Dave DeBuono is a great person. So great, that I decided to interview him. His riding speaks for itself. I met him probably close to three years ago and I remember wishing I could ride just like he does. He is an underground rider and pushes the boundaries of flatland. I thought it would be a great idea to shed some light on a great underground rider and a great person. I asked him questions about his bike set up to what he thinks of negativity on forums. Leave him some props in the comments.*All pictures courtesy of JSteady and Noskills!*
Name: David DeBuono
Location: Fishkill, NY, US.
Sponsor(s): None (Unity bikes? anyone get that joke?)
How are you doing today Dave?
Let’s get some back round information, how long have you been riding?
I’m in my 10th year, I got a Dyno Compe in June 1998.
Who or what got you into riding? Do you still talk/think about them/it?
The 1998 MTV Sports and Music Festival introduced me to BMX, so I started buying RideBMX magazine and all that. The first flatland I ever saw in motion was a clip of someone on the Outdoor Life Network by chance on TV, I remember seeing a whipping bike and just not even knowing what I saw but being amazed. Then I bought Ride On and after watching Chase, I was hooked.
What keeps you riding today?
I don’t even think about it, flatland is just what I go do every day. Fun and progressing keep me riding.
What type of music do you listen to when riding or hanging out?
I’m usually listening to metal like Job For A Cowboy, Veil Of Maya, Through the Eyes of the Dead, Between the Buried and Me, ABACABB, Acacia Strain, iwrestledabearonce, that sort of stuff. I love rap, Lil Wayne, Young Jeezy, Wu-Tang Clan, Cannibal Ox come to mind. And Modest Mouse is like my all time favorite band and I dig Bright Eyes, Califone, old Taking Back Sunday, Thursday, Small Brown Bike stuff. Music is great and I enjoy tons of it but it’s always brutal metal or dope beats if I have a choice.
Who are some of your favorite riders?
Favorites change all the time, everyone is blowing up. Alex Jumelin, Hiro Morizake, Matthias Dandois, Adam Kun, Martti Kuoppa, Raphael Chiquet, and Viki Gomez always get me going. Where’s Nathan Penonzek and Jeff Desroche?
Who were some of your influences growing up when riding?
Martti Kuoppa man. I grew up on Intrikat and Martti was/is the ****! Nathan too. And Stephen Cerra. I loved those videos, Jeff D as well. Vibe videos and Intrikat videos were my influences.
What about now, who influences you?
Everyone, seeing how far these guys are pushing it, every clip I see of both pros in comp footage, and the guys filming themselves at their home spot. Like Ciaran Perry, I gotta say where people will read, sick stuff dude.
What do you think of the internet these days, where you can post videos of yourself riding? Stupid, boring, interesting? What’s your take?
Its great I think, I love to be able to just come online and see what is going on all over the world. I thrive off new tricks. I do what I can with my own riding, but I like seeing everything thats possible, and its fun to see the progression with it. You can watch someone one day, then then next time you see them, they put this with that, or linked this, or rolled this longer, or kept that going after the switch. It reminds me that there are so many styles out there, you can see things you never would have thought of.
What are you thoughts about www.global-flat.com?
I think it’s good for the most part. When I’m not riding, I want to talk about riding, watch riding, read about riding, and Global fills that need. But a flatland forum provides a place to dissect the minutest details of things that don’t need it and share an opinion of something there’s really no reason to have an opinion on in the first place. I appreciate anyone posting video no matter the quality of tricks or production, it’s cool to look at a cool-looking bike if you have one, whether its new or worn or old but shiny cuz you don’t ride a ton, doesn’t matter to me one bit. No reason to post negative. No one cares if you don’t like someone’s clothes or style, keep it to yourself. When I see that, I get frustrated that people care about such things so I come and go from the forum. I need to see riding, and know when jams are going down. But too much is a bad thing.
I know you were/are(?) a part of the bikeFLAT team/crew, what was/is that like getting to ride with those guys? I would assume that they would’ve pushed you hard with your own riding. By the way, do the Caps brothers still ride? I miss those guys.
Yeah they’re a great bunch. They do push me, I found them (through a forum lol) at a time when I had no riding friends, and it’s fun to ride with people. They became my scene because I didn’t have one. Caps brothers still ride, but everyone is spread out over the country at school. Not me, though. Oops haha.
You are from upstate NY, Fishkill, I believe. What is the riding scene like up there, any good spots?
It’s just me, and I only have one good spot. It is a four court tennis court with one working court. I love it and it is perfect to me, minus tennis players.
Are there any new comers that we should be aware of?
Kyle Madray! Look out!
If you could choose one person to ride with for one day, who would it be?
Mark Harris. I love riding with Mark and it has been a while.
Are your parents supportive of your riding?
Very supportive, they would drive me anywhere back in the day, always helpful with anything, and are generally psyched on what I do.
Do you go to school or work?
No. I tried school and it didn’t work out. Maybe one day when I am more sure. And no job at the moment, I bet many people feel me on that. More time to ride, but I would like to work.
How do you cope with riding in the winter? Any indoor spots? Do you just tough it out?
No indoor. When I was a young buck I would tough it out, not anymore though. Towards the middle of this winter I pulled up the carpet in my room and got rid of what I could. It was hard with the space limitation but I did learn a little, and just to not get rusty. Steams and Stick b’s to keep loose.
How is your bike set up these days?
