We are pumped to finally announce that shop.nitrocircus.com is open for business! We’ve been working hard to create the one and only destination where you’ll find a huge assortment of Nitro hats, T-shirts, hoodies, and more, with sizes and styles for the whole family: men’s, women’s, boys’, and girls’.
We’ve taken the designs you see the riders wearing and made them available for purchase for the first time ever. You’ll see T-shirts that before you’ve seen only on Travis Pastrana and the Nitro Crew.
We’re also partnering with ’47 for headwear, because we know our fans are serious about their hats, so we found a company that’s just as serious to make ours. You asked for it, and now it’s here, so head to shop.nitrocircus.com right now!
For more information, check out the full press release and video announcement below:
NITRO CIRCUS ANNOUNCES NEW ONLINE STORE: SHOP.NITROCIRCUS.COM
Global Action Sports Leader to Offer Exclusive Headwear and Apparel Not Available At Shows or in Stores
E-Commerce Launch Kicks Off Comprehensive Global Licensing and Consumer Products Campaign
(LOS ANGELES, CA / Wednesday – May 18, 2016) Nitro Circus, the biggest brand in action sports events and entertainment, brings the excitement home with the announcement of its new online store: shop.nitrocircus.com. The initial rollout features ’47 headwear and new Nitro Circus apparel not available at shows or in retail stores. These are the same designs that Nitro Circus athletes like global superstar Travis Pastrana have worn at sold out stadiums around the world. Now, for the first time ever, fans can get the gear that Nitro Circus riders wear.
An assortment of on-trend t-shirts, hoodies and hats are available now for purchase in men’s, women’s, boys’ and girls’ sizes. These fresh lines are inspired by the rock-solid commitment to progression and innovation that Nitro Circus athletes live day in and day out. Over 18 months in the making, they are the result of an extensive collaborative process spearheaded by the Nitro Circus design team, including Jonathan Dupree, global creative head, licensed products (formerly of Paul Frank Industries and X-Large USA), involving the riders first-hand.
“These new designs look and feel great, and after wearing this gear on tour they can take all of the punishment we dish out,” says Pastrana. “I think fans are going to be really excited, too. We all remember wanting to follow in our heroes’ footsteps as we came up.”
This announcement represents the first phase of Nitro Circus’ extensive licensing and consumer products strategy. In the coming months, Nitro Circus will unveil an expansive collection globally across both soft-lines and hard-goods inclusive of sporting goods, toys, video games and more.
“This site is a huge step forward for Nitro Circus, not only from a revenue standpoint but also for brand growth,” says Mike Porra, Nitro Circus CEO and creative director. “At the same time, it helps us connect with our fans and gives them another way to experience Nitro Circus.”
“This is just the first step in a comprehensive plan extending our licensing range into consumer products,” says Peter Maule, global head of licensing for Nitro Circus. “Going forward, we will translate the dynamic brands of both Nitro Circus and our athletes to reach fans worldwide.”
Shop.nitrocircus.com is a joint venture with Nitro Circus and global licensing leader Velocity Brand Management (VBM). Already Nitro Circus’ agency of record in Australia and New Zealand, VBM brings years of experience with the biggest brands in sports including the National Basketball Association (NBA), the English Premiere League (EPL), NRL Australia and more.
Nitro Circus creates spectacular live events and unbelievable original content for thrill seeking fans worldwide. With over two million tickets sold to date, television programming that has aired in over 60 countries and an aggressive slate of digital media offerings garnering 100 million views per month, Nitro Circus is at the forefront of action sports and entertainment.
Check out Nitro Circus on the road this fall, follow us @WickedTango and enjoy a Wicked Tango Light The Fuse cocktail while doing so!
About Nitro Circus: Named #22 on Forbes magazine’s 2015 list of America’s Most Promising Companies, Nitro Circus continues to position itself as the world’s leading youth action sports & entertainment brand. From humble beginnings in 2003 – with Jeremy Rawle, Gregg Godfrey and extreme sports superstar Travis Pastrana producing DVDs from a Utah garage — to a smash TV series which has aired in over 60 countries, Nitro Circus has exploded to global popularity. In 2012, Nitro Circus: The Movie, featuring cast members from the hit television series, was released in cinemas worldwide. In 2015, Nitro Circus announced a partnership with NBC Sports Ventures. The multi-year strategic alliance will feature TV specials and series programming airing nationally in the U.S. on NBC and NBCSN as well as streamed on NBC Sports Live Extra.
The TV show was transformed by current CEO and action sports industry guru Michael Porra into a must-see live event in 2010, creating the global touring phenomenon that is Nitro Circus Live. Since its inaugural Australian trek six years ago, the show has travelled the globe, obliterating box office records and cultivating a legion of diehard fans. Nitro Circus has now rolled across five continents, blown away over two million fans and sold-out shows in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, China, Japan, the Middle East and South Africa. After close to 100 shows globally in 2015 and with a packed 2016 touring schedule, Nitro Circus is the world’s most successful action sports touring brand.
For Nitro Circus:
We’ve got an exciting announcement from Travis Pastrana to share with you this morning. After his 10-year association with Red Bull, Travis has decided to go all-in and become an exclusive athlete for Nitro Circus:
“You know, when we started Nitro Circus almost thirteen years ago, we had three employees, and I was shipping DVDs out of the garage of my house. But a lot has changed since then,” says Jeremy Rawle, Nitro Global Head of Media. “We have wanted, from the beginning, to have Travis as a fully branded Nitro Circus athlete because it feels right to us.”
And today, that day has finally come. “This is another phenomenal achievement for Travis. He created something from scratch that is now recognized as the biggest and best action sports brand in the world – a tremendous accomplishment,” says Michael Porra, Nitro Circus CEO and creative director. “To see Travis in his new helmet, it’s like he’s coming home. It gives me goose bumps to be honest.”
“To step back and see where Nitro Circus has come is just awesome,” says Pastrana. “I want to say thank you to Red Bull. They have been incredibly supportive. But, this was a very special opportunity to build on what we’ve done and take it to the next level. I’m so pumped to wear the Nitro Circus red, white and blue and am psyched about where we are headed.”
Check out the full story in the press release below.
TRAVIS PASTRANA GOES ALL-IN WITH NITRO CIRCUS PARTNERSHIP
Pastrana Now Exclusive Athlete for Nitro Circus Brand
Exclusive Consumer Products Line Featuring Headwear and Apparel Coming Soon
LOS ANGELES, CA (Wednesday – February 10, 2016) Nitro Circus has entered into a game-changing partnership with co-founder Travis Pastrana. With this milestone agreement, Pastrana is a fully sponsored Nitro Circus athlete and Nitro Circus now has exclusive branding rights to Pastrana’s headwear and apparel. The action sports superstar will wear a Nitro Circus-branded helmet and hat at all events and public appearances. For Pastrana, this reflects his commitment to the company he created 13 years ago and its meteoric rise. It is also a seismic shift in the action sports landscape given Pastrana’s 10-year association with Red Bull.
“To step back and see where Nitro Circus has come is just awesome,” said Pastrana. “I want to say thank you to Red Bull. They have been incredibly supportive. But, this was a very special opportunity to build on what we’ve done and take it to the next level. I’m so pumped to wear the Nitro Circus red, white and blue and am psyched about where we are headed.”
“This is another phenomenal achievement for Travis. He created something from scratch that is now recognized as the biggest and best action sports brand in the world – a tremendous accomplishment,” said Michael Porra, Nitro Circus CEO and creative director. “To see Travis in his new helmet, it’s like he’s coming home. It gives me goose bumps to be honest.”
Backstage at Stockholm’s Tele2 Arena, prior to the first show of a highly anticipated world tour, fellow Nitro Circus co-founder Jeremy Rawle unveiled Pastrana’s new helmet. Custom designed by Santa Barbara, California artist Chris Wood, it features Pastrana’s trademark plaid interspersed with the Nitro Circus throwback word mark and pearl white stars frame both sides. As Rawle likened the event to a king receiving his new crown, Pastrana savored the moment while his Nitro Circus teammates roared in approval. To see this emotional presentation as well as footage of Pastrana leading the Nitro Circus crew in his new gear for the first time, go here.
Nitro’s Stockholm show kicked off a huge year for the action sports entertainment collective. In the coming months, fans will feel closer than ever to all of the action as Nitro Circus will launch a new consumer products’ range, including exclusive headwear and apparel designs not available at Nitro Circus Live shows. Inspired by its world-class athletes and their courageous record-breaking achievements, these street-smart and fashion-forward designs will be available at specialty retailers worldwide. “We can’t wait to roll out our new consumer products’ range. The headwear and apparel lines will be 100 percent in line with Nitro Circus’s brand essence,” said Peter Maule, global head of licensing for Nitro Circus. “We are also currently negotiating with several industry leading companies in gaming, toys and other sectors as we continue to seek new and innovative ways to partner with top tier organizations.”
Much more is on the horizon in 2016: Nitro Circus Live will continue its European swing through February, which includes multiple shows at London’s O2 Arena and Paris’ AccorHotels Arena (formerly The Bercy). A return to North America will follow in April, with over 40 dates in the United States and Canada on the way. An Australian tour launches in May and more tour dates worldwide will be announced soon. The inaugural Nitro World Games, a revolutionary reinvention of action sports competition, will take over Salt Lake City’s Rice-Eccles Stadium on July 16, airing live in primetime on NBC in the U.S.
For additional Nitro Circus news, exclusive behind-the-scenes content, tour updates and more, go to http://www.nitrocircus.com. Follow Nitro Circus Live on Twitter: @nitrocircus and Facebook: www.facebook.com/NitroCircus.
This morning, we finally got to announce our greatest passion project and the biggest news in action sports history. Next summer, we’ll be hosting the first-ever Nitro World Games in Salt Lake City, UT!
“Action sports is about progression, pushing the envelope to go bigger, faster and farther than ever before,” said Travis Pastrana. “When it comes to competition, I expect to see the best of the best going head to head, attempting tricks no one has ever seen before. With the Nitro World Games, we wanted to create an event that raised the bar and took action sports to the next level.”
“This is a passion project for Travis and for myself as well. We have worked tirelessly for three years with one goal in mind: a total reinvention of action sports competition. This is absolutely essential for the industry’s growth,” said Nitro Circus CEO and Creative Director Michael Porra.
Tickets go on sale tomorrow, Tuesday, December 8 at 9:00am MST! Sign up here to get notified and be the first in line for tickets tomorrow morning. Full press release and all the details below!
INAUGURAL NITRO WORLD GAMES ANNOUNCED FOR JULY 16, 2016
Salt Lake City Utah’s Rice-Eccles Stadium to Host the Biggest and Most Revolutionary Action Sports Competition of All Time — Airing Live in the U.S. on NBC
SALT LAKE CITY, UT (Monday – December 7, 2015) – Nitro Circus (www.nitrocircus.com), NBC Sports, Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert and the Utah Sports Commission today announced the inaugural Nitro World Games coming to Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah on Saturday, July 16, 2016. The biggest event in the history of action sports, the Nitro World Games is a riveting three-hour experience – airing live in the U.S. on NBC during prime time – that marks a revolutionary transformation of action sports competition. Created by extreme sports icon Travis Pastrana with Nitro Circus CEO and Creative Director Michael Porra, the Nitro World Games will feature the best athletes from across the globe in action sports’ most exciting and popular disciplines, including freestyle motocross (FMX), BMX, skate, inline, scooter and more.
“Action sports is about progression, pushing the envelope to go bigger, faster and farther than ever before,” said Pastrana. “When it comes to competition, I expect to see the best of the best going head to head, attempting tricks no one has ever seen before. With the Nitro World Games, we wanted to create an event that raised the bar and took action sports to the next level.”
“This is a passion project for Travis and for myself as well. We have worked tirelessly for three years with one goal in mind: a total reinvention of action sports competition. This is absolutely essential for the industry’s growth,” said Porra. “Nitro Circus was created right here in Salt Lake City and it remains our spiritual home. It also hosted the tremendously successful XIX Olympic Winter Games in 2002. I can’t think of a better location for the Nitro World Games.”
“We are thrilled to bring this new and innovative event to prime time television,” said Rob Simmelkjaer, Senior Vice President, NBC Sports Ventures. “The Nitro World Games will feature many of the world’s best action sports athletes competing in an entirely different format than anyone has ever seen before.”
“Sports are an indispensable part of Utah’s ‘Life Elevated’ experience,” Gov. Herbert said. “We are pleased that Nitro Circus has selected Utah to host the inaugural event. Sports bring a community together and provide a universal language we can all share and celebrate.”
“Action sports have been a key part of Utah’s sports infrastructure, and we look for opportunities to grow this space,” said Jeff Robbins, president and CEO of the Utah Sports Commission.
￼“Partnering with Nitro Circus on this major international event continues to highlight Utah as an action sports destination, while providing significant opportunities for economic impact and exposure for the state.”
The Nitro World Games will host the world’s biggest stars and the most accomplished athletes in action sports. It will also feature new disciplines, formats, tricks and all new ramps along with a Nitro-invented live scoring system ensuring fans can totally engage with the competition during every single minute of the Games. Each event will be a final round with everything on the line. Riders will attempt awe-inspiring — and in many cases brand new — tricks, all of which will create intensity on the track, energy in the stadium and must-see television for viewers. Independent and legendary veterans of each discipline will judge the fierce competition with pre-agreed degree of difficulty for every trick, ensuring the fairest and easiest to understand scoring system ever developed.
The Nitro World Games events will include 7 Gold Medal events:
FMX Biggest Trick
BMX Best Trick
BMX Triple Jump
Skate Best Trick
Scooter Best Tricks
Inline Best Tricks
Every action sports athlete in the world is eligible to compete in the Nitro World Games. Riders can attempt to qualify through preliminary events to be held at the Nitro Circus Academy of Excellence at Woodward West and at Travis Pastrana’s “Pastranaland” complex in Maryland U.S.A. Finalists will participate in the epic main competition at Rice-Eccles Stadium on July 16.
Also, Pastrana will lead an old school FMX throwdown in the Travis Pastrana No Rules Freestyle Legends Event. Pastrana’s brainchild, this goes back to the core of FMX, where riders challenged each other to hit any terrain and jump off any object, simply to see who could land the most outrageous trick. Pastrana will personally design the course and select the competitors from among the biggest icons in the sport. A panel of judges will rate each run. They will not give out scores, but rather simply decide who will earn the honor of the gnarliest rider on the planet.
As fans would expect from Nitro Circus, the Nitro World Games will feature a massive production, with over 15 different ramps – including Nitro Circus’ trademark 50-foot Giganta Ramp and the biggest setup in the history of FMX Big Air – filling the stadium floor, plus pyrotechnics, state of the art replay screens and more. Fans both in the stands and at home will be blown away.
NBC Sports will present three hours of live coverage of the Nitro World Games in the United States, with the telecast starting at 8 p.m. ET on NBC. All coverage shown on NBC will also be streamed on NBC Sports Live Extra, NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, tablets and connected TV’s. Outside of the U.S., NBC will distribute the Nitro World Games on leading networks globally via tape delay.
NBC Sports Ventures and Nitro Circus recently formed a multi-year strategic alliance. Nitro Circus programming, including compelling specials and the all-new docu-series, “Nitro Circus: Crazy Train,” now airs regularly in the U.S. on NBC and NBCSN and also streams on NBC Sports Live Extra. The Nitro World Games is the next phase of this partnership, combining NBC’s broadcasting excellence with Nitro Circus’ bold brand of action sports entertainment.
The Nitro World Games will also be a marquee destination event. Fans wanting to experience all of the excitement in person can purchase tickets to all of the action. To go behind the scenes at the Nitro World Games, the Nitro Club VIP package is the next best thing to an All Access pass.
Just $79 each (plus applicable service fees), these exclusive passes include the best seats in the house as well as a pre-event track walk. Nitro Club pass holders will also receive a souvenir lanyard.
Tickets to the Nitro World Games will be available starting Tuesday, December 8 at 9:00am MST. To purchase tickets and for the latest Nitro World Games updates, go to nitrocircus.com. Follow Nitro Circus on Twitter: @nitrocircus and Facebook: www.facebook.com/NitroCircus.
Over the past five years, Nitro Circus has electrified stadiums across the planet with incredible live shows and barrier-breaking world firsts. Now it will bring that same energy and innovation to the competitive arena with the biggest event ever in action sports.
About Nitro Circus:
Recently named by Forbes magazine as one of America’s Most Promising Companies, Nitro Circus continues to position itself as the world’s leading youth action sports & entertainment brand. From humble beginnings in 2003 – with Jeremy Rawle, Gregg Godfrey and extreme sports superstar Travis Pastrana producing DVDs from a Utah garage — to a smash TV series which has aired in over 60 countries, Nitro Circus has exploded to global popularity. In 2012, Nitro Circus: The Movie 3D, featuring cast members from the hit television series, was released in cinemas worldwide. In 2015, Nitro Circus announced a partnership with NBC Sports
Ventures. The multi-year strategic alliance will feature TV specials and series programming airing nationally in the U.S. on NBC and NBCSN as well as streamed on NBC Sports Live Extra.
The TV show was transformed by current CEO and action sports industry guru Michael Porra into a must-see live event in 2010, creating the global touring phenomenon that is Nitro Circus Live. Since its inaugural Australian trek five years ago, the show has travelled the globe, obliterating box office records and cultivating a legion of diehard fans. Nitro Circus has now rolled across five continents, blown away over two million fans and sold-out shows in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, China, Japan, the Middle East and South Africa. With close to 100 shows globally in 2015 and a packed 2016 touring schedule visiting even more cities still to be announced, Nitro Circus is the world’s most successful action sports touring brand.
About NBC Sports Ventures:
The NBC Sports Ventures Unit, a division of the NBC Sports Group, is charged with acquiring and developing new and existing sports properties for NBC Sports, NBCSN and Golf Channel. Properties under the NBC Sports Ventures umbrella include the Dew Tour, Red Bull Signature Series, Reebok Spartan Race, and Nitro Circus.
About the Utah Sports Commission:
The Utah Sports Commission is a not-for-profit, 501c3 charitable organization created to foster national and international amateur sports competitions to be held in the state of Utah, which will enhance the quality of life of all Utah citizens and strengthen Utah’s presence in the worldwide sports community.
We have more exciting news for all of you today! We’re happy to announce that we’re teaming up with Wicked Tango to bring you more of the entertainment that you love. Watch out for unique, new contraptions in our live shows, new digital video series and so much more.
And, to celebrate, Wicked Tango is introducing its latest signature cocktail:
Light the Fuse
2oz. Wicked 87
3oz. Diet cola
1oz. Firebolt (table side shot)
Build cocktail in rocks glass, over ice. Stir, then add Firebolt as side shot to cocktail as floater. Use Wicked Tango Firebolt on the side as a shot, upon preference for a desired amount.
Check out Nitro Circus on the road this fall, follow @WickedTango and enjoy a Wicked Tango Light The Fuse cocktail while doing so! Cheers!
WICKED TANGO IS READY TO RIDE THE BOLT WITH NITRO CIRCUS!
Wicked Tango and Nitro Circus Announce Innovative Strategic Partnership
Features Fully Integrated Advertising and Branding Opportunities Across NBC and NBCSN Programing, Nitro Circus Live’s Upcoming North American Tour, Social Media Channels and More
Tuesday – June 23, 2015 Los Angeles, CA:Wicked Tango, the American Dream in a glass, and Nitro Circus, the world’s greatest action sports brand, both believe in working hard but playing harder. Both are also the best in their class yet don’t take themselves too seriously, and they appeal to all Americans. Now, Wicked Tango and Nitro Circus are teaming up in a groundbreaking partnership agreement that will see both companies enter into a fully integrated sponsorship arrangement.
Nitro Circus CEO and Creative Director Michael Porra said, “We are thrilled to join forces with Wicked Tango. We think it is a really cool product that fits perfectly with us, and we know that our fans are going to love it.”
Wicked Tango CEO Larry Bross said, “When my partner, Jim White, and I first created our Wicked Tango brand we never thought another platform would have the same culture of fun, pride and quality. But when we met the Nitro Circus executives and founders, we immediately knew that this partnership would be fully aligned, not only for 2015 and 2016 but in the years beyond. We are very proud to have our Wicked brands become an integral partner with one of the best youth brands in the world. With 25 North American shows this fall, Nitro and Wicked Whiskey are coming to a town near you – look out!”
As the official whiskey of Nitro Circus, Wicked Tango will have the opportunity to incorporate its product across all Nitro Circus platforms. For example, Wicked Tango will be a part of Nitro Circus Live’s upcoming North American fall 2015 tour. Fans may even see unique Wicked Tango-themed contraptions fly from Nitro Circus’ brand new sling shot! Wicked Tango will also be organically integrated into Nitro Circus’ original content. This includes over 27 hours of televised programming on NBC and NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) in 2015 alone as part of a just-announced multi-year agreement with NBC Sports Ventures. Plus, Nitro Circus will highlight Wicked Tango across its social and digital platforms. Wicked Tango will also have access to an enviable talent roster including Travis Pastrana, Streetbike Tommy, Jolene Van Vugt and more.
As Nitro Circus makes a big entrance into the licensing arena, this innovative partnership represents a bold step forward. “A licensing and sponsorship agreement like this is a game changer,” Peter Maule, global head of licensing, said. “We can offer partners access to all of our assets – live events, original content and talent – so that they are vested 360 degrees in Nitro Circus.” Brett Clarke, global head of business development & marketing partnerships added, “Going forward we want to collaborate in the brand development process with our partners, where both parties contribute to and are responsible for each other’s success.”
Recently named at no. 22 in Forbes magazine’s list of America’s Top 100 Most Promising Companies, Nitro Circus creates spectacular live events and original media content for thrill seeking fans worldwide, showcasing the best in extreme sports for daredevils and risk taking wannabes alike. With over two million tickets sold to date, television programming that has aired in over 60 countries, nearly six million Facebook Likes and over 100 million views of digital offerings per month, Nitro Circus is the leader in action sports and entertainment.
An American Heritage company, Wicked Tango has a culture and small batch handcrafted spirits that make every American proud! Wicked 87 and Wicked Lightning Moonshine are 100% corn base distilled in Atchison, Kansas. Both are also ridiculously good, the kind you want to say, “You gotta try this!” Wicked Tango is not just about great spirits; it’s a lifestyle, a state of mind, the American dream in a glass and an awesomely wicked time… every time! Wicked Tango has a motto, “Work hard, and play harder!”
And to celebrate this collaboration with Nitro Circus, Wicked Tango introduces its latest signature cocktail: Light The Fuse.
Light the Fuse
2oz. Wicked 87
3oz. Diet cola
1oz. Firebolt (table side shot)
Build cocktail in rocks glass, over ice. Stir, then add Firebolt as side shot to cocktail as floater. Use Wicked Tango Firebolt on the side as a shot, upon preference for a desired amount.
Check out Nitro Circus on the road this fall, follow us @WickedTango and enjoy a Wicked Tango Light The Fuse cocktail while doing so!
About Sage Beverages LLC: Sage Beverages LLC is a rapidly growing and expanding importer of beer, wines and spirits. Their award-winning portfolio includes Lucky Buddha Beer, ZIOBAFFA Wines, Bracero Tequila, Left Coast Brewery, Wicked Tango Whiskey, Tavi Tequila and Cucapa Brewery. Many of their brands have been recently heard and viewed on national syndicated radio formats, daytime television segments and both print and online publications. Based in Carlsbad, CA, Sage Beverages is an innovative, exciting company that provides quality, unique and storied brands that always have the consumer in mind.
