The Top 20 X Games BMXers of All-Time
The Top 20 X Games BMXers of All-Time
BMX riding at the X Games (and Extreme Games before that) has been happening since the very beginning of the annual competition in 1995. Back then, BMX was a much smaller, more underground sport, with a few select pros and not many competitions happening. Once the X Games was introduced, the likes of Dave Mirra and Ryan Nyquist became household names, and the rest, they say, is history. Now, 25 years in, XGames.com counts down the top 20 X Games BMXers of all-time. Enjoy this walk down memory lane as we also look to the future of BMX riding.
20. Dr. Brian Foster
Brian "The Blue Falcon" Foster is one of the most versatile riders on a BMX bike of all-time. With roots in BMX racing, Foster arrived on the X Games scene to compete at both BMX Dirt and Downhill BMX, earning 5 medals total over 11 X Games appearances (including a gold medal in BMX Dirt in 1998). After moving into the trails scene, Foster also started earning BMX Park invites to X Games and even logged some time in the judging booth before entering into medical school. Now a doctor of physical therapy, Brian Foster may have moved on from the X Games spotlight, but he took his life experience and applied that to his next chapter.
19. Dakota Roche
Arriving on the X Games scene as the first waves of BMX Street riders were staring to get invites, Dakota Roche bridged the gap from burly street to tech and provided new opportunities for himself both at X Games and off the street course. With 14 X Games appearances and 3 total medals, Roche's X Games runs are all or nothing. He continues to find the impossible wallride line on each course he rides, and when Real BMX was introduced in 2016, Dakota Roche was among the first riders to be invited, coming back in 2019 to judge the competition.
18. Chris Doyle
Pittsburgh's Chris Doyle has earned as many fans with his stylish riding as he has with his nice-guy personality, a combo that resulted in the NORA Cup award for Dirt Jumper of the Year in late 2010. A trail rider by trade, he owns five X Games medals in Dirt, the most recent coming in 2015 after a ten-year gap. Motivated by creativity and style rather than learning the latest, craziest trick, he's known for getting every ounce of potential out of every variation he does. Doyle last competed in 2017, and these days, serves as the on-camera talent for BMX competitions at X Games.
17. Simon Tabron
With 21 X Games appearances and 14 medals (6 silver, 8 bronze), Simon Tabron is perhaps most well known for his 2007 BMX Vert first: back-to-back 900s. Since that occurrence, no other BMX Vert rider has replicated Tabron's ability to spin two 900s in a row. Even Tabron has taken a step back from 900s, choosing to focus on high airs, clicked variations and classic '80s vert style. Tabron has been injured since 2018, but there's always a chance he might pop back up on the vert ramp in search of that elusive gold.
16. Dennis McCoy
From the inaugural Extreme Games in 1995 to X Games Minneapolis 2018, Dennis McCoy competed in every event, claiming 25 XG appearances and 7 total medals to his name (including 1 gold in Vert Doubles alongside Dave Mirra in 1998.) During that last appearance at X Games, McCoy also became a viral sensation when he landed a 900 air at age 51 during his BMX Vert run, landing himself on SportsCenter. But McCoy's BMX lineage spans back to pre X Games days, and he is, in fact, the only first generation BMX pro to make the transition to successful X Games appearances. These days, McCoy still attacks the vert ramp and is a respected member of the BMX Hall of Fame.
15. Steve McCann
A top competitor in multiple disciplines throughout his pro career, McCann was once labeled the "triple threat" for his ability to contend in Dirt, Park and Vert. After moving to Woodward Camp, McCann narrowed his focus on Vert and Big Air. The 8-time XG medalist won two consecutive Big Air gold (2011- 2012) and is the only rider besides Mat Hoffman to land a no-handed 900 in Vert competition. McCann last competed in 2015, but still claims 16 appearances and 9 total medals at X Games.
