Phil Sundbaum Interview

Feb 19, 2007
by Tyler Maine  
Phil Sundbaum is a huge guy and he just gets noticed when he's out biking, but his size has very little to do with it. You see, Phil kills it on the old 2 wheelers! Natural talent and drive have made him a force to reckon with on the Street, Park and DJ scenes.

Here's a little ditty on the big guy:Born: Coos Bay, Oregon
Current city: Federal Way, Washington
Raised In: West Seattle
Years riding: 9
Favorite band: Chiodos
Favorite place to ride: GJ's trails

Why do you ride?

Because it’s fun, because I love it- I grew up riding. I love being on my bike, and pushing myself personally to get to a new level whether others are there or not already. I started riding at 15 and raced bmx for half a season but stopped when I started learning how to do tricks instead.

How did you get into freeriding?

My friend Crappis had a friend who offered to loan me a bike for The Gathering 2 years ago. With work and bmx in general I didn’t know if I wanted to, but closer to the contest I decided that I’d borrow his friend's bike. AJ (who I didn't know was the owner of “Go Huck Yourself”), lent me a big ass green Evil bike. I got to know the GHY owners and riders through that, but I busted their bike the 1st night of competition, and didn’t want to go back cause of bad vibes from other riders. I felt bad for breaking the bike and not being able to continue riding so I went back the next day with a new front wheel and fork to prove myself and got 2nd place in the park event.

What challenges do you face as a rider?
Acceptance as a rider. Proving myself to be a top rider when nobody wants somebody else to come into the game or pick up a bike and ride. Proving myself and getting to events. Trying to ride every day and still hold a full time job. There are 2 different levels in every sport- in freeriding the first level is being able to do a superman over a double, and the second level is taking the superman to a huge drop.

Is being big tough?
I don’t think being big makes it harder to ride as much as it makes it harder to make the riding look good. It just makes a trick with any extension you do a little bit harder because you have more body to throw around in the same amount of time as a smaller person.

But there must be some advantages to being big too?

Oh yeah... No matter where I am people see me. Being big always makes you that person that stands out a little easier when you tower everyone else.

How have your results been?

2nd place Gathering park 2005
1st place Gathering park 2006
1st place John Henrys days 2005
1st place Bend Bike Rodeo 2006
1st place Softies Jump Jam 2005
2nd place Winter Chill Jam 2006
2nd place Banger in the Hanger 2005

Have a look at that front tire folks-holy crap

Have a look at that front tire folks-holy crap

What magazines/videos have you appeared in (mention or pic)?

Matchvideozine 7&8
Blackmarket Atomlab video
Decline, Bike, Mountain Bike, Modest Bike

Who currently sponsors you?

Black Market, Atom Lab, Gravity, Smith, Persephone clothing, GHY

Tell me about Persephone?

Persephone is a clothing company Andy and I started for fun and has become our winter project. In our down time we play around with some ideas, we've got a million of them. It fits in really well with our age group, everyone local wants stuff but we can't offer it to them because of time and money limitations. I want riding and Persephone to be my job.

What would your life be like without bikes?

I could not tell you. I can’t imagine my life without bikes. My life revolves around work and riding. Andy, my brother inspires me more than anyone. One of the best things anybody can have is not just a best friend to ride with, but a brother at the same age and level of riding. He wants to be where I want to be- riding at the top. We ride at the same level but have distinct riding styles.

Why should someone sponsor you?

Parents love me, kids love me. I've worked in the industry for a long time and know most of the products so I have an advantage of being able to ride something hard and I can specifically say 'it broke because of this'. I’ll go to every competition and every demo if I have the opportunity. It takes personality and style to be worth something to sponsors and companies, and I can give that to them if I’m given the chance.

More Sundbaum Stats:

Age: 25 years old
Height: 6' 5"
Weight: 225 pounds
What are you riding? A BLACK MARKET
What’s your best trick? 3whips
What events are you planning to attend this season? As many as I can get to!

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  • 0 0
 phil is the shit he will be one of the top riders soon i ride with him at skatebarn and he does the craziest shit he lands 720's easy 3 whips backflip crankstalls on the ceiling beams. he should be takin the place of some guys in nwd movies he will smoke john cowan any day
  • 0 0
 john cowan is a legend and is one of the guys who started dirtjumping and made nwd look cool. he has done bigger jumps then most riders will ever doo. and tricked them. he has some amazing style that i have never seen riders but him he shoudlnt be cut,but this looks like a crazy dude tho. and will be famous in no time with that skill.
  • 0 0
 Pretty gnarly to have sombody speak in their interviews about size. Kinda cool thing for the bigger riders to show respect for. This guy looks insane and seems to have a promising career. Hope to see more coverage. Best of luck dude.
  • 0 0
 Come down to the States this weekend for the last of the Winter Chill Series and check out his skills. Come and ride and throw down on the same course. Theres an article about it a few posts back. Or go to
  • 1 0
 He's not an unknown rider in the states. Just wait till he lands his 7's at the sea otter DJ comp.
  • 0 0
 i would totally sponser phil... if i had more than 3 prototypes built and more than 20 extra dollars that i just spent on a 30 pack of beer... great rider though
  • 0 0
 Why does the article talk about him being a freerider, but all his pictures are from a skatepark??
  • 0 0
 phil is awesome. i just saw him at the rays compition a he was really good. he will be one of the top riders soon.
  • 0 0
 sweet, this guy is cool, i dont know what to say, except for sweet artical, and cool pics
  • 1 0
 this dude is my neighbor.. nooo joke..
  • 0 0
 Sweet ! How much is that in cm and kilos? Smile
  • 0 0
 he's very skilled in dj

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