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STREET SAVVY

STREET SAVVY

When it comes to situational awareness, Kriss Kyle fits the bill. Being a pro BMX rider, he epitomizes the attitude of assessing his environment before taking an angle and performing a trick. Being on the street, trenches, or any other low ground metaphor, requires you to learn to trust your own judgment. Coupled with some hard work, elbow grease, and a sturdy bicycle, the pride of Stranraer, Scotland has quickly emerged as one of the leading names in the sport.

            When you land sponsorships from premier companies like Nike and Red Bull, you must be doing something right and like most professional athletes, the aspiration to actually turn pro more often than not starts as a child, as was the case with Kyle. "I first got into BMX through my big brother Leigh. My mum and dad would take me out to the local skatepark to watch my brother ride. It just looked like him and his friends were having so much fun. So, for my tenth birthday, I begged my parents for a little 16' Haro 360 and I haven't looked back since that day."

            He's not kidding. From that day forward he was inspired to become a Shredder, and I'm not talking about Oruku Saki. His professional victories are chalked up at events all over the world. There's his win at the Transgression Skatepark Jam in Edinburgh, his victory at the Nike 6.0/BSD Jam, and competitions at Simple Session in Tallinn, Red Bull Skylines in Paris, Red Bull Metro Pipe in Madrid, and Empire of Dirt in London. Now that's the definition of a Road Warrior to me. Sit down Mel Gibson.

            "I'm 23 now and have been riding for 13 years but I'm still having as much fun now as when I first started. BMX is my life day in and day out. I owe my life to BMX. The places I have been, the stuff that I have done, and the amazing sites I have seen; all this is because of BMX," he goes on to say.

            When I asked him what his favorite trick was he told me doing Flairs. I couldn't help but laugh because the first thing that came to my mind was the Nature Boy styling and profiling in his elaborate gown shouting, "WHOOOO!" We all know that's not what he meant, but in BMX a Flair is an aerial trick where the rider performs a backflip while simultaneously turning 180 degrees. Just writing that gave me vertigo. "I'm always trying to push my limits and boundaries on what is possible on a BMX," Kyle says.

            Aside from traveling around the world and entering showcases, Kriss Kyle says that one of his biggest achievements in his ever evolving career was getting invited to compete at the Xgames. Twice. "It's only the Top Ten BMX riders in the whole world that get the privilege of riding the amazing course and competing against each other. It's pretty breathtaking to be standing on the deck waiting to drop in and you look around and see all of your favorite riders you grew up watching."

            I asked what continued to inspire him as a BMX rider because as you can tell, the passion is still there and is as strong as ever. "I love filming new videos. I just love to learn new stuff and really better myself. There's no better feeling than trying something for hours with blood and sweat dripping off you. Then, you finally land it and get to watch the clip back. Words can't explain the feeling I get. Also, when the video is done, you watch it for the first time with the soundtrack and all the clips together. It's just really rewarding." Now, that's savvy if you ask me.

            What does it mean to be savvy? When you are savvy you are in the know. Someone of clear insight and sound judgment, both of which are especially important when it comes to business, politics, or professional sports. With that knowledge comes a natural sense of style. When it comes to being street savvy Kriss Kyle chooses BMX and when it comes to having style he chooses Noble Timepieces. 

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