Three Words with Danny MacAskill
Inspiration, freedom and the unknown each play their part in shaping Danny MacAskill's inimitable style.
Three Words with ...
In the world of mountain biking – more specifically trials riding – Danny MacAskill needs no introduction. With his own distinctive approach, we caught up with him to get a better idea of what it is that makes his riding style so unique.
There are a lot of different factors that influence the way I ride. I come from a small village that’s only got like 300 people in it. There wasn’t much to do, so I used to just go out and play around and try to come up with new ideas.
It was only when I was about 11 years old, I found out that the type of riding I was doing was something called trials. I watched this video back in 1997 called ‘Chainspotting’ and it had a lot of my heroes who are now my friends today. Riders like Martyn Ashton and Martin Hawes. Basically, watching that video opened my eyes to the world of trials riding.
I ended up developing my own style of riding trials. I tried to add some BMX tricks to my repertoire that developed a combination of trials and BMX. When I made this video in 2009 in Edinburgh that combination all came together with the right person filming the whole right location. It resulted in a professional career. Those videos back in the day were really long. They were quite conceptual.
In some sports you can’t really do without other people, but I think it’s important to be able to do something yourself or learn to be able to do something on your own. You really need to put the time in to get really good.
“I try to acquire an open mind as to what I’m going to try next. That’s the way you come up with some new ideas.”Danny McAskill
I just go and ride in town. I have spots where I know I can do different tricks and I won’t move on until I’ve landed the trick I want to achieve. There’re other times I go out with new music and I try to acquire an open mind as to what I’m going to try next. That’s the way you come up with some new ideas. Sometimes they can just be stupid but other times they’re something new for the next video.
The thing I really enjoy doing for the videos is come up with a concept that allows me a little bit more creative freedom. That’s why sometimes they can be a little bit more playful or they can have a little bit more comedy behind them where you can get away with tricks that wouldn’t fit into a serious video.
Despite how it looks, I’ve got quite a lot of fear. I think everyone’s got fear of the unknown, it’s just that some people are much better at dealing with it than others.
I ride by myself a lot. I don’t have this competitive edge you develop when you’re growing up, when your friends try to one-up each other.
For me, it usually takes about four or five days and maybe like four or five hundred tries to get just one trick for the next video.