Every month we will interview the boldest craftsmen who are living the Pig & Hen lifestyle. This month, we have the story of...

Roy van Kempen

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

My name is Roy van Kempen, I’m 30 years old. I’ve been a professional BMX rider for six years. At the same time, I used to run a website called wearetheorangejuice, where me and my friends shared the BMX-lifestyle with the world. I’ve gone from skatepark BMX rider to street and nowadays I work as marketing manager at Monster Energy drink.

How did your BMX adventure begin?

I think I started skateboarding when I was twelve years old and that was all because of Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2. The videogame haha. I was raised as a thriving person, so with everything I do, I want to be the best. So, I wanted to be the best at skateboarding and later with BMX riding. In my little town, we didn’t have a skatepark yet. My father told me I needed to raise 200 autographs to put a skatepark on the public agenda in the city hall, so me and my friends raised 300 autographs. Luckily the skatepark was made a while later. My skateboarding improved quickly, but when I went to the skatepark one day I saw someone with a BMX and I was immediately amazed. I could go faster and higher with a BMX, so I wanted one. My parents supported enough of my hobbies, so I had to save money. Because of that, I was extra motivated to be the best I could at BMX riding.

Have you ever had a serious injury due to BMX riding?

I’ve actually had two serious injuries. I’ve ripped my anterior cruciate ligament [ACL] twice, so I had to recover for a long time twice. The second time was definitely even scarier than the first. I’ve had to work hard to come back from those injuries. I’ve also lost a couple of teeth, which was not a lot of fun either. Imagine being 25 years old and walking around with braces for a year. That’s not what you want.

Can you explain the difference between skatepark BMX riding and street BMX riding?

I’ve always said you’re a professional when you can make a decent living with the sport. I’ve made a living, but I needed a job on the side. I started off as a skatepark BMX rider and turned into a street BMX rider at some point. As a street BMX rider i’ve been able to go to cool places. The difference is that with street BMX you’re not bound to a skatepark, but you can just stunt the streets.

Which BMX-style is your favorite, street or skatepark?

The nice thing about street BMX is that you’ve got way more freedom and you can do it anywhere. A good example is the time my sponsor, Vans, sent me to Barcelona or even to Japan, with a camera crew and we got to stunt the city and have fun while filming a cool video. So yeah, street BMX is my favorite.




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