Jaws Interview

Aug 21, 2009
by Tyler Maine  
Jaws recently contacted us in regards to an interview he'd done with a Polish riding site to see if we could run it for him here on Pinkbike.com. After much translating was done by Damian Knapik, we're happy to present to you the "Jaws Interview"!

Enjoy the pics and interview inside,Damian Knapik – www.joy-ride.pl: Pretty much every Polish biker knows that you are Bartek Krzyszton and you live in Cracow, but... Why do you go by the name 'Jaws'?
Jaws: A long, long time ago, when I was a very beginner freerider, I used to ride in 'Lasek Wolski'. Once, while waiting with friends for bus number 134, I decided to buy a few rolls, some drinks and sausage for campfire. The bus arrived at the very moment I was leaving the shop, so I just put all the bread in my mouth and ran as fast as I could. When my friend Artur saw me, he said 'That's Jaws!'.

Since we're on the topic of a 'long, long time ago', tell us something more about your beginnings with bikes. What caused your passion for riding?
The first bike I used to jump on was a BMX that I won in a drawing contest for the TV programme 'Ciuchcia' [kind of a train] with Kulfon & Monika. However, the true passion came from my friends. They pulled me into riding, showed me the local trails and next things seemed to happen automatically...

Do you still work on your artistic skills? I mean, not everyone wins a BMX in 'Ciuchcia'.
No, no. Exactly, I finished artistic high school, but it's not what I would like to do in the future.

Have you always been such a 'hardcore' guy? Because that's your image on the MTB scene.
Most likely as right from the beginning I've wanted to hit jumps. My first weird jump was done on a Cyclecraft with an old Manitou fork. I jumped from a wall near our largest river - Vistula and it was like 4 meters high. The result of that jump was a broken saddle and I won't tell ya which part of my body did that.

Revisiting old times

Revisiting old times

One of your most impressive stunts was pulling a back flip on the huge step down slope...
Yep, but I crashed all attempts. First three times went wrong, forth one I landed properly, but I was really unlucky, cause my wheels sunk in sand. I broke my arm then and couldn't try it again.

Why is the spot kept a secret?
It's in Cracow and few riders know where... We are trying to protect it from destruction. Riding there is illegal and proper institutions would surely notice the presence of bikers there.

How did you find that jump?
Via google earth.

Jaws early season 2009:
Views: 17,927    Faves: 136    Comments: 20

Let's continue topic of spots... How about other FR trails in Cracow? Recently, Piotrek Szwedowski has been building a lot of new stuff. Do you co-operate with each other?
No, I prefer to build trails in the forest near my house, cos it's pretty quiet there. One of my favorite places to ride is also Nielepice (Last year's Freeride Jam took place there). It's hard to find me now on Cracow's trails - these are too popular.

We all thought that Jaws put his bikes away during the cold winter and relaxed at home, but you surprised everyone with the pics from Zakopane, where you were flying on Polish Freeskiing Open kickers. Jumping on snow is much harder than typical biking terrain as far as conditions go is it not?
Yes, I'll admit that landing on a soft snow pack is very hard – bike is shaking from side to side, it's pretty easy to loose your balance. On the other hand, when pulling tricks on such big gaps, I have much more time to correct eventual mistakes and in the air I can do exactly what I want.

So, you're not ruling out the possibility of flipping that jump another winter?
(mysterious smile)

Ok, I understand. How about ideas for other big jumps in your life?
I've got few 'big' ideas. One of them is to jump over the bus connected with an FMX show in autumn. I can't tell you anything more than that.

All these P.O.D.s you're hitting up, are you just trying over and over until you have a successful jump?
Nah, usually I've hit the jumps a lot over time and then Tommy appears with a camera and makes a P.O.D happen.

Do ya remember your first sponsor?
Of course. I don't think I will ever forget my mom and dad.

Do they still support your bike passion like they kid when you were starting out?
No. They stopped few years ago, now I receive a lot of help from Pinkbike.com and Transition Bikes - they support me as much as they can.

Ways of support from Transition Bikes seems to be obvious, but about your collaboration with Pinkbike.com, could you tell us a little bit more?
For example, recently they sent me brand new Marzocchi 55 and I'm really grateful for that. I love them! I also receive stuff like tees and hoodies. I owe them even for the sponsorship from Transition. Cheers to the Pinkbike.com Crew! I would like to meet them one day and thank them for all of that in which they have done for me.

How did you convinced Pinkbike.com to sponsor you?
I didn't really have to convince them. I had asked if they knew any brands in which were looking for a rider and instead of an answer, they added me to the Pinkbike.com Team along with Casey Groves last year.

Nowadays we seem to run into you mostly on local trails. Don't you any foreign trips planned?
Actually, I don't have the money for that, but I'd like to visit some European bike parks in the future. Of course my dream is to ride in Whistler or Kamloops.

It's hard to overlook that most of your stunts have been captured by Tommy Rakoczy. How did your partnership begin?
One day I saw inline skating photos shot by Tommy. I talked to him then and from that time we've been working together a lot. We've got various ideas and we've been trying to accomplish them.

What gives you that much creativity in regards to inventing new spots for riding and shooting? Good party, beer with friends, riding on a bike?
Mostly from bike ridin'. But usually, when I see an interesting place, I start to imagine what I could do there on bike.

