An Interview With Trey Jones About His 2023 Vans Part
Photos by Tim Aguilar, Interview by Rob Dolecki
After putting out a grip of video parts over the past decade, Trey Jones teamed up with follow-filming master Chris Gregson about two years ago and started working on a new one for Vans. Fast-forward to 2023, multiple trips from coast to coast, many DIY spots and various setups later, the duo came away with 14 minutes of awesome footage. Trey was kind enough to answer some questions ranging from his friendship with Gregson, to being a biker on a skate trip, to getting handcuffed for filming his friends riding a broken beach-side pool. Trey's new part is a spot porn addicts' visual delight; it's some of the most unique terrain ever compiled in a video part.
"My motivation was extremely low, but Chris was like, 'You're going to be stoked to have these in this part.'"
How did how did this video come about?
(Chris) Gregson came to Florida and on a skate trip, and I showed him around. I got to know him well, and we just kind of hit it off. At the time, I needed a video done for Subrosa (Trey's previous frame sponsor). I went out and stayed with Chris; that was a quick little six-day video. And then Chris had known Andrew Mapstone (of Vans) through skate stuff, and was like, "Hey, I want to film a Vans part with Trey. Is that cool?" Mapstone was like, "Uh, yeah, sure." Me and Chris just took off with it. I don't really think that they understood the magnitude of what the video was going to be until like a month ago. (Laughs) I didn't I don't think they realized that they were going to be getting a 14-minute-long video. I didn't even realize we were going to have this much shit either. So, yeah, it's kind of worked out, with me and Chris being friends and just want to work together.
You've worked with several filmers before, but you and Gregson are obviously more on a different level than just being around each other while doing a project. You guys talk all the time and stuff too, right?
Yeah. I mean, I think that at this point in my life, the last thing I want to do is talk about a new web video that came out, or who's going to win a NORA Cup or something like that. Whenever I talk to Chris, there is no BMX talk. Like all we talk about are the things that I enjoy about BMX, and that's like the actual act of riding, and finding spots. And Chris is like, "look at this spot, look at this spot, look at that spot." And I think we connect on the shit that we're into as far as like, we both love heavy metal, we both love collecting vintage, we both love records. We connect on not just a bike riding level, and I don't really have very many friends like that. And it was really refreshing to be on a trip and not have to talk about who so-and-so is going to ride for now that they got dropped. I don't want to talk about that shit. It was nice to film a BMX part without talking about BMX almost the entire time.
Due to Chris primarily filming skating, you ended up going along on some skate trips.
For sure. I mean, majority of the time, like if me and Chris were on a trip, and a skateboarder was there, they were most of the time working on something for Thrasher, while I was working on my Vans part.
"It's not just guys doing quadruple back flips on a mega ramp."
So, what's up with that pool lit by green lights? It looks like some UFO landing pad.
Skater spot, man. That was just a homie that Gregson knew that lived out in the middle of nowhere. Me, Grayson Fletcher, Gregson, Kieran Woolley, and Tim Aguilar went there. It was a made-to-skate pool and was a full swimmer–you can fill it up with water and swim in it. That was like one of the two times he's only drained it; 95% of time that thing's filled with water. But we were there at the right time where it worked out. We had already filmed that line during the day. And then as it got dark, and the dude who owned the place like, "Hey, check this out." He turned the lights on. We were like, "Holy shit; crazy!" You can't really tell in the footage, but it made the whole bowl glow green. Chris was like, "Hey, can you do that line again?"
You rode a few indoor pools.
Yeah, indoor pools are like, my favorite thing. Just it's so unique and it's so different. We rode two of them in the video. Both of those were up in Sacramento area. John Worthington took us to both. It was kind of funny cause he was like, "What do you want to ride?" I was like, "You have any indoor pools?" "Yeah, I do." There are so many pools there, it's what kind of pool- "Inside or outside- what do you want?" The one that I did the channel in was filled with peacocks; it was pretty crazy.
You had riding clips from the last two Swampfests in there. How did you even film anything while you're working on finishing putting together a jam?
It wasn’t easy. While I'm filming a clip, I'm on the deck checking my phone, on the phone with the guy dropping off the skid-steer, and then suddenly Home Depot is calling me about a lumber package. And then I try trick for like three times. And then suddenly, the screen printer calls me. And I'm literally juggling all these things. Having a Swampfest section in the video was all Chris's idea, where he was like, "Hey, nobody really ever gets to see you ride the things that you're building. It would be really cool if we could film some stuff." It was hard. My motivation was extremely low, but Chris was like, "You're going to be stoked to have these in this part." So that's why there wasn't a lot of Swampfest footage, just because I was so depleted. I even got that one clip the morning after the bowl was burned down. It was a lot, but I guess I'm just used to feeling like shit at this point, so it's nothing different.
What about the quick shot of you getting handcuffed?
