../people/Simon Tabron

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1973 DOB: october 17th, 1973.
Simon was born in Liverpool, UK, where he resided for three years, subsequently moving to Southport, where he spent the rest of his childhood.
simon tabron 1985

simon tabron 1986

simon tabron 19881988.
early years FIRST BIKE.
Simon Tabron: I started riding when I was eight. My first bike was a Raleigh Burner, september 1982, it sucked but I loved it. I raced for a few years, and I started freestyle about a year after I started racing.

Simon Tabron, www.valleysidedistro.com, april 2012: Racing was fun at first but it began to bore me. I’d get yelled at for doing an x-up or a tabletop in a race. Like parents would take me to one side and explain that I was losing time in the air and jeopardizing the other kids with my ‘showboating’. I didn’t like getting criticized – To me, the whole point was jumping and having fun. Sure there was a race but it was BMX not athletics. Then a quarter-pipe appeared at our racetrack and that was it. I started missing my races because I was riding the ramp. It was ironic, I stopped caring about racing but that was when I started winning races. I think I quit completely when I was 11. Racing was too organized and formal, I just didn’t fit.

Simon Tabron, www.valleysidedistro.com, april 2012: I guess it was the ‘free’ in freestyle that appealed to me. I went to a really strict school and my parents were fairly strict. When I rode my bike, I wanted to be able to do whatever I wanted, that’s why it appealed to me. Other sports had rules and referees and stuff, even BMX racing felt too constrained to me. It was as though I was always doing something wrong and someone was always yelling at me about it. That’s why I liked freestyle so much. I just liked the feeling of being in the air and doing tricks. There were no rules so I couldn’t do anything ‘wrong’.

Simon Tabron, www.valleysidedistro.com, april 2012: I remember just having a really tight little crew of friends and we rode together every single day. I had a quarter at my house, so did one of my friends, another friend had jumps and we had spots all over town. We all rode so much that, inevitably, we started progressing – Ramps, dirt, street, flat, everything. A funny memory from that period was a Liverpool footballer called Alan Hansen; he lived in the same road as me and we even had a jump at the entrance of his driveway that was named after him. He used to stop by sometimes at the weekend when he was out walking with his kids and watch us hit my quarter. He seemed like a nice guy and always used to smile and be complementary.

Simon Tabron, www.valleysidedistro.com, april 2012: I remember being really clear in my mind that BMX was the greatest thing ever, the answer to everything. It was around this time that I told my mum what I was going to do ‘when I grew up’. She laughed at me and said that BMX was silly, that I should get into something “where I would be able to travel and meet people. Something like football?”… I knew she meant well, but she didn’t understand. I mean, how could she have?

CANCAN 1985.
www.valleysidedistro.com, april 2012: Age Eleven and Simon was already establishing an uncanny ability.

Simon Tabron, www.valleysidedistro.com, april 2012: My first memories of contests are how intimidating the whole thing was, but of me and my friends coming out of nowhere and doing pretty well immediately. It was as though we were hurled into the deep end but were already swimming before we even hit the water. It was crazy how quickly we made new friends and how our world just opened up. I remember that, within about a year and a half, we went from hanging out in our neighborhood to riding local contests, then regional contests, then national contests and, finally, when I was 13, the World Championships. The whole time, I was just a kid who liked to ride. I never really stopped and thought about it, I just kept rolling with it, wherever it took me.

1986 NO FOOT.
No foot on a UKBFA quarterpipe back in 1986.
1987 EXPERT.
Simon Tabron: I turned expert and went to all the regionals and started going to the nationals, and I ended up getting second in the national series at the end of the year so I qualified for the Worlds.

3rd place 13 years old vert @ 1987 world championships in UK.

Simon Tabron, www.valleysidedistro.com, april 2012: It was around this time that my dad started to take my riding pretty seriously. He’d been encouraging and supportive from the start but, after my first Worlds (I got 3rd), I think he realized how important it was to me. He started getting more and more involved, driving me and my friends all over the country to contests and events, helping us build bigger and better ramps and, essentially, sponsoring me. When I look back, I can see how lucky I was, he carried me and a couple of my friends until we became sponsored pros and got our own cars and money. Those days are definitely some of my happiest memories of my dad. And he was always pretty cool, never a pushy parent. He was more like our roadie!

Simon Tabron, bmx.transworld.net, may 2010: In 1987 I got a Haro Sport. It was so sick, I couldn’t believe it. I’d always had such horrible, cheap bikes before that, but had got 3rd place at the World Championships that year, so my dad decided it was time to step up and get me a “real” bike. I was 13.
www.valleysidedistro.com, april 2012: Back in the day the caption may have read a little like this - Bio top-side 1-hand, 1-foot, bar-grab.
Simon Tabron, www.valleysidedistro.com, april 2012: I was 15 when I got my first sponsor – Freestyle BMX magazine (that later became Invert) had a team and they approached me to ride for them. At the time I was getting a little help from the Haro distributor, but this seemed more full on; it came with a Converse deal and a clothing company deal and demos, and I would get to be team mates with Scott Carroll, one of my favorite vert riders. Suddenly, I was getting magazine coverage, I had sponsors and I was winning contests. I think that the biggest effect that it had on me was it made me step up. I started trying harder, scarier tricks. I was getting to ride with people who were way better than me. Scott had a big influence on me over the next couple of years and there were other pros at the time like Lee Reynolds, Andy Brown, Mike Canning, Jason Ellis and John Povah who all seemed to accept me and kind of take me under their wing.

