USA’s Kevin Peraza is back in South Africa are ready to defend his Ultimate X title this Saturday, 27th Feb, at GrandWest Casino in Cape Town.
We caught up with the always smiling and super talented BMX rider to get his thoughts on returning to SA and what we can expect from him at Ultimate X 2016.
For more info, athlete lists and to book your tickets for Ultimate X 2016, click here.
What are you looking forward to most about coming back to South Africa and competing in Ultimate X?
Looking forward to the culture and being able to see more of SA this go. Ultimate X will be awesome with a lot more of international riders going this year. Can’t wait for the good times.
Competing for the first time in 2015, how would you compare Ultimate X to other events around the world?
It was awesome, lots of talent and the variety of action sports in one event. It wasn’t stressful at all and super laid back as far as practice and contest times went. The course was well built, and super fun as well.
You have a stack of achievements under your belt, what are some of your highlights of your career?
Yeah, I have been blessed with numerous contest wins but one of my favourites has to be winning an event in Mexico called Dirt Conquers. I hurt myself pretty bad the year before and couldn’t compete so to come back with an open mind the next year and take the win, but most importantly walk away healthy was an incredible moment.
What does the sport of BMX mean to you?
BMX to me means family. I’ve had the opportunity to travel the world and meet people that enjoy the same passion and love to a bike like myself and the rest of the BMX community. It’s a freedom a speech through our riding and that’s what makes it awesome.
You are the defending Ultimate X champ. What are your goals for Ultimate X 2016?
I don’t know [laughs]. I’m always super opened minded with contests and don’t stress over it. Winning is a bonus, but I guess just go out there and have a blast with everyone. Do my best and see how it goes.
What goes through your mind when you’re riding and competing?
I’m always goofing around and just playing around during practice but I try not to stress out or over think it because then I don’t ride comfortably and mess up, I get a little clumsy I guess. But, I definitely get into a mentality of having to actually work harder during my runs and make it happen. Game Time!
Who do you think will be your main competition this year?
I heard Daniel Dhers will be going and so will Alex Coleborn, and some other international riders. It will definitely be tough. They’re all great friends so it will be fun no matter what.
What can fans expect from you and your riding style at Ultimate X?
[Laughs] Just Smiles and good times from me. I guess it all depends on how I’m feeling during the event or that day.
Being a park event, what are some of the bigger tricks we can expect to see from you?
I don’t know to be honest. We have to ride the course first to see how we feel and what were able to do. I’ll definitely be going to Fakie and doing big 3 Tables or Superman Seatgrabs all day. I’m not sure.
What style of course suits you best and what features are your favourite to ride?
I can enjoy pretty much any setup, from box jumps, spines, vert walls, quarters, fun boxes, hips, rails, ledges [laughs] you name it. Even a curb is fun. But I love messing around on fun boxes and doing funny little lines. That’s always different.
What will another win at Ultimate X mean to you?
It would be awesome to win again, just means all that hard work in riding and enjoying BMX has paid off.
Any words for your fans that will be out supporting?
Yeah, thanks for all the mad support and all the motivation. It’s helped me push myself to do what I can do now. So thank you and hope everyone enjoys Ultimate X!
Photos by Alex Bivol, Shay Williams and Ryan Fudger.