Over the years we’ve run a series of top fives with different riders around the country, keeping that tradition alive we have a new set of Top Fives on the site. This time with Taupo’s very own Joe Simpson, and we’re doing things a bit different this time with a few people contributing to spice things up — Joe’s shredder and one good dude so I’m stoked to bring you his Top Fives, enjoy!

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Kieran Liddicoat contribution:

Top five flyout zones:

  • Waikanae medium bowl
  • Taupo big bowl
  • Whitby Skatepark
  • All of Gisborne

Top five skuxxest pair of socks:

  • S&M
  • Stripey Fox socks
  • Tommy Hilfiger
  • Stance Boneless or Johnny Cash
  • DeFeet Woolie Boolie

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Top five Led Zep songs according to Phil:

  • Trampled Under Foot
  • Kashmir
  • Immigrant Song
  • Stairway, obviously
  • Kieran will tell you Black Dog is the meeeeeeaaaannest.

Top five Meanstown moments:

  • Phil getting dropped by a bouncer at World Bar on the first night of our NYE trip, and then getting denied entry for the rest of the week.
  • Anything Roast It related was awesome. Amazing jam, riders, and super loose after parties. All the riders felt like royalty for the entire weekend, and it’s left a bit of a hole in NZ BMX since.
  • The Fox/Etnies trip earlier this year. A week of bike riding and tripping around with a rad crew, can’t be beat.
  • Kieran literally drinking at least an 18 box of beer every day for a week, before going to town. Somehow his liver is still intact, and he made it home every night. On the same trip, Geddes stole 22 drinks off the same bar in one night, never got caught once, and snapchatted every one as evidence.
  • Going out on New Years night, and leaving on a solo mission from the pub crawl we were on. After leaving SkyBar around 1:30, and walking back to the hostel, I met two girls who asked if I wanted to see where they were staying, which turned out to be a fancy hotel on the lakefront. Things started getting a bit heated on the couch in the lobby (and this is where it gets hazy), but I
  • recall being asked to go upstairs with them. At pretty much that exact point, I pass out on the couch in this swanky hotel. I awoke probably 30 mins later, with the girls nowhere to be seen. It could’ve potentially been an amazing night, but all I got from it is a somewhat lackluster story.  

Top five Dad Jokes:

  • Did you hear about the guy who drowned in his muesli the other morning? Strong currant pulled him in.
  • I had to sell my vacuum cleaner, it was just sitting there gathering dust.
  • My parents told me to stop pretending to be a flamingo, I had to put my foot down.
  • I have a great relationship with 25 letters of the alphabet, I don’t know Y.
  • My girlfriend and I went to stay at her parents on the weekend, but her dad wouldn’t let us sleep together. Which sucks, cos I kinda fancy him.

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Top five Crashes:

  • Gareth’s hip breaking wreck at Farm Jam.
  • Gareth trying the double fronty to grass.
  • Joel going 30 feet to flat to face at Summerhill.
  • Kieran eating shit mid train at Roast It, 3 jumps in.
  • Jed somehow walking away from multiple life ending bails during the triple flip session.

Top five sponsor plugs:

  • S&M Bikes. It’s awesome riding for a company with so much history in BMX, that also make the raddest frames and parts in the business. Shoutout to Moeller and Dylan for continuing to support a lanky kid on the other side of the world, it means a great deal.
  • Fox & Etnies. Again, two more brands with a deep history in BMX, which i’m proud to align myself with. Big thanks to Craig Stevens for helping fool people that I have any form of dress sense, and for being an all round top bloke!
  • Triplesix Distro. They might be running 100% out of Oz now, but remember, we can still order all the good stuff for you when needed.
  • Top Gear Cycles. It’s pretty cool working at the shop, and having a boss who lets me have way more time off than I should to go travelling is awesome. Thanks Mark and Katey for understanding.
  • Cath, Party Phil Snr and Grandad Harry, for the emotional and financial aid when i’m in a pickle.

Top five DVDs from 2000-2010:

  • Building The Underground
  • Drop The Hammer
  • System
  • Lower North
  • No Front Teeth

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George Bolter contribution:

Top 5 non riding activities to get up to in Austin?

  • Eat tacos
  • Barton Springs
  • Get loose/drink Lone Star in a dive
  • Talk shit in an air conditioned room
  • Answer questions from locals about New Zealand, your accent, and why the hell you’re 12,000 km from home.

Top 5 next places to visit?

