Last year at X Games Asia, Cult pro Dakota Roche spent the majority of his time riding spots around Shanghai. Just prior to the competition, Roche showed up, threw down and ended up on the podium with an X Games medal. This year, Dak is back, and he's taking the same approach to his Shanghai experience. Yesterday, he kept it mellow in practice and rode the box jump, and later on today, he'll be defending his podium spot in Street Qualifying. Before Dak embarked on his trip to Shanghai, we caught up with him to discuss the X Games experience, travel to China, Cult's new video and what's next on his very busy plate.
ESPN: Are you excited to be back in Shanghai?
Roche: Definitely stoked to be back!
How was your experience visiting China last year?
Yeah, it was seriously awesome. Shanghai is one of the craziest places I've been, but it's a good time for sure. It seems like there's always something cool to do.
You go out and ride actual street and even film days before the contest, sometimes instead of going to the practices, is that true? Do you prefer practicing on real street instead of the course?
That is true! Nathan Williams and I would just go out and find a bunch of amazing spots and film each other -- it was tight. As far as my preference goes, I do like to get a good feel of the course before I try to put together a run, but that won't stop me from hitting streets spots.
Do you get jet lag at all from traveling that far and if so, does it affect your riding? How do you cope with it?
Yeah, jet lag sucks and I get it bad. It definitely messes with my riding a bit but I just try to push through it.
What do you do on the plane to pass the time?
Try to sleep as much as I can and listen to music. It's about the only things you can do.
Do you do anything special to prepare for X Games competitions?
I just like to be on my bike as much as I can before a contest. Being comfortable on your bike is pretty crucial.
You've been finishing up filming for the new Cult video, "Talk is Cheap" how's that going?
It's going pretty good despite a rough face plant a month ago. Most of the team was in town recently so it's been really motivating just getting to ride and film with them everyday. Everyone is killing it!
How do you manage to ride so consistently at contests? Do you have to work on that?
I think I just try to get comfortable on the course and not try anything that I think is going to take 100 tries. I save those kinds of moves for when I'm out filming.
Summer X Games. You've been pretty vocal about certain riders not being invited to ride street at X Games. Who do you think should be invited and would you like to see anything changed about the contest?
Non-US riders like Alex Kennedy, Dan Lacey, Ben Lewis, Simone Barraco and Bruno Hoffman need to be at these events. The fact that Nathan Williams and Corey Martinez weren't there last year was pretty shocking as well. As far as changes go, I just think they need to get rid of the "super final" all together because everyone is dead by then.
You're also going to be filming for the Dan's Comp video after Cult. How does you plan on approaching back-to-back video parts?
To be honest, I'm just taking it one step at a time for now. Finish what I have in front of me, and then I'll go from there.