So Trey, why did you decide to put on the Swampfest?
Before, we did a jam called Banned In The Backyard five years ago. I’ve always wanted to do another one. We had it at Matt Shaw’s house, but it was too much for him. It’s really hard to find 10 acres that someone will let you have for free for a few months to build stuff on. Once Jeff Hunnicut bought 10 acres out in Geneva, I told him we should do a jam there. He was 100% into it; I started bringing stuff out there. It went through some name changes. Everyone always talks about how “BMX needs this, BMX needs that.” Some of my favorite memories growing up were going to the BACO contests at Mesh. Whenever you are in a room with a thousand people and everyone is going crazy, that is an experience you’ll never forget. The Texas Toast comps, it brought everyone together. You had guys from like Edwin and Hoder to guys like Greg Illingworth all together in the same place. They just want to be there, not for prize money. Whenever you’re around someone, even if you don’t know the person, you watch them ride and you understand them more, “Oh, he’s a cool guy.” It brings everyone together. I love doing it, and am willing to work for it to make it happen.
You mentioned the BACO jams before; how did they inspire you?
Even before the BACO contest, it was the Roots jam. For Central Florida that was the biggest thing as far as people coming to Florida for an event. I remember being ten or eleven and seeing Morgan Wade icepick the roof. If you’ve been to a jam and you’ve experienced that eruption of people all for one common thing, you know that feeling, and that’s irreplaceable. It’s bigger than just riding. The Roots jams really kickstarted it. As a rider, the BACO jams were the ones. It was where I grew up, and to see guys like Dave Freimuth and Kevin Porter, all these older dudes coming to my area and killing it- it was life-changing. Those moments where it gets so intense and you see something awesome goes down, all the politics and drama go away, and everyone is just stoked on one thing.
How did the ideas for the course setup come about?
It wasn’t really something we set out to do.
You didn’t have any CAD drawings based on pallets and scrap wood? (Laughter)
First off we didn’t have the money. Why would I spend 25,000 dollars or however much it costs for a normal event for 200 people, when you could spend 2000 for an event and affect 1500 people. I also like the fact that it’s almost comical what you are riding on. There’s a jet-ski lying there, and even a double peg down it is wild. A perfect box jump, you have to do something crazy on it to be impressive. It’s easier and more realistic. Kids want to ride perfect things. This toughens you up. It’s a way for kids to ride everything; you can ride garbage and still have fun. It’s the most realistic way of doing a jam?
Was there any planning for all the pieces of the course? Where did they come from?
Not really. It all started out where I would go on Craigslist and look for free pallets. I found a few spots by my house where I could get pallets regularly. If I saw something that was big in size on the side of the road or dumpster and we could use it, I would grab it. It was kind of like, “Hey, we want to build a sub-rail. What do we have? Ok, we have two dryers, a tree that fell down, some pallets, a door…” We would make it work. Once we started building stuff and people started going to Jeff’s, people would be like, “Oh, you want a couch?” So many people just wanted to help, and even if they couldn’t lend a hand, they would scout stuff out. We also got some ramps from the Sparky’s jam. It was pretty cool to recycle the wood from that.