When you've got two of the most winningest pros in dirt jumping, Logan Martin and Kyle Baldock hugging you, you know you just crushed it. Jacob Bailey, having that moment.
When you've got two of the most winningest pros in dirt jumping, Logan Martin and Kyle Baldock hugging you, you know you just crushed it. Jacob Bailey, having that moment.

Dirt Jumping Bangers – 2018 Toyota BMX Triple Challenge – Anaheim

From its inception last year, the goal with the three stop Toyota BMX Triple Challenge dirt jumping contest series was to "push the limits of what's possible." With an open qualifying format, a two-jump course, and a Best Trick comp, the stage was set for some serious jumping progression. Tricks you could've thought up with your wildest imagination, like 720 front flips, double whip 720s, 1080s, and more became reality. This past weekend at the first stop of the 2018 Triple Challenge at Monster Energy Supercross in Anaheim, the progression streak continued with a barrage of bangers, including Jacob Bailey's first ever 360 frontward bike flip, as well a barspin cashroll, decade to 360, double front flip, triple barspin backflip, and more... Here's a recap of the bangers with the dudes who stomped 'em.

Jacob Bailey - 360 Frontward Bike Flip
Just looking at the sequence below, this trick looks like it’s trying so hard not to work, but then it just does. Jacob Bailey dropped one hell of a banger during the Best Trick comp.

There’s a lot going on right here. Jacob Bailey, with a trick where it looks like he’s bailing in two frames, only to bring it back under control again. Crazy.

How long have you been working on the 360 frontward bike flip and have you pulled many prior to this weekend?
I haven't been working on it long, I originally learned the front bike flip on a quarter like how Mark Webb did it--that was about maybe two weeks before the contest. And then I was messing around at Pat’s house, trying to do it over the resi box jump over there and it was kinda working, and then I just never really put too much thought into it and then at Woodward I tried it and ended up landing it. And that was maybe a week before the contest and then I told myself I was gonna do it at the contest because I kinda had it figured out.

Can you explain the difference between what you just did and the 360 bike flip that Zack Warden does called the Iron Lotus...
Zack Warden does a regular bike flip, which means you’re flipping the bike, the handlebars essentially toward you. And he usually grabs the seat on the way back to flip the bike under him. And makes it’s easier to do in the back flip variation--the way he does it so freakin' good. But the way I do it is kind of hard to explain... basically, I kick like a tailwhip and then just let go and kinda just swing it around in my hand and then catch the handlebars and then the bike comes back underneath. It just flips underneath me. But the difference is just when I’m throwing the bike away--when Zack is throwing it toward him. So it’s the same as a bike flip but it’s just opposite direction, I guess you can call it switch if you wanted to.

You rolled away dragging a foot on one during qualifying on Friday. Did you do anything different during best trick or did it just work out?
There are little things in the trick that will make it a little easier. I tried it so many times during the best trick contest that I kinda figured it out--just little things to help it out. So the day before, when I rode away--the nut lander--was kind of just a go for it... me wanting to see how it was over that jump. That way I knew what it would it be like for tomorrow, so I wouldn't be going into the next day with no clue what it was like over that jump. During best trick, I already kinda knew it was like try it over that jump and I knew I had 20 minutes to do it.

Can you talk us through the trick a little? It seems like so much is going on, how do you even approach doing something like that? You’re fully just flicking your bike out in front of you. It’s like controlled chaos kind of...
I guess it’s a lot of technicality and also just commitment, hanging in there for the longest time. It’s really easy to catch it 180, but to pull it around is the harder part. And you can see in the video like to catch 180 and it looks almost like an in-table or an unlookback--whatever you wanna call it. And then it just keeps rotating around. But I don’t know, like I said it’s kinda like a one-handed tailwhip in a sense and then you need to keep flipping it around and catch the bars, almost Superman style and then just flick it under you. Like I said, it’s hard to explain [laughs].

What do you think is the hardest part about that trick to make it become something you have consistently?
The hardest part about it is probably the landing, just because it's definitely front end high so I gotta work on just keeping it down. But I think I got that whole thing figured out, those dirt jump landings were real steep so it was hard to come in like that. But I think I got, for the most part, I got it figured out consistently and I’m gonna start throwing in runs and stuff like that so hopefully I can do it in a qualifying run through the next Triple Challenge and just keep it a part of the routine.

