, the best times, sick spots, street beers, all the good stuff. Orginally seen in Boiski’s THRICE.

10 – Danny Stanzl, London, UK.

Let’s close this with another banger wallride to flat. Danny Stanzl is a bit of a wild one… He didn’t take much convincing to send it on this set up, he just wanted to warm up with a few laps of a local bowl and a few glugs of a local beer… Done!


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