If the heart of street riding is well, the streets, then sidewalks are the veins. The very blood of street riding flows through these concrete pedestrian pathways. Broc Raiford hit ’em like a heart attack last week with his new Walkways video for Odyssey. What’s it like to film an absolutely bangin’ video part entirely on sidewalks? Let Broc tell ya…
Can you explain the premise for Walkways? What was the criteria for an acceptable spot? At the beginning of the year Odyssey approached me about doing another concept video to follow up Passageways. I always had the idea of doing a part filmed only on sidewalk spots, but didn’t have that many spots to back it being a “good” idea [laughs]. To be honest I was winging it after the first day we went out filming. I had a vision of what I wanted in a sidewalk spot, but I had to re-gear my mind in order to find them. The more I searched the more I learned about where to find what I was looking for and towards the end I felt myself craving the search for the next spot. Zach [Krejmas] and Jeff Z. were also kind enough to show me some sidewalk gems of their own. The most important thing I looked for in a sidewalk spot is that it had to be ridden as if you’d be riding on your way to a skatepark or wherever you’re headed—spots perpendicular to or over the sidewalk did not qualify.
How was it finding spots that fit the bill? At first finding spots that had everything I wanted were few and far between. I started to get nervous that I might’ve chosen a concept that was too specific. This lead me to spending a lot of time pedaling/driving the streets of Long Beach and surrounding cities trying to find spots that were different than the others I had found. I remember there being a turning point where my eye for sidewalk spots finally came through and it seemed like I was finding more spots than I knew what to do with.
How is it for you working on a themed video as opposed to just general filming for a normal video part? I really enjoy filming these concept videos. It’s a nice break from the traditional web video part. Don’t get me wrong, they both have their pros and cons, but these concept videos are a bit less stressful. I really enjoyed letting the spots dictate what trick went down and the challenge of figuring out what worked/looked best. It was really fun trying to push myself and progress on spots that others would pass up without thinking twice about riding.
I recognize a lot of the spots from around town here in Long Beach. I feel like with a concept revolving around sidewalks, riding local setups is kinda fitting—it demonstrates what you can come up with in your local area… I agree fully. I really wanted both Passageways and Walkways to portray that message. I wanted to show other riders that no matter where you live, you can make something out of nothing with a little time and effort. Because that’s what I did growing up, I didn’t have an abundance of street spots in my little Louisiana town. I had to be creative and make the most of the situation I was given. So it was really cool getting positive comments and messages about this exact topic from a good handful of viewers.
Did you have any sketchy sidewalk encounters along the way? Nothing too sketchy, honestly. Just the usual Long Beach weirdos and kooks. In the video the lady that goes “oooooooeee” right into the camera was notably weird. She kicked us out of a spot that was across the street from her house. She was talking to us about how she used to skate and respects what we do, but also threatening to put her cane through our spokes if we continued riding the spot. She’d then go back to telling us how cool she thought BMX was. Almost like her personality switched every five minutes. We ended up leaving because it was such an odd situation.
Having a solid relationship between the rider and filmer goes a long way with any video project. You and Zach Krejmas have a long history working and riding together and I think it really shows in the final product. How was it working with Zach on this one? Zach is the man. We’ve worked on many projects over the years and have formed a great friendship. I’m a huge fan of his filming and editing so any chance I get to work with him I’m hyped. I think this project in particular worked out well because Zach enjoyed finding and riding the sidewalk spots just as much as I did. We both would send one another spots we’d find in our free time and brainstorm the possibilities. I really appreciate Zach’s hard work and ambition to make great videos.
You rode a lot of cool setups utilizing sidewalk lids. Is that kinda a new thing for you? I’ve always wanted to make a video utilizing the sidewalk lids, but never had the opportunity to use so many lid clips in one place for it to stand out. The lid spots were definitely the ones I was most hyped to find during my search. Finding these lid spots that launched you over or onto different things was what kept my checking around that next corner or going down that last street when I was ready to call it a day. At one point during the filming process I started to consider just making it all sidewalk lid spots. A concept within a concept [laughs]. Talk about a challenge. Thankfully I let that idea go.
What was the most difficult or challenging clip you filmed? The most challenging clip we filmed was definitely the downhill wallride/rail hop clip—I wallride over a rail then bar over the next rail to drop then do a rail hop right after. The rail hop at the end kept getting the best of me because I couldn’t hop straight over it. I had to go over the corner to dodge a tree. That and loosing a good bit of speed from the drop before it had me getting sketchy. Most attempts resulted in me going too slow and back tire casing the rail hop or being too far over the backend causing me to ditch my bike and go to my feet. After a while my heels started to bruise and the frustration started to set it. Finally, the stars aligned on one solid attempt and I rolled away from what was starting to become my own personal hell [laughs].
That orange metal cage thing that you hopped onto then gapped into the street… that clip seriously blew my mind. How tall was that cage? Have you ever hopped onto something that high before? That was a spot we luckily found cruising from one spot to another and it started as a joke. I don’t know exactly how tall it was, but it was definitely riding the line of impossible. I laughed as I looked at it imagining casing on the way up and toppling over into the grass. After a few test hops on the sidewalk I gave hoping on top a shot and to my surprise I cased, but still half ass made it. It took me a while to get it without casing, but if it wasn’t a case, I wouldn’t get a good pop to make it to the street. I even managed to scare the shit out of myself by nose bonking the corner on my way up. I’m hyped to walk away with that one.
If you had to ride either school spots or sidewalk spots for the rest of your life, which would you choose? Sidewalk spots for sure. They’re spots you can ride any day of the week. Sure, you might have to dodge an occasional tweaker or homeless hut, but that’s the fun. Making the most of the spot in the moment. Figuring out what trick fits the spot rather than the reverse.
Broc Raiford – Walkways – Odyssey…