About Nitro Circus: Nitro Circus continues to position itself as the leading youth action sports & entertainment brand on the planet. From humble beginnings, with Jeremy Rawle, Gregg Godfrey and extreme sports superstar Travis Pastrana producing DVDs from a Utah garage in 2003, to a smash TV series which has aired in over 60 countries, Nitro Circus has exploded to global popularity, leaving a burning impression on the minds of young people across the globe. Nitro Circus: The Movie, featuring cast members from the hit TV series, was released in 2012 in cinemas worldwide.
In 2010, the TV show was transformed by current CEO and action sports industry guru Michael Porra into a must-see live event, creating the global touring phenomenon that is Nitro Circus Live. Since its inaugural Australian trek five years ago, the show has travelled the world, obliterating box office records and cultivating a legion of diehard fans. Nitro Circus has now rolled across five continents, blown away over two million fans and sold-out shows in Europe, the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, China, Japan, the Middle East and South Africa.
For Wicked Tango:
For Nitro Circus:
What a day. After years of dreaming, months of practice, and several missed attempts that racked up injury after injury, the world-first BMX quad backflip has been conquered. As the only two athletes who’d ever landed a triple backflip, Jed Mildon and James Foster went toe-to-toe to make history (click here for the full backstory). Both were capable and both wanted it, but in the end injuries derailed Foster’s progress, and Mildon stuck the BMX quad flip.
Tons of fans got to watch it happen thanks to NBC, but for those who missed it (or those who want to see it again), here it is:
It wasn’t easy. Mildon’s initial efforts to land the quad in New Zealand were sidelined by poor weather and morale. In the U.S., meanwhile, Foster was getting closer and closer to dialing it in, and it looked like the proposed plan of having both riders make the attempt simultaneously wasn’t going to be possible. But in a move that proves what a good-natured rivalry this was, Foster agreed to hold off on his attempt to let Mildon have more time to practice. It was a pivotal decision that may have made the difference in the outcome of Revolution Day.
In the meantime, Nitro Circus went back on tour, and during a show in Australia Foster broke several ribs, benching him while he healed. With Mildon still struggling in practice and Foster out, the future of the quad was in serious doubt. But the moment he was declared fit to flip, Foster was back on his bike and at the top of the ramp, raising hope that Revolution Day was nigh. It was not to be, though, as in his practice attempts he re-injured his ribs again and again, and despite his perseverance, Foster was unable to continue the quest.
After Foster had to step out, Mildon changed location to Foster’s setup at Pastranaland in Maryland and began several sessions of air bag practice that didn’t go well. It looked like the quad might actually be impossible, as some had suggested. But then, a twist: Mildon asked to pull the bag and just go for it, which had more than a few people raising an eyebrow after Mildon’s practice attempts weren’t coming around like they knew he was capable of — and like he would need to execute if he was going to stick it.
The bag was somewhat reluctantly removed, but if you’re imagining an immediate and triumphant success, you are mistaken. Mildon suffered several painful misses without the relative safety of the bag, bone-crunching crashes that had everyone present worrying that he would also have to bow out due to injury, or worse. But the stacks didn’t deter him. His confidence clearly grew after each missed attempt, and with the stakes higher than ever, Mildon found the sweet spot, pulled it around perfectly, and rode away. History was made.
Huge congrats to Jed Mildon for landing the first-ever BMX quad backflip! And, if it wasn’t for Foster’s work on the ramp and the technical details of the trick, history couldn’t have been made that day. Both athletes deserve all the kudos they’re getting. We’re pumped to have these guys as permanent members of the Nitro Crew — we know we’ll be seeing a ton more world firsts from both of them. And if after all that you still haven’t had enough Revolution Day, enjoy a few more shots in this behind-the-scenes gallery:
Back in September, Ethen Roberts was in New Zealand looking for an answer to that age-old question: “What kind of badass stunt can we do with two huge rugby players?”
Seriously, though, while we were on tour in Auckland, he decided to try to break the world record for consecutive frontflips off a floating air bag. It’s quite a sight to see when Ethen gets launched off the blob and out over the harbor by these two muscle piles (who were very nice blokes, by the way) jumping down off a crane. How could anything go wrong?
OK, well, I guess it did go pretty wrong when he hit the water so hard that he busted an eardrum and gave himself a bloody nose. The thing with Ethen, though, is when he sets his mind to a world first, it’s not a matter of if… just when.
Some would be happy, maybe even downright stoked, with four and a half frontflips off the blob, which technically beat the previous record of four. But if you know anything about the Nitro Crew, you know that’s not how this story is going to end.
Since his first attempt, he has made his peace with rugby players, blobs, cranes, and whatever godforsaken laws of physics can somehow turn liquid into concrete when you’re crashing headfirst into it. It was time for another attempt, and yesterday in Nice, France, he faced the blob again.
Count ’em! He didn’t even need any rugby players to send him off. Well done, Ethen.
It’s been more than 10 years since we started out filming stunts and hawking DVDs from a garage in Utah, and sometimes we just can’t believe how quickly the time has gone. And, now here we are signing a major deal with NBC Sports!
We just announced today that we’re teaming up with NBC for a brand new show called Crazy Train and a bunch of epic TV specials. None of this would’ve been possible without you guys, and we’re so excited to share it all with you.
We’re kicking things off this Thursday, June 4 when the first two episodes of Nitro Circus Live will air on NBC Sports Network. You can watch the entire Nitro Circus Live season 1 on NBCSN as episodes air every Thursday night this June. Then, tune in on July 12 for Nitro Circus: Revolution Day, a 90-minute special following the ongoing competition between BMX superstars Jed Mildon and James Foster as they try to make action sports history with the world’s first quad backflip.
For these and so much more, check out all of the details below!
NBC SPORTS VENTURES ANNOUNCES STRATEGIC ALLIANCE WITH NITRO CIRCUS
Multi-Year Partnership to Present Nitro Circus Programming on NBC, NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra
90-Minute Special Nitro Circus: Revolution Day to Air July 12 on NBC
Nitro Circus: Revolution Day to Feature World’s First Attempt to Land a Quadruple Backflip on a BMX Bike
Eight-Episode Reality Series Nitro Circus Crazy Train to Debut Thursday, October 15 at 10 p.m. ET on NBCSN
STAMFORD, Conn. – NBC Sports Ventures, a division of NBC Sports Group, and Nitro Circus, today announced a multi-year strategic alliance that will feature Nitro Circus programming to air across NBC, NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra. In 2015, the content partnership will include the launch of a new series on NBCSN, and two 90-minute specials that will air on NBC and NBCSN. In addition, all Nitro Circus programming will be streamed on NBC Sports Live Extra.
NBC Sports Group’s coverage will begin on July 12, when NBC will broadcast Nitro Circus: Revolution Day, a 90-minute special chronicling the ongoing competition between BMX superstars Jed Mildon and James Foster as they attempt to make action sports history by landing the world’s first quadruple backflip. Following Revolution Day, On September 12, NBCSN will broadcast Nitro Circus: The Biggest Trick Ever In Action Sports, a 90-minute special detailing freestyle motocross athlete Josh Sheehan’s recent attempt to complete the first ever triple backflip on a motorbike.
On Thursday, October 15 at 10 p.m. ET, NBCSN will debut Nitro Circus Crazy Train, an eight-part non-scripted reality series that will air on Thursday nights. Each one-hour episode of Crazy Train will feature a regular cast of athletes and signature stars from the Nitro Circus stadium tour, and give viewers a behind-the-scenes look at the daily lives and journeys of the Nitro Circus team. Crazy Train cast members include action sports icon Travis Pastrana, along with freestyle motocross star Adam Jones, groundbreaking female FMX and BMX athlete Jolene Van Vugt, and BMX champion Chad Kagy.
“We are excited to launch this partnership with Nitro Circus,” said Rob Simmelkjaer, Senior Vice President, NBC Sports Ventures. “The skill of the athletes and the excitement of their stadium shows is remarkable. Revolution Day, Crazy Train and our other Nitro Circus programming will give viewers an exclusive look into the lives of these super star athletes.”
“We are thrilled to team with such an iconic company as NBC Sports Group. This is a fantastic home for Nitro Circus as we open this exciting new chapter for our brand,” said Michael Porra, Nitro Circus CEO and Creative Director. “NBC Sports’ impact on sports television is undeniable, and this partnership offers other fantastic opportunities that will introduce us to an even wider audience. This is a game-changer for us, as well for action sports.”
Since 2010, nearly two million people have attended Nitro Circus stadium shows and performances. In 2015, Nitro Circus will hold 37 shows in North America and nearly 100 shows across the globe. Nitro Circus tours annually feature more than 40 different athletes.
Ryan Williams’ latest YouTube clip is a scooter fan favorite, an old-fashioned game of SCOOT, but with a small twist. To make things interesting, R-Willy and Aussie scooter pro Owen Carter decided to play the game with a mini scooter, which neither of them have much experience using. Owen had landed only two tricks on the mini, they estimated, prior to challenging R-Willy, who has even less experience riding one but is nonetheless widely known for his ability to quickly master new disciplines. For those unfamiliar, the game of SCOOT is based on basketball’s game of HORSE. The first rider performs a trick, and the second must perform the same trick. If the second rider fails, he gets a letter, starting with S. The rider who spells SCOOT first loses. It’s a simple game but with a tendency to get incrementally crazier as the competition heats up. Check it out:
We’re headed back on the road for our first tour of 2017. Check out the links for tour dates and tickets, and Sign up here to be notified when we’ll be in your neck of the woods!
With our first shows of 2017 hitting New Zealand in a matter of days, the Nitro athletes are getting revved up to kick off our 2017 world tour. Nitro BMX legend Jed Mildon is no exception, and the first set of shows are especially exciting for him, as he’ll be back in front of his home-country crowd doing what he loves best.
The people of New Zealand are pretty pumped to come out and see Jed ride too. We’ve been keeping an eye on New Zealand media, and the whole country is ready for this tour to kick off. Jed talked to one publication about how he started out wanting to play for the All Blacks, one of the more famous teams in rugby. “It’s gone from wanting to be an All Black and doing the haka in these venues to being in Nitro Circus with Travis Pastrana and doing the haka in these venues. It came true, but it came true on a bike — something that I love more than anything in the world,” he said. Read the full article here.
Jed also was featured in the New Zealand Herald’s Northern Advocate, where he talks about the meditative state he enters when he’s attempting huge tricks, like the World First BMX quad backflip that he landed in 2015, which will be featured on TVNZ on Jan. 22 in New Zealand. Read that full article here.
That last interview also mentioned how the first person Jed calls when he hits career milestones like that is his mom. And in another article, the author noted how down-to-earth Jed is despite being a world-class legendary BMX athlete. Read that article here. None of this surprises the people who know Jed personally, because even though his nickname is Warrior, he’s a big teddy bear at heart. You wouldn’t know it by the way he rides, though, which is why if you get the chance to see Jed throw down live, you owe it to yourself to take it.
Our first tour of 2017 is set to start in a matter of days, on Jan. 27. The Nitro Circus Regional Rampage Tour is headed to New Zealand, and then we’re off to Japan and Australia. The athletes are getting pumped up about this year of touring. It’s fun to keep an eye on social media to see everyone getting ready to rock, so we’ve picked a few posts to get you into the spirit as well. Check them out, and when you’re done, hit the links below to see when we’re to a city near you.
It’s no secret that we love on Utah whenever possible. Most of you already know that it’s basically like Disneyland for action sports junkies, but just in case some of you still aren’t sure, we will continue to spread the message. It doesn’t hurt that “spread the message” in this case means sharing epic photos and videos from all over the state. And in the last two weeks Ethen Roberts posted a couple photos taken by Aaron Brimhall that would convince even the biggest doubters.
Ethen says, “The first photo was taken up at my local resort, Brighton. A hidden gem compared to all the ski resorts in Utah! We have been getting unloaded on with snow. Every day it’s been a winter wonderland!”
A photo posted by ETHEN ROBERTS (@ethenroberts) on
“Shooting for my new webseries Off the Grid, riding under a full moon, a bonfire and a few road flares in the Utah dessert,” Ethen says. “Cainville is a strange-looking place during the day, but it came alive at night!” Sign us up, Ethen!
We are about to hit the road for our 2017 touring season! We’ve got dozens of showed announced with more to come all over the world, so check out our tour page, and sign up here to be notified when we’re coming to your area.
Ryan Williams had his first scooter session of the year on his home turf at a skatepark in the Sunshine Coast, Australia, recently, and lucky for us he caught the whole day on camera. Over the years we’ve collected hours of footage of R-Willy sending huge tricks, and this video is no exception, but what’s great about his YouTube channel in general is that we get to see a bit of that winning personality in addition to the mad skills. We even get a glimpse at what he eats for breakfast. Check it out:
If you enjoyed that, here’s more R-Willy being R-Willy:
We’re set to kick off our next tour of Australia on March 11, and we can’t wait to get back to one of our favorite places. Australia is where we put on our first live shows 10 years ago. To celebrate that, we threw the Party of the Decade tour last year. It was so much fun. World Firsts were nailed. Audiences were blown away. This year, we’re bringing the Regional Rampage Tour, taking the mayhem to 15 cities. One of the obvious perks of a regional tour is we get to see way more of the country. Australia is a playground for action sports athletes, and we look forward to side trips almost as much as putting on the live shows. On one of our previous visits to Western Australia, the Nitro Crew spent a day at the dunes, where we got to break out all of our toys. Check it out:
We always go big when we’re Down Under. Check out this clip of Travis Pastrana and Josh Sheehan attempting side-by-side double backflips to close the Gold Coast show, and few photo highlights from past shows in Australia:
Over the weekend Monster hosted the first stop of the BMX Triple Challenge, a three-city event that has the best BMX dirt riders competing in a cool format around the U.S. Riders included Nitro athletes James Foster and Andy Buckworth, along with Brandon Loupos, Colton Satterfield, and several BMXers who competed in the 2016 Nitro World Games. With a star-studded list of invited competitors along with open qualifiers, all sorts of awesomeness went down.
Riders get a chance to show their best tricks over two jumps — simple as that. Buckworth and Foster missed the podium — and Buckworth nailed a no-hander double backflip followed immediately by a no-hander frontflip, because BMX is getting bonkers — but we’ve got highlights for you to prove they didn’t go down easy. Next stop on the circuit: Glendale, Arizona, at the end of January. Check out some video and more photos below.
Foster killed it in this run:
And check out this superman seatgrab from Buckworth:
Loupos also showed up big:
All photos and videos except the Buckworth superman seatgrab shot by our own Lisa Sabalvaro. For more info on the Triple Challenge click here. And check out our tour page to see where we’re going to be performing next!
We’re kicking off our next tour of New Zealand on Jan. 27, which has us looking back at some of Nitro Circus’ greatest Kiwi hits, from show shenanigans to detours in search of greatness. New Zealand and Australia (where we are headed after New Zealand) have played host to some of our biggest stunts outside of shows. It helps that Kiwis are always game to help us make the crazy happen, no matter how terrifying. Take the time we teamed up with NZL rugby legends Josh Kronfeld and Jeff Wilson to try for a world record catapulting Ethen Roberts off of a blob in a harbor in Auckland. Check it out:
And for good measure, check out this gallery of highlights from previous New Zealand shows to help get you as pumped as we are for the upcoming tour:
Travis Pastrana and Nitro Circus supporters joined Annapolis Mayor Mike Pantelides to go house to house this weekend around Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium after a planned Nitro show there was vetoed by neighborhood associations. The goal for Travis was to ensure that the residents of that community are fully informed about what a Nitro Circus show involves and to change their minds about letting us perform in this venue in his hometown. By all accounts, the day was a step in the right direction.
A photo posted by travispastrana (@travispastrana) on
Prior to the outing, thousands of people weighed in via a Capital Gazette poll, which as of this publishing has more than 12,000 votes supporting Nitro (almost 10 times more than the number who voted against the show). But Travis and Mayor Pantelides know that the poll doesn’t matter if the people who actually live in that neighborhood aren’t swayed, which prompted the door to door. After all was said and done, Travis and supporters managed to garner 428 signatures, which is a huge effort by a small group hoofing it around in the snow. And, more importantly, the mayor estimated in a letter to Eye on Annapolis that the relevant neighborhood has 600-plus homeowners, so that 428 is potentially a sizable chunk of the people who matter most. Whatever the case, Travis and Mayor Pantelides concede that whatever the residents decide is binding.
As this story develops, we’re learning a little more about residents’ concerns. The list of initial objections had largely to do with the potential noise the show would cause. Part of Travis’ information campaign has been to point out that our show will be smaller and less noisy than a college football game, which is one of the things the stadium regularly hosts. One resident who supports Nitro said that some of our fans have taken to the community associations’ pages and left inflammatory comments, which is not going to help. We agree that this is not the way to get it done. We know we can settle the whole thing without any negativity, so as much as we appreciate the support, let’s make sure we’re making our case respectfully. Remember, these are people just looking out for their neighborhood; their intentions are good. The best thing we can do is specifically address their concerns and make sure everyone involved knows what Nitro means to the athletes and fans — and overwhelmingly that spirit is about positivity.
We talked to a couple Nitro athletes about the Annapolis show. The conversation turned to what Nitro is all about, in light of this surprising first for our live show, which has been touring for a decade around the world. Nitro BMX and rollerboard athlete Brandon Schmidt says, “The Nitro spirit is one of brotherhood, camaraderie, and a mutual goal of progressing action sports. It drives you to be better and help push those around you to be better.” BMX superstar Todd Meyn adds, “We are a big family with huge aspirations and determination to push action sports to new heights while motivating and inspiring not just the younger generation of action sports but everybody and anybody.”
We’re hoping for a positive outcome for the potential Annapolis show, and the mayor says if necessary the city’s February council meeting will address the situation. We’ll be following the story closely, obviously, so stay tuned.
Make sure to check out our tour page for all our confirmed upcoming shows! And sign up here to be notified when we’re coming to your area.
Nitro Circus Live’s planned July 2017 show in Annapolis, Maryland, has met with some unexpected resistance. Local residents from the surrounding neighborhood have voiced concerns about the event and voted to prohibit Nitro from performing at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, whose zoning permit includes a clause allowing the nearby neighborhood association to veto proposed events. What makes this an even bigger surprise: Annapolis is the hometown of Nitro Ringleader Travis Pastrana, who is now planning to go door to door with the city’s mayor to appeal to residents directly.
A poll posted on the Annapolis Capital Gazette’s website as of this publishing has 11,400 votes to let Nitro move forward with the planned show, compared with 1,300 votes against. If you have an opinion, please don’t hesitate to vote here.
These numbers aren’t surprising to us, of course. This is a first for Nitro Circus. We’ve performed in venues big and small all over the world for the better part of a decade. Those venues have been located in every type of place you can imagine, including many in residential neighborhoods. Now, obviously, many of the pro-Nitro votes on that poll are not from the people who live in the neighborhood immediately around that venue, and those are the people who need to be convinced (though we have received support from others in the Annapolis area and surrounding county). We think they’re just slightly misinformed about what to expect from a Nitro show and, more importantly, what Nitro is all about. Here are their primary concerns:
The production is designed to be loud Heavy metal rock music is played throughout Cannon blasting and unmuffled motorcycle engines create more noise The show includes pyrotechnics There’s loud commentary from a prominent public address system
Clearly, the main concern is about noise, which is easily addressed by pointing out that our show is not much different noise-wise than any sporting event. This list isn’t accurate in the context of the entire show. There are brief moments with some of the elements described, but the entire show is within a more-than-acceptable noise range. In fact, tests we’ve had conducted to address noise restrictions in previous venues have shown that our show is less noisy than many other athletic events, including football games, which Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium regularly hosts. And even if noise were a potential issue, the proposed show time is a Sunday afternoon — not late into the night.
Most of all, we want to make sure that this community understands what we’re all about before they write us off fully. One official was quoted as saying, “The majority of events held at the stadium are community-related and beneficial to the community.” Ouch! Nitro Circus Live is a show for the whole family that’s exciting and original — the best athletes in the world performing feats you won’t see anywhere else. But more than that, Nitro Circus is about positivity: the idea that anything is possible if you work hard enough. We’re about inspiration: overcoming obstacles when everything feels stacked against you. We’re about giving back to the fans that allow us to continue to do what we do. More concretely, we support many people and causes in communities around the world. Travis said it best in a recent Facebook post:
Adding to all of this, of course, is the fact that this is Travis’ hometown. He lives outside of Annapolis to this day and counts the community as his hometown crowd. Because this is all clearly a case of some inaccurate information being spread, Travis plans to go door to door in the surrounding neighborhood with Annapolis Mayor Mike Pantelides to personally talk with residents about the show and make sure that those who would be most affected by it are fully informed. Mayor Pantelides says that the city’s February council meeting may also be dedicated to the ongoing discussion. We hope to win over the neighborhood by then, and if anyone can do that, it’s Travis. Stay tuned for more as this story unfolds, and don’t forget to hit the poll to weigh in.
While the Annapolis show is in flux, we have several other dates that aren’t! Check out our tour page and sign up here to find out where we’re headed next.
In a few short weeks, we’ll be kicking off our 2017 tours in New Zealand. The Land of the Long White Cloud is a storied destination for Nitro Circus. It has hosted some of our greatest and earliest World Firsts. It also brought us one of Nitro’s most popular members, BMX pro Jed Mildon, otherwise known as The Warrior. On one of our New Zealand tours, Jed, who is of Maori ancestry, suggested we begin our shows with a performance of the Haka dance. Naturally the Nitro crew jumped at the chance to perform it with Jed providing spirited leadership. It is one of our favorite memories of past tours of New Zealand and just one of many reasons we can’t wait to get back. Check it out:
Some members of the Nitro Crew are at home in the cold. Others, including notable badasses of summertime sports are easily felled by ice and powder. Here are two times Nitro athletes braved the cold for some winter fun:
One of the best places in the U.S. to experience winter awesomeness is Utah, a state with geography to suit any action sport (an important reason why we picked Salt Lake City to host the Nitro World Games). After the Nitro tour touched down in Salt Lake City, the Crew took a day off to go snowboarding. When you’re riding with world-class snowboarders Brandon Schmidt and Ethen Roberts, you know you’re going to see sick jumps. But you have to give credit to snowboarding rookies for braving the same slopes and trying to stick some of the same tricks.
Curling isn’t a sport you would normally associate with Nitro Circus. It’s not exactly a sport that gets the adrenaline pumping. But when the crew gave it a try, they decided to add an extra element to make things more interesting — human curling.
