I’ve been in the BMX business hooking up riders for almost 30 years… and ya know, I’ve always enjoyed having the kinda small company I do, that searches out the unknown up-and-coming shredders to hookup, rather than playing the trendy-pay-to-play-BMX-press-advertising/rider-coverage-game… As after this many years in BMX, I only do things I enjoy.
Over the years that has left me hooking up some pretty cool cats that have carried on to be those riders that the BMX press got their little hard-ons for, but oftentimes has left me with stories of becoming good friends with, and then getting shat upon and dropped —without even a word’s notice — by riders whom I’ve given their ‘start’ to, either the primadona ‘the world owes me everything’ guys, or just the strait slackers that don’t care about anything but riding whenever they want to…
So years ago I learned an extremely valuable lesson that has kept me with a positive attitude in this game: If a good rider is not super cool AND a nice person – then RUN – NO MATTER HOW GOOD OF A RIDER THEY ARE.
…Then i met Jake Ortiz…
Jake, the white-skinned-red-headed-Mexican, is the most open-minded, non-judgemental, laid-back kid that you’ll ever meet from any small hick town, USA. You can take Jake anywhere and he’ll bro-down with anyone. A party, a ramp, a park, a club, an old-folks home, a gay club, a road trip, an elementary school, anywhere.
…AND THEN HE STARTS RIDING…
And then immediately as your jaw hits the ground, you know there’s something about this cat. You can bring Jake anywhere and he’ll ride anything. He reminds me of Van Homan of the same age, just down to ride. He isn’t anal about how “light” his bike is, he isn’t anal about how he “looks” in front of people, Jake doesn’t play the trendy-games, he just rides, and damned fuk’n good. Burly.
I feel it an honour to know Jake, to be making the second sample 2hip signature frame for him right now, and to call him my bro – one that I’ll keep tight as long as i still ride… and ya know that’ll be until I’m doin’ 10′ airs underground… (HA – you think Jake and i won’t be taking road trips shredding the world when we’re 60 and 80 years old?)
Photos by Tony Archibeque Jr.
Intro by Ron Wilkerson
Interview by Paulo Martins
Name: Jake Ortiz
Hometown: Tahuya, WA
Sponsers/Help: TwoHipBikes, Sanctuary BMX Shop
Years riding: 11
1. What is your very first memory of BMX?
I used to go to this bmx race track in Port orchard that had an area that we called state land which was a whole bunch of dirt jumps in the woods behind the track and there was also a skatepark that had metal sheeted ramps with pieces missing here and there. My friends and i just went there to try to clear this huge jump we called “style” other than that i just enjoyed all the hips that were built on the corners of all the big step ups and i liked too just race around the track with my friends. That was the first place i saw kids doing tricks flowing through some dirt jumps that were too big for me at the time.
2. What riders inspired you in the beginning?
All the local kids that could ride good at state land inspired me too keep pushing myself until i was capable of getting through the smaller rhythm sections.
3. Top riders off all time, regardless of discipline?
Ron W, Matt Hoffman, Jamie Bestwick, Garret Reynolds, Dave Voelker, Ruben Alcantara
4. Who do you ride with?
Honestly i ride alone a lot of the time, i will just ride around were ever and mess around on fun banks or interesting setups for a while. But there also many good times had riding with local kids at the skatepark by my house and riding with Tony Archibeque jr. and his roommates.
5. For some riders their bikes mean freedom to them, what does it mean to you?
My Lifestyle kind of revolves around my bike riding im constantly looking for good setups, new skateparks and weird spots everywhere i go. So for me my bike is Basically the key to unlock all the fun riding at those good spots and skateparks i’ve found.
6. What do you think you would be doing if you never picked up a bike?
I feel like the majority of people around me just do what they think is “normal” and get a good job and do it forever. So i guess without my love for riding my bike i could likely have turned into one of those people but the love for riding has helped me realize what is important to me and its nothing that money from that good job can buy.
7. Favourite spot to ride?
I really enjoy riding every time im on my bike, a new spot becomes my favourite spot all the time.
8. What’s been your most memorable BMX experience?
Ron W called me up and told me i was going to Tahiti for one week in just one week. I had the privilege of judging a bmx street competition put on by A1 spot and positive riding vibes and had an amazing time meeting everybody and riding with all the locals. And that was this year so its still on my mind very often. But there have been so many amazing experiences throughout the years like going to Aruba for a 2hip BMX show and so many good times on the road in the Sanctuary motor home!
9. Favourite trick of all time is…
The bunny hop
10. Top 5 bike vids?
Wide awake nightmare, Blue print, Criminal Mischief, Ride like a man, Flow
11. What else other than BMX gets you really pumped to ride?
Most of the time its a good song that will make me want to ride or seeing a really good riding spot while im at work.
