Chatting With BMX Star Dennis Enarson About Returning From Injury and the Last LA X Games
Dennis Enarson had big plans coming into the summer of 2013. Photo trips, training and contests, contests, contests. He was doing some of the best riding of his career when a momentary lapse of concentration flung him head-first toward the deep end of the X Games Park course in Foz do Iguacu, Brazil. He escaped with only a broken wrist and a scrape on his chin (and the Bronze Medal), but his next two months were mostly sunk.
He sat out the Barcelona and Munich legs of X Games, but he’s feeling healthy and motivated for the last X Games of the year and the last-ever X Games event in Los Angeles. We caught up with the 22-year-old San Diegan to see how things were going.
It was a bummer that you broke your wrist at X Games Brazil because you were riding so well. Talk us through dealing with injury and how that affects you mentally.
Brazil was the second thing in my summer, it was supposed to be this crazy travel, travel summer from beginning to end, and that was my second trip. I literally flew from the first Nike film trip in Louisiana to Brazil. I was all excited, riding good, loved the course, and just randomly ate shit. It was one of those that I wasn’t expecting. I was riding good all day, felt awesome, but just hung that back wheel a little bit and slammed. Instantly I knew what it was, I didn’t even care about the pain just more mentally bummed out. I knew I was going to be out for a couple months and all this fun stuff I had going on, I was going to be sitting around watching it on TV. Definitely more bummed than hurt. I knew it was going to heal; it was just a broken wrist, no ligaments or no tears or anything. Just something to sit me out in the middle of the summer. Especially after last summer, I had a big injury, so I was just excited to be healthy – didn’t happen.
How were you spending your time while rehabbing from the injury?
Last year I had the broken femur, so this wasn’t that bad. That was shitty; I was just stuck on the couch for a while. With the broken wrist I could still do almost everything; I was skating, hanging with my girlfriend, working on this MARKIT video we’ve been working on for a few years, helping film and helping plan and organize stuff, so it wasn’t too bad, just more a bummer to miss all that fun stuff.
Getting back into riding, do you ease back in or is your thinking, it’s just a wrist, let’s do this?
It’s still pretty sore, just riding a lot of ramps and just getting back into it. It’s definitely not as hard mentally as with my leg where I was off it for so long that it didn’t have all the muscles and everything. Honestly, I feel pretty damn good, besides when I’m landing hard, then it gets pretty sore. Other than that, I can’t complain.
Would you say you’re 100 percent right now heading into X Games Los Angeles?
I wouldn’t say that I’m 100 percent with everything that I’d like to do because I like to ride street and dirt and park, so I’d say with park and dirt I’m about 100 percent, but with street, it’s pretty hard not to land hard, so I’m like 70 percent with that right now. Almost there.
Going into this last X Games in Los Angeles, where’s your head? What goals do you have set for yourself?
Honestly, I’m just excited to be riding with all my friends again who I usually ride with on the road. And I saw the course for X Games, it looks like it kind of suits me, so I was pretty excited. I was watching the one in Barcelona and it looked a little smaller and jibby, but this one has some bigger, high speed-looking stuff so I’m pretty excited for the course and hopefully I can get up there and do as good as I can.
You’re a regular threat to make the podium; who are the other guys you’ll be watching out for?
Chad [Kerley] and Garrett [Reynolds]. My dudes; my buddies from San Diego. They’re the best guys out there, especially with those kind of courses. So those are the guys to look at to be on the podium.
What’s on the schedule after X Games? Still have much left on the calendar to fill out your summer?
Yeah, it’s going to be pretty hectic. I’ve been gone for two weeks, home for a bit, X Games and then straight after that is the Red Bull Dreamline comp which is going to be in New Mexico, and then straight after that is this big team contest that Mongoose is throwing at Woodward East and then right after that is the last trip to finish our video with MARKIT that we’ve been working on. Then after that, we’ll be hustling to get the video together for iTunes and all that and a few other little things here and there. And I’m going to France for a big dirt jump contest too, Pretty much the next two months of my life are going to be on the road, but that’s what I live for, it’s my favorite thing about riding bikes is the travel, so I can’t wait.
What are your thoughts on X Games moving from Los Angeles to Austin?
I think it’s pretty cool. It’s been in LA for eight years, everyone’s pretty used to it there. I think Austin are really going to appreciate it and really love to see all these pros coming into town because Austin has a huge BMX scene already, so I think people are really going to appreciate it. LA has a big BMX scene too, but the local kid can do down the street and see Dakota Roche and Ryan Guettler ride their local parks; Austin has a ton of pros too, but it’s not as crazy as LA, so I think people are going to be really psyched there. And Austin is one of my favorite cities in the world, so I can’t wait.
Check some footage of Dennis putting in some riding in his backyard park in anticipation of X Games LA.