INTERVIEW: MIKE “ROOFTOP” ESCAMILLA

Paul Luna pic

Paul Luna pic

In general, what is your outlook on BMX these days?

Hmm that’s a loaded question kinda, if we are talking about personally it”s great, 85 percent of the time I don’t feel like I need to prove anything and also don’t feel like others are looking for me to. So I can just ride and have fun. There are still days where I wish I was able to ride everyday to feel more confident on my bike.

If we are talking about the state of the industry, well that’s a different question. There are things in BMX that I feel are at an all time high and also things that I feel are at an all time low. Things go up and down. I just feel like right now the sport doesn’t have a dominating brand or industry leader, so kids are left to follow people who honestly don’t know much about bmx in general. Where its been or really where it needs to go and grow to sustain itself and move forward.

What are some examples of things you feel are at an all time high and at an all time low?

I guess it”s really where you stand and how much you have witnessed in BMX to feel that way. One example is riding level is at an all time high, the hardest tricks ever being done are happening right now, yet I feel like creativity is at a all time low. I feel like being a pro street rider consists of like doing 6 to 8 tricks and the same goes with park riders. Ever notice 80 percent of contest runs are like the same 6 to 8 tricks done in a different order by everyone? Same goes for web edits.

Now you could say I”m being negative or talking shit but I”m not. I understand how hard the shit is people are doing, I think I just see so much talent and I wanna see what some of these guys are capable of instead of just waiting for someone else to do it and them following the leader. It”s almost like I have more confidence in where some riders could take their riding then they do. I just wanna see some of this overwhelming talent think out of the box, cause those are the riders who change things and right now we only have a few of them.

Bouncing off your earlier response, do you think its even possible to have a dominating brand or industry leader these days? BMX is well past its formative years and there are many people fighting for a small pie.

I guess “dominating brand or industry leader” was the wrong way to say it. What I mean I think, is I wish BMX got its shit together or some of these riders who are in the position to give back for the better of the industry would. One example is it would be nice if BMX would ban together for the greater good of the sport for contests. There”s a reason we have to ride a street league course at X Games with 50 percent less practice than skateboarders, because the skaters put in the work, stood their ground and made themselves more important than the X Games. Great for them, horrible for BMX. But until we wake up nothing will change, and you can”t blame any contest orginizers either, it takes an industry to make this happen. This is just one of many things.

How would you describe growing up and riding still to this day in Southern California? I know you”re not limited to that area, but it”s home and you must have seen so much come and go. What comes to mind?

Well back then it was like So Cal was one giant street skatepark with so many spots. Nowadays you have to be so secretive about spots, to other riders and even worse photographers showing others your spots. It takes work to find them and I feel like only a small percentage of us still go looking. The rest just wait to ride the same spots to do the same tricks. Web edits are a perfect example of that. I’m always baffled when a “pro” puts out a part and it’s basically the same edit as everything else out there tricks and spots wise. It’s just such an unfamiliar idea to me. If you’re doing the same tricks, then at least go find new spots.

Living in California probably makes the most sense for you, but if you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

Australia, New Zealand or Vancouver. Just cause those place rules. I would feel they all have enough variety of locations to have fun doing more than just bmx.

Based on your travels, is there someplace you have zero interest in revisiting?

Bangladesh, shit fucked up.

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  • Oompa

    Solid guy, smart enough to enjoy life through the diverse opportunities offered but loyal enough to remember his roots. Funny to hear him talk about Morgan on mega when he was the first guy to step up and take it on AND he back flipped a helicopter!!


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