Just about everyone rides bikes in some form, but a select few take it to the next level. When Kriss Kyle was 14, he took his brother’s tattoo gun and carved the word “BMX” into his left arm, and the rest is history. From living in a world famous skate park, to traveling to various countries competing and making vids as a pro-BMX star, Kriss Kyle has turned his riding skills into a successful career. Documenting his numerous travels with meaningful tattoos, the centerpiece of Kriss’s collection is a beastly lion permanently engraved on the center of his chest. It’s with this high-level of boldness and energy that Kriss pounds out his tricks, and he has the awesome vids and loyal fans to prove it.
Difference between BMX and Road Bikes
Unlike cycling or other racing events, bicycle motocross (BMX) is a deeply creative sport featuring a wide-array of impressive tricks. The bikes are noticeably lighter and smaller than the average adult bike, and steel pegs are typically added to the rear axle of street bikes to enable grinds and other tricks. Of the five styles of BMX bikes, Kriss Kyle uses park and street, both of which are optimal for big jumps, grinds, and flips. Anyone new to BMX will find the videos fast-paced with daring stunts and occasional huge wipeouts.
Kriss Kyle grew up in Stranraer, a city in the Southwestern most part of Scotland. Following the lead of his big bro, Kriss Kyle has been practicing on bikes since age ten. Inspired by seeing his brother and friends having a blast at the local skate park, Kriss got early experience grinding on rails, jumping off ramps, and throwing advanced tricks. At 16 years old, Kriss won his first major tournament, the Transgression Skatepark Jam. Soon after, he’d achieve every teenager’s dream by moving in to one of the most well known skateparks in Europe.
Lived in Unit 23 Skatepark
Unit 23 is the largest indoor skatepark in all of the UK and winner of numerous awards. When BMX champion, Kriss Kyle, was invited to move into Unit 23 Skatepark, he knew it was the opportunity of a lifetime. Already a tournament champion, now Kriss was able to train with his friends all day in his very own, top-quality skatepark. Having filmed many videos that display his mastery of the obstacles at Unit 23, it’s clear that living at the skatepark has enabled Kriss to boost his BMX skills to new heights.
Immortalized in Ink
Upon meeting Scottish BMX star, Kriss Kyle, it’s impossible to ignore the many unique tattoos that adorn most of his body. Kriss has explained in interviews that most of them document his travels and successes, while others hold personal significance. For instance, the large lion inked into his chest resonates with his sense of power, while an acid face on his hand is an homage to BSD, one of his most loyal and prized sponsors.
Always one to try a different approach, Kriss Kyle collaborated with set designer, Ben Scott, to create a surreal course unlike anything else out there. Featuring moving ramps, a 40-foot wall, and numerous other cleverly designed obstacles, the Kaleidoscope course is like riding your bike through a Salvador Dali painting. As you’ll see in the hit video, Kaleidoscope: See Things Differently, Kriss made the most of these new obstacles, hopping from step-to-step to descend the wall, and riding in circles down the man-made drain. Sticking around for the end of the vid will reveal a lot of the work that went into riding the course, as Kriss is seen narrowly missing some tricks and enduring a few painful wipeouts.
The concept of the passenger is one that resonates with Kriss Kyle. As someone who travels throughout the world filming epic BMX videos for his fans and sponsors, Kriss has explained in interviews how he always feels like the passenger, sitting shotgun as he rides to his next unique location. When Kriss got the opportunity to have his own custom bike frame from BSD, it was only natural that it be called, The Passenger. It’s no surprise that the monumental accomplishment of earning his own signature bike frame led Kriss Kyle to record the event permanently on his arm via another sweet tattoo.
Live the Dream
If you’ve not guessed it already, Kriss Kyle is very much a live life to the fullest kind of guy. His tattoo that states, “LTD” serves as a constant reminder to live the dream at every opportunity. This approach is what drives Kyle to get up early, and train his BMX skills until the sun goes down. Not everyone gets to practice their favorite sport for a living, but Kriss Kyle appreciates the fact that he gets to actively live his dream, and has the tattoo to signify it.
“I try to see things differently”
Like most kids, Kriss Kyle grew up riding bikes. Unlike most kids, he quickly excelled at pulling off tricks and winning contests, skills that earned him a lot of success at an early age. When asked to move into a skatepark as a teenager, it was a no-brainer. As a BMX pro, Kriss has become known as an athlete that has an uncanny ability to find new ways to approach a course. This ability to find new and better methods to everything he does has led to a pro-BMX career full of accomplishments that are all his own. From partnering with esteemed designers to create futuristic courses and ride them, to the opportunity to have his name on a signature bike frame, Kriss Kyle’s career path is loaded with one-of-a-kind experiences that would be a dream for any BMX fan. With each of his major adventures immortalized in original tattoos, even Kriss’s own body serves as a testament to his remarkable, high-risk lifestyle. Ultimately, whether he’s leaping from one object to another on a course that was designed for him or playing the role of passenger on the way to his next challenge, the powerful desire to do things his own way has paid off in spades for Kriss Kyle.