Does it live up to the hype?

13 Apr 2020

Madera Erik Gap To Ice By Hinkens

By Kerr Bilsland | Images courtesy of Madera

Madera have been teasing us with this DVD drop for a while now and we’re hyped it’s finally here. Does ABD live up to hype though? Here's what we reckon...

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We kick off with a Kate Bush soundtrack to bring in a wee bit of an epic introduction for the team, everyones got their own graphic cutaway which is cool rather than just some typeface on the screen. I quickly realise though that this is a proper DVD project. At a 51 minute run time we’re in for a serious multiple full part DVD. I’m just mentioning this because sometimes we get a list of a whole team squad in “DVD’s” but then there’s only two sections and then two mix sections to fill up a 20 minute time frame. Madera’s always had a really interesting group of riders as well. All of them street dogs but no two the same which is hard to come by with team setups these days.

Mike Stahl

Mike opens it up for us and he’s the type of rider you’re looking for in an opener. Some big rails but can also hold it down for the tech boys. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen anyone do a nac-nac over an access hop before a perfectly executed superman into a ditch spot totally caught me off guard as well, would give Augie Simoncini a run for his money with that one! Can’t really figure out what Mike’s dominant grind side is he’s going back and forth so much. Pay close attention to the opposite crank arm as well, don’t see those too often and sometimes you probably don’t even realise it! It’s a really long part but it doesn't feel like it, you don’t comprehend just how much riding is crammed in there until you re-watch it. As you’d expect Mike has an absolutely wild rail ender to tie this section up.

Jake Seeley

I’ve been a huge fan of Jake’s since first seeing him in the TCU DVD back in 2007, it really is a trick and a half being able to still pump out progressive sections for as long as he has. I was expecting a really tech section but when the first clip was a full blast pegs to gap in to some stairs it had me going from the outset. Then it comes back to what we know Jake best for, his absurd technical creativity. The banger for this would take some amount of precision too!

Mike Hinkens

I won’t lie, I haven't seen all of Mike's parts since I think he’s been filming them since I started primary school. I probably know him better through reading and hearing the work he produces at Imprimatur. For someone who I imagine is incredibly busy due to being the Team Manager of Madera, running a BMX site and does the guy not teach English as well!? It really is incredible he can find the time to still put together a section, never-mind one that he can be proud of. This is the best riding I (In my limited time period) have seen from Mike.

Dylan McCauley

This is the first part we’ve seen from Dylan since his ‘Mutiny - No Quarter’ video a while back. It’s Dylan's style that really draws me into his riding. Some people have great technical ability but it can be too stop start, but this isn’t a problem for Dylan. Case in point being the 180 ice, tooth, nollie cab out. It’s a trick that shouldn’t work that smoothly and on the landing you’d expect him to stop dead but he carries it out flawlessly. I feel like I’m a sucker for roller-coaster grinds but the triple hop through to 180 hard way out at the end was some sick spot usage and it must be hard to keep your momentum going through all three grinds. Just before the ender he pulls off this wicked crook down a rail, 180, to backwards manny half-cab out. It’s really nice when you haven't seen someone's name pop up for a while then when they do they leave you feeling like a goon for ever questioning their ability.

Mix Section & Isaiah Johnson

Little mix section here, not sure if they’re necessarily dudes who ride for Madera but just homies they captured along the way? I was wondering at the start of this whether we’d see a few clips from Rob Diquattro and we do get one, but sadly that’s all. The video then goes to someone who’s new to me, Isaiah Johnson, who has a mean as hell flair on him. There’s a massive up rail to hard 360 that I felt needed another angle to show how big it was but if you freeze the frame it’s HUGE. He then goes on to pull this sweet rail to ledge then back over to whip out… very nicely done.

Jesse Romano

Now this was one of the sections I was looking forward to seeing, whenever Jesse’s name pops up you know some hammers are getting thrown. In true fashion he starts it off with a big 360 off a roof which is impossible not to enjoy. The section ended up being more tech heavy than I pictured in my head but Jesse holds it down. How he does those ice picks to turn-downs so quickly I’ll never know. There’s still a giant nollie pegs down a set and a double peg off a roof though for the shock factor appeal.

Grant Castelluzzo

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Another tech magnet for the Madera squad and famously known for his smith out ability. Grant’s riding is one you have to pay close attention to and if you love that peg bonk sound then this section is for you. Speaking of sounds, the KVB song he used in this is so good and suits his riding really well. Right away it’s classic riding Grant has become known for, I enjoyed the snappy wallride, smith, ice 180. I still haven't gotten used to watching videos of Grant without a massive buzzing Profile hub in the background. It felt like it would almost cause sensory overload while keeping track of his grind combos, he does pull off the coaster well though. Having filmed most of this video it really must have been a massive undertaking to not only run around after everyone all day but then hype yourself up to still produce a video. I was really hoping for one of the signature smith to whip out, but over all if you’re into clocking grind combos in your head Grant's sections never disappoint.

