If you are checking out this website I think it is safe to assume that you are interested in BMX. You probably have a favorite rider or company, watch videos, and go to events. You likely enjoy the content that your favorite rider or company puts out and you go on with your day, hopefully you go riding and have a good time. This is the overall goal, to get people on their bikes. Something that you don't think about is the fact that YOUR support matters. The amount that you support a company directly effects what that company is able to do. I believe that many times we as BMX riders are so in the process that we don't realize how important our decisions actually are. We see every issue as someone else's problem.
During the holidays I was being bombarded with commercials from companies of all kinds and I couldn't help but think about the fact that BMX needs our support. I am sure you have all heard of the idea that we should be supporting our local, small businesses because you are directly affecting the people who live in your neighborhood. You can really see the direct effect of your money. If the business succeeds they will be able expand and give more people jobs which makes your neighborhood a better place. It also feels good to know that you are supporting the little guy, someone who risked a lot to open a business and live his or her dream instead of some millionaire who wouldn't notice your business going somewhere else. Each dollar you spend affects the local business much more drastically than it would a large corporation.
I want you to start thinking of BMX brands as YOUR local, small business. These companies might be nowhere near where you live but since we are all a part of this "community" they are our "local" businesses. The money you spend buying the signature products of your favorite rider goes to the company that supports them as well as directly to the rider. This ensures that the company can take care of your favorite rider and you will get to see more videos and photos from them. If you are lucky they might end up traveling through your town and you will be able to hang out and ride with them. As you can see your money actually does something here. The more you buy from your favorite brand the more they can do and hopefully the more stoked you will be to ride. If you are lucky enough to have a BMX friendly bike shop this is incredibly important. Without your support these places will not be around and when something goes wrong with your freecoaster that you don't know how to work on you will be out of luck. Local shops often throw jams and organize events, which ensure that you are on your bike and having a good time. In order for them to be able to do these things they need your support.
Maybe your bike is running great and you don't need any parts. That's fine, consider yourself lucky, there are still ways for you to support BMX. There are quite a few BMX clothing brands that make a whole line of gear. These guys are actual BMX riders making their own clothing. That is awesome. Before you ask your mom for a full wardrobe from Zumiez this year take a look at some of the clothing options we have. The clothing from these brands is similar to what you could get at the mall but your money goes to an actual rider, someone who shares the same passion that you do for this. I admit I am guilty of being lazy and picking up clothes at the mall from time to time and I need to be more conscience of it. I want my hard earned money to end up in the hands of someone who will actually give a shit instead of someone who doesn't care about BMX and won't miss your business if you take it somewhere else.
Another way you can support BMX is by actually buying BMX videos. We all enjoy watching quality riding and it costs money to create a full-length video, a lot of money in fact. Traveling around the world, putting people up in hotels, and paying a filmer are just some of the costs associated with the production of a full-length video. Companies make these projects for promotion and don't expect to get rich from the release but that doesn't mean you should just wait until the parts end up on YouTube to check them out. If you want to continue to see quality videos you should purchase them. These days it has never been easier, most videos are released with a physical copy of some kind as well as a digital download. The digital versions are often so cheap that it seems silly to not purchase. Five dollars is more than fair for what could be a few years worth of hard work. Think of it this way, make dinner at home and with the money you save you can help support a brand and reward them for putting in countless hours of work showcasing how interesting BMX really is. I make sure to purchase every BMX video that gets released because I love the feeling of watching a new video and I want to do everything in my power to make sure that I can continue to have that feeling.
Essentially what I am hoping to achieve with this article is to get you to think about where you are spending your money, who you are supporting with your purchases. YOU can make a difference. I encourage you to find brands that you are hyped on and believe in and then support them. Every brand is doing their own thing and putting out content for all of us to enjoy and if you respect what they are doing you need to support them. Otherwise one day the brand you like might not be around for you to be hyped on. We are a tight knit community and we need to act that way. Each and every dollar we spend in BMX goes right back into BMX which ends up making things better for you and for BMX as a whole. With an increase in funds a company can travel more to film and take time to create better products both of which can and will benefit you. I am not saying that every dollar you spend needs to go to a BMX company but I do want you to know that your purchasing decisions have the ability to make a difference on the lives of the individuals who work at BMX companies as well as the industry as a whole.