Having only been a band for the better part of a year and a half, …
Everyone remembers it. That poor kid sitting at the top of a quarter pipe as the entire skatepark eggs them on to drop in, just to watch them end up breaking their ankle.
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Surprisingly enough, pointing, laughing, and calling someone a ‘pussy’ isn’t the best way to teach a friend tricks any more.
Now you can actually enlist the services of six-time X-Games BMX Gold Medalist Kyle Baldlock, who has recently ventured into teaching youths how to ride.
“Back when I started it was a really dog eat dog environment. It wasn’t easy and most of the time you’d go to the skatepark and you and your friends weren’t the best there so people got a chip on their shoulder.
“That whole culture is what I’m trying to squish, it makes our sport look really bad to the mainstream public.”
Taking over as a founder of ‘Level Up’ indoor skatepark, Baldlock is making an active effort to intertwine to historically competitive worlds of skaters, BMXers and scooter-ers.
“I came up with the name ‘Level Up’ and am now a founder. When I first approached them the company was called ‘Skate All Day’ and I pretty much told them to change the name because it doesn’t make sense for all action sports in Australia. Plus, and I don’t want to say too much about it but…skaters think they are really cool and there are other sports out there.”
He laughs, “I always knew I wanted to be a pro BMX rider but since teaching kids I have actually felt like I am a better mentor than a BMX pro, even though I have gold medals and stuff that means nothing compared to what I’m doing for these kids.”
Touching on what it would have meant to himself having a mentor figure like that as an up and comer he says, “I started riding a little bit later, I wish I started when I was 13. I started when I was about 15, just riding to school. One day I was at Cooma Skatepark and a guy rocked up and saw that I was trying front flips and crashing everyone of them and he must of seen that I was willing to put my body on the line to get to where I wanted to be and he gave me the opportunity to go to America.
I always knew I wanted to be a pro BMX rider but since teaching kids I have actually felt like I am a better mentor than a BMX pro, even though I have gold medals and stuff that means nothing compared to what I’m doing for these kids.
“I went over when I was 18 and kind of let everyone get to me. I was riding with the best in the world; people I’d grown up idolising like Dave Mirra and Matt Hoffman and all these characters that you play in video games. Then my brother passed away when I was 18 and it was right after that I got the opportunity to go again. I went for everything. I didn’t care about who was there with me, or competing against me, I cared about the impact I could have on the crowd and that was my biggest gift.
“Over the years now, I’ve broken 29 bones but it’s not directly for me. The crowd might not know who I am, but I do it for the girls and boys out there so they feel that they can make it.”
Hyping himself back to get into competitive mode, Baldlock will be competing at the inaugural Inverted Festival and couldn’t be more excited.
“Inverted is going to be the most amazing time ever,” he says.
“I don’t really listen to this kind of music and that’s my bad I would say because I am a full Aussie and they are all Australian bands.”
“I am mainly excited to finish riding and just watch these people do what they love. The other thing is it’s a great chance to discover new bands and see my brothers in arms in Australia going out there and putting in the hard yards.”
“Who knows, I might even get a few new songs to add to my playlist.”