Are you sometimes looking for new trails by roaming on a motorcycle or by car?
Yeah, I do that with a Melex! Hahaha

Exactly you have a lot you can do with a Melex Golf Car...
Yep. I'm riding the Melex everyday with some old men and showing them monuments in Cracow! Generally, I am also interested in photography.

We're close to the end of this interview, would you like to thank anyone?
First of all, greets to Pinkbike.com & Transition Bikes. I'm also thankful for the support from Hayes Disc Brakes- velo.com.pl, zeit.com.pl, Bunnyhop.pl, gofox.pl, hcfr.pl and of course my girlfriend.

What should we wish for you now?
Hmmm... Huge jumps and brain waves for innovative lines.

Tell us about your train gap ideas and last year's adventure looking for one?
Ha ha! Last year I arrived with Tommy, Ryys and Motomysz to our southern neighbors in search of a place to build a train gap. We found one and spent two days on building the take off. Unfortunately we didn't have time to build a landing, so we planned to return there this year. Although it appeared that we were cutting trees from a Czech national park for 2 days. So we gave up further fruition of the project. Currently we're still searching for a proper place.

Tommy: So glad he gave up with that idea, cause I wouldn't go back there without a chain saw!

Photos: Tomek Rakoczy – www.tommysuperstar.com
Text: Damian Knapik – www.joy-ride.pl


Posted In:


  • 20 0
 wow, great interview! good job with translations. we (supported by pb crew) should start a donation of some sort to raise money so Bartek 'jaws' Krzyszton could come to whistler and kamloops. and maybe get some sort of blog or documentary so everyone could see the end result. he would definatley tear up the spots. easily enough money raised by next crankworx so he can witness that event. Pinkbike.com crew can make dreams reality, give it a go guys!
  • 10 0
 No disrespect to Jaws at all, but I guess he would have a better chance of success in Redbull rampage
  • 6 0
 completely agree!!! wont transition pay for him to go?
  • 8 1
 jaws in redbull rampage or crankworx ? hahaha i'd like to see that Smile
  • 11 0
 not to sure if he would do well in crankworx i'm not to sure as to what tricks he has but crankworx people throw down some insane tricks and he just seems to huck himself. he would be much more suited for the rampage i think. this is no disrespect to jaws what so ever he seems like a solid rider just my opinion
  • 9 0
 Our polish best known freeride rider! Best wishes for him to collect money for his goals.
  • 11 1
 What A Beast
  • 6 0
 great write up, quality photos as ever, keep it up!!
  • 2 0
 solid interview
  • 9 0
 yeah great interview. i like how they ask him about his first sponsor and he says "Of course. I don't think I will ever forget my mom and dad." thats such a true thing for most people here.
  • 2 0
 Yeah I thought it was a really good answer too, true for pretty much any rider who starts when they're still living at home, no matter how many lawns you claim to have mown to afford that DH bike, we all know dad helped you out a bit.
  • 3 0
 Really good interview, seems like a solid guy and a great person to have in the public eye, representing our sport. In this country, or his. If there is a collection to get him out here for a trip I'd contribute. Also have a place to stay if he and guests want.
  • 8 2
 sick rider
  • 4 0
 He's "almost" as good as me..... lol GREAT RIDING! Mad Skills, wish i have some of those skills!
  • 4 0
 I have so much respect for him. Salute Anyone who doesn't is either extremely ignorant or mentally defective. Or both.
  • 2 0
 its crazy how his dream is to visit whistler and or the loops, for some of us thats not a huge deal, kinda shows you how the sport is there compaired to here, and how location is so huge to producing world class riders.
  • 3 0
 Definately one of the better underground riders out there. Imagine what he could do in a real competition.
  • 2 2
 Nice to see a Polish guy getting props, too many times have I seen English speakers neg propping them on here for using a different language, which is pretty ignorant. Be cool to see more Polish riders at big comps for sure!!
  • 4 1
 Good man and devil in air! Big Grin Props to the rider! Smile
  • 3 1

Do ya remember your first sponsor?

"Of course. I don't think I will ever forget my mom and dad"
  • 2 0
 yeah that was a great answer !!
  • 2 0
 its just a mistake in one word. must be 'never' here. Cheers
  • 2 0
 'ever' is actually the right word...he just pointed out that answer cause it's cool :p
  • 3 0
 I love Jaws' riding Smile
  • 2 0
 i like when jaws ride ;D but its sick riders ;] mr.POD`s
  • 3 0
 Jaws shreds!
  • 4 2
 Szczęki is our national pride! Big Grin
  • 3 3
 he is as good in FR as Robert Kubica in F1 Big Grin Big Grin Big Grin
  • 1 0
 Great interview, cool to see a bit more about the guy behind all these PODs!
  • 2 1
 loving the flow, speed and air of those trails. awesome.
  • 2 1
 jaw is crazy
  • 1 1
 good riders good movie good.... good good good
  • 1 1
 Almost all of this kids photo's should be POD they are so sick
  • 2 1
 Jaws Knows Best ;d
  • 1 1
 pretty nice definitly would be an awesome rampage rider Big Grin
  • 1 1
 damn, cool guy !
  • 1 1
 Great interview. He's the man. I think he's my favorite FR rider from now on.
  • 1 2
 szczeki is good rider Smile Pimp
podzro oby tak dalejSmile
  • 1 1
 Amazing trail.
  • 1 1
 those pics are POD!

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