With almost a quarter of a million views already since Friday, we catch up with Kriss Kyle to chat all things ‘Out of Season’.
Pete caught up with Scottish BMX star Kriss Kyle to chat where the idea for his latest Red Bull project, ‘Out of Season’ came from, and how the build and filming went.
What was the inspiration for this film?
I have had this in my head for a while, but I wouldn’t have been able to do this on my own, but to have Red Bull to trust me right away with a project of this size was cool. It’s my first big mountain bike video, so I couldn’t believe it. I guess what I always wanted to do was take my BMX skills and translate that into the woods on a mountain bike.
I took a lot of inspiration from one of my first Red Bull BMX videos, Kaleidoscopes, it was almost like that, but with the features built in the woods, to see if it’s possible on the mountain bike. I wanted to do something completely different that I have never done before.
I’d never really ridden north shore stuff, as you don’t get much of it around me, so that was something I wanted to add. I wanted to show my skills as a mountain bike rider too and try and bring my ideas to life.
It’s probably the most pressure I have had coming into a project like this because everyone was so behind it from the start. It was amazing to have Red Bull on board from the start, but then I had to step up and deliver. I went in there with my BMX head on with my BMX eyes, thinking of all the lines we could build, but hadn’t ever done any of these tricks before on my mountain bike.
I remember going to see the lads had finished the build and I was blown away by the size of everything. I was really stoked it had come together but also worried… “what if I can’t do any of this?”, or I cant even ride the bike the way I wanted to, you know?
I mean, I’d never done a curved wall ride on a mountain bike before, so that was weird getting used to the the G-force and the suspension, that was hard to get my head around. Once we had that first day out of the way, stuff started going and working really well. It was pretty hard to do those tricks and manoeuvre a bike of that size around compared to my BMX.
It was a good crossover coming from BMX to MTB as I knew how to do the tricks, it’s just harder on the bigger bike. That’s the thing I love about it though, it’s almost like learning how to ride a bike again, I’m learning 360s again. It was really challenging but it’s cool because I’m not getting chased off spots, you’re just out in the woods and can enjoy the natural surroundings.
Did the tricks you wanted to land dictate the location, or the other way around?
It was all the location. One thing I wanted to do was the backflip footplant. Matty Lambert found it and I went down to Wales to check it out, but it was hard for me to visualise everything as it was just a blank canvas of a valley.
The build crew were unbelievable. James and the team from Revolution Bike Park were unreal. They built all the dirt features, it was like art. Hats off to those boys, I couldn’t believe it. Jake and George, the guys I usually work with were there, they helped with the Dubai project, and I needed people there that I could trust. Those boys are my mates, so it was definitely a bonus. We were all in there getting it done, it was a massive team effort.
How long did the line take to build?
It went together pretty damn quick. I think it was three weeks from start to finish. The lads were in there grafting every day and the best thing was having worked with these guys before, you need folk you can trust and folk that if something needs changing, they won’t bat an eyelid, they’ll just get on it. If I need revved up to do something then the build crew who I actually used to live with, they want to see me hit it as much as I do, they’re behind me the whole way. You really need that when you’re working on this kind of project.
I was worried about letting everyone down, but we got it done and I honestly can’t wait to get started on the next project.
Did the line change during the build or after you’d ridden it?
When I went in there with my BMX head on, I did think the transitions were quite tight, so if I were to do it again, I’d definitely mellow them out a bit for the mountain bike but other than that the changes were mostly pretty minor. Mostly we built it and sent it.
The backflip footplant feature did take a whole different setup.
I broke a rib on this shoot too. The video was meant to be out in December, I’d pretty much finished everything and was on the second to last trick, which is actually the first clip in the video. I crashed on that. Broke a rib and banged up my shoulder pretty bad, without really realising. We went to film the next day, I was trying to land the last trick and crashed again. That was when I knew the rib had gone because I couldn’t breathe all that well.
I was gutted. Last year wasn’t a good one for anyone, and I wanted to get the video out to see the year off on a high. I had to go back and shoot it again, and I’m glad I did, because the backflip footplant wouldn’t have happened otherwise. I wanted to go back for a week, rebuild that jump to land the trick and see if we could get some bonus clips. Red Bull and the build team were on the case immediately. They were all behind me, and now, I’m glad I broke my rib because I wouldn’t have got the extra bonus things that I got. It all happens for a reason but I’m happy we got to go back.
Touch wood, I never really get that injured doing these projects. I’m usually pretty sore at the end but not broken.
Did you change your bike setup?
Completely, yeah. I had Danny MacAskill alongside me helping me with bike setup, as he does a lot of this kind of stuff on a mountain bike. I know roughly how I like my bike setup, but he’s been doing the things he’s doing, how a bike should flip and what sort of setup you need for that. I definitely softened it up for a few things, but I usually run the bike quite firm because it’s easier to get off the BMX on a stiffer mountain bike.
We’d change the setup depending on what tricks I’d be doing, to be honest. Like on the curved wall ride, I’d never done a wall ride with suspension before, or even on a mountain bike, so it really sucked me in and bottomed out on the first run. The whole thing was a massive learning curve.
I ran the Stumpjumper EVO, with it Mulleted. I also run the Mullet setup on my Status too. I’m not sure why I like it, maybe it’s because it feels more like a BMX to me for some reason. I really like the Mullet setup, it works for me, so I’ll continue to run it. What a bike that was, it handled it all so well and took a real beating. I’m still riding it now.
I had a really good day filming that day, I got one massive line done that I’d crashed on before, the one I did my rib on. So I managed to get that ticked off. I managed to get the backflip footplant done that same day. It was getting dark and I just needed to get it done. I’d fallen off the landing a couple of times, the landing was a bit narrow and the bike kept pushing off the edge.
It was so good to land that one. It was such a nice day, the sun was shining, all the lads were there… It was one of the best days of filming I’ve had in a long time, over a year… One of the best day’s filming I’ve ever had. To get the massive line in the bag, get the done shot in the bag, to get the backflip footplant in the bag and to have everyone stood around at the end as the sun was going down. It was just amazing.
It was all smooth sailing beyond cracking a rib and a global pandemic…
I really, really enjoyed this project. Usually I don’t ride my BMX in the rain, or in the wet at all, but on the mountain bike it was sloppy, it was wet, and it was just a whole different experience. I absolutely loved it and I’d do it again in a heartbeat.
People to thank?
James and all the lads at Revolution Bike Park, those guys are artists with the stuff that they do. I can’t believe the shapes that they can make that clay into.
Red Bull for believing in me, as always. I couldn’t do it without them. They help me turn these wild ideas into reality.
Matty and Robbie, the filmers.
Andrew Lawrence, the drone operator.
Jake and George, my main build crew. Those boys are legends.
Matt Bowls and Jim Holmes at Red Bull. Those are the boys.