Let’s get this thing started. From what you have told me you basically grew up on a bike and have always had a passion for BMX from a really young age. Can you explain how your roots have shaped you into the person you are today?
Well I was raised in a little town called Suwanee, Georgia. My parents have always had a passion for two wheels, mostly motocross and street bikes. By the time that I was old enough to walk, they had me on a bicycle immediately. I grew up watching all these motocross videos and I would try to mimic what I saw on the screen. I was basically brainwashed in the best way possible.
You are originally from Georgia (US) and if anyone knows you they would realize that even though you no longer live there and your family has since moved away, you still put on for Georgia. What was it like growing up out there and what about it stands out to you?
I would have to say some of the Southern hospitality. There’s a charm to the South East that I haven’t really experienced anywhere else, but I’m starting to find beauty in every place. Oh, and space. I grew up on five acres of land, and having the chance to be able to do whatever you please, that’s a really hard thing to come by in Southern California near the beach.
What was the scene like out there back when you were just a kid doing your thing?
I grew up in the best indoor park ever created (in my opinion), which was Rampage. We had like 20,000 square feet of perfectly made wooden ramps covered in Skatelite. I met so many people through that place. We had the Dave Mirra Super Tour come through, Tony Hawks Gigantic Skatepark Tour, and even got to catch a late night sesh with the dudes on Road Fools 7. Rest in piece Mirra and Winkleman. Because of that skatepark I formed a love for BMX and so did many others. But skateparks just started dying out, so we were forced into the streets, at least until they built five concrete skateparks in about two years. It was beautiful. Shout out to the homies back home that still got love for it, I see you.
Typically when someone is raised away from Southern California they have a different idea of what things might be like compared to reality. That’s not really the case with you since you have actually been coming out west from a young age to visit family. Did that opportunity give you a different perspective on things? And when do you feel like you became an official part of BMX?
I was so young when I would go west to visit my grandparents. I don’t think that I got the full experience until I actually moved out here. I first moved with my girlfriend. We broke up; I got hurt and couldn’t ride for a month. I’ve never felt so lonely in my life. Until one day John Povah called me and asked me to ride for Fly. That was the moment that it clicked and I was like Mama, I made it! I always loved the company growing up. It’s one of the most innovative brands out! After everything I went through no matter how good or bad, I would never take anything back. Everything happens for a reason and it made me a stronger individual to this day.
You are proof that if you have talent, and put yourself in the right position you will get noticed. Although I’m sure you have love for Georgia, it is obvious that making the permanent move to California helped push you and your riding. How much more motivating is it to be in the mix out here compared to being in Georgia?
I don’t think there is any way that I would be where I’m at today if I didn’t leave Georgia. I wish there was a way, but for how small our industry is it seemed like the only option. Once I turned pro with Felt I decided that I’m in this completely. The only way to progress with it is to move to where all the action is, get in peoples faces, and be that cool genuine person that people want to meet. Attitude is everything. I’ve always thought that if you are too negative, things may not always work out how you want.