Monday, November 16, 2009

Interview with Mike Mason

Mike Mason is one of the top guys in the sport of freestyle motocross right now.  He has always been solid at contests over the last few years, but he has really stepped up his game recently and is eager to get some more solid wins under his belt!  He's got some of the best style in the business and always impresses the crowds with his incredible Holy Grab tricks.  The picture above is one that I snapped a couple years ago at the US Open of Surfing where "Mase" was doing a demo.  It is one of my favorite pictures I have taken!  I was able to get in touch with Mike and he was more than willing to do a little interview for me over email, since he is in Australia right now.  Following is what Mr. Mason had to say: 

(Derek)--Congrats on your recent ASA victory!  How does that win compare to your other achievements in your career?  How was the final round against Nate Adams?  He's a tough rider to beat because he is so consistent and usually has a pretty good stash of tricks, how did you feel on the course out there and did you really feel like you were on your A-Game?
(Mike)--That win was great!  I've always loved the ASA events, they are a lot of fun to ride.  It was a pretty laid back contest this year,  I pretty much went out and just had fun. I don't think I brought my A game, that course was really hard for me to pull out some of my harder flips, so I just went and did three solid runs.  When Nate messed up and handed me the win I was in shock!  Usually if it comes down to a rider versus Nate in the final round, he is going to have the ball in his court, so it was a huge surprise when I walked out of there with the first place trophy!

What is the next big event on your schedule?  Do you still do a lot of demos all over, or do you pretty much just focus on the big rounds?  What is your favorite event of the year?  Least favorite event of the year?
I've got a tour in the US coming up, Nuclear Cowboys,  it's a 15 week tour starting January 1st, so that will be huge!  I try and stay as busy as possible, I don't like to depend on the big events as my only income.  As you can see our events are fading away so I'm glad I've met the promoters I have in Europe, Australia, etc....I'd ride every weekend of the year if I had the choice!!  My favorite event would be the Crusty tour in Australia!  It's a blast to ride and the fans have always been nuts!  As far as my least favorite, it would have to be the IFMXF contests in Europe,  you're not going to beat their guys and the courses were always easy as hell.

With Hart & Huntington as a sponsor, have you been getting a lot of free ink?  Do you spend a lot of time down in Vegas?  If so, is it usually for fun, or do you spend a lot of time riding?  Also, does Carey ride with you very often and does he still have game?
I don't get to much work done at H&H, it's always such a madhouse in there that it's hard to make it happen.  I did buy a house there though so I can ride in the winter at Carey's park.  It's awesome down there, I love it!  Carey is a cool person and has helped me out since I got into FMX so much.  He still rides with me whenever he can, he might not have the tricks anymore, but he can still ride a dirtbike!

How long is your off-season and do you train much during the winter?  Can you ride in Carson during the winter or do you have to go to Vegas to ride?  Also, do you do a lot of snowboarding at Tahoe?  What other kind of training do you do to stay in shape?
I don't really have an offseason, like I said before I stay as busy as possible.  If I'm not traveling and riding shows, I'm for sure in the mountains of Tahoe snowboarding as much as possible!!  If the time comes and I need to ride, I head to Vegas!

You have certainly stepped up your game over the last year with your flip variations and smooth underflip and it has shown as you have had some good results this season.  What tricks, if any, have you been working on lately?  Do you use a foam pit, if so, who's pit do you use?  What is your favorite trick to do
I've been really trying this year.  I wanted people to understand that I want to do good and I'm not just riding this thing out.  For the past 3 years I went through some bad problems with my knees and just had zero confidence.  I couldn't learn anything and I think people took it like I was just being lazy and not trying.  It sucked! This year I just got pissed off.  I rode almost every day from the time I got home from Crusty in June until X games.  I rode our foampit at Dustin Miller's house and was working on double grab flips, 2 weeks after I learned seat grab flips.  That was the first time I had ridden the pit since early 2005!  I only used it for the double grab flips, everything else I was practicing straight to dirt.  I'm not a pussy, I don't need a foam pit to figure out a seat grab flip or shaolin flip haha!!

What are some of your professional goals for the next year?
I want a medal!  A earned medal!  I feel like my other two were just handed to me.  People always say I put myself in the spot to earn them and I get that, but I want to have all the tricks everyone else has, so if I get top 3 at X, it was with my A game!  Other then that I just want to keep pushing my way into some TV and media outside of moto.  It's always been a interest of mine to do some TV shows or radio, so hopefully I can make something happen!

On twitter, you're always talking about Madden.  How long have you had this obsession with Madden and really, how good are you at the game?  Does the rest of the Carson crew play with you?
Oh man all of us in Carson are diehard football fans!  Derek Burlew, Brian Foster, and myself, we love our Madden!! I'm not too good, I still get nervous when I get blitzed and throw some dirty interceptions, but it's awesome!  I've had every Madden since 2003, and trust me they get better every year!

I heard about a recent event at the Oakley headquarters and you were there jumping in front of the entrance.  How cool is it to have a sponsor like Oakley and what is your favorite part about working with that company?
Oakley is the best!  They have done so much cool stuff for me throughout my career!  I mean I was on billboards in LA, Thailand, and Australia!  I'm a half ass FMX guy and they do all that for me, I can't put into words what that means to me!  Jumping at their headquarters the other night was insane.  We had a awesome setup over the entrance and the show was just for dealers and employee's.  They loved us, we could straight jump or do a hart attack and they would be screaming.  Demo's like that are always the best!

Would you like to thank your other sponsors?
For sure!  I'd like to thank Rockstar energy, Oakley, DVS, Hart and Huntington, Kicker, Skullcandy, DEFT, Dunlop, Tag metals, Works Connection and!

Anything else you want to add to the interview?
If you get bored, follow me around on the web!!,,