Finding out what makes inspired individuals tick is really important to us and is going to be a regular series on our blog here. We believe we’re all so fortunate to have our Instagram, Facebook, YouTube feeds and in reality, our lives filled with so much great visuals that it’s important to know what makes these individuals get up in the morning and do what they do as it’s always going to be so much more than what a simple Instagram profile will ever let us know, these interviews aim to do just that!
Lets Get To It!
Jack Kelly, a name in Australian BMX that I really hope needs no introduction. He is a pro rider for Colony BMX, Verve Footwear Brand and LUX BMX who has put out COUNTLESS video parts that has left not just Australia but the world of BMX in awe of his talents.
While the first time I met JK or saw him ride is a blurry memory, the mind-blowing tricks I’ve witnessed him do since are not - that shit is truly engrained.
You see; JK has attacked BMX like an elite athlete with a dedication and self-belief that only few riders or people in this world will ever experience and I can almost guarantee that as Jack reads this intro, he’ll be shaking his head in disbelief due to his humility and disregard for how crazy his abilities truly are.
Unfortunately Jack’s been broken off since his last trip to the US after an opposite ice went wrong so we thought it’d be a great time to catch-up with the man on his road to recovery and get to share his story and attitude to the world!
All photos throughout this interview courtesy of Cooper Brownlee.
JK, let’s start with the basics, how old are you and where are you from?
I’m 25 years old, from Melbourne, Australia.
As much as I want to avoid this question, it’s necessary, when and how did you get into BMX?
I got into BMX probably around 10 year’s ago now. I used to skateboard but I found out there was a BMX race track not too far from my house and started riding my bike there, doing no footers out of the Berms & it basically progressed from there.
Before we get too into the heavy questions, let’s talk about your riding style, you have a definite modern street style and kill it doing so but put you on a set of trails and the tricks do come out, how would you explain your riding style and which riders influenced you to ride the way you do?
I wouldn't say I have much “style” I don't try to do any ticks a certain way to make them look good, I just enjoy challenging myself with tricks. Trails and park I rode a lot in my early years of riding so even now I’ll ride them whenever I get the chance. I can’t say I get much influence from any other riders style but there’s definitely a group of people who’s riding I look at and admire. I just ride the way I do because that’s what works best for me.
I have considered making the move, but it’s not for me. I could do maybe a year in the US but I also have so many other interests and hobby’s that I fund with my day job that I couldn't if I rode full time.
I’m just going to assume here that while you can ride everything, street is a definite favourite for you, what is it about street riding that keeps you coming back time and time again?
I really like grind tricks and hand rails so naturally street was for me. I’m also a big fan of filming video parts, I like to have something to show for all the injury’s and hard work we put in to find spots and get clips at them
You’re scrolling through your Facebook feed, who are 3 riders whose names you couldn’t ignore if a video popped up that you would have to watch then and there?
This is a tough one because there’s definitely more than 3 people I would stop scrolling for. The most obvious answers are Garrett Reynolds, Dennis Enarson & Nathan Williams
You’re fortunate enough to be a pro rider for Colony BMX but the truth is being a pro in Australia compared to say the US is very different experience to what companies can offer you for a magnitude of reasons; what’s your thoughts surrounding that and have you considered making the move to the US?
I have considered making the move, but it’s not for me. I could do maybe a year in the US but I also have so many other interests and hobby’s that I fund with my day job that I couldn't if I rode full time. I would say the difference between US pro and AUS pro is basically full time and part time. Because BMX is basically situated in California it’s very easy to film, shoot and ride everyday with other pros, filmers & photographers. Here, there’s not as many people who ride, film or shoot full time. people have jobs which means there’s not always someone to ride with, film with etc. so unless you’re constantly traveling to comps and film etc., riding full time is impractical.
I usually just try shit and if I crash that’s expected in this game. I much prefer to just go for something than to think the whole scenario out and psych myself out.
2 words, video parts. These are something you’re renowned for. Over the last 4 years you’ve put out banger, after banger video part, most recently your ending section in FocalPoint’s ‘Alive & Well’ DVD - Do you find it hard to continue to push yourself for videos or are the videos the fuel you actually need to do so?
I always try to do better than my last video. But most of the time I’m never really “filming for a video” it’s just a clip here and there until I have enough to make something and then that’s where the motivation will come from, because I’ll watch those clips and figure out what I think is missing or what I think would make that collection of clips better.
Talking about ‘Alive & Well’ which definitely has a couple clips in there that I feel were either one and done or out for the day type result, which clip(s) had you sweating the most?
I’d have to watch my section to remember what’s in there, but off the top of my head, the kinker crooked grind had me scared because I crashed a double peg pretty hard on it moments before I tried the crooks & hurt my leg pretty bad. The tyre ride was terrifying as I just had to hold on for my life till I was off the end, which took a while. I also bruised my heel the worst I ever have attempting that tyre ride
Every failure is like a lesson to not do it that particular way next time, and I believe that translates to a lot of things.
Alright, let’s talk about your mindset and attitude.
You have a confidence on your bike that has definitely been developed and didn’t happen overnight, can you tell us about how you believe you developed that?
I’m confident with certain things I know I can do and I find it easier to just do something instead of stressing about what might happen if I was to crash or whatever, so I usually just try shit and if I crash that’s expected in this game. I much prefer to just go for something than to think the whole scenario out and psych myself out.
You can definitely take some slams as we’ve seen in your riding over the years but your persistence to get back up and get shit done is second to none. Is there others aspects in your life you feel this kind of attitude has translated well too?
It’s all just me being persistent, especially if I know it can be done I won’t stop until it’s done. I don’t like taking a slam and walking away because then I feel like I slammed for nothing. Every failure is like a lesson to not do it that particular way next time, and I believe that translates to a lot of things.
I never planned to be pro but I had the opportunity and I said yes and that’s like most things, opportunities present themselves...
As we mentioned in the intro, you’ve unfortunately taken another slam to the knee after already spending a decent amount of time out in 2015. By experiencing your 2nd ACL injury - how hard is it to stay fired up to come back stronger after an injury like this? Do you feel yourself getting to an age where you could actually see benefit to slowing down?
Until I actually start riding again it’s going to be hard to say what my motivation will be like to catch up to where I was with my riding. I’ve still got a lot of things I want to do, and a lot of love for riding left. So I don’t see myself slowing down anytime soon. I know it will happen one day but until then I’m in denial haha
I want this question to be all encompassing but someone with your level of success must be a goal-setter in one way, shape or form - What is your process when it comes to goal setting and what are the 3 highest priority goals in your life, be that BMX or other?
Goal setting is something I don’t think I ever actually do, but I know I should. There’s always small goals like save up money to travel here or to buy this. The only BMX style goals I have are clip ideas which I will occasionally write in my phone. Everything else I’ve ever achieved comes pretty naturally. I never planned to be pro but I had the opportunity and I said yes and that’s like most things, opportunities present themselves...
Truly appreciate your time brother but any last words my man as we wrap this up?
I think we covered a lot, so I will say thanks for the interview Jax! Thanks to my sponsors, Colony, Lux & Verve. Thanks to all my friends. Thanks to the people who read this interview, & thank you BMX
Connect With Jack + Some More Goods
Keep up with Jack's riding and recovery on Instagram @Killjack and be sure to check out his latest video that was filmed in Cali within the 2 weeks pre-ACL injury below, his Focalpoint 'Alive & Well' Section and some more awesome photos all courtesy of Cooper Brownlee.