OnWheels Clothing rider Bert Ribul has been super busy making great things happen lately. From teaching young beginner riders at Spot Of Tallinn superpark to shooting some quality photo & video content with guys like Jaanus Ree, Rene Lutterus & Vanaisa. Besides all that, Bert has been busy going on a trip to Switzerland for one of Europe’s biggest flatland contests and finishing it all off with organising Estonian largest flatland BMX event himself.
So much greatness going on in such short time! ALL IN!
Hey man, let’s start off with Your trip to Bikedays 2016 festival in Switzerland. How did it go? Are You happy with Your runs & riding?
Ouyeah, Switzerland was awesome man, but for me it was all about reconnecting with the scene. My riding didn’t go as I planned at all. I just couldn’t put it together in my head this time. But I wasn’t beat at all, as I said it was all about the comeback for me. Got alot of positive vibes and motivation from riders. So for now, Im gonna focus on getting my contest tricks consistent again. Can’t expect to be riding at the same level with guys who have been practicing hardcore, while I was walking around on crutches.
The riding level was amazing and everybody has progressed alot, I was just really happy to be back on the scene again and ride with everybody.
Later on the trip we stayed with one of my favourite riders Waldemar Fatkin from Koblenz Germany, so you know, my motivation is through the roof right now ;).
True, BMX & most extreme festivals are not only about riding, it’s all about good people & chill vibes. Could You share some of the best non-riding related memories from the trip? Any good parties there?
Yeah, we always have an amazing time on trips. From this trip, theres no real crazy stories, but i think the car trip itself was pretty crazy. When we drove on the ship. we lost some metal piece from under the car. Near the end of Sweden, our brakes overheated pretty bad and that happened many times later on, so we had to make many stops throughout the trip. Then, the bridges costed way more than we expected. With all these troubles, when we finally arrived in Switzerland, we were pretty much out of money. We had to take it real easy there.
Nevertheless, we had a great time with all the riders.
Was it Your first time at Bikedays festival? Or is it a must-go event for You every year?
It was my first time there, but it’s gonna be a must go event for sure. The organization was simply amazing and Switzerland is incredible.
Did You also have some free time to visit some of other Switzerland cities or beautiful places?
Not in Switzerland, but before that we stayed with Martin Shultz in Hannover, Germany. That was amazing! Martin even made a small edit from it (Check out the edit at: GLOBALFLAT.COM). Weird enough, but it was pretty hard to find a good flat spot. There was some crazy street spots though.
And after Switzerland, we visited Waldemar Fatkin and Stephan Kornely in Koblenz and rode the infamous trainstation spot- yes there are famous spots for flatland haha. As I said before, Wowa has been one of the biggest influences in my riding, so for me that was incredible.
Can’t say anything other than I can’t wait to go back there. They call Waldemar a BMX killer for a reason and it was sick to session with you bro!
Besides travelling around Europe, going to BMX contests, You’ve been busy here in Estonia too. Have to say that all photo material You’ve been releasing lately have been super dope! Photos with Jaanus Ree on rooftops at Tallinn Old town were some next level stuff! How long did You prepare for those shoots? Did it take a long time or did You guys do it more like “run n’gun” style?
Hahaaa, it was more of a run n’ gun style. Although we had all the permissions and stuff, but the idea itself came a couple of days earlier when Jaanus discovered the rooftop. He called me and said that He found a crazy spot and what’s the smallest area I could ride on. We started at 5 in the morning and were done by 10 o’clock. Lets just say it was sketchy enough to get on the rooftop with all the equipment not to talk about riding there, where you really don’t want to mess up and fall. Luckily we had a professional hillclimber with us for safety. To vet on the roof it wasn’t just climb to the highest floor and boom your’e on the rooftop. We had to enter from another building then go through some sketchy attic with no actual floor, then climb on the roof, climb a few super slippy rooftops and then we made it to the right one. But it was a fun experience and the end result was amazing. The photo looks like a postcard. Jaanus delivers as usual
What about photoshoots with Rene Lutterus? Also super dope material and awesome locations!
Bert: Pictures with Rene also came out super dope. Rene had this idea for a while but we just couldn’t meet our schedules until now. That was an easy photoshoot, I mean it was first time for Rene to shoot flatland and he knew all the spots. So we just went for it. He quickly understood how flatland works. We got kicked out a couple of times, but again the end results were amazing.
Rene: Yo, thanks man! I’ve been watching those spots for some time now, Bert finally recovered from injury and we just went for it.
Big ups Rene! Taking things to next level! Lots of riders are photo/video enthusiasts, could You share one most important secret to achieving a quality photo?
Bert: I think it’s the collaboration between the rider and the photographer. You’re both gonna look at different things, photographer for example looks at the light, shadows, flash etc… A rider looks at how extended his hands are during a nohander. You have to find that common ground and be willing to invest the time into it, like i said before I’ve done photoshoots that take 5h for example, but it’s worth it and you both have to put some effort into it.
