​Broc Raiford’s enthusiasm, motivation, and the fact that he is always smiling is hard to ignore. However, it’s his raw bike control and progressive street riding that have catapulted him into the minds of many of us. Arguably one of the best riders in the game right now, I caught up with Broc to see how his year is shaping up so far.

Where are you right now?

I am currently in Long Beach, CA sitting in my bed and answering these questions after finishing a fun session at the Vans Huntington Beach Skatepark.

You’re fresh off of winning the Vans Street Invitational. How does it feel?

The Vans Street Invitational was such a fun time! It was awesome getting to know and ride with everyone in town. There were positive vibes flowing before, during, and after the event. I was so stoked to walk away with the win, especially after witnessing all of the insane riding that went down that day. Everyone rode so well! We were cheering each other on and having fun. I couldn't have asked for a better contest!

Was that your first big contest win?

This wasn't my first big contest win, but I am still so pumped on how things turned out.

Broc's first place run at the Vans Street Invitational.

Aside from winning the Vans event, you recently walked away with a bronze medal at X Games in Austin. Tell us a little bit about how that experience was for you...

Riding in the X Games is still so surreal to me. This year’s event was only my second one ever. As a kid, I watched the X Games on TV every chance I got and dreamed about being able to compete one day. Being there and riding amongst all the heavy-hitters I look up to was an indescribable feeling, especially considering how legit everything was. The credentials, camera men, and large crowd is a lot to take in while trying to focus on your own riding. I definitely felt the nerves kick in on the day of the contest. Waiting to drop in for my first run, I remember thinking to myself, "You got this. You got this!". The next thing I knew I had a camera man following me around, filming my every move, as I was unknowingly in the lead. Much like this past Vans contest, everyone brought their A game. I was so damn hyped to get bronze after all of the amazing riding that went down.

Are you aiming to make podium finishes at contests or does it just happen?

I approach every contest with the mindset that I'm going to go out there and ride the absolute best that I can. I'm not aiming for the podium, as that brings on so much pressure, but I am aiming for the satisfying feeling that I gave it my best shot and had a great time!

Where have you traveled to since the start of this year?

To kick off the year, I made my way back to Tallinn, Estonia for another awesome time at Simple Session. Then I was off to Miami with the Odyssey dudes, back home to New Orleans, Austin for the X Games, Salt Lake City with the Volume squad, and finally back to Long Beach just in time for the Vans contest! I’m stoked on all of the travel opportunities thus far, and hopefully can keep the ball rolling for the rest of the year. I definitely want to try and make it home to Louisiana again sometime soon, though. I can't get enough of that southern lifestyle! Haha.

What's been your favorite trip so far?

I would definitely have to say the New Orleans and Austin trip. I visited home a few days before heading to Austin to get acclimated to the humidity and heat. Then, my family and I road tripped over to Austin where we hung out at the X Games for the week and weekend. After a fun filled time in Austin, we headed back to Louisiana where I enjoyed some quality time with my family. I even was able to wake skate and ride a little motocross during my visit. I was so stoked on that! With all of those ingredients in the mix, the trip ended up being one of my favorites of the year!

Your Odyssey trip in Miami looked pretty wild. Tons of really good riding went down and you guys dealt with a lot of security issues. My last time there, one of us was arrested. Were there any close calls of handcuffs getting slapped on?

Man, that trip was crazy! Walter, a few others, and myself went a few days early for a little pre-trip vacation. We explored the Florida Keys. It was so sick! We chilled on the beach, ate awesome food, and really experienced the amazing things Miami has to offer. When the rest of the team flew in and we went out riding, that’s when the trouble with security started. On top of our many run-ins with law enforcement, Jacob and Travis got super sick, Tom's bike was stolen, and Walter was almost thrown into the water with his camera in hand. However, despite the curve balls Miami threw at us, the Odyssey team prevailed with lots amazing riding and a great time overall!

Most would put you under the category as a street rider, but you ride a bit of everything. Have you hit up any dirt lately?

I honestly love riding anything and everything. AIl I need is my bike, good friends, a curb, and I could have the best session ever! I haven't rode dirt recently, but it is indeed one of my favorite things to ride. I usually make it out to the F.O.D trails and hang with Joey and Matt Cordova. Those dudes rule!

You’re currently on your newly released V2 Vessel signature frame from Volume. What’s different about it?

The Volume Vessel V2 features the same geometry as the first version, but it now has an ovalized down tube to make it more dent resistant. My favorite addition is the top gusset braised on anchor logo that adds character and matches the Anchor forks perfectly. It comes in two new colors, which are glossy black and a blue/black splatter as a matte finish. I couldn't be more thankful to have a second version of my signature frame. This frame along with the new colors are available now.

Broc's bike from the X Games and the Vans Street Invitational.

Your 2016 signature Volume complete bike has hit shop floors. What’s the scoop on it?

The 2016 Vessel signature complete is Volume's high-end complete bike in which I actually rode and tested. It has a very similar setup to my personal bike, including big bars and Odyssey components such as tires and pedals. It's crazy that you can buy such dialed complete bikes nowadays compared to what was around when I was growing up. Wow, that last sentence makes me feel old. Haha!

We’re only half way through 2016 and you’ve already had quite a busy and successful year. What’s been your favorite part?

My favorite part is looking back at all the awesome memories that were made while traveling, making new friends and catching up with old ones, riding bikes every day, competing in contests, and getting to see my family! Really, it's crazy that only half of a year has gone by. I can't wait to see what other experiences these next few months have in store, but rest assured that I’ll be having the most fun possible no matter what!

What do you have planned next and what else is in store for the remainder of your year?

I am currently focused on filming a Vital/Dans Comp exclusive with the legend himself, Doeby. He's the man. I’m really enjoying being able to work with him. My little sister is coming to visit me soon and I can't wait to show her around Southern California. Next, it's the Street Series in Los Angeles on the 23rd of this month. After that, the Mongoose Jam is going down the first week of August! I definitely want to fit some beach days in there, too.

Anything else you’d like to wrap this up with?

I'd like to thank my Mom and Dad for their never-ending support. They've done so much for me and I can't express how thankful I am for them both. I'd also like to thank Volume, Odyssey, Dan's Comp, and Vans. They always hold it down and I wouldn't be here today without their help along the way. I'd like to thank candy and video games. Thank you guys for this interview opportunity. Now, all of you go outside and ride your damn bikes. Do it right now!

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