Introducing one of UK’s most promising BMX talents
Every so often a young sporting prodigy comes along who makes you sit up and take notice. Only 15 years old, and a rider for just five years, Declan Brooks is on course to living the dream. Sponsorship by Vocal BMX, Mutant Bikes and Scoop BMX instantly occurred after he won the BMX Masters 2011 Amateur Spine competition in Cologne – his biggest and proudest feat to date. He followed suit a few weeks later, making a debut in his first pro competition at this year’s Relentless Energy Drink Boardmasters with an impressive third place finish on the mini-ramp.
You only get what you give
It’s obvious that an endless amount of practice is required to reach such high levels of riding, and it’s evidence of how dedicated Declan is to his sport that he knows nothing else but riding. “I live and breathe BMX. It’s my only passion,” he casually tells us. It’s this precise ‘no half measures’ attitude that has seen him step up from amateur to pro level competitions this year.
Riding with Mark Webb
Southsea Skatepark in Portsmouth is Declan’s local stomping ground where he practises daily, but he’s also fortunate enough to practise and ride with the illustrious Relentless Energy rider Mark Webb at the Ghetto Shed every week. That’s something that every up-and-coming BMX rider can only dream of.
Like most young, promising sporting talents, there’s another influential figure helping shape him as both a rider and a man. Declan acknowledges the fact he wouldn’t be where he is today without the help and support of his family, and in particular his father – a former BMXer, albeit one who “wasn’t that good”.
“My dad got me a bike when I was six – a red and yellow BMX with plastic wheels and stabilizers,” he recalls. “I first started riding ramps and skate parks when I was 10. He also bought me a motocross bike when I was six because he wanted me to get into it, but I had a bad crash and it put me off riding. When I was 10 I got a red 16-inch BMX and he took me to the local park. I loved it straight away.”
Dew Tour dreams
When asked what his ultimate goals are, Declan enthusiastically informs us, “The Dew Tour America – riding with and against all the top riders in the world. And then if BMX features in the Olympics I would love to represent the UK for vert, park and mini-ramp.” He cites one of his biggest inspirations as BMX legend Jamie Bestwick, a British rider representing in America.
“All I do is drink tea and watch BMX videos online when I’m not riding,” Declan says proudly. “I watch edits all the time to see what everyone is up to, but I try and take my own path with it to be a bit different.” Ultimately, we think it’s his decision to go against the grain that will see him succeed. Keep your eyes on him and follow him on Twitter @declanbrooksbmx