by Peter Davies (Travis Pastrana image: Redbull Content pool)
The Scottish rider combines his incredible bike handling skills and imagination to create some of the most breathtaking videos. He gave up his job as a mechanic to follow his dream to become a professional bike rider and is now a YouTube sensation. One video called ‘Industrial Revolutions’, with a Ben Howard backing track, has had nearly 10 million views. Type this guy into Google and you’ll find clip-after-clip of him riding incredible landscapes and trails. Some of the balancing acts he attempts give me sweaty palms just watching!
There couldn’t be an extreme sport icon round-up without Tony Hawk! He helped put skateboarding on the map throughout his career and still has a successful video game series to go with it. Whether it was the X Games or an appearance on Jackass the American skateboarder would put his all into every trick. The ‘Birdman’ won an impressive seven X games golds and has his own foundation that helps build skateparks around the U.S to help underprivileged young people. Still love a good game of Pro Skater Three when I get the time!
Vonn is the queen of snow when it comes to alpine skiing. She’s most successful female World Cup skier of all time winning 76 races across all disciplines. On top of that, she has one Olympic gold and two World championship titles.Vonn has been dominating the circuit for many years and at one stage she applied to race in the men’s downhill, because she was so far ahead of her competitors, but it was later rejected by the world governing body. All this has happened despite injuries and her personal life being exposed (once dated Tiger Wood, yikes!).
Pastrana started off as a young rider on the AMA Motorcross circuit picking up two championships in the 125cc category. He is now one the most famous action sport stars in the world. From freestyle motorcross to rally driving the American has no fear when trying to push himself to pull of huge stunts. His most famous moment would have to be back in 2006 when he was the first person to land a double back-flip at the X Games. He’s now part of the Nitro Circus team that showcases their death-defying tricks across the world.
Probably the world’s most famous surfer right now! Alana Blanchard has raised the profile of women surfing dramatically and has had her fair share of championships to go along with it. The 26-year-old models and designs swimwear for her main sponsor Ripcurl. She has 1.6million followers on Instagram which consists of the most beautiful views where she trains to surf or models her new range of swimwear. One day the Scribblers will have that sort of following on Instagram but I’m not sure if we’ll have our own swimwear!
One of the legends of the X games, Dave Mirra pushed the limits of BMX vert. He was the BMX equivalent of Tony Hawks with his own video games and products. After his retirement he tried his hand at rallycross and triathlon. For a long time he held the record for the most X games medals until Brazilian skateboarder Bob Burnquist eventually passed his total in 2013. Sadly Mirra died on February 2016 but his legacy certainly lives on in the BMX and action sport community.