First time I saw Jack Fogelquist was in a homemade pinkbike video back in 2008. This kid was a clear Aptos shredder and I liked the soundtrack. The video also featured the Lacondeguys which was a bonus so the edit was faved’ for future play backs, of which there were many.

Over the years Jack pumped out plenty more enjoyable videos in his popular Fogelsode web edit series. There was a steady pace of progression with each new episode and the odd new sponsor name appearing in the credits.

Fogel took to competition riding like cheese did to toast, making an international name for himself in 2010 when he was invited to Crankworx Whistler for the first time. He ended the FMB World Tour 2012 ranked 26 in the world, which is impressive considering he is relatively new to the global scene.

In this exclusive interview Jack talks about growing up in Aptos, filming videos and wild roadtrip and competition experiences, so boil the kettle and hold on tight.

Age: 20

Years riding: Eight

Sponsors: Nuke Proof, Lace Anchors, Five Ten, Moment Industries, X-Fusion, Geax, Gamut USA, Straitline, Division 26, Demon Dirt, Scotts Valley Cycle Sport and Locs on Spokez

Bike set-up: Nuke Proof Scalp, Rook, and Solum. (And an Interloc Crossfire for some street shredding!)

Food/Drink: Burritos/Arizonas

Music: Classic Rock, Blues, and Woodstock Era are my favorites. Been big into Rory Gallagher for the past year and Black Keys always get it done. Rory’s 1974 Irish Tour is a game changer.

Riding Style: Hmm, I guess kind of technical, as I like to tailwhip weird things and do combo tricks.

Local riding spot: Aptos.

2011 Highlight: Camp of Champions is always my favorite part of the season. It’s hard to beat riding in Whistler all day everyday with stoked kids!

Hi Jack welcome back to getabmx, hows it going, and what have you been up to lately?
Thanks, it’s going great! I’ve just been back at home relaxing and enjoying the end of the contest season. School started a couple weeks ago, so that’s consumed me a bit, but otherwise I’ve just been riding downhill, eating burritos and going to the beach.

So starting from the beginning, how did you get into riding?
It started when I was in 7th Grade (2004) with my Dad getting into it and exploring the cross-country trails that are down the street. He always talked about it at dinner and it sounded like a tonne of fun. He saw my interest growing and we went out shopping for my first mountain bike; a Marin Hawk Hill XC hardtail. He took me out and I had a good time, cruising around on the flat stuff before the descent. Once we dropped into the main downhill section I couldn’t believe how much fun I was having and was instantly hooked. It just went from there, riding XC more and more, than learning the trails nearby. 

There’s another trail system a bit further away that is mostly downhill trails, so my friends and I started riding out to that and exploring the area. We soon began to lean more towards the downhill and jumpy trails as that’s what we found the most fun. I got my first downhill bike in 2005, a Santa Cruz Bullit, which I had for a few years. I started racing downhill a bit. It was exciting travelling around, even just within California. My buddies and I found ourselves starting to spend a lot of time at the local “freeride” jump zone. We were so psyched on jumping that when we found out about the Aptos scene we were quick to get hardtails and give Post Office a shot!

The rest is pretty much history, progressing our dirt jump skills as Post Office evolved, still riding downhill a bunch. When the step-up was born progression came fast as we had a safe place to practice the tricks that we’d seen so much and always wanted to do. That’s kind of stayed the program for the past few years.

How long had you been riding when this was filmed? And did that video lead to your first sponsorship deal?
Oh geez! I’d been riding for about three years when that was filmed. And no, I think it was this that I put in my first sponsorship resume.

It was clear from that video that you had a lot of potential. But did you imagine being where you are today riding amongst the best at the most prestigious events such as Joyride etc?
I never thought I would be where I am today! I remember watching NWD5 for the first time and thinking Crankworx is the coolest thing ever. I never thought I would be in it. It’s definitely been a dream come true.

Do you solely ride for a living now?
Not quite, still working at SV Cycle Sport part-time and going to school in the Fall.

So the FMB tour of 2012 is coming to an end. How has your season been? You must have had some wild adventures and experiences?
My season’s been great! I got some of my best results yet and got to spend quite a bit of time in Whistler for Camp of Champions and Crankworx. Yeah there were definitely some crazy experiences like going bungee jumping for the first time and getting awfully close to running out of gas in the middle of nowhere! 

Bearclaw’s Invitational looked like a difficult course, especially with the tech northshore section at the start. What was it like to ride and how did it differ from other slopestyle courses?
I was super sketched out on that skinny, especially after seeing a couple people fall off it this year. It was one of those things that you just had to drop-in and go for. It turned out to be pretty mellow though and I got through the course in only four runs. The Claw knows how to build, and I quickly came to love that course. I’d say it’s my favorite slope course I’ve ever ridden. It was different in the sense that it was a bit technical with pretty tight transitions and little room for error with speed. That’s what made it flow so well, so it was awesome to ride but hard to link tricks together.

