Is it too late to become pro?

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9/30/2017 9:54 PM
Edited Date/Time: 9/30/2017 9:55 PM

I started bmx at 16 years old and currently 17 years old turning 18 on 1/7/18. I race and do park, street and dirt.. My best tricks are 360 pivot/tap, and 360 flyout.
Im willing to get some really nice gear for protection without loosing a whole lot of movement to risk it to land new tricks.
In 6 years from now if I risk it, do you think I could possibly be sponsored? I also wanted to say that I love bmx A LOT. By no means I do it for the money but life's changing fast so I need some kind of income. A job would prevent me from doing bmx so I wanna be pro asap. Let me know what you guys think. Please be open minded about this, I need honest hard thought out answers because this is a huge decision for me. BMX or College? Thank you for your time.

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9/30/2017 10:30 PM
Edited Date/Time: 9/30/2017 10:33 PM

Devon_Maple wrote:

I started bmx at 16 years old and currently 17 years old turning 18 on 1/7/18. I race and do park, street and dirt.. My best ...more

If you can get by in life doing what you love, GO FOR IT!

If you can live in shitty places for dirt cheap somewhere you could maybe get by on very little income but it will be a rough life. And if you end up getting hurt with no medical insurance...you dont want to even think about it...

I dont personally think its probable unless you have someone that is going to support you when you cant afford certain things.

Its definitely possible though, id say its more difficult than what most people would choose for their life path.

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9/30/2017 10:44 PM

Anything is possible just keep your expectations realistic. You're probably not going to get sponsored by asking how to get sponsored on a public internet forum. Get out there and become apart of your local scene and hopefully something comes up. The rest is up to you

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9/30/2017 10:47 PM
Edited Date/Time: 9/30/2017 10:48 PM

If your only riding to become pro/sponsored, you won't last long in many cases as it's your only driving factor. If you're doing it because you genuinely love it go for it, but judging by this thread maybe not. Yes it's possible at that age, I don't really think age has much relation to becoming good except for advanced ages etc. Also keep in mind many people learn at different paces. You can have two 17 year old riding the exact same amount of time throughout a year, one will be better then the other in most cases.

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9/30/2017 11:17 PM
Edited Date/Time: 9/30/2017 11:20 PM

Being pro is a job , there's allot more to being pro then just being a talented rider , you need to know how to market yourself and do allot more then just ride unless you got yourself and agent , you also need to know how to deal with your taxes as an independent contractor I know rooftop did a thing about how he screwed himself over with taxes as a pro , I get asked at parks if I'm pro allot,personally I don't think I'd want to Deal with the responsibility of being a pro , if you ride a bike and love what you do you'll be alright , but focusing on trying be pro might not be the best way to do it, focus on loving riding your bike and better yourself as a rider , if it's meant to be it will work for you if not you still love riding

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9/30/2017 11:33 PM

How many other people do you think want to be pro? How many other riders are there in the world? And how many of them are already better than you?

What you should be doing is riding because it's fun. And trying to get a good job so you can afford to keep your bike rolling. Then in the future be able to support your family comfortably.

The chances of you becoming pro are very very slim. And if that's all you want from riding, you'll be pretty disappointed when it doesn't happen. You've only been riding about a year? You might be bored of it in another year.

I've known plenty of people that have been sponsored. Some of them were pretty well known, and rode for a long time, and still didn't turn pro

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10/1/2017 12:24 AM

First if you want to be pro like others you have to put time in other things as marketing yourself, companies hire pros to promote their brand, so they look for the riders that can get thereself known. Second getting a job or going to college won't get in the way if you truly love bmx, I work full time and find at least a couple hours a day to ride, but to be honest you want advice becoming a pro your kind of in the wrong place, but I would say be active on your instagram, and get a YouTube channel and try to get subs, but that's no guarantee of getting it. Oh and don't go asking for a sponsor, if you ask for it, your most likely not going to get it. If they want you they will come to you.

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Ride till you die

10/1/2017 2:18 AM

"A job would prevent me from doing bmx so I wanna be pro asap."

Huh? I've worked every day for the last 3 weeks and still find time to ride.

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10/1/2017 5:59 AM

I've known a LOT of pro bmx riders over the 30 + years I've been riding.

MOST of them still had shitty jobs they had to go to every day.

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10/1/2017 6:27 AM

I think your skill level will determine whether or not you go pro. I'd say if you want to get a job that keeps you in the industry then go with a Bike Shop or distribution center as they usually sponsor riders and if you're good you'll have first access to them and all the other companies and even individuals because of the bike shop. It's a great dream but also takes hard work just like any other job. If you love it though, it'll be worth it. Also, keep in mind that while college helps, it doesn't always guarantee a good income but does guarantee extra bills. I'm not certified in anything but I do 3 trades better than many of the people I worked under in them and make more than most of my college going friends.

