We asked a handful of pros the same question: What is the craziest trick you have ever witnessed firsthand? Rod Darden, Ruben Alcantara, Alistair Whitton, Kevin Kiraly, TJ Ellis, and Ryan Barrett all give their personal accounts. Read on to see what they had to say. Got a crazy trick story of your own? Write it in the comments!

TJ Ellis
The craziest trick I have witnessed firsthand was in November ’08 at the LG BMX Triples event in Cincinnnati, Ohio. During the finals, Zack Warden landed the “iron lotus,” which is a 360 bikeflip and I was in awe. I say it’s the craziest trick because it was the first time he landed it in competition and it looked super wild, so yeah, that’s crazy innovation right there.

TJ Ellis, 360 no-hander at The Compound in Perris, California. Photo by Fat.

Rob Darden
I would have to say Josh Harrington doing a cannon ball off a roof over a fence into a bank. It was his banger for “End Search.” He crashed a few times before pulling it and I thought there is no way he is getting up from that. Before I knew it, he was up there again ready to get it done. Shit was out of hand!


Alistair Whitton

I think it was Ryan Nyquist’s 360 double barspin of the hire truck into the ravine. That wasn’t really a trick—more of a stunt…


Kevin Kiraly

I have two… First one was when I saw Danny Hickerson downside ice stall a vert wall at Woodward West—first try, just chillin’. And when I say stall, I mean it! Like almost two or three seconds. No one stalls that trick, so it was extra crazy. I screamed!

Second was while Garrett Reynolds and I were cruising around Ohio after one of the Dew Tour stops and we got to an 8 or 9 stair with an out rail… Well, long story short, I filmed his 180 to backwards grind onto the rail to 180 barspin out, off the end of the rail and down the set. It was crazy! The drop was probably like a 14 stair. (Sorry Gar, I had to spoil it.)

Kevin Kiraly, truck off a loading dock in Portland, Oregon. Photo by Fat.

Ruben Alcantara
Well, definitely it was the first time that I saw Dave Osato ride… It was in 1997. It was at the Worlds in Holland. I think it was a mistake, but they made the mini ramp wrong for the event because it was eight feet tall with an eight-foot tranny with the respective spine. So imagine, it was huge! And more back then, just to go over the spine was a scary mission, and everyone was straggling. But then Mr. Dave Osato showed up and rode it like you can’t imagine. Still to this day I don’t think that anyone could ride that ramp like he did. He did everything on it super high like he was riding vert. And in one of his biggest carving airs he got a good pump and did this titanic 360 over the spine that I still can’t believe that he pulled…just so hard to put it into words. But that does it for me. Well, Taj’s downside whip over the whole mini ramp to the hip at the Words in 1996 was very crazy too… Man, people do so many crazy things!


Photo from the vert ramp at the 1997 Worlds by Mark Noble found on 23mag.com.


Ryan Barrett

The craziest trick I’ve witnessed was not only the trick, but all the circumstances involved in the make… Taj’s Derby BYJ tailwhip.

Most people reading this may have only seen the Seventies promoted Backyard Jams on Props or in the magazines. Unfortunately you can’t sum up those events in print or video completely. There was an energy in the air that you could feel. The crowd, the riders, the staff…everyone knew that good things would happen anytime Stu and Ian put on those events.

So this particular event was in Derby, England, inside a hockey rink. All of the heavy hitters from around the globe showed up. One of my personal favorites, Taj Mihelich, was no stranger to these contests and was there that weekend. I’ve always been into his unique views on life, art, and his approach to bike riding. It was the latter that brought the entire crowd to their feet screaming at the top of their lungs.

Taj had spotted a huge transfer from the street spine on one side of the course to the “driveway” on the opposite side. Not only did he want to jump the transfer, but he wanted to tailwhip it. But it did not come easy for him. He tried at least three times before pulling it and with each try came a crash. One particular crash split his lip wide-open leaving blood covering his mouth and chin. He slumped off the course to visit the medics only to return minutes later to finish what he started!

No one could believe it! He was bloody and beaten, with almost an impossible feat was still in front of him. The crowd began to call out “Have it!” and this time he would. He did one of his signature downside whips; picture perfect, slow, SO big. The crowd and everyone went nuts. I got goosebumps. Hell, I’m getting them now just typing this out! The battle between bike and body had been overcome and won in Taj’s favor.

I want to thank Stu Dawkins and Ian Morris for hosting the best contests there will ever be, and to Taj who continues to inspire on and off his bike.

Old photo of Ryan Barrett by Steve Buddendeck.