Sunday, November 20, 2011

Simon O'Brien Interview

Colony flatland pro Simon O'Brien is one of the most creative pro flatland riders on the scene today, and one of the very few flatland riders to not pursue one specific style of flatland. Simon can do it all, from long, extremely difficult rolling links, to concentric front wheel links with style. And he's responsible for innovating a long list of tricks, as well as designing a signature frame, bars and forks for Colony. Recently, Simon (formerly a rider that favored videos over contests) decided to re-enter the world of flatland competitions, and before he left for Japan, he dropped an exclusive new video, shot by Colony Bikes filmer Stewart Munro. And if you never had the chance to check out either of his solo DVDs, here is your well-deserved introduction to the riding of a true Australian original. Can you tell us a little about your re-entry into the world of flatland competition?
O'Brien: It's come down to a timing thing really. I was planning on going back to Japan at this time and it just so happened that the G-Shock invite comp was at this time. I had heard really good things about the last event and Hiroshi from 430 invited me, so I was all for being a part of it!

How's everything with Colony going? Can you give us any details about their flatland program, as well as your signature line of products?
Colony is going great. I'm riding my signature frame and loving it -- great angles and lengths, good for all styles of flatland and even some mini ramp riding. At the moment with their flatland program, they're doing my signature parts and some other flat-specific products: pegs, seats, etc. It's going good.

What do you do for a living, or does BMX pay the bills?
Unfortunately, BMX does not pay the bills. I'm duty in a super market, and the work has always been good to me when I need time off for trips. I also take part in the occasional performing arts gig along with some demos. For the last teo years i have also been renovating a house, which is a lot of work and a great experience.

Since the release of your solo CD, have you thought about a follow up? And how much effort did it take to produce a full DVD of original riding?
After my solo DVD "Made You Look," I finally did a sequel called "Dejavu." I was happy with follow up, but thought it still could have been a bit better. I rushed it a little to try and promote my frame. A solo DVD is hard work. Sometimes you get caught in a rut of doing the same kind of tricks, and to continually try to do something new and different is difficult. I constantly need to set new goals and ride lots.

I know you also ride skateparks. How much of your time riding goes into not riding flatland?
I just love riding my bike, whether park or flat, it's all fun and outdoors. These days, if I'm not riding, I'm usually working. However, I have a bunch of great ideas for some lip tricks, so I'll be doing some serious skatepark time soon.

Can you tell us a little about your personal flatland spot at your house?
It's awesome. Years ago, my mom thought my brothers and my idea for a concrete slab in the front yard would be okay, and it has seriously been a great investment. Over the years, heaps of cricket and basketball games have gone down, plus lots and lots of riding. And no hassles from security, stoked!

And finally, feel free to give any shout outs here.
Just wanna thank God for the sunny days, Brian for hooking this up, Stu for doing the edit, Colony, Afray and Etnies. Thanks!

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