We’re back on tour in just a few weeks, and we can’t wait to kick it off. The Nitro Crew have been hard at work developing new tricks to take on the road to make sure our Aussie and Kiwi fans see something they’ve never seen before. But there’s one trick you can see only when the gang gets back together for the show. Nitro’s signature trick must be witnessed live in its full braaap glory. The Nitro Bomb. It’s one thing to watch it from the sidelines but quite another to see it from the point of view of one of the riders. Josh Sheehan gives us just that in this clip. Check it out:
We’re kicking off the new year with a little progression session inspiration for you, featuring Todd Meyn and Brian Fox riding at Daniel Dhers Action Sports Complex in Holly Springs, North Carolina. Todd moved to North Carolina from Australia because the BMX scene is so big there, and DDASC is just one great example of why. But take note of this, BMXers: No matter how many times you ride a park, you can always find ways to challenge yourself. With a crazy new line, a series of tricks you’ve never combo’d before, pushing each other to progress. If you haven’t already come up with some goals for 2017, let this edit motivate you to do something you’ve never done before:
Todd and Brian have had a bit of a rivalry that goes back a ways, and fittingly the basis for that rivalry is spinning. Todd tells us that the two have been competing to be the first to stick a 1440, and while they’d both obviously love to be the first to do it, they’ve become very supportive of each other as they get closer to landing it. We’ll definitely be following this as it develops, so stay tuned. In the meantime, you can’t stick a 1440 until you master a 1080, so:
One of the questions we get a lot around here is: What does a burgeoning action sports athlete need to do to become a professional? Our answer is always the same: It takes dedication and practice, combined with a bit of natural ability and a sprinkle of luck. Now we have a bit of living proof. Recently multi-threat Crew member Ryan Williams put out a YouTube video in which he revealed that he still has a live MySpace account that features decade-old videos of him riding scooter — so he’d be about 12 in the videos. Check out some screen grabs and click the small photos for bigger versions:
What we see in the actual clips (click here to watch them) is a pre-teen who totally rips. R-Willy tells us that a couple of these clips take place in the first skatepark he ever rode, down the street from his childhood home. For those aspiring athletes out there, you might look at this and see a fully formed rider on the road to becoming the R-Willy we know today. But consider the bigger picture. He’s been riding for more than half his life to get to where he is. Undeniably, he has innate skills, but the way he dedicates himself to his disciplines for years to keep progressing is such a huge part of becoming the best he can be. That’s something we can all do, whatever it is we’re passionate about.
Get on the progression train! The 2017 Nitro World Games are set for June 24, and tickets are already on sale. Pick yours up while they last! More info here.
Topping our list of the best moments from 2016 is the first-ever Nitro World Games, an action sports competition years in the making, dreamed up and designed by legends. The inaugural event was more than the sum of its parts, which included dozens of competition World Firsts and a few tricks that would have been impossible not long ago. World-class athletes in FMX, BMX, skate, scooter, and inline competed in seven events designed to push the limits of what is possible, and the result was bigger and better than Mike Porra and Travis Pastrana ever imagined. The Nitro World Games takes the Nitro Circus spirit — testing the boundaries in a serious and safe way — and evolves it to fit a competition format that sees seven winners crowned in a single night of action. Travis and Mike were the driving force behind it all, and with the date set and tickets on sale for the 2017 Nitro World Games, it will surely be the place where action sport levels up for years to come.
The #2 moment on our year-end countdown is a World First that has a checkered history for the Nitro Crew. In 2014, while attempting the World First FMX double frontflip during a Nitro Circus Live show, Bruce Cook sustained a spinal injury that cost him the use of his legs. It was one of the darkest moments in Nitro Circus history and all but cemented the idea that the double frontflip was too risky even for the best riders in the world.
Notwithstanding Bruce’s inspiring passion and drive, the double frontflip remained elusive, with speculation about whether it was possible and worth continuing to try. Whether it could be done or not, after Bruce’s accident, many, including Nitro Circus CEO and Creative Director Mike Porra, didn’t really want to see anyone try it again.
But then a rider known for racing, not FMX, stepped up. Gregg Duffy hadn’t ever competed in freestyle motocross before the Nitro World Games in July 2016, yet after a ton of practice at Pastranaland, he would ultimately use his first competition as a stage to make history. Two years after Bruce’s accident, Duffy landed the double frontflip and put the FMX world on notice. Welcome to the freestyle party, indeed. Watch it here:
The #3 entry in our countdown of the best of 2016 is a whole tour that represents everything we’re about. In 2016 we hit a ton of tour milestones, performing in dozens of cities we’d never been to before, putting up our two largest shows ever in North America, and making more stops around the world in one year than ever before. But our biggest milestone was celebrating 10 years of bringing the boom to live audiences. That’s right, our first live shows were a full decade ago, and to celebrate we set off on an epic tour around Australia, where the journey began for Nitro Circus Live.
The Party of the Decade Tour had a lot to live up to, as many of the Nitro veterans felt it was the culmination of a decade of progression — how do you meet expectations? Well, you assemble the greatest group of legendary athletes from all over the world, bring in bigger ramps, and set them loose for some of the best fans in action sports. No problemo. The Crew blew away expectations, continuing to up the game beyond what any of us thought was possible when this story started so long ago. This edit from one night encompasses what the whole tour was about, and what Nitro is all about:
The spirit of Nitro has achieved a new level, starting in Utah as a group of friends making videos out of their garage, it has evolved into the live show that started in Australia and has become the world’s biggest progression session, and our 10th anniversary tour fully, unequivocally set a new bar for us. We can’t wait to top it in 2017. Here’s some more highlights:
Coming in at #4 on our list of best moments of 2016, we look back at two milestone shows. For the Nitro Crew, crowd size doesn’t affect how well they ride or how much fun they have doing it. We’re equally happy throwing down for a packed stadium or three friends in someone’s backyard. But this year we hit some cities that we’d never been able to get to before, and the result was incredible. During our summer 2016 North America tour, we drew the biggest U.S. audience we’ve ever had and the biggest Canada audience we’ve ever had — so the two biggest crowds for North America in Nitro history, combining for more than 30,000 awesome fans!
In Eugene, Oregon, more than 16,000 people came out to Autzen Stadium, better known for being one of the loudest venues in college football during Oregon Ducks home games. It was a true honor to get a feel for that energy. Here are some highlights:
In Edmonton, Alberta, more than 15,000 fans packed Commonwealth Stadium, typically home to Edmonton’s CFL team. The Canadian crowd was bonkers, which made us feel right at home. Check out some of the best moments:
Coming in at #5 on our list of best moments from 2016 is Travis Pastrana’s World First Aussie Roll on a mountain bike. At first glance, it might seem odd to single out this one World First — let’s face it, if every Nitro World First made the list we’d need to have a Top 100 instead of a Top 10 every year. But the MTB Aussie Roll, which Travis landed during a practice session before a show in London in February, encompasses everything that Nitro is about. More on that later, but first, check it out:
“I can’t ride a bicycle, but I just landed that!”
Travis had been trying to stick this trick for about three years, and coincidentally, so had Dusty Wygle, who counts MTB as one of his primary disciplines. Travis, as he says, isn’t exactly world-class on a mountain bike. But he was feeling particularly good that day, so he had the Crew meet up at the venue in London before a show — no audience, no film crew, just a group of athletes riding for the thrill of it. The result is an amazing moment that embodies everything we’re all about: Pushing progression by whatever means necessary, friendly rivalry that ups everyone’s game, and, most importantly, having the time of your life with your friends.
Sixth on our list of best moments of 2016 isn’t a huge trick or an amazing tour stop, but it was an important coming-of-age moment for Nitro Circus. Nitro started out as a group of friends riding and doing crazy tricks to entertain each other, making videos in a garage. The thought of becoming a serious action sports brand wasn’t part of the equation. We’ve grown up, with TV shows, world tours, and a game-changing action sports competition. This is largely because of Nitro Circus founder and ringleader Travis Pastrana’s desire to constantly push things further. And when Travis chose to go all-in and become a Nitro Circus exclusive athlete, it was yet another sign that Nitro has evolved fully. We’re now a group of friends out having fun and we’ve become a serious action sports brand. What does Travis becoming exclusively Nitro mean? Just a whole lot more awesomeness to come:
“I’m so pumped to wear the Nitro Circus red, white, and blue and am psyched about where we are headed!”
Coming in at #7 on our countdown of the best of 2016 is Ethen Roberts’ epic backcountry snowboarding edit. This made the list for several reasons. It’s a kick-ass clip, first and foremost. It’s the perfect example of why Utah is the ultimate destination for action sports. And it showcases a less-recognized skill from one of Nitro’s veteran members. Over the course of the year, Ethen dropped edits that reveal his serious talent as a filmmaker, and we can’t wait to see what he gets up to in 2017. Come for the snowboarding, but stay for the purple-hued Utah sunset:
The #8 moment on our end-of-year countdown of the best of 2016 is the top Nitro Circus moments on YouTube. Over the years, we’ve produced some great video series, and YouTube gives us another way to share them with you. But what makes 2016 stand out is that we had so much more to share between the Party of the Decade tour of Australia, the inaugural Nitro World Games, and huge tours of North America and Europe, with too many side trips in between. We owe some thanks to members of the Nitro Crew, our friends, and our family for contributing their own Nitro-themed videos on their accounts, some of which are on this list. YouTube will always be a place for us to look back and reflect on some of our biggest accomplishments and remember our dearest friends.
It should come as no surprise that our first two entries on this list are all about remembering someone who has affected all of us in many ways, and despite his passing, he continues to do so. Before we lost Erik Roner in 2015, he was working hard producing a new series to be released in 2016 that has a title guaranteed to give it a long life on YouTube: Oh Sh*t Moments With Erik Roner. Make sure you check out the rest of the series.
Our series Remembering Roner pays tribute to the legacy of an action sports icon. The series is as much a highlight reel of crazy stunts as it is a scrapbook of great memories of the good times we had with our friend. Check out the most epic moments in Nitro Circus history, care of Roner, and make sure you hit the link to see the rest of the series.
When you bring together celebrated YouTuber Roman Atwood and Travis Pastrana, great things are bound to happen, including a master class in learning to backflip. Travis has always been able to get people to try that thing that is just outside their comfort level, because he knows they can totally do it. Watch the man in action here:
It has been an excellent year for scooter athletes and for the scooter community, which has seen a number of its stars rise to prominence. Scooter fans are the real deal. And they love scooter pro and YouTube star Tanner Fox, who put together one of best fan-perspective edits from the 2016 Nitro World Games. It captures the excitement of coming out and watching your heroes throw down on the biggest stage.
One athlete who helped make 2016 the biggest year in action sports prefers to spend his time looking forward. With some help from Todd Meyn and Ethen Roberts, R-Willy gave us a preview of what’s to come in 2017, filming some of his secret training at Pastranaland. Riders generally don’t want anyone to see the tricks they’re planning, so this is a real treat. It’s clear R-Willy isn’t done shocking us. Check it out:
Coming in at #9 in our countdown of the best of 2016 is the top Nitro moments on Facebook. Nitro Circus was made for a platform like Facebook, as it gives us an unprecedented connection with our fans all over the world, who are the reason we do what we do in the first place. Alongside a continuing string of crazy tricks, stunts, and crash clips, we got to take you behind the scenes, share highlights of the Nitro World Games, and field questions (and comments) on Facebook Live. We got to virtually bring you on this journey with us, and we loved every second of it. We can’t wait to show you what we’ve got teed up for 2017, and we hope you keep telling us what you think. Until then, here’s the top Nitro moments from Facebook this year:
First on the list is a trailer for Bruce Cook’s NBC special, Never Say Can’t: The Bruce Cook Story. After the broadcast, you circled back to Facebook to post reactions to the special. You shared with us some incredible stories. Obviously Bruce is very special to us, and his story is one that inspires us every day. We were overwhelmed when we learned that you all feel the exact same way. This more than anything else is the reason social media is amazing. We heard you. Bruce heard you. Keep commenting; we love it.
R-Willy has to make an appearance on this list after a solid year on Facebook. The number of clips featuring him that we’ve been able to post is a testament to his solid work ethic and desire to progress — he’s probably at the skatepark right now! And some of his tricks defy explanation.
Falling asleep at Travis Pastrana’s house is officially the quickest way to get into action sports, willingly or not.
What would a list like this be without at least one World First, especially one coming from Travis. He had never landed a frontflip before, let alone a combo, but in Melbourne he stepped up and sent a frontflip nac-nac.
We did our first Facebook Live videos in 2016. We love the loose format, which also allows fans to comment in real time. In this live video shot before our show with the Impractical Jokers, Travis Pastrana had fans request tricks from Adam Jones and a few of the other riders, which is something we definitely plan to do more of in 2017.
We chose the Top 10 moments that defined an incredible year for us at Nitro Circus, and we’ll be posting one every weekday to close out the year. The first entry in our countdown of the best of 2016 is a series of moments captured on the Nitro Circus Instagram. There’s something about Instagram that reminds us of how we started on this crazy ride. Once upon a time, we shot video and took photos and put together edits of crazy tricks to share with our friends. Back then we’d hand them around on VHS and could never have anticipated that one day we’d find ourselves doing all that on our phones in the same backyards and skateparks. We’ve posted hundreds of photos and videos throughout the year, but here are some selections that represent some of our favorite moments of the year.
What a year! Where to begin? We’ve got at least 10 amazing 2016 Nitro moments coming your way over the next two weeks. But first we wanted to check in with a few of the people who make Nitro what it is (second only to the fans, of course).
“Everything was big this year. The tricks on tour got bigger, the tours got bigger, the first Nitro World Games happened, and it was huge. No better way to describe it,” says Chris Haffey, who summarized what almost everyone we talked to said. Todd Meyn adds, “I didn’t think it was possible after such a crazy, fun exciting year in 2015, craziest year I couldn’t even begin to explain. But I can honestly say that I have finished 2016 saying, once again, this is the best year I have ever had.”
The Nitro World Games was at the front of a lot of riders’ minds when they thought back on 2016 (and tickets are already on sale for Nitro World Games 2017!): “The Nitro World Games as a whole was the best event I have ever witnessed; action sports has reached a new realm of possibilities,” Ryan Williams says. “It was the best year of my life — more world firsts than ever, and I managed to win the Nitro World Games. What more could I ask for!”
Haffey agrees that winning an event at the Nitro World Games is at the top of his list: “Highlights would definitely have to start with taking home first place at Nitro World Games,” he says. But, he adds, touring with Nitro is up there too: “Another thing that stands out to me was getting the chance to go to Alaska for the first time when we did our show in Anchorage.” Click here to see where we’re headed next!
Todd also had a great year on tour: “A highlight for me was the 10th-year anniversary tour in Australia. Those shows were next-level, absolutely mind-blowing,” he says. “The energy levels were through the roof, the crowds every show were louder than ever, the tricks being thrown down every show were nothing short of next-level progression, the pyro, the venues, the cities! It was all so well put together. Those shows made me feel like a rock star. More so than usual.”
Nitro FMX got an infusion of talent this year in Garrett Ahlf, Harry Bink, and Mike Mason, and all three riders had a blast touring with the show. “I had a better year than I could have dreamed of,” Bink says, citing touring and sticking a couple World Firsts as highlights. Garrett says, “I would sum up 2016 as the best year of my FMX career. Riding with top action sports athletes from all disciplines on the best action sports tour in the world.” He adds, “One of the biggest highlights for me was just being invited to ride the Nitro Circus Live tour throughout the year. Hanging out and riding with guys I’ve looked up to my whole career. It was awesome traveling and seeing a lot of North America as well.”
Mason agrees: “I got to spend the summer on tour with all my friends! Too many good times to talk about; let’s just say the North American regional tour was one for the books,” he says. We’ll give the final word here to Nitro MC Micah Kranz, who is in the unique position of being surrounded by all this amazing progression but is able to step back and take in the bigger perspective. Micah sums it all up like this: “During tour we touched the most Northern, Eastern, and Western parts of North America and brought happiness to thousands of fans night after night. The Crew became family instantly, and from Step 1 we had each other’s backs, from heaving each other back onto ramps to the joyous feeling of watching World Firsts in practice sessions. The consistency level the Nitro Circus athletes hold themselves at is absurd, and everyone knows it except the athletes themselves.”
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It’s hard to believe that it’s almost 2017. At Nitro, we always set out to pack every year full of awesomeness, and every year flies by before we get it all done. That said, 2016 was one for the books, and we’ll for sure be counting down our top moments over the next couple weeks. But first we wanted to look ahead at 2017 and take stock of our hopes for another full year of mayhem. Most athletes keep their specific goals quiet, for various reasons. As Nitro’s resident inline veteran Chris Haffey put it when asked about his 2017 goals: “I have plenty, but I usually like to keep them to myself and let the work speak for itself. But one I’m happy to share is to shoot a round of golf in the 70s.” For the record, he doesn’t mean Nitro Golf.
Last year we asked some of the Crew to tell us about their goals for 2016. Ryan Williams said: “Keep up my progression and continue to push the boundaries of what is possible in action sports.” And he did, as pictured above. It’s not surprising that this is what most Nitro athletes say year after year. The common theme is progression, discipline, and keeping healthy — whatever it takes to continue riding and staying at the top of level of action sports. For 2017, R-Willy says his goals are much the same, adding, “Make it as good as 2016, if not better.”
He’s going to have plenty of opportunities to do just that. Our touring schedule for 2017 is starting to take shape — tickets are on sale for shows in New Zealand, Australia, the U.S., and Canada, with more dates announced and a bunch more being finalized. And, of course, the 2017 Nitro World Games is set for June 24, and tickets are already on sale.
Anticipation is building for riders who hope to qualify for the Nitro World Games. Another goal of R-Willy’s: “Going for the multi-gold-medalist at the 2017 Nitro World Games!” Nitro MC Micah Kranz adds, “I am just on this ride and watching the progression happening on the daily. I don’t expect anything less than to be blown away at Nitro World Games 2017.” You can bet there will be many more announcements and surprises over the next few months as well, so stay tuned.
With all this action to look forward to, Nitro athletes are gearing up. In an email, Harry Bink busted out all his exclamation points when he started talking about his plans for the year ahead: “Send it!!! Try to land some more new tricks for myself and possibly some new World Firsts!!!!” Mike Mason and Garrett Ahlf both add that their goals include heading back out on tour with Nitro in addition to staying healthy and progressing. Nate Adams says, “My goals are the same: Have fun, stay off the ground! Seems simple, but it’s hard to do!”
You can always count on Bilko to issue some sage advice for the coming year: “Keep it on two wheels! Unless I’m racing rally cross,” he says. “Then it’s four wheels!” But Todd Meyn probably best summed up what every Nitro athlete is thinking: “Stay fit and healthy, learn as much as possible, be the best person I can be, push the limits of action sports, and have fun while doing it all.” Last year he said, “To become more patient.” Seems like he’s headed in the right direction.
Next year will be full of huge tours, tons of shenanigans, and of course the Nitro World Games! Tickets are on sale for all of it, so hit those links now!
We here at Nitro HQ get a lot of awesome messages from fans, and one of the most common questions is: “Can I pleeeeeeeeeease hang out with Travis Pastrana at his house?” The legend of Pastranaland is so massive that most fans would even settle for spending the day there without Travis. Few get the chance, but now we can count a few more lucky fans among those few, courtesy of the Party With Pastrana contest that Oberto Beef Jerky put on. When the dust settled after the contest, four fans got the chance of a lifetime, spending the day with Travis as well as Nitro Crew stalwarts R-Willy, Brandon Schmidt, Ethen Roberts, and Todd Meyn. What a day! Here’s a look at what they got up to, followed by some bonus photos and video from the day:
So yeah, pitbike races, RZR rides, and personal backflip coaching from Travis himself. Does it get any better? Sure it does. The winners also got a chance to watch world-class action sports athletes doing what they do best. During a skatepark session, R-Willy bet Travis $100 that he could frontflip his scooter from inside the park onto a takeoff. The spot he’d be flipping from had a solid two feet of vert to it, meaning he’d be working with just inches of clearance to get over the wall. Travis took the bet … and he lost. Here’s a clip of R-Willy sticking it as a tuck no-hander, for style points:
Of course, what Travis didn’t know was that R-Willy had worked through it the day before, as you can see in his personal edit. Buyer beware, Travis! For reference, here’s a shot of someone on BMX hitting it from the other side that day:
The Nitro boys then got set for the airbag challenge, as judged by the winners. Here’s a look at the airbag from the drop-in:
And a look at the judging booth as R-Willy sends it (the crane later became a diving platform after Travis encouraged the guests to test out the airbag):
All four of the Nitro guys threw down, but in the end Schmidty took home the jerky. One of the highlights of the day was a pitbike relay race, where each of the four guests got to pick a Nitro teammate for two laps around the Pastranaland pitbike course. The contest winners could all ride really well, which made this quite the competition. One of the “rules” was that during teammate hand-offs, there are no rules, which meant there were a lot of shenanigans at the transition point:
And of course the highlight of the day was Travis teaching one of the guests to backflip into the foam pit. You can see that on the first video above, but you don’t truly get how cool it is unless you were there to hear all of the advice that a backflipping pioneer had for a first-timer. Of course, when it comes to Pastranaland, being there is the entire point.
A couple weeks ago, Ryan Williams, Todd Meyn, Brandon Schmidt, and Ethen Roberts spent a few days at Travis Pastrana’s house for some training, progression sessions, and to hang out with the winners of the Party With Pastrana contest. Naturally, the guys also brought along their own cameras to record the shenanigans. A day at Travis’ house with some of the best riders in the game is probably almost exactly like you’d expect. They take full advantage of everything Pastranaland has to offer, and it’s amazing to watch. This won’t surprise the hardcore athletes among you, but the biggest difference between what you picture and reality is the amount of analytical thinking, planning, and advice that goes on between huge attempts. These guys definitely aren’t afraid to just send it, but sometimes it takes a few tries and several small adjustments to get it right. First we’ve got R-Willy’s edit, followed by Todd’s. Enjoy:
Inline skating, which has been a powerhouse action sport for decades, is alive and thriving, and you just need to check out Wake Schepman to see why. He’s always posting sick edits to his social media channels that prove the point. Not that there was any question, but it’s clear that a new generation of boots aficionados is keeping the classic sport alive (inline is also one of the core disciplines to be featured at the Nitro World Games in Salt Lake City on June 24, 2017). It’s always awesome to see progression sessions and competition video, so sit back and enjoy the ride:
Despite being on break from tour, the Nitro Crew continues to show us that progression and practice don’t stop when the tour buses are in the garage for the season. During a recent session at an indoor park with some friends, BMX phenom Todd Meyn decided to attempt something he’s only ever done on Giganta: a double backflip. What makes it so sketchy is the difference in ramp size: On Giganta, everything is way bigger. Here, the compact size of the jump means there’s no room for error. Todd shows his Nitro spirit in this clip: No matter how big (or small) the ramp, no matter how scared you are to try, set a goal for yourself and then send it:
We can’t wait to see what Todd has in store for us in 2017. Here’s another edit from him that hints at big things to come:
It seems like everyone is working on something special to bring on tour in 2017, and perhaps to the Nitro World Games in Salt Lake City on June 24. Make sure you head over to see if we’re coming to your town, and get your tickets early for the Nitro World Games as well!
Action sports has no season. When winter rolls in, it just presents a new set of conditions where we get to do awesome things. (Though this summer is going to be exciting because there are still tickets available to Nitro World Games 2017!) While we’re always happy to exchange dirt for snow, we’ve also learned a ton during tour stops around the world, especially from places where winter is the season everyone looks forward to most. Here are three times the Nitro Crew took advantage of the fact that winter is awesome:
On one of our trips to Sweden, we had the opportunity to try dog sledding. Most of us pretty much figured it out. You let the dogs pull you. Somehow Crum didn’t get the memo:
Then there was that time the Nitro Crew did the most December thing ever: racing reindeer.
Not all of us are winter people, though. Travis Pastrana is on the record as one who does not enjoy the cold. But you can be sure, no matter how freezing the conditions, he would never have passed up an opportunity to BASE jump with Erik Roner:
Nitro World Games 2017 is coming to Salt Lake City on June 24, and tickets are already on sale right here. For those who are on the fence about whether or not to go see the most exciting action sports competition live, please consider the following.
What Happened in 2016
The world’s best action sports athletes descended on Salt Lake City and left it all on the ramps, with dozens of World Firsts in the span of a few hours. And now that the bar is set, the second Nitro World Games is destined to be even bigger. You need to be there, end of story.
