|Date: january 1989.
Place: Irvine California.
Organisation: Ron Wilkerson
|Mat Hoffman, The Ride of my Life, 2002: I turned seventeen years old in January of 1989 and decided to usher the new year in by turning pro. It was at the biggest King of Vert contest to date, held in an arena in Irvine, California. There were commercials on the radio leading up to the comp, and ads on MTV. It was sponsored by Vision Street Wear, a powerhouse force in freestyle at the time. The Vision skateboard company was the first action sports brand in the eighties to really break into the mainstream, and they wanted to own a piece of bike riding. Blaring STREET WEAR logos were wrapped around the trunks and backs of half the riders in the sport like a giant rash. The event resembled a rock concert, complete with Intellibeam lighting system, fog machines, jumbo TV screens, a monster ramp, and about five thousand superfans foaming at the mouth in the stands. I started the evening by entering in the amateur class. I won. The hardest part was saving some of myself for what was still to come Immediately after the amateur competition they ran the pros. The rules didn't prohibit it, so I resigned my amateur status and signed up for both the pro class and the highest-air contest.
Feeling anxious, energized, and high on my decision to leave the am ranks behind, I rolled in for my first run as a pro. Nothing had changed, but then again, everything was different. This was the big boys class, and from now on at contests I would be riding with (and technically, against) heroes I had grown up watching: Brian Blyther, Ron Wilkerson, Josh White, Mike Dominguez, Craig Campbell. These guys weren't just peers, they were people I'd had postered to my bedroom walls as a kid, remembered having my mind blown seeing old photos of Blyther and Dominguez riding cement skateparks Now it was time to test myself against the standards my idols had set with their style, smoothness, and sick riding.
My first run as a pro, I unleashed everything I had: supermans to barhops, big 540s, a barhop fakie; and I busted out with a new trick I'd just invented. I blasted about five feet out of the halfpipe, removed all my limbs from bike contact, then grabbed back ahold in time to reenter the ramp backward; I called it a nothing fakie. It updated the famous nothing air that Wilkerson had practically patented when he'd invented them a year earlier. For the finale, I tried (and missed) a double tailwhip. At the end of the contest there was brief break while the judges tallied their scores. The crowd had seemed to be on my side, and I waited for them announce the results, wondering who would come out on top.
They results of the pro finals were announced in reverse order, starting with eighth place. By the time they got to third place (snagged by Joe Johnson), I still hadn't heard my name called. Then they called Brian Blyther's name as the second place winner-his run had been in his typical high-altitude soul storm style, looking effortless as he carved up the ramp like a Thanksgiving bird. Brian had capped off his last run trying a 900, but he didn't have enough spin and came down sideways, which sent him limping off the plywood with a fresh crack in his tibia. Suddenly, my brain did the math, I hadn't heard my name in the pro finals results yet, and if Blyther got second that meant ...
That night at the Irvine KOV I made history. I won the amateur contest, won the pro contest, won the highest-air contest (a little over ten and half feet), and won the 1988 Amateur of the Year series title My first hour as a professional, I'd made $2,200 and won two snowboards. Happy birthday to me.
2-hip B-hip part 8/8.
Krt Schmidt: This is the second 2-Hip video created. It features all the 2-Hip contests held in 1988.