BMX freestyle is something we really enjoy posting about and along the way, we have managed to get to know a few of South Africa’s best riders. We caught up with the Durban based Stuart Loudon recently, this is what he had to say:
MA: Tell us about your journey to where you are today, a little bit of background on how you began riding BMX?
I started off just cruising around the neighbourhood with friends building jumps over driveways, in our back garden and in our friends yards,pretty much wherever we could get a bit of airtime,we’d be charging at stuff haha, and thanks to my Dad who is also very passionate about Cycling in general he got my brother and i started in Bmx racing which i think was a major stepping stone in gaining bike control and learning to have the discipline to apply yourself and committing to learning new things on a Bmx. Then during our racing period we had our other everyday ”Freestyle” bikes our dad would take us to Skate parks to session and we slowly started to enjoy riding Skate parks and Dirt Jumps more when we started learning tricks and realized how much freedom we had cruising around a Skate park trying to jump every transfer and box in sight haha. So over time we just stopped racing and put all our time and effort into riding and our dad just accepted it and still supported us because he could see how much fun we were having and how fast we were progressing.We were allways at every event thanks to our Dad and would compete in anything that came up.He would literally drive us across the country just for a weekend so that was awesome ! We rode Riot Jams , Rand Show events , Fox Pro\Ams and a whole bunch of others which played a huge role in getting us motivated to get better and onday be Pro’s like our local heroes :Tyrone Bradley,Greg and Brad Illingworth,Buddy Chellan,Jimmy Reynolds,Matt Mcleod etc. and today…i am still here , still loving it just as much if not more so all is good 🙂
MA: What has influenced you over the years to keep pushing and progressing?
The Unleash The Fury ( UTF ) video’s since day one we watched the very first one like our lives depended on it haha , I managed to get a clip in the second one ( UTF 2 ) which i was so amped on haha.Event’s like Riot Jams and Fox Pro/Ams were around to keep us stoked and wanting to achieve something. Being sponsored by Mongoose at the age of 13 definately made me want to just keep pushing and see where i could take BMX..there weren’t alot of Am riders at all when i was a kid so i would often just be riding with the Pro’s doing the best i could which i think definately helped me push towards riding at a higher level and put things in perspective that there may allways be someone doing bigger\better tricks than you, but,it’s not about being the best, it’s about pushing yourself as a rider,doing your thing,having the most fun you possibly can and maybe suprising yourself by doing something you never knew you could.Guys visiting from the US like Chase Hawk and Mike Aitken made me wonder how people could get so good on a bike. Nowaday’s i just watch a lot of edits,film regularly to keep myself thinking on what i can do next and basically just keep upping my game with fresh new lines that make me even more stoked on riding. i try and learn something new everytime i session, I’m not fully happy unless i have progressed at something during a session..
MA: What type of rider would you consider yourself as?
I love riding everything so i would probably consider myself an all round rider, i don’t see the point of excluding yourself from a part of BMX just because you haven’t done it before or you’re scared to fall..in my opinion riding a mint set of trails is the best feeling on earth,although i might be considered a ”Street Rider”, i don’t think anything feels better than doing big 360’s and kickouts on smooth sizey jumps.a lot of people are too quick to say “ah i don’t like this,i don’t like that” when really they cannot have a valid opinion if they have not tried it before,bottom line is, You will never know until you try.
MA: What has you most excited about our local riders and how the sport is progressing to heights never seen before in South Africa?
I get amped seeing riders filming edits and bringing their own flavour to the scene and not just hucking tricks they’ve seen someone else do, because for me it’s about being yourself and riding the way you want to ride not just going for broke and trying to kill yourself on tricks far beyond your skill level. So its nice to see some solid progression and individuality coming out of the country.
MA: You were recently down in Gauteng on a little road trip, what were your best parts of the trip?
Riding the Alex Park a few times was definately a big highlight,i had allways seen photo’s of it before and i would get upset like ” why haven’t we been there before ! ” so that was cool , and basically just hanging out with the crew at Rico’s place,laughing until i was crying and had a sore stomach every night..Goodtimes 🙂
MA: Your level of riding has improved in a big way of late, when are you making a trip abroad so that you can been seen and be able to compete at that higher level?
Hopefully sometime soon.
MA: You have been in the scene for many years, is there anyone that you wish to thank for what you have achieved thus far?
Definately , Most importantly my Dad and then Mongoose for being there from the very beginning and allowing me to ride BMX professionally, Hank at Bmx Direct for all the help over the last 8 years , The illingworth brothers for letting me sleep on their couch for weeks while on JHB trips and just being all round awesome dudes,My brother Colin for doing all the camera and editing work and making me look good. DC shoes, Skullcandy and Unit for all the support.
MA: Where can people follow you ?
MA: Lastly, if you could have a sesh with any 3 riders in the world, who would they be?
It depends what we’d be sessioning but off the top of my head it would have to be.. Dennis enarson,Garret reynolds and Chad kerley.
Take a look at the EPIC Mongoose edit Stu did a few months ago…this will show you that this cat is on his way to becoming on of the best SA riders. This edit was filmed by his brother, Colin Loudon… ENJOY!!!