We recently caught up with UK ripper Joel Anderson during a Bali team trip as he became the latest addition to the Melon MTB team, check out the interview below.
Hey Joel, how’s it going?
Oh, it’s going great! I’m packing for a 3 week adventure to Canada with all my closest riding friends so I can’t really think of anything else right now!
You just got back from Bali how was the trip?
Bali was INSANE! Crazy weather and crazy locals! Having never been out of Europe until I went there it was a bit of a culture shock… However a great trip with a great bunch of guys can’t wait to do more!
You got to spend a lot of time with some pretty mental characters out there any particularly funny stories that stand out?
For sure the best moment of my life was Adolf Silva trying to drop into a skate park bowl on a moped. I honestly couldn’t hold myself up from laughing so hard! Watch out for that in the upcoming edit!
What was the experience like of riding in the jungle?
It had been raining before we got to Bali bike park which I thought would ruin it but it just made it rad! So slippy but all the berms catch you just right. I still can’t get over how big the leaves are, bigger than my head!
Think you’d visit Bali again then?
I’d love to go to Bali again, so much I didn’t see! Rent a moped shred the roads (and skate parks) with the mad traffic and of course go back to Bali bike park!
When did you first swing your leg over a DH bike?
I guess I got my first proper full suspension bike aged about 9-10 a kona stinky 24 which weighed 40 pounds and I rode that thing every second I could with my brother leading the way and my dad driving the uplift.
BMX has been a big part of developing your riding skills do you still make time for the smaller wheels these days?
For sure so easy to just pop into the skate park always people to ride with. I started riding bmx as just something fun then I wanted to do more and more tricks and then I realized how people don’t seem to do bmx tricks on MTB so thought I’d try a backflip to manual and other weird stuff like one legged pencils.
You seem to be getting a reputation for putting out pretty raw, balls to the wall riding videos – how did that style of video come about for you?
Came about so naturally when I was writing reviews for Wideopen Mag I didn’t have a downhill bike but had a Corsair Konig to review. Tom Caldwell was down my way and offered to make a video so we started filming and both of us were so excited I was just pedaling harder and cutting the corners more and more stoked with every shot and it just grew from there.
So Whistler is your next trip, which seems to have been a life long dream – pretty stoked on that trip then?
SO EXCITED. Don’t think anyone could understand! I’ve watched videos of whistler since day one every year without fail endless game changing videos come from there and I just cannot wait to get there!
We don’t have the same kind of terrain as Canada but the UK seems to produce so many good riders across varying disciplines, why do you think that is?
NHS. What can really go wrong when the NHS have got your back?? But nah I think we have a good race scene which builds riders confidence everyone is so stoked to get out racing every weekend you can’t help but get better!
You have a pretty supportive family behind you in terms of riding, how much does that help you in pursuing your career?
Couldn’t ask for a better family behind me. Firstly my brother who is incredibly fast and steezy, I’ve always had a target on his back to jump bigger, ride faster, endo longer, wheelie longer … Brotherly competitiveness is definitely the reason I’m where I am today, so good having someone there to bounce ideas off and follow week in and week out. Then when one of us is racing and the other one isn’t we always do crap! Haha
Secondly my mum and dad have always supported me driving my brother and myself to over 100 races in the past 10 years. My mum used to shout to pedal faster now she tells me to slow down haha and my dad, he drove a 110 land rover defender up and down our local hill for 6 years sometimes doing 100 miles in a day, that gave me the hours on my bike for sure!
Are there any riders you’d love to ride with that you haven’t already?
All those style cats nobody knows about, they’re the boys! When you go to a bike park and meet that 16 year old who has a knackered d2 riding a bike held together with duct tape throwing every trick in the book and slaying corners. Can’t wait to ride with more of them.
What’s a trail you could slay all day long and still be smiling?
Loosefest, that feeling is never going to get old. 40 second track 19 seconds in the air feels like you hold your breath the whole time!
Any shout outs you’d like to give? (Sponsors)
Stans No Tubes
And of course you guys at Melon Optics for helping my dream become a reality!
Years riding: 18 years!
Favourite trick: Backflips
Bike model: Banshee Legend
Favourite Melon goggles design: Galaxy FOR SURE!
Now go ride your BIKE!