Polejams - 10 of the Best

everyone should follow @polejams, it changed my life...

8 Jun 2015

PoleJam bobbytube intro

Intro and PoleJam selection by Mason Gray

A little shy of a year ago in 2014 I started an Instagram account @polejams, with the intent of showcasing dudes who were doing dope stuff and pushing BMX in the right direction, yet are consistently flying below the radar and somehow staying out of the public eye. By September I'd decided to compile my 10 personal favourite photos that had been submitted up to that point. I reached out to the 20 or so people involved to get higher quality images and write-ups to go along with it. I finished up the article but a couple days later my laptop lost its life in a freak coffee-accident. I finally managed to track down all the pieces and put it all back together, so here it is... the @polejams photo feature that almost never was.

Pole jam Cody Neisweinder DS

Cody Neisweinder - Photo by Damian Strouphar

CODY NEISWENDER @mcthuginn Photo by Damian Strouphar @strooplion

"This polejam is in my hometown and this particular day was the first time I went back there with the homies I ride with everyday now. I had already jammed the pole for a clip in my 'Fuckswitit' part, and my buddy Strooplion suggested that I give it another go for a photo. I figured it wouldnt be too bad, even though the poles kinda high and points right at a window. First go, I ate total shit. While I was trying to get myself back together I decided to throw a sticker on the spot. As I'm crouched over, an undercover cop drives by and of course swings back. Turns out he thought I tagging it up with a marker. After a quick explanation and a promise to take the sticker off after we were finished. He let me give it a few more tries and said 'Im not telling you that you can do this, but im telling you im leaving and not coming back.' After he left we got the photo in one or two tries and dipped outta there quick!" - Cody Neiswender

PAUL RADOSEVICH @paul_rad Photo by Chris Pollack @chrisfyb

Pole jam paulrad CP 1

Paul Radosevich - Photo by Chris Pollack

"Chris and i lived in the same small town for years and shot what we could, we eventually both ventured out. Chris moved to Pittsburgh and I went to Cleveland. So when our paths cross nowadays, one of us usually has a spot or idea that we want to shoot.

Two winters ago a plow truck tanked this little polejam right across the street from my place. I've enjoyed jibbing around on it since the snow melted that first year. There was a tornado warning in effect when we shot this. The weather was crazy, a lot of lightning action happening up in the clouds, but not a drop of rain was coming down. Figured we could dick around on the polejam for a while and just go inside if the weather got too shitty.

I kinda joked around and said that I wanted to ice to grizz off of it. They've always been a staple trick of my riding, one of the few I'm good at anyway haha. Chris looked at me like I was an idiot, but started shooting anyway. The first few were pretty weak and I was a little sketched out, but then I clicked about five of them and they just worked. I'm still really pumped that this stupid idea and how the photo turned out. I should probably get around to filming it and putting it in with the rest of the footage I have piled up haha!" - Paul Radosevich

Pole jam pugwashbar

Grant Maddox - Photo by Ryan Navazio

GRANT MADDOX aka Pugwash @southofheaven666_rp Photo by Ryan Navazio @yo_navaz

"The day started on a downer as I smashed my bottom bracket into a thousand pieces and was scooting round with no cranks all day. We were in South Philly and I was pissed because I saw so many sweet spots and couldn't ride them! Shortly before we arrived at the spot I found a guitar hero guitar and proceeded to rock out on the way. When we arrived at the polejam everyone was killing it and I already called out a polejam bar the day before but due to my whack bike I couldn't do it that's when Capone suggested I use his bike. I threw a bar and it felt ok so Navaz set up and I threw the bars out the jam on Capones bike then shortly after smashed the guitar In a sort of homage to metal and jams probably the best worst day of riding I ever had." - Pugwash

NEAL RICHARDSON @neal_richardson337 Photos by Travis Mortz @killindreams

Pole jam neal richardson TM

Neal Richardson - Photo by Travis Mortz

“Neal and i were planning on going out and hunting for a photo to shoot and a few days prior i saw this polejam. We went at night cause it was a church parking lot and i wanted to use my flashes. We both started riding it doing the normal ice picks and what not and then i set up my shot, after a few goes it just wasn't turning out how i wanted so i told Neal to just ride up it. He was pretty bummed on the idea but trusted me and tried it anyways, after about ten times of me saying ‘maybe go a little faster and tweak it out’ neal managed to blast off the top and help me make this photo." - Travis Mortz

Pole jam Harrison forward IF

Harrison Forward - Photo by Ian Fleming

HARRISON FORWARD @forwardh Photo by Ian Fleming @iflemin / @businessbmx

"It was our last day in TO, and getting late. We were trying to find a spot that we rode mid-trip and we stumbled across the jam. Neither Harrison or I have ever hit a legit polejam so we were kinda just running at it and hopping over it. It was like 4 lanes of oncoming traffic so we were just going to ditch it but (Jereme) Deme convinced Harrison he should pull it before we left and showed him the ropes a bit. We got the clip and the flick and we were stoked" - Ian Fleming

