Video: Custom MTB helmet painting with Flat White Paintworks

Recently we were lucky enough to score a free custom painted Fox Speedframe helmet courtesy of John Parkin at Flat White Paintworks.

John’s an old chum of ours and if you’ve followed World Cup downhill racing in the last couple of decades then chances are you’ve watched one of his videos.

You see, John is one of the talented Parkin brothers who were responsible for the awesome film series Focus, Refocus and 3Focus, which featured some of the world’s best downhillers around the globe, as well as many other up-and-coming riders. He and his brothers have since worked for many of the biggest names in the mountain biking world, such as Trek, Red Bull and produced the DirtTV race weekend videos from the Downhill World Cups.

Having been the driving force behind many rad video projects over the past couple of decades, these days John is applying his creative talents elsewhere.

Amid the pandemic lockdown, John decided he needed a new creative challenge. Motivated by the fact he had an old bike that was in desperate need of some love in order to sell it, he bought a spray gun and a compressor. After a year of experimenting and learning, Flat White Paintworks was born.

Here’s what John said about painting this lid for us:

“This collaboration had been an idea in the back of my mind for ages before I finally clicked with a concept and knew I had to make it happen. Mike Rose (ex-Dirt Mag editor extraordinaire) sorted an awesome @foxmtb Speedframe helmet to use as a canvas and I went to work.

“Unsurprisingly, it turns out repeating the @misspentsummers logo approximately 69,000 times is easy enough in Adobe Illustrator, much less so on the complex curved shape of a bike helmet. More than 48 hours of solid masking and de-masking later and the idea had started to come to life. In all seriousness, this one nearly broke me!

“A few rushed coats of clearcoat later, and still not fully cured, I balanced it precariously in the footwell of my car and drove the 1100 miles to Finale Ligure for delivery (may or may not have been going for the EWS anyway…). I’ve known Misspent Summers chief dropout James McKnight since 2007, and I couldn’t imagine anyone more deserving of having a cool custom helmet, repping the awesome company he is part of.”

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