Monday Kickstart : December 24th, 2012

Ronnie Renner Is Ready For The New Year

By Brendan Lutes

Ronnie Renner has long been known for his freeriding abilities, and with the recent rain that has been hitting Southern California, Renner has been making trips out to the perfectly watered hills.

This past year, though, Renner took home another medal in X Games Step-Up, adding a gold medal to his collection. With multiple X Games events planned all around the world next year, Renner has not only been riding in the hills, but planning his schedule for 2013 as well. During a break from hitting some jumps in a secret spot in Reche Canyon, we caught up with him to find out how things have been.

In addition to his numerous X Games medals and world records, Renner is considered one of the sport’s top freeriders. He has led countless trips to world famous hills and deserts.

We’re out here in Reche Canyon and it’s kind of your prime time of the year, right?

Yeah, I try to consider myself a freerider. Besides X Games Step-Up, it’s one of the only things that keeps me motivated for freestyle. I’m so close to everything in Southern California, so I don’t really have an excuse to not be out here. Everyone gets amped up when the rain comes. But dude I’ll tell you, now that I’m a dad of four kids, I really have to strategically plan and the rain never really comes with planning—it’s just shows up. I’m about four days late getting out here in the hills after the last rain. Thank God, though, for friends like Doug [Parsons] who are really passionate about it too and come out and shovel up all these hits, and are then nice enough to give me an invite to the secret location. That makes it good. I try to do my part and try to shovel as well, but it always seems that I’m playing catch up.

What have you been up to since winning Step-Up at X Games?

I didn’t really plan on taking a vacation, but my wrist was boogered up pretty bad for about three or four months, so I’ve just been letting that heal up. I have ADD, though, and can’t sit around and let it heal up. I’ve been out golfing, hitting the track, and always doing something to continue to aggravate it. I’ve been waiting for the freeriding season to come around, though, and not burn myself out over the summer, jumping ramps and doing other stuff. I had a couple shows and did what I had to do to get through those with the pain in my wrist. Now I’m just starting to focus on next year with a little bit of freeriding thrown in there. They’re really throwing a big schedule on us, though, with four X Games. That’s going to be a big deal. I’ve just been balancing everything—I guess that’s the best way to put it. I’m stoked to be out here, but I have other things to look forward to as well.

With the X Games becoming a multi-stop worldwide event in 2013, expect Renner to add even more Step-Up medals to his count. The discipline has made Renner a hero, but it results in multiple months of time off the bike to recover.

Are you excited about X Games and the addition of more rounds?

I guess there is going to be Step-Up at most of the Summer X Games—Brazil, Barcelona, Munich, and then the grand finale in Los Angeles. Obviously, if there is Step-Up at those rounds, I want to go win those suckers, and you have to be healthy to do that. At X Games this year, the win cost me about six months of not riding dirt bikes, so I’m going to try to prepare a little better, and I’m definitely excited about it. I think it’s cool that the sport still has quite a few different things going for it, especially with more than just freestyle contests. I think that we proved that Step-Up is a crowd-pleasing event. I’m definitely no Best Trick rider, so you won’t see me riding in that (laughs). That stuff is just getting out of control. Right now, I’m having fun and I’m excited for all the stuff that’s coming up in the future. We have Red Bull X Fighters coming up, which I’m not doing the contest, but I’m tied to the series, doing media stuff and trying to help a little bit with organization and media.

You mentioned that Step-Up beat you up this year, so what are you going to do to prepare for multiple rounds of Step-Up?

Step-Up is one of those things that you can’t practice a lot, because it hurts and every lip is different when you show up, so it really doesn’t do you a lot of good to be boosting 40 or 50 feet into the air in order to practice. The expectations are going to be high, and I assume X Games is going to build it really big. I’m just going to tape myself up really well, take some more preventative measures than I usually do—which was none—and go from there. I don’t know what you’re going to have to do for me to not ride in those events. I’m going to tape myself up, strap myself to the bike, and go. Those events are my livelihood when it comes to competitions, so I’m going to be there.