The more things change, the more they stay the same. Take Axell Hodges, for instance. Once a freestyle motocross icon, always a freestyle motocross icon—at least, if his latest opus, Dirt Shark SLAYGROUND 3 is anything to go by. The world might be wonky, but if doing rad tricks on a course like this isn’t the most perfect and fun type of social distancing, we don’t know what is.
The thing about a performance like the one you see here is that it’s so much more than just a few cool jumps. Most of us probably got really good at doing one cool move on our bike, or skateboard, or skates, or playground equipment as kids. However, most of us probably didn’t also have the patience to make an entire aerial ballet out of stringing a whole bunch of cool moves together into something seamless and flowing. Hodges, on the other hand, clearly likes carving air up with his wheels.
In some ways, Hodges makes it all look easy, just because he’s so good at it. However, it’s an entire lifetime of skills and muscle memory he’s built up, that helps him do everything he does here. At the beginning, the viewer is zoomed out, just taking in the entire performance from afar. At certain points, you see the shadow of the helicopter that’s recording the whole thing for posterity, reminding you that Hodges isn’t alone.
Later on, when Hodges does some more technical maneuvers, the viewer is zoomed in to appreciate the fine motor control and exacting nature of the skills required to get the bike to do exactly what he wants. Although he’s so good that he consistently makes it look easy, you don’t get to this level without the years of practice that he’s had.
This is a combination of skills, judgment, and experience all coming together to form a truly unparalleled performance. Sure, other skilled freestyle motocrossers could send it on this course, but would they send it the same way? No, they wouldn’t, and that’s the point.