South African Sven Martin is one of the most respected freelance photographers working within the action sports community. He shoots all types of cycling, but concentrates primarily on gravity and big trail/mountain-orientated mountain biking, while also finding time to squeeze in skateboarding, surf and snow shooting ‘when time or conditions are right’. He has worked as official team photographer for many of the leading MTB companies, including Atherton Racing and GT/Mongoose, and has documented competitions including the World Championships, the Saint Deep Summer Contest in Whistler, Sea Otter, Crankworx, the US Open, Megavalanche, and the Mountain of Hell. Originally from Cape Town, South Africa, Sven moved to the USA, and lived the first five years in SoCal, Newport Beach and Laguna Beach before settling in Bend, Oregon. In his early years in the US, he was heavily into skateboarding, both competing and taking photos, but as the level skyrocketed in the late nineties, he says it made ‘more sense financially’ to be behind the lens than in front of it. His wife Anka introduced him to mountain biking in 2001, and he competed as a pro from 2003, running a team and racing World Cups and three World Championships. However, following a series of crashes and flat tyres, he chose to concentrate on shooting in 2007/2008, only trail riding and downhilling whenever time allowed. “I still like to push myself to the limit in the odd race too,” he says, “be it in DH or Mega style Enduro DH.”
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