USA’s Jimmy Hill has been in South Africa for the last few weeks riding in various shows and checking out the local scene. We caught up with the Freestyle Motocross rider to chat about his trip and his riding career and the future of FMX.
Jimmy also landed the first Mini-Flip on SA soil last week, which we have right here for you to check out.
Full name: Jimmy Hill
Hometown: Lake Isabella, CA
Years riding: 22
Favourite trick: Mini-Flips and wheelies
Machine of choice: Anything Yamaha
Sponsors: SVGE, See See Motorcycles, Smoking Seagulls, Jungle Rush FMX, Yamaha South Africa and Tedesco Photo.
Give us a background on your riding career?
I got into riding through my family. My dad grew up racing flat track in the 80’s and my grandpa Hill was racing back in the 60’s. So, it was automatic and when I was old enough to walk, my dad had me riding bikes. I got into FMX mainly because of the Crusty Demons videos. Eventually my cousin, Tim took me under his wing and showed me the route to be an FMX rider.
What attracts you to the sport of FMX?
Traveling, being able to express yourself on a dirt bike, and the chicks.
What have been some of the highlights of you career?
2nd place at AFMXA in 2009. Learning to backflip in 2010. Rode for the Metal Mulisha for 3 years. My main focus over the last few years has been on freeriding.
How would you best explain your riding style?
What goes through your mind when you’re out riding, jumping and doing tricks?
Not thinking much. Just at peace. Focused on what’s in front of me.
What one trick took you a while to learn and what tricks are you busy working on?
The backflip took awhile to master. I’m busy right now getting the balls up to try flairs.
In your opinion, who are some of the best riders in the world?
I don’t know, that’s a hard one… Clinton Moore, McGnarly, Harry Bink, Josh Hill, Tom pages, Arik Swan. These guys all have incredible skill on two wheels.
Rumour has it that X-Fighters has been downscaled to just one event this year. What are your thoughts on that and how do you think it will affect FMX?
You’re going to see the rebirth of FMX contests. It’s not going to be about a corporate fuelled contest series. It’s going to be a different approach by the riders. Some type of contests through viral content and social media.
What do you think riders themselves can do to grow the sport worldwide?
Focus more on the sport and less on their Instagram and how clean their bikes look [laughs].
What advise would you give to up and coming riders?
To learn bike skills first. Riding tracks and any type of rough terrain helps a lot. Also ride as much as you can, even if it’s a pit bike or bicycle. Just ride.
You have been in South Africa for a few weeks now. What do you think of our country so far?
It’s awesome man. I’ve been getting a solid tour.
How did the trip come about?
I’ve been friends with FMX rider, Dallan Goldman for a bit and always talked about visiting SA. He lined up some shows and we made it happen.
What has been one of your best experiences here so far?
Hanging out with the Jungle Rush FMX crew has been rad. These okes are showing me a good time out here. (Dallan Goldman, Scotty Billett, Mike Oyston, Jed Nery and Adam De Comarmond)
What has been one of your craziest experiences here so far?
Riding the streets to freeride in Maraisburg was pretty hectic.
What were your thoughts on Ultimate X in Cape Town that you competed in?
The event was organised well. It reminded me of a smaller version of X Games. It was cool to see all the local talent showing their skills as well.
How much longer are you here for and what plans have you got in place in terms of riding and shows?
I’ll be here for 2 more weeks. I’ll be riding the Cape Argus Sports Show on the 19-21 March in Cape Town with SA FMX riders Dallan Goldman and Nick De Wit. As far as riding goes I’ll just keep it on two wheels and hope to see everyone out there doing the same.