The changing faces of BMX Park
In years past, BMX Park at X Games has been ruled by either Daniel Dhers or Scotty Cranmer. This year at X Games, BMX Park has experienced a new wave of BMX pros who are applying steady pressure to the more established riders. These riders, including Daniel Sandoval, Kevin Peraza, Kriss Kyle and Kyle Baldock, are the next generation of X Games BMX Park pros, and they're all returning for X Games Munich at the end of June. Introducing the changing faces of BMX Park.
Sandoval made a name for himself on the international BMX scene, traveling to events all over the world and firing out first-time tricks, such as the double tailwhip 720 and tailwhip to barspin 720. This year, Sandoval placed sixth at X Games Foz, but had difficulty emerging from his first heat at X Games Barcelona. Sandoval will return for X Games Munich.
Sandoval hails from Corona, Calif., and is part of a new breed of emerging BMX Park riders who toe the line between ridiculous box jump riding and technical lip tricks. According to Daniel, "I got into riding by just moving to Corona. There was a local skatepark, and I just rode it every day." Daniel quickly amassed enough skills to get an invite to X Games Los Angeles 2012. "I just fell in love with the sport," he adds. Daniel now rides for Total BMX, Vans, Profile Racing and pedal brand Xpedo.
Hailing from Tucson, Ariz., Peraza was born into a family with BMX in their blood. At 3 years old, he began riding his bike alongside his brother David. He got an early start racing BMX at the age of 5, and by 10, he had transitioned into freestyle events. By 13, Peraza had begun competing at a professional level. Now 19 years old, Peraza recently signed with a new bike sponsor, Mongoose.
Earlier this year, Kevin Peraza blew away the competition at Simple Session Estonia, landing the first 540 opposite double downside whip. A few weeks later, he was on a plane to Brazil, selected as a last-minute alternate for BMX Park at X Games Foz. Peraza didn't get the chance to ride at the competition, but his time is soon to come.
Kriss Kyle hails from Dumbarton, Scotland, where he lives inside the depths of Unit 23 Skatepark. It is here that he has been able to hone his skills as a progressive BMX Park and Street rider. Kyle rides for BSD, Nike, Red Bull, Unit 23 Skatepark and Source BMX Shop in England.
Kyle was selected as a last-minute alternate for BMX Park at X Games Barcelona. He did not get to compete, but was able to impress the crowd during Park practice. Kyle will return to X Games Munich as an alternate, but his time in the spotlight is not far off.
In years past, Kyle Baldock had been invited to compete at X Games Los Angeles, but he always seemed to struggle with adjusting to the courses. This year, Baldock turned heads when he won double gold medals in BMX Park and Dirt at X Games Foz. "I kind of relate it to my early days in BMX -- you don't really care, and you end up doing well because you're just focused on riding and not making excuses because everything's not perfect," says Baldock on his formula for winning double gold medals.
Heading into X Games Foz, Baldock was dealing with the effects of a concussion suffered in March. "During practice, I was really struggling with the park course until the last day. I couldn't do anything, I couldn't physically trick the box, I just wasn't dialing in the course," Baldock said. In Barcelona, Baldock had similar problems adjusting to the course and did not qualify for the finals. He is looking to redeem himself in Munich.