Víta Kácha - The Waiting Game
Two Years In The Making
10 Oct 2017
Interview by Tomas Carda / Photos by Milan Tykal and Nathan Beddows
Víta Kácha has been a part of the Czech BMX scene for many years and even though he went through a couple of serious injuries, he's not slowing-down at all; still pushing boundaries. Vita's riding obviously has its origin from the times when BMX was pure freestyle. Touched by a sense of modern tech game, Vita has a style that stands out from the rest. Over the last year Vita has been filming for his United video, visiting various countries and we can only guess how far would Vita take it if not stopped by yet another injury.
A couple of weeks back you got injured pretty bad while filming for your United edit, what`s your current state?
Yo! Currently I'm recovering after the shoulder surgery. It's been over 6 weeks since I dislocated my collarbone - doing an icepick down the shittiest rail I could have picked. According to the doctors, the collarbone had to be wired back to it's correct position, otherwise it would have felt loose once healed. I was being strongly suggested to take surgery so without further hesitation I went right in. Next week the metal wire will be taken out and finally I should be able to exercise more than I can now. The wire has moved towards the scar and it's basically sticking out, making any kind of movement damn painfull.
BMX and injuries goes side by side whether we want it or not. Over the years of riding you've had a couple of serious ones leading to a long break. How is the way of getting back in the game for you like and what do you do to make it happen?
Injuries are always bad, though I'm trying to remain positive. There's usually some kind of personal error leading to an injury, so I try to learn from my mistakes and it basically helps me grow wiser. From the first moment I keep focusing on getting back riding as soon as possible which gives me enough strength to rehab and exercise. The doctors are always playing a big role too though. For example, I had been injured with my wrist for nearly a year, visiting various different doctors, having injections and stuff. But none of that helped in any way at all, it was not looking good. Then, luckily, I got in contact to one of the best upper limb surgeons in the Czech Republic (Mr. Kebrle) and within couple of weeks of visiting him the pain was gone! All I'm trying to say is that the standard procedures are not always the best and you just need to find the right path.
Two years ago you had a very serious car crash which took you out for long time. What happened exactly? To experience such a situation must have had a big impact on you. Are you a different person since?
This was a life-changing situation for sure. The best title for this tale would be – How a summer fishing trip turned into a horror story.
I'm not gonna tell you the full story cuz it would take ages. What I'm gonna say though is that the decision of driving back home after a whole night of sitting by the water was a seriously huge mistake. I was driving back fine but basically because I experienced a micro-sleep. Literally just a second. Before I knew it this lead to head-on collision with an on-coming car. Thanks god my passenger, Michal Smelko, ended-up “only” with a couple of blue marks and a bruised shoulder. The lady who drove in the other car broke her wrist and her passenger luckily only had a bruised back. I can't even imagine what I'd do if it ended fatally for someone. To deal with the fact that I caused such an accident turned out to be way harder than to deal with my thigh bone being shredded to pieces. I went for an osteosynthesis and after 8 months of full-time recovering I was back on my bike. Big thanks to the doctors, my family, friends and whoever else have helped to get back on my feet!
Let's change the subject to something positive. The impact from the likes of Brian Foster, Van Homan or Corey Martinez is obvious when I see you ride. How much did these legends influence your riding?
Out of all named the biggest influence on my riding had for sure Van Homan and basically the whole criminal mischief video being one of the first I have ever watched. Just the intro itself! Burning bike thrown under the car, fireworks deathmatch, ice pick followed by a car smashing up the rail, jumping over the live band playing rock 'n roll and so on; pure fun! Of course Van's 'Diary of a Madman' part stands out above all and I love it to the bone! Whenever I watch it I get the same feeling as when I first watched it. All hail to Van for this timeless masterpiece and a ton of inspiration. Some other riders I have to mention are Corey Martinez, Brian Foster, Mike Aitken, Josh Harington, Chris Doyle, Davey Watson, Dakota Roche, Sean Burns, Josh Heino, Edwin Delarosa, Tom White and the list goes on and on. First years of riding I spent mostly building dirt jumps and various kinds of wooden obstacles as we did not have a proper skatepark anywhere near me. I had no idea what street riding was back then too, we just called it FREESTYLE BMX and considered it being the best and most fun thing to do in the world. To me it’s still the same.
For the most of your BMX life you have been living in Prague which always hosted some of the best street heavy hitters the Czech scene has ever had. As far as I know the Prague spots have their own personal atmosphere and are definitely not for everyone to fuck with. What can you tell us about the Prague scene?
To me the term “Prague scene” means pretty much just the WDGF RAIDERS family along with a couple of other riders who still goes in full-gas trying to push their limits. It is quite weird that even though Prague is a capital and the biggest city in CR, this so called street scene is way smaller than in some other towns. I feel like it's getting better though. A lot of people moved here. The STREETLIFE CREW chief, Ludis Toth, has called over couple of Slovak homies and there's barely a day you would have a hard time finding a mate to ride with here. There is a huge amount of spots too, I know of loads and I'm sure there's even more, however, as you have mentioned they're not for everyone to fuck with and it takes a while until you get used to that “Prague quality”. Once you stop worrying about the absolute rubbish run-up or bent rusty rails, you will find yourself in a spot paradise with countless of possibilities and places to have fun at.
You have travelled to various interesting places and even lived in the UK for a while. How was life in the UK like and did it have an impact on your riding?
I like to reminisce about my time there and I'm trying to go back whenever there is a chance. I spent a month in Manchester and then year in London. Looking back at things I still consider my time in the UK as the best thing that could have happened to a 19 year old boy who just finished college. Despite the fact London was super busy for me due to my working hours and constant public transport madness, I still never skipped a single Tuesday session at Bay66 skatepark. I met a ton of great riders down there and the level of riding this place has always had was just mind-blowing. Brutal airs, transfers and tricks I have never witnessed before. I'm sure this opened my eyes in a certain way and made me ride way more.
Thanks to projects such as the LOST IN SERIES, you have been to Spain, Portugal, Greece, and more. Where would you like to go next?
My favourite destination is Spain with no doubts and I would like to keep exploring this place up to the point of having visited most of the bigger towns. Pretty much the same with Portugal. I keep dreaming about the land behind the big water though. Whether it's the smooth Cali spots or the raw streets of NYC or Philly, one day I would love to ride some of those famous spots I have seen a thousand times in video parts.
What was it like filming for this video and what do you consider the most scary moment?
I have been filming for this project slightly less than two years with most of the clips being filmed by my Prague homeboys from WDGF RAIDERS crew. I love to ride with these fools the most as they (specially Jakub Juza) always push me to try things I would have never tried otherwise. Thanks fam! The bridge over the river Svratka in Brno! Sometimes I think about it and instantly get goose bumps. It was a pure “cheating death” situation. This was not a regular setup at all. About a 30cm wide and 7 metres tall bridge arch and all I could think of in my damn head was to ride it down from the top. I climbed up holding my bike in my hand, somehow managed to turn around and get the bike in between my legs, set the pedal position, breathed heavily for a bit and then went in. What a feeling to get it done! Unfortunately, even though I did it twice in a row, due to some technical errors the clips were pretty bad - still a win in my book though!
Grinds straight out of the box
Alex D & His Signature ALVX