When David Wise, a professional freeskier with two Olympic gold medals to his name, decided he wanted to learn how to backflip his mountain bike, he sought out advice from none other than Cam Zink.
I’m not sure whether people who set lofty goals are naturally more successful, or if successful people naturally set lofty goals. Either way I’ve developed an addiction with chasing the impossible. I’ve been competing in halfpipe skiing since I was eleven years old, and skiing since I was three; I can’t remember a time in my life that I wasn’t a skier. With a combination of good fortune, good people supporting me, and perseverance I’ve managed to accomplish more on skis than that young dreamer could have imagined. I’ve won every ski halfpipe competition that exists including 4 XGames Gold medals and two Olympic gold medals. I now live my life in a perpetual state of wondering if this is real. What surprised me more than everything else is that all of the aforementioned successes came after the birth of my daughter Nayeli, not before. I never planned on being a young husband or father, but fatherhood was the role that helped me take myself and my skiing success less seriously. Letting go and enjoying the ride was exactly what my skiing needed and the judges noticed. Now my wife and I have two kids and a lot more hardware in our trophy case.
I also have what some would call an unhealthy belief that I can do anything. That is where this mountain bike backflip project came from.
I started mountain biking late for someone who grew up in Reno, at age 21, but that didn’t mean I started soft. I tend to become obsessive about my hobbies and biking might have been the worst addiction of all. Cramming someone with as much confidence as I have on skis on a mountain bike was definitely a little sketchy at first, I have all the elbow, shin, and knee scars to prove it. No crash convinced me that I couldn’t be as good as I wanted to be on a bike and I’ve always though backflips looked so damn cool on trail bikes/ downhill bikes. I’m lucky to have some great friends who will always be better at biking than me, but are willing to let me tag along Luca Cometti and Cam Zink.
Cam provided the location and the coaching to get me through this. Luca provided the confidence. For someone who has spent so much time riding bikes I was surprised to learn that Luca had never put a backflip to dirt either. Suddenly I wasn’t going to be trying it alone. That was a serious relief. Thanks to Bolle and Lululemon I was able to hire some great people to capture the journey and I can sincerely say that this has been my favorite video project yet.— David Wise