Alistair Whitton has been riding his BMX bike for over a decade now and continues to push BMX riding further every day with tricks like his signature Superman Backflip. Whitton is a very brash and out spoken individual with some insane style when it comes to BMX street or park riding. Growing up in Great Britain has allowed Ali to provide a unique style and twist to the ever-growing BMX community. The following is an interview Ali did with us right before his first run at the Orlando Dew Tour Stop last week.
Oakley: Let’s just start out with your name, how old you are and where you are from?
Ali: Your name, how old you are and where you are from… did I do that right? Oh you want me to tell you where I’m from… okay Alistair Whitton, from Chester, England and I am twenty…(long pause)… ssssss six, I’m twenty-six.
Oakley: When did you get into BMX riding?
Ali: Ah, I think I was about 15 or 16 and just bought a bike off a friend, for like six pounds, real cheap, which is about twelve dollars US. And rode it until it snapped in half one day in the woods.
Oakley: What exactly drew you to the sport of BMX?
Ali: I don’t know I just wanted to jump and be in the air, and a bike seemed the easiest way to do that. And I just started by jumping off curbs and what not, trying to figure it out and I have been doing it ever since.
Oakley: When did you start traveling internationally, outside of England to the US and Australia?
Ali: In 1999 I came out and rode Woodward Camp (Pennsylvania) and right after that I got hooked in 2000 and it just started to snowball effect into the craziest thing. Which are now my job, life, career and everything.
Oakley: What happened to get you hooked up on the Oakley program?
Ali: That was… three, no maybe two or three years ago… it happened through Jay Miron who rode for Oakley… he thought I would be good for Oakley and Oakley would be good for me. So, then I got hooked up through Scurto (Oakley Sports Marketing Manager for BMX). And it’s been amazing ever since.
Oakley: You were able to set up a pretty cool photo shoot inside Oakley Headquarters, can you tell us about that experience?
Ali: We were on a trip and we stopped by Oakley to check it out… so Scurto’s giving us the tour and we see these huge stairs that go up and down making a “V” shape. I was like wow if these stairs had ramps on them we could jump back and forth on them. Scurto was like you should do it, so I flew back the next week, bought some wood and just started throwing down. It was kind of crazy riding inside a building, but it all worked out.
Oakley: What have you been working on this year?
Ali: Well, this year has been really good to me, I have stayed relatively healthy and been traveling quite a bit. Things seem to be progressing more toward the internet in BMX with short films and such online to promote the sport. So we have been traveling from Philly to Greenville to all over really.
Oakley: How have you progressed this year, have you learned any new tricks or focused on anything in particular?
Ali: Yeah, actually I have… a little while back I was just messing around and basically just added two tricks I like doing all the time together, which are backflips and supermans. I learned it right before Dew Tour, which was kind of handy to have that trick in my bag, and I really like doing it.
Oakley: As BMX becomes a more recognized sport and available to the mainstream audience through Dew Tour and the X Games, where do you see your sport developing?
Ali: Yeah, BMX is blowing up right now, really stoked on it. The contests are really great to get people hopefully really pumped on the it… but at the same time contests are just something you are doing one weekend, where people are telling you when to drop in, how long to ride… where as when you ride with your friends you listen to your own music and do your own tricks wherever you want. So, yeah I think contests are good for the sport, but I hope people out there that are stoked on BMX choose to go out shred with their friends and do their own thing, shoot photos and such.
Oakley: You have been able to travel a lot of amazing places, tell us about one place that really stands out to you?
Ali: Uh, Japan was definitely the gnarliest trip we did and we went over their to work with another sponsor of mine and when you get over there you feel you like you are on another planet. Like nothing is identical, you can travel through America and you can pick apart and see things that are similar, but Japan is off this planet, everything is different, the place looks different… right there I was like where am I and then I was like yeah I am riding my BMX bike. It trips me out and can be very overwhelming at times. I cannot believe riding a bike has allowed me to go to all these places and experiences… it’s really insane.
Oakley: Tell us about your relationship with the Oakley brand?
Ali: I just think Oakley goes above and beyond, it’s not just a t-shirt, and it is the lightest most breathable t-shirt with style. The jeans so have so much effort put into them. The sunglasses are not just a frame and some lenses, it’s really going to protect your eyes. And all this technology and effort they put into it makes you think they are not just doing it to do it. They are doing it to make the best and grow, and whoever thought of that first is just brilliant and the way it should be. Because some people are like let’s get into this for the market, where Oakley is in it to be the best. It makes you really appreciate it and that they are putting all this effort into all their products, you hope you can do the same to stoke them out.
Alistair Whitton wears “Frogskins”, do you?