If you can imagine it, it would seem that this guy can ride it. Scotland’s Kriss Kyle stuns the world of BMX with, in his own words, his hardest trick yet: A helicopter-drop onto the helipad of one of Dubai’s tallest skyscrapers (followed by another massive drop off of that helipad onto the platform below). Witness Kriss getting in amongst it on the streets, waterparks and skyscrapers of Dubai.
Kriss Kyle Exclusive Interview
BIKERUMOR: Kriss, thank you so much for giving us the chance to speak to you about your new edit. First of all, that send out of the helicopter was an absolutely incredible opening. How many shots did you get at that? Did you do it a few times at different heights or did you just go for it?
Kriss Kyle: I had one shot at it above the hotel, but tried a few jumps out of the helicopter on the ground. Our first attempt at the jump actually got canceled because of the weather one day as well, so that was really stressful. It meant I had to go back to bed that night and blooming think about it all night, so that was horrible! A lot of stress came with that one, just with wind, waiting on people filming at the right time. The morning of the jump I wanted to do a couple test jumps in the carpark, I attempted three jumps and my first jumps went terrible. It was just too windy and I didn’t land them. And then my third jump that I did, I landed it and it went all right, and I was just like, “I’m going, lets just go up for it and just get it done.”
BIKERUMOR: Whose idea was the helicopter jump? Was it yours or did someone else put it to you?
Kriss Kyle: It was my idea! When Red Bull and I were discussing a possible video we thought about going to Dubai and recording a normal street video, and I thought fair enough that’ll be brilliant. Then when we’re in Dubai on a recce and they were showing us all these amazing locations, I wondered how far we could push it and what we could get away with. Next thing you know we’re up on a helipad and they’re asking ‘Do you think you can do anything up here?’ and I was like ‘I don’t know, probably not, but I guess I could jump out of a helicopter and land on the roof’. They all kind of laughed it off thinking that would be amazing if you could actually make that happen. Then two weeks after flying home, I got an email saying, it’s on! So I’ve literally spent a whole year sweating that helicopter jump, thinking what have I gotten myself into, as I’m actually scared of heights, they terrify me!
BIKERUMOR: I think everyone reading this will be thinking, “I want to ride down a water slide!” That must have been a tricky one to film. How exactly was it done?
Kriss Kyle: It’s been a dream of mine to ride a waterpark, especially after seeing a few people breaking into Water Parks and filming it on YouTube. To actually get the permission to go in there, have the water turned off, and be able to recce the flumes was absolutely incredible. The Water Park was my idea as well, when we were flying out there I was saying to Matt (Red Bull Athlete Manager) it would be amazing if we could ride the water parks as Dubai is known for its water parks, like they’re the best ones in the world. It was incredible to be able to bless my tyres on that.
BIKERUMOR: What is the hardest trick you’ve ever pulled off?
Kriss Kyle: The heli-jump, it was, absolutely insane! You can see in the video that when the helicopter flies in it is all over the place, it’s kind of wobbling around so I had to tense my arms and try and hold the bike a different way because of the downwash from the helicopter was that bad. I was trying to maneuver the bike round, but for some reason the bike wanted to get sucked away sideways, it was horrible.
BIKERUMOR: What were the biggest challenges of shooting a film in Dubai? Was the heat a problem?
Kriss Kyle: Aside from the high winds that we had whilst we were there, not much to be honest. The best thing is that we actually had security guards with us the whole time, making sure that we were alright and that other people weren’t getting in our way. I really liked it that way, I wish we could do it every time.
BIKERUMOR: You’re one of the most inventive BMX riders out there. Where do you find inspiration for your tricks? Do you ever get any inspiration from other sports?
Kriss Kyle: Like any BMXer, I feel like we’re all actually insane because, you can’t escape your office, like even when you go on holiday or wherever you are you’re constantly walking down the street and looking at grinding a rail or looking at wall riding. Even on holiday, I’ve taken photos of spots. I wonder when I’m 60 years old, if I’m still gonna be doing that?! So, constantly looking for spots and I have ideas in my head for tricks that would be cool to do, dream setups but it’s just finding them and it’s just scouting all around the world, just trying to hit them off one by one.
BIKERUMOR: For those aspiring BMX riders out there, tell us a little about how you got into BMX and what you think helped you developed most as a rider?
Kriss Kyle: I first got into riding through my older brother. My mum and dad used to take me to the skate park and I’d watch my brother ride, him and all his friends. To me it just looked as if they were having so much fun. And then, I wanted to be a part of that. So, for my tenth birthday I begged my mum and dad for a small BMX, a real small one. And then I got it and I couldn’t believe it. And then, I’d go out riding every day with my brother and all his friends, and I was part of his crew. And then, I just loved it, I just got hooked since then. And then, ever since then I just haven’t really lost the feeling that I get from doing it.
BIKERUMOR: When was the last time you ran brakes?
Kriss Kyle: Probably when i was like 14 years old. The main reason being is I could never fix them, I’d snap the brake cables and could never put a new one back on because I had no idea what I’m doing. So i just decided to rip the brakes off and have ridden with it like that right up until the Dubai video. When I put them on it felt so weird, but I needed it for the heli-jump as if I landed off the side of it I could’ve broken my legs or died. Also I needed it for the water parks as the speed you get down those flumes is absolutely insane, it was close to 100mph, so I was constantly on the brakes for that one.
BIKERUMOR: It’s been 10 years of riding for BSD, how has your signature frame evolved over the years?
Kriss Kyle: It’s become lighter and stiffer. I’m sure there is also a lot of other technical aspects that have improved it, but for me I like the message behind it now. For me the meaning of the BSD Freedom is that you can do anything you want, you can ride anything you want, there’s no rules, there’s no nothing. You can just go where you want, you have the freedom to do it.
BIKERUMOR: What is your favourite riding gear and favourite components right now?
Kriss Kyle: I’ve actually enjoyed having the brakes back on. Might consider putting them on, you know just to switch it up and have a breath of fresh air.
BIKERUMOR: What upcoming components or bike tech are you most excited about?
Kriss Kyle: I don’t know really, I know that the BMX and cycling industry in general is just getting better year on year so there will definitely be something cool and hopefully revolutionary around the corner.
BIKERUMOR: If you could ride BMX in any other city in the world, where would it be? What would be the ultimate urban playground?
Kriss Kyle: I’ve thought about Ride Tokyo, but who knows? I just want to ride everywhere.
BIKERUMOR: What is the next big thing we’re going to see from Kriss Kyle?
Kriss Kyle: Planning more projects and then I’ve got another huge project at the end of this year which will be my biggest one yet and hopefully my new number one video! Basically I just want to push the limits more and more!