Simon Tabron, www.valleysidedistro.com, april 2012: It was a crazy time for me because suddenly I was hanging out with guys that I’d seen in magazines and looked up to. I think that’s a lot to do with how and why I started to step up my riding, I was 15 and got tired of being scared of tricks. I tried my first 900 when I was 15, pretty much full speed, about 6 feet out. I didn’t get close but I’d opened a can of worms.

3ème place rampe 15ans @ 1989 Worlds, St Ouen, France.
Simon Tabron termine 3ème, airs à 5-6 pieds, nofoot, 540°, barhop air, fakie no hands à 2 feet.

simon tabron 1989
1990 BULLY.
Simon Tabron: In january 1990, I got sponsored by Bully, then that was the time I started to get any coverage in the magazine, and I turned pro that month and I won my first pro competition.

Simon Tabron, www.valleysidedistro.com, april 2012: I knew I wanted to turn pro as soon as I could. Back then, there was a controlling body, an organization, and you had to be 16 and finish in the top 3 for the year end. Then you could advance to ‘Masterclass’ before turning pro a year later. My first Masterclass contest was January 1990. I remember that Jamie Bestwick turned that day as well and it was the first time we had ever competed against each other. Jamie was a few years older than me and I felt he was a lot better so it was pretty intimidating. My memories of that day, of my first pro contest were Jamie going so high, about 13 feet, and of everything I did in my run working out pretty well. Somehow I got 1st. I was pretty surprised and flattered to beat Jamie but I was also super relieved that turning pro hadn’t been a mistake. It gave me new belief in myself, that I could actually go somewhere. At this point, I was still in school and still just rolling wherever BMX took me. I was still in awe of the whole thing. The rest of that year was like a whirlwind. I started riding against all the big European pros and was making top 3, I left school and started traveling constantly, making money from demos and contests and from sponsors.

In 1990 Simon made the move back to Liverpool, where he was to live for the next few years of his life.
Simon Tabron, www.valleysidedistro.com, april 2012: By the time we moved back to Liverpool, I was 16. I’d just finished high school and had turned pro. My parents got divorced and my dad moved away. Almost everything in my world changed that year but I just sucked it all up, I embraced the change. The day after I finished school, I went on tour for about 3 months, barely coming home at all. If I’m honest, Liverpool wasn’t a fun place, kind of a harsh and hard city. I was having too much fun traveling and riding to give my home life a second thought. It was probably a really good way of dealing with all of the changes in my life at the time. The harshness of Liverpool as a city gave me a lot in terms of having to grow up early and learn to look after myself. No one gives you an inch in Liverpool; it’s unapologetic in its ruthlessness. To this day, I still feel as though I have a lot of Liverpool in my sense of humour, sometimes harsh and sarcastic. My dad used to quote John Lennon a lot; he always tried to instill Lennon’s sense of humour and fearlessness in me. Fearlessness when it came to just being yourself and doing what you believe is right whether it’s popular or not. I know that influenced me a lot to take responsibility for myself, not to be scared of what people think, not to be scared to be myself. So Liverpool definitely had a big influence on me, it gave me grit and determination. It gave me a unique outlook, a sense of always trying to be better without ever taking myself too seriously. There’s a weird dynamic in Scouse* culture where you always see things as ‘you against the world’, like a chip on your shoulder so you try twice as hard to prove yourself. Liverpool definitely influenced a lot of who I am. I blame my dad for a lot of it. And John Lennon.

Simon Tabron, www.valleysidedistro.com, april 2012: I got to hang out and ride with Mat Hoffman for a week. He was in England for a demo (the infamous day that he pulled the first flair, as it would turn out). I’d met Mat and seen him ride a couple of times before but, this time, we rode together for a whole week and I got to know him a bit better. I remember having an epiphany that week; as far as I’d come in BMX, I was still nothing, I still had a million miles to go. Mat was like no other rider I had ever seen. I’d ridden with some amazing people but Mat was from a different planet. It was pretty cool, it has humbling and it gave me a lot to aim for in my own riding.

A group 3rd place @ UKKOV 1990 round 1 (cf photo)

5th place Master vert @ 1990 Worlds, Kenn, RFA, august 3-5, 1990.

simon tabron 540 one foot 1990
1991 5th place A group vert @ 1991 Backyard jam, Hastings, UK, may 1991.
Simon Tabron (Invert), complete with dreads scored even better and no doubt pulled : disasters, turndowns, candybars grinds smooth 540s, and a 900 which just went a little wrong.

1st place Master vert @ 1991 BMX Freestyle worldchampionships, Aalborg, Danemark, august 1991.
Simon Tabron was going very high (8-10 feet), invert, cancan, candy bar, one footer, 540 and a great 900 wich made everybody crazy and gave him first place.
1992 5th place stuntmen vert @ 1992 BS round 2 "Death in the Desert", march 28-29, 1992, Thrasherland Skatepark, Arizona.

2nd place A group vert @ 1992 Backyard jam, Hastings, UK, may 1992.
Mark Noble, Invert july 1992: Simon Tabron, the guy DMC shared 2nd with, was stoked: new bike, new tricks, new haircut. His 540's were rad - head height and pulled to perfection. Combine this with all his back to back variations all way high, lip trickery and even a good 900 attempt, Simon was on top form. As the final icing on the cake, Simon pulled a front flip onto the deck just like Matt does.

Simon Tabron forward flip over the bars at Slades Farm skatepark on the cover of Invert august 1992. Photos by Mark Noble.
simon tabron invert bmx
1993 Simon Tabron interview in Ride BMX US february 1993.
Backyard Jam: flip no foot.

Simon Tabron chinks the top of Taunton's quarterpipe with a toothpick on the cover of Ride BMX UK #13 october 1994 and gets an interview in the very same issue.

