MENACE - Sven Martin

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This was the very first Dirt Magazine cover I landed. It was a huge honour, both because it was Dirt, the gravity bible at the time, and also because it was THE legendary Chris Kovarik. At the time, I was racing myself and was shooting more skateboarding than mountain biking, but I always pitched lots of non-race editorial work to Dirt.

There’s a story about this spot: there have been five Dirt covers all shot in close vicinity to this location, all similar but different. Alike with blue sky and dry dirt. These would go on sale between Nov-Feb in the middle of the dark, wet British winter; bright, sunny covers would sell magazines. Mike Rose first shot Steve Peat here in 2003; Shawn Spomer shot newly crowned World Champ Vanessa Quinn in 2004; then I shot Kovarik, Minnaar and Peat here in 2005, 2006 and 2007. Dirt put MENACE in big, bold font over the cover image, which was true of Kovarik then and probably now. If he’d had a few rums and his shirt had come off, best run away fast.