The level of freestyle BMX is growing at a pretty rapid rate of late… well thats my opinion at least. I first got to see how extreme the level of BMX was in SA when i went to watch Ultimate X in Cape Town at the beginning of the year, with so many riders shredding so hard and pushing themselves to crazy levels, without fear of crashing. On that day, I was super impressed with Malcolm Peters, who seemed to do all his tricks with such ease, almost like a video game! We managed to sit down with Malcolm to see what his thoughts are about the local scene, how he got started and what makes him push himself to progress, this is how it went down…
Hey Malcolm, give us a little bit of background on how you got started freestyle BMX?
It all started when my younger brother got a BMX, I ended up playing around on his bike and wanted one as well plus I got really tired of trying to keep up with him and our friends on my skateboard lol. Soon after, I got my first BMX and found out about a local mini ramp in Somerset West, went there, met some other local riders, and have been hooked ever since!
What have been some of your influences and inspirations to keep pushing yourself to progress of the years?
My inspiration itself comes from progressing, and there are a few international riders that influence and get me super pumped and they are Kyle Baldock and Logan Martin, these dude are pushing BMX riding to crazy levels, and I always get super pumped after watching their riding edits.
The level of freestyle BMX in South Africa is really progressing at a rapid pace, what do you consider the reasons for this?
I actually think the opposite, I can’t remember when the last time was when I saw someone do something really crazy, maybe it’s because all the really good guys are underground street riders? My standards are also really high as I tend to watch a lot of crazy overseas BMX edits and I’m always pushing myself at every session. But there is one rider that stands out for me and that is David Rigby, he warms up with huge flipwhips at the trails, he isn’t afraid to go big. I think the lack of progression is because of all the substandard parks around SA, especially in CT, if a proper big skatepark was build, the level of riding would get out of hand! What CT really needs is for fellow rider, Roscoe Siebers, to come and build us a badass skatepark, he knows how to build big obstacles like a boss!
What type of rider do you consider yourself as?
Park rider all the way… but there’s a bit of a problem with that because there are no suitable skateparks in CT to ride, so I mostly ride trails and a tiny bit of street, but I’m usually keen to ride anything that’s big, scary and smooth.
I have seen you in action before and you are definitely one of the best riders in SA, when do we get to see you shredding overseas with the pro’s?
Going overseas to ride would be pretty rad, I’ve been to Poland already and had a really good time, but as we all know with our exchange rate, making trips overseas is very costly, so for now I’m pretty happy just shredding in sunny SA, and I’ll take any opportunities that presents itself.
You have soooo many HUGE tricks in your bag, what is your very favourite trick to do and why?
At the moment it has to be 360 downside whips, they are by far the best feeling trick, and they feel super steezy on big jumps, other than that, corked out 720’s feel pretty potent too.
To date, what has been your best achievement as a rider?
It’s quite hard to think of one particular achievement thus far, I’ve won quite a few big contests, have been in a few magazines (FHM, Popular Mechanics, Blunt, MyCulture Mag, Bicycling Magazine South Africa, and Locally Whipped Mag), been on the cover of a Bible, have been in a few TV commercials, and have picked up some of the coolest sponsors including Salvo Bike Co, Vans, Monster Energy and Drift Action Cameras, and I consider all these to be really awesome achievements.
We featured Eric Palmer last month, with some awesome images of you in his work. How did this perfect “artistic collaboration” form?
The first time I met Eric Palmer was when Eric and another photographer, Sam Clark, rocked up at the trails during a session we were having, I just remember two sketchy dudes with cameras taking pictures of us riding haha, but Eric was super keen to shoot pics so I would call him whenever we were going to session the trails to take pics, and so the epicness began.
Do you listen to jams while you ride?? If so, what are you top 3 tunes at the moment?
I don’t usually ride with earphones as I find they just fall out the whole time and I find that super irritating, but I do listen to music all the time when I’m off my bike, and my music taste changes very often. I listen to everything from hard rock, hiphop, indie rock to dubstep, pretty much anything that is catchy and gets you super amped to ride! I’ve been listening to quite a bit of Linkin Park lately.
Being involved in the game for many years, is there any specific people you would like to thank for where you are today?
First of all a huge thank you to my parents for being my first sponsors, they got me my first bike and took me to all the spots and events.
Next a huge shout out to all my sponsors, Monster Energy, Salvo Bike Co, Vans, and Drift Action Cams, for keeping me energised and fresh when I ride.
Where would you like to be in 5 years, regarding freestyle BMX?
Hopefully still progressing on the reg, and riding hard!
Where can people follow you?
Like my facebook page for some cool BMX treats:
And follow me on the twitters-sphere:
Or get picturised with me on instagram:
Lastly, if you could sesh with any 3 riders in the world, who would that be with?
It would have to be these badboys:
Kyle Baldock (aus)
Logan Martin (aus)
Harry Main (uk)
This would be one epic progression session for sure.
Malcolm Peters Bike Check:
Frame: Salvo MP Frame
Bars: Eclat Ashley Charles sign.
Forks: Primo Kamakazi v3
Stem: Fly Bikes Alta stem
Grips: Primo New Logo Grips
Pedals: Welgo pc
Cranks: Fit Indent
Front wheel: Primo N4FL v2 hub, Alienation single wall rim, Giant team tire – 2.10
Rear wheel: Primo Remix cassette hub, Eclat rim, Revenge Ind. tire – 1.95
Brakes: Odyssey Monolever Medium brake lever, Fly brakes, Snafu gyro setup.
-Photography and Videography by Eric Palmer