‘Tis the Season
There’s no better gift for the action sports lovers on your list than tickets to the Nitro World Games. With tickets starting at $19, there’s a seat for every price range, and when they open that up on Christmas morning, they’re going to be like:
It’s True About the Early Bird
One of the best things about the Nitro World Games is that it all goes down in one night. But that’s also one of the downsides if you don’t get your tickets before they sell out. If you wait, there’s always a chance you’ll be too late, and the best seats obviously are snatched up first. So get yours now! There’s also the matter of flights. If you’re lucky enough to live in Salt Lake City, congratulations. It’s an action sports paradise loaded with tons of things to see and do. But for those of us who are flying …
… no, not like that. We mean traveling. For those of us who are traveling to Salt Lake, the earlier we book our flight, the better the deal. So don’t wait. You know you want to, so grab your tickets here and then book your travel now!
Those are just a few of the dozens of reasons you are going to want to jump on this. June 24 can’t get here quick enough for us, and we hope to see you there!
Salt Lake City will host the 2017 Nitro World Games on June 24 at Rice-Eccles Stadium (and tickets are on sale now). It was an easy decision to bring the competition back to a city that embraced the inaugural event so strongly. Utah is, arguably, the action sports destination. Nitro Circus basically started there, with the Godfrey Clan, SLC’s first family of action sports. Even still, when Travis Pastrana checked into his hotel in Salt Lake City while doing press for the 2017 Nitro World Games, he definitely wasn’t expecting to be greeted by this:
A photo posted by travispastrana (@travispastrana) on
A small gesture like that is only one of the reasons that we absolutely love SLC and Utah. In addition to being full of friendly people, it’s got a great music scene, amazing bars and restaurants, and of course whatever action sport you’re into. Nitro regularly returns to Utah to film, because there we find terrain to suit every discipline. Check out some of our craziest trips to one of the best places in the country:
The best way to experience the Nitro World Games is in person among action sports’ hometown crowd in SLC. For more information about the event, check out the website!
Beaver Fleming is one of Nitro’s best ambassadors from the skateboard world. He has a bag of huge tricks, including a few World Firsts that he only sometimes names after himself. The sessions he posts to his social media could be described as a great online course in how to shred professionally. He’s also had a banger of a year, including landing the Swift Roll for the first time in a show and competing in the inaugural Nitro World Games (which is coming back to Salt Lake City on June 24, 2017, and tickets are on sale now!). Check out the rest of his picks and where those two fall in the list in Beaver’s Top 5 moments from 2016:
Beaver’s year was full of massive moments. The fact that he chose the Nitro World Games, a competition he didn’t win despite attempting some monster tricks, as his top moment is truly inspiring and totally characteristic of the Nitro spirit: Follow your passion, send it, and if you don’t win, cheer for your buddies on the podium.
It’s no secret that Ryan Williams is very talented. He’s at least partially responsible for bringing freestyle scooter to the masses, having made a name for himself sticking huge World Firsts on what used to be considered a toy. Then, he started riding BMX and adapted some of his scooter tricks for the bike, adding a bunch more World Firsts to his resume. He’s now officially a dual-threat pro athlete, having competed in scooter and BMX at the inaugural Nitro World Games (the next installment of which is set for June 24 in Salt Lake City). Not only was he the only athlete at the Games who competed in two events across different disciplines, he took home first place … in BMX Best Tricks. And now he’s hitting the slopes. We showed you his second attempt at snowboarding. Since then he’s only been two more times, but clearly he’s getting the hang of it. Check it out:
A video posted by Ryan Williams (@rwillyofficial) on
As he references in the caption, the day wasn’t completely smooth, but the snowboard world better take notice. This kid seems to become world class at everything he tries. For the full video of R-Willy’s fourth snowboarding trip ever, head over to his YouTube page.
The Nitro World Games are coming back to Salt Lake City. The second year of the most innovative action sports competition is set to go down on June 24 at Rice-Eccles Stadium, the same venue where dozens of records were broken during the inaugural event this summer. It will also be broadcast live around the country on NBC. For those who want to see all the World Firsts live, sign up for pre-sale access to tickets right here, or wait until Dec. 9 when tickets go on general sale (but you’re going to want to get on board sooner than later!). If you’re wondering what the Games are all about, read more about it here, and watch a video of highlights from this summer:
Franklin Farm might be New Zealand’s best-kept secret: An action sports paradise located in Tokoroa, the sprawling compound is spiritually the Pastranaland of Australasia, or maybe the Woodward of Oceania. But geography aside, this BMX and FMX playground is the place to be if you’re a rider in that area. Recently our own Kurtis Downs and Jed Mildon spent some time down there, so enough chatter; let’s get straight to the photo and video goodness:
In April 2015, Josh Sheehan shocked the world by landing a trick that most described as impossible: the triple backflip on a motorcycle. He did it only once without an airbag, and he’s said that will likely be the first and last time for him. But perhaps the most unsung moment of the Road to the Unthinkable was the very first time he rode away. Sure, it was into an airbag, but more than any other practice attempt, that first time cemented the idea that the impossible was in fact possible. Check out the moment from Sheeny’s perspective:
Travis Pastrana, co-driver Robbie Durant, and the 199 car pushed through tough conditions to finish second over the weekend at Rally of the Tall Pines in Ontario, Canada. The icy, rocky course and night stages made for some fun driving, and even Travis was surprised by the number of big jumps along the way. He attributed their podium finish to good pace-note-taking leading up to the race, but obviously some driving skill and co-driver chemistry contributed heavily. The duo feels like they upped their game for this race and are pumped to continue their rise at the next one. Check out some highlights below:
Dusty Wygle has evolved into one of Nitro’s most versatile athletes. He’s one of the only riders on tour who sends it on both the FMX and the Giganta sides. He’s primarily a mountain biker and contraptions rider, but it was his pitbike skills that won him his spot with the Crew. He got his start doing huge tricks on home-built ramps and tracks, putting together edits to share with friends. Sound familiar? It’s pretty much how Nitro as a whole got started too. Check out this blast from the past:
Dusty has since gone on to great things on tour, becoming associated with all manner of contraptions, from the rocking horse to the boogie board. Lately, he’s been tagging his Instagram posts #ObscureSportsSpecialist. We can definitely see why:
Scooter riders took other action sports disciplines by storm. It’s just fair that the same thing happens in the other direction occasionally. Here’s what happens when Ryan Williams dared Dusty to try out his scooter:
When you love what you do, you want to do it all the time. Never has that been truer than it is for scooter and BMX superstar Ryan Williams. When R-Willy isn’t breaking records on tour or in competition, he can be found blowing minds in skateparks around the world. It’s clear that he isn’t slowing down, so we can surely look forward to crazier things from him in 2017.
R-Willy may be justified in claiming this otherworldly frontflip is the biggest ever attempted at a skatepark. The height and hang time make this essential viewing, and an important counterpoint to the widely held belief that gravity affects everyone.
A video posted by Ryan Williams (@rwillyofficial) on
The best thing about R-Willy’s visits to local skateparks is that it gives young scooter and BMX riders the opportunity to see him live, trying out new tricks, and having fun like any other rider. That is, until he does something that proves he’s anything but normal.
A video posted by Ryan Williams (@rwillyofficial) on
R-Willy’s message through all this is simple. A career like his is attainable to anyone willing to put in hours of practice, endure constant crashes, and most importantly, never give up on the potential for greatness.
We show you a lot of videos of huge tricks, and we show you a lot of videos of huge crashes. But what we don’t talk about much is the amount of time and effort that goes into mastering every single trick. Take this clip from Ethen Roberts, for example. He and Ryan Williams had an impromptu progression session at Pastranaland while Brandon Schmidt was being interviewed on camera down the way. Ethen wiped out hard several times, and R-Willy would watch and offer suggestions for minor adjustments. Ethen got closer and closer on every attempt, and his willingness to take a beating while getting there ultimately paid off. The result was a successful landing accompanied by a cheer that might just end up in the background of Schmidty’s interview:
This time of year our focus naturally turns to family, friends, and — most of all — food. The Nitro Crew spend a great deal of time on the road, and long stretches of tour can be hard on the stomach. You’re far from home. The food can be, well, different from what you’re used to. It’s tough to find something comforting and familiar, which is what you’d crave if your job was to put your body on the line night after night. But even when it comes to something as basic as eating, if there’s a challenge involved, the Crew’s response is to lean into it, hard:
When the Crew wanted to try some German cuisine, they were probably expecting sausage and sauerkraut. Instead they were presented with Germany’s form of Sushi, raw hamburger meat.
Over the years, we’ve had countless nosebleeds, too many to remember. We’re action sports athletes, so it comes with the territory. But only one of those many nosebleeds was the direct result of Ethen Roberts eating spicy curry.
And, of course, who could forget the ultimate betrayal? The time we were bested by the hot dog, a food we usually all can trust:
In action sports, you’re judged mostly on what you do and how you looked doing it. Success is in the attempt and the style points, not just whether you stick the trick. To put it another way: When you’re going for a backflip it doesn’t matter if you land it — it matters that you tried and that you looked awesome doing it. Today we’re not here to help you attempt a double backflip. We’re here to make sure you and the action sports fans in your life always look awesome, whether you’re out riding or just hanging with friends.
If you’ve seen our videos or photos, you’ve probably seen some of this gear in action. Maybe you’ve even thought to yourself, “That’s a rad shirt.” Or, “I wish I could rock a hat like that.” Well, now you can. It doesn’t mean you’ll suddenly be able to do this:
But you’ll definitely look a little more like this:
And could even maybe try something like this (but only with a certain amount of caution and a certain amount of trust):
It’s a sign of great things to come when you see the Nitro Crew hard at work fine-tuning their bag of tricks and focusing on progression — which is basically always. BMX superstars Todd Meyn and Matty Whyatt have been giving us a preview of what fans might get to see during the upcoming tours of Australia and New Zealand. We can’t wait. Todd is working on a frontflip tailwhip catch tailwhip, another video game trick that shouldn’t be possible. Here he is trying it on the last tour:
Oh to be Aaron “Wheelz” Fotheringham. First of all, your nickname is Wheelz, which is one of the better nicknames anyone can have. Also, you’re a world-class athlete with an ESPY nomination, but despite your success you’re known among your peers as one of the coolest, nicest guys to hang out with. But mostly, you get to travel the world hitting the Giganta ramp on a custom wheelchair, the only WCMX athlete who’s consistently landing backflips and frontflips that big. Well, today we’re in luck. We get to experience, just for a few white-knuckle moments, what it’s like to be Wheelz … while dropping in for a frontflip on the big ramp. Hang on:
The Nitro Crew is made up of a lot of different athletes with different personalities and philosophies, but one thing they all have in common is they don’t spend much time talking about their grand ideas before they actually take the steps to make those ideas happen. Ethen Roberts is a prime example of that philosophy. The Utah native and Godfrey Clan stalwart is constantly plotting his next big adventure. We saw his epic backcountry snowboarding trip come to life last winter. And now he’s given us a glimpse at another journey we all wish we could have made with him.
Ethen grew up surrounded by action sports, so he was practically born on a dirtbike and took up anything and everything he could as he got older. He eventually started focusing on mountain bike, but his love for dirtbikes never flagged. “I’ve always dreamed of a way to connect the two worlds,” he says. So that’s what he did. We won’t keep you in suspense. Here’s the edit, but if you’re curious to learn more about how Ethen made this happen along with his brother (and fellow Nitro Crew member) Josh Roberts, photographer Aaron Brimhall, and filmmaker Kollyn Lund, read on after the video.
The main hurdles for this trip, as Ethen saw it, were deciding which motorbikes to use and then figuring out how to carry their MTBs and camping gear on those bikes. They settled on Husqvarna 701 Enduros for the motos and went to Ethen’s engineer uncle to design the bike and gear racks. It definitely helps to have a multi-talented family when you’re planning an epic adventure. It took Uncle John two days to build the racks, and that’s when things got real. “I knew we were finally ready to see this concept turn into a reality,” Ethen says.
“Spending hours looking at maps, connecting every trail I could think of, we carved out a route. Gearing up for the unknown is always a gamble. With limited space, you never really know what you’re going to need until you don’t have it,” he says. “The anticipation building up is borderline unbearable.” As you can see from the edit, they almost immediately hit bad weather. Snow and rain aren’t ideal when you’re out on the open road, camping in the sand and tracking down lines virtually untouched by mountain bikes before, but these guys aren’t your ordinary weekend warriors. They pushed on, cold and wet and loving every second of it. It was obviously well worth it.
We all have those days where it feels like everything we do results in an enormous wipeout. And when you’re an FMX superstar like Josh Sheehan, a bad day can literally include a terrible wipeout. But if you’re Sheeny, you also know how to ride away, even when the odds are stacked against you. So here’s a little inspiration from the man himself. Some days you come up short, but it doesn’t mean it has to end with your butt on the ground:
No one is having more fun these days than Brandon Schmidt, who has had a huge year and is planning enormous things for the future. But not everything Brandon’s been up to this year is about going bigger. With #MiniFlipMonday, he’s been attempting the smallest backflips possible over the sketchiest spots. It turns out, the cutest little flips can result in some huge, not-so-cute stacks. But that’s not what we’re here to show you today. Schmidty has compiled all his best mini-flip attempts in one video. So gather round for a little bit of small ball:
The craziest thing about being part of the Nitro Crew is that the live show, despite being as death-defying and dangerous as it looks, is actually one of the safer things they do. Nitro side trips tend to consist of terrible ideas that are explored to their logical conclusion — a typical (and some might say mostly successful) result might end with a broken nose. It’s a small price to pay for an awesome clip. You be the judge:
Brandon Schmidt is known for taking the snow out of snowboarding, as he’s one of the few athletes who’s put in serious time on the rollerboard, and he has the results to prove it: His World First rollerboard triple backflip is a high point on his otherwise incredible resume.
With a prelude like that, you can totally sense the “but” coming, right? Schmidty recently posted a throwback video of an attempt at a dry land snowboard frontflip, which in itself doesn’t sound all that sketchy, but then you see that he attempted it on a concrete staircase. And it didn’t go well. Check out the video, but be warned: It made us want to immediately purchase a new mouth guard.
It’s just a hard truth that talent isn’t equally doled out to everyone. Some people have undeniable amounts of it, and others make a living writing about those people. But whatever your level of talent, some credit has to go to your parents. Travis and Lyn-Z Pastrana’s daughters are getting a double scoop. Both parents are action sports icons, and clearly they aren’t wasting any time getting their daughters ready for that life, should the girls choose to go down that road. In fact, their oldest, Addy, is already living life in the fast lane.
Best Take Your Daughter to Work Day ever?
Every parent wants to provide the maximum amount of options for their children. Clearly Travis and Lyn-Z aren’t limiting their kids to dirtbikes.
And you can’t forget carting, as a great introduction to a promising career in rally cross or NASCAR.
Nitro Circus got a chance to put some civilians to the ultimate test Thursday night when the Tenderloins from Impractical Jokers met the Crew for their show’s season finale, the Impractical Jokers Live: Nitro Circus Spectacular. Travis Pastrana brought a group of Nitro’s best FMX athletes to the Prudential Center in New Jersey to wow the crowd, and some of the top minds in action sports designed an obstacle course to test the skills of Joe, Sal, Q, Murr, and surprise pinch-runner Joey Fatone — with the winner getting $100,000 for his favorite charity. But the real test began well before Thursday’s live show.
A couple weeks ago the Jokers came to Pastranaland for a little training session. We brought in some of the finest ramp builders and action sports veterans to help design the course — we’re talking Nate Wessel, Comb-Over Steve, Trip Taylor, and Travis himself. The goal was to take a look at the Jokers’ skill level so that we could design a course tailored to their strengths and weaknesses. Our only stipulations were that we wanted to include references to the Impractical Jokers TV show, which is why we ended up with tire babies and a vat full of mashed potatoes. Don’t ask; just go with it. The toughness bar was set early on Day 1 when Q rolled his quad and had to take a trip to the hospital.
He ended up with some broken ribs and nerve damage, and the worst punishment of all: The doctors benched him for the live show. The audience was bummed to hear the news, but FMX legend Adam Jones treated the crowd to a KOD backflip to get the party started. AJ was joined by Beau Bamburg, Jarryd McNeil, Mike Mason, Garrett Ahlf, and Dustin Miller. Here’s a gallery of the FMX highlights from the night (click the thumbs to enlarge):
Joey Fatone came in to replace the tenderized Tenderloin Q. And Joey ended up being quite the ringer, so if we were one of the other three Jokers, we’d probably ask to see those doctor’s orders. The live audience went nuts for Fatone, who’s been on Impractical Jokers before, and the stage was set for a fun night. After some preamble and clips from the Impractical Jokers show, Murr was punished Nitro-style:
He looks like he’s having fun, right? On to the obstacle course action! First up was Joe, and … what’s the nicest way to say this … Joe had a tough time. The course consisted of rolling down a ramp in a zorb, bouncing across a series of trampolines, running blindfolded through the tire babies (tires with doll arms and legs attached to them), riding a pitbike across a series of hills and logs, riding a quad around a tight-cornered course, riding a scooter down a ramp and across a skinny rainbow bridge over a vat of mashed potatoes, and taking a leap of faith (three covered doors, only one of which was actually open). Here’s a gallery to help you get the idea (click the thumbs to enlarge):
Nothing went right for Joe. He wiped out on his pitbike, had trouble with his quad, and guessed wrong twice in a row at the leap of faith, resulting in an emergency timeout while Travis fished him out of the nearby scaffolding. It was not a promising start for the Jokers. Sal was up next and had a way better run than Joe, which in this case just means that no medical attention was required. The obstacle course was wide open for the taking when Fatone stepped up and absolutely left Joe and Sal in the dust. Fatone was the best on the motorbikes, and though you might not guess it, he was agile and fast. Q was obviously pumped after the fantastic run:
But then it was Murr’s turn. During practice, he showed some of the most promise, adapting quickly to everything and with a lack of hesitation that action sports enthusiasts will recognize as the best way to avoid failure. Sometimes you just gotta go for it and ride it out. Murr delivered, even catching some air on the pitbike to clear the tabletop of the first obstacle feature (which he later admitted was an accident, but hey, it still counts):
Murr absolutely killed it (again, relatively speaking here, let’s not get crazy), and he won easily with the best time. That brought us to the ultimate punishment. The Impractical Jokers fans voted on who should be punished, and they chose Sal. So we put him in a harness and hoisted him 150 feet in the air, dangled him back and forth for a bit. Oh, we forgot to mention: He’s afraid of heights. But hopefully he’s not also afraid of dessert, because next we swung him directly into a giant cake, in honor of his birthday on Nov. 5. Happy birthday, big guy!
We were pumped to be able to help these guys celebrate the end of their season with a bit of Nitro flair, and hey, maybe next time we can try motorbikes and obstacles designed for grown-ups? What do you say, guys?
This year we’ve seen Nitro superstars like Ryan Williams and Aaron “Wheelz” Fotheringham scorch the action sports world. R-Willy upended the BMX competition at the Nitro World Games, and Wheelz was nominated for an Espy. Would you believe that once upon a time both of them were just young lions on tour, learning the ropes and paying their dues?
To look at R-Willy now, it’s difficult to imagine that there’s anything we could teach him. He’s become the master. But there was that one time Dov Ribnick had to discipline him for overlooking a very important detail:
It’s normal to stumble a little when you’re new to something. In fact, it’s expected if we’re talking about riding Giganta for the first time. That is, unless you’re Wheelz. The story of his first trip down the big ramp is pretty darned inspiring. Check out how Wheelz earned his place in the Nitro Crew:
This week Ethen Roberts offered us a small preview of a new webseries he’s filming, and it looks incredible. You can’t help but wonder if Utah’s amazing landscape was made specifically for Ethen and the rest of the legendary Godfrey Clan. It would be tough to come up with a better person to host a show set there. Ethen grew up exploring Utah on virtually every type of actions sports contraption, so for him its fabled backcountry is a playground as well as a serious platform for progression. Check it out:
Travis Pastrana is going to Austin, Texas, this weekend for yet another world championship competition, which won’t surprise most Nitro fans, since he’s an action sports legend who has more medals, trophies, and records than any mortal human should. But this weekend’s competition isn’t something you’ll be seeing as an event at the next Nitro World Games. This is the Big Buck World Championships. And it’s deadly serious.
Big Buck Hunter is a series of hunting arcade games that you’ll find in your finer drinking and dining establishments. The first one came out in 2000, and since then it’s spawned spinoffs and sequels and a legion of die-hard players who are among the most competitive people you’ll meet — sound like Nitro’s fearless leader, or what?
Right now, Travis is sitting at 46th on the World Championship leaderboard. But he has the advantage of experience. Not only has he competed at the highest level of action sports for decades, this is also not his first Big Buck World Championship. He’s been to a few, placing 12th in 2011 and 8th in 2010, right behind Streetbike Tommy, which has to sting a bit. Travis also has a Big Buck arcade game at home. Check out the video at this link, where Travis and Comb-Over Steve play at Pastranaland. For the inside story on Steve’s “I lost a bet” neck tattoo, click here (yes, it’s tangentially Big Buck-related). And here’s a video from the 2012 championship where Travis talks more about his love of Big Buck:
The ninth annual Big Buck World Championships will feature 64 competitors, all of whom qualified by scoring in the top tier for each of five national tournaments. By the way, this is just a game, but the grand prize is $20,000. Do you know how many rounds of Big Buck you could play with that kinda change? It’s all going down Nov. 4th and 5th, and you can watch it live on the Big Buck Twitch channel.
If you’re a member of the Nitro Crew, costumes come with the gig; it doesn’t matter what time of year it is. That’s because whatever we’re out doing — whether it’s skydiving, riding, learning to be a knight, you name it — anything that’s fun to do is twice as fun in a giant chicken suit. Here are some of the best moments of the Nitro Crew taking costumes way too far:
Look, up in the sky! It’s an eagle! And a chicken! And … a bear?
The crown jewels are always at risk when the Crew is out having a good time. At least here there’s an authority figure explaining exactly how to protect them:
Sometimes when we dress up it’s purely for fun, but in the following case we knew that if we weren’t in costume, this whole scene would have somehow been even more disturbing:
At Nitro Circus, it doesn’t have to be Halloween for us to dress up in costumes or get scared out of our minds, but when this time of year rolls around, it does get us thinking about all the fun we’ve had doing those things. Like that time we stepped up to a zombie apocalypse simulation, ready to prove that if the dead do ever walk the Earth, the Nitro Crew will be among the survivors who eventually turn back the shambling horde. But what actually happened was we failed miserably in almost every way, from basic teamwork to being mindful of 21st-century social norms. But whatever! It was fun. Check it:
Here comes Halloween, the season where we celebrate all things scary! Next to any holiday that requires fireworks, Halloween is a favorite for us. The Nitro Crew have a blast performing tricks and stunts that would scare the bejeezus out of most people. You might think that makes Nitro athletes fearless, but the truth is, anyone who claims to have zero fear 100 percent of the time just hasn’t been fully put to the test. At some point everyone — even Nitro athletes — will experience fear. It’s what you do with that fear that makes all the difference. Check it out:
Ryan Williams recently shared a scary moment he had a few years ago at Pastranaland. Check it out:
A video posted by Ryan Williams (@rwillyofficial) on
That’s scary in the moment, but what about having to face a true fear head-on? Chris Haffey is a monster on inline skates and has no problem dropping in on Giganta, but he’s not a fan of the bigger heights (and we don’t blame him a bit):
Then, for mortal human comparison, there was the time Travis Pastrana took Late Late Show host James Corden for a spin in his RZR. James couldn’t be in better hands here, but despite the fact that he is in no real danger, the look on his face is priceless.
