[Editor’s note: Todd Meyn and DD Airbags are giving away one of their amazing bags! Are you ready to level up your freestyle riding? Click here to enter the contest!]
The title of this story is a little misleading. Especially for 28-year-old Nitro Circus BMX sensation Toddy Meyn, from Perth, Western Australia. Action sports has been in his blood since his dad bought him his first BMX at the age of 5. There is no life after action sports when action sports is your life.
But, as in all professional sports, every athlete has a small window to make money doing what they love. Yes, they will keep doing what they love, long after the show, sponsorship, and contest checks stop coming in, but a love of BMX (or FMX, or skate, etc.) is not going to pay the bills.
In recent times, we have seen former Nitro Circus FMX star Mike Mason make a transition into TV commentary and wannabe pro golfer. Then there is former pro rollerblader Chris Haffey, who is now the Nitro Circus Athlete Manager. And let’s not forget about the Nitro clown: Blake “Bilko” Williams, who has been pursuing a TV and rallycross career for the past few years as he gets closer to the end of his incredible FMX career.
But for every Bilko, Mason, or Haffey, there are 100 pro athletes that have to go get a “real job” when their professional careers are over. “I left school early to pursue my BMX dreams, and by the time I was 17 years old, I was living in Greenville, North Carolina, chasing the BMX contest circuit around the world,” Todd says. “Whilst I know it may not look great on a resume, I’ve lived a very blessed life in the BMX scene, but the thought of what am I going to do after this ends has always been something I have thought about, and worried about.”
In 2013, a random call from a fellow Aussie BMX pro changed everything. Todd was asked to fill in for a Nitro Circus show on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia. “That call changed my life, and I am now at 247 Nitro Circus Live shows. It has been an absolute whirlwind of a good time, and probably allowed me not to think too much about life after BMX for a solid five years, as the live tour brought me great job security and financial peace of mind.”
In 2018, life took another unexpected turn, and DD Airbags was born. Todd’s burgeoning company sells consumer model airbags that are lightweight, super portable, and at an attainable price point. The initial goal was to create a much safer environment for up-and-coming freestyle athletes, as well as more casual riders, to practice.
Todd took his inspiration from the landers he has access to as a Nitro Circus athlete. “All I know is the progression with Nitro has been insane over the last couple years, and I truly believe that is because of these new landings making it safer to crash, to get back up and try again,” he says. “It’s insane how quick the progression has happened over the last couple years because of the safety to go and send big tricks and try things you haven’t done before.”
When asked if he’s doing the right thing by fostering the next generation of BMX (and scooter) stars, giving them this airbag platform to develop their riding skills, including 6-year-old wunderkind Levii Bitic — a next generation of BMX athletes that will eventually take his job on the Nitro Circus tour, Todd’s answer speaks volumes about the human being he is: “I’ve never looked at it that way at all. When I started out in BMX, it was Colin Mackay who invited me over to the U.S., and then the rest of that generation before me of McCann, Guettler, Nyquist, Dave Mirra, Daniel Dhers — I could go on forever, but they were such a huge help to me and the other young Aussies trying to crack the pro scene. I knew I needed to pay that forward,” he says.
“Dad built a foam pit for me in the backyard at the age of 13. The amount of kids that were at my house every day riding bikes, day after day, were some of the greatest memories I’ve ever had. Being able to re-create that for the younger generation so they too can have amazing memories with their friends riding bikes, progressing action sports, having fun, and being safe at the same time is my motivation every day.”
“BMX has given me everything in life. And I want to give back to the sport that has given so much to me,” Todd adds. Nitro Circus couldn’t be more proud of Toddy and his journey with DD Airbags.