“The T-bog photo was taken by Francis Delapena while we were shooting for my Odyssey welcome to the team edit at a DIY skate spot that had been getting built over the last couple months. It’s really fun and is the closest thing we have to an outdoor skatepark in the New Orleans area.”
Over the last few years, Broc Raiford has been popping up more and more with some incredible riding that definitely caught a lot of peoples attention. Recently, he found himself getting picked up by Volume and officially added to the Odyssey team after riding the flow team for a while. Broc is also just about to finish up high school so with all these new things going on, we figured it was due time to get ahold of him and find out more about him. Let’s check out what he had to say!
Name: Broc Raiford
Location: Destrehan, Louisiana
Years riding: 10
What was it that first got you into BMX? Any early memories come to mind?
My Dad was a big influence to my BMX riding being that he had been into BMX in his teenage years as well. I started out racing BMX and was fascinated by all extreme sports; so I tried everything. I skated for a portion of my younger days but I just didn’t get the same feeling as I did when I rode my bike. I even tried dirt bikes, but I would always flake on my Dad going to motocross tracks to stay home and ride my bike around the neighborhood. So we sold my dirt bike and bought a 18 inch Hoffman Condor and from then on I was in love.
“The portrait of me was taken by Jon Rogers for the Volume flip book to announce that I was on board with them. I don’t know why I made such a mean/angry face when I was having a great time riding my bike. haha. Be on the look out for a welcome to the team edit from them coming soon!”
The big news for you is that you are riding for Volume Bikes now. How did the opportunity come about? Does Brian have anything lined up with you as far as trips or anything goes? When can we expect a welcome edit out of you?
Yeah, I am stoked to be a part of the Volume Bikes team. I actually talked with Alfredo a bit and he hinted to me that there was interest in me riding for them. Shortly after, I was contacted by Chris and Brian and we talked about things and I decided to make the move from Colony to Volume. I am still incredibly thankful for everything Colony did for me and the opportunities they gave me. As for the trips, I will actually be leaving this coming Friday for a trip with Volume to film a welcome to the team edit. I’m really excited to get out there and meet as well as ride with the guys. Be on the lookout for photo updates on their site as well.
After quite a while of getting support from Odyssey, they finally made it official a while back. How did they let you know they were bumping you up? That welcome edit was pure fire.
Well, I had been in touch with Jim for a good while now. I met him about two years ago at a wooden indoor bowl in Hammond, Louisiana. He was in town visiting Terry Adams and I was called to this session where both Jim and Terry would be present. I showed up and was greeted by them both and we had a really rad session. Afterwards, I was contacted by Jim and I was asked to be a part of the Odyssey team. I almost blew up with excitement. Ever since then, we had planned to film a “Welcome to the Team” edit but with injuries and travel the idea stayed motionless until a few months ago. Francis Delapena was flown in and we had a great time filming for my newest edit. Thanks Man, I’m stoked you are pumped on it!
I’d imagine they will be getting you on a few trips and what not this year, right? Anything in particular you are looking forward to with Odyssey?
Yeah, the beginning of my summer is looking pretty busy. The Odyssey Palm Springs trip wasn’t too long ago and was absolutely amazing. I had the time of my life and everyone killed it. It was great to be able to hangout with the whole team and meet some of the riders I had looked up to since I was younger. Once I graduate high school on May 17th, I’ll be flying out the very next day for a trip with Volume to film with them. Once I get home, I plan to drive out to Panama City, Florida for my senior trip. After that, I will be home for about a week then I’m off again to Woodward Pennsylvania for two weeks (weeks 2 & 3). I’m really looking forward to it all!
Any other sponsor news you can share with us? I heard you have a few other new ones…
Along with my move to the Volume, I also am now part of the DC shoes flow team and riding for Pull-In underwear! Really stoked on this because I blow through shoes really fast and now DC is there to supply me with fresh kicks when I’m in need. With Pull-In they’ll be supplying me with their top of the line underwear, and who doesn’t love new undies?
So I feel like things are really starting to take off for you. How do your parents feel about all of this? It seems like they are down since they let you build a ramp in your back yard, right?
