Ian Schwartz has gotten bit by the traveling bug lately. From spending a month in Jersey with Vinnie Sammon, staying in Austin for most of January and then going to Barcelona and Estonia, he has been all over lately. This picture is from a London visit awhile back. Recently, he got invited to the X Games in Dubai, so I took this opportunity to do an interview with him about Dubai and being in the X Games.
So where the heck did you go for the X Games?
This one was in Dubai in the UAE.
Did you have any idea where Dubai was before you got invited?
Actaully no, i had no clue man. traveling alot lately has made me realize how geographically stupid i am. I need to fix that i think.
So it’s in the Middle East basically, what was it like flying over an area that seems to be in such upheaval?
It was kinda crazy. I mean, nothing wierd happened or anything, but while we were in the air i couldn’t stop thinking, “wow, that’s iraq’s border were flyin past!” But as far as Dubai itself, it felt peaceful and safe.
What did you think of Dubai?
It was interesting. Alot of construction everywhere. You could look out over the horizon of the city and see 15-20 cranes scattered around. The whole city is built almost solely for tourism, so you definitely weren’t getting the “middle-east” experience that you’d get anywhere else. Which could be a good thing in some cases now that i think about it! haha.
Did you get to see much?
No, not as much as i would have liked to. i was kind of stranded to a certain extent at the contest. the city is really spread out, so taking a taxi around would of taken all my money quick. saw a few cool things though. street rode one day. that was wierd but fun.
Would you go back?
Well, i would if i was asked to or something. but i probably wouldn’t make an effort myself to set up a trip there. Nothing against it, Dubai just wasn’t my kinda place.
So Dubai is called the Las Vegas of the Middle East, how did it compare to the real Las Vegas?
Haha, nothing as wild as the real one. But relative to the rest of the middle east, it was definitely more leanient about some things.
Enough about Dubai, tell us about riding in the X Games? Was there Slim Jim’s and Mountain Dew everywhere? Or was it like a normal contest?
Well, I’ve only really been to a couple contests, and never an espn contest, so i don’t really know how it would compare. But, no slim jim guy. There were of course sponsor tents and stuff you’d expect. Lots of catered food! That was an awesome suprise!!
So there’s talk of having a real street style X Games this summer in the US, what do you think about that?
I think it’d be ok. I’d love to be invited, but that might be a long shot. There’s of course gonna be lots of bad aspects to it. That’s unavoidable, but givin some street guys a chance to make some major money would be an obvious good. I guess we’ll see how it all goes.
You qualified for the finals, does that possibly qualify you for the one in the US?
I couldn’t tell ya, but I’m pretty sure not. I don’t think that’ll have any bearing on who gets invited.
Did you have fun? See any good tricks go down?
Yeah, I actually had alot of fun in the contest, which was sort of unexpected. I usually get too nervous and hate every minute of the contests I’ve been in before, but for some reason this one was good. Maybe just because the course was more fun than usual. As far as tricks go, of course there was crazy shit goin on all over the place. I mean, come on, Aaron Ross was there!