Real Moto 2017 contenders
Jackson "Jacko" Strong
Real Moto is back for its third year, featuring a fine mix of Real Moto vets and newbies. But, being that this is FMX, even the newbs here have X Games medals under their belt. Like, for example, this gentleman here: three-time X Games Moto X Best Trick gold medalist, Jackson Strong. Of his approach to Real Moto 2017? "I like to keep FMX old school and dangerous," he says, laughing.
"I'm fused with moto in my blood for life; I started riding at age four and plan to ride until the run light stops," says seven-time X Games Step Up gold medalist, Real Moto 2015 gold and Real Moto 2016 bronze medalist, Ronnie Renner. "Mostly I'm proud to be a dad and to be able to pass off what I've learned in life to my kids, and to enjoy this journey with my family. At this point in my life I really enjoy turning all of my crossover sport interest into a freeride vibe."
"After a short pro career in Canada I went back to my roots and spent some time in the hills again, focused on freeriding," says Real Moto 2016 silver medalist Kris Foster. "I think the focus and effort I've put into FMX and freeriding, along with my background in racing, is what has gotten me to this contest."
"I grew up in Southern California, so my whole life I have been exposed to extreme sports," says Real Moto 2016 Fan Favorite, Axell Hodges. "I grew up riding BMX, skating and snowboarding. I try to take style from each and every sport and put them into my riding, which has kind of created a style of my own."
"I grew up racing and chased the dream until injuries ultimately derailed my passion and drive to be a professional racer," says X Games Minneapolis 2017 QuarterPipe High Jump silver medalist, Tyler Bereman. "I've always been inspired by film in every form of action sports, so I focused my time and energy on having fun on my dirtbike and capturing the golden years with my friends. It's now led me to where I'm at today and I will never take two wheels for granted!"
Beremen's filmer: Ryan Walters
"Ryan is family to me," says Tyler Bereman of his Real Moto filmer/editor counterpart, Ryan Walters. "He was the first person to put a camera in my face almost 10 years ago and is still one of my best friends. Ryan is, hands-down, the sole reason I'm so inspired by film and why I strive to be a freerider."
Hodges' filmer: Ash Hodges
"Ash is my older brother and has a lot of experience in the field of filming motocross," says Axell Hodges of his filming/brother counterpart, Ash Hodges. "I admire his work and what he has accomplished, so I chose him to help me create this Real Moto part."
Foster's filmer: Anthony Vitale
"Anthony has been my first choice two years in a row," says Kris Foster of his Real Moto 2016 silver medalist filmer counterpart, Anthony Vitale. "He's very professional in how he handles and completes projects we work on, and he's easy to work with."
Renner's filmer: Spencer Cordovano
"Spinny is a rad dude that just enjoys life and the opportunities that being an action sports cinematographer brings," says Renner of his filmer/editor counterpart, Spencer Cordovano. "He rolls with a stealth crew of equally cool and talented guys. Collectively we all travel and jive well together."
Strong's filmer: Ben Heidrich
"Ben has worked full time for me for the last two years," says Jackson Strong. Ben Heidrich has been Jacko's personal filmer/editor, putting out behind the scenes movies and videos featuring his life, so it makes sense that he'd work with him on his Real Moto part here.
Meet the judges: Steven Haughelstine
"Motocross freeriding is all about how creative you can get in a natural terrain setting," says Real Moto 2016 gold medalist turned 2017 judge, Steven Haughelstine. "Creating an action sports video is a form of self expression on all ends, from the filmers to the riders. I will specifically be looking for the rider who has used the terrain the most creatively to showcase his riding style and skills to the fullest. I also will be looking for the filmer who has done his rider the most justice by not only capturing the best images of the rider, but editing it all together flawlessly to create an overall bad-ass video that flows."
Judge: Jeremy "Twitch" Stenberg
"I like to see a rider think outside of the box and be creative," says 16-time X Games Moto X medalist and Real Moto 2015 Fan Favorite and silver medalist, Jeremy "Twitch" Stenberg, of the factors he considers important for a winning video. "I'm looking for the filter to be just as creative as the rider."
Judge: Robbie Maddison
"I'm judging the riders by assessing the level of skill displayed in the film, and then comparing them against each other," says freeride legend, Robbie Maddison. "The historical key to winning X Games events has been progression: bigger and better tricks, the higher level of ability scores better. So I'm staying consistent to that and looking for the best display of all-round ability, technicality, range of skills, amplitude and progression."
Judge: Jeremy McGrath
"I like 'different' -- something I have not already seen from that rider," says Jeremy McGrath of what he's looking for in a winning Real Moto video. "It's simple: I am a big fan of technical riding and bike skills."