Blake “Bilko” Williams is a funny man with not-so-funny FMX skills, but did you know he’s also an incredible rallycross driver? He made his debut in 2015 and placed second at a Red Bull GRC event in 2016. While he’s making a real statement as a serious driver, he is rarely able to bury the clown for long. And nothing seems to bring it out of him faster than a trip to a karting track, where he gets to enjoy a little bit of consequence-free driving. You’d better pour yourself some coffee, because Bilko’s bringing the doughnuts:
Pro snowboarder Brandon Schmidt charged headfirst into the BMX world this year, landing the elusive triple backflip on tour and turning in an impressive showing at the first-ever Nitro World Games. And clearly Schmidty’s not slowing down. The latest trick he’s working on is a double backflip tailwhip 360, which sounds like a build on Jed Mildon’s double backflip tailwhip and Matty Whyatt’sbackflip tailwhip to late 360, both World Firsts. The trick is a mouthful, but if he gets it dialed in, the rest of the BMX world is going to have to dig deep to top it. Check it out:
In October 2015, we brought you the news that Ryan Williams had landed the World First nothing front bike flip at a Nitro Circus Live show, and while our audiences had been dropping their jaws at the trick for the last year, R-Willy’s big win at the Nitro World Games made the trick a household name. So we caught up with R-Willy and asked him to walk us through how he does the hottest trick around.
A video posted by Ryan Williams (@rwillyofficial) on
“This trick is all about technique,” he says. “I can always immediately tell if I have done it wrong or right.” He reminds us that a straight air is surprisingly difficult on a ramp that size, and as huge as this trick is, its base is a straight air. “The motion I do to create the frontflip motion of the bike isn’t just pushing forward; it’s kind of like circular motion that actually starts with pulling the bike into me a little bit,” he continues. “This is because you want the bike to flip close to you, not just be pushed away, but not too close — otherwise you will end up with tire burn on your face or chest.”
This is the moment where he always knows for sure whether he’s got it dialed in. “About a quarter of a second after this point, I know if the bike is in the right spot and/or flipping fast enough, and I calculate where the handlebars will end up after the bike has done the frontflip,” he says. “Sometimes it spins perfectly and I have time to smile and laugh to myself, and sometimes I’m yanking the bike as hard as I can to get it underneath me.” Notice how in both scenarios he still sticks the trick. That’s what it’s like to ride in R-Willy’s world.
At Nitro we always say that there’s no correct path to progression in action sports — every athlete practices and gets better at a different pace and on their own timeline. But the path Gregg Duffy has taken is one for the books. In July, he landed the World First double frontflip in competition at the inaugural Nitro World Games, a huge feat that put the rest of the FMX world on notice. And just this last week, Duffy had another first: At Pastranaland, he took his first-ever standard FMX ramp practice runs. That’s right, the only man to ever double frontflip a dirtbike hadn’t ever hit a standard super kicker on a two-stroke until last week. To that point, he’d only ever hit the frontflip ramp. Check it out:
Duffy was never known for FMX before the double front — he came up competing in races. But this latest footage proves that he’s no one-trick rider. It will be awesome to see where he goes now that he’s rounding out his FMX arsenal.
The life of an FMX athlete can be grueling, especially for a touring member of the Nitro Circus Crew. But there’s no one on the tour who makes it look easier than Blake “Bilko” Williams. On paper, Bilko is a legendary FMX competitor and performer, the winner of TransWorld’s rider of the year in 2009, and a highly qualified mechanic. On video, however, Bilko is Nitro Circus’ uncontested class clown:
5. Bilko Mic’d Up
Ever wondered what goes through the average FMX rider’s mind when they’re about to send a huge trick? It’s probably nothing like this.
4. Take Your Bilko to Work Day
You know that guy at work who the boss loves but who gets nothing done and distracts everyone? Yeah, we have one of those too.
3. Serious Joker
It’s difficult to describe Bilko in a few words, but we think Travis Pastrana summarizes it best. He’s the class clown that come showtime can be relied on to send serious tricks.
2. Bilko’s Favorite Moment
One of the most exciting things Nitro riders get to do is visit the world’s greatest cities. Most of them post Instagram photos of themselves in front of monuments and scenic views, because that’s what normal people do when they’re a tourist. Then there’s Bilko, who opted to spend his day in Tokyo as only he would.
Nitro all-star Gavin Godfrey has had an absolutely incredible year, sticking huge tricks for us on tour, as well as making the podium in the inaugural Nitro World Games. With a few months off before Nitro hits the road again, Gavin hasn’t been taking it easy. In fact, over the last week or so, he’s shored up his home practice setup and is riding like a man possessed.
When the friends that drop by are BMX legends Colton Satterfield and Kurtis Downs, things are bound to go off. Check out these clips from Gavin’s Instagram, and let us know: What would you give to have a backyard session like these?
One of the disciplines that doesn’t get as much ink as FMX, BMX, scooter, and contraptions is mountain bike. More and more, the Crew is bringing MTB to the top of Giganta, and the results are, as usual, badass. Guys like Ryan Williams and Travis Pastrana himself have joined regulars like Gavin Godfrey and Dusty Wygle to stick some huge tricks with no mountains necessary. Here are five of our favorite clips we posted over the last year or so:
5. Pastrana’s Aussie Roll
Travis and Dusty competed to see who could stick the World First Aussie Roll on a mountain bike. Spoiler alert: Never compete with Travis.
Nitro’s resident WCMX pro, Aaron “Wheelz” Fotheringham, has landed a bunch of wheelchair World Firsts on Nitro Circus ramps around the world, but he got his start in the skatepark, and that is still one of his favorite spots to ride. For proof, check out this clip of him sticking a super smooth 360. “Now if only I could land one of these over a spine,” he said in the post. We’re sure that’s coming soon.
You could say Nitro Circus is in the business of living out epic moments and sharing them with the world. It’s the product of us just having fun at every stop in our live show, wherever we are between shows, and, against the advice of our insurers, at home with contraptions that weren’t meant for a human to ramp. We’ve been going back into our archives and revisiting some of the biggest clips we posted over the summer, including our first set of epic moments and this collection of huge crashes. We know you love it when we go big, so here are five more epic moments:
5. Travis’ Grand Canyon Jump
No, this is not how we retire old dirtbikes. This is Travis Pastrana combining two of his favorite activities, FMX and BASE jumping, for an insane jump into the Grand Canyon.
4. The Heli-Skate
Here’s a great example of a low altitude low opening (LALO) to skatepark jump. Just kidding — that isn’t a thing. These folks are just crazy and have a helicopter.
3. Putting Your Back Into It
Colten Moore falls a little short of a full frontflip, but you can’t say he didn’t put his back into it. Keep working on that trick, Colten!
2. Do as We Say, Not as We Do
Utah is incredible. You can ski, climb, ride, anything. Except this. Don’t do this.
1. Epic POV
There’s nothing more epic than experiencing a huge trick from Travis’ POV. Especially when he’s hitting his massive big air ramp at Pastranaland. As you can see, airbag or not, it’s a long fall.
If you’re in the business of throwing yourself off ramps, you’re going to crash, probably a lot. There’s going to be some bumps and scrapes and maybe even a little embarrassment, thanks to the fact that everyone is able to record video on their phones, so now we get to witness many of the best wipeouts in all their glory. We’ve been revisiting some of the biggest clips we posted over the summer, including a collection of epic crashes, along with some of the most glorious moments in BMX and FMX. You love those stacks, though, so here are five more crazy failures we posted this summer:
5. Taking the Backseat
Let’s face it, action sports is a culture of outliers — the students in the back of class. But there are definitely moments you should take a seat near the front, like when you’re attempting a four-person backflip.
4. Bell Ringer
There’s really two ways to look at this. Glass half empty: Getting so close to sticking a double frontflip, only to flip over the handlebars at the last second. Glass half full: He walked away.
3. Sending It Too Far
Hey grasshoppers, here’s a few pearls of wisdom: Don’t bring a catapult to a game of catch, and make sure you do a speed check before you send it over a ramp.
2. Ethen’s Superman Double Backflip to Frontflip Splat
When Ethen Roberts attempted this superman double backflip, he accidentally added a frontflip followed by the holy grail of wipeouts — the total separation of rider and bike. Golf clap, Ethen.
1. Speed Adjustment
It takes something special to mess up a foam pit jump so badly that you end up on a list of epic crashes, but here we are. You may remember Streetbike Tommymaking his mark here. And we all know not to turn right. Well, it turns out hitting the ramp at the proper speed is also important.
This summer’s North America tour is winding down, and it has been an absolutely epic year. The athletes have crisscrossed the world several times over. We all should be ready for some time off, right? Sure, except when the Nitro Crew get time off, they don’t shy away from continuing to do epic stunts. We’ve been revisiting some of the biggest clips we posted over the course of the summer, such as the biggest BMX clips and Wheelz’s biggest moments. Here are five of the most epic moments we shared this summer:
5. Travis Is Ready for the Fall
We’d like to celebrate the arrival of fall … with a fall. That is, that time Travis Pastrana accomplished the trike to BASE jump.
4. Super Bilko
Bilko channels Evel Knievel with this little stunt, proving you can be epic in your own front yard.
3. Crazy Boy
We are indebted to Crum for this little pearl of wisdom: The worst thing about a La-Z-Boy is you can’t steer it.
2. Car Wash
Before they invented the no-touch car wash, there was the exfoliating car scrub.
1. Buggy Jump
In short, don’t try this at — or above — your home.
A week or so ago we showed you nine awesome photos BMX legend James Foster took during our 2016 North America tour, and the response was unanimous: These are nine awesome photos, but surely there are more where this came from? You are correct, there are definitely more. So to appease the voracious masses, we present to you 11 more photos Foster took, this time during tour stops in Bridgeport, Connecticut, and Portland, Maine. Don’t forget to follow him on Instagram for more of this sort of awesomeness. Enjoy!
The Nitro Crew put it on the line every time they attempt a trick. And while no one wants to crash, crashes often happen. The good thing is they can be very teachable moments. If you’re going to ride a couch down Giganta, wear a lot of padding. We improve and evolve with every bump and scrape and use the experience as motivation for getting back up and trying again. We don’t do them on purpose, but great wipeouts are undeniably some of the best clips we have. And just as we’ve been revisiting some of the biggest clips we posted over the course of the summer in BMX and FMX, we put together a list of the biggest crash clips. Here’s the Top 5:
5. The Volunteer
It isn’t exactly the safest job testing new ramps or our double winch system. It helps to have an actual warrior on staff, like Jed “Warrior” Mildon, who’ll actually volunteer for the job.
4. Big Wheels on Big Ramps
Sending a big wheel down the Giganta ramp sounds like a fantastic idea, until you try it. But full kudos goes to the rider for attempting a frontflip on this contraption.
3. Train Wreck
If you look closely, you can see the moment this rider ran out of talent.
2. Lady and the Tramp
This lucky fan had the best view in the house, getting to watch R-Willy train BMX on the tramp. So close, she could taste it.
1. The Art of the Bail
They should award points for a well-executed bail. If they did, Dusty Wygle would reap the rewards after what happens in this short but effective clip.
Obviously at Nitro we love great photos of the Crew doing what they do best, and we appoint some of the greatest photographers in action sports to get technically perfect, beautiful shots during shows. But who better to capture the real feel of a show than the athletes themselves, who have access to and knowledge of elements of the show that no one else has. We reached out to BMX legend James Foster and asked if he wouldn’t mind sharing some of the shots he’s been capturing this summer on our North America tour. Big thanks to him, and follow him on Instagram for more of his shots from the road and beyond. But first, check out nine of his awesome shots from the last couple months:
Javier Villegas: Full Extension
Keep an eye on this FMX superstar, because his ruler isn’t even close to the only trick he executes flawlessly.
Two Dudes, One Bike
Taking “grab a friend and go ride” to a whole new level.
Adam Jones Checks His Blind Spot
We have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to athletes who can throw down with the best of them.
Crum’s Always Lounging
Can your recliner do this?
R-Willy’s 720 Frontflip
He does this on BMX too. No big.
Kurtis Downs Takes a Trike for a Spin
If at first you don’t succeed, trike trike again.
The King of the Whip Needs No Hands
Jarryd McNeil is not a huge guy, but he has a huge whip.
You Must Be This Tall to Ride
Ethen Roberts enjoys the added visibility you get from up on the tall bike.
Social media is awesome for us at Nitro, because it gives fans more ways than ever to keep up with what we’re up to no matter where we are in the world. If you’re reading this, you no doubt follow us on at least one social media platform. And the Crew is also all over social media on their own accounts, so you can follow as many of your favorite athletes as you can think of and see even more of what we’re all up to. We asked multi-threat athlete Brandon Schmidt to choose a bunch of his favorite Instagram posts from the last few months and tell us why he loves them. To see more from him, check out his Instagram right here. But first, scroll through this highlight gallery with captions from Schmidty himself:
With the boys on the beach in San Diego, kicking it before we left for three months of tour:
A video posted by Brandon Schmidt (@brandonschmidt92) on
After three back to back to back shows in Ireland, landing a triple flip one night on my board and a triple on BMX the next, I flew to California from Europe to compete in the qualifying event for World Games. This was right after I qualified!
You, the ticket purchaser and/or ticket bearer (“you”) agree with Nitro Circus Touring Australia Pty Ltd (“the Seller”) to the following terms and conditions in relation to the Nitro Circus Live New Zealand Tour 2017 show to which this ticket applies (“the Event”):
1. The Event (if outdoor) may be postponed in whole or part if necessary, to the following day or a day within a reasonable time period of the originally scheduled Event, at a time determined by the Seller, due to adverse weather or other adverse conditions as deemed by the Seller. Any such postponement will be notified. In this case, your ticket will be valid for the postponed date and you will not be entitled to a refund. Please keep your ticket. Please check www.nitrocircus.com for weather updates.
2. There are no transfers, exchanges or refunds on ticket prices, booking or courier fees except as required by law. The Seller’s liability is limited to refunding the ticket price where the Event is cancelled and not postponed. To receive a refund, you must within 30 days of the Event, e-mail the ticket with your details to the relevant ticketing agent for the Event. Any booking fee is not refunded where the Event is cancelled and not rescheduled, except where required by law.
3. The ticket purchaser agrees to accept responsibility for ensuring this ticket is not copied and/or used fraudulently.
4. Where concessions are applicable, suitable and valid identification must be provided at the venue.
5. The Seller may add, withdraw, reschedule or substitute riders and performers, advertised events or performances. The Seller may also interrupt, shorten, bring forward, delay or stop the Event due to circumstances beyond its control.
6. The following items are prohibited from the Event – still cameras of professional quality as determined by Seller, video or movie cameras, audio and/or video recorders, banners, goods intended for sale and/or any item which may injure or annoy other persons or hamper/impede the conduct of the Event including chairs, umbrellas, platforms or anything that can be used to erect platforms or obstruct the view of patrons.
7. You understand that the Event may be filmed or photographed and that by your attendance at the Event you are automatically granting to the Seller and its agents and assigns without compensation the irrevocable right to include your image, voice and/or likeness in or out of context in any such film or photograph and to use and exploit the same in any media for any purpose throughout the world in perpetuity.
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11. Entry may be refused and no refund given if tickets are damaged or defaced in any way. Tickets are void if on-sold, traded, scalped, used to artificially inflate the value of another item and/or are not purchased directly from the designated ticketing agent for the Event.
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Aaron “Wheelz” Fotheringham is having a crazy summer. For starters, he was nominated for an ESPY. He’s creating new prototype gear that will bring freestyle wheelchair — aka WCMX — to more athletes and audiences. He’s also been throwing down all over with Nitro Circus, dropping jaws with his backflips and frontflips on a wheelchair. The live audience loves him, and the worldwide audience also can’t get enough online. We’ve been revisiting some of the biggest clips we posted over the course of the summer, featuring BMX and FMX so far. But these sports are definitely not the only game in town, and we think you’ll agree that Wheelz is in a category all his own. So here are five of the biggest Wheelz clips:
5. The Airport Obstacle Course Commercial
Wheelz isn’t just a pioneer of freestyle wheelchair. He’s the David Beckham of the sport, a global brand ambassador, and now the focus of an ad on France TV for the French Olympic Team.
4. Winch Growing Pains
There’s always a bit of an adjustment period from using drop-ins to our one-of-a-kind double winch system. All the athletes took some hard hits getting it dialed. But it never seems to matter to Wheelz fans whether he sticks the landing.
3. This Interview
Wheelz talks about his road to the Nitro Circus tour and his first flip on Giganta.
2. The World First Wheelchair Frontflip
Wheelz describes it as the best night of his life. The day he stuck the World’s First wheelchair frontflip, it was after a series of bruising attempts over the course of a New Zealand tour. Bonus: His mother was there.
1. The View From Up Top
This simple clip will separate the mortal from the mighty. The drop-in from the top of Giganta isn’t for the uncommitted, and it gives us all a great view of what the athletes face at every show.
The summer of ’16 was a veritable arms race of huge BMX moments. We threw a massive Party of the Decade tour of Australia; a long regional tour of North America; a trip around the U.K., Wales, Ireland, and France — not to leave out the inaugural Nitro World Games. That’s a lot of trips down the Giganta. But that also means a lot of practice too, which probably helps explain why BMX has progressed so much this summer. Riders are stomping triple backflips and huge new combos regularly on tour, and the appetite for new BMX clips has been voracious. Previously, we let the audience decide how to rank the Top 5 biggest moments from the summer. But five doesn’t really do it justice. We’ve got so many more awesome videos. So here are five more BMX clips for your viewing pleasure:
5. Throwback: Todd Meyn’s World First Superman Frontflip
Todd Meyn, a veteran frontflipper with several frontflip combos under his belt, is the proud owner of the World’s First frontflip superman. The trick is crazy — just check out the distance between Todd and his bike — but somehow he gets it back and sticks it.
4. R-Willy’s No-Hander Frontflip
There’s a rumor going around that Ryan Williams isn’t from this planet. He certainly spends the least time on the ground of anyone we know, and remember, we know BASE jumpers. We caught R-Willy red-handed trying to get back home in this stunning launch.
3. Brandon Schmidt’s Double Triples on Two Contraptions
It was a summer of great action sports headlines. One of the stories we followed was the sudden burst of triple flips being landed on tour and on more contraptions. To hammer the point home, Brandon Schmidt hucked two triple flips in one night, one on the rollerboard and the other on BMX. And then he did it again, the very next show.
2. Live at the Melbourne Skate Park
Facebook Live is proving to be another great medium for action sports fans to interact with the riders. The best part about it is it can show you exactly what it’s like to hang out at a local skate park with superstars like Beaver Fleming, Kurtis Downs, Andy Buckworth, Brandon Schmidt, and Todd Meyn.
1. R-Willy’s Triple Frontflip
Of the Top 10 most-watched BMX clips from the summer, R-Willy, the scooter pro, is the subject of four of them. It was just his summer, fair play. One of the craziest moments from the Party of the Decade tour of Australia was when he landed a triple frontflip in front of a roaring audience.
We’re still reeling from the biggest summer in action sports history. Our 10th anniversary tour of Australia featured the biggest names in FMX and the craziest tricks we’ve ever attempted on tour. A few months later, FMX changed forever in Salt Lake City during the Nitro World Games. Everyone’s game was up this summer, which meant we had an embarrassment of riches in video clips to share with you. Previously, we let the audience decide how to rank the Top 5 biggest moments from the summer. But there are so many more videos that you guys loved. So here are five more FMX clips from this summer:
5. Throwback: Adam Jones’ World First Shaolin Backflip
Nitro Circus veteran Adam Jones is an absolute anchor on tour. Reliably sending it night after night with a full variety of tricks executed with technical precision. So we took a look back at that time he took a tried-and-tested FMX trick and brought it into a new era.
4. Throwback: Cam Sinclair’s 3-Person Backflip
Multi-person FMX backflips don’t seem like a good idea. We take brave volunteers, stick them on the back of Cam Sinclair’s bike, and tell them to hold on. What could go wrong? It’s true that we’ve since moved on to the four-person backflip, but the reason this throwback to the three-person was so popular is that it opened the gates of progression by asking the question “Hey, why not?”
3. Clinton Moore Stalks the TP Roll
With everyone charging ahead to progress FMX, it is nice to revisit some classics, like the infamous TP Roll. Originally a BMX trick, it is a combination of a 720 and a flip — definitely not for the faint of heart. Travis Pastrana famously crashed while attempting it in 2011. Clinton Moore, who has been working on it for at least as long as Travis, is still trying to stick it, and he’s getting very close.
2. Harry Bink’s Warm-Up
One of the perks of purchasing a VIP ticket is you get a chance to see the athletes warm up. Warm-ups are much looser than the show, and the riders will sometimes use the inflated lander to try crazy new tricks. This is why the sixth-most-viewed video clip of the summer happens to be one shot during Harry Bink’s practice session, rather than the show itself.
1. Gregg Duffy’s World First Double Frontflip
What are the odds that a motocross racer who only recently decided to get into FMX would be the first to land one of FMX’s most dangerous and sought-after tricks: the double frontflip. Gregg Duffy had only been performing FMX tricks, and only in Travis’ backyard, for about a month. Next thing he was on a plane to join the crew on the Party of the Decade tour of Australia. It ended up being a sign of great things to come at the Nitro World Games, where the trick earned him the top spot on the FMX Best Trick podium.
The summer of ’16 is undeniably going down in history as the biggest year in FMX history, with tons of crazy World Firsts introduced on our tours and at the Nitro World Games. We all have our favorite clips, but to be perfectly objective we let the audience decide how to rank the big moments from the summer. Check out five of the most popular FMX clips from Nitro tours this summer:
5. Travis Pastrana’s TP Roll
The Party of the Decade Tour of Australia was an important preview of the innovation to come at the Nitro World Games. Riders were able to test new ramp designs and landers during practice and shows, resulting in crazy new World Firsts, like the TP Roll from Travis Pastrana.
4. Josh Sheehan’s Heel-Clicker Double Backflip
Josh Sheehan is one of the big reasons FMX progression is driving at breakneck speed this year. The double backflip used to be the white whale of the sport, but now Nitro athletes are sticking double backflip combos in shows.
3. Biggest Night in FMX History
There were so many epic World Firsts in FMX this summer, it’s easy to forget that three of them were hucked in one crazy show during the Party of the Decade tour. Another reason to sign up to make sure you’re first in line to get tickets to the next tour of Australia, coming in early 2017.
2. Travis Pastrana’s World First Frontflip Nac Nac
So much airtime is devoted to backflips, but that’s because frontflips are a lot tougher and so rare. That just makes this trick all the crazier, because it is a frontflip combo. Watch Travis round off a summer of FMX progression with another World First, the frontflip nac nac.
1. The Bruce Cook Story
This clip previewing the story of Bruce Cook’s comeback from injury is far and away the most popular video we shared on Facebook this summer, and deservedly so. Bruce’s journey from spinal injury to landing the World First paraplegic backflip is an incredible story and a perfect embodiment of our credo: Truly anything is possible.
