From the blunt mag archive: Up Front and On Point – Buddy Chellan BMX profile blunt 9.3
Buddy’s always amped. Whenever he’s around, he’s down for whatever. If he’s on a mission with you, he kinda reminds me of a big dog on a leash, straining to get to wherever he’s headed. He brings a lot of that energy to his riding too.
Intro by Dorin Bambus. Q&A by Rowan Trollip.
He’s been at it long enough to have developed a smooth laid back style, something that makes you think of Barry White, Mos Def and possibly Sly and The Family Stone. Whatever he’s doing, no matter how near to disaster or triumph he might be in the air or on a rail, Buddy is looking composed.
After blowing us away with his skill on and off the dance floor during the recent blunt Namibian trip and returning to place first at the Alex Groll Cup, we thought we’d sit down with Buddy
and let the rest of the world get to know him a bit better. We had to ask him a lot of questions too, because Buddy doesn’t ever say more than he has to. – Dorin.
How old are you?
How long have you been riding?
For about six years now.
What does your mom think of you spendings so much time on a bike?
At first she was like, ‘You’re never at home and always on your bike’ type of
thing but now she’s all good with it.
Does she freak out when you hurt yourself?
Mothers are mothers hey, they’ll freak out if you come home with a scratch. So
yes she does freak out.
Do you ever get scared while riding?
Not scared as such but I take time to think about what I’m going to do. It’s like a mental preparation type of thing.
“When I started riding we lived in a place where lots of bad things were happening.
I would see these kids doing all this crazy stuff and somehow my bike always
led me down a different path to them. It’s like it kept me on a straight path.”
When was the last time you were in a hospital?
About two years ago, with a broken ankle. I hate hospitals.
Why? They make people better.
I don’t feel comfortable there. I know they make people better and stuff but I prefer to be in my own bed.
How many bones have you broken?
Both my ankles and my right shoulder.
Were you riding when you broke them? What were you doing? Which was the
All my injuries were caused by riding. My left ankle I broke in the 2002 Alex Groll Cup doing a no foot can can. My ankle got caught in the frame and I landed like that. My right ankle was at the trails doing tailwhips. I just landed wrong. With my shoulder I came off short on a curved handrail in Durban and went straight into a wall. It was crazy. The most painful I would say was the shoulder. It’s a kind of agony that I can’t even try to explain to you.
Why do you ride then?
Because there’s nothing better to do. No, just kidding, I do it because I love it. It’s a really big part of my life.
What would you be doing if bmx didn’t exist?
Nothing because I wouldn’t exist.
Why is bmx so important to you?
When I started riding we lived in a place where lots of bad things were happening. I would see these kids doing all this crazy stuff and somehow my bike always led me down a different path to them. It’s like it kept me on a straight path so that I wouldn’t be led in any other way. I think that’s why I appreciate my bike so much, because of what it’s done for me.
Has bike riding ever got you a girl?
I really hope not.
So then, what do you rely on to impress the ladies?
Haha. I dunno hey, just be myself I guess.
What do you reckon is most important when it comes to impressing girls?
Umm.. . I guess be a good oke.
Why is that most important?
I love laughing and if there’s laughter there’s a connection. It means she enjoys your company.
“People must understand that they have freedom of speech so they should use it. No matter who you are or what you look like at the end of the day we’re all human. I hope.”
Do you think a sense of rhythm is important in bmx?
Not really hey. Just so long as you’re having fun that should be enough.
What in life is worth fighting for?
The right things.
Name some of them.
When you’re accused of doing something you didn’t do. When you know something’s wrong and others just keep quiet about it. People must understand that they have freedom of speech so they should use it. No matter who you are or what you look like at the end of the day we’re all human. I hope.
What do you think of people who fight for the wrong reasons?
They need to see the light and stop living in a cloud of one minded demons. Think outside your bubble, don’t be trapped in it all the time.
Did growing up in Cape Town affect your riding?
No, because riding has always been a slow process here. It’s all about the love.
The love of riding?
Yip! You see the greatness when all the riders from all over the country get together and have fun. The expressions on their faces are the best.
But do you think where you ride affects your style at all?
No, we’re all different people so our style would never be the same to the person standing next to you. I like seeing new things so it’s actually a benefit to me.
What, riding with new and different people?
Who is holding it down in the South African scene?
Big up to Jon Sherwood. That guy does so much for the bmx scene in SA. So does Mr. Hankey. It’s awesome what they have done for us and I’m sure many will agree with me.
Who are the up and coming young guns?
L’il Monty for sure! You must see this kid ride. Brendon, Ryan, Heiny, the list will basically take all day.
What would it take to make bmx as big in SA as skating or surfing?
I think more international events held here in SA would make a big difference.
Do you think that would be a good thing?
Well if it were to happen the SA scene would be globally recognised and better things would happen for us. Not only for bmx riding but for everybody.