  • Canada
  • More of Australia
  • West Coast of USA and Colorado
  • Scandinavia
  • I don’t know if it’s an age thing or not, but i’m getting more and more stoked on seeing my own backyard again, both close to home and further afield.

Top 5 things that have buzzed you out lately?

  • Witnessing an outsider’s reaction to my backyard. It’s pretty neat observing someone taking it in for the first time, and getting to see their eyes light up.
  • Seeing Foeske ride PMP brakeless. Very few know about the savage but chilled out Belgian who is renowned for spinning the biggest sets of doubles all over the world brakeless, shirtless and sockless. He is one of the only true gypsies of BMX, constantly travelling on a shoestring budget, but living the dream we all have. I saw him in three different countries within 6 months last year, always with some wild stories, and an ever present stoke.
  • Having a positive event, two years in a row. I always fear mediocrity, and probably stress out over pointless shit leading up to the jam, but I truly want everyone to have the best experience possible. Thankfully we had a huge group of riders turn up, and whole weekend went seamlessly, despite a weather scare. It’s flattering to have people choose to come ride your spot, hang out, get loose and enjoy themselves, just because you called out a day in advance to ride bikes.
  • How many people are willing to help out at Spa Park. We had an AGM recently, and I was blown away with how many parents and kids turned up, willing to help out on the committee, and help organise a working bee. We had 20+ people turn up on a miserable Sunday morning to move dirt in the rain, just because they feel obligated to help, which is amazing. I might get a bit salty from time to time when it comes to vandalism and roaching down there, but it’s all worth it when a bunch of people want to give me a hand. Thanks guys.
  • Doing things other than BMX. I love digging and riding, but sometimes it’s nice to do something different, just to keep things interesting and fresh.

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Top 5 people?

  • Parents and Family
  • Philip, Jackie and all the Wellington/Coast dudes
  • Kelly
  • Sam & Indi
  • Taupo crew, past and present
  • Alan Montefiore, Boof Reader, Phillip Callard
  • Everyone on the Fox/Etnies trip
  • Anyone who builds and maintains sets
  • All the riders and friends from all over the world, who I’ve shared a session with, or slept on their floor.
  • It’s too hard to pick 5, I’ve got love for all the people intertwined in my life.

Top 5 most listened to bands?

  • Black Sabbath
  • Judas Priest
  • Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
  • The Black Keys
  • Led Zeppelin

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Craig Stevens contribution:

List off your top 5 lanky tall BMX dudes?

  • Chris Doyle. Crazy dialled, smooth, and timeless. His thoughts on riding at the same level on any given day really resonates with me. Why save stuff for comps and make it look huckory if you can do it all day every day? Seems like a great guy, too.
  • Josh Harrington. Absolute beast, and so versatile. Peg usage is so foreign to me, and what he can do with them is mind blowing. He can also blast a massive invert air or a wild box jump maneuver when necessary, also.
  • Clint Reynolds. Clint is amazing in videos, but it’s not until you see him ride in person where you can really see how effortless he makes things look. Absolutely flawless riding, boosting everything and landing perfect, all while making it look like he’s not even trying at all.
  • Dave Dillewaard. His part in End Search is mental, plus he makes no handers and inverts look crazy thanks to his massive wingspan.
  • Philip Leyten. I’ve been riding with Phil for at least ten years, and i’m still just as stoked watching him ride now. His racing background helps him fang around at full speed, and I’ve always dug how quick he snaps into turndowns and tables.
  • Nate Hunn. Builds mean sets, and has the most classic trail style. Super chill, no frills, makes everything look real tidy.

Top 5 Knees together Table tops in BMX?

  • Justin Inman. I’ve watched his part in Building the Underground countless times, and still can’t get enough of how quick he cranks into them, and then gets the highly desirable ‘double banger’ where the bike wobbles as his knees spring back from the sheer force of the fold. What a feeling.
  • Xave Koen. Only seen via the gram, but there’s many of examples of shins on the top tube, with strict knee proximity. Plus, he seems like a top bloke, too.
  • Gary Young. Textbook knees over. Never overly inverted, but you can’t deny the classic form.
  • Kye Forte. See above.
  • Chase Hawk. More back heavy/front wheel up, but you can’t deny the knee placement. The upside down 3 tables he does are insane also.
  • Phil Leyten. Still NZ’s undisputed king of the double banger.

Top 5 moments from the Etnies/Fox trip to farm jam?

