January 7, 2015

Chad Degroot. Flat Ark. His complete story.

Pics by: Aaron Nardi, Hiroshi, Chad D, Eve DeGroot, Terry Adams

Flatland had its ups and downs over this 40 year history. The good. The bad. The money. The recession. Companies here today. Gone tomorrow. Flatland was pushed away years ago but not forgotten. You can see by the love and drive of key companies and riders doing it for the hunger for more. The effort to keep flatland alive is getting to a great stage with the announcement of 2015 Kobe Flatland World Finals with a 1st place purse of $50,000.00 US dollars. Creating these contests are more than just pushing forward, its showing that with support and following we can all rise up with the youth, which in Japan are called Super Kids, to the experts who really want to move up but also ride on the main stage, to the open class which can bring out the new talent at the highest level, all the way up to the legends who can’t help but have the love and feeling in them for what BMX has given them.

This is a family vibe which all feeds off each other. The tears, the joy, the passion is so unmistakable. Like when the Super Kids were riding, all cameras and phones were on them not only in disbelief of what we were all seeing but to capture the next generation and show proof we are all a family working together to enhance our skills at riding bikes but showing the world we can and are making moves so others need to feel our connection and not feel left out.

Its not only about a huge 1st place pay day (pretty good though) but getting good people and good companies who support flatland to focus on the youth and the next generation

Kobe city is the home of Ucchie and what better place to take home top honors and be the spokesman for this 2014 finals and let the world know this movement of flatland. This city has the stunning backdrop with the Flatark flag waving high on the tower and mountains always looking at you, the gigantic ferris wheel showing “Welcome to Flatark” in bright lights, and top it off unveiling the first ever Red Bull vending machine featuring Ucchie with close location to the best flatland spots in the world near the water front.

I was honored and proud to be invited to judge the final contest of this series in the finest location and also be featured in the legends demo. Which was one of the highest forms of entertainment to this date. The support, confidence, and positive respect from everyone make me smile and be happy to be part of this history making event. Thanks to all who made this event happen, there are a ton of names behind the scenes and not even on location who all helped promote, support, and even stream it live around the world. The love and respect I received on this trip was amazing to say the least and to experience it with my wife to show her there are true characters in BMX and also the best riders, best times, best smiles, best food, best support for the coming years is incomparable. Memories. Memories…

Thanks to Ucchie, Red Bull, Kobe city, Japanese riders, legends, Tenga, Profile Racing, PowerBar, Baco, Deco BMX, Super Kids, Hiroshi/430/Decade, Space Ark, and everyone who made Flatark happen.
-Chad DeGroot

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Being in such a beautiful city and seeing the culture was incredible. From the cable car ride up the mountain to see the breathtaking views to the dinner party on the boat. Every detail was taken care of and even explained. Like why you slurp 3 times when you eat hot Udon, it cools it down and no need for a napkin since your sucking the juice and cooling at the same time. Genius. We went to many temples and bowed and learned about history and traditions. Even learned about Japanese technology. Much technology. One thing I do know is Japanese love to use a lot of dishes when they eat. Make memories.

January 7, 2015


We are taking precautions to protect our employees and follow CDC and state guidelines. In the meantime, our machine shop is still running, we're here to assist you and we'll be shipping product to help support bike shops during this difficult time.