Just how I like it.
Also, I’ve noticed that you change up your brake situation often, why?
I can see how it would look that way. I used to put on a brake when I would feel bad about progression, and that was always when a jam or comp was coming. But I don’t think I have had one in a few years. And I don’t see it in the future. My personal view is that flatland is about balance. So when do you draw the line and say, this is too hard, I can’t balance this, brake! No hate, if you like them, or you like the style and switches that come with brakes, or you don’t touch the lever, that’s all well and good. But I like my coffee brakeless.
Do you enjoy riding by yourself or with a couple of other riders?
I ride alone but not by choice, but I kind of like it. I go and do my thing and learn and ride. I don’t like to stop between tries. Then I travel to meet with riders and jam session, show your friends what you learned.
I remember recently that you broke your ABADTHING frame right in half, can you elaborate more on that?
Yeah I had it for 3 months when it broke. I posted it on the forum to ask about warranty info, and just to show, look I broke a frame. There wasn’t really doubt in my mind it would not be warranted. I almost regret that that is how I chose to get warranty info, because I was not mad at ABADTHING at all, and I did not mean to spread bad publicity. It was a warranty issue and people used it against them, I feel. But I did break a frame so you sort of feel a responsibility to tell everyone, hey, this happened. At the time I was in situation where I just bought another frame, but that’s not always the case with everyone. If I break anything now I’m SOL haha. But Pat at Flatlandfuel.com was a great help, took care of everything, and ABADTHING warranted the frame. I’m not mad that it happened, and it put me back on a Quamen where I belong.
What do you think about the people who worry more about how their bike looks, than actually get on it and ride it?
I’m all for it, keep the industry going, we need people buying parts. I only like to buy parts for good reasons, like if I break something or wear something out. So its not going to be me, but I know it needs to be done. If they don’t ride it, I don’t care. If everyone kept their frame and only bought when they broke or someone new was getting into riding, what would happen when a new frame comes out? I think it would hurt flatland if people who can buy parts a lot stop. If one is against buying new parts then don’t, but let other people. This falls under the no-opinion-needed category to me.
If you could move to one part of the world to ride in an awesome scene, where would you most likely go?
I would love to move to California, thats always been a dream of mine. Money is always an issue unfortunately.
Who do you think the most underrated rider is?
I don’t know who they are because they are underrated. All these dudes you see pop up in a video on an old ass bike, in a country my narrow mind wouldn’t think people even ride in, doing top level bomb tricks!.
What do you think of the constant negativity from the kids who talk trash on the internet?
Try to ignore it. Create positivity.
If you could change one thing about BMX, what would it be?
Pros should not have to have jobs.
Do you consider yourself a flatlander only, or a BMXer?
I think both. Whatever you want to call it. I love to session a curb or manual pad.
What does flatland mean to you?
Doing tricks on a bike on the ground.
Do you enjoy competing or just riding a jam with a bunch of your friends?
I love Jams. I haven’t entered a contest in a while, I get very nervous. But it doesn’t matter if it is a comp or jam, if its possible to go I will go to ride with friends and new people.
I know you come to NJ every once in a while and ride, what do you think of the scene?
I love it. It’s all one scene to me. Kind of a tri-state thing. We all know each other basically. It’s a drive for me but it’s just fun to see everyone and ride.
Do you miss Rutgers Jams? Because I do.
Yes. Those were so fun. Who organized them? Is there any reason we can’t?
What are your thoughts on bigger companies (i.e. Nike, Redbull, Levi’s, etc.) helping out in the BMX industry today?
I’m down, look at all their support! I see no harm.
If you could choose any type of company to sponsor you, who would it be?
Mobile On The Run! Gas and drinks on me!
I haven’t seen a video of you since the bikeFLAT days, when are we going to see some new riding from you? I haven’t seen you since the NYC Jam like two or three years back, I know you’ve probably got some many new links.
I don’t have a camera or any way to make videos. I only filmed with the Bikeflat kids. They aren’t always around, and if we manage to get together, we session. One day.
Scuffing or rolling?
Whatever makes it work.
If you could choose to battle between Ron Baker or Mark Harris, who would it be?
I would not hesitate to rein flatland blows upon both of them in a mighty triumph of trickified glory. Ron and Mark are awesome and better than me in all ways except that at the end of the day I get to come back to New York, so that gets me to sleep.
Those two dudes are awesome, do you still keep in touch with them?
Yeah, I rode with Ron not long ago in NJ and Marks around somewhere, sometimes I catch him online. He needs to find a way out to the jams. You too, Louis haha.
Hope this was fun for you and you enjoyed it. Thanks again for doing this! This is the section where you can give thanks and shout outs to whoever/whatever you want.
Thank you for the opportunity for this interview! Thanks to Karl (Paradoxium) and Trevlon Hall for help in getting those parts to a rider in need. Pat at Flatlandfuel has always been a great help whenever I need him. Quamen has been good to me. Everyone who has or will make it out to these sessions in NJ and NYC, and supplied goods and services out of flatland brotherhood, it is appreciated and will come full circle.
Anything else you would like to say or add?
I honestly don’t know what I am going to do about a seat. I love the 99er. But pivotal is the way to go, and the obvious future. No other seat has a good handle like the 99er. One day they will be gone, and I don’t know what I’ll do. If I had the ability to get a $50,000 loan for a new mold I would because I would get my money back.