DIG - RIDERS OF THE YEAR - 2015
Our Dirty Dozen
22 Dec 2015
Photos by Fred Murray, Devin Feil, Wes Mcgrath, Kevin Conners, and Rob Dolecki
2015 has been a crazy year for BMX whatever way you look at it. When it comes to choosing our Top Twelve Riders list it sure isn't an easy task and not a quick one at that. Back and forth, debate and multiple factors were involved and we could include many more, but here's our list of who we think really killed it this year for one reason or another. Make sure you give us your list in the comments below!
1. Nathan Williams
Nathan probably doesn't want to be at the top of this list and that's just one of the reasons why he's here. Despite the fact that you may not have seen a ton of footage from Nathan since his insane Above Below section at the end of last year, he's been working away on some damned magic jewels and when you see it all you're gonna freak. We should all know how good this guy is but when his etnies and United sections drop there'll be no dis-believers! One of the coolest dudes to ever do it and one guy who never fully gets the accolades that we feel he deserves.
2. Dakota Roche
Dak came storming into 2015 with a bang after his Above Below part came out and then he proceeded to give the year a good right hook by releasing his incredible Nativeland 2 video along with Cultivate and then going on to win NORA Cup street rider of the year, despite having to deal with some injury issues in between. One of the most highly motivated humans we've ever been around, Dak truly lives to ride his bike and from the looks of things we'll have some more Roche magic coming along in 2016 in the form of the Vans DVD.
3. Garrett Reynolds
There's not been a lot of riders who make the whole BMX community collectively stand up and watch whenever they drop new footage but Garrett is just that guy. After releasing the epicly anticipated Deadline DVD back in 2013 he's not slowed down at all and this year blew us out the water again with his mind-melting Red Bull video that dropped in May, teasing us with so many clips that were just still that bit out of reach for most to even comprehend. Who knows what 2016 has in store for Mr Reynolds but i'm sure it will involve him leaving us in shock and mild despair as he does every year with his inordinate amount of progression.
4. Simone Barraco
Due to it's ancient architecture and love of cobble stones, coming from Italy probably isn't the best start to becoming one of the top riders in the world but Simone has built his way up to become one of the most progressive guys out there, and always with a smile on his face. This year saw the release of Simone's unbelievable section in the Shadow DVD, 'What Could Go Wrong?' but if that wasn't enough he even had another four minutes of footage that came out first online and shook our world. Constant flow and a stream of space ages technicality make this dude one of the best. Maybe it's Granny's homemade pesto?
5. Alex Kennedy
I think AK has made it on to most of the top lists we've compiled and for good reason. You know you're doing something right when no one can ever contact you but it doesn't even matter. AK is like some kind of Aurora Borealis, dipping in stealthily a few times a year to drop some beautiful shapes and colours over our heads and leave everyone speechless with what they just witnessed. Whether it's his footage in Cultivate VOL.1 or his recent video masterpiece for DIG, Alex does it every time. If you're wondering what's going to be cool in 2017, look out for AK and what he's up to in 2016.
6. Alex Donnachie
Brought up close by to our Glasgow office in Scotland, BSD's Alex Donnachie first appreared on the pages of DIG about 7 years ago ripping through his trails higher than anyone else, but fast foward to 2015 and you'd hardly recognise him. Alex has quietly honed his skills by pretty much living in the streets for the past few years riding rail setups in the rain and until all hours, and this year we've seen that pay off big time for young Donneech. As well as picking up some nice new sponsors in 2015 Alex also now picks up vegetables on the daily, so maybe that's what keeps his fire burning so hot. If his BSD ALVX video or his section in the new Nearly 4K DVD is anything to go by he's not got any plans to slow down. HWG 2016!
7. Clint Reynolds
During an extended visit to the northeastern U.S. on a beautiful day in September, Clint Reynolds was riding Posh trails without a care in the world, other than keeping a smile on his face. Just three days later, after a whirlwind trip to Vegas—and coming back with the NORA Cup Dirt Rider of the Year title—he was back at Posh, riding and enjoying the woods. Fast forward three months, and Clint was in Puebla, Mexico, this December for a dirt comp. Not to ride in it, but to build the course with Dave King for a little extra income to support his nomadic trails lifestyle. This was completed in record time, after the site was relocated less than five days before the contest. In the time between his trip to PA and Mexico, he was maintaining the jumps, riding, and enjoying the trails life with his friends at East Side—his usual routine at home. It’s pretty obvious why Clint has been a DIG staple for years, and a perfect fit for this list. Clint is the epitome of a true BMX spirit through and through (and a talented one, on so many levels), and you can bet he'll be continuing to represent the trails lifestyle to the fullest in 2016 and beyond.
8. Corey Martinez
Corey Martinez has had a rough year, it's no secret. T-Nez has been plagued by injuries like his bust ACL and broken collarbone, but if there's anyone who's going to keep his head up and give it all he's got it's this guy. Despite those horrible injuries Corey has managed to film two DVD sections ('Still United' and etnies 'Chapters') that seamlessly slots into his epic collection of classic parts and will no doubt be finding a home in a lot of people's standouts when it releases next year. Always at the forefront of progressive street riding and with the right attitude, Corey made our list against all the odds.
9. Dennis Enarson
Dennis Enarson topped our 'DIG 25' list back in issue 97 (remember that crazy 180 whip gap?) and he's making our list again for 2015. We saw some casually mind blowing riding from Dennis this year in his Haro SDV2 frame promo, that wild CEEK Life video, and the recent Nike In Spain trip but that's not all, the dudes even winning contests like the Van Dorian Invitational, Dew Tour Street Style and Munich Mash in his own laid back style. We've said it before about Dennis' style being "wide open" and that's something that seems to be becoming less common these days, but with endless motivation and a positive attitude Dennis looks like he won't be slowing down any time soon.
10. Devon Smillie
When Devon Smillie drops a video his name commands as much attention as anyone out there these days. There is no denying that Devon is right there at the forefront of technical street progression, continually setting the bar higher. Whether he's knocking out another top notch street edit, filming a warehouse project in the UK, or competing with the best at Simple Session Devon's skill translates to success.
11. Chris Childs
Tuning it up to 11 like the difficulty factor on many of his steep and awkward roof lines, we have Massachusetts' Chris Childs. The reason we've got Chris in our list is pretty simple - he's a loose cannon and loves every minute of it. Riding everything at all times, Chris exudes a passion and joy for bike riding that is downright infectious. You may not see as much of him as some of these other guys but you sure won't be forgetting it when you do!
12. DeMarcus Paul
Finishing off our top twelve is a rider whose presence in BMX has exploded in 2015. Flying under the radar for many years DeMarcus Paul finally got the nod from a major brand, when Volume picked him up last fall and has proven himself more than deserving with a tireless hustle rivaled by few. DeMarcus sees every opportunity with a refreshing optimism and appreciation, putting his all into project after project and doing it with a huge smile across his face.
HONOURABLE MENTIONS: Dan Lacey, Bruno Hoffmann, Jordan Hango, Courage Adams, Sean Burns, Chase Hawk, Colin Varanyak, Broc Raiford, Jason Watts, and Adam LZ.
Big and Burly
The ones that caught our eyeballs!