Simon Tabron, www.valleysidedistro.com, april 2012: I had lived in London for a few years, had ridden for Hoffman Bikes for a while and had been to America, but BMX had somehow ‘died’. There was no way of being a ‘pro’ in the true sense. I’d worked regular jobs all those years and been a bmxer at the weekend. I was pretty happy with this set-up and had no big expectations of a ‘career’ or anything like that. Jamie and I had started riding together pretty regularly and we were definitely pushing and learning and progressing. I think we both believed in ourselves but there just seemed to be no way out. We were both working full time jobs and riding contests and demos once in a while but there didn’t seem to be anything on the horizon. I just worked and rode. Bided my time.
simon tabron flip no foot

simon tabron ride bmx uk
Simon! He packed his bags and made the move to Bristol, where he was to reside for a total of seven years.
Ride BMX UK june 1995: GT rider Simon Tabron has moved from his hometown of Liverpool to reside in Jason Davies' house in Bristol. Simon is also now working in Caratti's warehouse.
Simon Tabron, www.valleysidedistro.com, april 2012: I moved to Bristol to work at GT’s warehouse. I was riding for them at the time and it was just the kind of change I needed. I started riding with the whole Bristol crew and we started doing lots of GT demos around the country. Running the demos quickly became my job at GT. I’d work in the warehouse during the week then drive the ramp rig and ride demos at the weekend. I remember working seven days a week for months on end but loving it because it was one hundred percent BMX.

1995 Backyard jam, june 10-11, 1995, Hastings, UK.

Pipa et Simon se marient.
Simon Tabron, www.valleysidedistro.com, april 2012: Marriage was a big change for sure, but it was just another fun adventure that I was embarking on. Less than a year after leaving Liverpool, I’d got married and bought a house. The changes were good changes. Big, bold, scary changes but good ones. I was finally on my own two feet, doing my own thing. I was twenty-two and felt like I’d finally started to grow up and have a bit of independence.
1996 Simon Tabron flats an invert during the Bath BCR contest on the cover of Ride BMX UK 25 october 1996. Photo by Mark Noble. simon tabron ride bmx uk 10 96
1997 2nd place A group halfpipe and 3rd place pro street @ 1997 KOC, Southsea, Hampshire, UK.

3rd place pro vert @ 1997 Worlds, Eindhoven, Holland, july 17-20, 1997.

Simon Tabron, Ride BMX UK december 1997: I've just signed a three year contract with Animal. Which means I'll be riding full time now.

Simon Tabron and his new Mongoose DMC in Ride BMX UK december 1997.
1998 FISE.
1st place pro vert @ 2000 FISE, Palavas les Flots, France, 11 au 13 avril 1998.

7th place stuntmen ramp @ 1998 Bicycle Stunt round 2, may 8-10, 1998, Virginia Beach.
Simon Tabron, www.valleysidedistro.com, april 2012: Around this time, I felt ready to go back to America to compete. I talked to my old friend Mat and we hatched a plan to get me back out there. He wrote a letter to my sponsors, asking them to send me to the X-Games and it worked out perfectly, they were so stoked that I knew Mat and that he would want me to come out and compete that they went with it. So I went to Virginia Beach for the ‘X-Trials’, a qualifier for the X-Games. I was so damned nervous and rode like crap. I think I crashed in all of my runs but, somehow, still got seventh place and earned an invite to the X-Games in San Diego. I went home and rode my ass off, I was so bummed at getting seventh place and I wanted to be ready. I knew this was a great opportunity and I didn’t want to waste it.

1998 X-GAMES.
3rd place pro vert @ X-Games 1998.
Pippa Tabron, Ride BMX UK october 1998: Riding for queen and country was Animal's Simon Tabron. Si qualified in fifth and was riding with a cracked rib obtained in the first run of qualifiers. He hit some of the most technical variations of the contest - one-hand one-foot x-up, one handed rocket x-up - the biggest 540's of the day, all manner of barspin airs (regular, alley-oop, and opposite-air), and ended with a big and barely slid off a 900.
Simon Tabron, www.valleysidedistro.com, april 2012: I got third place in San Diego, behind Mirra and McCoy and, much to my surprise, ahead of Miron and Bestwick. That, for me, was the complete highlight of the 90’s. The one event that changed everything for me. I literally couldn’t afford to come back and try the next year, it was a kind of ‘all or nothing’ situation that worked out for me. Whatever kind of a ‘career’ I’ve had since, I credit back to that one X-Games. It was a pretty pivotal moment in my life. From there, I got US sponsors and started coming out for contests all the time. Things continued to go well, I made every final in every contest for the next few years, getting top three at a lot of them. My riding was really starting to progress now that I didn’t have to work a job. Honestly, it felt as though my dreams were coming true. I couldn’t have asked for anything more.

2nd place pro ramp @ 1998 World Championships, september 16-20, 1998, Portugal.
The battle of the contest was between Simon Tabron (UK) and Jay Miron. Simon Tabron looked very concentrated and was going to take it seriously. Jay was laid back because he had already won mini, but he still doesn't like to lose. Simon went OFF! His style has changed for the better and he does his variations at ten-feet plus. Simon did the highest 540 I have ever seen-nine, ten, or maybe even higher. A hard landing moved his bars forward in the beginning of his run and five Allen keys were thrown at him. One trick later the same thing happened. He put nine fingers in the air and we all knew what was coming up. A huge 900 attempt followed, but a crash was the result. The crowd went nuts and Simon was okay.

