Watching BMX videos on the Internet has become a daily ritual for a lot of us, but if we backpedal a few years, the tried and true DVD (or possibly VHS tape) was the source for your BMX video fix. And we all had that one video that really hit home for us—the one that you watched more than all the rest, the game changer, if you will. We asked a handful of diverse riders from different backgrounds one simple question, "If there was one BMX video that had an impact/influence on you as a rider, what was it?"
Photos by Jeff Zielinski
"This is a tough one to answer because some of the best videos released to this day came out when I was first getting into riding. Forward and Criminal Mischief would be the obvious choices, but those were so far above me at the time it would be hard to say they had an effect or influence on my riding. If I were to nail down one video that I got the most out of it would certainly be Animal’s Can I Eat. This one came out right around the time I was making the transition from riding dirt jumps and ramps in my yard to actual street riding. For the time, it was one of the most progressive street videos to date, but the level of riding for the most part wasn’t too difficult so we could actually learn the tricks we were seeing. My friends and I would watch it on repeat, and then go out and try to imitate what we saw. This video was also my first introduction to Steven Hamilton and up to that point I had never seen anyone make such good use of terrain as he did. His riding—particularly in that video—was so simple and straightforward, and the way he used every spot was something I wanted to imitate and I guess I still try to do today. Maybe it just hit me at the right place and right time, but I’m certain I would be a drastically different rider if it weren’t for Can I Eat, a classic that every kid needs to see."
Anthony "Boy" Flores
"The first BMX video that I seen was RideBMX's Turbulence. Followed by the movie Rad and RideBMX's Parts—shit had me hooked. It let me know that there was a whole BMX world out there ready to be explored. But the video to impact me the most was the first Animal video. I walked into my local bike shop that is now closed and the homey asked me “Yo, you wanna see the new video we just got in?" I replied, “Yeah whatever…” thinking yeah… whatever. The TV was high up, mid-store and this is crucial in my memory because I don’t remember ever looking down once the video started. It was like seeing a stripper for the first time. I was amazed. I was already a street rider at the time, but I had never seen something like this—100 percent grimey, 100 percent for the streets. Being the poor kid that I was, I never owned that video, but I also never forgot it." —Anthony "Boy" Flores
"If I had to pick one video/video series it would be Fox Expendable Youth 1 & 2. Those were some of the fist videos I ever watched. I started out racing and when my mom and I would go to state races in different parts of Florida there would always be random bike shop vendors set-up at the track. One of the bigger shops always stocked a few random videos and parts that were for “freestyle” bikes. If I was lucky my mom would cop me a video here and there. Expendable 1 & 2 were amongst the first few and they made a huge impact on me. I soon became a huge Joe Rich fan after watching the “Terrible Ones” section in Expendable 1 and his full part in Expendable 2. Taj [Mihelich] was obviously on my favorites list, as well as Robb-o [Morlaes]. All those dudes seemed to be having a good time riding and gave bike riding such a dope look. As I got more and more into following “the Terrible Ones” I began watching all of the new Road Fools and getting a totally different perception of what BMX was to me at the time. Racing was getting more serious and less fun, so I eventually stopped racing to pursue simply having fun on my bike. I’m glad I got the chance to see those videos when I was younger because without them, I may not have even known what was on the other side of BMX and probably quit racing because it’s lame as fuck. "—Ty Morrow
"I would have to say the video that influenced me the most is the Deadline video. Yeah it might sound trendy and lame, but this video really changed the way I looked at riding. Deadline isn’t about the mind-blowing tricks that happened (even though it is, indeed, insane). When you take a step back from that you’ll see a crew of dudes that have been hanging out for a while who came together to make something amazing in BMX. That alone changed my outlook on riding and how I view other people's riding. I was always one to see a video and react as if I couldn’t do the things those guys were doing because they were so good. But they are so good because they push each other and strive to bring something new to the table in BMX. With all that being said, this DVD really motivated me to ride for the sake of having fun with my friends and pushing each other to progress in our own unique way. Not that I never rode for fun in the first place, but because I want my group of friends to follow a similar path. Sure all the other videos that came out this year are amazing, but I waited so long to see this video and the turn out blew my expectations out of the water." —Broc Raiford
