MovieTickets.com: Let's start with your name. Has the last name "Spinner" impacted your BMX career?
Mike Spinner: [Laughs] Well, I was the first one to do a 1080, so my last name worked out. I thank my dad every day!
Despite having a long history, the world of action sports is evolving at pretty rapid pace; it's getting more interest, more sponsorship dollars and more overall awareness. Is there a driving force behind the recent growth?
In the last few years, action sports have grown like crazy--especially with the help to the Dew Tour. They put on the best contests and represent us in a great way. I can't imagine where it's gonna be at in five years. Stay tuned!
BMX has given you the opportunity to travel around the world. How have your experiences differed from country to country?
It's crazy! In the last few years, I've been on a plane so much, going from country to country, seeing new places and how people live in other countries, which is amazing. It's a little bit different everywhere I go, but at the end of the day, when we run into other BMX riders, we all have the same passion: to just want to be on our bikes. It's a common ground no matter where I go in the world.
Did you ever expect to carve out a career in BMX?
No way. I'll be honest--I looked up to a ton of pros when I was younger and I never thought it was possible. This is a straight dream, but I'm full throttle.
It's not all fun and games--there's hard work involved in being a professional action sports athlete. What does it take to go pro, and stay at the top of the sport?
As much as I love riding my bike and having fun on it, there are days when you wake up and you just don't want to do it. But you have to--that's your job. I try to stay in shape. I tore my ACL last year so going to the gym is a must for getting that back to 100 percent. I want to be the best I can be, and I'm trying to do stuff nobody can do. That doesn't happen overnight.
Is there pressure to keep coming up with new tricks? How do you balance trying new tricks and perfecting the old ones?
That's a great question! There's a mix. In the past, I was all about doing the craziest trick, but I would lose out perfecting my old tricks to a T. Now I'm trying to have a good balance between doing the big tricks, not leaving empty space and being an overall good rider--style, tricks, height...
What's the difference in your overall approach to BMX compared to some of the guys you compete against?
My creativity. As a competitor, I HATE doing the same tricks as everybody else. Now there are the go-to tricks that everybody does, but when it comes down to the big bangers, I have a drive. I want to be doing the craziest thing out there and when people step up to what I'm doing, I'll have to step up again.
You recently transformed your backyard in Florida into a hardcore training facility with ramps similar to those you compete on. What motivated you to do this?
For the last four years, I lived in Greenville, N.C. and Woodward Camp, Pa.--that's where many of the top pros live. They both had great training facilities, but they both had things the other didn't. So I designed my skate park with the best features from each. It's my favorite place to ride right now and it's in my backyard. It doesn't get better then that!
We know you're a movie junkie. What are some of your favorite movies of all time?
Superbad, The Girl Next Door, all of the Rocky movies, Wedding Crashers, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, just to name a few.
Can you tell us something about yourself that would surprise people?
I'm an amazing texter. I mean lighting speed fast. [Laughs]
What's next for Mike Spinner?
To keep doing what I'm doing! I'm all set up now in Florida, between my house, my ramps, my friends... I'm just gonna be riding and trying to progress on my bike as much as possible--and hopefully get that phone call again for the invite to the Playboy Mansion. I went last year --and it was so much fun! [Laughs]