So give us the low-down on the whole flatland calendar, you create this thing each year right? What inspired you to start doing this?
Yeah, this is the second year I've done the calendar. The idea started when I posted a gallery of all flatland photos on the Ride site... Pat Schoolen over at Flatland Fuel emailed and was just like, "Man, those are awesome photos, you should make a calendar with those." The light bulb went off and about two weeks later I had a calendar laid out, a business plan of sorts, and the drive to make it a reality.
You know, there aren't any flatland magazines or anything so having something devoted just for the flatland riders was kind of a big deal for them.
That's awesome, so is it a non-profit type of thing for you?
Well it's a free calendar for customers at Flatland Fuel (one shipped out free with every order while supplies last), but each page of the calendar has a sponsor, so with their help I'm able to pay for the production costs, shipping costs, and for me to still make a little profit. So while I'm not out buying a new Porsche after all is said and done, I may go out and buy a new, dialed flatland bike...
How did you go about collecting photos for it, are you the only one who shoots the photos?
Ever since the last calendar was finished I kept it in the back of my mind that I wanted to do another one so I held on to some good photos when I had the chance and saved them specifically for the calendar. But last year I had two and a half years worth of photos I was sitting on, so it was easy to put them all together. But this year I only had twelve months worth of photos. Luckily, I had been to some cool flatland events (Panama, Monaco, etc.) and had some gems to use of my own. And a few of the photos were shot specifically for the calendar in recent months around where I live. Then 7 of the photos were actually contributed from photographers around the world. I had guys from Japan, Czech Republic, Australia, and Hungary help out with photos this year, which was amazing- it gives the calendar a more well-rounded feel and allows some riders to make it in there that I never would have had the chance to shoot with myself.
What's your favorite shot from this year's calendar?
Well, of my own photos, I'm going to have to say August. Matt Wilhelm's shot in Chicago. It was one of those shoots that just seemed to work out flawlessly. I was going to Chicago for Dew Tour and got in town just early enough to meet up with Matt. He picked me up from the airport and we went straight to shoot a photo before the sun went down. We pretty much got to this spot just as the sun was going down. I was rushing to set up so I could catch the sunset, and we somehow pulled it off. So the photo shows the sun setting right behind the Sears Tower. And it was cool for Matt because we shot it in his hometown at a spot where he has ridden for years in front of a building that his dad works at. I don't get to shoot with Matt often, things fell into place, and I'm really stoked on how the photo turned out.
Now that you know the ropes of putting together a calendar, is there any chance you'll do a freestyle one?
I actually did think about doing a street/ramp/dirt calendar this year. But the truth of it is I just don't get out there and shoot that stuff enough. Because of how everything works at Ride, Jeff Z., Fudger, and Keith always shoot with the best street riders and stuff, and I shoot the events and contests. So it basically came down to me not having the right photos. And it's super easy to distribute a flatland calendar because of Flatland Fuel being the only flatland mail order in the U.S. I would have had to figure out a different distribution method for a freestyle calendar. So I saw my hurdles, weighed my options, and decided to not even start the race, ha-ha.
So while I'm not out buying a new Porsche after all is said and done, I may go out and buy a new, dialed flatland bike...
Who is all featured in this year's calendar?
Rider's include: Dominik Nekolny, Terry Adams, Chase Gouin, Moto Sasaki, Adam Kun, Kotaro Tanaka, Max Roth, Denes Kotana, Matt Willhelm, Dan Beardsley, Chad Johnston, York Uno, Shande Badman, Matthias Dandois and Bobby Carter.
What was the reaction and feedback from last year's calendar, where flat riders stoked on it?
After the calendar dropped last year, the feedback from the flatland community was amazing. People started forum topics about it, they shipped one all around the world for dozens of riders to sign, and they immediately started to ask about the next one and make suggestions and predictions of who would be in it. It really felt like the flatland community was just grateful that someone took the time to do something specifically for them. You know, there aren't any flatland magazines or anything so having something devoted just for the flatland riders was kind of a big deal for them. I've always loved flatland, so I'm really stoked that I get to be more of a part of that community by doing a project like this.
Any last words?
I definitely ant to give a big thanks to all the riders in the calendar, the photographers who contributed photos. Gustavo Pohle for helping with the page desgn, all the companies who supported the calendar this year and of course Flatland Fuel. And a huge thanks goes out to all the riders out there who got the calendar last year and gave me such positive feedback. See you at the spot...