Axell Hodges talks the limits of freestyle motocross, suspended with Valentino Rossi

You once tried to break the world record for the longest jump, but ended up getting injured. Tell us about that.
I mean the world record jump… It wasn’t my decision to go do that. It was introduced to me and I agreed thinking it would be pretty mild but as soon as I got into it we started hitting the 350ft mark and that’s when shit got really serious and scary. We went there every day and we could barely eat breakfast. I really like doing the jump so I was doing 350 feet over and over. I was hitting him 20 times a day just to get him down. It started to get fun, but then I started to hit the 400 foot mark and got this bad kick, and it was kind of a story from there. I ended up breaking my ankle and spraining the other. I don’t know… It was something that was presented to me, and it wasn’t something that I really wanted to go do. I was asked to do it so I did it and now that I had the experience I broke the record. I know it’s not official, but I’m happy with myself and I know what I did. I’m happy with that. I don’t think I’ll be seeing that one again unless it’s worth it or risking my life every time I go out. It wasn’t really worth it.

What is different on your bike compared to a stock Kawasaki KX450? Oh, and there’s absolutely no doubt in my mind that you’ve sold a few motorcycles to Kawasaki along the way.
I have a Kit Pro Circuit suspension on it. I also have a Pro Circuit pipe. It is more or less that. The engine, for the most part, is pretty stock. In fact, the engine is completely original. I just put a pipe on it. Recently I just built an engine. I wish I had more power for the quarter pipe thing. I finished second in MTX Quarter pipe High Air this year and that was just on a stock engine, so I think with a bit more in 2022 it will do me justice.

How was the Slayground born? Was it your family property before you turned it into a huge freestyle playground?
Yes, they owned the property. They still live there. Slayground is where I lived for 21 years of my life. I grew up in this house. It was my backyard and it’s where I grew up and learned to ride over the years. That first video we did there, that’s how I got invited to the X Games. My father said to me: “To the devil! We install a ramp here and a high jump. From there, we started running it. I just rode there for a few years. It paid off a lot just by hitting the ramps, getting my whips down and practicing all the techniques. That’s where I learned all that. I had a driveway with a speed bump on it and we had a bunch of gear that we made out of pallets and trailers and stuff. That’s where I learned all my rolling techniques and stuff like that. Yeah, it’s in Encinitas, California, and it’s my parents’ house and it was a playground type area, so we just called it the Slayground.

Let’s talk about Slayground: where does your nickname “Slay” come from?
Well, my nickname when I was racing was A-Hodge, then it turned into Slay Hodge, then it turned into Slay. It just evolved over the years by riding mountain bikes and hanging out with my buddies.


Source link

Comments are closed.