Jeff Dowhen, Tom Villarreal & Taylor Thompson

Jeff is up there with one of the best spot selectors. I mean that in a way where when he does a trick on something it genuinely looks like that’s what it’s original purpose was for. It’s not as if he has the biggest bag of tricks but he just knows exactly when to incorporate something into a setup. Had to replay that access hop to ice on the mailbox a couple times. It’s so close to the rail it’s pretty incredible that he managed to get his back wheel up and then down so quickly. Tom V is next, I always thought of him as Madera’s secret weapon. You don’t hear from him for ages then out of nowhere drops some high speed, in your face, jaw on the floor clips… then he just dips til’ the next time. There’s only a few clips from him but they’re all worth their weight in gold I’d say.

Sheesh this part has so many power plays! I honestly thought it’d surely close out with Tom V but then Taylor Thompson continues to thrash this section out with bangers. This dude pulls off numerous clips most people would happily take as enders and is a demon on a kinked rail. Favourite clips had to be the ice down the gnarly concrete ledge and a pedal feeble down another equally gnarly concrete ledge. This has to be one of the heaviest split sections I've ever seen!

Erik Elstran

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If you weren’t picking up this DVD for Elstran’s section then you’re either living under a rock or you’re just kind of daft in my opinion. Erik just makes BMX look so fun and I don’t think I’ve ever met another person who doesn’t think so. I mean take a spot like the Army Plaza in NYC, thousands of people have graced that spot and Erik out of nowhere opens it up even more. My heart actually skipped a beat though when it seemed like the part was over quickly but then it reloads with a second song into what can only be described as the best riding footage Erik has ever produced. There’s a curved wallride to 180 table that just oozes everything that is pure and good about BMX.

This is for sure Erik’s heaviest riding and when I say that I mean there’s less nibbley clips and more proper big moves that you wouldn't normally associate him with. Like there’s possibly the most outrageous feeble down a kinked rail, I’ve witnessed at least, where the precision in Erik’s riding is more evident than ever. I don’t want to give too much away because this section alone is worth picking up a copy but whatever video game Erik plays in his mind he seems to have finally unlocked all the cheat codes to riding BMX.

Dan Kruk

We all knew this was coming and my own anticipation had been growing of just how good we were going to see Dan Kruk become. He’s got signature parts now and has already produced some notable sections but this really does just bang so much harder than the rest. I always got the feeling that Dan really has to work for his clips, I don’t know if it’s because he seems to always have nasty bails and near misses but as a rider he comes across like he’s always putting 110% into every clip. That’s what this section is about really, no bullshit or filler nonsense, it’s as if he went into filming this knowing he wanted that last section.

The first clip of the bar off the roof just sets this up so well, you know you’re about to see some shit. From there it’s just holding on wondering how his bike can take so much abuse. I might be jumping the gun here but this has got a NORA Cup nomination written all over it and it becomes clearer why each time you replay the section. If it wasn’t already apparent how much Dan killed it the banger solidifies this and brings an astonishing close to Madera’s ABD DVD.

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My only slight frustration with ABD is that I’ve had to watch this over and over doing this review with my laptop since we don’t have a physical copy yet (we were lucky enough to get a preview screening). It's readily available in North America direct or via your local store, and Madera have said they are working on getting copies to The Source so it should be available in Europe and the UK soon too, although there's no sign of a download option as yet. (Be sure to check with our other partner stores KUNSTFORM and LUX also).

What Mike Hinkens and his squad of dudes have shown us is exactly why the magic of the full length in our BMX world is indispensable. Grant Castelzzuo has done a great job capturing this but it is edited quite simply. There isn't loads of brand promotion and graphics going everywhere. This simplicity reminds you of a scene/crew video though and that’s the beauty of this DVD. It showcases every part of street riding we love and presents it visually in an easy way to digest. The romance of the company DVD is still truly alive with Madera, congrats to all the guys involved on a fantastic production. With everything that’s going on right now this was a much needed escape and if you miss being out with your friends as much as I do right now you definitely need this in your life.

Madera Abd Photo Zine

"Madera is proud to present the trailer for our first full-length video in over 10 years: "ABD." Our 12 riders filmed for 3 years across multiple states and yielded 52 minutes solid of our best street riding. Filmed and edited by Grant Castelluzzo, this video has been printed to DVD as we felt the amount of work we put into this project deserved to be preserved as a hard copy for years to come. In addition, we have printed a limited run of a 58-page photo zine showcasing the riding and filming process. Packed with full-color riding and lifestyle photos, this mini-book features the whole team and even photos of clips that we just didn't have room for in the DVD." - Madera

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Related Video

Madera "ABD" - available now!

In case you needed anymore reason to buy ABD... - More Info

If you're looking to pick up Madera's new ABD DVD which is also available with a 58 page zine visit their store HERE.

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