When he completes his senior year, he’ll be leaving the school scene behind, foregoing college to focus on riding. After wrestling with his parents a bit, and following a serious chat with his teachers, all parties agreed that is what’s best for him. They want him to fully develop his talent in an uninterrupted manner. 

“It’s an unbelievable feeling, knowing that I have full backing from both my parents, and even my teachers,” Chad said. “That’s pretty rare.”

Even while still in school, he’s traveling all over the world, making headlines and displaying his immense talent. He floored the judges at the Dew Tour with his intricate lines, and most recently grabbed his first gold medal at X Games Asia, automatically qualifying him for this summer’s 2012 X Games. 

Working with Nike, Chad’s building his brand and furthering the growth of BMX. This weekend, on May 12, he will be hosting the Chad Kerley Vitaminwater Invitational in Chicago at the Bakery, an exclusive indoor space well-known in the action sports community. The groundbreaking event, modeled after similar skateboarding events, will be the first major street-style BMX competition of its kind. 

 

It’s an unbelievable feeling, knowing that I have full backing from both my parents, and even my teachers. That’s pretty rare.

 

“Aside from the X Games, which is invite only, there isn’t really another big street competition,” Chad explained. “I’m not the only one doing this kind of riding. There are hundreds of riders around the world that are so good, but have never had the chance to compete. So, I invited people from all over to come to this.”

The format is a five-round, four-obstacle, best-trick, rider-judged set up. 

“It’s not going to be runs,” he explained. “You just ride around on the course and see what you can do. If you crash, it doesn’t matter, because we know when you do something insane. I’ll ride, but I won’t be competing. Everybody will decide on the winners, and each round, people will get money.”

The contest comes in response to the growing popularity of natural street riding, and as an effort to grow the little exposure that BMX gets. If all goes as planned for the contest, Chad hopes to bring the invite back yearly and eventually build it into a series. 

After 16 years of being on a two wheels, he’s asking that everyone give their feet a rest, and come along for a ride with him and the best street BMXers in the world.

Written by Tony Markovich (@T_Marko)

Click here for live webcast of Chad Kerley's Vitaminwater Invite Saturday, May 12 at 4 p.m. ET


 

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