CASSON DOWNING: Welcome to Kink BMX / The Ramp Story
Here we are! Casson Downing found a home on Kink BMX recently, then got straight to work on a proper welcome video. Glad to see he pulled out the stops for this, it’s a rad idea and without doubt the best riding we’ve seen from Casson yet.
Read on for the story behind the project and some choice photos by our man Martin Grainger.
Photos / video / interview by Martin Grainger
Q&A with Casson Downing
– Easy Casson, where did the idea for the ramp come from?
The ramp idea has been around for a while! Probably since Matt Mayman first got his workshop we’ve been talking about making one. Matt’s always thinking of ideas we can create from metal, and the ramp seemed ideal for the video.
– Now, tell me about the process of making it? This wasn’t the first incarnation was it?
MK1, what a beast! We underestimated the transition massively! Super short and super steep, I mean it looked perfect when it was on the work bench and all welded together, but it wasn’t until we tested it at like 11:30pm in the dark we realised how steep we’d made it!
With MK2 (the one in the video) we wanted to get it spot on, so we made it longer and taller and completely mellowed it out. Turned out real nice. Then Matt had this idea of adding a bump jump option to it, basically a removable coping that gives you some extra height on certain setups.
“It’s always a good time at the workshop, couple rum and cokes and a lot of laughs, can’t go wrong really!”
– How long was spent making it?
We’re usually pretty committed to the project when we get into the workshop, haha. We’ll pretty much stay until we finish it or it’s midnight! Whichever comes first. We had the frame all built and ready the first night and then the bump jump and surfacing took us a couple of hours on the weekend to finish.
– The removable bump jump makes a big difference and doesn’t help on every setup… Tell me about that ‘experience.’
Hahaha, the bump jump definitely doesn’t work on all set ups, found that out the hard way! The setup over the fence into the bank was a wild one, I kept the bump jump on for the first time we went down there, and it sent me up instead of forward and I came up super short, nosed in and fully headbutted the bars, which sucked! But then other setups it was perfect for, like the marina wallride when we shot the first photos and it just sent you up, worked real good!
“Matt had this idea of adding a bump jump, basically a removable coping that gives you some extra height on certain setups”
– Did you have spots in mind for the kicker or did you make it and then find the spots that’d work?
I had a couple of ideas in mind before we built the ramp, but I wasn’t sure if they would work out. Once we’d built MK2 and ridden it a few times I knew which spots were going to work. Then as we filmed I found a couple more setups, like the gap over the fence in Hove! Had a lot of fun in between as well, setting the ramp up in parks and hitting gaps you wouldn’t normally be able to do!
– How was it filming the video?
Filming was rad actually, had a good time getting most of the bits! Felt good to finally put a full video together and tick off a few spots I’ve been looking at for a while. We had a couple of stressful times getting the last few bits, but that’s all part of it. Looking forward to the next one! Can’t thank Martin and Matt and the other guys enough for the support and helping me move the ramp around, haha.
– Anything you wanted to do that didn’t work out?
Nah man, I think we pretty much got everything I wanted to get, all the bigger stuff at least.
– How was it working with Matt to build it?
Matt’s a genius when it comes to making stuff, he has all these ideas that sound mad on paper but when we start building, they always turn out sick! It’s always a good time at the workshop, couple rum and cokes and a lot of laughs, can’t go wrong really! Looking forward to the next little project!
– Any ideas on what that might be?
I’ve got a few ideas that I want to either shoot photos of or film. It’s just finding the right setups that work for what I’ve got in mind! I’d really like to shoot another video but abroad on a trip. You can’t beat going away with all your friends, riding new spots and to come back with a video would be sweet.
– How’s the new bike treating you?
New bike feels so good! Still stoked on it, feels rad on pretty much everything, super-fast and stable. Can’t ask for much more than that!
– Any plans for the rest of this year?
Got a couple of #vansandscrans things lined up with the boys this summer. Those trips always end up being some of the best times! Find some wild camp spots that are out of the way and ride what we can! I’m hoping restrictions chill out for the end of the year so we can get abroad as well. Need some of that Spanish sun this year, been missing it!
– What’s the plan with the ramp now? Is it still going?
The ramp’s stored up all safe and sound at Matt’s workshop, we’re always looking for spots we can use it at, and I’m sure when we find the right one it’ll be out again for sure! But for now its nice to have it out of my van, haha. I think it was in the back for about 2 months…
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