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Feature Friday: Chad Kagy

Although he started out riding dirt and park, Chad Kagy has become a top star in vert in recent years. Coming off an injury Chad is prepared and ready to make 2012 his year.

1. You are a rider in the Nitro Circus Tour. How has being involved in the tour changed how you approach riding?

Chad: The Nitro Circus Live Tour is amazing and so much fun. It’s a tough tour to make it to the end healthy, considering the level of riding that we start with and then every show gets pushed further. There is a different level of entertainment that goes into our riding at these Nitro Circus shows than at competitions. The Nitro shows allow me to work on new tricks with a resi landing that cuts the edge off the level of injury with crashes, and everyone in the show pushes each other to progress constantly. It’s a positive scene and atmosphere to be part of when everyone wants you to pull the new tricks you’re working on since there is not a winner or a loser.

2. The Dew Tour, in conjunction with NBC, have released a new format for the Dew Tour. Rather than being a season long tour, the competition will be a “grand slam” winner take all competition. How will this change the sport? Will we begin to see different winners of the vert contest that you are so well known for?
Chad: The new format change for Dew Tour is interesting since it started as something different than events like X Games by having a five stop tour allowing the best riders to rise to the top consistently and the one hit wonders to fade away as the tour pushes through a season. It’s very hard to compete with events like X Games and Malloof Cup that have very large prize purses and force riders to make a choice between which events they want to ride in. I think Dew Tour is fitting the mold of the other events and as long as they raise the prize money to compete with the other big events they will have a great event with a lot of high profile athletes. Everyone and every business has to evolve and this is the time for Dew Tour to evolve and I’m happy to see them sticking around for a few more years.
The sports are going to stay the same, just a few less events for now. Next year we’ll have a lot more events on the schedule with the expansion of X Games to four summer events. BMX, Skate & FMX will outlast any event in existence right now. Our sport has the ability to have athletes making a living from full time competitions like Dew Tour and X Games which pushes fast progression of tricks but doesn’t control the sport as a whole.
We will for sure see new winners in vert. Last year vert had three stops and we had three different winners so this year having only one event will be interesting. I don’t think we’ll have the same winner as in the past few years, times are changing and rides are tired of seeing the same person on top. This will be the toughest season for vert competition in years.
3. As a member of the Bikes over Baghdad crew, what is the best part about going overseas?
Chad: The best part of Bikes Over Baghdad is being able to say thank you in person to the troops and hear their reaction to our shows. We do backflips over tanks rather than over a box jump and it’s a lot warmer (130 degrees) but it makes the biggest difference in their lives. These troops have told our team, “I’ve been in Iraq for 9 month out of my 15 month tour and this was the first time I forgot I was in the desert”. That makes us realize how important it is for us to keep doing what we’re doing to show support to the troops and boost their morale.
4. The 2012 Season is about to start. What goes into your preparation for the start of the season?
Chad: I’ve done months of therapy and have been riding a lot to get back on my bike as strong as last year. The Asian X Games will be a nice first competition of the year with less stress than the bigger events. Nitro Circus Live Tour is going to be my practice for Mega Ramp this year and I can’t wait to redeem myself after my crash last year.
5. Crashing and injuries are a part of the sport. Has the crash in the X Games 17 affected you adversely or has it driven you to a new level?
Chad: I’m am driven and strong. I’ve been through worse and pulled out of it stronger than before. I’m focused on getting my leg back to full strength and have already been riding a lot. I’ve been to Travis Pastrana’s house to ride the big 40 foot jump with Stevie McCann a few times in the last few weeks to get ready for Nitro and Mega Ramp at X Games. Things are looking good and feeling good on big jumps like the Mega Ramp 2.0 at Woodward.
From everyone here in the T Squared Action Sports family, we wish you continued success in 2012.

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