We are back with another chapter in the BMX pros with tattoos story. For our third round, we assembled a varied crew of riders that includes Kink's Albert Mercado, United's Ashley Charles, X Games Big Air legend Chad Kagy, Cult's Dakota Roche, Sunday's Eric Lichtenberger, Subrosa's Hoang Tran, dirt jumper Lance Mosely, Cardinal founder Nate Moroshan and Haro's Ronnie Napolitan. Because of space constraints in our galleries, we sometimes couldn't fit full explanations into the caption field, so we decided to run with everyone's full story below. Check the gallery out here and then read on to learn what motivated each of these riders.
"Alright, so first off this is going to sound really corny. I was in about ninth grade when I wanted this tattoo. I'm just a big fan of living in California so I wanted something to represent that. It's not the flashiest idea. It was simple and to the point. Living in California, I've seen a lot of different versions of this tattoo. Most of which have a star over some place or another, or "CALI" in old English blasted over the top. I wanted to tone it down a bit and just have a nice simple outline. I am completely happy with the outcome. A couple of the San Diego dudes and I got tattoos once after a BMX contest at the Clairmont YMCA park. Alex Bermudez, a good friend from San Diego, hooked all of us up with tattoo artist Nick Portigal. Nick toughed it out and hooked everyone up that night at La Jolla Tattoo. Since then, Nick has relocated to Oakland. It's been the only tattoo I've actually wanted so I don't think I'm looking to get anymore but I'm always open to new ideas."
"I started going to this shop back home about seven years ago and just got into it. The first tattoo I had done was the sprocket and flames on the back of my arm -- I guess this one has a little meaning. I got it on my first long trip to the States, a friend of a friend had a tattoo kit and would come to our hotel room and we would all hang out and get inked. It's related to the concrete park I grew up riding at and the close friends I still have from all that time ago. Most of my work I got done at a local shop in Bournemouth, England called Urban Image. The guy Slim that I go to is a sick artist. He does a lot of traditional work, which I like so I would just bring him an idea and let him put his own spin on it. He also drew the insoles for my Etnies/United collab shoe, you can check out his work at urbanimagetattoo.com. The other work I have was done by John Dye and James Cox's lady Lexy."
"My brother had a dragon head on his leg done by a friend with a guitar string on a Walkman motor, and when he passed away I wanted to get a complete dragon to have a similar piece finished but by a legit artist. I went to my friends shop (Hart & Huntington) and my artist (Twig) is a rider and was psyched to work on my leg. Once my dragon was done, it looked a little odd floating on my blank white leg alone, so I kept going. With some creative help and about 50 hours of work from my artist, we came up with a design for my whole leg to be a piece of artwork and this is what we finished with."
"Most of my tattoos have a little story behind them. That's the kind of tattoo I like getting, so let the craziness happen. Party."
"'Show me a man with a tattoo and I'll show you a man with an interesting past,' said Jack London. Tattoos are bad. Get some. Thor did the sugar hobo and light bulb at Seven Seas tattoo. "Sailin' on" by Luke W. at Lucky Tattoo, and the anchor was done by some dude in Fallbrook, thanks to Alex B. for paying for it."
"My tattoos are all done by Don McDonald out in Pittsburgh. He does all my brother's art and is just an all around awesome dude. As you can see, we still have a lot of work to do. I'm trying to finish up the inside of my arm, move across the chest, and even get in the armpits. The bulldog on the back of my arm is what my dad had tattooed on him before he passed away, so I decided to do that for him. He died when I was really young and I didn't even get to really meet him. Also, I had to show some Section 8 love somewhere. If it weren't for that skatepark I wouldn't be doing what I am today. I'd probably just still be stuck in Youngstown working a crappy job hating it."
"My whole left arm represents the good and bad luck of my life basically. I have lucky horseshoes, dice reading 7, the sexy devil angel, a guy looking kind of like me breaking a mirror while walking under a ladder with a black cat crossing in front of him and the words blessed mess, meaning my life has been blessed with so many amazing things but a huge mess all at once. I like ink and respect it if it's a good artist and it means something to the person as mine does. I just had the word "Determined" written all down my side with big roses all around it. I'm a very determined person and want what I want in life and go after it. Helps remind me not to give up either. Mike Spazbo has done all my work except my inside bicep and a couple "jail tats." He's based out of Costa Mesa, Calif. and I definitely recommend him www.spazbo.com or Instagram if you want to check out some his work or get a hold of him."
"The first tattoo I ever got was the S-luck bird on the inside of my bicep. I got it while I was living in Cleveland in 2001 or 2002, it was a weird time where Chenga was closing and I was feeling the S-luck vibe, so I thought it was appropriate at the time. After I moved out to Cali from Cleveland, I felt the luck need to be evened out so I got a horseshoe under it. The rest of my arm was started in 2005, when I hurt my knee riding the Vans park and needed something to do. My downstairs neighbor was a tattoo artist so we got together and started the fish sleeve he lined it in and did some shading. Then I moved and lost touch with him and was lucky enough to meet a new artist Skully through my friend Rob Morgan and he said he would finish it for me. Skully got it looking good but we still need to finish it, and I'm lazy when it comes to getting tattooed. On my ribs, I have the clock from the "On the Clock" video that we did with Volume. It was my first real video part that I put a lot of effort into so I wanted to commemorate it. Skully did that, and it's one of my favorites. Lastly is the Cardinal logo. I got that done before we really even had any product for the brand. I just wanted to be all in with it and I was and still am. Some guy after the Nike number plate thing did it in some tattoo shop on Hollywood Blvd. This one would be my favorite, if it weren't for the shoddy work and the unfortunate circumstances that happened with Cardinal."