NICK BARDZOLOWSKI @Nick_bardzilla Photo by Chris Marshall @chrismarshallphoto

Pole jam NickB CM

Nick Bardzolowski - Photo by Chris Marshall

"That day was not very eventful so I really don’t have a great story to go along with this photo. Basically Marshall and I were chillin at his house piffing and plotting, watching web videos and talking shit as normal. Marsh knows how much I love polejams and showed me a photo he had recently shot of Mikey K whipping out of a nice fat one pretty close to the house. He asked me if I wanted to shoot anything on it and at first I was thinking nah someone already whipped off it, it’s pretty much shut down. The idea of jumping into it crossed my mind, since I really don’t know how to do any actual tricks, so we decided to take a trip. We met up with the LFS homies Small Fry and Mikey K over at the spot. I remember scoping it out and being sketched that right at the bottom where the pole met the ground there was a chunk of concrete sticking up that you would not want your front wheel to land in haha! The guy that owned the building came out and started trying to talk to us after Marsh had all his equipment set up. He was telling us about how he used to race back in the day or some shit I really didn’t care about and wanted to watch us. Basically everyone was waiting on me to shoot the picture and I really hate filming/shooting in front of random people that don’t ride, I snapped on the dude and asked him to leave us alone. He seemed a bit offended and bummed (editors note: no wonder!) but I needed to concentrate. I tried it once and it went okay, then immediately doubled back to get more pop. We packed up and headed back to the house. We piffed some more while he edited the photo then called it a night. Thanks again Marsh, and Small Fry for the VX action" - Nick Bardzilowski

DAMIAN RACUT @damracut Photo by Chris Mortenson @cmortenson

"We were with a handful of riders (Alex Donnachie, Kriss Kyle, David Grant, Scott Marceau, and maybe one or two others) and a random girl named V that we met at the spot before. She loved weed and to cruise around the city. The setup we stopped for was a ramp over a stair set with a 2x4 rail on the side. I believe David and I came across it the day before or maybe we were just cruising that area and I thought we had been there before. Initially Chris set up for a gap-to-dab manual that David was going to do. By default he turned to me and asked me if I would be into shooting a photo on the polejam next to the other spot. First I hit it opposite a few times (the photo that was used) as well as the threader way. That photo seems odd because the polejam ran directly into the telephone pole. Although the threader setup was harder to do the opposite polejam photo made more sense." - Damian Racut

Pole jam damianR

Damian Racut - Photo by Chris Mortenson

Pole jam shreddieeddie JS

Eddie Grabert - Photo by Johnathan Schimpf

EDDIE GRABERT aka '"Shreddie Eddie" @Jibbmx Photo by Johnathan Schimpf @schimpfstagram

"This jam went down during an average day of pedalling around trying our luck. This is the type of spot that a lot of people wouldn’t even notice, but Eddie saw, remembered and went out of his way to go back to that part of town to get it done. He's got a good eye for spots and plenty of ideas to go with them." - Johnathan Schimpf

ERIC HOLLADAY @e_holladay Photo by Steve Crandall @crandallfbm

Pole jam eric halliday SC

Eric Holladay - Photo by Steve Crandall

“That fuckin' polejam. There are tons of spots we all used to ride in the alley behind where this polejam setup up was but always bypassed this setup. There are all sorts of weird setups in that alley and weird people doing weird shit. There's a mix of street bums, crackheads and train hoppers that can be found regularly talking shit along that block. Not to mention a homosexual novelties porn store was next to the spot. It apparently had wack off booths in the porn store for people to get off to porno in. So while riding the spots surround the polejam we'd watch all types of creeps go in and out for cheap thrill. It's a fucked up corner man.

Anyways one day pedaling by and riding spots in the nearby alleys I noticed one pole amongst the many poles surrounding the electric metering system along side of a CVS pharmacy, had been bent into the electric meter unit. It was a perfect polejam but it went at a 45 degree up and a 45 degree angle into a wall with tons of other poles surrounding the unit. A polejam wallride literally seemed like a pipe dream but did appear doable on this dicey setup. I think I might have figured to wait for cameras, but it seemed that for at least about 9 months to a year of going by the spot there was a car parked in the parking space where I would be landing. Security had also kicked us out a couple of times. Then one day we got a cool security guard that gave us the A-OK and there were empty parking spaces for once. This pipe dream was about to come true. Latane Coghill had done a sick ledge to gap to street barspin. The session was hyped and that got me psyched.

After Terra set up his photo equipment and the dudes were set with their cameras I gave it a go. I was hoping to nail it first try but I didn't come close. I was getting bucked like a rodeo bull and having to run on the wall like Lou Kang from Mortal Kombat. I got away a couple times then a couple times didn't work out and I went head first into some poles which just about knocked my teeth out. I got lucky and didn't fuck up my face. I might as well have squirrel dived into the upright poles surrounding the electric meter. It took prob over 15-20 solid tries before I pulled it. For a second it almost seemed like it wouldn't work, but I knew I just needed to hit the right polejam right. But surprisingly double tire popped off the polejam to wallride and landed between the dumpsters n rolled away. I went through a lot of scoping and waiting to get that polejam done. I ate it hard a few times after giving it a go. I had to wait for the right time but was able to get it done after all said and done." - Eric Holladay

PoleJam Brad hill bobbytube LD

Brad Hill - Photo by Steve Crandall

BRAD HILL @bobtube Photo by Lee Dennis @leedenn

"I suck at write ups, but this day was awesome. I visited Niagara for a week and got to ride my hometown again. Lee knew of this polejam so we went to cruise for a little. Later that night we said fuck it and did a polejam tattoo on my arm. And everyone should follow @polejams, it changed my life." - Brad Hill