Luke Parker interview

Photography and Interview

Cooper Brownlee

So we originally started filming this web video maybe 8 months ago? And the interview not that long after and throughout some injuries Luke pulled it all together nicely. Luke amazes me for one simple reason, he can ride anything and dosn't pin himself down to one genre of riding.

How long have you been riding? You started out racing yeah?

Yeah I started out racing when I was 3 and eventually moved to freestyle about 6 years ago now.

How many years did you race for?

I raced for 10 years, I loved it, it just got way to serious as I got older haha.

You family seems very supportive; I know both your mum and sister have been especially helpful over the years?

Yeah all my family has been amazing in supporting me, my sister raced and my mum was an official so they were always there to watch but dad was always there watching and fixing my bike for me.

Have you always lived in the Eastern suburbs of Melbourne?

I’ve always lived in the eastern suburbs, I’ve never even moved houses but I love where I live and it’s a great riding scene in my area.

How do you like the riding scene around Melbourne?

I love Melbourne’s riding scene, so many different varieties and styles and so many good crews and people supporting bmx. Can’t go wrong in Melbourne.


" The break just helped me appreciate riding and having fun."

How come you stopped doing the whole personal trainer thing?

Personal Training was kind of a let down for me, I loved doing it but I worked for a big franchise company who would nearly take everything you earned. I just knew I would start loosing money so I had to get out before I went backwards.

You’ve scored some pretty shitty injuries over the past couple years, what were they and how did they happen?

My first serious one was when I was 14, I don’t know why but I felt the need to try a flair barspin at Rampfest on the resi. I almost landed it a couple of time’s but on my 3rd try I got tangled in my bike and snapped both bones in my leg which put me out for 6 months.

And the next one was in America when I was 16, it was the Las Vegas Dew Tour finals and I was really confident with my riding and was landing all my tricks so I just figured why not try a frontflip barspin? I got the trick and just slipped a foot and landing and that’s all I remember. I was in intensive care for 3 days with a ruptured spleen and kidney and came home with a $35,000 medical bill.

"on my 3rd try I got tangled in my bike and snapped both bones in my leg which put me out for 6 months"

Damn, how was the flight home dealing with that shit?

I was fortunate enough to postpone my flight a week to get a little more recovery time, that flight is painful no matter how you feel but I was fortunate enough to have some good pain killers and get some sleep.

You had the wring travel insurance right? That’s why you copped that large bill?

I had the right travel insurance in general, but being on the dew tour course classified me as a professional athlete and that’s why my insurance company pulled out. We got lawyers as soon as I got home who fortunately found some loop holes and got the bill dismissed.

With these injuries did you ever think about quitting riding? You seemed to disappear for a bit last year?

I rode for a couple of months after my injury and just didn’t see bmx the same. I was never scared or anything but the scene was different and no one seemed to be riding anymore. I started working flat out and just forgot about riding for a while and focused on some other things in my life.

What was it pulled you back into riding hard again?

I started just missing being on my bike, I started riding by myself at my local skatepark just rolling around not even doing tricks and didn’t care about progression or people watching me. The break just helped me appreciate riding and having fun.

What was the hardest and most satisfying clip to film for your web video?

The hardest clip to film was whipping over the fence out of the bank at Lilydale bowl, it only took 3 shots but the landing was so brutal and it just didn’t seem like I would land it at all. It was really satisfying cause its my local park and we all talk about how crazy stuff over it would be.

" I was in intensive care for 3 days with a ruptured spleen and kidney and came home with a $35,000 medical bill."

You went pretty well last year over in the USA for that Free Flow tour how was that experience?

Free flow was amazing, I rode terrible in the qualifier and then had a couple of months to figure things out for the final and I just went out and had fun and ended up winning. I stayed with an amazing family over there who just influenced me to ride for fun again and not take it seriously. It was awesome !

You are over in the states right now, how’s that going?

America this time has been amazing, I got to go to Texas Toast jam and see some old friends from last time I was here. I rode some amazing parks with some amazing people so was definitely the best trip I’ve had yet !  I’m so grateful to have a family over here to stay with who take amazing care of me, so a massive thanks to Todd and Nicole Spriet and their family.

The past 6 months you’ve really got into riding street, what motivated you to ride more street?

I’ve always been way more stoked on watching street than park just I never thought to go out and actually ride street, I always just met my friends at the skatepark and went riding from there. I went out a couple of times with the you and realised how challenging everything was and I got hooked on trying things I’ve never done before, each weekend I would be way more stoked on what I learnt riding street than park.

Even though you have this new found love for riding spots, you still hit the park game hard, which style do you prefer to ride and why?

I love learning new stuff riding street but I also love just being really high on a transition, I hope I can keep my park game up and keep progressing at street but at the end up the day I’m just happy to ride anything !



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