Every Action sport has hit a lull in their young lives. skateboarding and BMX have both had slumps. Rollerblading has been in one for ten years I think. Now when I say they had Slumps, the general publics interest dwindles. Wether its because progression slows or the courses get stale. I’m not sure but what it also causes is events to get smaller, purses to get smaller. Making there very little incentive to push the limit.
I don’t think progression is necessarily the culprit, maybe courses. What ever the cause FMX had definitely hit a lull. At the demo level I know this has been the slowest year I have seen since the very beginning. At the contest level, the big two both down sized. X Games totally got rid of the standard FMX format opting for Speed and Style, Quarter pipe and an online video contest. Which was all cool but you also have to remember they had 6 events around the world the year before. Another pioneer of FMX RedBull XFighters announced they will only be doing only Madrid next year, maybe. Just when it looked like 2016 was going to be an even bigger slump.
Enter Travis Pastrana and the NitroCircus. They will be holding “The Nitro World Games” in Utah. There will be Qualifiers and all. Something not seen since you could qualify for X Games early 2000s. (Although there was a Qualifier this year for step up and best whip for X.) There will be East coast qualifiers at Pastrana’s house “Pastranaland” and west coast qualifiers at Woodward West. I for one am excited! Not only will anyone have a chance to qualify. Lets face it FMX is a who you know type of sport, very few people come out of obscurity to ride big events right off the bat. its usually many years of working your way up the event ladder.
I’m also excited because there is no better person to oversee the next step in actionsports contests. Not only has TP ridden and won everything, he is submerged in progression! I was around for the filming and premier of the very first nitro circus. It seriously was just Travis in his backyard convincing people to try stuff and he would film it. It was everyday at that house, Travis just loves to see progression. Well carnage is a close second on his list. The final reason I’m super excited to see TP head this up is (of course they want to make money but) Travis’s heart is really in the right place. All of that footage you see of him being happy, helping people learn and throwing around the thumbs up like his hand is stuck like that. That really is Travis, no attitude, happy to help anyone who is willing to work for it. A couple months ago I remember having a conversation with someone and I told them “I see most of the progression in FMX coming from Travis’ crew over the next couple years” simply because the facility’s he has access to and mostly the atmosphere of having all those similar minded athletes together is the ultimate breeding grounds for progression. Hopefully this contest will just be an extension of that.
Clint Esposito 12/9/15