Monster Energy sits down with FMX legend Josh Sheehan ahead of X Games Minneapolis 2019 to talk triple backflips, training and his career highlights so far.
You were the first person to successfully land a triple back flip. What made you want to accomplish this task? How long did it take to successfully land a triple back flip?
Well after doing the double back flip I think it’s natural to wonder if a triple is possible! And wondering if it’s possible Travis had already tried to make a setup for it that didn’t work but when Bagjump got Travis an airbag it made it possible to try different ramps. From the first airbag test to the 17th ramp change when I was finally able to triple flip was about a year. Then it was about 8 days of solid practice on the final setup before doing the one jump to the hard landing.
What is your training ground like at your family farm?
Thankfully my dad pushed out some old orchard so I claimed some prime real estate next to the river. I’ve got a foam pit next to a dirt landing with a thin airbag on one side. Then behind that I have a little supercross track setup to flow on from the fmx jump. On the other side of the farm I’ve got a sand track through some natural bush where I first started learning tricks years ago.
Let’s talk about your freestyle motocross career. What are some highlights?
The 3 most memorable moments are winning X fighters championship in 2014, the triple flip in 2015 and my first X Games gold medal in 2016.
What is your favorite trick to do? What would you consider the hardest trick specifically for you to do?
I love doing whips and 360’s when they’re good but the challenge of the double flip is always very satisfying. Double flip combos are the hardest for me!
With your busy schedule, what do you enjoy doing during your downtime?
I love my shed time, I’ve got a workshop to work on cars and toys. When I can I’ll go skydiving, and it’s a good reset. Getting away by camping, hunting with mates ,and helping out some farmers get rid of pests.
What’s your ritual for going into a competition?
I just try and ride as much as possible so everything is easier. When you feel comfortable doing your tricks you don’t get as stressed so the pressure of competition isn’t as rough on you.
What gets your head into the game?
I try to stay relaxed, listen to music, don’t stress over anything. A lot of visualizing and positive thoughts help to stay calm and focused.
What advice would you give to new freestyle motocross riders?
Nothing happens over night so just keep riding. Baby steps. When you work hard everything will come quicker than you think.
You have traveled all over the world and still live in Donnybrook; do you think you will ever leave and move somewhere else?
It’s a tough one, I’m so setup where I am so it would be a mission to move my riding setup. I’m open to change but I do love being on the farm and the people in the area.
You’re stranded on a desert island. Who’d be your top pick of fellow athletes ( choose 2) to be stranded with? And Why?
Well I think it’s a bit rough to drag a few others in on this but Jacko strong would be a good one. Quite handy and a good laugh and maybe Clint Moore, so we can laugh at Jacko’s antics.
Anything else you would like to share with your fans?
You’re all awesome, thanks for the support! Hope to see you all at the comps coming up.
Words and Pix: Monster Energy