Lately the topic of progression has been coming up a lot and it got me thinking about what it actually means. To me it means pushing the limits of what already exists and finding new obstacles to ride, therefore riding something that may have never been ridden before. Thus creating something different, instead of adding one more flip, twist, or spin into a pre-existing trick. But that’s me and it got me thinking that progression is very objective, it can be interpreted differently by everyone. It could mean one more spin or building jumps bigger or even riding off a roof, just depends on what your into. Once I started looking at it like that, it made me realize that there is still so much more to do and the possibilities and virtually endless. The level of modern riding is just crazy and it’s anyone’s guess what the future holds. Personally I feel like eventually the obstacles may be more a factor than the tricks done on them but who knows. Justin Gamache and I have talked quite a bit about this subject and I asked him to come up with a little something about it. The following is what he wrote, and I have to say I agree with pretty much everything he states in it.
In work, sports, etc. it is natural human instinct to compete and be
better than person before you. The obvious area of BMX that this takes
place in are the contests. With big-money sponsors and main-stream
endorsements, riders are pushing themselves harder and further than
ever before. New tricks are being done on a regular basis, each one
becoming wilder and more circus-like.
|Drew B. Photo Zielinksi|
Contests aren’t the only place this is happening. Street riding and
videos are getting better and better in quality, and riders are forced
to keep up with, or try to stay ahead, of the curve. With web edits
and thecomeup, few videos and parts are considered timeless in BMX
anymore. When was the last time a part stood up to Van Homan’s
Criminal Mischief section? When someone does todays “hot move”, it is
quickly forgotten tomorrow. The same goes for tricks, toboggans were
all the rage for a year, now they are gone again. We live in a time
where everything is instant, and if you don’t keep up with these
trends then you will be left in the dust.
|Van Homan photo espn|
The push to be better or do the next big thing has forced companies to
improve their products also. Look at what we are riding now compared
to what was being used 10 years ago. Evidence shown in Rick and
Keith’s “Worst bike parts I ever bought/ridden” articles.
I find these changes to be a good thing for BMX, keeping the sport
relevant and interesting, but it has its downfalls also. Adding one
more barspin to a line or one more tailwhip over a box jump just makes
it un-original and stale. BMX is about originality, which can go hand
in hand with progression.The perfect example being Ruben Alcantara’s
Etnies Grounded section. Sure, riders were doing wallrides before this
part came out, but he took it from a different angle, looking at
things differently and starting a whole new trend in street riding.
Now his riding has completely changed again, any of his new web edits
are of him flowing bowls and pools, almost like he is “surfing” the
And thats how things should be in BMX. New, fresh and fun. Stay ahead
of the curve. Maybe you will start the next movement. Do things
differently, who cares what others might think, at the end of the day
it’s only bike riding.
Justin H. Gamache