What's your overall impression on the whole weekend and the level of riding? Who were some standouts to you?
With that group of guys together it’s always an insane level of riding and everyone’s always killing it... TJ Ellis was freakin' going higher than anyone and making those jumps look so easy. And Pat Casey was making them look real easy--360 triple whip straight into a cashroll--no problem. Kyle [Baldock] and Logan [Martin], they always adapt to that kind of send it mentality. And Anthony [Napolitan], he was killing it too! Everyone was doing so good, but those are the couple names that I just saw who were really putting it out there too--Brian Fox too, he was freakin' killing it--double flipping that first set was gnarly.

And how important do you think these contests are for dirt jumping?
These contests are super important. There aren't a lot of dirt jump contests out there, especially open qualifiers that give those people who don’t really have a big name a chance to just go out there and send it.

Chucky Covey - Double Front Flip
Chucky took a trick typically reserved for much larger jumps with one hell of a tight and quick double frontflip.

Tuck, huck, and hope… Chucky, gettin’ ‘er done.

How long have you been working on the double front flips? And have you pulled many prior to this weekend?
No, I’ve done before. I actually did one and the first one I did was at FISE in Denver in 2016. I slipped a foot on that one. Then, I haven’t really messed with it too much since then because I broke my femur in half in February, so I wasn’t really on my bike at all. But I did it like a week prior [to the contest]--first go--at Woodward, Tahoe, onto the resi. But it’s a trick that I always really wanted to do on a dirt jump and it was just kind of the right time and just felt right.

You got a little loose while warming up for best trick and I think I saw you running looking like you hurt your ass. What happened?
It was my first time on my bike for the day. And I don’t know if they changed the lip on the first jump or what, but I thought it was the same as the day prior. It ended up being a little different, I pumped real hard down the roll-in and just kinda juiced it a little too hard and next thing I knew I was passed the landing. I was, “Oh shit, I’m going flat.” And I didn’t want to go to flat on my bike so I chose to jump off. And yeah, I fell pretty good on that one [laughs].

Well I guess you rebounded all right, ’cause you managed to still get right into the game.
Yeah, I was in a lot of pain--right to my tailbone…. I was all right though. It kinda passed pretty quick.

It's seems like the double front flip is a trick typically reserved for much longer, Mega Ramp style jumps. What was it like sending one over this jump?
It’s definitely difficult because of the size of the jump like you said. I had to snap a little harder than I would've liked but, in the end I didn't go as high I want to, but it worked and I got it first go.

The BMX Triple Challenge is all about dirt jumping progression. Did the energy from the contest help motivate you go for it?
Yeah I think so. I'm always more hyped when I’m riding with all my buddies and the best dudes in the world. It was sick, the hype was there, and there were a lot of people there who knew I had the trick and that I had sent it previously and they wanted to see me get it again. That definitely pushed it for a little more.

Are you going to make your way out to Arizona for the next one?
Yeah, I’m definitely making my way out to Arizona. I actually have something else planned for best trick in Arizona, so that one should be fun.

What's your overall impression on the whole weekend and the level of riding? Who were some standouts to you?
It was sick. I was hyped, the level of riding was so high and there was always something different going on and it seemed like everyone just wanted to push it. I love seeing the progression and I love seeing everyone land new tricks--it's sick.

Was there anyone particularly who stood out to you that weekend or any one trick, or anything?
Obviously Jacob Bailey’s 360 front bike flip. I ride with Jacob quite a bit and he’s a really cool guy. He’s one of my really good friends and it was so sick and that. And then James Foster slingin' that flip triple bar--that was insane.

Jake Leiva – 360-To-Decade
Put the laws of physics in a jar, put the lid on and shake it around, open it up and you’ll get something like this… Jake Leiva and the decade-to-360.

A heavy hitter indeed…

How often do you unleash that move? Is it one of those tricks you save for contests?
The trick is definitely a heavy hitter from me. Before I come to a big jump contest like this I really make sure I have all my bangers dialed in!

You pulled it first try in finals and judging from your reaction, you were understandably hyped. Was that the first one you tried all weekend?
So in finals I put one solid run through, then my next two runs I wanted to send that on the second set. My second run I sent it and just came up a little short on the rotation and jumped off, third run I sent it again and came around so perfect I was halfway down the landing and was already super stoked that I had pulled it around!

The straight-forward two jump setup is intended to inspire riders to send it and go for their most wild tricks. How much of a role did the jump play in this trick happening?
I do love the two jump setup. It's super basic so it can bring a ton of potential for crazy tricks to get thrown down. I do have a lot of big tricks in the bag that I save for a contest like this--which leads to tricks like this one happening!

The BMX Triple Challenge is all about dirt jumping progression. Did the energy from the contest help motivate you go for it?
Yeah, for sure, when the crowd around you loves what's going on and other dudes are sending stuff like that it makes you want to do the same.

