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As the founding member of Nitro Circus, Travis Pastrana is gearing up for the gang’s upcoming You Got This tour – which promises to be bigger and better than ever before.
Ahead of the new shows, which kick off in November, we caught up with the main man himself to discover just how big the ramps are likely to be this time around, what the riders have in store for audiences and more!
With having such an amazing career personally, where does Nitro Circus becoming an international phenomenon rank amongst your accomplishments?
Travis Pastrana. It’s funny because so many people ask “what’s your biggest accomplishment?” or “what are you most proud of?” and it has to be able to travel around the world, doing what I love to do with my family and my best friends. I’d have to say it’s a pretty rad thing to be able to, still, at 34-years-old be able to do what I’ve loved doing my whole life.
As the fans know, Nitro Circus is just one big family. What individuals or partnerships are you excited to see grow over the tour and going forward?
TP. We’re lucky that a lot of the original guys are still riding, but I have to say Harry Bink on the moto side is pretty much in better shape than anybody right now – he isn’t afraid to take a few hits to learn something new! And this year we’ve really stepped up the ramps to another level, and a lot of the guys around my age are starting to think maybe we’ve gone too far this time! But, then, we aren’t going for perfect form or what’s almost considered gymnastics, and if you would’ve told me 20 years ago we’d be triple-flipping dirt bikes in arenas, I would have said you’re mad! But now we’re here doing it and that’s really special.
With the ramps increasing in size rapidly, it must be difficult to judge the boundaries of the team’s capabilities and maintain safety, how do you manage that?
TP. It’s controlled-chaos – at least, I think that’s what it is! We know we have to hit certain cues and we said that for this tour we wanted to do the biggest stuff possible, but we’ve also had so many crashes and we didn’t want the fans and the parents thinking we’re just being stupid! So while we didn’t necessarily have to dial it down we did have to think more about risk v reward and who’s going to be the one to step up to the plate. But we’re lucky! We have an awesome team of 20 of the world’s best, so someone’s always willing to attempt something that’s never been tried before.
Imagine you’re in a game of FMX P.I.G. What trick are you pulling out of the bag to set? And who would you pick from the tour to attempt the trick?
TP. Great question! The thing is, with my knees and stuff, I’m out of doing so many tricks these days… Saying that, being as tall as I am [Travis is over 6ft], I’d look to use that to my advantage. So I’d probably set a Backflip 360 as I can spin better than the shorter guys because I have more leverage. I’d then have to pick the c*ckiest guy on the tour from the moto side, which is Clinton Moore. He’s always doing more Body Varials and all of those kinds of shenanigans, so I’d do a trick where my height plays in my favour and then sit back and watch him go next!
I’ve counted 16 World Records for Nitro Circus, Are there any records that your eyeing up? And Can we expect to see any those attempted on the tour?
TP. World Records are a difficult one because in every show there’s always something being done that’s never been attempted before, or a variation of something that’s never been tried.
At the end of day, the crowd doesn’t come to see Nitro Circus for gymnastics, they don’t care who points their toes or who lands better. They come to see stuff that they thought was impossible or that’s never been done. That’s why we come every other year, we take a year off and really think about how can we elevate the show so that the tour just keeps getting better and better for the fans. That way, fans of motocross, BMX and skating can all leave having seen something new.
Alongside taking a year out in between tours, what other areas of preparation are crucial to you guys before you head out on the road?
TP. There’s a lot of things you have to get right, both in terms of safety and ensuring it’s still exciting. There’s still a level of danger in what we do, there’s always risks involved, but a lot of the development away from the tours goes into the technology and specifications required to keeping us as safe as possible. On the last tour in Australia we had to go from arena to arena to make the height of the ceilings were capable of taking our stunts – often we were working with arena 54ft tall, and jumping 52, maybe 53ft, so there’s obviously a huge risk involved there.
What’s in store for Nitro Circus over the next few years? Will you be heading into different disciplines of extreme sports or down any other avenues in the future?
TP. You know, a few years ago, I would never have thought that the top rider on the Nitro Circus tour would be a scooter rider. But it’s amazing how far things have progressed and I think the coolest part is that we’re always open for suggestions. As long as you’re pushing the boundaries and want to travel the world, that’s what its all about. In terms of other avenues, I’d like to see some wind tunnels involved and literally fly down from the roofs of arenas… now that would be pretty cool
Nitro Circus goes on tour in the UK from 20 – 24 November 2018, heading to Manchester, Glasgow, Birmingham and London (for two shows at the O2 Arena). Get your tickets now at Ticketmaster.co.uk.