../people/Chad Johnston

Sources: bmx.transworld.net, espn.go.com, www.bmxonline.com, www.global-flat.com, www.sandmbikes.com, ...
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1970 DOB: August 19, 1970.
Chad Johnston, www.theflatlander.com, april 1999: I was born in California. I have lived in Arizona, Colorado, Oregon and Manitoba Canada.
early years EARLIEST MEMORY.
Earliest memory of BMX is a Boy’s Life magazine that I saw in the library of my elementary school. There was an article about BMX racing. Earliest BMX Freestyle memory is watching Bob Haro on some TV show in the early 80’s. It was awesome. I lived in Canada at the time and to see this guy riding, doing cool things on his bike in California made me want to live there/here.

Chad Johnston, bmx.transworld.net, april 2004: My brother and my parents bought me a Huffy Pro Thunder, black and yellow, for my twelfth birthday. I started racing; I didn't even know about freestyle until I saw kids doing rockwalks and rolllbacks at the track.
chad johnston 1983
Chad Johnston, bmx.transworld.net, april 2004: Probably around '85, I got a Haro Freestyler, and I just didn't even think about racing anymore. I rode quarterpipes a lot back then, then I broke my tibia and fibula, and I was out for six months. That sucked. I kind of lost my confidence in the air, and realized how much fun flatland was; I was into the challenge.
chad johnston cherrypicker1986
1988 inTRIKat.
Chad Johnston, bmx.transworld.net, april 2004: My friends and I started this trick team in '88, and we were doing shows at schools in the area. I just came up with the name for the team. We were trying to get sponsors, so we made like a demo video, and I wrote inTRIKat on there. The first production we did that was not a demo tape was RealiTV, and that was 1988, I think.


BMX Plus! 101 Freestyle Tricks part 2, psycho version.
Chad Johnston, december 2007: Marc McKee and I were scheduled to shoot on the same day so he picked me up in Bakersfield, on his way from San Francisco. We arrived at the Enchanted Ramp in Escondido and met with the crew. It was crazy because there were so many riders there, it seemed like everyone who had appeared in BMX Plus! magazine was in attendance. I was a no-name, up and coming rider and was stoked to be included with the best. When Marc and I were getting ready to film I knew what tricks I wanted to do, they were combos that I hadn't named. When I was asked the name of the trick, I said it was a Rivet to Ant Rider combo. I guess that wasn't good enough, so we began to think of something more creative. Eventually the "Ant Trap" was chosen but, unfortunately due to my poor communication skills "Ant Rack" was printed. Oh well, it reminds me of Anthrax which I was listening to alot back then. Jeff Gregory usually named my originals, but wasn't around for this shoot. Videos were a big deal back then, cameras and equipment were so expensive that it was uncommon to have access. There were only a few videos out at the time, compared to now, where it seems everyone that has a camera makes a video. Being behind the scenes of that production really inspired me to create my own videos. Around that time some of the local riders and I were doing demos under the name "The inTRIKat freestyle team" I came up with the name so when the team dismembered, I transfered the name to my underground production company. inTRIKat video productions was established in 1988, nearly 20 years ago.

Hot up-and-comer Chad Johnston in American Freestyler june 1988.
Backward Deathtruck by Chad Johnston in Go june 1990.

Switch-Footed McCircles published in Go.
chad johnston 1990
1997 TAHITI.
Festival du Playground à Tahiti.
chad johnston 1997
1999 AFL.


Chad Johnston interview in Freedom issue 33 june 2000.


Interview in Ride BMX UK issue 50 december 2000.
Interview in Soul BMX numéro 21 août 2002.
Riding for L'Essence.

2003 X-GAMES.
16th place flatland @ 2003 X-games, august 14-18, 2003, Los Angeles, CA.


5th place pro flatland @ 2003 Vancouver Metro jam.


Interview in BMX Rider issue 22 may 2004.

Inside the bike of Chad Johnston in BMX Plus! july 2004.

4th place pro flatland @ 2004 Voodo jam.

Kevin McAvoy, www.bmxonline.com, october 2004: Unbelievable G-turns from the back pegs, along with death trucks one-footed on the pedal; popping into them from a wheelie is just insane.
2005 Chad Johnston's first annual Long Beach flatland jam.
Chad Johnston, www.agoride.com, june 2006: It's not a contest it's really a jam. We just want to get people together one day in the winter. The reason i picked the winter it s because there's not many events going on that time of the year and also the weather in Long Beach is really nice, it maybe rains a couple of times a year there so to be able to provide a place for everyone to stay and a place for everyone to ride is something i wanted to do my whole life. I feel it's beneficial for everyone and eventually maybe i twill be a jam one day and a contest the next day so the people that do travel far can have a chance to make some money. But for the next year, it will just be a jam.