During Red Bull Joyride there was a lot of carnage and a lot of riders, including yourself, went down. What was it like competing in Joyride and how was the atmosphere amongst the riders?
Joyride is insane. It’s pretty indescribable being at a contest like that. There’s just so much energy, but quite a lot of pressure as well. It’s definitely my favorite event of the year, but the scariest as well. I trip out sometimes on how much it subconsciously impacts me, like the other night I had dreams about it, three weeks after it happened. I find myself still thinking about peoples runs when I’m just staring off into space. I guess there’s so much gnarlyness that happens in such a short amount of time that my brain is still processing it.

Are you going to give Rampage a shot?
I would love to, though it obviously looks super gnarly! It just seems like the purest freeride mountain bike competition. It’s pretty hard to get an invite but I would definitely go if I could.

Looking forward to AT’s showdown? That seems to be a highlight event for a lot of riders, why is that?
Yeah definitely! AT’s Showdown has always been one of my favorite contests. I think the main reason for this, as is the reason for most other riders, is because it gives everyone an excuse to come out to Aptos. It’s super rad having everyone come out here after spending the summer on the road, plus the event itself is awesome with giant jumps. 

On the whole, what do you think of the FMB tour, and what have been your most memorable contest moments?
Well overall, it’s getting there. It was a bit questionable at first but the sport has really grown over the past couple of years. They’ve established a fair judging system that stays pretty consistent across the tour, which really helps. Just having the events unified helps riders, event organisers and sponsors, and makes it a bit more organised and exciting to watch for spectators. It’s been good, and I think in the next year or two all the kinks will be worked out.

Most memorable contest moments, let’s see here. My biggest has got to be Crankworx Colorado 2010. I didn’t have a slope bike at the time, but Mike Montgomery gave me his frame the night before practice. That was crazy generous, and I built it up and got out there. I tried to put a run together that I was happy with, and found myself pushing myself quite a bit. When finals came around I crashed on my two runs tailwhipping the drop so I thought it was over. It was so windy though that they scrapped our second runs and gave us another chance. I ended up sticking the tailwhip on the drop and everything else came together perfectly! I was so fired up just on self satisfaction, that I didn’t even think of where I would place. I ended up with 6th. It felt unreal winning money for the first time and getting an invite to Crankworx Whistler, which is probably my next most memorable contest moment. I’d never been to Crankworx before (that summer was my first time being to Whistler), so to be competing in it was crazy! It was the coolest experience riding in front of so many people, and I’m grateful that I was able to do it again this year. That event just speaks for itself, the energy there is ridiculous.

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Reader questions

Joshua Olaivar

If California didn't exist, where would you live and why?

Probably Victoria, BC. I’ve got to spend a fair bit of time there over the past couple years and I absolutely love it. It’s got a pretty similar climate to Santa Cruz (just a bit colder and more rain) and there’s a great riding scene. 

If you could be a Pokemon, which one would you be and why?
Probably Psyduck, he always seems to be having the most fun.

Would you rather poop 400 gallons of Mayonnaise or 1 throwing star?
I’d have to go with 400 gallons of Mayo! Seems like it wouldn’t be too bad and it would be worth not losing my sphincter from the throwing star.

If you had to, would you rather give up biking or give up burritos?
Burritos. But let’s not think about that.

Pete Smash

When are you joining the Wobblers?
I don’t know what that is haha.

How well did you control the Whistler bear population this year?
Let’s just say I’m not the only one who noticed vastly less bear sightings on the mountain.

You turn 21 next month, will a legal game of wizard staffs be on the agenda?
Haha, touchy subject. I’m thinking more of a legal Lynyrd Skynyrd concert with the homies!

How many times do you think you have made Keegan/Backwoods Media smile?
Ah, countless times. If you don’t believe me: http://www.pinkbike.com/video/274729/  @6:03

Oliver Green
Would you rather be fisted by a bear or eaten by a horse?

How about watch a horse eat a bear fist.

Cheers Fogel!

Slopestyle has evolved at such a rapid rate over recent years. Where do you see slopestyle in ten years time in regards to the courses and the tricks being thrown?
It has! That’s really hard to say. I think it’s only really been around for nine so far. I feel that it’s starting to find it’s own identity as there was a lot of confusion for some time. I’m scared to think what tricks will be thrown, as just in the past year tricks that would have easily won best trick contests are being thrown down mid run. I just hope that it keeps the mountain bike aspect to it.

