Chris at a jam he helped organize in his hometown of Salinas,Photo Credit-Chris Criswell.
The Bay Bmx had the chance to interview highly respected bmx veteran Crazy Chris Criswell.Chris has been riding and been around the bmx scene for over 30 years. So you could say he's definitely earned his stripes over the years, He's seen tons of trends come and go,Ultimately he has seen bmx grow since the beginning into what it is today. Chris has met and been friends with many legends in the sport.More then anything,Chris has the ability to get people together to ride for jams,Promote brands,And have a good time with his fellow bmxer's.
Chris started out riding like most of us did, He rode his 20" around the neighborhood,Jumping curbs,Then he discovered the infamous Calabasas trails in their infancy,From then on,Chris was hooked on bmx.He raced in the ABA,In between racing he rode with Nor-Cal legends like Chris Bryant, The Gonz, Joey Garcia, Mat Mardesich, Cameron Birdwell, Chad Kagy, and Ryan Nyquist among many other riders from around the country.
Chris has a ton of bmx knowledge and has been an integral part of brands like Cult and Lil' Mikey's beeswax since their creation.He also has his own brands SinCal4130 and his newest venture BrakelessTilDeath promoting the brakeless bmx lifestyle.
So without further introduction,Here is what Chris had to say when i presented him his questions.
1. How old are you and where do you live?
I’m 43 and I live in Salinas, CA.
2. What companies hook you up?
CULT CREW, LMB, Vans, Eights and Aces Tattoo shop in Santa Cruz, and Exclusive Ink in Salinas.
Chris with a gap to 180 at a spot kicking it with the Cult family,Photo Credit-Leo/Cult Crew
3. What are you currently riding?
CULT Deathrow V2 21.25” built by Jace at Solid. CULT front end with Vans waffle grips, CULT cranks and ½ link chain with Primo Stricker plastic pedals, CULT uni-seat combo, 3 Primo plastic pegs, and Primo wheels wrapped in CULT Dehart tires.
4. Tell us a little about how you got into riding, and what kind of riding do you enjoy the most?
I was riding a 20” Royce Union with a shock under the seat at Calabasas Creek in Cupertino, CA when I was 10. During my teens I raced ABA around CA. I continued to race until I was 24, and took a break from riding until I was 30. Then I picked up a Ride BMX and saw Mat Berringer ride off a roof on a camo Triple X Redline, which I then purchased the next day at Bear Bikes. I enjoy riding street and park but I love riding the park with my sons and homies the most.
Chris with a good ole fashioned wallride,Photo Credit-Eric Fonseca
5. Who inspired your style of riding and who did you look up to coming up in the game?
Chris Bryant AKA ButtHead, Ratboy, The Gonz, Joey Garcia, Mat Mardesich, Cameron Birdwell, Chad Kagy, and Ryan Nyquist. Living in the 831/408 areas I was lucky enough to have to the opportunity to meet and ride with legends like these.
6. Do you have any favorite spots or any recent memories of spots you have enjoyed?
Greenfield park is number one. SC High is number two. Lastly the Steinbeck alley is where I ride daily. Funny you ask, yes I got to ride Fullerton with Robbie Morales, Jordan Murdock, Mike Hernandez, Solo Cholo (Anthony Quiroz), and Brandon York. It was hardest getting mine and Robbie’s big asses over the ten foot fence that was wobbly as fuck. Then Jordan got hurt and that really sucked ass, but we still got to ride with motha fuckin Robbie Morales.
Chris kicking it down in the LA area with Cult's Robbie Morales and some of the other Cult homies.Photo Credit-Leo/Cult Crew.
7. If you could change anything about BMX, what would it be and why?
I'm a firm believer of “talk shit get whipped.” There’s way too many weak ass brands and people who talk the talk and don’t back up shit. BMX needs a main event boxing match for all who have something to say. So don’t talk shit if you’re not ready to dance. Enough said.
8. Can you tell us how you got involved with CULT and what is your role at CULT?
Robbie approached me in 2009 at the grand opening of the Morgan Hill Park. He was telling me about his idea about his new brand and what I thought of it, and what I could do to contribute to the beginning of CULT. As our friendship grew, I was given more opportunities to help make CULT the best brand in BMX.
9. What other projects are you working on?
I’ve had a BMX apparel company, SIN-CAL 4130, since 98. I'm also woking on my newest brand BrakelessTilDeath, I’ve done a lot jams, comps, and street rides in the past 12 years. It has been a long strange trip, but if it weren’t this wouldn’t be BMX. I also have gotten involved with LMB and me and Lil’ and Big Mike are working hard to do the most with LMB for BMX to get their grind on.
Chris holding original Lil' Mikey's Beeswax and LMB/Cult Collab wax.Chris works hard to help promote brands and thrive. This is a good example of a collab project between the 2 brands.Photo Credit-Chris Criswell.
9. How do you feel about the Nor-Cal BMX scene?
I don’t live in Nor-Cal, but I do have a lot of friends who do. I believe that the scene is still raging with new and old school talent. It has also bread a lot of X-Games medalists, video pros, and all around BMX bad asses.
10. Would you like to give any shout outs?
First and foremost, I’d like to thank Robbie Morales for the opportunity to be part of the CULT CREW family. Lil’ and Big Mike at LMB for keeping me on my toes with new ideas daily and for all the computer work Big Mike does. All the Salinas and SC locals, you know who you are. The Solid Bikes Crew for years of support aawwwaawwwaaa! Jerry at Vans. Thanks to everybody’s support and help over the years, it’s been greatly appreciated.