The North America tour has been in full swing since the spring, and even though there are only a few shows left, there’s no sign of things slowing down when it comes to the Crew going huge. There have been some incredible shows, including the biggest North America show ever. Nitro riders are heading into the fall fired up, itching to try even bigger tricks. Check out some of our favorite moments from this year’s North American tour:
7. Endless FMX Craziness
We have an endless supply of FMX craziness on display at each and every stop of the tour. But it’s always nice to be able to see athletes stick huge tricks against a backdrop of snowcapped mountains.
6. Gavin Godfrey’s Many Talents
One of the best things about this year’s tour so far has been the sheer variety of disciplines and contraptions dropping in on the Giganta Ramp. Gavin Godfrey has been particularly active, sticking triples on the mountain bike and then sending it on the tall bike and trike.
5. Adam Jones’ Dead Body Backflip
We’ve found that the typical Nitro Circus crowd is a mix of newcomers to action sports and super fans hoping to see riders land competition-level tricks. This dead body backflip from Adam Jones is a crowd-pleaser either way.
4. Mike Mason’s Shaolin
Mike Mason put a lot of himself on display in Eugene, Oregon, with this incredible shaolin.
3. Anchorage Nitro Bomb
It’s an amazing thing to be able to bring the Nitro Circus signature Nitro Bomb to the regional tour.
2. The Pioneer
Aaron “Wheelz” Fotheringham is one of the biggest draws on tour and a clear fan favorite who gets some of the loudest applause. He’s gone from being known as the first-ever athlete to land a backflip in a wheelchair to a full-on pioneer of the exciting new sport of WCMX, aka freestyle wheelchair.
1. For Roner
We’ve had lots of memorable moments on tour and many still to come. But here’s one we’ll never forget. In Reno, Gavin dedicated a triple backflip to Erik Roner in front of Roner’s family and hometown crowd. Here’s a picture of Gavin with Roner’s son, Oscar.
This summer the number of athletes who landed a triple backflip on BMX grew like wildfire on the Nitro tour — with two non-BMX athletes, Ryan Williams and Brandon Schmidt, joining the list.We’d see the same group of non-BMX and BMX pros storm the BMX Best Tricks competition at the Nitro World Games, with the top two positions claimed by scooter pro R-Willy and a mountain biker: Gavin Godfrey. They beat a tough field with tricks that defy categorization. The kind you have to watch and then rewatch to get your head around. It’s difficult to know what to expect next in BMX. Perhaps this is why a growing number of people are watching our BMX clips. We let the audience decide how to rank the most popular BMX clips this summer. Check them out:
5. Matty Whyatt’s Close Call
BMX riders who push progression are dancing on the razor’s edge between glory and splat. So it’s always exciting to watch when a rider sticks it, but barely, as Matty Whyatt does in this clip.
4. James Foster’s Triple Backflip
In what we believe is the world’s quickest triple backflip to gurney, James Foster collides with a paramedic’s stretcher after landing the big trick. It’s just Foster’s way of showing us how easily this trick can put you in the hospital.
3. James Foster’s Flip Oppo Whip to Double Whip Back
We had the chance to talk to some of our Nitro BMX stars and get them to take us through one of their World First tricks. In this case, we needed James Foster to help us unpack his. A trick that takes longer to say than to perform, James Foster’s flip oppo whip to double whip back demands repeat viewing.
2. R-Willy’s Frontflip Heel-Clicker
Less than two weeks after claiming the top prize in the Nitro World Games BMX Best Tricks event, R-Willy was at it again on tour, landing a new World First. As usual, he asked his fans to name the trick and they obliged: the frontflip heel-clicker.
1. Matty Whyatt’s Whyatt Riot
It doesn’t surprise us at all that this clip of Matty Whyatt’s Whyatt Riot made the top spot. It’s another trick with a whirlwind of craziness going on in the air that requires repeat viewing to make heads or tails of. Maybe Foster can take a cue from Matty Whyatt here, when a trick is too insane to title, name it after yourself. Check out the legendary Whyatt Riot.
It feels like we just wrapped our last tour of Australia, and we just announced another trip back to one of our favorite countries. We obviously couldn’t stay away long. Nitro riders love putting on shows in Australia, which is why we had a Party of the Decade tour to commemorate 10 years of touring there. Just as we’re doing in North America right now, we’re taking the tour to more Australian cities, so make sure you check to see if we’re coming to your town. To give you an idea of what’s in store for Nitro fans Down Under, check out these photos from past Australia tours:
7. Levi Sherwood’s Crazy Extension
From the looks of it, Levi Sherwood was hoping to extend his stay at Club Nitro. Get it?
6. Ethen Roberts and Todd Meyn in the Jamaican Bobsled
Fun fact! Australia’s bobsled team first competed at the 1988 Olympics, the same year as Jamaica. Neither did particularly well that year, but as Ethen Roberts and Todd Meyn can attest, it’s just as much of a feat to survive the trip.
5. World First Brother and Sister Tandem FMX
You have to keep your family close. Even closer if you’re going over a 65-foot gap together. Brother and sister Matty and Emma McFerran stunned their hometown crowd with a series of World First tandem FMX tricks.
4. Nitro Bomb in Canberra
If Nitro Circus had to choose a photo to put on its Tinder profile, it would be a picture of a Nitro Bomb. It’s one of the signature parts of the Nitro show, crazy to see and hear in person.
3. Cam Sinclair’s Four-Person Backflip
It’s always huge when Cam Sinclair sticks a four-person backflip. It took us a long time to get the three-person backflip right, but Nitro riders always love to go big in Australia, so we had to bring out the four.
2. Travis Pastrana Pushing Progression
The summer of 2016 will go down in history as the ultimate summer of action sports progression. Almost as a preview to the Nitro World Games, during the last tour of Australia we debuted new ramps designed to allow riders to push past some long-established boundaries, especially in FMX. Here’s Travis Pastrana sticking a crazy double backflip combo.
1. Party of the Decade
This photo captures the feeling on the last year tour perfectly. It is a spiritual home for the sport, an actual home for a good number of Nitro athletes and backstage crew, and for the rest, one of the best crowds to play to. We can’t wait to get back to Australia in 2017.
Nitro Circus features quite a few recognizable characters, but after ringleader Travis Pastrana it’s hard to pick a more well-known Nitro athlete than Aaron “Wheelz” Fotheringham, pioneer of WCMX, aka freestyle wheelchair. A fan and fellow-athlete favorite, Wheelz exploded onto the scene in 2010 after landing the first-ever backflip on a wheelchair, and he hasn’t looked back, breaking records and inspiring millions, all while fearlessly sending it and having the time of his life on mega ramps and skateparks around the world.
I caught up with Wheelz in Norco, California, where he was designing and testing a new line of WCMX wheelchairs, developing models meant specifically for the park and the mega ramp. When he’s not out riding, you can often find him working on growing the sport of WCMX in various ways. He’s currently the most well-known WCMX athlete, and that’s no fluke. I mentioned he was the first to ever land a backflip on a wheelchair, and he eventually followed that up with sticking the World First wheelchair frontflip during a Nitro Circus show in Wellington, New Zealand. Check it out:
But before he was sticking flips every which way off of Giganta, Wheelz was a kid growing up in a very supportive family in Las Vegas. He was born with a genetic condition called spina bifida and has never had full use of his legs. And like many little brothers, he wanted to spend more time with his older brother, who was into action sports. “I was always trying to hang out with him, but he’d never let me hang out with him,” he says. Wheelz eventually started going to skateparks with his brother and his dad. It was his brother who coaxed him to come off the sidelines at the park. “One time at the skatepark, he came up to me and he’s like, ‘Hey, do you want to try to drop into the skatepark on your wheelchair?’ Looking back, I don’t know if he was trying to help me or hurt me,” he says, laughing. Wheelz was about 8 at the time. His dad said it was OK, and while it was Aaron Fotheringham who dropped in, Wheelz was the one who rode away. Eventually.
His brother was right there to help. “Him and a bunch of the kids got me to the top of this quarter, and I just dropped in. I ate crap like four times trying that, and then I was able to roll away from it successfully, finally, and that adrenaline was something I really enjoyed, so I just kept going at it.” This was his introduction to the most important action sports lesson: Falling is a natural part of learning, and what you do after you eat dirt is what defines you as an athlete. The support of his family was key to his development. “I’m glad my parents allowed me to fall, allowed me to go to the skatepark and try to figure it out,” he says.
That skatepark session was obviously pivotal, and he was a natural. The first time he dropped in on a quarterpipe he did so without any frame of reference for how to do it on a wheelchair. “I just always looked up to BMXers and skaters, so being able to get up there and try it was terrifying, because I didn’t have anywhere to look for help,” he says. The key was quickly grasping the adjustments he needed to make. “You’ve got the two small wheels on the front of the chair, and when I first dropped in I didn’t know you had to lift those up, so I just dropped in on all four and it just kind of bucketed forward, just dump-trucked forward,” he says. “I tried that a couple times, and then you learn, OK, you gotta get up into a wheelie and just stay on the back wheels until you get to the bottom, and then you can let the front wheels touch.”
Before long, he was at the skatepark every chance he could get. “It was always like, ‘OK, now where can I try to drop in?’ My brother would be like, ‘Try right here. This one’s a little taller, or this one.’ And so we would just go to a park and start on the small ones and just work my way up.” At this point, it was clear his brother wasn’t trying to hurt him.
A video posted by Aaron Fotheringham (@aaronwheelz) on
They would go to different skateparks around Vegas, and Wheelz found that new challenges are what action sports are really all about. “At the time I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, it’s a whole new level.’ Kinda like in a video game. You’ve graduated and you’re at the next level,” he says. “Every time you go to a new skatepark it’s like a whole new possibility of things happen and open up, because each park’s a little different.”
He credits being born and raised in Vegas and having a family who let him forge his own path to his success. “Everything was just too perfect. I was adopted, so being adopted into this family, being with an older brother who’s into extreme sports, and then the city of Las Vegas has a lot of skateparks.” He could find a skatepark in almost any direction from his house within two miles, he says. That doesn’t hurt when you’re up-and-coming in the action sports world. He gives a shoutout to Pro Park in Vegas, where the size of the drop-ins was a huge part of his development as an athlete. So his initial experience at the park wasn’t much different than most riders have, with one notable exception: For most of us, progression doesn’t mean inventing a brand-new sport.
A photo posted by Aaron Fotheringham (@aaronwheelz) on
The park became his bread and butter, but the big ramps were calling to him. “I’d been riding all these parks for a few years, and I was doing grinds, and I was doing 180s, and just progressing,” he says. But kids at parks were constantly asking him if he could backflip. “It kept hitting me in the head, and I was like, ‘You know, that sounds like something I actually really want to do.'” So he set his sights on Woodward, where he knew they had a big ramp and a foam pit he could use to practice.
“I begged my mom. I was like, ‘I have to go to this place called Woodward! It’s a magical place where you can try these tricks and they have foam pits and stuff.'” His mom made the call. At the time it was unprecedented for a kid on a wheelchair. They hesitated, but not for long, and with his parents’ support — a big sacrifice for them, he says — he was off to one of the best action sports camps in the world.
A video posted by Aaron Fotheringham (@aaronwheelz) on
On the first day at Woodward, they weren’t allowed to ride at all. There was an orientation and the new riders toured the facilities and could only watch, so they’d get a feel for the flow of Woodward before diving in. “I’m just looking at the foam pit. In fact, that day, that’s all I wanted to look at. I was like, ‘OK, there’s other skateparks here, but I really just want to look at this foam pit, because I’ve got one thing I came here to do,'” Wheelz recalls. “The first day they let us do anything, I was just straight there.” He spent that whole first day attempting backflips, getting advice from counselors, who were very helpful. “Just that atmosphere there makes you want to progress,” he says.
That guidance paid off. “I think it was the next day, I just felt so good with the backflip into the foam, like, ‘OK, I’m getting it every single try. Now I gotta try it onto the resi.’ And I was terrified, you know,” he says, laughing. “Because that’s, like, you have to make sure you pull it. It’s for real this time. So after about 10 or 11 tries or something around there, I ended up landing it. And I, I lost it. I called my mom — she didn’t believe me — and I’m just freaking out, like, ‘Holy crap, second day in I landed it!'” These days, he’s landing backflips regularly in Nitro shows, and he also landed the World First double backflip on a wheelchair:
He still has a good relationship with Woodward. He hasn’t led a camp there yet, but he hopes to soon. “WCMX is growing so much, and now it’s getting to the point where more and more people on chairs are going out and wanting to hit Woodward,” he says. “So hopefully we have a class or some kind of camp for WCMX soon. That’d be awesome.”
He’s modest about his contribution to what’s essentially a brand-new action sport. “I’ve just been doing it forever, so I have a little bit of a head start, you know, but I’m just really grateful that I’m in a position that I’m able to kind of help people see the wheelchair in a different light,” he says. “There’s nothing more rewarding than going to a skatepark with kids on chairs, and at the beginning the kids get there and some of them seem sort of bummed or a little down, and after they hit the skatepark they just have this perma-grin on their face, you know? They’re just so pumped and so happy. It’s just fun.”
“It really is just wheels stuck to your butt. How can that not be fun?”
He doesn’t have a specific vision for how he’d like to see WCMX evolve; he just hopes it continues to grow. Competitions, shows, more media coverage — all that would be great, but his main thing is he wants to go to the skatepark and see kids on wheelchairs having a blast getting into the sport. “I’ve always just had fun with my wheelchair, and it’s always brought joy to me. So if I can change someone’s outlook on their wheelchair and make it into a positive, that’s mission accomplished,” he says. “I’d really love to see more kids getting out there and having fun, because, you know, it really is just wheels stuck to your butt. How can that not be fun?”
Focusing on progressing his sport in the most fun way possible has served Wheelz well. One year at X-Games his dad helped him get up on one of the big features so he could drop in. He wasn’t supposed to based on the credentials he had, but no one was stopping him, so he went for it. “At the time it was the biggest thing I’d done — I think it was like a 20-foot roll-in, or something,” he says, laughing at the memory. One of his wheels dipped over the side of the coping, giving him a scare, but it was worth it, he says. Shaun White witnessed it and told Wheelz’s dad, “That just blew away anything I’ve ever done.” That’s a highlight for Wheelz.
A photo posted by Aaron Fotheringham (@aaronwheelz) on
“So before Nitro, that was the biggest thing I’d ever done,” Wheelz says. He was dedicated to getting on a big ramp, and he was reaching out to heavy hitters. “I think it was MySpace days: I was hitting up Bob Burnquist, I was hitting up Danny Way, and none of these guys were responding.” Someone suggested Nitro, and he figured it would be another non-response, so he didn’t even try. That made it especially cool when Nitro reached out to him. “They were like, ‘Since we’re Nitro Circus we’re not going to tell you no.’ And I was just, like, losing it. I actually woke my parents up to read the email.” That email came in December of 2009. He started touring with Nitro at the beginning of 2010.
The first show was scary, he said. “There’s this huge crowd, but also that huge crowd pumps you up.” He got only a couple hours of practice on Giganta before his first show. He didn’t land the backflip that night, but he’s been with Nitro ever since. He cites Steve Mini and the FMX athletes as being especially inspirational, having the incredible willpower to attempt the death-defying tricks that they do. But, he says, the athletes of Nitro are all inspiring in different ways: “There’s a point where everyone in the show has inspired me.”
The feeling is mutual, as you probably assume. “Wheelz is a one-of-a-kind super human. He truly inspires me to want to be better and always has this glow to him that makes him so welcoming,” says fellow Giganta athlete Gavin Godfrey. “Wheelz is the definition of an American badass!”
FMX legend Josh Sheehan says, “Wheelz is an awesome guy to have around, always happy and joking around and always turns it on for the crowd.”
A photo posted by Aaron Fotheringham (@aaronwheelz) on
These days in addition to touring with Nitro, riding parks every chance he gets, and hanging with his dog, Wheelz edits most of the videos you see on his social media (check out his YouTube channel here) and works with Box Wheelchairs to design a new generation of chairs. The chair he rides in the Nitro show is also his everyday chair. It is, obviously, modified from what you’d find in a standard wheelchair. It has suspension in the back and the front, special wheels, and extra cross-bracing on the frame. Basically, a WCMX chair is made for taking a beating, but it’s still comfortable. “It’s nice to be able to have a chair that can just cruise or hit the park,” he says.
Whether he’s in the park, sending it on Giganta, or designing gear for a new generation of up-and-coming athletes, Wheelz fully embodies the spirit of what it means to be an action sports icon. He’s serious about his progression and growing his sport, and he’s succeeding at that because he’s fearless and always makes sure he’s having a great time. When people talk about Wheelz, the word “inspiration” almost inevitably comes up, but that’s not because he’s taken something that many regard as a disadvantage and turned it into a kick-ass advantage. OK, it’s partly that, but it’s also because no matter why he chose the sport he chose, Wheelz has an attitude and personality that will take him to the top of anything he goes after.
If the Nitro World Games taught us anything, it’s that progression can come from anyone these days. We saw scooter pros, mountain bikers, and snowboarders turn BMX upside-down with crazy World Firsts and huge wins in the BMX Best Trick event in Salt Lake City. Now the members of the Crew who competed are back on tour, and of course nothing’s changed. The riders are still experimenting with new, crazier tricks and sending it for each and every show. Check out these two World Firsts from the current tour:
It is truly Ryan Williams’ summer. The scooter pro had a commanding win at the Nitro World Games BMX Best Tricks event. It’s been less than a month since, and R-Willy’s back on the bike and already sticking crazy new tricks. During a practice session in Moncton, NB, Canada, R-Willy stuck a crazy frontflip combo that’d never been done before. Here’s another angle of the trick from the Moncton show:
While the trend of athletes crossing over into other disciplines appears to be unwavering, it’s difficult to pin down what Dusty Wygle’s discipline is. He is a self-described “professional-fun-haver” who does it all on the Nitro tour. He’s the only Nitro athlete who rides Giganta and the FMX ramps, and he’ll send it on a boogie board, a trike, or any contraption you can think of. He’s also amazing on mountain bike. With the help of Jed Mildon and with Braxton Tomlinson on camera, Dusty stuck this crazy World First one foot euro table opposite cork 7:
For those who still aren’t sold on Dusty’s incredible versatility, well, that’s his original music on the clip. So he’s awesome at that too.
Every event at the Nitro World Games featured world champions landing next-level tricks, but one event in particular was designed to push the limits of what’s possible. FMX Best Trick was by far the most anticipated event of the night. Not just because the tricks are bigger and crazier — because the stakes are way higher. The event featured another one-of-a-kind setup with takeoffs and landing ramps at least 50 percent bigger than in previous FMX competitions. For the riders, the Nitro World Games provided a platform for bigger tricks, new combos, and several World Firsts. Here are five huge FMX Best Trick photos from the Nitro World Games:
5. Van Den Putte’s Frontflip Suicide
Willis Van Den Putte was still fully extended when the bike was well into its forward rotation on this frontflip suicide. His commitment to the trick looks, frankly, suicidal.
4. Sheehan’s Superman Double Backflip
We always expect big things from Josh Sheehan in any FMX event, and he never disappoints. He’s made the double backflip a staple of his FMX competition performances. But for the Nitro World Games, he wanted to go the extra mile with a double backflip combo: the superman double backflip.
3. Bowden’s Tsunami Kiss of Death Frontflip
Pat Bowden’s insane tsunami kiss of death frontflip was so beautifully extended, it earned him 94 points out of 100. The last time Rice-Eccles Stadium saw something this gnarly and pretty was when Muhammad Ali carried the torch for the Salt Lake City Olympics.
2. Duffy’s Double Frontflip
And then Gregg Duffy threw down the World’s First double frontflip in FMX competition. Mic drop.
1. Duffy’s Huge Landing
There’s a reason the double frontflip was considered to be impossible in FMX. It is an extremely tough trick with a punishing landing if you get it wrong. And, as this picture demonstrates, Duffy’s landing wasn’t pain-free, but it earned him the top spot on the podium.
The Nitro World Games was crowded with historic moments, and every athlete in every discipline was firing on all cylinders to make their event the most epic. And when it came time for the FMX riders to take center stage, they also didn’t hold back. The FMX competition, like most of the events, featured a unique set of ramps and landers designed for true progression with the highest level of safety. Here are six huge moments from the FMX competition:
6. Sherwood’s Dead Body Backflip
Levi Sherwood took home the top prize with a huge run that included this picture perfect dead body backflip.
5. Taka’s Rock Solid Backflip
Taka Higashino made the podium too. How could he not if he’s sticking rock solid backflips like this, over a 120-foot gap, no less.
4. Javier’s Ruler Backflip
Javier Villegas makes it look like he’s holding an inflatable dirtbike above his head because his extension is so full and relaxed.
3. AJ’s Double Grab Backflip
Adam Jones does the double grab backflip better than anyone. Lights out!
2. Adelberg’s Cordova Backflip
It doesn’t get much better than Rob Adelberg and this cordova backflip.
1. The Podium
Josh Sheehan, left, Levi Sherwood, and Taka Higashino topped the podium.
It’s not easy to hit the Nitro World Games ramp setups on anything, but the level of difficulty bumps up a notch or two when you’re not strapped in. But the competitors in the Skate Best Tricks competition saw the chance to go down in history as a Top 3 finisher in the inaugural Games, and so when it came time for them to drop in, they absolutely sent it. Here are five great moments from the event:
5. Italo Penarrubia
Italo Penarrubia: so stoked.
4. Beaver Fleming
Beaver Fleming going for the double backflip.
3. Trey Wood
Trey Wood giving you an idea of the gap looks like. In a word: giant.
2. Elliot Sloan
Elliot Sloan with an enormous 720.
1. The Winners
The podium: Clay Kreiner, left, Elliot Sloan, and Trey Wood.
It was difficult to know what to expect from the BMX Triple Hit event going into the Nitro World Games. With a setup that included three separate takeoffs and landings, riders got to attempt three tricks in succession for each run. It was clear from the qualifying rounds and the semifinals that all the riders came ready to throw down. So from the looks of it, we were either going to have a huge competition with crazy trick combos or a lot of casualties. The result was one of the most entertaining moments at the Nitro World Games and a fresh addition to the world of BMX competition. Check out five of our favorite photos:
5. The Barspin to Tailwhip Backflip
What made the BMX Triple Hit so much fun to watch? If you’re a casual fan of BMX, it is crazy to see tricks as huge as this barspin to tailwhip backflip from Colton Satterfield. The real fun, though, especially for BMX junkies, was trying to identify and name the tricks as they happen in real time.
4. The Backflip Barspin to Tailwhip
Colton Walker, one of the youngest riders competing at the Games, put in a dominant performance with some heavy-hitting tricks, like this backflip barspin to tailwhip on the first jump.
3. The Frontflip Tailwhip
Logan Martin secured second place on the podium with a huge series of perfectly executed tricks, including this frontflip tailwhip.
2. The Twix
Colton Walker threw down an incredible run to claim first prize, ending with his signature Twix, a barspin to tailwhip.
1. The Podium
The first Nitro World Games BMX champions, Colton Walker, Logan Martin, and Alex Coleborn, earned their podium spot beating out a tight field of finalists. And the world was introduced to a different kind of BMX event in the best possible way with riders throwing do-or-die tricks in succession on monster ramps.
The Nitro World Games took action sports competition to the next level. Nowhere was this more evident than with the BMX Best Tricks competition. The spirit of the Nitro Circus live show was on full display as the competing riders — all Nitro Circus athletes — sent tricks never before seen in BMX competition. And, incredibly, six of the eight riders threw triple backflips. Check out five of our favorite photos from the big event:
5. R-Willy Brings Revolutions to BMX
R-Willy, scooter superstar, stormed the BMX Best Tricks event with a near perfect set. And then he threw a huge 1080 frontflip, clinching him the top spot.