"Man, that’s a hard one… I feel like the obvious answer for someone my age would be Van Homan’s Criminal Mischief part. I'm from the suburb that the majority of that video was filmed in, so it definitely got me to go out and grind the rails that were already done by Van. That part had a huge impact on me growing up, either from the fact that Little Devil was so popular and it was a local company, or just seeing Van in my neighborhood. Either way, it was awesome. But the video that really made me think of what was possible was Animal Can I Eat. This video showed me more then just grinds on things, it showed me the amount of different grinds to be done! Also, it showed me to see spots differently—set-ups. This video had it all, dudes like [Corey] Martinez, Bob [Scerbo], Ed [Edwin De La Rosa], and for the first time ever, I saw, Lino G. [Gonzales]! I remember tripping out when I saw some of the feebles in his section. I think that video today is still the first thing I think of when I’m trying something new or into a new rider. That video seriously had it all, every type of riding, and every type of rider. I'm gonna go watch that shit now!" —Dan Conway
"For me it wasn’t a specific video, but rather three bad-ass sections from a rider that all dropped only a year or so apart from each other. That rider being none other than Jason Enns! First with the opening section to Little Devil’s world famous Criminal Mischief in 2001, followed by Etnies Forward and Demolition’s self titled video in 2002. I started to really get into BMX in 1999 and was quickly influenced by Jason’s riding. Every one of his sections were powerful, progressive and really made you say, “Damn, that was awesome!” Seeing these banger parts come out right after one another, all I wanted to do was grind shit and do tabes like the “Cougar.” I had the whole Enns' kit—four-piece bars, four pegs, brakeless, I had Etnies shoes and even grew out my hair shaggy and wore a blue volume hat backward. Then fast forward ten years and I’m somehow riding for Volume Bikes on the same team with my childhood idol. It still blows my mind… Sorry to nerd out on ya so hard Jason, but let’s face it, you’re the fuckin man!" —Eric Bahlman
"It was the first BMX video I had ever seen and it was a local video so it gave me hope that one day I could be doing the same stuff because it was so close to home. But when the video part came on that changed everything in my brain and made me want to ride was Justin Inman with his flawless effortless style and all the Boss-Hogg rails that he hit over-grinds on—it was truly an inspiration in my life and the video was Building The Underground." —Shawn McIntosh
"Etnies Forward for sure was a huge impact on me, I got it when I was in third grade and it was my first video I ever owned. At the time I was racing and chad Degroot had just opened Mission skatepark. I got that video and started riding Mission all the time and ditched racing instantly—all I wanted was to jump stuff on my bike and be around people that just wanted to have fun. As for Forward, Ruben [Alcantara], [Josh] Stricker, Taj [Mihelich] and Joe [Rich] parts really stood out—Stricker especially. I really could relate to each one of those dude's style and just the way their parts were put together with the songs and riding really hit me." —Trey Jones
Ryan “Biz” Jordan
"I was fortunate enough to have an older brother who rode so I got videos at a really young age. There were so many that I would watch over and over to this day I still have such a vivid memory of them. But the one I sessioned the most was a VHS copy one of my brother's friends gave us that had Homeless Trash, S&M 44 Something and Ride On all on one tape. That tape was pretty much my Bible for a few years. Those videos were pretty different from each other so I got influence from many different forms of riding. The Homeless video was mostly street—with guys like Dave Parrick, Lee Sultemeier, and the Gute—they had me wanting to grind everything in sight. The Gute was doing tricks out of rails—which is insane because that was 20 years ago.
S&M’s 44 Something was primarily an all Southern California dirt video—which was what caught my attention the most at the time. There were so many good sections like Keith Treanor, Mike Griffin, Chris Moeller, and big trail jams that I dreamed of being at. Watching Moeller do barspins and Griffin do them to cancan had me wanting to learn that trick so bad.
Then there was Ride On—which had everything in it—crazy ramp riding by [Mat] Hoffman, [Dave] Mirra, [Dennis] McCoy, and [Jay] Miron. Street by the Dirt Bros, Dave Voelker, and lots more. But my favorite section was Chad Herrington's—granted, a lot of it was done on fly-outs so it might not be cool today, but he was still doing nothings-to-tailwhips and cannonball-to-no-foot-cancans over 20 years ago. So for you young kids out there you should definitely check these out, you will be surprised of the stuff that went down so long ago." —Ryan Jordan