When I first saw Enns ride in an old Props at Section 8 skatepark, I was blown away. He was doing insane shit on the spine mini there and giving the well known pros a run for their money. Later down the road, his riding progressed and he took those tech ramp moves to the street, and found that building/ finding spots was half the battle to every good photo/ video part. Every time we visited J in Vancouver, he had his “book” of spots that nobody else knew about, and probably nobody knows where they are to this day. He later found that modifying a possible spot with a bit of Quickrete, or whatever else, would make the ideal spot too. Today, he’s in SoCal and doing the same thing he’s always done, check his interview about it all. Read now!
What would say your early turning point was when you started working on your secret “black book” of spots while you were in Vancouver?
It definitely started shortly after moving to Vancouver in 2000. Coming from Winnipeg, which is small enough to almost remember every spot in the city, there was no need to mark or map spots. The size of Vancouver was overwhelming when we first moved, and we really didn’t know anybody to show us spots. So it started from there. We would find stuff and not remember how to get back or where it even was. That’s when I got the map book and started cataloging all the schools we’d been to and what was at each, if anything. I still have the original map book of Vancouver buried in my garage somewhere.
Some guys know that finding that amazing unridden/ unusual spot is crucial for a pro. Do you think a lot of spot hunting is a lost art in bmx today, and why?
I definitely think finding new and fresh/ cool spots is just as important as a new trick. It seems that most people today would rather go to a spot that’s been ridden and seen in everything rather than finding something new. I guess it might have to do with growing up in an age where we didn’t have any skateparks or plazas to ride anywhere, so the only way you got to ride was by getting out there and looking for stuff.
Would you say that finding a spot is half the battle for that perfect trick? Some say the spot is just as good as the tricks in a photo/ video part.
You cant beat the feeling of coming across a spot that is the perfect setup for an idea you had in your head for awhile. I love seeing a new sick spot in a video, and if you can be the first to find and hit something, you can do easy and fun cool moves without having to worry about one upping or NBD’s. That will always be fun to watch.
Throughout your career of searching out spots, what would you say was your favorite hidden treasure, and why?
Each new find is exciting, but to choose a favorite would be tough. Although that barrier DIY spot in Corona back in the day was one of my favorites. I wish that spot was still running.
I know some guys get a lot of shit for heavy DIY setups. Do you think it can get carried away, or is there a fine line when making your own setup?
I don’t think you can go too far. At this point for me I’m down for anything that’s fun, and you can never take that too far, haha. If it’s fun who cares what people think.
We all see you flirting more with dirt nowadays too, we gonna see some sort of DIY dirt video part soon?
Yea I’ve been having fun with the dirt setups. Its just so much easier and quicker than doing cement work. It just takes the perfect spot where there is good dirt to dig and something cool to do with it. I don’t know about a whole part at this point, but it has opened my eyes to a lot more possibilities lately. An hour or 2 with a shovel and you got something new that’s never been ridden, can’t beat it!
What was the first spot you ever modified to make it work better?
The first spot I ever added cement to was a bank to barrier spot in Vancouver. It was down the street from my house at the time and was rideable as-is, but I just added some Quickrete, smoothed it out, and it was like a perfect street quarter. I had some clips on it in RideBMX’s “Digital Interface.”
Where did you get the idea/ motivation to modify the spot ?
It just comes from seeing something really cool, or rare kind of spot that’s just quite not there and isn’t rideable and you start thinking “how realistic and how much work it would be to get it running.”
What is the appeal of making a new spot w/ a bit of DIY? Why not just search out a spot that’s already rideable?
I like the idea of riding something that’s never been ridden or can’t be ridden the way it sits. I’ll put in the work just to hit it once and be done. I like creating something rideable that didn’t exist before we started building.
Have you ever been caught fixing up a spot by security/cop/business or homeowner?
I haven’t had any problems myself. It seems as long as you do it with confidence and look like you belong there people don’t question you too much. The more you act shady the more people think you’re being shady haha.
Do you think it’s best to keep the DIY simple or dream big, build big?
At this point I like keeping it simple, just one or 2 things. I can see how once you get started you wanna keep going, but til I got a real good bust-free spot and extra money to build, I won’t go in too heavy.
You’ve been on the pool mission quite a bit, do the two realms of riding (DIY vs pool) relate to each other or are they totally different?
I think they kind of have the same feel. The sneaking around and getting away with something you’re not supposed to. Plus a lot of pools are like a DIY spot, with crazy trannies, corners and stairs, and just figuring out how to get around or over all of them.
Did you incorporate any DIY or pool riding in your Finer Things part?
I do have some pool clips in my part, but I tried to keep them to a minimum. It is really hard to translate into video how hard or crazy the spot or a move is in a pool, and plus pool footage can get a little repetitive for a whole section.
Living in Norco does that help or hurt your ability to find places to do DIY on spots?
I think it helps since we got a little more rural areas surrounding us, but I think you can find awesome spots to build or ride almost anywhere. It seems any California neighborhood has abandoned buildings or foundations just waiting for a little T.L.C.
Thanks! Now get out there and build/ look for some new spots…