  • Camping every night, and bathing only in lakes. It helps you feel one with nature, your natural body clock resets, and it was super sick peeling back the tent to an awesome view and sunshine every morning.
  • Every session on the trip. It’s so inspiring rocking up every evening and having 10+ dudes dialling, then having another insane session with a solid crew.
  • Farm Jam. The whole weekend’s vibe is incredible, and the sheer amount of energy that’s flowing during the jam is next level. It just makes you wanna pull back and get wild!
  • Hanging out with rad people 24/7. It’s sweet sharing a car/campsite with a like minded crew, all keen as to get mean as. It was rad seeing a bunch of people who I hadn’t seen in ages, even some from the other side of the world, along with meeting a bunch of new friends in the process too. It’s crazy how just one weekend getting called out in advance can cause a huge pilgrimage.
  • Chilling. Even though there wasn’t much down time the whole week, it was ace sitting in the sun on the lake front, going swimming, hanging out, with no real plans. Although plenty of bike riding was done, there was no clip quota or any expectations from anyone, so it was nice to be on holiday for a week during a hectic summer schedule at the shop.

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Cam McCall contribution:

Top 5 unbelievable feats you have witnessed first hand achieved by kiwi riders on or off their bike?

  • PMP. I first went there around 6 years ago, and was completely blown away. Every time I go back, i’m always amazed at what the boys have created. Tip of the cap to Piggy, Nate, Lib and all the dreads stacking the woods, which are seriously world class.
  • Gorge Road. In a similar fashion to PMP, I always love seeing what Nate, Cam, Lowell, Alfreds and the rest of the crew have created every year. Everything was insane before, and now it’s gettting even steeper, faster and wilder. Honorable mention goes to Troy (@deathroast) and his hand dug clay mine which is well over head height. Fuck it, shoutout to anyone who builds and maintains sets in NZ.
  • Farm Jam. What Brett and Co. have created both from a physical and atmospheric standpoint is incredible. A winning combination of his family’s hard work and amazing hospitality towards everybody makes for the best weekend of the year, hands down. I know for a fact that everyone else who has made it to a Farm Jam will tell you the same. Thanks Brett.
  • Taupo Jams. From the first couple Jedi Jams, Mainstreet Jams, Mega Ramp and others, it was awesome to see how many people made the trip to be a part of an event.
  • Jed’s Triple Flip. Hands down probably the gnarliest jump ever built (aside from his quad flip jump). I believe it was around a 45ft gap, off a pretty much vertical lip. To even ride off that thing into foam without getting buck nasty was hard enough, let alone leaning back three times after pedaling down the massive roll in. People will never comprehend how savage that thing was, unless you saw it in the flesh. Jed has done so much wild shit, and I dig his drive and passion for what he does, even if I find a lot of it so far out the gate. Haha, keep surprising us Jed!

Top 5 trip stories from around New Zealand?

  • Team Wellington swooped in and picked me up from Taupo one year, with a loose plan to ride Caleb’s old spot, PMP and Summerhill. We also squeezed in Alan’s Ghetto Jam, where Phil won highest air, re-learnt whip airs after a 2 year hiatus, all after rolling two bottles of Scrumpy and god knows what else. The next year, he passed out by 10pm on night one, and then got knocked out in the mosh pit the next night. Alan always did a killer job running that jam, and looked after all the riders with transport and accommodation.
  • Hawera Huckfest, maybe 2008? This was our first real taste of a proper BMX jam and after party, which we still remember fondly.
  • Anything Roast It or Queenstown related, it’s pretty hard to have a bad time there.
  • NZ Dirt Series, New Years Eve, 2012? I have no idea how, or why this particular event got so out of hand, but the energy in the Summerhill trees that day was over the top. Phil almost beat Langers in the 2X race, Cranswick double flipped the smallest jump in existence, Josh double whipped and trucked the 25 footer, and a whole bunch of other wild maneuvers went down, both at the jam and Carl’s flat later that night. Loose would be an understatement.
  • Honestly, I’ve never had a bad trip anywhere in NZ. The scene is so tight, and I’ve got so many friends from all over the country. I realise more and more as time goes on, that even though we may not have the sheer numbers, but we’ve got it pretty good on these little islands in the middle of the South Pacific, both for BMX and for day to day living. It’s pretty neat.

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Big thanks to the dudes that contributed, and thanks Joe for being a top bloke and wanting to do this set of Top Fives.