807

807 is the area code for the Western region of Ontario, including Thunder Bay and Kenora. It was the birth place of the Canadian Beast and home to a pretty cool bmx scene about five years back (and possibly now?). Sometime in 2003 this guy John lived in Kelowna for about a month before moving to Australia. He was from Kenora, and he brought a bunch of footage from his hometown with him. On that tape, there was a kid on a blue Schwinn complete that absolutely destroyed everything in front of him (on a Schwinn Complete!). It seemed like the guy could do pretty much everything, from tech stuff like footjam to barspin out (this may have been the first one I’d ever seen) to big 180s and gaps… everyone in Kelowna that saw the tape was pretty impressed. Well, that kid turned out to be Karl Engstrom, and at least some of the clips off that tape are in the video part below (I’m guessing nobody cares that I uploaded this…):


Karl showed up at Vancouver Metro Jam the next year and won amateur, later getting on Kink and Orchid through Tenpack. Around the same time, there was an 807 scene report in Chase, detailing some of the things going on in the area.

This was the video that got me interested in local videos. In every scene there are cool new spots to check out, and there’s always one or two riders that stand out. Karl’s part in 807 could hang in any big team video of that period, but since it was just a local video on VHS, barely anyone saw it. There was no such thing as a webvideo back then, so if you wanted to see riding in other scenes you had to either be lucky or hunt these videos down. People still make full lengths, and this year may be the best year for local videos yet. The internet makes trailers easily accessible, and many are widely distributed; If you’ve got ten or fifteen bucks to spare, there are half a dozen new releases that I would recommend to anyone. I’d post them up but finding that stuff is half the fun (and there are a bunch of interviews in the side menu about local videos anyways).

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2 Responses to “807”

  1. After the whole OG 807 crew parted their own ways the scene in thunder bay almost died off especially after 3rd and high ( legend has it that the park was partially built by 3 ride owner brad scott) the skate park that practically raised me was torn down due to the chemicals in the wood treatment process. Now with a new park at the marina the scene is growing fast. 2 years ago there were literally only 2 ppl that i could call up that would be down to ride and now i have a 5 minute bike ride to the park to see 17 kids on a bmx

  2. drew nelson Says:

    its funny I came across this today, I was at my mom’s the other day looking through my old bmx stuff for a front hub/axle and I saw the vhs tape of no bikes 3 and wondered what you were up to.

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