4. Hometown Hero
Hometown hero and member of the legendary Godfrey Clan, Gavin Godfrey did not disappoint with a massive 360 double backflip.
3. The Signature Flip
R-Willy’s signature nothing front bikeflip, unheard of in BMX competitions, left many speechless, including the announcer.
2. The World First
Kurtis Downs landed a World First backflip quad tailwhip, one of the most incredible BMX tricks of all time.
1. The Icon
The moment R-Willy became an icon in scooter and BMX, he throws down an equally iconic photo. In Salt Lake City, R-Willy proved there’s more than one route to becoming a BMX champion.
The inaugural Nitro World Games are in the books, and the action sports world will never be the same. While it remains to be seen exactly what that means, it’s clear that a competition focused on progression was just what we needed. Travis Pastrana and Mike Porra’s goal to reinvigorate action sports competition is a success, if the dozens of World Firsts landed on July 16 is any indicator. But while that was the primary goal, there was another small but significant side effect that not everyone noticed, and the best example of it probably came in the BMX Best Tricks event.
That’s a shot of Kurtis Downs and Gavin Godfrey, who finished second and third in BMX Best Tricks, respectively. The two know each other well, having both toured with Nitro for several years. But in this moment, they are technically competitors, and Gavin is sitting in second place near the end of the competition. Kurtis, who was in fourth place before dropping in, has just nailed an enormous quad tailwhip backflip, a World First that absolutely is going to draw a huge score from the judges, and Gavin knows it. In most competitions, what you’d see is a quiet and focused moment while the second-place athlete awaits his fate at the hands of the judges. But what we get is Gavin, despite knowing he’s probably about to be bumped down a notch, being so stoked to see Kurtis land a huge World First that he’s more interested in celebrating the moment than brooding about the prize money or trophy.
The short answer for why it went down like this is that a focus on progression truly amps everyone up to see that progression happen. The athletes want to win, of course, but they’re all so focused on the idea that to win you have to break a record, and the result is rivalries motivated by respect and even excitement when your competition does well — if you had to break a record to beat me, that’s awesome for you and for the sport in general. And, by the way, Kurtis’ World First on his final run was good for second place. Gavin took home third.
The Nitro Circus spirit clearly influenced the atmosphere of the Games, which is another major factor in the backstage camaraderie. The BMX Best Tricks finals was an all-Nitro Circus athlete lineup. BMX superstar Todd Meyn, who made the Nitro Games semifinals but narrowly missed a spot in the finals, competed professionally before transitioning to Nitro. He sees contests and life in the Circus as different beasts: “For contests, you’re there with all your friends, but you’re riding and competing against each other. There’s stress and the whole mental game comes into it,” he says. He adds, “But with Nitro, you’re just on top of the ramp, you’re riding in front of thousands of people, you’re doing stupid things, and you’re just there with your friends cheering each other on.” That spirit clearly carried over to the Games.
According to Cam Coghlan, one of Nitro’s athlete managers, the can-do attitude, the overwhelming spirit of encouragement and progression comes from the top down. Of Travis, he says, “I think having someone that is so amazingly talented and accomplished — not only as an athlete, but as a leader — who is at the same time so humble and respectful, really rubs off on the rest of the crew.” As we all know, Travis has been integral in making the Games what they are, so it makes sense that the same influence he has on the Nitro Circus live show can be seen and felt throughout the Games. With Travis setting a tone of spirited but friendly competition, Cam says, the result will always be real progression. He’s talking about Nitro Circus, but the implications for the Games are clear. “The other athletes really push each other. People that turn up that might be great BMXers but have never double backflipped, or double frontflipped, they turn up and now 100 percent of our guys double flip.” This is not the kind of competition where you play it safe and aim for a clean run. It’s the kind that challenges you to go bigger and see what’s possible, to win the greatest reward of them all — the look on everyone’s face when you land it.
“Everyone’s got the same mind, and everyone’s crazy, so they just send it night after night, because they love what they do,” Todd says of the Nitro Circus live show. And they love what the other riders are doing too. The sense of family and shared vision tends to extend beyond the athlete’s traditional lane, as Brandon Schmidt observes. Brandon is a snowboarder who’s new to BMX, yet he made the Nitro World Games finals in BMX Best Tricks. “It shows that it doesn’t matter what you ride or what you do. It just matters that you’re having fun and enjoying what you’re doing,” he says. “Because everyone knows that they’re there for the same common cause.”
And what is that common cause? Above all else, to take things to the next level, whether it’s in competition or a show. That’s what everyone wants to see happen, from the audience to the crew, but most of all the athletes themselves. Because when someone does something to kick the sport up a rung, it’s a victory for everyone. Nitro Circus is as much a touring show as a creative incubator for action sports athletes who draw on each other for inspiration, support, and as sources of friendly competition to drive progression in their sport. And now the Nitro World Games has taken that ethos and injected it into a competition that preserves the camaraderie and support while giving athletes even more reason to push the limits of what’s possible.
The greatest action sports competition ever went down Saturday night, as the inaugural Nitro World Games came to Salt Lake City and left a sea of broken records, stunned fans, and crazy moments in its wake. The complete list of competitors and winners is below!
With something like 32 World Firsts, it’s going to take some time to analyze every angle. But highlights of the night include an insane FMX double frontflip by Gregg Duffy, who won the FMX Best Trick competition. Josh Sheehan took home trophies in both FMX events, with a third in Best Trick and a second in FMX. The craziest event of the night might have been BMX Best Tricks, which saw six of eight athletes land triple backflips and a huge win for Ryan Williams, who took a commanding lead early on and kept it easily, sticking huge tricks including a nothing front bikeflip and a 1080 frontflip. And Colton Walker rode away with a win in BMX Triple Hit, despite being the youngest rider in that event.
FMX Best Trick:
Harry Bink Pat Bowden – SECOND Gregg Duffy – FIRST
Marc Pinyol Josh Sheehan – THIRD
William Van den Putte
FMX: Levi Sherwood – FIRST PLACE Taka Higashino – THIRD PLACE
Rob Adelberg Josh Sheehan – SECOND PLACE
BMX Best Tricks: Ryan Williams – FIRST
Brandon Schmidt Kurtis Downs – SECOND
Jaie Toohey Gavin Godfrey – THIRD
BMX Triple Hit:
Nick Bruce Logan Martin – SECOND PLACE
Colton Satterfield Colton Walker – FIRST PLACE
Daniel Sandoval Alex Coleborn – THIRD PLACE
Skateboard Best Tricks: Elliot Sloan – FIRST Trey Wood – THIRD
Evan Doherty Clay Kreiner – SECOND
Inline Best Tricks: Roman Abrate – SECOND PLACE Chris Haffey – FIRST PLACE Dave Lang – THIRD PLACE
Scooter Best Tricks: Jordan Clark – SECOND PLACE Capron Funk – FIRST PLACE Corey Funk – THIRD PLACE
The field is set for the inaugural Nitro World Games, with finalists in FMX, BMX Best Tricks, BMX Triple Hit, and Skateboard Best Tricks qualifying through a semifinal competition today. The athletes competing in the other events were previously announced, and a complete list is below. The finals for the Nitro World Games will take place Saturday, July 16, and will be broadcast live on NBC at 8 ET, 7 CT, 7 MT, and 8 PT. They’ll be streaming live for the rest of the world at NitroWorldGames.Live.
In FMX, Levi Sherwood put on a great showing, with standout performances from Taka Higashino, Javier Villegas, Rob Adelberg, Adam Jones, and Libor Podmol. Harry Bink landed an insane frontflip no-hander to cap his run, and despite a slow start Josh Sheehan came back to qualify with a solid showing during the second half of his run.
In BMX Best Tricks, the guys came to throw down, and if you didn’t know any better you’d think you were watching the finals already. Ryan Williams, who’s one of the only athletes competing in two disciplines (he’ll be in Scooter Best Tricks too), took a commanding lead early in Heat 2 with a couple huge tricks, including his famous nothing front bikeflip. Brandon Schmidt, Kurtis Downs, Andy Buckworth, Jaie Toohey, Colton Satterfield, and James Foster all earned their spots landing huge tricks, with no one holding back through the end. Gavin Godfrey also landed a spot in the finals, especially noteworthy as he isn’t primarily a BMX rider.
In BMX Triple Hit, which looks to be a dark horse contender for one of the craziest and hard fought events at the Games, Brandon Loupos showed he came to compete. Nick Bruce, Colton Satterfield, Logan Martin, Colton Walker, and Daniel Sandoval made it a tight race for the eight qualifying slots, with Alex Coleborn and Pat Casey nipping at their heels. It’s clear this is going to be a close competition for the three podium spots.
The Skate Best Tricks semifinal got off to a slow start, with athletes having to bail on big attempts. But it was just a sign that they came to send it, and once they dialed it in, the huge tricks were flying. The eight finalists are Elliot Sloan, Trey Wood, Italo Penarrubia, Mitchie Brusco, Rony Gomes, Beaver Fleming, Evan Doherty, and Clay Kreiner.
Here’s a complete list of finalists for all seven events:
FMX Best Trick Finalists:
William Van den Putte
BMX Best Tricks Finalists:
BMX Triple Hit Finalists:
With the first-ever Nitro World Games on the horizon, the best action sports athletes in the world are preparing for a competition that will take FMX, BMX, skate, inline, and scooter to the next level. But while most athletes like to keep quiet about their plans for the competition, Javier Villegas is more than happy to talk about at least one huge trick he’s planning to bring to the July 15 FMX semifinals, with the hope of being among the eight riders to make it through to the finals, which will be broadcast live on NBC on July 16 and streamed live around the world.
Javier’s latest success is a Surfer Takeoff to Kiss of Death, a trick inspired by feedback from judges in previous competitions. “Years ago, frustrated by the judges that told me I didn’t have any takeoff combos, I decided to add some new stuff to my trick list,” Javier says. He learned some side-saddle takeoffs, but judges still weren’t impressed, citing the fact that side-saddle had been done too much. So he went back to the drawing board and came up with a new plan. “I remembered that back in the day some crazy Australian guy was taking off [standing] on his seat at about 45 feet.”
His initial attempts went well, so he decided to make it a combo. “I added the ruler and held it as long as I could. And that same day I did it (2013) I knew I could flip like that, but I had no access to a foam pit.” As you’ll see in the video below, this isn’t the type of trick you want to try for the first time without a soft landing, but luckily FMX veteran Jimmy Fitzpatrick came to the rescue, offering up his foam pit for Javier to practice the more complex tricks he hadn’t been able to try, including the elusive surfer takeoff combo. “When I got my invite to Nitro World Games,” Javier says, “I knew I could’t keep waiting and that I had to master the trick in record time, and I started pushing my mental limits the next day.” Obviously that paid off. Enough with the suspense; here it is:
Javier says it took him about two months to land it clean in the above video, which happened during a Nitro show just days ago. Practice was pretty straightforward. “I practiced as many tricks as I could taking off standing on my seat, just to convince myself I was able to control the surfer takeoff,” he says. Once he felt confident, he tested it on different setups, just to make sure. But foam was the real key. “The bigger step was taking it to the foam pit, where I tried it on the super kicker the first day, since that ramp makes flipping easier. It proved that I could actually do the trick, and the very next day I took it to the full-size ramp in the foam pit,” he says.
Practice was a quick success, except for one huge factor: “After a couple jumps, I felt I could do it; I just wasn’t mentally ready for it,” he says. And with good reason. The biggest challenge of the trick, he says, is getting the rotation down, because for most of the duration of it he isn’t able to control that rotation. “In the early development of the trick, I tried to get a faster rotation and instead got a bigger ruler, which stalled the rotation completely, resulting in me getting buried very deep in the foam pit. I tried to extend the trick too early, not knowing at which part of the rotation I was,” he says. “If that would have happened on dirt, it would have cost me a lot more.”
A photo posted by Javier Astroboy Villegas (@jvairx) on
To put it another way: “You have to deal with how hard it is to flip with only engine power and not knowing how the flip is going, since you have minimum contact with the bike to feel where it is in the rotation,” he says. And that’s just the rotation part. Here’s how he explains the whole trick from his perspective:
“Several things go through my head. Number 1 is that my speed perception and throttle control changes, being so high above the bars. Number 2 is that my three balance points (right and left pegs and handlebars) turn into two (seat and handlebars), so if i’m not at a hundred percent of my game, several things can go wrong. Once I secure my balance on the seat, I start approaching the ramp trying to get the right speed. And here’s when it gets tricky (ha, get it?): I also lose my leverage from flipping in that position. Normally, for a regular flip, as your arms pull the handlebars, your legs push the pegs, getting the rotation constant. Here, I only have engine power and arm strength, so I try to use my butt as a counterweight as I give the bike all the power available. Without any contact with the bike more than my hands, I can’t tell whether the bike is rotating or not until my wrists hit the flip levers. Once I hit the flip levers, I try to get the extension of the ruler, not really sure if I’m already upside-down. After that is all about getting back on the bike and finishing the rotation. So far I can only see the ramp when I take off and the landing when I finish, but I assume that the more I do it I’ll be able to see more throughout the trick.”
A photo posted by Javier Astroboy Villegas (@jvairx) on
And now Javier plans to include the Surfer Takeoff to Kiss of Death in his trick arsenal when he competes in the inaugural Nitro World Games. He’s worked hard to have it ready for this competition, and he credits a somewhat unlikely source for his motivation. “A couple weeks ago, my 11-year-old son started taking his scooter and motocross riding more serious and asked me what it takes to be better,” he says. “I told him it was mostly in controlling your emotions and not giving up, being the boss of your instincts and stopping fear in its tracks. It is OK to be scared, but it is better to overcome that fear. That the greatest things that would happen in his life would happen outside his comfort zone.”
“If you think you can’t, don’t even bother.”
The next day, Javier says, he and his son went to a freestyle park. His son wanted to try a backflip on the ramps for the first time. “That inspired me, watching him,” he says. Javier started moving toward a full attempt at his surfer takeoff combo on tour, but was still feeling that mental barrier. “I couldn’t pull the trigger thinking that I could ruin an amazing year for a silly move, especially after a couple weeks of not even trying it into the foam pit. Finally, we all went to the show in Oklahoma and went to check out Mat Hoffman Skatepark.” At the park, his son pointed to a feature and asked him, “Dad, do you think I could flip that?” Javier didn’t think he would try it, but he responded: “It’s all in your head. If you think you can, you’re right.” And so his son went and did it.
A video posted by Javier Astroboy Villegas (@jvairx) on
“Sure enough, he did, and it sparked that fire in me. I had to do something to show him I wasn’t just talk,” he says. So he did. “In practice I started flirting with the trick again and did the most important part of learning a new trick: disconnecting all those alarms of fear going off inside my head. And I went for it. It was one of the best feelings in the world to show my kid that the greatest things in life happen once you step off your comfort zone.” Still, he says, it’s new enough that it’s scared him each of the handful of times he’s attempted it. But that’s just one of the aspects that make FMX so awesome. “It is a very challenging trick, especially on the mental part, which probably makes up for 90 percent of our sport,” Javier says. “If you think you can do it, you’re most likely right. If you think you can’t, don’t even bother.”
Hitting massive ramps night after night is tons of fun, but the danger involved with putting on such a dangerous show can be mentally and physically exhausting. You’d think that when the Nitro Crew gets some time off from tour they’d opt for simpler and safer activities. That’s just common sense, right? Maybe for most people, but to them, time off is best spent walking that fine line between epic and dangerously insane. They’ve attempted a lot of crazy tricks outside of shows over the years, and they’ve had their fair share of close calls. We put together five of our favorite Nitro Circus fails to show that just because a tour is over doesn’t mean the craziness has to stop.
5. When BASE Jumping Goes Bad
BASE jumping can really go one of two ways, and this clip shows both. Aaron “Wheelz” Fotheringham stomped his first-ever BASE jump. But things didn’t go as smoothly for Brandon Lillard.
4. Trevor’s Epic Launch
Trevor Jacob narrowly avoided disaster after he jumped the massive FMX ramp at Pastranaland, nearly missing the airbag. Proof that there are few sensations more exhilarating than not dying.
3. No Right Turn
We dug deep in our archive for this one, but we doubt anyone has forgotten it. Remember when Ben Smolen attempted a backflip but in doing so broke the infamous Pastranaland “No Right Turn” rule? Bet you he still does.
2. When Roller Snowboarding Goes Wrong
Nowadays roller snowboarding is a regular part of the Nitro Circus live show, but at first we weren’t sure it would be a good fit on the Giganta Ramp. In fact, we had to take a few runs at making it work. Former pro snowboarder Quentin Robbins bravely made the first attempt. Thanks for helping us get it dialed in, Quentin!
1. Tommy’s Legendary Crash
It is considered the most legendary crash in Nitro Circus history. The day Tommy Passemante tried to frontflip (or backflip) a streetbike into Travis Pastrana’s foam pit earned him the nickname Streetbike Tommy for the rest of his life.
Almost everyone who knows how to ride a bike learned on a BMX, which is what makes these five World Firsts so crazy. Because while nearly everyone can ride a bike, almost no one can do what these athletes have done on one. From the stunningly complex to the scarily straightforward, here are five of our favorite BMX World Firsts landed by the Nitro Circus Crew.
5. James Foster: Flip Oppo Whip to Double Whip Back
BMX legend Jed Mildon will be among the athletes competing for a spot in the inaugural Nitro World Games BMX Best Tricks finals in Salt Lake City. The New Zealand pro faces 18 other world-class riders on July 15 at Rice-Eccles Stadium, with eight moving on to the finals, which will be broadcast live on NBC on July 16. Mildon, who owns the World First titles for the BMX triple backflip and the BMX quadruple backflip, secured one of the three wildcard spots for the semifinals after an insanely fast six months of recovery from a major injury that was supposed to keep him off his bike for nine months or more.
Jed is pumped to be a part of the Games, particularly with its focus on progression, new competition formats, updated ramps, and bringing the Nitro spirit to a competition. “It’s the Nitro riders’ element,” he says. “We love these ramps and performing in front of rad people! It will be the show of the decade.”
It’s been a whirlwind year for Jed, who made history in 2015 with the quadruple backflip, narrowly beating James Foster to land the trick first. Jed and James both battled through the enormous physical demands that came from attempting a trick of that size. They were both injured several times over, but one of the injuries finished James’ run, while the lane remained open for Jed, and he added another entry to the BMX history books.
Despite avoiding major injury during the quadruple build-up, Jed got unlucky and was not able to continue the streak. As 2016 approached, disaster struck while he was riding on a friend’s ramps in New Zealand. “It was New Year’s Eve, about mid-morning,” Jed recalls. “I was keen to send the year out with a bang. That I did.” The jumps he was riding that day are the biggest handmade jumps in the world, he says. “I hit the 40-foot first jump. I overcooked it, went way too fast, and landed halfway down the landing.” He broke his tibia, his fibula, and the top of his foot and tore a ligament in his foot. Here’s a graphic picture from the hospital — warning, it is not for the faint of heart.
The doctors told him he was facing at least nine months of recovery, which would have ruled him out for the Nitro Games and nearly a year of shows and practice. Jed wasn’t having it. “I knew I could get back in four to six months, so I aimed for six months and it timed perfectly with NWG, so I’ve focused on this for half a year now,” he says. “I was bed-ridden for two months, spent another month in my cast, two months rehab, then my pin came out. Now we’re three weeks after that, and I’ve never felt better.”
“The key was good food, love, and sleep. I got plenty of all!” he says. He’s looking forward to reaffirming his place in the BMX world with a showing at the Games, which will effectively be his triumphant return. “I will do a show the weekend before, then into the Nitro World Games,” he says.
Leave it to Jed to show the world how you take a broken leg in stride. And somehow, it worked out. With the screws out, Jed was able to get back on the bike and hit the ramps. Jed says, “It is amazing being back on my bike in time for Nitro World Games after a half-year’s rest. It is the perfect scenario.” For him, the glass is always half full.
The man who stomped the BMX quad backflip is headed to Salt Lake City to compete in the Nitro World Games, and in a way it feels like he’s a returning champ. He’ll face fierce competition from old Nitro rivals like Foster and new BMX competitors like Brandon Schmidt and Gavin Godfrey. Jed proves that you can bounce back from anything with the right mindset. In this case, it was his strong motivation to get back on his bike and compete at the upcoming Nitro Games. So now that it’s actually happening, what is he planning to show us at the Games? Jed offers a cryptic reply: “All my tricks will be World Firsts when I do them!” We should expect nothing less.
Jed will be joining more than a handful of Nitro Crew members and other world-class action sports athletes at the Nitro World Games this year. Want to hear more about the BMX competition? Check out the full event description for the Best Tricks event here. For tickets and other event information, click here. And if you can’t make it in person, tune in to the Nitro World Games live on NBC at 8 pm / 7 pm CT on July 16, 2016.
When athletes try to change disciplines, it doesn’t always work out. Being the greatest of all time in basketball may not translate to success hitting the links. From years of touring live shows with multiple disciplines throwing down tricks on the same ramps, we’ve learned that action sports is an exception to the rule. For some athletes, straying outside of your lane is a form of progression. There’s no better evidence of that than what Brandon Schmidt, Nitro snowboard and rollerboard monster, achieved at a recent Nitro World Games qualifying event — in BMX. Competing against world-class, podium-veteran BMX athletes, Brandon threw down a World First, qualifying in the Top 6 and guaranteeing him a spot at the games. The crazy part is Brandon just started riding BMX on the live tour last year.
As incredible as that sounds, the fact that a snowboarder can scale BMX competition so fast wouldn’t really surprise anyone on the Nitro crew. Nor would it surprise Nitro fans, who follow our tour highlights on Facebook and Instagram. We haven’t been keeping it a secret — Brandon Schmidt has been lighting it up on tour this year on everything he touches.
Brandon became the first Nitro athlete to win back-to-back MVCs when he stomped a triple backflip on the rollerboard in Dublin and then a huge triple backflip on BMX the next night in Cork.
It has been a year of professional milestones — Brandon celebrated his 150th show with the Nitro Circus while taking part in the Party of the Decade tour of Australia. He also landed his first BMX Aussie Roll in Sydney.
A video posted by Brandon Schmidt (@brandonschmidt92) on
Brandon is likely to be among those who’ve covered the most miles for Nitro Circus this year. As soon as the Aussie tour ended, he was back on a plane to join the regional tour of the U.K., Ireland, and France. What is it like to travel the globe and launch off massive ramps night after night? In a way, Brandon has been showing us, as he documents his whirlwind tour through posts on social media.
A photo posted by Brandon Schmidt (@brandonschmidt92) on
Taking a week’s break from a bewildering tour schedule to attend the qualifying event, Brandon didn’t really have a lot of time to practice on the new ramps. But apparently he didn’t need it. He whipped out a World’s First double backflip X-Up on a BMX, a trick he called “a 720 degree backwards rotation 180 degree bar turn” in response to a question about what it should technically be called. Either way, when the record is yours, you get to name the trick — check it out here. Brandon is going to the Nitro World Games semifinals, and we can’t wait to see how he stacks up against the other BMX greats.
A video posted by Brandon Schmidt (@brandonschmidt92) on
When you come to one of our live shows, you get to see athletes like Brandon Schmidt progress in their sport, introducing tricks that go on to win competitions, so check the links to see where we’re heading next in England and France.