One hand one foot at the X-Games on the cover of Ride BMX US issue 36 october 1998. Photo by Mark Losey.
simon tabron ride bmx us
1999 TREK.
April 1999, Simon is riding for Trek.
Simon, Ride BMX UK august 1999: I was looking to make it out to the States for the BS Series and I was having a hard time with my sponsors, and Trek came along and made me a really good offer, and since then they've been taking supergood care of me and I've been bringing in the results they want.

3rd place stuntmen vert @ X-Trials, BS 1999 round 1, april 22-25, 1999, Louisville, KY.
Simon Tabron, full-factory Trek, se lache en flair.

1999 X-GAMES.
3rd place pro vert @ 1999 X-Games.

2nd place pro ramp @ 1999 World Championships, Madrid, Spain.

Invert on the cover of BMX Plus! december 1999.

20th Century Heros in Ride BMX UK december 1999.
simon tabron bmx plus 12 1999
Parting shot in BMX Plus! march 2000: Simon Tabron with a 900 attempt.

2nd place pro vert @ 2000 FISE, Palavas les Flots, France, 22 au 24 avril 2000.
bemx.free.fr: Simon Tabron a lui aussi laché la cavallerie, avec une ribambelle de 540°, 540° no hand, des alley hoops, no foot, one hand one foot et plusieurs tentatives de 900° ... presque passés.

5th place pro vert @ 2000 X-Games, August 17-22, 2000, San Francisco, California.
5th place went to Trek's Simon Tabron who could not pull off that 900 this time. Even the alley ooped version stranded on the flat bottom. Simon did plenty of tricks such as invert, barspin to barspin, candybar, X-up, cancan-1-hander, no-handed 540, ...

2nd place pro ramp @ 2000 Worlds.
Simon Tabron pulled two 900's in his runs, one of which was a revolutionary alley-oop 900, accompanied by high 540's and variations at 10 feet.

Simon Tabron interview in Soul BMX november 2000.

Simon Tabron interview in Ride BMX UK december 2000.

Inside the pro's bikes: Simon Tabron's Trek in BMX Plus! december 2000.


Simon Tabron, www.valleysidedistro.com, april 2012: One of my worst injury was fracturing my pelvis in 2000. I hung up on a no handed 540 so hard that I got jettisoned to the floor, landed on the top of my head and flipped over onto my back. When I landed on my head, my helmet exploded open and then, when I landed on my back, I fractured my pelvis and broke a couple of fingers. I managed to get up on my own but was down for about ten minutes. Then I walked into the ambulance but it went downhill from there. It was a few weeks of hell and misery. Everything hurt, it was impossible to move and do anything without being in agony. I wouldn’t recommend it.

December, Simon left Trek to ride for Mongoose.
In 2001 Activision published the video game Mat Hoffman’s Pro BMX. Only a select handful of riders were fortunate enough to become game characters – Simon Tabron was at the front of the pack. The game proved to be very popular, which led to the release of the sequel, again featuring Tabron…
Simon Tabron, www.valleysidedistro.com, april 2012: It was kind of straight forward, Mat told me about the game and said he’d like me to be in it and I said yes! I’d been playing Tony Hawk’s game, so I knew how good it was going to be, basically the same thing but with bikes. I got pretty involved, I was definitely excited about the project and flattered that Mat had asked me.


Two small interviews in Ride BMX UK #52 april 2001.

3rd place pro vert @ Bicycle Stunt Series/B3 round 3 & X Trials #1, May 18-20, 2001.
Leigh Ramsdell: Mr. 900, Simon Tabron pulled a perfect 900. He also does the most cracked turndown 540's. Simon went for an ally-oop 900 even though his back wheel was giving him a bit of trouble.

Simon Tabron poster in Transworld BMX june 2001.

First BS win @ BS vert finals, Bristol CT, june 2001
Mongoose's English connection, Simon Tabron has 900's wired to the point where he can throw them down in his first run. And to end it, he even did an alley oop 900 with a lot of backwards travel on it.

2001 Gravity Games Bronze Medalist.

2001 X-GAMES.
5th place pro vert @ 2001 X-Games, august 17-23, Philadelphia, PA.
Leigh Ramsdell, www.expn.com: Looking a little tired, Simon Tabron still tore it up. No handed and lookdown 540's, no-hander to barspin and going for a regular 900 and an alley-oop 900. He was so close to both but still fell. Even though his run was well over he got back on the ramp and dropped in to pull the 900 clean. Fifth isn't too bad. This comp was insane.

Simon Tabron, www.valleysidedistro.com, april 2012: My theory was that no one needed to see me doing peg grinds on a vert ramp, I was more interested in being in the air than on the coping. It was weird at first, especially in contests. If I lost my speed, I couldn’t disguise it with lip tricks so it forced me to stay in the air and try to be a bit more creative. I had to come up with different, more fluid ways of doing lip tricks. I’d been doing ‘body jars’, tyre bonks or whatever for years but they suddenly came into their own, a way to regulate speed, I learnt tricks like barspins and no handers into them. Then came tyre slides. I worked for so long on them, influenced by skater’s tail slides. I knew I could make them work and had tried for years; it wasn’t until I learnt downside icepicks and then took my pegs off, that was the key. I also learnt sprocket grinds and to nose bonk the coping.
Simon Tabron, www.valleysidedistro.com, april 2012: The vert ramp that I rode in Bristol was going to be torn down. They talked about it for ages and it seemed really uncertain, so I said what the hell, I’m gonna move, get a house with a big yard and build my own ramp. My wife’s family lived in Cornwall and we used to spend a lot of time there. Bristol was feeling old, I had itchy feet and it was time to move. Plus, it was my life long ambition to have my own backyard vert ramp so the timing was right and I threw all of my chips into a new adventure.

