It’s been a remarkable decade for the sport of BMX. Since the “Big Air” ramp was introduced to the mainstream at the 2004 X Games, BMX ramp riding has taken on a whole new direction. Over the years, we’ve witnessed Anthony Napolitan landing the world’s first-ever double frontflip, Andy Buckworth following with a first-ever superman double front flip and a no handed double front flip, and more recently, “Special” Greg Powell stunned the world with the first-ever “Special Flip.”
Just when we thought everything was settling down, a 24-year-old New Zealander by the name of Jed Mildon came out of left field and pulled the first-ever BMX triple backflip on May 28 in his hometown of Taupo, New Zealand.
Although it came as a huge surprise to the rest of the BMX world, Mildon had been dreaming, practicing and planning for his world record feat for months. His sponsor -- Unit -- even produced a mini-documentary about the entire process leading up to him landing it.
Video of Mildon’s world-record triple backflip (above) was strategically uploaded to YouTube moments after his jump and as of this posting, it is approaching sevemillion views and is still climbing. Mildon, who works as a welder, became an instant YouTube sensation.
He got so much attention about it that he received an email from Mat Hoffman, who asked him to try out for the X Games. We caught up with Jed to ask him about his life-changing experience with the triple flip and what’s in store for the future.
An Interview with Jed Mildon
First off, congrats on pulling the world’s first-ever triple backflip! Now that you’ve accomplished this monumental feat and have become an Internet sensation overnight, are you going to quit your job as a welder anytime soon?
I handed in my resignation on the 19th of May, the day my mates and I began building the Mega Mega Box at Spa Park Taupo. I really like fabricating and welding, though, it’s really cool to see the finished product.
A triple backflip is a mind-blowing trick to even think about, so what gave you the desire to actually attempt such a gnarly trick like this in the first place?
Well, the Mega Mega Box concept came to me in about March, 2010. We built it in Auckland with no intentions of anything but to get over it. Eight months later in my hometown of Taupo, I managed to persuade Keith Crate of QSM for funding to build the Mega Mega Box at the Cycle Challenge (international cycle race around Lake Taupo).
After double flipping it a couple times, I then knew the jump needed to be much bigger, but this jump was already huge. Six months later we got what we needed! The final Mega Mega Box.
The Guinness Book of World Records was on hand to record you pulling the triple; was that your ultimate goal for doing all this?
Nah, I only got on to that idea five weeks prior. Apparently, it’s like a two-hour form you have to fill out for it, damn! Because of the short notice it cost a bit extra to process it quicker. Lucky for us our local Taupo McDonald’s restaurant liked the idea and sorted out the bill for us!
Your concept and construction for the step-up style ramp you used and named the “Mega Mega Box” seemed to really help you out a lot and gave you a lot of airtime to rotate the triple. Do you think it works well for other tricks too, and would you prefer to see that used at the X Games and other competitions, as opposed to the Big Air-style ramps used now?
X Games MegaRamp to me was designed to go long and fast. The concept of the Mega Boxes is to go up! This in turn creates a point of almost weightlessness at mid-height.
It’s an unreal feeling and opens all the doors for unlocked tricks! All we need now, bros, is to figure out these buttons. Rather than go with the quarter at the end, I want to have three mega boxes in a row with 50 foot, 35 foot and 20 foot gaps. I am working on all dimensions and the logistical side to it in my spare time. We hope to have a date soon!
I reckon it would be the sickest comp having the X Games MegaRamp 70-footer into the biggest possible Mega Step Up. The best part is that they’re both safe jumps. All you need is to be able to hold on while ya mack it on a 20-inch! It will also bring the dirt dogs back into the X Games!
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