14. Chase Hawk
Born and raised in Austin, Chase has been a gifted BMX rider since age 7. Though he might not throw a triple whip over the box jump, he's long been known as a soulful rider much-admired by peers for his high speed flow and creative line choices. The 2014 XG Park course seemed custom-built for Chase, and he earned his first medal, gold, in his 8th appearance. Prior to his gold-medal winning run in 2014, the Chase Hawk approach to park practice was one of the best shows at X Games. And these days, Hawk's morning sessions at home provide constant Instagram buzz for the BMX scene.
13. Mike Aitken
While Mike Aitken never managed better than a fifth place finish over his six X Games appearances, there is no denying his influence on BMX. Mike Aitken arrived on the BMX scene in his early teens and grabbed the attention of everyone with his ability to twist and tweak everything that much further. A photographer's dream on dirt, Aitken adapted to the streets and hammered out video part after video part of progressive, smooth and insanely high BMX riding. He did it all, better than most could ever imagine, and he brought the 180 over dirt jumps to X Games. Hats off to a true innovator.
12. Daniel Dhers
In the mid '00s, Venezuelan BMXer Daniel Dhers led the next wave of dominant BMX Park riders into X Games territory, storming onto the scene and claiming 5 gold medals and 1 bronze over 15 X Games appearances. Inspired by Dave Mirra to ride, Dhers traveled to the U.S. to live and ride at Woodward Camp, followed by Greenville, N.C. (dubbed 'Pro-Town USA'). Dhers' energy on the Park course was second to none during his gold medal rallies, and his ability to trick everything in his way showed just how adaptable he was. These days, Dhers runs an action sports skatepark in North Carolina and still rides everything in his path.
11. Dennis Enarson
One of the best all-around BMX riders of the new millennium, Enarson is a multifaceted threat in Dirt, Park and Street (and the Real BMX video competition series.) He has earned X Games invitations in each discipline and owns 10 total medals between Park, Street and Real BMX: 1 gold, 6 silver, 3 bronze. Known for being quick to adapt to any course setup, peers love watching his stylish riding and ability to mix fun, flowing lines with big progressive tricks. If the likes of Dave Mirra and Jay Miron paved the way for BMX at X Games, Dennis Enarson is the natural next step in the progression of riding at X Games.
10. Jay Miron
In the early days of the X Games, with Dave Mirra labeled "The Miracle Boy," Jay Miron was the rider consistently knocking at Dave's door for the gold medal. It created a playful rivalry on camera, but there was a very real reason behind the competition: Jay Miron was one of the most progressive BMX riders of all-time, on all terrains. Miron owns 9 X Games medals, with 1 gold medal claimed on BMX Dirt in the inaugural Extreme Games. Like we said, Jay can do it all. Miron now creates his own custom furniture in his adopted hometown of Vancouver, B.C.
9. Chad Kagy
With 15 total X Games medals, including 4 gold, Chad Kagy is a veritable BMX history book of X Games. Kagy has 20 X Games appearance to his name, and is one of the few riders that was able to transcend BMX Dirt and "jump" into BMX Park and Vert. Then, BMX Big Air came along and Chad Kagy became one of the early progenitors of the discipline. He owns 3 Big Air gold medals and 1 in Vert, beating Jamie Bestwick in 2006. Following a heel injury in 2015, Kagy has not returned to competition and now serves as an X Games judge.
8. Scotty Cranmer
One of the most explosive riders in the field, Scotty Cranmer has thrice blocked the X Games Park three-peat attempts of others (Dave Mirra in 2006 and Daniel Dhers in 2009 and 2012) on his way to three gold of his own. In 2013, he was the only XG Park rider to earn two medals in the three events held. After earning bronze in 2015, Cranmer tied Mirra (9) for the most total medals in the discipline. In late 2016, Cranmer suffered a career-ending injury but quickly became the BMX voice of X Games. He also produces his own YouTube content and a video series for X Games dubbed "Xplained."