Simon Tabron, www.valleysidedistro.com, april 2012: For ‘Mat Hoffman 2’ we did a road-trip to film original footage, it was a super fun trip with a big mix of characters – Nate Wessel, Chad Kagy, Mat, Ruben, me and Rooftop. I had a lot of fun filming for the game with those guys. The whole thing was unexpected and an honor. One of those funny things that just kind of fell in my lap. Thanks Mat!

2002 FISE.

1st place pro vert @ 2002 FISE, Palavas les Flots, France, 6 au 14 avril 2002 .
www.bmxonline.com: Simon Tabron made everybody aware of when he dropped in; not only through his riding, but also his bike, which had Skyway Tuff Wheels. Everybody knows Simon has the 900 in his pocket, the question was if the wheels were going to take it. According to eyewitnesses, they did not. But still, Simon deserved to win, with tricks like beautifully stretched can-cans, alley-oop-540s, no-hand-540s, and high airs.

4th place stuntmen vert @ CFB 2002 round 3, June 21st-23rd, Joliet IL.
Simon Tabron's wife was in the crowd and most people were too busy checking her out to watch his runs, ha, he rode pretty well, high invert airs, doublebarspins, big inverted 540s, a flair, and he came real close to pulling a 900.

3rd place pro vert @ 2002 X-Games, august 15-19, 2002, Philadelphia, Penn.

1st place pro vert @ Euro X-games, Gravity Games, FISE.

1st place pro vert @ 2002 Worlds, Cologne, Germany, july 2002.
Simon Tabron (Mongoose) did flairs, 540s, high airs and ended the run with a 900, which he first overrotated.

Cover and interview in BMXair #2 decembre 2002.
simon tabron bmxair
Simon Tabron interview in BMX Rider magazine issue 6 january 2003.

BIKE 2003.

Simon, www.snafubmx.com: The Bike 2003 event was good. There were bikes. It was good. Really, it was a very cool event. I managed to win the vert comp on what was the best contest vert ramp of all time ( Vertical Kingsize II - US organisers TAKE NOTE). I did all my usual 540 stuff and some airs and flairs and probably the smoothest 900 that I have ever done thanks to the incredible geometry on my prototype 04 Mongoose RAF. My new bike is so good that it WILL improve your riding and it will make you land smoother. That is a promise.

Mongoose/SNAFU team pro and British freestyle superstar Simon Tabron braved the trek to Portugal the last weekend of June to claim his second consecutive World Championship title on vert.

Simon Tabron, www.valleysidedistro.com, april 2012: In 2003, Zach Shaw was riding my backyard ramp and he got his lever caught in his jeans on a turndown. He landed with his bars still at 180 and ended up breaking his arm. The next day, he told me he was going to take his brake off when he started riding again and I immediately said I’d do it too. So, that day, I took my brake off then Zach and I went out to my ramp to see how it was. I worked out that I only used my brake on five or six tricks and I never covered my lever with my fingers when I was in the air so it should be okay. Over the next half hour, I did pretty much every vert trick I could do without a brake and it started to feel fine, kind of exciting and liberating. Everything felt new. The only thing that I didn’t do that day was a 900. I’d always ‘brake tagged‘ the landing on 9’s to stop me from looping out or whatever so I figured I would just have to try and nose dive them in more. This was a large part of my motivation, to force me to be more committed and not use my brake as a ‘safety net’. The day after, I flew to America for a contest, the Gravity Games I think, and was then going on tour for 2 months doing shows for Tony Hawk. I figured the 2 months would force me to get used to no-brakes. The contest worked out great without brakes and I discovered that 9’s did naturally nose dive more without a brake because I was able to move my cranks and body position in the air more. They were actually easier, it turned out! I became so comfortable with my new simple set up and, to this day, find it almost impossible to change. Once in a while, I’ll put a peg or a brake on, just to check I’m not missing out or to do a trick that I’ve been missing, but I always end up taking it off after a couple of runs. It just feels weird and horrible and restrictive to me now. Plus, I’ve spent years progressing with no brakes or pegs so it feels like I’m betraying my style to change it. It’s something that I did out of curiosity, to change the rules for myself, to make everything new again after years of riding with a brake or two brakes or two pegs or four pegs. I’d done all of that and was bored with it. I knew what I liked about my riding, what I liked to do, and I just streamlined, prioritized! I think it’s cool that so many people ride without brakes or pegs now and that it just seems normal. When I first did it, it was kind of a leap of faith. I had no idea whether it was going to work or whether I was just gonna kill myself. I think, in the end, it came to define my riding. A skater friend told me recently that he doesn’t think I get enough credit for being brakeless and pegless, but I don’t think it’s about credit, it’s too personal for that. It’s just my thing that I do for me to keep me happy and to keep things interesting!

3rd place pro vert @ Gravity Games
Simon Tabron is now brakeless. Simon said that earlier in the week, Zack Shaw had broken his arm when his brake lever got caught in his pocket during a lookdown, and that prompted Simon to remove his brakes altogether. Even without the brakes, Simon still delivered his vert arsenal, including all of his spinning tricks, including a perfect 900 to end his last run.
Simon Tabron: Everything feels better without the restriction of a brake. I wish I had done it years ago.

4th place pro vert @ 2003 X-Games, august 14-18, 2003, Los Angeles, CA.
Mark Losey, www.ridebmx.com: Fourth went to Simon Tabron who was all over the ramp with 540-varitions, a 900, and tons of tricks, and by the look on his face when the results were posted, he was expecting a better finish.

Simon Tabron interview in Ride BMX US november 2003.