My parents are so rad about everything I do. I couldn’t be more thankful for having such supportive parents. They have always been down with me having ramps in the driveway and around the yard so the 6ft mini in my back yard was just the next step.
Now that the weather is getting further and further from winter, where have you been getting your riding time in these days? Any spots you have been really psyched on?
I usually spend most of my time riding my backyard mini and/or the ledges and rail setup in my driveway. I also try to get out into New Orleans and Baton Rouge as much as possible too. Being that my local skate park, The Compound, is over 45 minutes away, driving there often can get pretty expensive. However, The Compound is a really rad park and has some really dialed dudes running the place. If you ever in New Orleans don’t leave without paying The Compound a visit.
I’ve seen you do some wild riding, and you definitely proved in your last edit you can hang with the street dudes and ramps. What’s one trick you can’t do for the life of you?
Haha. I appreciate it dude. I would have to say crooked grinds really give me trouble. I’ve been riding four pegs lately, so I’ve tried them every way possible. The thing is that I learned to grind on my opposite side before my regular side. This leads many to believe I’m goofy footed, but now that I’m riding four pegs, people are starting to realize my peg problem. But when I try crooked grinds, my pegs slip off and I can’t seem to conquer the “locked-in” portion of the grind. So I just stick to the little crooked chinks I can do on two foot and lower rails. Haha. The funny thing is, I can do 180 to backwards crook regular and opposite, and slide for days. But when I’m going forward, it just doesn’t happen for me.
Since you are still in high school, what do your friends think about you being a sponsored rider, traveling all over for contests and everything?
Many of my friends at school are just getting the picture of what I do. I feel that many thought that when I told them I rode BMX that it meant popping wheelies down the street. Haha. But recently, I’ve missed a good bit of school due to travel and injury which has brought up questions amongst them. When they ask and I show them pictures and videos I often get the response, “Oh, so you’re like Tony Hawk.” Haha. But my friends that ride have always been really chill about me getting hooked up. It’s awesome because they’ve been around before I was getting support from anyone, so having them to ride and progress with along the way has really brought us close.
Speaking of contests and traveling, what are your plans for the summer? Any events you will be hitting? Dew Tour? Any trips you are getting psyched for?
As is mentioned earlier, I’ll have quite a busy summer starting off with graduating high school. Then off to Arizona with Volume, then to Florida for senior trip, then to Woodward east. Once I am back from all that, I plan to move to Long Beach, California. My homie Chase Frickey and I decided we were going to make the move together and live the Cali life. I am stoked and sad at the same time because California will be really beneficial for my love for BMX but I am sad to leave my family and friends at home.
“The picture of me in the tree was taken by Stephen Campbell on the Odyssey Palm Springs trip. I was up there trying to find a better angle to witness some of the madness the team was laying down on a banging spot. I can’t express in words how much fun that trip was!”
I know there’s a kid who rides at my local park that thinks you are the greatest thing ever here in Minnesota. What do you think about having fans? Is that weird for you at all?
Honestly, knowing that there are kids out there that are stoked on my riding is so motivating. I never would’ve thought that I would have fans, and it isn’t weird to me at all. Just the other day I showed up to the skate park in Baton Rouge and was swarmed by kids asking me for autographs. I was in awe at how many kids there were excited to meet and ride with me so it couldn’t have been better.
Where are some of the places you have had the opportunity to go to that you really liked? Anywhere in particular you really want to get to?
I really love California, I’ve been there multiple times and I’ve had a great experience every time. It’s been my dream to live there ever since I was little to moving there now really makes the most since. For being 18 I have gotten to travel quite a bunch. I’ve also attended Woodward camp at both East and West. I was able to visit Canada again this year for the Toronto Jam which was awesome being that it is the only place that I’ve been outside of the U.S. I’d really like to visit more places out of the country, not only for the amazing spots, but my ambition to explore new places as well.
Yeah, every chance I get I’ll go out clipping in with my friend Andrew Sanford. He just got a DSLR that he’s dying to use so I’ll be putting in work with him for another edit. I’ll also be putting in work for a part in the Hunt this year; I wasn’t able to participate in last year’s, so I made it a point to get involved this year. I’m stoked.