We went to the coast and after hurricane Ian hit and we noticed that there were a bunch of damage done, and it was crazy. There were some empty pools because there was a lot of erosion; once the weight was distributed differently within the pool, they would crack, and then all the water would drain out into the ocean. And then there was all this concrete stuff everywhere. We rode it for two days, and we were like, "Wow, that was crazy." So then a week goes by and then another hurricane comes through, and then we were like, "Well, we should go back out there and check it out." When went back out there again, everything that we had rode was gone, and there was three times the amount of stuff there, which is what I filmed with Chris. (More about this in the upcoming Issue 2023) It was all stuff after the second hurricane. So, it wasn't just the fact that there was a hurricane, it was the fact there were two massive hurricanes that destroyed some of the coastline and it was insane, man. It was touchy because obviously all these things were a natural disaster. And you don't want to be having fun on somebody else's misfortune. But these are multi-million-dollar corporations, hotels; we're not going up and riding someone's living room, who just lost everything. I'll ride a hotel pool that obviously is going to get redone. But what it was leading to is that there were a lot of people going out there and looting hotels and just taking advantage of the situation. We were riding a pool one day. The erosion was so bad on the beach that the patio of the hotel next to us was like eight feet higher than where we were standing. And I look over and I see a cop like eight feet up, standing on this pile of rubble. He's like, "What are you guys doing?!" I got the camera in my hand, I'm filming Dave (McDermott) and Marcel (Anderson) ride this pool. "Oh, we’re riding bikes." He jumps off the pile of stuff and does like a straight-up stuntman roll in all this broken wood and stuff, runs over to me and snatches me up and is like, "Get on the ground, put your hands behind your back!" I couldn't believe this was about to happen; we're going to get arrested. So that's why there's a clip of me getting arrested, because Jabe or Marcel pulled out their phone and was filming me. It was funny, because when he was detaining me, I was looking at Jabe, mouthing to him, "Film this, film this." He put me in handcuffs and put me on the ground. And I was like, "Look, man, we're just riding bikes. I have a camera in my hand they're riding bicycles, he's wearing a helmet. We're not stealing stuff." Then eventually it all simmered down, and he let us all go. Second time I've been in handcuffs for riding, but I've never been thrown in jail yet. So, knock on wood.
Talk about the Stone Edge Skatepark appearance.
Stone Edge had just gone out of business. Gregson went to Miami to film some skate stuff. I drove to Miami and picked him up and brought him to Orlando, because I was like, "Yo, there's some crazy hurricane shit. We really should try to get some of this for my Vans part." And when we were filming the hurricane stuff, I was like, "Oh, also, Stone Edge is in the area, and it just closed down." So, we just went to the park. He's like, "Yo, you got to get a clip here." And since then, it has been demolished completely. I just thought that would be kind of cool to have that in the part, because it's like a whole Florida section.
There are 16-inch bike clips from your yard.
(Laughs) All out of necessity. I had the idea to do the portal in my backyard, and then do the air and then do it switch. But whenever you go to do it switch coming back, the radius is so tight where your position is that your bike won't fit in there. I was like, "I wonder if I can do it on a 16 inch? I don't know, that might be kind of weird to have a 16-inch bike clip in the part." And Gregson was like, "The move is crazy enough where you're having to use a smaller wheelbase. That makes sense, you know?" I end up riding my backyard on a 16-inch way more than a regular bike at this point. Matt Beringer 2.0.
You ride some awesome DIY spots, and that crazy multi-level barn; what's up with that place?
So, it's called Barnside, and I had always seen it on the Internet and on Instagram. I knew that it was in Kansas, and I was like, "Holy shit, man, this is crazy." But I was like, "I'll never be in Kansas, ever, so I guess I'll just never get to ride this." Gregson was like, "Oh, we can do one more trip for your video." "There's this crazy barn in Kansas we should check out." And I showed him, and he was like, "We have to go there." I didn't know where it is; I don't know who this guy is. I don't know anything. And we figured out where it was, and we realized that it was within driving distance of Kansas City. We figured out that there was stuff in Kansas City to ride; that kind of works. And then we figured out that St. Louis is only a couple of hours away. Chris got a hold of the guy Joel that owns the property, and we made it happen. And that barn is the coolest thing I've ever ridden, like by a landslide. It's so much crazier than it looks on video. The amount of just little tiny quarter pipes, and pieces of coping, and things sticking out of the walls, and like berms. Shout-out to Joel because he literally he made me feel like shit about my backyard. My ramps are not nearly tight enough; I need way more shit. It was a true challenge to ride that place. The first clip where I start up in the roof, I literally was riding with my forehead on the crossbar. That's how small it was. I was any taller, there's no way I would barely even fit, like in some of that shit. There was a lot of areas that a bicycle literally could not fit in. But it was nothing less than amazing. The line after the barns stuff, the outdoor one where the concrete stuff goes into the wood pump track that's outside- it's the same place. The skate community has so many more spots.
Most of the terrain in your part, especially the DIY stuff, is previously unseen in the BMX realm.
Yeah, I mean that's just being on a trip with a bunch of skateboarders. Their world is a hell of a lot bigger than ours. And I'm lucky enough that Chris was down take me to that stuff and to film on it, and hopefully I opened some in the skate community’s eyes to bike riding and proving that it's not just guys doing quadruple back flips on a mega ramp, you know. I'm normal and I ride normal shit. Even though I know I'm a fucking weirdo, I can ride shit like a skateboarder, you know?