Simon Tabron: My ramp had to come down in november because it was affecting the quality of my neighbors' lives.
Simon Tabron interview in Ride BMX UK july 2004.

FISE 2004.
1st place pro vert @
2004 FISE, Montpellier, France, juillet 2004.
Bart de Jong, www.fatbmx.com, october 2004: The wind actually hindered the BMX vert contest heaps, but you could hardly tell by the riding of Simon Tabron, Peter Geys and Stefan Geisler who finished 1 - 2 - 3 in that order. Tabron did 540 variations, airs both ways, a flair and no-handers to barspins in sketchy circumstances for the biggest cheque.


2nd place vert @ 2004 X-Games.
Simon Tabron opened this high-stakes game with two pair: a no-handed 540 into an alley-oop turndown 540 and a flair with a 900 kicker to cap off his run.

1st place pro vert @ 2004 Worlds, Cologne (Germany), Jugendpark, June 24th to 27th, 2004.


www.fatbmx.com, december 2004: Simon Tabron now has an indoor location to ride vert.
Simon Tabron: I bought the 414 vert ramp and have spent the last two weeks building it in Mount Hawke skatepark in Cornwall (England). Adidas helped out with the cost and my friends have been helping with the build. We're building some extra features into the ramp like a midi section and it also connects into the street course.
Backchat with Simon Tabron in Dig 44 january 2005.



1st place pro vert @ 2005 Worlds, Prague, Czech Republic, from 1st to 5th June 2005.
Bart de Jong, www.fatbmx.com, june 2005: Simon Tabron loves the worlds and made sure he got there long enough to wrap up another vert title. With people finding excuses not to come over, Simon could have done the same. He was in the USA the weekend before the Worlds and took off for the so important Dew ASTour in Denver the weekend after the contest in Prague. Simon's experience lead him through a very solid first run. Bike problems had him change rides afterwards but it was already in the pocket.

Simon Tabron, www.valleysidedistro.com, april 2012: I over-rotated a 900 and shoulder blocking the floor in 2005. I broke rib number one in to four pieces, shunted my spine out of alignment, tore shoulder muscles away from my spine, tore rib cartilage and punctured my lung which then partially collapsed. That took me a few months to get my body working again, I did lots of physio. I rode a contest two months after the crash so it wasn’t too terrible.

Simon Tabron, www.fatbmx.com, august 2005: I have just had a pretty crazy week. I tried a turndown 5 into a no handed 5 into a 9 at the Dew tour and overspun a little on the 9. I crashed really hard onto my side and my head breaking a rib in 4 places and breaking my helmet. For some reason, the paramedics at the contest decided that I was stupid because I had hit my head and they ignored everything I told them. Instead of just letting me get my breath back, they strapped me on my back to a spinal recovery board and the broken rib punctured my lung. After a trip in the ambulance and another 30 minutes of being ignored by their medics because I was being ' irrational and aggressive', my lung collapsed. Luckily the doctor at the emergency room listened to me. I begged her to unstrap me from the stretcher because I believed that my ribs were broken and they had punctured my lung and I would die if they didn't fix it quickly. Lucky for me the doctor trusted my judgement, checked it out and realised I was right. She got me off the stretcher and onto life support and, over-night, managed to reinflate my lung with oxygen. I spent a few days in the hospital in Denver and right now I'm recovering in Utah with my friend Chuck Fallon. I am not allowed to fly until next week in case the lung collapses again under the pressure. Also, I have made a serious complaint about the Dew tour medics, supported by my sponsors and some other riders, as I feel they completely mis-handled me. I have been over-whelmed this week by the kindness of my friends when I needed them and would like to thank them for that. When you get seriously hurt, you really find out who your friends are: I want to give my deepest thanks to Chuck and Lindsay Fallon, Peter Geys, Travis Chipres, Jamie Bestwick, Jay Eggleston, Bruno Maier, Sarah Ostermeier, Mo Moorman, Dennis McCoy, Zach Shaw, Jay Miron, Steve Swope, Jason Burkhart, Achim Kujawski, Stephan Prantl all of my sponsors who have supported and been calling (everyone at Mongoose/ Pacific, Andy and John at Ogio, Kevin at X-Balm) and, of course, Pippa for holding the whole thing together. I am going to need another 6 or 7 weeks to recover fully (no X Games for me this year) but promise to come back brighter.
Simon Tabron, www.fatbmx.com, august 2005: Since I wrote this, I flew home and have been recovering pretty well. I am still in agony after 4 weeks but I rode a little last weekend which felt great until afterwards! ,A guy called Wade Martin who is director of the Dew Tour called me last week to answer the complaint that I made. He told me that I was completely wrong about what happened and that the medical team did their job just fine. He told me they care about the athletes very much and are taking the matter very seriously. As far as I can see, all he cared about was making sure that I didn't sue. Basically, they refused to take any responsibility, refused to say sorry and refused to pay my medical bills. After all these years, I kind of thought that the corporate US machine may have just a little respect for us but I guess I am wrong again.
2006 2006 X-GAMES.
3rd place vert @ 2006 X-Games.
Simon Tabron put together solid runs including multiple 540 variations and a perfect 900 in each of his runs.

Poster in Cream september 2006.

