G’day! A chat about riding, road trips, and double-backflips

Dylan Warren and Andy Milenkovic are more than just a couple of good mates from Australia. They also happen to be grade A mountainboard riders, both pushing themselves and the progression of the sport without even trying (see how Dylan has evolved since his first small rem interview back in 2008…). We caught up with them at Summer Sessions (10th July 2011) for a natter, a few days after Andy officially became the first person to ride out the epic holy-grail double-backflip…

Good to see you in the UK guys! For starters, how long have you been riding trolleyboards?
D: About 8 or 9 great years now.
A: 4 or 5 years I reckon.

Where abouts in Oz are you from and what you currently riding?
D: South East of Melbourne, purple Dyl Dollar MBS pro 95
A: It’s in Victoria on the edge of the Dandenong ranges: pretty hilly round there… I currently got an MBS Leon Pro. Dyl just customised it for me when i wasn’t looking with that purple spraycan and the word ‘c*nt’ hahaha.. it’s way cooler now.

Nice ;) What’s the scene like there?
D: It’s pretty small. There’s maybe like 30 riders in the area, and it’s a big area. Then there’s 5 or 6 of us that ride a lot more and doing the more gnarly progressive stuff, normally a few times a week.What have the comps been like this year so far?
D: They’re good man. Ryan Slater is a leg(end), he’s put on the Melbourne Race series this year. He’s pro-active in selling the boards too really helping mountainboarding get ‘out there’. I came second overall in the 2011 series.
A: I was 5th overall but wasn’t even at the first round haha. Pretty stoked.

What’s your preference in riding, eg you into freeride etc?
D: Yeah racing, downhill, the lot. I’m more into street stuff though, drops, stair-sets. Deffo more freestyle. Big gaps rule like the Como park road gap.
A: I love freestyle, getting inverted, rotations, but also just love carving up grassy slopes, biiiig powerslides & sh*t.
D: We kind of take our kickers to different spots and just session.
(full results here, video of the action here)

So you havn’t got a big backyard setup?
A: Nah, we got some stuff at home like basically a couple of big piles of dirt but not much really.

So how has travelling to Europe changed things- Dyl, you went round Europe last year…
D: Yeh i had a pretty epic time. It’s really cool meeting all the riders in all these different places. It pushes you further. And some of these places are just so sick, like Winterberg.
(Dylan>)

And you’re sponsored by MBS right Dyl?
D: Yep they’re real good guys. I used to ride with Aussie’s Munro but now I ride with the MBS US team- they have an awesome set-up in Colorado, the whole park must be an acre in size. I’m heading back there in a few months, gonna do a couple of comps like the Altitude Cup and Fall Classic and no doubt go on some serious filming missions. Denver skatepark is sick too.

So how did this year’s Europe trip come together?
A: I’m taking a break from Uni and just decided to join Dyl this year. I’ve been mountainboarding loads again recently. Joe Dixon came over to Oz last year and stayed with us for like 2 months. I’d not even ridden my mountainboard at a sk8 park before and with that and the comps i was stoked on the idea of coming to the UK.
D: Yeah so we both been working to save up some dollar for airfares & stuff. I work at a local skatepark, The Shed in Cranbourne and also for my old man.
A: I’ve even been working in a Pizza shop to get travel money- you do what you gotta do!

How did you find it when you got to Old Blighty recently?
A: Man, soon as I saw Ride The Hill XBP I was amaaazed. It’s like a proper mountainboard park should be, loads of stuff to ride for all levels. Andy P and those guys do good work and saw us right. It was clear the UK has a real good scene for riders.
D: Yeah I’m loving the UK man, all the centres have such sick features and even lots of the riders have awesome backyard setups.

Like Josh Maddocks’ compound, where you’ve been staying this last week?
D: Yep Josh has some great jumps, man.
A: The big table is real sweet, nice & floaty like a snowboard jump.

Is that how the double-backflip came about? What’s the story from your point of view Andy?
A: Well I didn’t do much prep to be honest. We were having a real fun day (Thu 7/ 7/11) and I thought I’d see how I go. I tried it into the foam pit, it felt good so i took it straight to the dirt. I knew it was landable and the fact it happened naturally as part of a jam was good, not in a comp where there may be extra pressure or distractions.
Also, as well as mountainboarding loads recently I’ve been skating too, and dropping in vert has a similar feeling but if you believe in yourself anything is possible.

So after the foam pit you stomped the first one and rode away…
A: Yeah, then I did it again because it felt ok and to prove it wasn’t a fluke, then later did it again after de-padding.

Yeah the fact it was grabbed and lid-less makes it way sicker for me ;)
A: Thanks. I’m not into pads that much but wear them when trying new stuff. I also appreciate some people don’t ride without pads & a helmet but it’s up to the individual, it’s just a case of each to their own.

Yep. You gotta be happy that Theo (Acworth) & the PD crew were there to film it…
A: It’s all about the footage. Theo shoots wicked stuff and i wanted it to be a stand-alone vid, not bolted on to loads of other riding shots.
D: PD, ATC and those guys are awesome, it’s so rad everyone’s documenting them & their mates riding.

Do you watch vids to get yourselves pumped & stoked to ride?
A: Yeah sometimes but not really mountainboard stuff except ATC and a few others. I normally like watching vids from other sports like snowboarding for inspiration. Remolition is definately a great thing for mountainboarding though, I really like what you do with the site.

Aw cheers :) So what other tricks are you aiming for, and which ones do you love pulling off?
D: I want to keep pushing my street riding, different drops and bigger gaps. Boardslides and tapping shit. And backside 3’s.
A: Yeah floaty backside 3’s. Errrr…. Backside 7’s are pretty good. There’s too many! I’m working on some bs corked 5’s (McTwist?) in the quarter and just want to get them cleaner. Oh and if Josh puts another 2 metres onto his drop-in I’ll do a triple backflip haha.

Were you aware of what a big benchmark the double-backflip is within mountainboarding?
A: Yeah I guess. I know a few people have tried it and some have nearly got it stomped like Joe D & Arno VDV, but it just felt right. I’m not sure I’ll do it in a comp though and I don’t want to be known as a rider that just does that…

So what’s next guys? where’s this 2011 tour taking you?
D: Well we’re going to a few more places in the UK before heading off to Italy for the Downhill Championships, through France for some comps, Spain too, hopefully hooking up with Tom Kirkman again and many more great riders and spots along the way.
A: Yeah I want to hit Winterberg man. And Wanyi for the Belgian Open.
D: Wanyi Park is sick, good times there. We’ll then be heading back to the UK at the end of the summer. Andy’s then heading back home and i’m off to the States for another couple of months…
A: It’s all good man. We’re loving it right now.

Nice one, we’re all loving it too. Any final thoughts?
A: Yeah I wanna say to everyone just keep riding and progressing and appreciate the scene you got because it’s real good, especially in the UK with stuff like Summer Sessions. There shouldn’t be any room for haters or moaning about shit.
D: Ah-yeah and thanks to everyone who makes the mountainboard scene what it is, like MBS & Trampa, Centres like XBP and Bugs, and the hundreds of cool riders around the world who make it all such a good laugh.

Thanks guys, good on yer ;)
A & D: No worries!

The vid: Double? No trouble!

Interview by Dan Wilson, pictures courtesy Andy + Dyl, Dan, Andrey Yenin, Rory M-P, and more. Double-backflip footage by Theo Acworth c/o Project Doc. Cheers all!

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