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The Freestyle Evolution: Scooter and BMX

One of the greatest parts about Nitro Circus is the camaraderie between all of the action sports. In a lot of other instances, we see a big separation between sports, even though we are so much alike. Nitro Circus constantly tries to bring all of the action sports together as one big, unified family. As a scooter rider, I can say we have felt more than welcomed among Travis Pastrana and his Nitro army.

Professional athletes in any action sport tend to have a higher level of respect for professionals of other action sports. They made it where they want to be, and praise those who are striving to do the same. So it makes sense that different action sports athletes will feed off of each other, taking tricks from one discipline and applying it to another. So let’s take a look at the influence that scootering has had on the world of BMX.

This analysis was inspired by recent events. Nitro Circus athlete Jaie Toohey just landed the World’s First nothing front bikeflip to tailwhip. As you may know, the nothing front bikeflip was a trick first put down by the infamous Ryan Williams, who had been doing the same trick on a scooter for a few years (nothing front scooter flip – first done by Robbie Weir at the 2012 ISA World Finals Best Trick Contest). R-Willy took to the Giganta ramp and set out to prove he was capable of pulling this trick off on a bike. Well, he did, and it contributed to two first-place finishes in BMX at the Nitro World Games, as well as a gold medal in the X Games. Without the invention of this trick on a scooter, who knows how Ryan would have finished in these contests.

Obviously, Ryan had been a scooter rider for a long time so the transition of the trick to a bike was a bit more smooth than for someone who had never done the trick on a scooter or even ridden a scooter at all. Welcome Toohey. One hundred percent taking influence from R-Willy, Jaie started to throw the nothing front bikeflip in competition and in shows alike. But, what sparked him attempting to add the tailwhip? Well, since this trick has never been done on a bike, it had to be an influence from scooter riders. This is a trick we see done in scooter contests quite frequently as a lot of the kids have really figured this one out. Toohey set out to land it on a bike, and he did just that.

Big tricks such as the nothing front bikeflip and different briflip variations are very clearly influenced from scootering, but there is an entire other side of influence in the underground, street BMX scene, that most people wouldn’t notice. One case in particular is with street savage Devon Smillie. Devon is a super progressive rider who is constantly upping the technical level in BMX. He has spoken a little bit about scootering, and his scooter counterpart: Jon deVrind.

Devon has said that deVrind is his favorite scooter rider, and Jon has said the same thing about Devon. When asked if he liked scooter riders, he said, “I like dope scooter riders. Jon deVrind is the truth. He is doing future BMX tricks. If you want to see what BMX will look like in a few years, just see the sh** he does.” What Devon is referring to is Jon’s technical abilities in the department of ledge grinds, manual and nose manual combos, and various sorts of combination tricks. It’s going to be awesome to see how scootering evolves alongside other action sports and vice versa. Speaking of that, be on the lookout for my next write up on how BMX and skateboarding have influenced scootering!

About the writer:
My name is Jake Hershey, known in social media land as Nekbeard. I was born in ’91 and started scootering in ’02! I was born and raised in New Jersey, but made my way to the West Coast in 2014. I now live in sunny San Diego where you can catch me at Linda Vista skatepark almost daily. Scootering is a passion for me, so I hope that you like what I have to write!

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