Joe Symonds

Joe’s riding is dialled. He can probably land a flip smoother than you can jump straight, has threes and three combos both ways on lock and isn’t afraid of huge jumps. To top it off I’ve never seen him fall off or even land sketchy. Joe is the driving force behind Grandmas Trails, which are bigger than most, and part of the Stronghold BMX collective. There’s no messing about on the coping with this guy, just pure bicycle motorcross.

Who is Joe Symonds, and how did you get into riding?
When I was about eight years old I bought a copy of Dirtbike magazine, with it came a free copy of Crusty Demons of Dirt 1. I was hooked and I watched that video everyday. I desperately wanted a motorbike but after some long arguments with my parents I had to make do with a new BMX. When I was 11 I moved to a village called Bottesford where there were some public trails! And that’s when it all began.

Best thing about BMX?
Too many things! The friends I've made, the sensations you get from each trick or just riding through a line, the ambitions, determination and feelings of self achievement it gives you.

Worst thing about BMX?
The fads and fashions. Im not gonna lie I've fallen victim to a few when I was younger.

Age: 23

Living in: Bottesford, Leicestershire

Occupation: Self Employed Tree Surgeon

Years riding: 12

Sponsors: Stronghold

Style or tricks?

Tricks with style, but if I had to answer the question properly it would be style over tricks.

Music: All sorts, Blues, punk, metal and old school hip hop.

Local riding spot: Grandmas Trails

Best riding spot: Grandmas Trails, Peynier, Nasty’s Yard

Favourite rider(s):

Cory Nastazio, Corey Bohan, Josh Stead, Chris Doyle

Favourite quote/advice/motto:

Anything that comes out of my mates Grandads mouth is a favourite quote of mine (he owns the land our trails are on)

Interesting fact about yourself/the world:

The fact that I ride BMX is probably the most interesting thing about me, but that isn't that interesting, so here are some weird facts: I hate cheese, ketchup, brown sauce and milk although I have it on cereal, and I don't like tea or coffee even though I've never tried it!

How can you have never tried coffee!!?

It smells disgusting so I’ve never thought it would be a good idea to drink it!

2012 highlight(s):

Making it through one year of running my own business and not having to break my balls five days a week working for someone else.


Ride (date) Not sure just after New Years day

Ride (spot) Flo Skatepark, Nottingham

People you rode with:

Can’t remember exactly but the usual crew of people I ride with at the indoor park is Scott the Punk, Titch, Jordan, The Mole and Alan.


It was probably a toboggan as that’s my favourite warm up trick.

Case: I never case...

Overshoot/flat-landing ...and I always land smooth.

Slam: None so far this year touch wood

Injury/wound: None so far

Bike fail/break: A puncture!

New trick/line: One footed Tables to Turndown

Thing that scared you:

I don't like to push myself at the skateparks but every time I look at the size of some of the jumps at our trails I get scared.

Funny moment:

I’ve now got my mate Mark Lehair working for me and he makes me laugh all day long.

Best edit you’ve seen this year (see left) 

This new but old video of Ruben, what a legend.

Plans/goals for 2013:

Get the trails dialled, opposite 360 some big jumps and regular 360 some even bigger jumps, I’d also like to make a web video as that’s something I've never done before.

Any wild trips planned?

I certainly wouldn't describe myself as a wild guy, so there won't be any wild trips. But I’ll definitely be making another trip to Vans kill the line in September. Oh yeah and I'm going to NYC with my girlfriend! That is definitely gonna score me some brownie points.

Shout outs?

Yeah just one, shout out to June and Aubrey Lehair for letting me build my dream jumps in their backyard.

Link to Joe riding Cory Nastazio’s compound in 2010

All photos by Robin Pearson

Photo: Ged McConville

Photo: Jose Anderson from Prettyshady

Photo: Nathan Beddows