12. Do you ever question why a lot of riders look and ride the same nowadays?
Ya it does kind of seem that way but i know its a waste of thought to care or think to much into that one. Its just the time we live in right know, I feel like there is always going to be a huge amount of followers that are just riding and doing the tricks the popular kids do then there are the kids who are really good and like attention so they go big right when you get there then don’t say anything to you or maybe they are cool and just don’t really know how to express their joy of learning a new trick but whatever the case is im not a hater i want to see kids goin big. It seems like younger kids resort to following the trends because they don’t know any better Yet. I also know that there are a lot people like me who are in it for the fun and progression and i hope those follower kids may change someday and also be in it for the right reasons.
13. The best advice you’ve ever received was?
Just Follow what keeps yourself having fun and don’t worry about what anybody else thinks. Find something you love and do it till you die.
14. The last book you read was?
Hmm im not proud of this but i don’t read books at all haha. If i was gonna read a book i would probably go for an auto biography by somebody i considered amazing because i imagine i would enjoy the real life type experiences in it.
15. You’d like to know more about… Having fun every single day
16. What is your favourite 2hip video?
Ride like a man
17. What’s the best thing about riding for 2hip?
The best is always having my bike be legit and getting to go to amazing places and meet awesome people. Ron W is also an amazing individual and pioneer of bmx so i feel lucky to have the chance to be part of a team with fundamental roots in bmx.
18. How are things going at 2hip right now, do you have any signature parts in the works for 2hip anytime soon?
Things are great right now there are some new parts in the works and the Groove Tech system has been amazing. Also my signature “Love” frame should be dropping soon. I cant wait, We will definitely do a promo edit and make if official!
19. Ron Wilkerson/2Hip have been working really hard on the Groovetech stem/bar/fork system. What’s your opinion about it?
I’ve road many proto types of the system over the years and it has been getting better and better. Now It’s strong, light and makes putting your bike together more simple so i feel like you couldn’t ask for much more. Oh and its real interesting / nice to look at also in a good way.
20. If you could only ride one spot for a year, where would it be and why?
It would have to be a spot that has a little of everything. So i guess Tacoma would be my spot. Even though its a whole city, its still a spot on a map.
21. What is the weirdest/craziest/whatever story you have about cops or security guards?
One time i was riding down the street in Connecticut with a group of people on a mega tour trip, it was a really shady area and i bunny hopped off this curb cut and landed in the road kinda in front of this truck and the rest of the guys were ahead of me. So before i even had a chance to think something might be weird the guy driving goes around me and just stops in the street right in front of me and gets out of the truck in regular clothes and starts screaming at me saying he’s a cop and he will put me in jail for whatever the hell he thought i did wrong and then a real cop in uniform comes up behind me i was just really surprised and speechless. Jared Allen saw that i was stuck there with some jerk and a cop so he came back to see what was goin on, that was enough of a distraction to get away.
22. What riders out there right now keep you motivated and inspired to keep pushing your own riding?
I really do a good job keeping myself motivated and wanting to push it. I get stoked when i ride with Ron W because i can imagine myself being almost 50 and still having that much fun on my bike. When i get to ride with some friends that i haven’t got a chance to ride with in a while and i see how much they have progressed that motivates me for sure too.
23. Outside of riding what are some things you are into?
My number one would have to be my wonderful girlfriend. A majority of my time is spent having good times with her she has helped me in every aspect of my life and brings me great joy everyday no matter what we are doing. I also enjoy driving my wrx wagon especially if its on dirt roads to go camping. I am also very into listening to music and playing with my cool little dog. If i add them all together like my girlfriend in the car with the dog listening to music going camping things don’t get much better!
24. If you came into a large sum of cash, what would you do with it?
Haha this is a good one, well i guess it depends on how big this sum of cash was but if it was huge i would buy a whole big island and ask everybody that i thought was really cool to come live there for free and get everything we need to be happy and work to make it sustainable for everybody forever and just do stuff we love to do all day and then pass the dream island on to the young kinda like a world i wish i lived in haha!
25. Last words
First of all Thanks to Dig for giving me the chance to do this interview. Thanks to RonW and Waylon for supporting me and including me on so many amazing trips. Thanks to Justin Kosman for making THE HUNT happen, BMXers need more cool opportunities like that, go buy one! Thanks to my family and friends for spreading the word about my new edits and for getting stoked when i have a new photo in the mag’s and for the endless support. And if you see another BMXer at the skatepark or in the street or whatever say hello and introduce yourself. Don’t be afraid to show some kindness and if anybody is rude to that approach then they suck, but at least you tried. And last but no least thanks to everybody that took the time to read this.