Why did you get into riding dirt jumps on a MTB as apposed to a BMX?
I got into jumping on a mountain bike because I’d only been riding mountain bikes, going from cross-country to downhill and then to dirt jumping. I’ve never really spent any time on a BMX so I always feel super squirley on them haha.

Do you follow the BMX scene and session with any BMX riders?
I don’t follow the BMX scene too much but I do love watching BMX videos. There are some really rad BMXers in the area that have a sick set of trails going, so every once in a while I’ll ride out there with them.

Do you think that the level in MTB (dirt, park, street) will ever catch up with BMX, and why do you think the level in BMX is higher?
I don’t think MTB will ever quite catch up, but it’s certainly closing the gap. MTB has kind of just been in BMX’s trick shadow while BMX is pioneering. It’s much easier to do a trick if you know it’s possible. I think the BMX level is higher because it’s been around for quite a bit longer and BMX bikes are a little easier to trick.

What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever done, and what has been your luckiest escape?
The scariest thing I’ve done was probably tailwhipping that last drop at Joyride. Man, luckiest escape... There’s been a few haha, but I’m thinking it was the first time I hit the double whale tail at Crankworx Colorado. I just cruised off the end when you were supposed to pump, and realised I was coming up short. It was a big step-down so I braced for impact as I nose-cased onto the top of the case pad. I lucked out not going over the bars, but bounced straight back, bottoming out hard and putting a good flat spot in my rim. My star-nut slipped and the headset was super loose but I didn’t care at all. I was just psyched to be alive.

How do you set yourself up to try a huge gap or big trick for the first time? What do you think about on top of the roll in, and as you’re approaching the lip?
It kind of depends whether it’s been hit before or if it’s the first time. If it’s the first time, I find myself thinking a lot about having the right speed and how the lip feels. If it’s something that’s been hit, I think more about what it’s going to be like in the air. For tricks I try to visualise what I need to do in the air. When it all comes to it though, you get past the point of no return when you’re approaching the lip and are always best off committing.

Riding for a living is the dream for most riders. Are there any downsides?
Well there aren’t so much downsides but more responsibilities. A lot of people, myself included, ride to escape responsibility, so it can seem like a lot of work at first keeping up with the business side of things. Contests can be really stressful as well but I wouldn’t consider any of those as downsides. I love every bit of it and hope that it stays that way.

What do you enjoy most about riding?
I enjoy the rush and satisfaction the most. Like when you hit a section of trail the best you ever have, or do a hard or new trick. It is such an intense but awesome feeling for that instant, and then that huge sense of accomplishment follows.

Who inspired you when you first got into riding, and who inspires you now?
I really looked up to Darren Berrecloth and Cam McCaul when I started. I get inspired by most people now it seems, whether it be someone doing a steezy table at Post Office, someone laying down a winning run at a slope contest, or a helmet cam video of a friend riding a local trail. I’m not sure why that is; maybe I’ve developed more appreciation for the little things over the years.

Who is your favourite rider to watch?
Ah it’s hard to say just one. I love watching my buddy Iggy shred big bikes and R-Dog shreds a mean Post Office sundown session. I’ve really enjoyed watching Brett Rheeder this year though, he’s come an incredibly long way in a short amount of time and it gets me psyched!

I remember this being your first video I watched. Since then I’ve followed your Fogelsode videos as they are well put together and you use decent music! How did you get into filming and making videos?
Thanks! I guess it started in 2005 when I got a little Sony Mini DV camcorder. I mainly just wanted to use it to show my parents the jumps that my friends and I were doing, but I found myself really enjoying editing the videos.  It got more and more fun, as did riding, so I’ve stuck with it. It’s super fun to look back on those old videos haha.

Do you have any video highlights, best experiences, funny moments, fails etc you’d like to share?
My biggest video highlight was probably when I made my first full length movie “Sonar,” and the guys putting on the local movie premiers played my trailer at the premier for one of the “Kranked” videos. As if that wasn’t enough, they said they could have a premier for Sonar when it came out, which was unreal. We made a tonne of ads and a bunch of people showed up which felt really cool. I never thought any video of mine would end up in a movie theatre! That was the last day of school in grade 11, so it was an awesome way to start the summer!

Any long-term video plans? And do you want to become an established videographer/film maker alongside your riding career?
Nah, just gonna keep it a hobby. I’m going to shift a bit more to working with my friend Keegan/Backwoods Media on edits, focusing a lot of time and energy into a few edits instead of pumping out a tonne of mellow edits. I’m definitely going to keep making fun web videos though. It would be awesome being an established videographer, but that would be really hard to balance with riding.