You can enjoy very similar, if not the same terrain.
I went on two trips with Ben Raybourn, and me and Ben like to ride and skate the same shit. It was very easy. We both like to ride small, tight, weird transitions.
Do you prefer to just go on skate trips now as opposed to bike trips?
Absolutely. Infinitely times better. It's nice going on a filming trip and not having to talk about bike riding 24 hours a day. it's hard for me to go on a trip with somebody that even likes to ride the same shit that I do, at this point. I didn't intend for this to happen; it just happened. "Oh, I went on five skate trips this year."
You had a couple of clips on the classic Jason Lee Banks.
We just ended up there because we had gotten kicked out of a spot and we were in L.A. It's a tight transition, weird spot, so we just ended up there, and it just kind of worked out.
There were like a couple crazy curved-wall setups, like that golden globe one.
John Worthington lives in the area and also rides BMX- he had he had skated that spot in the past and, and I was like, "Holy shit, that's my dream spot; a banked curved wallride around something." When I got there, it was way gnarlier to ride it arrived than what it looks like on video, because the globe is so tall in the middle, you have to go really high up for your bars or pedal to not clip it. And I'm there with me, Chris And a few skateboarders. I don't have a homie there test it with, or bounce ideas off of. Once I went around it, I was like, "Oh, okay, this will work." I did the 450 and then I was like, "I think maybe I'll do the 270 alley-oop out." You can notice in the clip my wheel is soo fucking close. I was stoked that I got both those things, and it worked out really good.
"We rode such an eclectic amount of stuff. I'm really satisfied with how it turned out."
What's up with the scarf sculpture?
That was kind of crazy. Dylan Witkin was the first person to send it to me. "Hey, this thing exists. I don't know what can be done on it." So then I was out in California with Chris. We drove up, and that is a sculpture of a scarf in front of a soccer stadium. When we first went there in the morning, there was security. Then we went back in the afternoon and there was a game, and we couldn't ride it. I flew back to California for two days to hit the scarf thing and then from California, we went to Kansas. Literally straight off of the plane to the scarf. Initially I wanted to go from where the scarf flattens out and I wanted to bump off of it and then go down into the overhang. There's a lot of flat and then there's the overhang, and then there's that flat piece that you have to land on to. So I couldn't get enough momentum to get to the flat part. I think Jeff Z. or Chris were like, "What if you went the other way?" I was like, "Oh wait, it might actually work." It took a bunch of tries and I ended up getting it.
I was happy to see that the crazy dam was the last clip.
It's pretty funny; I was using it for a frame promo originally. And then when I showed Gregson my timeline, he was like, "We need the fucking dam clip for the video. That's the ultimate banger." And I was like, "I don't know, man." I carved down that thing like four times. It wasn't that hard. Chris is coming at it from a non-bike rider standpoint of amazement. He's looking at it as like a normal person. "That's crazy; he rode down the whole thing!" We didn't really have a banger, because that was before the scarf clip. So he called Robbie (Morales) and was like, "Hey, man, I know you paid for that project, and this is a cool clip, but if there is any possible way that we could use this for the Vans video, we would greatly appreciate it." And Robbie was like, "Hey, if it's going to make Trey's video as good as possible, and I trust your judgment, then yeah, that's fine." You know, do what you got to do.
Being that there's a million crazy spots in the whole video, and that Barnside was your favorite, what would be two other favorite spots?
That little red brick curved wall that I rode was pretty damn perfect. I know that's not really that crazy, but that's just my favorite thing to ride. The size, the height, the curve of it. It was so fun. All those hurricane spots were crazy too. Those were just so unique. None of them were really that fun to ride because all the pools weren't good. They just didn't have water in them. We rode such an eclectic amount of stuff. I'm really satisfied with how it turned out.
Anything else you want to sum this up with?
First and foremost, this part wouldn't have been possible without Chris. Chris has gone above and beyond to help me personally, whether it be like filming a video, involving skateboarding in Swampfest, busting his ass organizing these trips. Just everything. We all know that BMX isn't as big as skateboarding, and Chris ain't going to be a millionaire off this shit. He's just doing it because he loves it and he likes going out and filming with me, just because we're friends and he wants to film a part with me, even if it is a sport that he doesn't even do. Chris is just fucking rad and he's done so much for me personally, and I just I cannot thank him enough for every single thing he's done, like with this whole project and just for my life in general. He's just genuinely a great human being and that's so hard to find nowadays, like genuine, good hearted human beings. I talk to Chris every single day on the phone just as a friend. And I don't do that with any of my friends. We're just, like, genuinely really, really good friends now. And Robbie giving up the dam clip for this and just being supportive all of the time too. This wouldn't be possible without Andrew Mapstone and Colin Mackay at Vans. Thanks to Vans are helping bring the whole project to light. I'm stoked. I couldn't be more satisfied with it.
" it's hard for me to go on a trip with somebody that even likes to ride the same shit that I do."
Jammin' and premierin'
From the beach to the basement of Source Park