Rene: Thanks! I really don’t have any “secrets”, just do what You love and get better everyday.
What about gear? What camera, flashes, lenses etc.. do You prefer for extreme sports photography? Bert, have you been into getting camera in your hand aswell?
B: I don’t know the first thing about cameras actually, hahah. I almost know which part goes where and what does what but that’s about it, I leave that to the professionals. Only camera I use is on my phone.
R: Right now I’m using Canon 7D mII, EX580II flash, Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 art lens, Tamroni wide angle. I don’t have any real preferences, this setup seems to work perfectly from action sports to portrait stuff.
Doing projects like that, does it feel more like a job or hobby?
B: It’s always fun, so it’s more like a hobby. Also the schedules are pretty laid back. So yeah, it’s definitely more like a fun hobby.
R: It’s a hobby that I take as seriously as work.
Some time ago now, You started working at Spot Of Tallinn skatepark. Seems like a perfect place to work for a rider! Do You still get some time to do riding there or is it work work work?
Yes, it is a perfect place for a rider to work. I’m starting to figure out more n’ more about the other advantages this place has to offer for a rider, like the trampolines, the acrobatics floor and we also have a wattbike there. I used to think you can only get good when you only ride but there’s a lot more you need to/can do for your body to be a better rider. With riding you do train most of your body, but alot still stays untouched. But you need to work as a whole- thatshow you avoid injuries and adapt to certain situations while riding. Ohyeah, I still ride there sometimes, but only after work hours or when I do demos/workshops.
Cool to see so many younger guys visiting the place and having fun proper way! Are young people more interested in gymnastics part of the complex or are they more into staying at skatepark section?
I’d say that the skatepark section is more popular, but alot of guys now use both. I envy the young guys who have energy to run around, jump trampolines and ride for 10 hours straight. Im dead after a 3hour session hahah.
Are there any younger guys who are interested in starting to ride flatland BMX? Any potential future pro’s?
Lets just say that I’m very happy when I see a young guy riding BMX instead of the other obvious super popular choices. No hate!
And yes, there are some promising guys. We are also thinking about starting BMX freestyle trainings in Spot for all styles. I think in the beginning you’ll need the basics and over some time you’ll see which style attracts you more.
Being one of the best all around parks in all Baltics, has SPOT brought in lots of foreign riders? Have U met any pro riders there yet?
Yes, there are constantly riders visiting from other countries. As of late just to name a few Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Iceland, Finland, Russia, USA even. Ofcourse, there was a lot of pro riders during Simple Session. At that time we had most of the pro’s under the same roof. Just a few weeks back, I met Scott Hamlin from UK at the Spot, super nice dude. Ofcourse my teammate Viki Gomez from Spain.
Also a couple of pros from Latvia like Romans Gorovs or Maris Ornins. Also alot of up and coming riders.
About Flatstyle Estonian Edition event that You organised – Was it first “Flatstyle” event of it’s kind in Estonia or have there been more similar style shows in the past too?
Flatstyles Estonian edition was the first of it’s kind in Estonia and it went really well, so I’m hoping it will be the beginning of something much bigger. The original flatstyles was started by MR. Martti Kuoppa in Helsinki 13 years ago .
Where did You get the idea for making event like that happening in first place?
Yeah, the idea came from similar event hosted in Helsinki, but I felt like there needed to be done something in Estonia aswell. Since Viki Gomez was gonna visit me at that time, it seemed like a perfect opportunity.
I didnt want to organize a contest just yet because the riding levels were so different, so the first year I just wanted to have a really chilled atmosphere jam and it went very well.
I’ve seen some of the photos from that event and it looked super smooth. Beautiful freedom square combined with great weather & lots of good people! How did it all work out for You? Were You happy with the outcome?
Yes, I think it was a big success! Having such big names as Viki Gomez and Martti Kuoppa over was just amazing. Alot of crowd gathered around cheering and clapping. Simple Session even made a small live webacast of it. I couldnt be happier with how it turned out.
The next days we hanged around with Viki filming and shooting with @vanaisa. We visited Spot of Tallinn and just explored the city. I think He ended up showing me more of it tho. What I mean by that is that I cruise by Tallinn everyday and you just dont notice that much anymore, but Viki was really stoked on the city so I stopped to look around and noticed how nice Tallinn really is. Also Viki found us a new spot to ride .
Can We expect something similar going down next year aswell or was it more one time thing?
Yes we can definitely expect smth to go down next year or near future. This was my first experience to organize an event and I had such an amazing time.
Thankfully it was during Tallinn bicycle week, so the guys behind that helped out alot !
We have to see what excactly is gonna happen next year, but I definitely have some plans cooking.
Make sure to take a look at that Bert Ribul x Viki Gomez x Vanaisa web edit below:
I think that there is so much to learn from Bert’s lifestyle and practice it into Your own routine – All IN OR NOTHING!
|Article by Henri Holland|