Simon Tabron, www.vitalbmx.com, november 2006: A few years ago, just before the X Games, a friend asked me what I was planning, did I have any new stuff I was saving for the X Games. I told him no, I didn't have a foam pit and so I didn't have anything new and groundbreaking. I joked that I should make my excuses before my run so everyone knew not to expect anything new and my friend made the joke about being 'foam free'. I said it would be funny if I had a 'foam free' sticker on my helmet or something and my friend got to work. I figured my friends would get the joke and anyone who didn't, well who cares? So anyway, it was a joke. Then people kept asking me why I was 'anti-foam pits' and what my problem was. I always answered my problem with foam pits is that I didn't have one! At some point I made a comment about how learning big tricks into the foam could backfire on a real ramp because you would never have learnt a safe way to get out of it. Even though I was just thinking out loud, it was quoted and used. So, anyway, the joke is old now yet I still read quotes about how "I fundamentally oppose foam pits" and how I "prefer to learn tricks the hard way, on a real ramp". This is what we English would call 'bollocks'. The truth is I love the idea of not having to pound myself into the floor and, before too long, I'm hoping to have a foam bath of my own. In the meantime, I'll hopefully get myself out of the house and over to Woodward or somewhere so that I can finally nail those no handed tailwhip 900 flips! So, hopefully, I've set the record straight now. In case anyone cares!

Simple Session, Estonia, 1st place - UK Soul Bowl, 1st place - LG World Tour Richmond, VA, 1st place - Dew Tour, Louisville, KY, 1st place - LG World Tour, Amsterdam, 1st place - BMX Masters, Cologne, Germany, 1st place- LG World Tour Birmingham, England, 2nd place - X Games, L.A. 3rd place vert X Games, L.A. 3rd place - Vert best trick Dew Tour, Portland, OR, 4th place- LG World Tour, Berlin, 1st place - LG World Tour, Paris, 1st place - Dew Tour, San Jose, 3rd place - Dew Tour, Orlando FL, 5th Place - Dew Tour Year-End, 4th place - LG World Championships, Dallas TX, 2nd place - LG World Championships, Dallas TX, Best trick winner
1st place vert @ 2007 Masters, Koln, Germany, july 15, 2007.


1st place vert @ 2007 Dew tour round 2, Cleveland, Ohio, July 21, 2007.
Ryan Fudger, www.ridebmx.com, july 2007: Simon Tabron took the win with his first run holding strong as others couldn’t pull out a full run. Simon’s run included a no-handed 540 to late barspin, super smooth 900, turndown 5’s, and tons more.

2007 X-GAMES.
2nd place vert @ 2007 X-Games.
Press release: Tabron busted a precedent of his own: he hit two back-to-back 900's, which has also never been landed in competition. (He also threw a no-handed bar spin 540° in for good measure.) In between, though, he did straight airs off the vert ramp during the rest of his second run, which Tabron acknowledged was probably the cause of him winning silver, not gold. "It's been a dream of mine to do [the 900°] back-to-back since I learned it. When I landed it [today], the first thing I thought was, 'Did I win?' " Tabron said. "But I can't take anything away from Jamie. He's been a lifelong friend of mine, and today he was magnificent."

2008 BLOG MARCH 2008.
Simon Tabron, www.mongoose.com, march 2008: I've had a busy week! lots of riding. My knees aren't restricting me much now so I've been able to let rip on all my tricks. Some stuff still tweaks my knee a bit and hurts, but I can live with it. As long as I'm riding, I'm smiling. I've picked up where I left off on learning some new stuff. I was half way through learning a few tricks when I got hurt so it's good to start working on them again (This is all very secretive, isn't it?!!!)  I'm not saying anything until I learn them! I've been loving the stereo in my new car (and I've been loving the new car!)  I've been pounding the Pixies, Amy Winehouse and Elbow all week.  Speaking of which, I found out this week that my sister-in-law is friends with the singer and the bass player in a band I really like called Elbow, so I'm going to get to meet them and go and see them play. I always like little perks in life like that! We're having a contest at my local park, Mount Hawke in Cornwall (that's England...) next week so I'm helping out a bit with judging and organization.  It sounds as though a lot of people are planning on showing up so it should be a fun weekend. I might even enter, not sure yet! A good friend of mine, Khaled Termanini, sent me some pictures that he took at the Dubai X Games, just before Christmas. I resigned with my oldest sponsor, Adidas Shoes, for another 2 years and I'm putting a deal together with a drink company called Steaz. Steaz is super cool because they make organic energy drinks using natural ingredients and green tea.  I really like their stuff and feel good about promoting their products because it's actually good for you, unlike all the other nasty, toxic 'energy' drinks out there. I think you have to go with companies that you believe in... Okay, that's it for another week...

1st place pro vert @ 2008 Masters, Cologne, Germany, july 2008.
Simon Tabron (UK) wins the Pro Vert final with tricks like no handed 540, massive airs and a perfect 900. Tabron is one of the few riders who show this trick consistently.

2008 X-GAMES.
10th place @ 2008 X-Games, July 30th - August 2nd, 2008, Los Angeles, CA.
FatTony, www.ridebmx.com, august 2nd, 2008: Simon Tabron slammed hard on a 900 attempt on his first visit to the ramp. He was knocked out for several minutes and didn’t return to finish his runs but was up and walking around later.