Where do you think you would be these days if you never got into BMX?
-Hmm…that’s a tough one. Haha. If I didn’t ride BMX I would most likely be more into Art than I already am. I took a Talented Art class the past four years of high school and I’ve always loved drawing. Also, I played many other sports as an adolescent, so I imagine that if I didn’t ride BMX I would’ve followed through with another sport such as skateboarding.
It sounds like you have a pretty interesting daily schedule that actually surprised me. How much time do you spend at school and what do you do for work after that?
My school schedule is actually really awesome. My school allows some students to have early release and I was lucky enough to qualify for this. So I go to School for roughly 3 hours every day. Plus, I live right across the street from my school. Once school lets out for me, I walk home, eat lunch, and head out to work. I work with the local school board and my job is to visit schools in my area to fix basic problems with computer software. It’s a pretty simple job and doesn’t require much physical labor. However, working with computers can be a little strenuous at times.
How did you get involved with that job? Are you pretty good with computers or is it pretty simple issues you are correcting?
I actually got hooked up with this job through my Mom. She is a principal at a school in our area and talked with a few people at the school board about this job. One day as I was sitting in my drive way riding my setup, she came out and announced that she got me a job working with computer software. I had no previous knowledge of working on computers and at first I rebelled against the idea of having to work being that this is my first official job. But then I got to thinking of the benefits of getting paid and now I couldn’t ask for a better place to work. They are super cool with me being absent for BMX related events and it’s really funny working with a bunch of older guys who talk crap on each other all day.
Since you will be graduating this year, are you planning on living the “pro life” for a bit, or are you looking at colleges? Anything in particular you want to go for?
After graduating I plan on moving out to California in hopes to pursue the “pro life”. But, I also have a goal to follow through with college whether I make it in California or not. I’d like to go to college for Marketing because I learned a few things from my Dad owning a skate park for a couple years.
So you want to go to school for Marketing? What made you want to make that decision? Do you think it could change? I know I changed my major twice in college.
Yeah, I figured since I can draw, Marketing would be a cool field to go into being that I could use my artistic abilities to help out with advertisement. Yes, I do think it could change because I know I’ll probably change my mind a million times before I actually commit to something.
It sounds like you have been pretty heavily involved in art throughout your whole life. What are some of the things that you are most interested in when it comes to that subject? Painting, graphic design, typefaces, industrial design?
For a good while I had been in to the street/graffiti side of Art and I still am. I had always been fascinated by the amazing pieces produced by spray cans around cities abroad but now I find myself loving tattoos. I went into my first tattoo shop about a year ago to get my ears pierced and I was amazed at the amount of artistic ability it took to be able to tattoo. This sparked my interest in the field of tattoos and now I am constantly looking at pictures of them online. I was also fortunate enough to draw several of my friends’ tattoos. It’s now become one of my goals to learn how to tattoo so that I can draw and tattoo my artwork onto others. It’s a pretty cool feeling knowing someone wants something you drew on them forever.
“The 360 tuck was taken by Fat Tony at this past Toronto jam. There was a lot more heavy hitters there this year than the past year which resulted in a really fun contest. It’s always cool to see what riders come up with at contest like this one because the course isn’t the traditional setup many are used to.”
You have been starting to take some interest in being a tattoo artist. How long have you been playing with that? Where have you been practicing? Any plan of working anywhere anytime soon?
I’d say it has been a few months now that I have toying around with tattooing. I’ve been practicing on fake skin which is a skin is colored piece of rubber. Tattooing on that is pretty easy but I imagine tattooing someone’s skin can be a bit more difficult. Well, before I work anywhere I have to apprentice at a shop for a while before I can actually tattoo someone. So it’ll be a while before you see me giving a tattoo. But, if I ever have spare time when I move to California, I do plan to start apprenticing at a shop there.
Do you have any tattoo’s yourself? Care to take us through what you have so far?
Yes, I currently have six tattoos. A have a two stars below my inside left ankle and a diamond on my inside right ankle. There is a dagger and an umbrella above my left ankle. They are all just black outlines but I plan to get them all colored in. My newest and biggest tattoo is a double sided candle through a rose on the inside of my left calf. It is done in full color and I absolutely love it. I do want many more tattoos but I don’t want anything too drastic like a face tattoo, those are gnarly.