Focus in Ride BMX US issue 108 may 2005.
Chad Johnston, espn.go.com, august 2010: I've been riding pegless somewhere around three to four years now. I think it was spring '06 when I started. One night after a session, I decided to take them off for a few reasons. The next day, Mike Saavedra, Rob Nolli and Ed Nussbaum were in Long Beach for a demo. Robert Castillo was announcing and he called me out. I was surprised that I pulled anything, and the encouragement I received motivated me to push on. It's maybe more of a minimalist influence rather than a pegless approach.

Chris Job, www.global-flat.com, february 2006: Produced by Neon Media in 2006. Kicking off, we have a Chad (and Amy) Johnston and Bobby Carter feature, mixing riding clips with their philosophies and ideas on video production. These two paid their dues in the days of tape to tape editing, and behind their bars too, good riding, nice music.
chad johnston impaqued 2006
2007 Chad Johnston's wild flatland rating system in Ride BMX US may 2007.


Chad Johnston and his wife got to ride in a modern-day recreation of the famous high school dance scene from the movie Rad! in Ride BMX US december 2007. And luckily for everyone, Jeff Zielinski got to shoot photos on the production day. Sweeeet.
Chad Johnston on the cover of Soul BMX issue 54 april 2008.

Chad Johnston & Pegless Flatland in Ride BMX US may 2008.

After seeing his first pegless flatland online video, we had to ask Chad about re-inventing his riding style sans pegs.
chad johnston soul bmx 04 08
2009 2009 SUMMER EDIT.
Rider: Chad Johnston. Bike: 2009 S&M LTF. Location: Long Beach. Camera: Amy Hotness. Music: “I Against I” Bad Brains. Edit: inTRIKat. Sponsors: S&M, Revenge, Tip Plus/Primo/Lotek, Flat Clothing, Quamen, Bizhouse.

Chad Johnston Pegless from inTRIKat on Vimeo.

Flat Forward in Ride BMX US september 2010.

Charting The Course Of Flatland’s Future: Six riders with completely different styles, attitudes, and ideas shed some light on where they see the future of their sport heading. Gabe Kadmiri, Viki Gomez, Chad Johnston, Pete Brandt, Erico Melo, and Travis Collier speak their mind.
Designed for flatland (but comfortable on anything if small frames are your thing), the Intrikat frame weighs in at 4.28 lbs and is available in two top tube sizes (19, 19.5") with a 13.1" rear end.

Interview in Art BMX issue 1 march 2011.


Chad Johnston and Aaron Bostrom's Neighborhood BMX, Long Beach California in BMX Plus! june 2011.


Chad Johnston joined the S&M pro team.

Elbowglide on the cover of ART issue 4 september 2011. Photo by Kai Kuusisto.
chad johnston elbowglide art bmx
Brian Tunney, www.expn.com, august 2012: In the mid '80s, when S&M pro Chad Johnston started riding flatland, the emerging BMX brands of the day were concentrating on gimmicky products designed to enhance the growing trend of BMX freestyle riding. One of these early innovations was the creation of axle pegs, which were internally threaded and screwed onto the existing axles on the the wheels of your bike. But the axle peg was just a small part of the gimmicks created by BMX freestyle brands during the '80s. In flatland riding alone, BMX freestyle brands concentrated on creating as many bolt-on accessories as one could possibly need, all for the sake of creating new areas where one could stand or balance on a BMX bike. In its wake came fork standers, frame standers, bolt-on frame platforms that extended behind the seat post, handlebars with extra tubes to create standing surfaced, angled frame standers which were supposed to make balancing on the back wheel easier, etc, etc. And then BMX freestyle (almost) died a quiet death in the very early '90s, as it struggled to transition from trend into lifestyle. The gimmicks were left behind, and riders returned to simplicity, including the axle peg, which was modified to work with deep socket extensions. Throughout the '90s and early '00s, Chad Johnston rode flatland with four pegs and a front brake. As time evolved, he removed his pegs and brakes and developed a new style of rolling flatland riding that challenged him to create new techniques to arrive at complex combinations that include bar-split pinky squeaks, rope-a-roni's on the pedal, elbow glides standing on the fork leg and a standing pedal hang five that Chad can hold for almost ten revolutions. No one else in the world is on the same level as Chad is, and the above video captures him at his finest on home turf in Long Beach, Calif. It's also, in retrospect, an amazing evolution from the flatland riding and technological gimmicks that characterized flatland in the '80s. And by stripping down his bike to the bare essentials, Chad Johnston has once again proved the old "less is more" adage true.

Chad Johnston Underground from S&M Bikes on Vimeo.