How important has the Aptos scene been to your riding career? Do you think you would have got to where you are today if you lived somewhere else?
It’s super important, I have no idea if I would even be riding bikes if I didn’t live here. I never really appreciated the riding scene here until I started traveling and found that it isn’t like this everywhere. I definitely took it for granted.

So many big names have come out of Aptos. Why is the scene so strong?
It’s so strong because we’re all good friends that love to ride, and have places to do it. Everyone digs, so our spots grow fast, and everyone pushes each other quite a bit. I guess there’s a little bit of everything around here: trick jumps, dirt jumps and downhill trails. And there are burritos here too. So it’s probably a combination of all these things.

Who do you usually ride with?
At home it’s usually Keegan, Ray, Iggy, Cob, Luke, R-Dog, Kyle J, Guy and Max.

Is it possible to be cool in Aptos without a truck?
I’ve got a few buddies who pull it off.

A lot of kids these days seem focused on tricks and often learn bar spins and tailwhips before they can even do a whip or a table. What do you think about this?
I think it’s definitely ideal to learn the basics before hucking foampit tricks. It’s not always that easy as not everyone’s blessed with Post Office being in their town. If you only have a foam pit and a trick step-up it would be hard to find any flow to develop these skills. Tricks definitely are easier with bike control, so it’s obvious that working your way up from the bottom is the best and safest way.

What’s the best thing you’ve ever seen on a bike?
I’d have to say Casey Groves’ run at Joyride after hearing that his cousin Ben had just passed away. He threw down an amazing run, with a tuck to downside whip on the hip (that blew my mind)! Then at the bottom he got on the mic and said “That was for you Ben!” 

What is your fondest or funniest riding memory?
My fondest memory is probably a particular Post Office session during filming for Strength in Numbers. A bunch of friends were in town and all the locals were out. Red Bull came with their huge speaker truck blasting out music and Post was running perfect as everyone buffed it out before filming. Since they were filming everyone was throwing down and the light was super golden. It just had every aspect of the perfect ride and I loved every moment of it.

Worst and best roadtrip experiences?
Worst has got to be getting hives the first time I drove to Colorado in 2010. Best was either finding a gas station after getting silly close to running out on the way to Colorado this year, or shooting fireworks at Jarrett, Alan, and Reece’s car when we were driving back from Colorado in 2011. Justin Wyper shot one that blew up right in front of their windshield, and whoever was sleeping in the passenger seat woke up and said “Did we just hit a firefly?”

How do you pass the time when you’re injured? Do you have any other hobbies outside of riding and videography?
Guitar! Maybe I pass a little too much time in general with it haha. I broke my foot last year and my buddy Brad came over two days later with his extra guitar. He told me it helped him a tonne when he broke his ankle and I’d always wanted to try the guitar so I gave it a shot. It was way harder than I thought it would be but I didn’t have anything else to do, and like most things, it got more fun the better I got. I’ve been loving it.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
“Bones heal but glory lasts forever!” Just kidding, I’ve always like this one, “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” John 15:12

What are your plans and goals for the rest of the year, any exciting projects round the corner to watch out for?
Chill, ride, school and work until we get some rain. My buddy Keegan/Backwoods Media and I have a couple film projects planned that we’re really excited about; It’s going to be a busy winter.

Finally, and most importantly, why do you ride?
To have fun! It’s easy to forget about that, but that’s what it always comes down to.

Thanks a lot for your time. Do you have any shout-outs or closing words?
Yeah definitely! I’ll give a shout out to the sponsors that help me make it happen: Nuke Proof, Lace Anchors, X-Fusion, Moment Industries, Gamut USA, Geax, Straitline Components, Division 26, Demon Dirt, Five Ten, Scotts Valley Cycle Sport, and Camp of Champions.

I remember watching NWD5 for the first time and thinking Crankworx is the coolest thing ever. I never thought I would be in it. It’s definitely been a dream come true.”

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“[The Aptos scene] is so strong because we’re all good friends that love to ride, and have places to do it. Everyone digs, so our spots grow fast, and everyone pushes each other.”

“I trip out sometimes on how much it [Red Bull Joyride] subconsciously impacts me, like the other night I had dreams about it, three weeks after it happened. I find myself still thinking about peoples runs when I’m just staring off into space.”

I lucked out not going over the bars, but went straight back, bottoming hard and putting a good flat spot in my rim. My star-nut slipped and the headset was super loose but I didn’t care at all. I was just psyched to be alive.”

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“Justin Wyper shot a firework that blew up right in front of their windshield, and whoever was sleeping in the passenger seat woke up and said “Did we just hit a firefly?””

Photo: Stewart Medford/ Camp of Champions

Photo: Stewart Medford/ Camp of Champions

Photo: Stewart Medford/ Camp of Champions

Photo: Stewart Medford/ Camp of Champions