So you’re clearly talented when it comes to riding and art. Anything else you are really good at?
I’ve been commended on my ability to play Call of Duty really well. I was never really a video-gamer until I slept at a friend’s one night and he introduced me to COD. The following Christmas I got and Xbox and Modern Warfare 2 to try it out for myself and I was immediately addicted. I tried other games like Halo and Need for Speed but none could compare to Call of Duty. However, I do play Skate 3 which I use to chill me out after sometimes raging over n00bs on COD. Haha. I also ride my skateboard a good bit. I love shredding mini ramps but when it comes to street tricks I can barely kickflip. Skating now makes me realize how goofy I am because I don’t really have the natural feeling of riding a skateboard as I do on my bike.
I heard you like to get a heavy session in on Call of Duty. Are you any good? What’s your tag so people can play you?
You can usually catch me playing COD when I don’t have large amounts of homework and am not riding my bike. I’m usually catching the late night to early morning sessions only. Come to think of it, I hardly ever play COD during the day because I’m usually riding or hanging out with my girlfriend during that time. My gamer tag is SHABOYG3N. Everyone add me and lets f.s.u on COD! I’ve been complimented by many people on my COD skills but I surely don’t think of that as something to brag about. Haha. Sometimes I even enjoy playing COD just for the sake of talking crap to kids who think they are “good”.
How are the ladies treating you these days? Would you say BMX has helped impress them?
The ladies have been treating me pretty good, or should I say lady. Haha. I have a girlfriend that is pretty awesome. She is a cheerleader at our high school and has a really good outlook on things as well. What I’m really stoked on is her understanding of my passion for riding my bike, she doesn’t get mad when I have to cancel our plans to go ride or answer an important call while we are hanging out. But I can honestly say that BMX hasn’t really helped me get women around here. Girls here are often more concerned with how much weight you can lift or how messed up you can get on the weekends. So I’m really fortunate to have found a girl who likes me for who I am and what I do. She has a twitter/instagram too, so you all should go follow her @Mariahhh25.
Do you party much? What makes for a good Friday night for you?
I never really partied all that much. I don’t drink or smoke so I’m often the only sober one at my high school parties. But, I do know how to have a great time without any substances in me. I’ll usually show up with a large amount of candy and a soda in hand. Haha. I’ve been partying at bit more with my girlfriend lately and it hasn’t been that bad. The best the about it is always being the designated driver. It really is such a great feeling knowing all your friends made it home safe and didn’t have to risk their lives trying to drive while intoxicated.
What’s the last song you heard, movie you watched and website you visited?
The last song I listened to was GNF by Like Moths to Flames. They have become my favorite band now-a- days. I love the hardcore genre and I try to get out to as many shows as possible. I’ve also been listening to a bit more Rap lately. I’m really into Tyga, he goes hard. The last movie I watched was Don’t Be a Menace in South Central. It’s one of my all time favorite movies and it is just hilarious. If you like the movie Friday, then you’ll be a fan of this one as well. The last website I visited was The Come Up a few hours ago before I left to come to work.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In 5 years I see myself still riding my bike every chance I get. Hopefully still living in California with my homie Chase and having as much fun as humanly possible. In 5 years I’d also like to be better at skateboarding because I really like to skate, I just can’t do much. Haha.
Do you have any shout outs or thanks?
Yes, I’d like to give a shout out to all my friends and the NULVL team! I wouldn’t be where I am today without having them to shred with along the way. I’d like to give thanks to Volume, Odyssey, Dc, and Pull-In for being super dialed and supporting me to no extent. I really am so appreciative and fortunate to work with these companies. I’d also like to thank my parents and family for being supportive as well. They have given it their all from the start and I can’t express how thankful I am for that.
Anything else you want to say?
I’d like to Thank you guys for allowing me to do this interview. Also, don’t forget to follow me on twitter and instagram, @BROCAFLOKA. Don’t hesitate to add me on Xbox either! I think it’s funny that I filled out this whole interview at work. Haha. Later everyone, and keep making BMX rad!