20 reasons why you should start freestyle riding
2018 will start like any other year – with good resolutions that will last… a week or two.
So this year, forget about the good old – quit smoking, eat your greens and spend less time watching Netflix. This year it’s time to start riding and you’ll see, it’s addictive.
Are you a rebel? Do you feel like you don’t really belong? Are you a guy or a girl who isn’t scared too much?
Pushing your limits is part of who you are or part of who you want to be?
Stop right here, you might not know it yet, but, deep inside, you are a rider.
Not sure about it? Here are some arguments that will help you take that one step and finally become a “rider”.
1- you can show off in front of family and friends.
That’s right! Cause its way cooler to say that you surf or snowboard or any other extreme sport than say that you belong to a waterpolo or badminton club.
2- Riding will take you places.
Travelling to contests and going on road trips are part of the deal, you will get to travel your country, your continent and even the world.
3- You will find your limits and push yourself beyond your comfort zone.
Go further than what you thought was possible is what make us – riders- different to the rest of the world. Risk taking must be in your DNA or you might as well go back to playing chess.
4- A rider is a teenager… his whole life.
He will always look like one, and talk like one.
When you are a rider there’s no “i retire” or “i’m too old for that”.
You’re addicted to adrenaline. You’ve got to understand, risk taking and danger are drugs. And there’s no rehab. Sport keeps your body young, but the lifestyle keeps you young in your head and if someday your body starts showing signs of age… remember you are only as old as you think.
5- Mother Nature is your friend.
Whether you are more into water, dirt, snow, air (or even fire) there is an extreme sport out there for you. You need to find it and just let go.
6- You might be able to see a shark or an avalanche and that, my friend, isn’t possible for most of the world – maybe on TV but hey you can’t feel your heart skip a beat on your couch.
7- Words like « sensible, careful, too dangerous » wont be part of your vocabulary anymore.
But new phrases like « yeah, nice bro – rad – kawabounga – sick man » will come along.. Some might even be a little shocking for your family so we wont list them here.
8 – Your bike or board will become your best friend.
Your second best friend will be your home spot. The others will just become jealous people, who have no idea what you’re doing.
You will be in love with your sport and hooked on the adrenaline rush- romance can come back another day.
9- If you had an alcohol problem before becoming a rider, good news, you wont need to change that.
On paper, a rider is a real sporty person but that’s only on paper. You can catch them drinking (and not only Redbull), smoking things that are not always legal… also, there’s one thing you need to know… a rider eats a lot of crap… junk food and questionable home cooked meals..
This is not everytime, but it has happened that a rider had a big night out the night before a contest. Partying with your mates is way more important than a gold medal at the X-Games.
10- A rider belongs to a community.
Whether it’s a close one ( like in skateboarding or surfing) or a more open one ( like in bmx) you will become part of this tribe. You will have friends all over the world, friends you can share stories with and talk about things other human beings know nothing about.
11- You will finally break a leg, or an arm!
And that doesn’t happen much when playing tennis or soccer.
Waking up after 3 days in coma with your entire body covered in bandages and plasters, or half of your arm eaten by some sort of unknown type of shark is priceless. Showing off you scars afterwards validates you.
12- you get to meet the stars... like Kelly Slater, Laird Hamilton, Matthias Dandois or Taig Khris who you’re always going to click with because you speak the same language.
13- you will make your local surf shop or skate shop rich.
Not talking about slackline or parkour, but stuff for your bike or board are expensive, and before getting sponsored and then not having to pay for anything, there’s a fair bit of money that needs to be spent. Just so you can have the lastest i-dont-know-what-it’s-for-but-it’s-good. If the end of the month weren’t tight before, well now you’re a rider, don’t worry, this will never happen again.
14- you will have style!
Well you will be tattooed, pierced, and have a spiked belt…
But the difference between you and wannabe rock stars or hells angels is that you will have a good reason to do it. Street credibility….
15- Cops will never be your friends… not saying they might have been before, but it will get worse.
In most cases, you will be doing something against the law without knowing it.
You will have to pay fines for the noise, damage to premises, trespassing and many more so called reasons that we don’t really understand.
My advice: if you see the cops – just go… don’t try to explain or negotiate, they’re not here for that. They are here to do their job: fine you – not to listen to a 30 year old who is trying to make his point. They don’t care if the spot is fun to ride, all they see is it wasn’t built for that purpose and it’s forbidden.
16- A rider is always ready. No matter where or what time.
Riding is a number ONE priority. You gotta know that. it’s like a girl half naked in front of a guy playing GTA5… guess what happens? She’s going to get a cold.
Same with riding, nothing is stronger – if a mate calls you to go riding a park or surf the best waves…then…well…you know.
17 – You can make a lot of money – well if you are good.
And if that’s the case, life will be easy for you. A gold medal in competition always comes with a big cheque. (Between 1000 and 30,000 $) it can be prize money and/or a bonus from your sponsor.
Add to that, shows, in some cases you might be able to do a show to promote your sport, it’s fun and good money. And as you probably know, pro riders don’t pay for their trips or their gear so all that money is basically pocket money to get your mates the next round, life is good.
18- A rider is hot. Yep even if you look like Frankenstein, a triple back flip in the air and you will get everyone’s attention… you will instantly become cool – think about Shaun White? Well most girls are after him so you might stand a chance…
19- you will spend a lot of time online reading about it (like right here, right now) to check the news, info, find out about new parts, new videos and tricks. Because nothing else maters.
20 – And the last reason. If you’re lucky enough to get old (if that shark or avalanche didn’t catch you first) you will have stories to tell your kids, and your grandkids… and at last, you will not be talking about world war so you’ll have all their attention.
20.1 – You will have a good enough sense of humour to understand and laugh about things in life – like these “20 good reasons why”; that should never be taken seriously.
So go on guys, you’re not going to become a rider over night.
Before you spend your days with the Monsters Girls or Kelly Slater, you will have to sweat for it… you will probably hurt yourself and want to give up… but trust me it’s totally worth it.
Your new years resolution is to start an extreme sport. So I’ll see you at your local spot and if you’re looking for some advice, ask away!
Top photo : Ryan Miller