Interview by Jeff Zielinski, Photos by Ryan Fudger
Born and raised under the Southern California sun, Pat Casey started out racing BMX and eventually progressed into riding ramps and trails—which helped turn him into the ramp riding powerhouse that he is today. At only 18 years old, it's safe to say that we've only just begun to see what Pay Casey is capable of.
So I heard your dad got you into BMX racing. Was your dad into racing, too?
Yeah, my dad got me into racing when I was five, he wasn't a racer. I just liked riding my bike a lot. He started building me little kicker ramps in the street, then got me into racing from there.
How old were you when you got your ramp in your yard?
I was 12 when we built it—me and my dad. I always had a little quarter pipe in front of the house that I rode almost every day. He liked that I liked to ride and as a supportive parent he built me a ramp. I was stoked!
It sounds like your parents are really supportive of you riding BMX…
Yeah, my parents are real supportive of me riding. My dad built me the ramp in our backyard and they took me almost anywhere to ride.
Other than your backyard ramp, what are some other spots you ride a lot?
Other than the ramp I ride Chino skatepark, trails, and Ben Snowden's house. There are so many different places—I don't really just ride a specific place.
What was the first BMX video you saw?
Square One Wide Awake Nightmare. I watched it pretty much everyday [laughs].
What riders were you most psyched on when you first started riding?
I was definitely psyched on Scotty Cranmer and Chase Hawk. I thought everything Scotty did was amazing and Chase was so stylish!
What about today, which riders motivate you?
Dennis Enarson, his riding is just crazy both ways and super motivating.
How old were you when you rode your first Pro contest?
My first pro contest was ASA triples event at the OC fair. I was 14 and was so stoked to be in it. I was so nervous, especially riding against people I looked up to. It was an unreal feeling and pretty scary for my age [laughs].
You listen to metal, right? What bands are you into?
Yeah, I listen to metal. I'm into anything good, though, really. I think Iron Maiden has got to be my favorite band.
So lets say you have a girl over and you want to set the mood. Would you still put on some metal? If not, then what would you mix it up with?
[Laughs] I don't know, provably not. I have a girlfriend and don't need music to set the mood [Laughs].
What about a Dew Tour, what would you listen to before dropping in to get pumped up?
I listen to Iron Maiden or something fast to get me pumped. Definitley pumps me up and makes me want to ride.
You grew up in the same area as Brian Castillo and Rooftop. Did you ever see them around at the park or street spots while you were growing up?
Yeah, Brian used to live a few streets down [from me]. I never really rode with Rooftop, but it was awesome knowing they grew up in the same area. I actually didn't know until after I was on Volume that I lived next to Brian [Laughs].
Castillo is a pretty interesting guy and has had a huge influence on BMX. Can you describe what it was like the first time you met him?
The first time I meet him was at the Volume warehouse, I think. It was crazy to meet someone with such a big influence on BMX. It was really cool.
Which was harder for you to learn, the decade backflip or double decades?
I think a decade flip. The double decade was somehow easier for me, but the decade flip was really hard to figure out the exact rotation.
I think most riders are familiar with your tranny and dirt skills, but you did some wild street stuff in your section for the Yawn DVD. Was Veesh constantly calling you saying something like, "Come on Pat, you gotta film or this." or where you just really motivated to make a solid video part?
[Laughs] No, Veesh is cool, he wanted to get the video done and we went all out to film for it. It was over a period of time so it wasn't stressful. It was a lot of fun and awesome seeing the final product when the video was done.
How do you compare riding in a contest to filming for a video part?
I like contests, but most of the time it's doing stuff I know I can do. It's awesome trying to put lines and runs together with all those tricks. But I think I like filming more, because most of the time it's pushing myself to do things I've never done before. When I land those tricks I've never done before it's the best feeling.
Do you have any advice for other younger kids who are coming up and trying break into the contest season?
I don't know… All I can say is follow your dreams. Have fun riding and practicing. All I did was have fun and I had a drive and motivation to do what I wanted to do.
What are you looking forward to in 2012?
I'm looking forward to traveling and more commitments. I'd like to buy a house and make ramps and dirt jumps. It'll be sick to have my own house [Laughs].
Do you want to give some thanks?
Yeah, I'd like to thank my mom and dad for supporting me through all the years. Also, for all my sponsors who support me and help me out—they have all been so awesome.