Didier Genet is one of the most talented flatland riders in Switzerland. He is a relaxed guy who surprises me with new tricks every time we ride together. A few weeks ago we sat down together, drank a cup of tea and I asked him a few questions. Here is the interview with Didier Genet – Swiss flatlander!
Pour les francophones voici l’interview en Français!
Let’s start with your age, years of riding, current job and hometown?
I am 27 years old, started riding flatland 8 years ago and I currently live in Granges-Marnand, a small village in the French-speaking part of Switzerland. I install alarm systems for a living.
Why did you start riding flatland BMX?
The first time I got in touch with flatland BMX was in Lausanne (Switzerland) in 2005 when I saw Chiquet, Juemlin and Oli Müller riding at a contest. After having seen them, I felt like trying it myself. I bought an old BMX of a friend, but first just used it to cruise to my local skate spot. When they stole my skateboard, I started to pay more attention to my BMX and to ride more frequently.
What was your first contest?
The first contest I participated in was in Lausanne in 2006. It was a small contest happening during a car tuning event.
Since when do you ride in pro class at flatland contests?
The first time, it was 2 years ago at the Vibrations Urban contest in Pessac (France). I finished on the 3rd place, which for me was a pretty good start in pro class that motivated me to keep on pushing my riding.
How frequent do you ride? Do you have a lot of time after work?
I ride about 3 days a week, but sometimes more, sometimes less depending on my workload and motivation. Wintertime is harder to ride, I have no indoor spot and Swiss winters are tough. I ride a lot more during summer and for about 2-4 hours per session.
Tell us more about the Swiss flatland scene.
There are very few riders in Switzerland, I guess around 10 riders who ride flatland more seriously. Most of the time I ride alone, this helps me to focus 100% on my riding. If I don’t want to ride alone, I go to Lausanne where I ride with Gionibek. Sometimes there are also some new riders around. And every year there is a great contest in Solothurn that takes during the Bike Days, the biggest bicycle event nationwide that attracts the “cream” of the international flatland riders.
What riders influenced you?
Mostly Martti Kuoppa and Viki Gomez because of the originality and difficulty of their tricks. I used to ride with Oli Müller in my beginnings; he has a lot of flow in his riding, which influenced me as well.
Which riders inspire you at the moment?
I like Ucchie’s style, because of the immense energy in his riding, the variety of his fast pedal tricks and not to mention his new bike flip. Along the same line, I love Jean-William Prevost’s riding. I got much respect for Viki Gomez, because of his kickflips and his ability to improvise during a contest run.
How would you describe your riding?
I focus on learning technical tricks while keeping a maximum of flow. Learning new tricks incessantly and combine them in a new combo is my big motivation in this sport. Originality is very important to me, even if it is very hard nowadays to invent completely new tricks.
How do you keep your motivation up?
I really love this discipline because of the freedom it gives me. Inventing new movements, creating new combos, falling and standing up again – the success just depends on yourself. And the feeling when you succeed to pull a new trick is just fantastic. Of course, going to the contest is also very motivating because it allows you to meet new riders and watch the latest moves.
Please tell us more about your latest video project “SHINE”?
I felt it was time to make a more professional edit than usual, which should also be kind of a hold of my current riding skills. For this project I wanted to work with Steven from progressive pictures. I was sure that he was going to make a great job as he himself has been riding flatland for years. We met 4-5 times in order to capture the right flow in the movements and to get the perfect shots. I think we did a good job.
What are your sponsors?
Adrian from brakeless distribution is my sponsor for all the bike parts (Aresbikes). Real Gentlemen, a new streetwear brand supports me with clothes. But I would like to get additional sponsors in order to be able to travel to more contests.
Do you have any specific details / parts that are important on your bike?
My bike has to be very light, easy to handle, stable and perfectly adjusted. I use the Aresbikes plastic spanish BB which avoids rotation of the crank like a Swiss cuckoo, this also helps a lot for a good functioning of the freecoaster. I regularly check the tension of my spokes and adjust them if necessary. The Aresbikes Uma pegs are perfect for pivotal tricks thanks to their rounded caps.
What are your goals in BMX?
To keep progressing and to explore new ways to do tricks. Make good results in contest because it always boosts the motivation. I would like to travel more, particularly to Japan, because I think this is the place where things happens in flatland.
Thanks to brakeless for the hardware support and the interview, Real Gentlemen, Steven Blatter (progressive pictures) and all the people that motivate me and that I meet at the contests or somewhere else.