Anywhere you go within the BMX Freestyle scene, the name Mat Hoffman is bound to come up. In fact, Hoffman’s reputation stretches beyond the BMX Freestyle world and into the mainstream. He is, without question, the greatest Vert-ramp rider in the history of the sport.
With a resume that includes taking his bike B.A.S.E.-jumping off 3,500-foot Norwegian cliffs and clearing 26.5 feet above a 24-foot-tall vert quarter pipe (more than 50 feet above the ground), Hoffman is a true innovator, defining the sport with the invention of more than 100 revolutionary tricks like the 900, which he successfully completed in 1989; Flip faki (backflip which includes landing backwards); and Flair (backflip with a 180 degree turn) – to name a few. And, he is the only person to successfully execute a no-handed 900 in a competition.
Hoffman’s unparalleled accomplishments as a rider are equaled by his success in the business world. By 1991, Hoffman had already surpassed amateur rank, seized the pro division and brought the sport to new heights never thought possible, inventing the majority of the Vert tricks today. By this year and the age of 20, Hoffman started both Hoffman Promotions and Hoffman Bikes.
Since then, he has been a key player in building the sport. He developed the Bicycle Stunt (BS) Series to give riders a place to compete and showcase their talents. The enormous success of the BS Series inevitably attracted the attention of ESPN, which joined forces with Hoffman Promotions in 1995 to produce and televise the series each year.
The growth of Hoffman Promotions gave birth to the Hoffman Sports Association (H.S.A.), which is the organizing body for BMX Freestyle events worldwide, such as ESPN’s X Games and all international X Games bicycle stunt events.
Hoffman has produced, directed and hosted several TV series for ESPN including “Kids in the Way,” “HBtv” and “Mat’s World.” In February 2008, Hoffman produced and co-hosted “Mat Hoffman’s Evel Knievel Tribute” with Johnny Knoxville, which aired on MTV and featured record-breaking stunts by Travis Pastrana, Trigger Gunn, Allan Cooke and Davin Halford.
Hoffman partnered with Activision to produce Mat Hoffman’s Pro BMX video game and Mat Hoffman’s Pro BMX 2 video game – released in August 2002, in conjunction with the release of Mat Hoffman’s Pro BMX2 Tour TV show, which aired on ESPN2 and is available on DVD and VHS.
He has been involved in a number of film projects: “Keep Your Eyes Open,” produced by Tamra Davis and starring Spike Jonze; IMAX film “Ultimate X”; “Triple X,” a Rob Cohen film, starring Vin Diesel; “Jackass-The Movie,” “Jackass-Number 2” and the upcoming Jackass 3-D film, due to release in October 2010.
A documentary featuring Hoffman’s tenacious quest for high air, entitled “The Birth of Big Air,” directed and produced by Jeff Tremaine and additionally produced by Johnny Knoxville, Spike Jonze and Hoffman, himself, was released in July 2010 on ESPN.
Other current projects include two high-energy shows produced by Hoffman – Mat Hoffman’s Aggro Circus at Universal Studios in Orlando, FL, and Mat Hoffman’s Danger Defying Daredevils at Six Flags Magic Mountain near Los Angeles, CA.
Only Hoffman knows what the future holds. As he said during his speech at the Action Sports and Music Awards, accepting the Lifetime Achievement Award, “I feel like I’m just getting started. Here’s to tomorrow.”