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10/1/2017 8:36 AM

You mentioned college, if that is even an option, do it...
Like grumpy steve said, very slim chance.
It's like look at all the musicians / bands out there trying to make it big.....
College isnt for everyone but your body will thank you later in life!
My body hurts everyday,,,

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10/1/2017 9:24 AM

Slater wrote:

You mentioned college, if that is even an option, do it...
Like grumpy steve said, very slim chance.
It's like look at all the ...more

If I had a dollar for every douche bag hipster I knew who went to college wasted years of life and money away to become a 'photographer" then got done and found absolutely no work when they where done I'd be rich

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10/1/2017 9:31 AM

Slater wrote:

You mentioned college, if that is even an option, do it...
Like grumpy steve said, very slim chance.
It's like look at all the ...more

eskimojay wrote:

If I had a dollar for every douche bag hipster I knew who went to college wasted years of life and money away to become a ...more

Agreed. Most people I know that went to college are in huge debt and wasted years of their life and havent used any skills they learned in college. Not saying some dont make it where they want to be but it is a huge financial risk unless someone else is paying for your college.

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10/1/2017 11:10 AM
Edited Date/Time: 10/1/2017 11:17 AM

Slater wrote:

You mentioned college, if that is even an option, do it...
Like grumpy steve said, very slim chance.
It's like look at all the ...more

eskimojay wrote:

If I had a dollar for every douche bag hipster I knew who went to college wasted years of life and money away to become a ...more

Bulletpup wrote:

Agreed. Most people I know that went to college are in huge debt and wasted years of their life and havent used any skills ...more

Agree
Ive been in the automotive trade "tech" for 25+ years & am financially better off than any of my friends who have gone to college.
College must make sense to the work availability in your area to make sense.
Im from San Diego & have a few friends who work in the Aerospace industry "college grads" that seem to be doing ok.
But yes, college doesnt always = rolling in the money.
But a trade usually = wear & tear on the body, as you get older all the bike & sport injuries start to come back & haunt you............
slows you down while trying to kickass!

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10/1/2017 11:27 AM
Edited Date/Time: 10/1/2017 11:38 AM

eskimojay wrote:

If I had a dollar for every douche bag hipster I knew who went to college wasted years of life and money away to become a ...more

Bulletpup wrote:

Agreed. Most people I know that went to college are in huge debt and wasted years of their life and havent used any skills ...more

Slater wrote:

Agree
Ive been in the automotive trade "tech" for 25+ years & am financially better off than any of my friends who have ...more

I went to college 3 different times and dropped out of all of them.

Once to be an auto mechanic, once for music, and once for nursing.

I wasted time and money and never used any of it...shit I havent even broken the seal from my high school diploma...

My last job i made 2000 every week...i was a traveling retail contractor. I was the supervisor for the state of colorado. I would travel all over the western half of the united states. I would be gone for 2-4 weeks and never home.

That sounds kinda shitty when i read that back to myself. My point is, I worked a ton and didnt have time to spend with my family but I made more than most people I knew that went to college and ended up at best buy. Nothing wrong with best buy but When you work hard in college, you expect something in return...like a great job that youre perfectly qualified for...not always what ends up happening.

Imo college right now is a bit of a scam. They push how important it is in schools but all its really about is income for the schools. There are no guarantees you get what youre looking for after you graduate.

Its a tough call, lot of contradicting info out there.

I make a lot less now as a usps letter carrier but i am home more after work and I still get to ride everyday.

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10/1/2017 11:58 AM
Edited Date/Time: 10/1/2017 11:59 AM

Also getting sponsored is nothing really...

I was sponsored by IMI Defense, Amend 2, Syrnex, CBC Industries, Hexmag, Force on Force, and a couple other gun parts manufacturers but It was by no means something I could live off of. Yeah they sent me thousands of dollars worth of products and would occasionally pay me to make video reviews for them but as I said, nothing like a real job.

If youre sponsored by a bmx company Id imagine you would get discounts at a shop or by the brands you ride or maybe even occasionally free parts and free entry for events but how would that help you pay bills? Unless you travelled with a team all year round how would you eat without a job? Being pro might be more realistic getting by but as others have said, very few make it to that level, even if they are good enough to be pro.

Now all this talk is something to think about. Take it all in and do what YOU feel is right. And look other places to aid you, this forum is just a small sliver of whats out there to help you make your mind up.

Also You can ride while having a daily or nightly job and if you end up seeing an opportunity to switch your roll up and go for the dream, you can transition into it. It doesnt have to be so cut and dry. Example: during a day you have off, make a video and it goes viral and you build your reputation that way. There is more than one path.

