EARLIER this week, Scottish stunt cyclist Kriss Kyle unveiled a lavishly-produced video, Kaleidoscope, where he performed brand new tricks in a unique, ever-changing environment. Emma O’Neill asks the Stranraer-born cyclist about how Inception inspired his vision, and why his love of riding has made flying difficult
Kriss Kyle first got into BMXing when he was around 10-years-old, when he would go to the local skate park and watched his brother. .
“After that I begged my mum and dad to get a mini-BMX for my birthday and I haven’t looked back since,” he said. “I’ve been fortunate enough to travel the world through that, but I still feel as though I’m that same kid just living this dream.”
• Watch Kriss Kyle’s Kaleidoscope film
Kyle won his first major competition seven years ago, and when he became a resident at Dumbarton’s Unit 23, one of the UK’s largest indoor skate parks, it gave him the springboard to compete at the highest level.
His ambitions have, however, come at a cost.
“I’ve been really lucky as far as injuries go. I’ve torn my cartilage in my knee, I’ve torn ligaments in my ankle and I’ve got a sore back from landing on my tail bone so much as well. Long-haul flights have become a bit of a nightmare, as I can hardly sit down for those long lengths of time. But I have a lot of friends who are much worse than me, who have really nicked themselves up.”
Kaleidoscope, a Red Bull-produced stunt video launched earlier this week starring Kyle, saw him performing never-before-seen tricks in a colourful environment of shifting platforms, curved rails and trampolines. Kyle says the film’s unique visual look was initially inspired by the idea of a ramp-filled revolving room in the vein of Christopher Nolan film Inception.
“We quickly realised that this idea was pretty impossible,” he said. “So this kind of branched off, grew arms and legs and I pretty much got to design it all. Red Bull didn’t give me a budget, didn’t put any sort of limit on it, and said build whatever you want and we can do it.
Kriss has been with the project from the beginning and is grateful for how much involvement he was allowed.
“It started with me going to meetings and discussing ideas, to coming back from a trip to Vancouver and the set was built – it absolutely blew my mind.
“Myself and the director Ben Scott came up with the designs. I’d say to him, ‘this is what I want to ride can we do this,’ and he’d either say ‘yeah great’, or ‘how about if we change this, make it look more like that’.
“We had a model that was built and it was honestly like they had just shrunk you down and you were inside the model walking about, it was so surreal. It was one massive dream of mine coming true. The film is about me riding this near-impossible skate park - to me it’s the skate park of my dreams.”