Tuesday Aug 25, 2015

Interview: Szymon Godziek on pushing MTB to a whole new level

This season the FMB World Tour has been all about Brett Rheeder vs Brandon Semenuk and it's been hard for anyone else to stand out.

However, one man who has had no trouble doing that since he joined the tour is Poland’s Szymon Godziek, whose unique style has quickly helped him make a name for himself in the sport.

But he took it a step further last season at the Red Bull District Ride, when he made mountain bike history by landing the first ever Tsunami Flip seen in competition.

We sat down with the man himself to talk about his new dirt jumping series, that trick and what bangers he's got in store for us next!

Q. How did you get into mountain biking?

“That was in 2006/2007. My younger brother Dawid Godziek started riding three years before me. I was watching him and I liked it, but it took me a long time until I decided to follow him. We started riding together and I fell in love with it.”

Q. Tell us about your new Dirt Jumping Cup series? How did it start?

“Dirt Jumping Cup is a Polish series which contains three stops in big cities in Poland. We started it in order to revive the Polish scene and give the riders an opportunity to ride more contests during the season and also to get some of their first FMB points, because all the three stops are bronze level FMB World Tour events.”

Q. Can it become one of the biggest events on the FMB World Tour?

“Each of the stops have bronze status at the moment. We are looking forward to organising the first silver events in Poland.”

Szymon (right) celebrates after winning a stop on the Dirt Jumping Cup series in Poland

Q. How popular is freeride mountain biking in Poland?

“It is getting more popular very quickly. More and more people are getting to know what freeride mountain biking is and they even want to try it out.

"Eight years ago when I was starting out in freeride we weren’t able to see anything about it on Polish TV. Now Polish radio and TV stations have started putting it on the air more and more.”

Q. Are there any rising MTB stars in Poland who we should look out for?

“There is one. I met him when I was living in Bielsko-Biala. He was a local skate park kid but when we started riding together he wanted to try dirt jumping. I was able to watch his progress from the beginning and it’s insane how fast kids can learn tricks now.

"His name is Kuba Sidzina, 18 years old from Bielsko-Biala, Poland. He was 5th and 3rd in the Dirt Jumping Cup series and I’m pretty sure he will get better every year.”

Q. Which action sports athletes inspired you when you were younger?

“Travis Pastrana. He inspired me when I was a kid. I’ve seen all his movies and I wanted to ride FMX like him but it was super hard to start alone, so I kept riding my bike with my bro.”

Click HERE to watch Szymon shred with his brother Dawid in The Bike Brothers

Q. Where is your favourite place to ride bikes?

“Barcelona at Bike Park La Poma! That place is the best in the world for dirt jumpers and Barcelona as a city has the best vibes on the planet. I love hanging out there and I wish I could move there.”

Q. What are your goals for your career in mountain biking?

“My main goal is to ride as long as possible without any serious injuries. I’d like to be the best in the game, like everyone, but it’s not as important as being healthy.

"I’ve started building my own place where I want to build new features in order to get to another level with my tricks. I have some big plans and hopefully nothing like stupid injuries will stop me.”

Q. You are already known for big tricks. What was it like to land the first Tsunami Flip at District Line last year?

“It was amazing. I wasn’t sure I would land it and I almost didn’t try it but I went for it and it worked out first try. I was surprised and super stoked. Especially when I saw all the pictures and videos and how extended I was!”

Q. Will we see it at competitions in the future?

“It’s hard to bring that trick to competitions because you need flip levers. You can’t do it without them, but they’re heavy and big and it’s not possible to ride with them. I think I will be bringing the Tsunami Flip in the shows.”

Q. Progression is happening so quickly at the moment. What is the next big trick that everyone wants to learn?

“That’s hard to say. Everybody goes for combos with barspins or tailwhips and I think everybody will start doing some 720 combos or backflip double tailwhips. I think everybody should be more creative!”

Q. Have you got any new tricks you are working on that you will be trying in competitions this season?

“I have a few new tricks but still need to work on them and hopefully they will help me to win competitions next year! I’m not going to tell you what tricks they are obviously!”

Szymon sends it over the canyon gap at Red Bull Rampage 2014

Channels: Extreme.com, Mountain Bike