Anyway if you have a dream and you think you can make it, GO FOR IT! Dont regret not trying something just because others tell you its hard or very improbable. Take any opportunities you see to further your life but dont shit on others to get there! smile

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10/1/2017 5:26 PM

It's not too late, but don't bank on BMX being your main source of income. Unless you reach some Logan Martin status, BMX can't be a full-time thing. Even guys like so won't be able to ride BMX forever, and the other half of their lives may begin at some school or college. That is, if they hadn't done so when they were younger.

People are looking for jobs, and without proper education in a field, you won't reach a specialization, meaning you'll likely be stuck doing something you'd rather not for money.

College > BMX, if you ask me. But I understand where you're coming from. I'm the same age as you and it's been only a wild thought in my mind. By no means will my riding as of now get me anywhere, but I see what you're saying.

Keep your goals realistic, that's my view.

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Scooter kid trying to ride a bike.
@scootereyn

10/2/2017 7:14 AM

A Social Media presence is now more valuable than your trick list. That's all i can offer.

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10/2/2017 7:22 AM
Edited Date/Time: 10/2/2017 11:57 AM

The days of making "bank" & being able to make a livelihood as a "pro" are pretty much gone. Even in it's hay day, the top pros weren't all making great money. Most were just living a sort of vagabond life. Unless you were/are a Matt Hoffmann, Dave Mirra, Tony Hawk (just to make a point), you aren't making tons of money. Even those guys were making more from endorsement deals & such to make it all work. Think of Scotty Cranmer, he's got a good fan base & social media presence, is a great rider with sponsors, & he still has a bike shop.

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10/2/2017 11:17 AM

Devon_Maple wrote:

I started bmx at 16 years old and currently 17 years old turning 18 on 1/7/18. I race and do park, street and dirt.. My best ...more

It COULD happen faster, just put in the work, get some skills, be rad to everyone, when you find brands you really like, make sure to post things about how you like them (occasionally, not daily), go to jams, contests etc, and just be awesome. Also put out a few edits here and there where you are riding really well, and being rad.

If it is meant to be, it will happen.

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"Hey anybody ever make that mistake like right when you wake up in the morning and you believe in yourself?" -Kyle Kinane

"BIKES!" -Tom Segura

10/2/2017 3:55 PM

Devon_Maple wrote:

I started bmx at 16 years old and currently 17 years old turning 18 on 1/7/18. I race and do park, street and dirt.. My best ...more

Dude chances are you're not going pro. Sorry to break your dreams but riding these days is so insane you need a solid body of work already built up by the age you are now. Riding has become souch more technical it's going to be impossible to catch up to everyone. I mean I've seen a complete random rider from the middle of nowhere do a popped 540 to 5 cab on flat. That's just some guy off Instagram with a couple hundred followers. Now I'm not saying you need to learn stuff like that but that's the kind of tricks happening in 2017. It's going to take a long time to learn shit like that and you still need additional natural talent.

Secondly, since social media has taken over everything, the number of followers you have matters more than your skill.

In addition, you shouldn't be riding to get sponsored. There aren't any AM's that give themselves a pep talk about how hard they need to go in order to pull more sponsors before every sesh. Everything happens naturally. If you have the skill and know how to broadcast it, people will take note. Focusing on money will suck the fun out of bmx and that's not what you want.

Bottom line is focus on having fun while you're on your bike. If you do that, you'll be rewarded much more than if you got $500 a month from a sponsor.

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10/3/2017 1:01 PM
Edited Date/Time: 10/3/2017 1:03 PM

Also with the college talk, GO GET A JOB IN ONE OF THE TRADES-Welding, electrician, plumber etc. There is a LOT of money there with only a couple years of college tops. You could learn to weld, then buy a frame job and start making frames on the side for yourself, maybe some homies and go from there. Suddenly you pulled a GT and started a company in your garage in your early 20's.

All the older guys are retiring and not many are getting into those fields. DO IT.

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"Hey anybody ever make that mistake like right when you wake up in the morning and you believe in yourself?" -Kyle Kinane

"BIKES!" -Tom Segura

10/3/2017 1:09 PM

do yourself a favor, stay in school, go to college and get a degree (a real one, not a bs business or art major) and just ride for fun

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It’s all bmx

10/4/2017 6:50 AM

Fuck school rob banks and jump motorcycles , that's what evil kneivel did

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10/4/2017 8:02 AM

dave lawrence wrote:

Also with the college talk, GO GET A JOB IN ONE OF THE TRADES-Welding, electrician, plumber etc. There is a LOT of money there ...more

YES!!! Want to be in demand, follow this advice! You can't "farm out" local jobs for an electrician, plumber, machinist or welder.

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10/4/2017 4:14 PM

OP i would not go for a bmx career above a useful degree/trade. Hell I'm doing a nursing degree. Sorry but like it just might be too late. There are SO many 17 year olds that are simply insane at riding and itll be REALLY hard to rise above. Plus you have to factor in injury time. Most pros have spent a decent amount of time off the bike.

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