The Nitro World Games are set for July 16, but already there are signs that a change is coming to action sports, especially to BMX. Just look at R-Willy, hands down one of the most gifted freestyle scooter riders to grace the sport, who nonetheless holds the record for landing the World’s First triple frontflip on BMX. The Nitro World Games BMX qualifying event was stormed by athletes who aren’t primarily focused on BMX. First we had Brandon Schmidt, a snowboarder and master of triple flips, who threw down an actual World First in the qualifiers. Then Gavin Godfrey stepped up to the plate. Gavin, nephew of Gregg Godfrey and member of the legendary Godfrey Clan, is primarily known for his work on a mountain bike. But he’s also among the core Nitro Circus athletes — riders who have been there from the start like Dusty Wygle and Travis Pastrana. Maybe he picked up a few things along the way. Because at the Nitro World Games qualifier, Gavin stomped a backflip super seat, earning him a place at the Nitro World Games.
Is he ready? Somehow, yes. When Gavin showed up for the qualifiers, he had just stepped off a plane. On a short break from a blistering tour and with only a few practice runs, he stomped a trick gnarly enough to put him above some BMX pros on the board. This must be some tour. He’s been on the road since the early spring, touring North America, the UK, Ireland, and France. He’s still on tour right now. And he’s been killing it, throwing huge tricks off the Giganta ramp on mountain bike, tall bike, and trike, reaching for real progression at every stop. “I’m all over in the show. I’m pretty much sprinting the whole time. As soon as I land, I’m running back to the top. It is nonstop chaos,” he says. The Nitro Tour is incredibly fertile grounds for progression, and the perfect conditions to create the kind of athlete that can throw down in any discipline, because they are on the ramps nearly every damn day.
A photo posted by Gavin Godfrey (@gavgodfrey455) on
Remember, Gavin is the guy who stomped the triple backflip on a mountain bike in 2014, a World First. Now, unbelievably, he has taken the trick on tour. It’s one thing to land a trick in ideal conditions on a ramp built specifically for that purpose; it is another thing entirely to attempt the trick on tour. For one thing, you’re largely in control of all the conditions when you’re trying to make your first attempt. Bad weather? Postpone it. Ramp not cooperating? Fix it. On tour, the show must go on. The ramp has to be constructed new at each and every stop, and good weather conditions are pretty much down to luck or prayer.
Here is video of that World First:
He’s throwing himself around so hard, you get the sense he’s carrying the weight of the tour on his shoulders. He bears a mentality of 100 percent ownership — ownership of his performance and in representing the Nitro Circus brand to new audiences — and he carries that into each and every show, inspiring everyone around him. The thing to understand about Gavin is he was literally born into this.
“I started when I was a little kid. I grew up in a family of chaos. My dad was a professional motorcycle rider, and my mom was a professional skier. So they pushed us into sports. I grew up playing football, soccer, baseball, and wrestling and, all throughout, motorcycles and bikes on the side.” But it was wrestling that really took hold of him.
In wrestling, Gavin learned self-reliance. “I learned a valuable lesson in that no matter what sport you do, you’re not going to be good at it unless you put 110 percent effort into that sport,” he says. And he did. “I kind of stopped riding bikes when I got into high school to dedicate myself to wrestling.” He trained up to four times a day, competing at the state level at the weight class of 152 pounds, while at the same time attending school like a normal high school kid.
His dedication paid off when he became the Utah State Champion in 2012, which is huge; it is an achievement that most of us could dine off of for the rest of our lives. Gavin credits wrestling for being the most formative experience of his life. “It taught me to be tough and hard work and no matter what, you win or lose, it’s entirely on you, because in wrestling it’s just you and the other guy,” he says. He chose not to pursue it past high school, even though he had the opportunity to wrestle at the collegiate level. “Wrestling was fun. It was a stepping stone, it was a goal I had since I was a little kid, and I accomplished that goal, and I had to move on and create more goals,” he says.
“My coach would tell me: ‘Don’t ride motorcycles, don’t do bikes while you’re wrestling.’ But I was never into the rules. Because during the week I had school and wrestling. I was training four times a day and doing school, so I never had much time during the week. But on the weekends, I was out riding my bike doing all the fun stuff with my cousins and family,” he says.
Not following the rules seems to run in the Godfrey family. “We don’t really like to follow the rules, you know? I feel like rules are meant to be broken. If you put yourself in a box, you’ll never understand until you get outside the box,” he says. And when he did, he discovered his true passion. “My real base is motorcycles and bikes; that’s my love, that’s my real passion, and I wanted to chase that,” he says. “The goal is to take it as far as I can in action sports now and be the best at whatever I’m doing.”
All the ingredients are there for Gavin to become an action sports icon. For one, he had one of the most awesome debuts in Nitro Circus live tour history. “I flew over to Australia when I was 16 and went over to see the show. We flew in, got picked up at the airport, and went straight to the venue in Perth. And I get there and my uncle goes, ‘Yo, do you want to be in the show?’ And I’m like, ‘Sure, why not? What do I have to do?’ And he goes, ‘You just have to jump this trike.’ And I’m like, ‘OK, easy!’ I get up to the top of the ramp and realized it is pretty big.” Good thing he had Dusty there to give him advice. “He told me I was good and to just send it — because I’m light.” Since that first trip, Gavin learned he needs to drag his feet at the top of the ramp or else he’ll get too much speed on the trike. But that day, he didn’t have that information. “I should have dragged two panels, but he told me I was good, so I just dropped in and pretty much learned to fly. But that’s just how Dusty rolls. Dusty is a maniac. I swear he’s made of rubber. That dude sends it and doesn’t get hurt ever. But I trusted him, and I ended up going way too far!”
That was considered a successful tryout for Nitro Circus. They put him straight into the show, but with an additional request: “You can flip, right?” they asked him. He said, “Yeah, yeah, I flip my bike and stuff.” That’s the type of mentality that makes you a permanent member of the Nitro Crew. “I mean, I had never flipped anything that big,” he says. Plus that was only his second time riding the tricycle. The rest of the story is pretty hazy for him. “They sent me down, I flipped, pulled way too hard on it, over-rotated. I was wearing a little wakeboarding helmet. Totally turned it aside, the helmet came off, hit my head, and I come to 45 minutes after I crashed. I don’t remember anything about the flight or even two days before that. I woke up in a room with a curtain saying ‘Nitro Circus Live.’ and I was like, ‘What the heck? There’s an Australian guy talking to me!’ And I’m sitting there with Erik Roner, who was taking care of me — to this day I say it was the worst concussion I ever had.” Erik would look out for him as Gavin started to establish himself on the tour years later. It was his introduction to the craziness of the Nitro Crew and also its amazing sense of family and mutual support.
Just as Gavin is providing leadership to younger riders on the North American tour now, he credits the example set by other athletes for helping pave a path for him. Being first and foremost a mountain biker, Gavin looked to his peers for inspiration on where to take his sport next, and he felt the example was set by Jed Mildon on BMX. “I first got the idea when Jed Mildon landed the triple backflip,” he says. When Gavin expressed interest in taking on the triple, Jed’s response was both generous and supportive, which will surprise no one who knows him. “‘Come to my house and I’ll teach you,’ Jed said, so I flew out to New Zealand and Jed pretty much took me under his wing and helped me out so much at Franklin Farm, which is his compound where they have a foam pit big enough to do triple backflips.”
Some of Jed’s mentoring was on the unorthodox side. Gavin’s first attempt at the triple came in response to a dare, but it helped him get his head around the trick. “I did about five that day and then five the next day. The next day we had to leave for the Australian regional tour. I kept doing as many doubles during the show as I could, and I would watch myself on camera doing triples at Jed’s foam pit,” he recalls. When he got home from tour, he decided to make a serious attempt at the triple. Just as Jed drew on the support of friends, family, and peers to hit this triple and later the quad, Gavin looked to his support base — the Godfrey Family. He corralled his cousin Ethen Roberts to help him. “Ethen and I built a ramp in two weeks, rented an airbag from a local ski resort. It was a contest but also a fun family event where I ended up being the first one to stomp the triple backflip.” One wonders if Jed will come to regret mentoring Gavin now that he’s stepped into the ring in BMX at the Nitro World Games
Gavin hadn’t attempted the triple since his record-breaking first attempt in 2014, but he couldn’t resist breaking it out to help kick off this year’s North American tour and at the biggest U.S. show in Nitro Circus history before 17,000 screaming fans at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Oregon. Landing a trick like that is a lot like capturing lightning in a bottle, which is why it is awesome to witness it live. On the first attempt in Eugene, he bailed: “I came up a little short on the takeoff and landed on the knuckle and just fell over,” he says.
A video posted by Gavin Godfrey (@gavgodfrey455) on
Gavin was deeply motivated to land the trick on this tour, and in Reno he found a most worthy cause for doing so — Reno is Roner’s home crowd, and Roner’s family was at the show. Gavin was on a break from tour when Roner passed, so he missed out on performing in one of the shows that were dedicated to Roner during the 2015 U.S. tour. But in Reno, he got his chance. “I was there for Rubs and his family and to show the respect he gave me when I was coming up on tour,” he says. At the top of the ramp, Gavin’s thoughts turned to Roner. “I said, ‘Rubs, this is for you; I’ve always wanted to do something for you.’ And he was there to help me stomp it. I could feel Roner there. It was one of the times in my life I will remember forever,” he says.
Now he plans to take the trick to every show. “I love it. I feel really comfy with it. It definitely is my favorite trick,” he says. “You’re hitting a ramp that’s like a wall. As soon as you hit it, you tuck into a ball, pull as hard as you can, and it throws you into a crazy spin. And the thing about the triple is you spin so far that I legitimately miss the first flip and count the last two. The first one is a blur, and then you count one, two, and spot the landing on the second, coming into the third. It either comes in perfect or slightly over-rotated.”
And the crowds are eating it up. The audiences on the regional tours are among the best Gavin has ever performed in front of, he says. As he sees it, the regional crowds, cities that normally don’t get to host this level of show, respect it more. “You get to reach towns where kids don’t ever have the chance to see the Nitro Circus. My favorite part is reaching out to people that have never had the craziness come to their city. Every time after a show I get people thanking me, saying, ‘This is the craziest thing to ever come to this town. It was so much fun to watch you guys do what you love to do.’ That’s the biggest thing in this life, is to inspire others and let people see what we’re trying to do in the smaller cities.”
“I was never into the rules.”
And Gavin’s teammates are just as stoked on what he’s doing as the audiences. BMX phenom Todd Meyn says, “Gavin always pushes the limits with anything to do with extreme sports; it seems as if he is more comfortable on two wheels than he is on his own two feet.”
“Gavin may come off as a pretty calm, mellow kid at first, until you get to know the real Gavin, then you will learn he is anything but. He knows how to send it and how to have a good time,” according to fellow Giganta star and now Nitro World Games rival Brandon Schmidt, who added: “He’s my partner in crime! Straight-up legend.”
There are so many things Gavin is loving about this tour, but his teammates top the list, particularly some of the other Nitro veterans he gets to work with. He lists all these athletes as being amazing on and off the ramp, and he highlights one in particular: “One of my favorite parts of the show is having Wheelz back on tour. He really brings something you can’t capture without him there. Just him rolling out to the crowd is the coolest thing, because no matter what he does everyone is so stoked to see him there. And they are just amazed at what he does, because what he does is unbelievable and really unique.” And the feeling is mutual: “I don’t think I’ve ever seen Gavin turn down an opportunity to push the limits. Gavin is someone I look to for motivation, and I’m lucky enough to call him one of my best friends,” Wheelz says.
A photo posted by Gavin Godfrey (@gavgodfrey455) on
Gavin will be joining more than a handful of Nitro crew members at the Nitro World Games this year, check out the full list of athletes invited to compete. Want to hear more about the BMX competition? Check out the full event description for the Best Tricks event here. For tickets and other event information, click here. And remember to tune into the Nitro World Games live on NBC at 8pm / 7 pm CT on July 16, 2016.
Gavin and the rest of the Nitro Circus Crew in a city near you! We’re touring the U.S. and Canada and the UK and Ireland and France this summer. Hit those links for more details, and come experience this insanity live!
The semifinalists in FMX and BMX are set for the first-ever Nitro World Games, with top athletes from around the world qualifying to compete on July 15 at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City. Seven world-class FMXers join the previously announced 10 semifinalists, and nine BMX stars have been added to the previous 10 semifinalists. Among the additions are veterans and up-and-comers, ensuring a wide-open field and a tight competition for the eight slots that will compete for the trophies on July 16 at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
Among the FMX riders who made it through in open qualifying are Javier Villegas, Christian Meyer, and Jarryd McNeil. Steve Mini made the grade as a wildcard. On the BMX side, Andy Buckworth punched his ticket for both events, as did Brian Fox and Brandon Loupos. Perhaps the most stunning qualifiers in Best Tricks are Gavin Godfrey and Brandon Schmidt, who are both all-around action sports athletes who don’t primarily focus on BMX.
The complete list of semifinalists is below, followed by the full press release.
Rob Adelberg (AUS)
Kyle Demelo (CAN)
Taka Higashino (JPN)
Adam Jones (USA)
Jarryd McNeil (AUS)
Maikel Melero (ESP)
Christian Meyer (ESP)
Steve Mini (AUS)
Clinton Moore (AUS)
Libor Podmol (CZE)
David Rinaldo (FRA)
Alastair Sayer (RSA)
Josh Sheehan (AUS)
Levi Sherwood (NZL)
Dany Torres (ESP)
Cal Vallone (USA)
Javier Villegas (CHI)
BMX Triple Hit
Nick Bruce (USA)
Andy Buckworth (AUS)
Pat Casey (USA)
Alex Coleborn (GBR)
Daniel Dhers (VEN)
Kurtis Downs (USA)
TJ Ellis (USA)
James Foster (USA)
Brian Fox (USA)
Brandon Loupos (AUS)
Logan Martin (AUS)
Kevin Peraza (USA)
Daniel Sandoval (USA)
Colton Satterfield (USA)
Ryan Taylor (GBR)
Ben Voyles (USA)
Colton Walker (USA)
Ben Wallace (GBR)
Zack Warden (USA)
BMX Best Tricks
Andrew Ahumada (AUS)
Andy Buckworth (AUS)
Vince Byron (AUS)
Pat Casey (USA)
Kurtis Downs (USA)
James Foster (USA)
Brian Fox (USA)
Gavin Godfrey (USA)
Dominic Kirkham (USA)
Alex Landeros (USA)
Brandon Loupos (AUS)
Todd Meyn (AUS)
Jed Mildon (NZL)
Colton Satterfield (USA)
Brandon Schmidt (USA)
Jaie Toohey (AUS)
Zack Warden (USA)
Matty Whyatt (AUS)
Ryan Williams (AUS)
Press release follows:
FMX AND BMX FINAL QUALIFIERS SET FOR NITRO WORLD GAMES
Six Riders Advance to the FMX Qualifying Event, In Addition To One Newly Announced Wildcard, Joining 10 Athletes Invited Directly to the Final Qualifiers Taking Place July 15 at Rice-Eccles Stadium
Six Riders Advance From Pre-Qualifiers in Both BMX Triple Hit and BMX Best Tricks, In Addition To Three Newly Announced Wildcards, Joining Athletes Invited Directly to the Final Qualifying Event, Also Taking Place July 15 at Rice-Eccles Stadium
LOS ANGELES, CA (Wednesday – June 29, 2016) – Following the announcement of the Top 10 list of athletes invited directly to the Nitro World Games FMX Final Qualifiers, six more riders have now punched their tickets to the next round of the highly anticipated competition during a pre-qualifier event held in Southern California. Also just announced, one additional rider will now join the field as a wildcard.
Just as FMX has gone global, the Nitro World Games FMX lineup includes athletes from across the planet. Javier Villegas, born in Santiago, Chile and the first non-European rider to win the FIM FMX World Championship, topped the leader board during pre-qualifiers. Villegas has toured worldwide, including with Nitro Circus on its current North American trek, but is now looking to step up to the next level in major competition. Christian Meyer, who came in second, is an up-and-comer from Spain (first place in the 2015 X Pilots FMX Tour; 2014 Spanish FMX Championship winner). Meyer also trains at a second home in Argentina. Alastair Sayer – an X Games medalist who started riding in the Kalahari Desert in his native Botswana before his sixth birthday and has raced on the South African circuit – claimed third. Australia’s Jarryd McNeil, took fourth. McNeil, with three X Games gold medals to his credit (including two golds this year) now wants to show the world the full extent of his skills. Center of Gravity winner Kyle Demelo from Canada and Metal Mulisha member Cal Vallone from the U.S. round out the qualifiers. These six will join a hand picked Top 10 list of riders, chosen by an independent panel of industry leaders and former athletes, in the next phase of the competition.
Joining the pre-selected invitees and pre-qualifiers as a wildcard selection is veteran rider Steve Mini (Australia). These 17 athletes will clash at Rice-Eccles Stadium on July 15 – the day before the Nitro World Games. Only the eight highest scoring riders will advance to the inaugural Nitro World Games event on July 16. A full list of FMX riders is below. Stay tuned for the announcement of competitors for FMX Best Trick.
The BMX final qualifying lineup is also now complete. Following the announcement of athletes invited directly to the final qualifiers for BMX Best Tricks and BMX Triple Hit, additional riders have advanced from pre-qualifiers that were held at Nitro Circus’ Academy of Excellence in California earlier this month. Newly announced today, three more athletes in each competition will also be joining the field as invited wildcards.
BMX Triple Hit
In BMX Triple Hit, Brian Fox, hailing from Florida, earned the top score in the pre-qualifying round. Andy Buckworth and Brandon Loupos, both from Australia and with huge world firsts on their resumes (Superman double frontflip for Buckworth, Cash Roll tailwhip and Cash Roll double tailwhip for Loupos), took second and third. UK natives Alex Coleborn and Ryan Taylor, widely seen as two of the top park riders in the world, grabbed fourth and fifth place respectively, while Arizona’s Kevin Peraza rounded out the final list of athletes advancing from pre-qualifiers. These six athletes will join a stellar list of riders already invited to the Triple Hit Final Qualifier event, taking place on July 15 at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Three wildcard athletes were also just announced, and include Southern California’s vert master TJ Ellis, a competition favorite who famously hucks a huge frontflip tailwhip when the chips are down, the U.K.’s Ben Wallace, X Games medalist and holder of the Guinness World Record for highest backflip on a bike, as well as six-time X Games medalist, and one of the best park riders on the planet, Venezuela’s Daniel Dhers.
BMX Best Tricks
In BMX Best Tricks, Andy Buckworth and Brian Fox qualified in this event in addition to their spots on the BMX Triple Hit list, taking first and sixth place, respectively. Joining them, in a stunning development, is Nitro Circus Live all-around star Gavin Godfrey. Determined to push his skills and compete against the best in the world, Godfrey jumped at the chance to compete for a spot and astonishingly leaped into second place at the pre-qualifying event. Up-and-comers Dominic Kirkham and Alex Landeros then took third and fourth place. Brandon Schmidt is another athlete stepping up and making waves outside of his regular discipline. A snowboarder and contraptions specialist on the Nitro Circus Live tour, Schmidt shocked onlookers by placing in the top five. Three more athletes have also been added to Best Tricks as wildcard selections: Seven-time X Games medalist Vince Byron, the world’s first triple and quadruple backflipper Jed “The Warrior” Mildon, and Andrew “Mini” Ahumada, who recently battled against Ryan Williams in attempt to land the massive first BMX triple frontflip, will all compete in the July 15 Nitro World Games final qualifying event.
The 19 final qualifiers in both BMX Triple Hit and in BMX Best Tricks will clash at Rice-Eccles Stadium on July 15 – the day before the inaugural Nitro World Games. Only the eight highest scoring riders in each event will advance. See below for the full list of athletes advancing to the BMX Triple Hit and BMX Best Tricks final qualifiers.
The 19 final qualifiers in both BMX Triple Hit and in BMX Best Tricks will clash at Rice-Eccles Stadium on July 15 – the day before the inaugural Nitro World Games. Only the eight highest scoring riders in each event will advance. See below for the full list of athletes advancing to the BMX Triple Hit and BMX Best Tricks final qualifiers.
Coming to Salt Lake City, Utah’s Rice-Eccles Stadium on Saturday, July 16 and airing in primetime in the U.S. on NBC, the Nitro World Games will feature the best in extreme and action sports’ most exciting disciplines including FMX, BMX, skate, scooter and inline.
Nitro Circus, Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert and the Utah Sports Commission rocked the sports world in December 2015 when they unveiled the inaugural Nitro World Games. Created by Michael Porra and Travis Pastrana, the Nitro World Games will feature new formats and never before seen tricks. Each competition will be a final round with everything on the line, creating intensity on the track, energy in the stadium and must-see action for both digital and television viewers.
Nitro World Games is the next phase of Nitro Circus’ multi-year partnership with NBC Sports Ventures. NBC Sports will present three hours of coverage airing in primetime in the U.S. on NBC. For fans outside of the U.S. and Canada, more TV broadcast details will be announced soon (NBCUniversal International Distribution is handling the international linear and digital sales for Nitro World Games). In addition to NBC’s televised coverage, fans outside the U.S. can also watch the July 16 final on Nitro Circus’ worldwide webcast. The Nitro World Games is also a marquee destination event. Fans who want to experience the excitement in person can purchase tickets to the July 16 final. The Nitro Club VIP package is the next best thing to an all access pass at $79 per person (plus applicable service fees). These exclusive passes include the best seats in the house as well as a pre-event track walk. Nitro Club pass holders will also receive a souvenir lanyard.
For new updates, athlete qualification announcements and more about the #NitroWorldGames go to nitroworldgames.com. Fans can also follow Nitro Circus on Twitter: @nitrocircus and Facebook: www.facebook.com/NitroCircus
About Nitro Circus: Named #22 on Forbes magazine’s 2015 list of, “America’s Most Promising Companies,” Nitro Circus continues to position itself as the world’s leading youth action sports & entertainment brand. From humble beginnings in 2003 – with Jeremy Rawle, Gregg Godfrey and soon to be action sports superstar Travis Pastrana producing DVDs from a Utah garage — to a smash TV series which has aired in over 60 countries, Nitro Circus has exploded to global popularity. In 2012, Nitro Circus: The Movie, featuring cast members from the hit television series, was released in cinemas worldwide. In 2015, Nitro Circus announced a partnership with NBC Sports Ventures. The multi-year strategic alliance will feature TV specials and series programming airing nationally in the U.S. on NBC and NBCSN as well as streamed on NBC Sports Live Extra.
The TV show was transformed by action sports industry guru, now current CEO, Michael Porra into a must-see live event in 2010, creating the global touring phenomenon that is Nitro Circus Live. Since its inaugural Australian trek six years ago, the show has travelled the globe, obliterating box office records and cultivating a legion of diehard fans. Nitro Circus has now rolled across five continents, blown away over two million fans and sold out shows in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, China, Japan, the Middle East and South Africa. After close to 100 shows globally in 2015 and with a packed 2016 touring schedule ahead, Nitro Circus is the world’s most successful action sports touring brand.
About the Utah Sports Commission: The Utah Sports Commission is a not-for-profit, 501c3 charitable organization created to foster national and international amateur sports competitions to be held in the state of Utah, which will enhance the quality of life of all Utah citizens and strengthen Utah’s presence in the worldwide sports community.
For Nitro Circus:
Greg Terlizzi: firstname.lastname@example.org
For the Utah Sports Commission:
Jeff Robbins: (801) 328-2335 / email@example.com