Simon’s been living in the USA since 2008, has formed new relationships, been given new opportunities and progressed as a rider…
Simon Tabron, www.valleysidedistro.com, april 2012: My life was always in England and I gave up thinking about moving to America years ago. It was just too much of a big deal, like a crazy big upheaval. I really liked bouncing back and forth between America and Europe, it was like the best of both worlds. Then, in 2008, my wife had this meltdown and decided that she didn’t want to be married anymore. I was in California and she told me over the phone, told me not to come home. It was the beginning of the craziest year of my life. I flew straight back to see what the hell was going on and she was one hundred percent determined that this was what she wanted. We’d been together for twelve years and I had no idea at all, didn’t see it coming whatsoever. No warning, nothing. It was the most immature and erratic thing I had ever seen – I just thought ‘fuck it’, time to take care of me. She’d always been such a baby about everything, including breaking up so I just took off and started looking out for number one. So, long story short, I flew back to America, to Chad Kagy’s house and, half way across the Atlantic, I had an epiphany. My life in England had just imploded, there was no longer anything to keep me there. I could suddenly go anywhere I wanted and do whatever I wanted. I remember being on that plane and saying out loud. “That’s it, I’ll move to America.” Chad picked me up at the airport and I told him what I had decided. He said I could stay for as long as I wanted. So I moved in with Chad for a while. Then, everything just started to fall into place. I spent time at Chad’s, spent time in Salt Lake with my friends there. Just kind of found my balance again, rode my bike a lot and started wondering about what to do next. After a few months, I was dating a girl who lived in California and it occurred to me that I’d always wanted to live in California. So I rented an apartment. Then I flew back to England, sold almost everything I owned, shipped seven bags and boxes of my belongings to my new apartment, filed for a divorce, applied for a work visa and moved to America. Zach Shaw came and stayed with me at my house in England, helped me sell stuff and kept my head as straight as possible. I really found out who my friends were through that whole period. I went to hell and back a few times but it was worth it and it all worked out for the best in the long run. It prompted me to make changes in my life that I’d been thinking of for years and to finally move to America. I’ve never been happier. It was worth all of the craziness and the hell and the upheaval. Life’s kind of great these days!

Simon left long time sponsor Mongoose in october 2008.
Simon Tabron, www.expn.com, march 2009: I was coming to the end of my contract. I was coming to the end of eight years with them, and they set up a meeting, they told me it was a contract renewal meeting, and they just said that they were changing direction. And that they didn't want to renew contracts with me. So I said, "Okay, thanks for everything," and got up and left. I mean firstly, they were a great sponsor for all of those eight years. They enabled me to do a lot of really good, fun things, and see part of the world, and treat me really well. But all good things come to an end. And in a sense, I was relieved to no longer be riding for a company like that, cause for all the good things they did for me, it was time for a change. I'd been a Mongoose guy forever. For me personally, for my riding and the things I want to do, it's actually been a liberating experience. Just to not have this big company standing over me the whole time. Not having to second guess everything. I was always a rebellious kid, just trying to do whatever it was I wanted to do anyway. And I would always be conscious of Mongoose, whether they would like what I was doing or not. It was kinda like having parents watch you the whole time. I was responsible to them for their brand image and everything, so in some ways, I had to second guess everything they did. And sometimes, I'd find myself doing things I didn't necessarily want to do... It changes the dynamic. It just means that I literally now ride my bike for me and nobody else. Fortunately, I still have some great sponsors, the kind that are supportive and helpful for me rather than trying to make me into something that they want.
Brian Tunney, www.expn.com, march 2009: I've always been enamored by Simon Tabron's vert riding. The problem is, I can't exactly describe why. There just seems to be this indescribable "thing" that separates him from the rest of the vert class; a certain Blyther-esque-ness about his riding that brings a very defined flow and grace to the vert ramp, something that not many riders are capable of. I guess the easy way to say it is that Simon Tabron makes vert riding look awesome. He's got the height, the pump and the variations to win huge contests throughout the world, and although he rides a ton of comps and does well at them, that aspect of riding doesn't seem to be his focus. He's also one of a very esteemed few that's gone brakeless on vert and made it work to his advantage. And of course, a Simon Tabron intro wouldn't be complete without mentioning that he owns 900s, and also that he's the only person in the world to ever pull back-to-back 900s. Recently, Simon switched things up a bit, moving to California and leaving his longtime sponsor Mongoose, so I thought it would be a good time to catch up and see what's new. Here's the good word from the world's one and only guitar-playing brakeless owner of the 900 air.


Simon Tabron unleashed his vert steeze on Oregon’s steep and deep cement and tweaked out a one-footed seatgrab at the Battleground park on the cover of Ride BMX US october 2009. Photo by Keith Mulligan.

Simon Tabron, www.fatbmx.com, november 2009: After 10 years of being the greatest shoe sponsor, Adidas told me yesterday that they are dropping their whole bmx program. It's kind of sad but they treated me so well for so long and I'm really grateful for that. All good things must come to an end!
simon tabron ride bmx us 11 2009
2010 5050 REVOLVER.
Simon Tabron, www.valleysidedistro.com, april 2012: I’d had my own pro model for years and then I started riding for We The People and the frame I was on just didn’t feel right. I knew what I wanted but didn’t want to take a backwards step to my old sponsor and I didn’t want to start a bike company so I asked my friend Eddie from 5050 if he’d be interested in doing a frame with me and selling it through his shop, like a ‘shop frame’. He said yes immediately and talked to S&M the next week at Interbike and they said they could definitely do it for us. So I went to S&M’s factory and told them exactly what I wanted and they made a limited run of 25 frames for us. Five with my geometry, twenty with a more street-friendly geometry. Then we sold them all through 5050. I kept five, gave one to my cousin and one to Brian Blyther. I felt like the whole thing worked out great for me. I had no interest in starting a bike company but, thanks to S&M and 5050, I got my own custom frames and was able to be involved in a really cool project with those guys.
2011 2011 X-GAMES.
4th place vert @ 2011 X-Games.
Simon Tabron, www.facebook.com, july 2011: Horrible crash tonight at X Games. I broke my collarbone in 3 places and will be having surgery on monday to piece it back together with a plate and some screws. Oh well, still got 4th. It will be my first ever surgery'