If you ever rode at 'Castle Rock' in the Waikato back in around 2003 then chances are you saw some young grom firing around the BSX track on a huge 'gate' of a Specialized XC bike. While he was pretty quick down the race track, he spent most of his time going huge over the big finish line jump and with the later addition of a solid set of dirt jumps at the base of the track, this young rider had a new place to hone his skills and learn new tricks.
Fast forward a few years to 2007 and Im sitting in the passenger seat of a Mazda wagon with the grom from Castle Rock. We're on the way out to his parents farm to ride and film with the 'Drop In TV' crew on his set of trails 20 meters from his front door. As we cruise through Cambridge with 2 campervans and a 4x4 in tow, the local constabulary takes an interest in the wagon and the fact that it has no springs in the suspension.
As the Police pull us over my driver and I have a lightening fast exchange of words and discover that neither of us have a full license, and the car has no rego or warrant, damn. As we pull over our entourage follow us to the kerb, and naturally the Cops are wondering whats happening, and are none to impressed when tv cameras start rolling and a couple of to be unnamed Canadian pro riders start giving them a hassle. The wagon driver quickly jumps in and settles everyone down and has a polite chat to the Policeman. Whatever he said must have worked as we bounced our way off down the road, gypsies in tow with only a minor fine and no big dramas.
This is Paul Langlands, an absolute shredder on a bike regardless of wheel size or condition, a man of few words who's up for a good time but is polite and down to earth, and he's a guy who can take the slams like no one I've ever met!
In 4 days Paul will be somewhere over the ocean in a big jet plane heading for the green pastures, sunshine and groomed dirt jumps of the USA, where he will continue his quest to make a name for himself on the international dirt jump (both MTB and BMX) scene, and at just 21 he's got years to do it!
Ladies and Gentlemen, Frankly Thursday with Paul Langlands......
Where do you live? Tauwhare, between Hamilton and Cambridge
Who makes your riding possible? Quietchaos clothing, ABD and Tim White (t-whites bikes) help me out heaps. My parents have always been a part since day one and my work Mainline Sheetmetals does also by giving me time off and supporting however they can.
First bike? Avanti Scrambler! Was camo nicknamed "the green machine"
What’s you plan for the rest of NZ winter? Get away from it, haha. Planning to head to the U.S and ride some comps for a couple of months including dew Tour on BMX and Claymore Challenge on the MTB.Come back after that and get digging building new jumps for NZ summer, have alot planned for my parents backyard jumps to be ready for the NZ Dirt Series starting later this year
Any goals for the Northern Hemisphere trip? Do well in the comps i ride in mainly, hopefully learn some new stuff and meet new people. Havn't got too much of it planned just the first two weeks then will go from there and take it as it comes. Have a few friends that met last time over there which will be cool to catch up with. Hopefully head to Vancouver for a bit too and hang with the NZ crew there, theres a few other NZ riders heading over this year which will be cool to hang out n ride on the other side of the world.
Best thing about traveling around the world riding your bike? Riding new spots and meeting other riders, the riding communtitty is a tight one so pretty much wherever you go theres always someone who's more than keen to help out in some way or another
Best spot in the world to ride? The trails in PA look mint! Havn't had the chance to ride there yet but some day hopefully, Ray's MTB Park would be the best skatepark have ridden so far, it's the biggest in the world and we had the whole place to ourselves sessioning till early hours of the morning once, was so mean
What can’t you travel without?A tent, comes in so handy when stuck without a place to stay, have had numerous times pitching in the dark as a last resort but good fun at the same time. When i went over to red Bull Dirt pipe in aus earlier in the year i had to resort to pitching in the outback on the side of the road due to hitch hiking plan not working out haha.
What can you not live without? having fun.. which pretty much comes down to riding, hanging out with friends and other kinds of antics that keep each day from being boring.
Whats your day job? I work doing light fabrication making air conditioning ducting and farm fuel storage tanks and that sorta thing, Just recently finished my apprentiship.
What motivates you to get out of bed and go to work each day? Knowing that i am earning money so i can go ride my bike overseas has been most of the motivation for the last few years. Start work at 5:30am each day which makes it even harder!usually am finished before 3pm so that makes up for the early starts.
Whats wrong with mountain biking?Mountain bikes on skateparks isn't a good idea in my opinion.
Whats right with mountain biking? Big tricks over massive gaps! Having suspension comes in handy and can get away with alot more stuff as compared to the bmx which in the same situation would most probably end up alot worse off.
Who do you look up to? Older riders who are still charging. The likes of Corey nastazio, Ryan Nyquist, Dave Mirra.This because they were the top riders when i first started getting into freestyle and today they are still shredding and consistantly topping the competitions they ride in. To still be doing that would take alot of determination and perserverance. Riding next to them in comps is definatly good motivation and having Corey come ride my backyard in Feburary was so cool
What do you like best about living where you do? Central to most good riding spots in the north island. Heaps of dirt jumps, skateparks and halfpipes within a couple hours drive and there's a good scene with alot of riders around Hamilton. Very nice clay also haha..
What do you dislike about living where you do? Even though i live in the country its not very isolated, i wouldn't mind to be a bit more in the wops with a nice view.
Favorite piece of bike kit? Oddessy trailmix pedals, gotta stand on em for hours on end and they still feel good.
What are your vices? Excessive speeding while driving, have a radar which has definatly paid for itself and relying on mum to do my washing if i dont feel up to it..which is most of the time!
If you havent seen them yet, here are couple of clips ABD did to announce Pauls addition to their team....