The Yin and Yang of BMX Contests - Loupos and Peraza talk FISE World Series and Vans BMX Pro Cup

It's 2019. There are a lot of BMX contests. It's awesome! Seriously. If you're a BMX rider, there's an event for you out there. Let's never take it for granted.

The two biggest, most prominent series in the world today are the FISE World Series and the Vans BMX Pro Cup. Both events have a ton of key similarities and also a ton of key differences. 

We caught up with Brandon Loupos and Kevin Peraza - two top riders who are active in both the FISE World Series and the Vans BMX Pro Cup - to discuss the events' similarities, differences, and their preferences. 



BIGGEST SIMILARITIES - 

Brandon Loupos - Definitely the support form the crowd and the other riders.

Kevin Peraza - Both bring BMX riders from all over the world together. They also both have open registration, so anyone can compete. Both have opened the doors to the women’s category in the past, so they’re helping that side of the sport grow as well. Both events take place on a global scale, which gives riders the opportunity to explore new places and different countries the opportunity to experience BMX. 


BIGGEST DIFFERENCES - 

BL - The judging is a lot different between the two. The styles of the contests and the vibes for sure.

KP - The event format is different. In FISE, it’s two runs - both count and then two runs - one counts in the final. At the Vans BMX Pro Cup, it’s a jam format with multiple runs per rider and it’s judged on overall impression - meaning that  you can still do well with a few mistakes. One big difference is the amount of time we get to session the courses. I love to ride and the simple joy of getting to cruise a new setup for hours is so fun to me. 

At the Vans BMX Pro Cup, we almost get to ride too much. I love it! At FISE, there’s a massive list of riders and different events throughout the week, so practice gets super hectic. I completely understand why, but sometimes it’s almost a tease not getting to ride as much as I want. 


THE VIBES AT FISE - 

BL - It's very serious. Everyone is there to win or do well, so the levels of focus are high - especially since the Olympic qualifying period has started. It’s still a good time, regardless.

KP - Everyone brings their own vibes and attitude to the event. I love what I do and try to bring positivity wherever I go. The vibe at FISE has gotten a little more competitive over the years. With FISE being one of the highest Olympic qualifying events - and now with international federations being involved - I’ve noticed a lot of people worrying too much about points and how they’re judged almost to a point where some riders feel burnt out on riding. 


THE VIBES AT VANS BMX PRO CUP - 

BL - Nothing but good times. I enjoy going there and being a part of the event! 

I don’t think anyone is there to win, but mostly to see who can have the most fun. I love that about the Vans BMX Pro Cup. It keeps it fun and refreshing for sure! 

KP - Mellow, welcoming, and pure. Vans really focuses on bringing the culture of action sports to the the events. There’s a perfect balance of music, family, art, lifestyle, and riding. I get so hyped on getting to see all of my foreign friends in different cities around the world. The Vans BMX Pro Cup is that vibe. Everyone says hello during practice. Everyone just kind of goes with the flow.



FISE COURSES - 

BL - You definitely know what to expect when it comes to courses at FISE. All wooden ramps. Sometimes they switch-up ramps to make it interesting or add in a whole new obstacle to see who can adapt to the terrain. Mostly boxes, spines, step-ups, and quarterpipes. All in all, fun to ride!

KP - Massive and wild. They always add something different to the courses every stop. They’re made out of wood. Throughout the years, they’ve been adding more bowl corners and changing it up lately - creating less walls and dead ends. They are like park courses from the early 2000s, but they keep getting bigger and better. 


VANS BMX PRO CUP COURSES - 

BL - Obviously concrete bowls, but the courses are always a maze. It’s hard to map out where to go, how fast to go, and - of course - all of the transfers. I enjoy riding all of them because I grew up riding concrete at home in Australia, so it feels like home when I get to ride these courses!

KP - Cement bowls. They’re either built for the week of the event or - lately - have been at really good local parks in cities around the world, with added features like bigger and better extensions. 



WHICH SERIES IS MORE SERIOUS? 

BL - Definitely FISE because of the Olympics and the international cycling federations being involved. Riders at the Pro Cup are still very goal-oriented with their riding, so there are still riders who want to land their runs just like at FISE. Different styles, but same deal when the clock starts. Everyone goes out to ride their best.

KP - It depends on the person. There are riders with a serious mentality at both events. Personally, I would say FISE based on it being an Olympic qualifying event. A lot of guys are taking it really seriously to not only help their country earn the points they need to qualify, but to earn a spot for themselves as well. It’s understandable, knowing there are only nine spots in The Olympics. 


WHY DON'T MORE RIDERS GO TO BOTH?

BL - I think everyone should ride both!

KP - Some riders really just want to focus and work hard for one event. Some riders might think they’re style of riding isn’t going to get judged fairly due to the different styles of events. If you can have fun at both events and be a well-rounded rider, you just created a different pathway for others to follow. Ride everything and be good at everything!



WHICH SERIES DO YOU ENJOY MORE?

BL - I just enjoy riding my bike, regardless of where I am. Contests will always be a little stressful no matter what kind of contest it is. As long as I have fun, I enjoy both - for different reasons, obviously. 

KP - 

I always find a way to enjoy both. I don’t need to change the way I ride for either event and that always keeps me stoked inside. I love the energy I feel at both events while I ride. It’s too hard to choose just one.


WHICH IS MORE IMPORTANT TO YOU?

BL - I’d say FISE. My goal is to be in The Olympics, so it’s my priority to do well in those events. At the Vans BMX Pro Cup, I don’t set expectations, so I just have fun there. It’s not stressful for me.

KP - I don’t really categorize events in being more important than others. As a rider, I go to both - and all - events representing myself and the brands that support me. Whether it’s my image, personality, or riding, I will always do my best to bring my style to every single event I go to.  


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