Earlier this spring at X Games Asia, we spotted X Games veteran Chad Kagy riding a Hoffman Bama frame on Vert and in the MiniMega competition. At the time, Kagy said he was waiting on a new frame from sponsor Failure Bikes, but recently, things seemed to have changed for both Kagy and Failure.
According to tweets from Kagy last week, he said that he's "not riding for Failure anymore" and that there were "recent changes to benefit us both." He added that the "industry is rough at the moment, but things will turn around."
Kagy's current sponsors include Arma Energy Snacks, Alpinestars, Real Water, Kicker, KLeN Laundry, Albe's and Woodward Camp, with hook ups from Yamaha, Bikes Over Baghdad, Nitro Circus and Ogio.
Let's think about this for a moment. Aside from product flow from Albe's Mailorder, Kagy, multiple X Games medalist in multiple BMX categories, Nitro Circus Live performer, enduring member of the Bikes Over Baghdad missions in the Middle East (where he performs demos for U.S. soldiers stationed abroad) and a pro athlete that takes time daily to interact with his fans, is a consumer of the BMX industry, and not a sponsored athlete.
According to Kagy, the decision to leave Failure was mutual between him and Failure's Matt Bischoff. "Beard and I just talked and it made sense to make this change ... it's a simple thing we both chose."
So it's not as if Kagy was dropped from the team or anything. To a degree, it was his choice, but it also seems as though bike and/or component sponsors would be chomping at the bit to add Kagy to their team. He is a high profile BMX pro. He gets on TV through the Dew Tour and X Games, he performs live during demos for the Nitro Circus, he does his part in earnest to give back to his country through the Bikes Over Baghdad tours. And if that wasn't enough, he is consistently available to his friends and fans via Facebook and Twitter.
This summer, Kagy will be riding Vert at the Dew Tour series, as well as Vert and Big Air at X Games 17. When not riding contests, he will be riding at Woodward Camp on a daily basis, interacting with young riders and campers and doing his best to help them progress their riding.
More specifically, he's the definition of a professional BMX rider, only he's not represented by the bike industry. I guess what I'm getting at is that I think Kagy deserves the backing of the BMX industry, and that his contributions towards growing the sport cannot be overlooked.