Mike Escamilla Speaks on TSOBMX
BMX legend Mike "Rooftop" Escamilla recently teamed up with long-time friend Sal Masekela to release a new interactive mobile app packed full of tips and videos on how to do a plethora of tricks. The School of BMX was officially released on December 20th and we caught up with Rooftop to get some insight on what this app is all about.
Alright, so you've been on your bike quite a while. How did you learn tricks when you were first getting started?
Well, back then you just saw photos in magazines, then worked on tricks until you were lucky enough to get another magazine. A lot of times you would see photos of pros doing stuff and just elaborate on what they did - not knowing you were inventing stuff. A lot of rail tricks I ended up inventing were more due to lack of knowledge than anything else in the early '90s.
At what point do you feel like technology advanced beyond the "How-To" DVD and a need for something like TSO BMX came to exist?
I'm not sure it's advanced past that point, but it just makes sense that the best place to have a how-to is wherever you're riding. This way, you can get on-the-spot help.
How did you get involved with this whole project to begin with?
My long-time friend Sal Masekala rang me and asked if I would be interested. At the time, TSO had just finished the P-Rod skate how-to and a wateboarding one. At first I didn't think much of it, but after meeting the TSO guys and learning more about to the project, I thought it was pretty cool.
What sort of input did you have?
They were very open to whatever I wanted to do. They wanted to get a BMX filmed to shoot the clips and never acted as if they knew more than us about BMX, which was such a breath of fresh air.
How did you decide what tricks to include? You have a pretty distinctive style, but with the exception of the 360 to sprocket to revert, there aren't a whole lot of "Rooftop" tricks in here…
Well, that was actually the hard part. Since this app is actually a platform for more a and more sets of tricks to become available, it seemed right to try and make the basic free version with a set of basic-to-expert tricks. I wanted this to be for kids trying to get a good foundation on riding. Even though I wanted to do a list of tricks I think are more interesting and for more advanced riders, we stuck with this idea to move forward.
There are currently over 30 tricks in the app. Will more be added?
Yes. That is why I decided to start out with basic tricks. The written explanations are free, but you can buy thirty video explanations for 99 cents, which I honestly think is a great deal. Soon we will be adding more trick sets from me and other riders. That's the beauty of this app - we can add "10 tricks from one of your favorite pros" or "behind the scenes from a spot or video part" in the store at any time. You'll be able to pick and choose what you wish to watch. Also, we have the ability to message you directly through the app to let you know what's new. And, since the app is free, you're losing nothing by downloading it and checking it out first.
I think one of the coolest features in the app is how easy it is to share videos of tricks on Facebook. Are we going to see any clips of you on the TSO BMX Face book page?
Yes. When we head out to film the second set of tricks from me, I'm sure we'll be filming stuff for that as well…
When a rider learns all of the tricks on the app, what should their next move be?
Keep learning! Like I mentioned, more sets of tricks by other pros will be available soon.
Unrelated to TSO BMX, what's next for you?
Just been riding tons. Jason Enns and I have been spot searching a lot these days and have found so many cool new spots. I'm gonna start working on a video part and also a split part with an old friend - the dark and mysterious Brian Castillo. That took a bit of convincing, but he seems pumped about it. He's the one dude that people have no idea how good he still is...
To download TSO BMX, hit up the app store!