Dew Tour has officially invited four of Flatland BMX’s biggest names to come to the Beach stop in Ocean City, Maryland on Sunday Aug. 19. For most this means one more awesome event to watch over the weekend at the beach, another sick competition. For others this will not be a competition at all. For Flatland ambassador Terry Adams it will be more of a show, it will be an opportunity to impress.
Flatland BMX has, like many action sports, had its up and downs with overall success and popular following. But, like many action sports, it is made up of a community of relentless riders passionate about the sport.
Dew Tour catches up with Terry Adams to talk Flatland and to get his take on what it means to compete on a main competitive stage such as the Dew Tour.
How many years have you been riding Flatland?
Well, I’ll be 29 tomorrow [8/9/1982] and I have been riding since I was 10, so I guess that’s 19 years.
What does the current contest circulation look like for Flatland riders?
We have a U.S. circuit mainly for the ams, but pros are there too. For pros there is a world circuit that does three or four stops each year. Besides those two circuits there are a ton of events going on throughout the year in places like Europe and Asia, which is where a lot of pros spend a lot of time.
Apart from all of the ones in Europe and Asia, Flatland events are happening all over the globe from grassroots driven events to those with sponsors backing them.
How have you seen flatland change over recent years with respect to contests and participants?
After flatland was dropped from the X Games in 2004, it definitely changed quite a bit. As far as the contest scene went, we were able to revamp the way they work and look - it has changed entirely. The riding then used to be a lot of scuffing, now it’s more about fast motions.
Back in the day, when flat was involved in X Games, you went out did turn and would then come back in. Now, there are more battle formats being used. Making for more exciting contests for both the spectators and for the riders, which makes for a better format for TV.
What does it mean to you for Dew Tour to host a Flatland competition?
It pretty exciting because as a pro Flatland rider that has been involved in the contest circuit for so many years this is huge. It is definitely a great step for [the sport of] Flatland to be included, and it’s great for Dew Tour because it is just as progressive as other forms of BMX. It’s awesome that Dew Tour recognizes this because we definitely deserve to be include in these big events.
What are your thoughts on the Dew Tour in general in regards to BMX competitions?
In my opinion, something as awesome as adding flatland and keeping dirt shows that Dew Tour is staying closer to keeping BMX the way it needs to be. That is what is most important, keeping all genres involved and everyone included - I think that is awesome.
What were your initial thoughts when you received your invite? Had you heard any rumors that it may be happening?
We’ve been pushing for it for years. So yeah, I was surprised. I am still, to this very moment, taking it in because this is a big push for Flatland to be on this main stage.
I’m not looking at this as a contest, either. I want to put on good show. I want to show what we have to the Dew Tour for the first time because it really is impressive and marketable.
What are your thoughts on your competition - Matt Wilhelm, Mathias Dandois and Alex Jumelin? How familiar are you with each of their styles?
All these guys are super talented. I would say that those three guys are always my biggest competition at any event. At every contest, these are always the guys to go out there and beat.
What is really cool about this group is that everyone definitely has their own style to offer. It will be very easy for everyone in the crowd to recognize and see the differences.
When it comes contest time, how do you prepare yourself?
Every rider prepares for these things in different ways. My way of preparing is getting the line I want to do, the combo, and doing it five times in a row. if I mess up on try number four, I will start over for five again. If i mess on the fifth try, I start over again to get them all in a row.
It becomes a little tedious but then you eventually end up pulling your run upwards of 80 times in a day. Eventually it becomes second nature and you are less thinking about it and just doing it.
For some riders that truly can drive them crazy. But for me, I enjoy knowing how well I have my lines down - I really enjoy knowing that.
Following Dew Tour, do you have anything Flatland lined up as far as demos and traveling?
Next month, Sept. 9, is considered the Superbowl of Flatland, The Red Bull Circle of Balance in Japan. The last time they put it on was ’07, before that was in ’04 and then in ’01. So, I will be preparing for that.
Right after Dew Tour I will be doing a few demos. One in North Carolina then another in Denver, both for Red Bull. Directly following Denver I will be heading over to that contest in Japan.
Any final thoughts you’d like to put out there speaking to Flatland competitions and what it means for Dew Tour to bring it onboard?
I’m really stoked that Flatland is a part of Dew Tour this year. I have waited a long time for this, and am very confident this will go well and that everyone will be stoked!