And how important do you think these contests are for dirt jumping?
Personally, I love dirt jump contests the most probably, so that's why I love coming to a contest like this so it's definitely great. I wish there where tons more every year!

What's your overall impression on the whole weekend and the level of riding? Who were some standouts to you?
The whole weekend was awesome. The jumps were massive--the first one was a bit too steep. I was planning on sending a lot more, but that's the nature of dirt. I think this played a major roll with almost everybody, but the level of riding was still great! Colton [Walker] and Logan [Martin] were definitely killing it--they’re always sending madness! Everyone was going off, it was a great contest to start the year off and I can’t wait for the next stop!

Kyle Baldock - 720 Double Tailwhip
Watching Kyle Baldock own 720 double whips you’d almost forgot for a second that they were still one of the craziest tricks being done on dirt. 

Baldock, doing it for the fans.

As wild as a 720 double whip is, you seem to have them on lock. Is it one of those tricks you save for contests?
I wouldn't say I have them on lock, but I put in enough time so that hopefully the ones I do in a contest I pull. Hard work pays off. I always look to separate myself, I wasn't seeing anyone do 720 combos--so I pulled that out of the bag of tricks.

The straight-forward two jump setup is intended to inspire riders to send it and go for their most wild tricks. How much of a role did the jump play in this trick happening?
Having the two jumps and enough speed to do whatever you like. It gave me an opportunity to try and do two hard tricks back-to-back--you rarely get the chance to try those types of tricks back-to-back.

The BMX Triple Challenge is all about dirt jumping progression. Did the energy from the contest help motivate you go for it?
To be honest the contest is just a sideshow for all the fans that come out and support us. If it wasn't for them I don't think hardly any of the tricks that get sent at the contest would be done. So thank you to all the fans.

And how important do you think these contests are for dirt jumping? 
I feel like these contests are exciting for people that don't really follow BMX. Hopefully the taste of these contesst makes them see into the dream they can to can ride for a living, too.

What's your overall impression on the whole weekend and the level of riding?
This weekend by far was the best start to the year. The level of riding was through the roof and I can't wait to see what happens for the rest of the year.

Who were some standouts to you, and why?
There was a double frontflip, there was the first ever 360 front bike flip, double backflips, flip triple bars and a lot of cash rolls--the future looks so bright for BMX.

Dawid Godziek – Barspin Cashroll
Poland and BMX aren’t in the same sentence often, but Dawid Godziek is changing that. He’s been a standout at every stop of the Triple Challenge--winning best trick last year in Anaheim with a 720 front flip, and then coming out stronger than ever this year and taking home first place with crazy tricks and consistency all weekend.

The trick that helped Dawid seal the deal on his podium top spot… the cashroll barspin.

Your brother Szymon is credited as the first to ever do a barspin cashroll on his MTB in 2013. How much longer was it before you pulled one?
I pulled one four years after my brother.

Was the one you did in finals the first one you tried all weekend?
Yes, it was the first one I tried all weekend and the first one I pulled since last year.

The straight-forward two jump setup is intended to inspire riders to send it and go for their most wild tricks. How much of a role did the jump play in this trick happening?
Of course it helped a lot, it is easier to focus on big tricks when there is less jumps.

The BMX Triple Challenge is all about dirt jumping progression. Did the energy from the contest help motivate you go for it?
That's for sure--all the riders motivated me to do my best as they do.

And how important do you think these contests are for dirt jumping?
It looks like the biggest dirt jump contests in the world now. We need more events like this around the world

What's your overall impression on the whole weekend and the level of riding? Who were some standouts to you, and why?
I was really impressed as always. The level of riding was higher then ever with a few huge tricks, but unfortunately big crashes as well. I think that everyone killed it in the contest, but it is always good to watch some fresh tricks, like what Jacob Bailey did in best trick.

Kevin Peraza – 360 Whip-to-one-Handed Table
If there were an award for best style, Kevin would’ve walked away this past weekend with his hands full. Kevin took an already awesome combo he’s been doing for a while, and added a little more flavor by throwing out his hand. Difficult things come with practice and determination, but style doesn’t come so easy.

Progression wears many hats… Kevin Peraza, adding the hot sauce to an already progressive and stylish combo.

You've been doing the 360 whips-to-table for a while now--and to flairwhips too--but I think you adding the one-handed version really sets it off with style. Have you done that before?
[Laughs] Yea, I fell in love with the trick. The way it looked the way it all flowed together with the whip then being able to table after just felt good. But yes, I actually did one in my second run during dirt at X Games this last year but it wasn't very good looking yet [laughs].

