King Of BNE 2023

I have wanted to create something like the ‘King Of BNE’ since a very young age. After seeing my now boss (Mitch Wood) host the first Brisbane street jam “Ballin In Brisbane” (to my knowledge) back in 2007 and seeing the video on something was sparked in me that couldn’t be stopped.

Fast forward 15 years to the first ‘King Of BNE’ jam and the result was incredible. Attracting a bunch of like-minded, street-hungry riders together for a day of mayhem in the city is an incredible experience.

The next generation crossing the bridge
Skip ahead another year to 2023 and the second iteration of the jam was starting to take shape, this time with more ideas, more resources and more heads on the ground, it was set to be an epic day! Starting at the iconic red tile (‘Cathedral Square’) spot in the center of Brisbane, bikers started to stream in and as the clock struck 12 it was an amazing sight as 100+ BMX riders congregated, backed by the tunes of Three 6 Mafia.

Some of the stand out moments from the first spot were Ben Winter doing a flair (180 backflip) out of the purpose built kicker ramp. FYI, I built this ramp earlier in the week out of old wood we ripped off of the LUXBMX shop ramp. Ryan ‘King Bulldog’ Rostirolla downside whipped the large bank structure that was made accessible by our trusty kicker ramp and of course ‘Rad Dad’ landing an abubaca on a ledge that usually wouldn’t have been rideable. Ledges were grinded, walls were ridden and after about an hour of gettin’ it, we moved on to the second spot of the day, the ‘up 2 down 7’.

The ‘up 2 down 7’ is a spot that has been worked by the likes of OG Tom Stretton and many other Brisbane heads over the years. These ancient steps were forged out of the stone that was taken from the Kangaroo Point cliff in the early development of Brisbane (at least that’s what we want to believe). As we arrived, it became apparent that this spot was going to be a challenge but that didn’t stop guys like Raph, Ben Winter, Martin and many more groms ripping in and having a go. Ben pulled a nose to table which was incredible but it was the ‘Snapper’ show stopper (and final trick at this spot) which really left a mark. ‘Snapper’ (i.e. Travis Doyle) is a Morayfield legend with an endless bag of creative trinkets. The dude seems to live and breathe BMX, consistently showing up to every single event for nearly 2 decades. At one point, my ears perked as I heard a voice shout “Oi Tim film this”, turning around to witness the dude holding his bars underhanded and pedalling towards the 7 set. Within a few attempts and a couple good slams, ‘Snapper’ managed to pull off an underhand bar spin and with this putting the wind in our sails, the group was off to the next spot of the day - the infamous and classic, Kangaroo Point flat ledges.

The Kangaroo Point spot is picturesque to say the least, situated at the top of the cliffs on the eastern side of the Brisbane river, overlooking the city, valley and Southbank. It’s a great place for a beer, to hang out in the shade, cop a profile picture for your socials, or perhaps even riding the ledges that have provided hours of fun for BMX riders of all generations and skill levels. The ride over the bridge to the spot was rad and Mitch Wood captured it perfectly on his drone. It’s moments like these when you're mobbing a bridge with a bunch of toey BMX riders that gets me stoked on bikes and reaffirms that BMX in Brisbane is nice and strong. As we all arrived at the spot, the crew seek refuge under the trees and re-fill water bottles in preparation for eyeballing some of the shredding that was about to go down.

This spot presents endless opportunities with a couple of well waxed ledges at varying heights (and complete with a 2 foot gap at the ground level) and a huge set of stairs. The crew were in for a treat and before long it began to make good on its potential. A couple of stand out moments included Raph handling the ledge gap with a feeble to smith (I have always wanted to see this happen), Jake Norris doing just about every trick under the sun while sporting a big grin on his face and Lachlan Kirkwood avoiding his comfort zone to explore how his unique style works on a ledge spot. However, the winner for me here was watching Estonian national Martti Lainevool 180 bar spinning down the entire set.

Finishing up at the ledges, the group agreed to move on to the final spot of the day, the iconic Botanical Gardens 14 stair (heritage) rail. This rail has been blessed by so many incredible BMX riders over many, many years. There has been an endless amount of tricks that have gone down here, which continue to inspire the youth of today in pushing the limits of rail trickery. From the second we arrived, the energy cranked up a notch and the onslaught of the rail began. There were plenty of grommies taking runs and some of the older riders also having a crack. A few stand-out moments worth mentioning were Raph tyre riding down the rail, Declan giving it a crooked as well as hitting the out ledge and of course seeing some of the younger dudes hitting the rail!

For all those that were there, you know what happened next. BMX is a sport that involves a lot of risk and it’s for that reason why we always encourage every rider (young and old) to wear a helmet. Rhys Gunn is a young dude who loves BMX and is a frequent face at the shop, a kid who loves BMX and has taken a keen interest in street riding. Rhys had been out to the Botanical Gardens rail a few times before the jam and had actually hit it prior to the jam. So when we announced the spots, he was keen on hitting it with a crowd! After a successful first attempt, the kid rushed back up the stairs to clean it up. Unfortunately, the next attempt didn’t go so well with his front peg missing the rail and sending him straight to the bottom of the set. I won’t go into details but thankfully Rhys had a helmet on and his head was saved from severe injury. It’s never good seeing a biker go down and because of this, we decided Rhys was the ‘King of BNE’ for 2023. Not only did he take a hell of a slam, but he rode at every spot all day, showed up with a great attitude and brought a bunch of mates. For the crew at LUXBMX, that's what's most important. Congratulations Rhys! Looking forward to seeing you back out there shredding soon.

Troy ‘Big Salad’ Charlesworth had the movie maker in hand all day, working towards producing a video to recap the day, so make sure you check that out along with the 2 raw edits.

See you all again next year!