7. Morgan Wade
With 20 X Games appearances and 9 total medals (including 2 gold), Morgan Wade is an old favorite at X Games. After earning early invites to BMX Park, Wade naturally transitioned to BMX Big Air and still to this date, he's the main rider that makes spectators clutch at their seats with anticipation. Morgan Wade also owns the X Games record for highest air on the quarterpipe (23'11", set at X Games Minneapolis 2018) and wants to go higher. But that's not all: Wade also brought drop-in tricks to the Big Air ramp. Basically, he treats the Big Air ramp like his playground and we're all eager to see what he thinks up next.
6. Ryan Nyquist
With 16 XG medals and 39 XG competition starts, Ryan Nyquist is simply one of the greatest and diversely skilled BMX riders ever. He hasn't won XG gold since doubling up in Park and Dirt in 2003, but he remains relevant on the contest scene. A master of backflip variations, double barspins and truck drivers, Nyquist possesses a rare ability to combine classic style and tricks with modern bangers. As the right hand man of Dave Mirra in the early days of Haro's resurgence, Nyquist helped give birth to a North Carolina park scene that influenced the future of riding for the better. Now, at age 40, no one charges harder than Nyquist.
5. Kevin Robinson
Driven and passionate in every aspect, Kevin Robinson contributed his life to BMX progression before passing away of a stroke at the age of 45. He was the first person to land a double flair, debuting it at X Games 2006; and it took 9 years for anyone else to do it successfully. He owns 10 X Games medals, including 4 gold, and went 27 feet above a quarterpipe in 2008, higher than anyone has gone on a BMX bike. Robinson retired from X Games in 2013, but continued to work as a BMX analyst for X Games until his death. His presence at each X Games is sorely missed, but his influence remains. "Winning wasn't what was important to me -- I loved the stage. I loved progressing and showing off the sport," said Robinson in 2013.
4. Garrett Reynolds
Reynolds is the best BMX street rider ever, and he continues to push progression. His video parts leave people stunned and his contest runs include some of the most difficult tricks ever done in street. He's won 9 of 12 XG BMX Street contests held and is podium perfect in the discipline (also owns 2 silver, 1 bronze). He's won the NORA Cup Street Rider of the Year award 7 times (2008-2014), and in 2016 he won the Rider's Choice Rider of the Year Award. Modest and humble, he avoids the spotlight in favor of sharing fun sessions with friends, going on filming missions and riding for his own bike company, Fiend. Reynolds is also making a return to the 2020 Real BMX video competition series.
3. Jamie Bestwick
With 20 total X Games medals (including 14 gold!!!), Jamie Bestwick is the undisputed king of vert at X Games, and his string of accompanying records is nothing short of amazing. Bestwick won 9 straight gold medals at X Games, and is tied with Dave Mirra for most gold medals of any BMX competitor at X. But for all those medals, no one makes vert riding as seamless, smooth and breathtaking as Jamie Bestwick. With a command of airs and tricks in both directions, Jamie Bestwick's riding is one of the rare occasions at X Games where everyone drops everything and just watches in amazement.
2. Mat Hoffman
Not only a BMX rider and innovator, Mat Hoffman is the BMX rider responsible for bringing BMX into the X Games. Just as visionary off the bike as he is on, Hoffman dreamed of BMX competitions on television and brought the idea to ESPN. That was 25 years ago, and he's still going strong as a BMX sport organizer at X Games. But there's also the riding: Hoffman did it all, before the age of 18, and then kept going. With 6 total medals at X Games, he also brought the world's first no-handed 900 to X Games competition. We don't have enough room to mention all that Mat has accomplished though
1. Dave Mirra
With 24 X Games medals over 19 appearances (including 1 bronze from Rally), Dave Mirra was part of the first generation of X Games riders to transcend BMX and become a household name. During his time at X Games, Mirra did it all (except flatland but he can also do that!) and pushed the sport forward in multiple directions. In 2000, Mirra introduced the double backflip to BMX competitions and changed the direction of the sport forever. Now, the seasoned pros of BMX reference Mirra as their starting point. Sadly, Mirra passed away in 2016, but his spirit lives on in the Dave Mirra's BMX Best Park Trick discipline at X.