While everyone else was focused on tricks that were hyper progressive, but not so pretty, you brought a trick to the table (no pun intended) that was both progressive and stylish. Was that your goal?
Yeah, I also felt like I could do them better and just the self pleasure of showing people something different besides an extra spin or barspin… but I was having trouble with speed. I think I will do them on bigger sets.

What's your overall impression on the whole weekend and the level of riding? Who were some standouts to you, and why?
Level of riding is insane, I like the open qualifier--it opens the doors to the unknown talents out there. Everyone deserves a chance to try and compete in the big events.

James Foster – Backflip Triple Barspin
Calm, cool, and calculated. James Foster rides with a Terminator like precision. He qualified first with the the aid of the backflip triple bar, and although he couldn’t keep it together during Finals, he let one go during Best Trick, because, well… he can.

James Foster has been raising the elevation of jumping tricks since 2005 and he’s showing no signs of slowing down.

The straight-forward two jump setup is intended to inspire riders to send it and go for their most wild tricks. You're used to riding some of the biggest jumps out there, so how much of a role did the jump play in you squeezing three barspins into a backflip?
The first set was a booter, so you had to pull up and go up with it, but if you pulled too hard it would just send you to the moon and you'd sprocket case. So the first session was pretty hectic, multiple sets of forks were bent the first time we rode them.

All of us “contest dirt jump guys” have ridden a lot of big jumps over the years and that helps in figuring out how to ride new sets, but each jump will throw you different and you can usually figure out what tricks you can make work on it. Once I got comfortable with the first set (even though it was scary to jump every time--even straight jumping) I thought triple bar flip could work if I went fast and committed to it. It's a scary trick to send over a set like that, but it worked.

Forgive my memory... have you ever done more than three bars in a flip before?
I did triple and quad bar flips on the Nitro Games best trick ramp (resi lander) last year. Triple-bar flip is still scary as hell on the big Nitro ramp, but doing it on a big, steep, hard-packed dirt jump in a half-cut [helmet] is definitely different.

You did it in your run during qualifying, which helped you earn the top spot. But the dots didn't connect for you again the next day for the Finals--but then you fired it out again during best trick...
Semi Finals were the following day, and it was earlier in the day, I just couldn't get feeling comfortable enough on my bike in time. I think one of my first jumps I cased and my bars moved and I never felt right on my bike... I rode ok in semis, but didn't do what I wanted to do, and that isn't ever gonna cut it with the level of riding contest kids are riding at these days.

After watching finals--which was f-in insane--the level of riding now is unreal. I moved my bars and I was feeling good again, so I figured I'd have some fun and maybe try the scary first set trick again--even though I knew Jacob or Chucky was gonna win best trick.

The BMX Triple Challenge is all about dirt jumping progression. Did the energy from the contest help motivate you to go for it?
100%. Going into it I knew I wasn't going to win best trick, but I wanted to do it again after not being happy with how I rode in finals. Honestly I think the main reason I sent it again is because I was so excited for Jacob Bailey landing the 360 forward bike flip and Chucky Covey doing a freaking double front flip on a damn "regular” sized dirt jump. That kind of excitement is one of the biggest reasons I ride BMX. The feeling you get when you try scary--sometimes technically complicated shit--on a little bike.

And how important do you think these contests are for dirt jumping?
Right now in the current world of BMX, these are basically the only dirt contests that anybody can show up and ride against the top contest guys and potentially beat them. I think that says a lot about how important they are, and the state of the dirt contest scene at the moment. Have to thank Sean Heimdale for making this series happen, we wouldn't have it without him.

What's your overall impression on the whole weekend and the level of riding? Who were some standouts to you, and why?
It's seriously hard to pick anyone because everyone rode so damn good. Jacob Bailey and Chucky Covey both did insane tricks in best trick, Pat Casey doing triple whip 360 into a cashroll, Baldock doing 720 double whips on command, Dawid Godziek quad truck to cashroll bar, Brian Fox double flipping that first set, Napo and Leo always riding dialed incredibly dialed, Peraza doing the best superman seat-grab I've ever seen, Logan, Colton Walker, Jake Leiva all doing every variation of every single one of the hardest bar/whip combos, can't forget the NorCal kids Rambo and Cade sending it in qualifying, Jay Dalton is always a pleasure to watch ride, Larry going higher than everyone ever... these contests are a good time and remind me of the old King Of Dirt contests back in the day. There will always be a lot of fun to be had at a BMX contest with two big dirt jumps and a little money on the line to motivate dudes to send it. Looking forward to the next one!

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