Zack Warden, Woodward Camp, 2013
Earlier this year, Zack Warden rose to X Games prominence winning back-to-back gold medals in BMX Big Air. In this retrospective gallery, Warden's rise through the ranks from aspiring amateur to established pro is examined. Here, Warden takes a break in between sessions at Woodward Camp East in Woodward, Pa.
X Games 13, 2007
Then an 18-year-old aspiring BMX Vert, Park and Big Air rider, Zack Warden traveled to X Games 13 and attempted to qualify for BMX Big Air. "I missed the cut by 0.25 of a point to [Mat] Hoffman. I didn't think I'd be anywhere close to qualifying, and then I was right behind my hero," Warden says.
BMX Big Air, 2007
This was Zack Warden's first BMX Big Air competition at X Games, and he had zero problems airing the massive MegaRamp quarterpipe. "Once I started riding the MegaRamp, I realized that it was kind of what I always did: I always charged jumps. That's just what I liked to do," Warden says.
Bike flip to tire tap, 2012
Not many riders have been able to perfect the bike flip. Warden explains why, "One of the best descriptions I've heard someone come up with is that the bike flip is like a controlled crash. And I couldn't agree more. So much is going on during a bike flip, and most of the time, they hardly ever feel the same." That didn't stop him from learning bike flips to tire taps.
X Games 14, 2008
In 2008, Warden returned to X Games with a BMX Vert invite and proceeded to wow the judges with never-before-seen tricks on vert. Warden has a cool command on the bike flip -- a trick in which he stays upright, while the bike does a backflip underneath him. To this day, no other rider has landed the bike flip on vert.
Flair, Woodward Camp, 2012
Woodward Camp had a huge influence on Warden's riding and is a big reason he's winning gold medals today. "Woodward to me was an escape. Everyone wanted to be there, and I would get to spend my entire summer there. It was this place where all of the people in the magazines were passing through, and it still is that way," Warden says.
Iron Lotus, 2011
Another Zack Warden original, the Iron Lotus. This trick combines a 360 with Warden's version of a bike flip. Warden borrowed the name from the Will Ferrell ice skating comedy "Blades of Glory" and eventually took the trick to the gap portion of the MegaRamp.
Warden inked his love for BMX into his arm in 2011.
Nosepick, Woodward Camp, 2012
Growing up between the St. Louis and Kansas City BMX scenes, Warden hailed from an area of the country where he was encouraged to ride all BMX disciplines, from street to park to vert to dirt. As a result, Warden excels in multiple areas of riding, including BMX park riding. Here, Warden nose picks the top of the Lot 8 wall at Woodward East in Pa.
One-footed invert, Woodward Camp, 2012
Warden's not just capable of innovating new tricks. He's also got a keen eye for the classic tricks, executed with style.
One-handed invert, Woodward Camp, 2011
"Growing up in St. Louis, there's an old school riding influence. I looked up to Mat Hoffman. It was how I was brought into BMX, and I always wanted to ride vert. Once I had the opportunity to go to Woodward, all I wanted to do was ride vert. It was a dream come true," Warden says.
No-hander, Woodward Camp, 2012
"Where else can a young BMX rider go and ride with your heroes? You don't meet Michael Jordan at basketball camp. But you go to Woodward and you get a chance to meet Dave Mirra and Mat Hoffman," Warden says.
Bike flip, 2013
Near Woodward Camp, locals and visiting pros started a set of trails that is properly maintained and seen as an escape from daily camp life. Here, Warden throws another bike flip at height, followed by a smooth landing.
360 one-handed table, 2013
Style isn't a part of BMX that can be learned. It happens on its own through time spent on the bike, and that is something that Warden has done in earnest. Here he stylishly throws a one-handed 360 tabletop at height in the woods near Woodward Camp.
Bike flip, Mini Mega, 2013
There might be a lot of bike flips in this gallery, but that's only because the trick is photogenic. Here is the Mini Mega version of Zack's iconic bike flip at Woodward Camp.
Triple tailwhip, 2013
Warden first nailed the triple tailwhip at Woodward West in 2012, and in the year since, he's become extremely comfortable throwing the difficult aerial. Here is Warden's Mini Mega triple tailwhip at height.
Although Warden is concentrating on Big Air this month, he hasn't forgotten about his vertical aspirations. This is a solo session on the outdoor Woodward Camp vert ramp.
X Games Munich
Zack Warden returns to BMX Big Air at X Games Munich.