Eleven years of dedication to one wheel size is something to be applauded. Traveling around the world to some of the best spots and sending tricks never seen before. That’s another. But jumping off a 20” BMX, onto a 29er and having the skill to pin those same tricks? That takes some serious balls.
We’ve hooked up with Kriss Kyle, more commonly known for his Kaleidoscope video with Red Bull, to see what he can accomplish for the 2018 season. “I thought he only rode BMX?” – well, that’s predominately what he does, but in his own words, he’s always looking for the next big step.
Weirdly, we actually met Kriss on the set of the new Tomb Raider film where he was a stuntman for Alicia Vikander. Georgia, who works in our MTB department, was dropping off a few bikes for the cast to ride around set, and who does she sit down next to for lunch? You guessed it. None other than the burly Scot himself. “Understandably, it was pretty strange. I didn’t believe why he was there. Firstly – he’s a he. There’s no getting around that, and secondly, he’s covered head-to-toe in tattoos.”
“I used to sit in makeup for three hours every morning to make me look like her,” Kriss un-ashamedly chuckles to himself whilst he sits opposite us drinking his glass of locally brewed Scottish whisky. But no, seriously, after a long, meaningful discussion of how he’s always wanted to try and take mountain biking a bit more seriously, Kriss shot down to our UK HQ in Chessington and had a look round. The rest is history.
What many people seem to forget is the fact that this level of success doesn’t happen overnight. Sponsors from Red Bull, Nike and BSD don’t come easily, and he’s had to sacrifice a lot to be where he is. “There’s also giving back to the community to take into account. You can’t be in the spotlight and become an arrogant dick. I’ve seen riders just ignore kids that come up and ask for their autograph. It’s disrespectful. You’ve gotta remember you were once their age looking up to older guys in the skatepark.”
Watch out for more mountain related goodness from Kriss early next year. “I reckon I could’ve backflipped that into a manual” – if that doesn’t spell a feature-length sequel, nothing does.