2013, the BMX year in review
2013, the BMX year in review
It's December already, and XGames.com is taking a look back at the year in BMX news. Between sponsorship shakeups, new videos and the continued documentation of previous eras of BMX, 2013 was a huge year filled with ruffled feathers and Internet comment squawking (not really, see bird photo, we like to make ourselves laugh...) Here are 10 of the top BMX news stories from 2013, revisited by the staff of XGames.com.
Brian Kachinsky joins Primo
In January, DK pro Brian Kachinsky turned heads when he signed a deal to ride Primo wheels. Though not explicitly a full component deal, Kachinsky signed on with the component brand for wheels and continued to represent DK Bicycles through 2013. Not long after joining Primo, bad news fell on Kachinsky when he was dropped from the Etnies BMX team. During the remainder of the year, Kachinsky moved his indoor park facility The Bakery into a new Chicago location, hosted several events there, and inked a deal with Red Bull for a video series based on The Bakery.
BMX book publishing 2.0
2013 saw the release of several new books documenting the BMX scene, including Mike Daily's Aggro Rag Freestyle Mag! Plywood Hoods Zines '84-'89: The Complete Collection, Eddie Fiola's self-released book 'My Life Behind Bars,' and Haro's 'The Rise of BMX Freestyle.' Between book release parties, autograph signings and old school reunions, 2013's embracing of BMX documentation from the past was a step in the right direction for the many chapters of BMX over the past 30 years.
DC BMX team dropped
In February of 2013, the entire DC Shoes BMX team was dropped. The team included Corey Bohan, Chris Doyle, Edwin De La Rosa, Anthony Napolitan, Rob Wise, Brett Banasiewicz, Mike Clark, Jeremiah Smith, Kelly Bolton, Alfredo Mancuso and Ryan Jordan, in addition to several flow team riders. Economic cutbacks throughout DC Shoes led to the team's demise, and repercussions of financial losses throughout various action sports industries has made the prospect of a shoe sponsor inside of BMX something that is not too common. Many saw the DC BMX team news as the beginning of a great economic scale down in the BMX industry.
Nigel Sylvester announces bike brand
In January of 2012, Nigel Sylvester (pictured here with a suitor) surprised many within BMX when he parted ways with longtime bike sponsor Mirraco. Speculation of Sylvester starting a bike brand with Animal Bikes grew after the separation, but nothing happened. Then, in September of 2013, Sylvester rolled into the MTV Video Music Awards with rapper Pharrell, who announced that he was partnering with Sylvester on the bike brand, manufacturing American-made BMX frames at Brooklyn Machine Works in N.Y. To date, a team has not been announced, but Sylvester is reportedly riding a prototype.
Props 'Road Fools' box set released
In January of 2013, Props Video Magazine celebrated the 15th anniversary of the first "Road Fools" road trip video. To mark the occasion, Chris Rye of Props decided to compile all 18 Road Fools videos, plus the two 'Rock N Road Fools' videos. Rye re-mastered, re-edited, re-mixed and re-released the entire collection in a remarkable short period of time, and the resulting Blu-Ray package was well received by the many legions of BMXers that grew up on the Road Fools video series.
Kevin Porter parts ways with Fly Bikes
If anything, 2013 seemed to signify a time in BMX when select pros decided to part ways with sponsors, commit to jobs outside of BMX, and continue on their path balancing full-time work with the demands of professional BMX riding. Kevin Porter was one of them. After many years with Fly Bikes, Porter quit the team, and said that the decision was less financial and more about the direction he would like to take BMX. During his time with Fly, Porter helped evolve the Spain-based company into an internationally recognized BMX brand, known for their progressive approach to parts design as well as their stylish team. He now rides a Mutiny with Odyssey components, and works in the coffee industry.
X Games leaves Los Angeles
2013 marked the final year of the X Games in downtown Los Angeles. Following an 11-year run in L.A., X Games will move to Austin, Texas in 2014. Austin has arguably one of the biggest BMX scenes in the U.S., so X Games Austin in 2014 is sure to be one of the biggest repped BMX events of the year.
Redefined BMX pro status
Between shrinking BMX sales and a scaling back of large-scale competitions, many BMX pros found themselves at a crossroads in 2013. Do they continue to pursue pro status, or do they try to enter the next chapter of their lives? For X Games BMX Big Air and Vert competitor Chad Kagy, 2013 was a great year. He progressed on vert (unleashing the front flip flair pictured here), traveled for demos on the Nitro Circus tour and competitions in four X Games events, but without sponsorship support, he found himself pondering his future as a BMX professional. Meanwhile, the younger generation of BMX pro is excelling at an insane rate, but not able to support themselves financially off of sponsor support. What the status of a paid BMX professional in 2014 remains to be seen.
New full-length videos in 2013
In 2013, new BMX videos continued to pump out from brands such as Dan's Comp BMX mail-order, and crews such as the Markit crew (who released "Markit Zero" on DVD and on iTunes) and Deadline (which included an epic section from Garrett Reynolds.) And for his efforts in the Deadline video, Reynolds won the NORA Cup video part of the year. While many other brand concentrated on the power and immediacy of the web video, it was good to see several new and non-rushed video releases throughout 2013.
We've mentioned some of the more impactful sponsor changes in 2013, but the list was long and continued to grow throughout the year. Morgan Wade (pictured here) joined the Hoffman Bikes crew, Mike Brennan was added to the Colony Bikes team, Charlie Crumlish and Craig Passero joined the S&M Bikes team, Terry Adams signed on with Deco, Chase Dehart joined Animal, Scotty Cranmer joined Hyper, and Chase Hawk joined Etnies. Come January of 2014, we expect this list to triple. But for now, we'll enjoy the holiday season.