By Nicola Blacker
Originally an offshoot of motocross, BMX (bicycle motocross) is experiencing a resurgence in popularity in Australia, particularly when it comes to Freestyle BMX.
Freestyle BMX is an extreme sport which involves stunt riding on bikes with an emphasis on creativity, skill and originality.
Despite this rise in popularity, a number of factors have seen some of Australia’s brightest talents move from WA to the east coast and overseas to the United States to pursue their careers.
David Pinelli, a sponsored BMX rider, says Australia’s isolation makes travelling to compete more expensive.
Access to proper facilities is another problem, particularly in Perth, where the only parks available to ride on are concrete skate venues and a few dirt tracks that are not suitable for freestyle riders.
“A lot of tricks you can’t just learn on concrete. You need somewhere else to learn because if you stuff it up on that kind of surface then you’re dead, “ said David Pinelli.
“I moved to Melbourne because there are better facilities, a lot more indoor skate parks with foam pits that make it a lot easier to learn new tricks and progress.”
David said there a few BMX riders in Australia making a full time career out of BMX only because they’re sponsored by big energy drink companies who pay a wage that’s possible to live off.
For most people wanting to pursue BMX professionally, he said their best bet is to win a contest like the X games in America, which competitors have to be invited to participate in.
Despite the difficulties and the danger inherent in such an extreme sport, David is planning to head to America for a few months next year to hone his skills in competition.
“I love it. My favourite thing would definitely be having fun with my mates and hanging out, getting to travel with them and do I what enjoy and get paid to do it,” he said.
For more information on what’s happening in the realm of BMX, head to BMX Australia.
See David Pinelli in action below.