FISE Academy is the school of sliding – and the place to be if you’re an aspiring action sport athlete. It’s everything you could wish for – expert instructors offering courses in Kitesurf, Wakeboard, Surf, Wakesurf, Skateboard, Scooter… and now Flatland.
We caught up with Alex Jumelin, Flatland Academy co-founder and godfather of Flatland, to find out more about this one-of-a-kind school.
How did FISE Flatland Academy begin?
Initially it was a very simple idea. I decided to move nearer to FISE in the south of France and soon became involved in discussing how the FISE Academy concept could be extended to Flatland. A few weeks later, Hervé [André-Benoit, FISE CEO] introduced me to Jean Luc Meissonnier, Mayor of Baillargues. He was really interested in the project and its potential, and believed there would be no problem finding an indoor riding space.
Shortly afterwards, we began checking out locations and launched an event in Baillargues to promote the Flatland Academy.
What do you normally do in your weekly classes?
As the riders are at varying levels every day is different, although each session starts with a quick warm-up before the riders get their bikes and we recap on basics like bar spins and peg wheelies.
I then give groups of riders a theme or ideas for tricks they could learn. The last 30 minutes of each class is a freestyle session when they do their own thing; I’m there to give advice.
How does the Academy help grow the sport of BMX?
There are three ways the Academy makes Flatland more accessible.
1. We have a dedicated indoor space so don’t have to worry about the weather or sharing with other activities.
2. I am at every class to give advice to riders of every level, helping them progress much faster than if they were out on the street by themselves.
3. As an Academy member, riders feel part of a group. They share experiences and ideas and help each other out, fostering a real rider community.
What’s the future of the Academy?
It’s only in its second year, so right now perhaps the most important thing is to build a strong team of riders. Some might become pro or coaches one day and great ambassadors for BMX Flatland. For me, quality is more important than quantity: ultimately, Flatland is not about how many riders there are on the circuit but how passionate they are.
To find out more about the FISE Flatland Academy in Baillargues, visit their website.
Keep up with everything Alex is doing to grow BMX Flatland on Instagram.