It’s not everyday that a new rider pops up and you instantly know that you need to keep an eye out for them. Over the course of the past year, we have started seeing Casey Starling popping up more and more and he definitely caught our attention right away. Since then, we’ve crossed paths with Casey twice and had the chance to watch him ride in person, and it’s safe to say he lived up to our expectations. After seeing him throw down some heavy moves during the Kink Rust Belt Tour, we knew it was time to hit him up to find out a little bit more about him! Turns out we didn’t even know his actual name! Let’s get into this!
Name: Kayin Starling, AKA Casey Starling
Location: Rahway, New Jersey
Years riding: 3
What was it that got you into riding BMX? Anything stand out that really made you want to get on a bike?
Umm… No, not really. I actually used to ride scooters and my motivation at the time was that if I could flair a scooter, I could definitely do it on a bike, haha.
You almost seem to have come out of nowhere after popping up here and there in a few edits prior to your welcome to Kink video. Where were you hiding all this time?
Haha, I wouldn’t really say I was hiding. I haven’t really been on a bike long enough to really get out there I guess. You could say but I’ve mainly just been riding the local parks around my town that’s really it.
We heard a rumor that you were actually sponsored for scooter riding before BMX, can you confirm or deny that one?
Hahaha, yeah, maybe a year after I officially stopped riding scooters, I ended up sponsored by this company called Alpha Omega or more commonly know as AO.
That’s funny how things like that go. We’ve seen a bunch of riders transition from scooters to bikes, or throw scooters into the mix. Would you say scooters helped you out on a bike or vice versa?
Yes, it definitely did. It helped me learn how to flair my bike like I mentioned before for example. It is literally the same thing, just on something bigger.
Obviously things with BMX have been taking off for you these days. You were added to the Kink team a little while back. How did that opportunity all come about?
I was in New York city one night for an Animal jam and I did a flair out of this statue thing. Afterward, Tyrone Williams had hit me up asking for info to give to some friends. The next day I got a call from Rochester, New York where Kink is based out of, haha.
You have had the chance to travel with the guys already between the Rust Belt Tour and everything. How has that been for you? Did it kind of trip you out being on a trip with a guy like Chris Doyle? Has it kind of changed your perspective on riding and everything at all?
The Rust Belt Tour was so sick, especially getting the chance to ride with some of my favorite pro riders such as Doyle and Tony Hamlin. I was definitely a little nervous before going on the trip. It really hasn’t changed my perspective too much. I still look at riding just the same as the day I started. It is just something I do to get away from the everyday bullshit.
Fresh off the Rust Belt Tour, what do you have cooking with Kink that you can tell us about? Any trips, videos or projects in the works for 2017 at all?
I’m honestly not sure as far as trips go, but I’m currently working on what is supposed to be my official welcome to Kink edit. I’ve been working on that for about a year now and it should be coming out pretty soon!
You’re also doing it for Merritt these days as well. Any sort of back story to how that opportunity all came about?
I’ve actually been officially rocking with Merritt for a while now. It has been about a year and a half now, actually. I’ve actually known Montana Ricky almost since I started riding and working at Extremz Bike Shop, so I had lot of contact with Ricky and he’s basically watched me grow to where I am today, so that’s how that opportunity happened.
Any trips, videos or projects in the works with Merritt? It seems like those guys always stay busy these days.
Merritt definitely has been pretty busy lately. After I finish up my Kink video I plan to start working on a Merritt edit as well.
What about Ethik, Dead Krow Army and your other sponsors?
Nothing big at the moment really.
So, I’ve had the chance to watch you ride at 5050 Skatepark in New York and 4Seasons in Milwaukee, and so far I’ve gathered that you’re into both park and street riding. What are your favorite parts about both styles of riding?
Street riding is definitely my favorite. Just the idea that what we’re riding wasn’t intended to be ridden and, in a sense, turning nothing into something. My favorite thing about park riding would be that the possibilities are endless. The amount of tricks you could do and learn at the skatepark is like the training grounds where you go and dial everything in before you take them to street.
If you could only ride skateparks or street spots for a year. Which would you pick if you had to? Any reason for one over the other?
Damn that’s a hard one! If I hands down had to choose I’d say street spots only because I have been basically riding the same skateparks everyday for three years, so I’m kind of over going to skateparks at the moment.
What was the first legit trick you learned and was really stoked on?
I don’t even remember my very first trick, but I do remember my very first hop whip back when I was goofy footed. My friend Isac looks at me and goes “if Stevie Churchill can do it why can’t you?” and I turned around and did it first try! I was so stoked that I just started screaming and freaking out, haha.
How did you end up learning fakie front flips and how are you so good at those? I’ve seen you do that trick a few times and you almost make it look easy.
Haha, well, the story about fakie fronties and how I started trying them is kind of funny. One day I went to the Incline Club after I had just put my freecoaster on. During the session, I basically just decided to send it and see what happens and ended up pulling it. After that day I would just randomly try them and see what happened. It’s literally all trial and error with that trick. It’s not really hard, it’s just very intimidating.
Everyone has that one trick they just cannot do. What’s one trick that you haven’t been able to figure out that always kicks your ass?
Without a doubt it would be have to be switch whips. I’ve landed switch whips multiple times, I’ve even done switch downside whip to fakie, but that trick always kicks my ass! They’re so hard to get consistent and clean.
It seems like you can always spot a rider that came out of the East Coast. Do you feel like growing up in New Jersey had a lot of influence on your style of riding?
Yeah, it definitely has had a big influence from growing up riding with all the LFS dudes and watching them do gnarly ass rails to some tech cuddy storm door shit. It just gave me a different appreciation for the East Coast style of riding where it’s not all about the tricks you do, but more about the spot. Like say if you did a wallride on a fence, to somebody else it would just be another wallride. East Coast guys also look at the spot itself and be like “oh, he had to come do the wallride and pull out over the ledge and back into the bank” or “if he pulls out too much he’s crushing his ribs on a rail.” So, yeah it definitely influenced my style of riding a lot and the way I look at spots.
Who are some of the riders that you were really into when you first got started riding BMX?
Garrett Reynolds, Tony Hamlin and Chris Doyle were my favorite riders when I was coming up. It’s pretty funny because the first bmx video I ever watched that got me stoked on bmx and made me go out and ride was the Kink “Squash It” video, and now I’m riding for them.
What about these days? Who are the guys that really motivate you to push yourself?
Right now I’m really hyped on Simone Barraco, he just has the sickest style and everything is so unique in his riding. It’s really dope. I’ve also been really hyped on Dakota Roche. I’ve been watching his Talk Is Cheap section like every day now because it’s just so damn good!
Are you much of a contest guy? I feel like you would have crushed the Simple Session course this year. Any chance we’ll see you making the trip next year?
Nah, I’m not a contest guy at all. I just like riding my bike. I feel there’s no need to compete against someone when I’m just trying to have fun, but I would love to go to Simple Session just for the experience! It seems like one hell of a time. As of right now I don’t see any chance of me going to Simple Session next year, but it would be fun.
Actually, speaking of traveling. Where are a few places you really want to get to at some point to ride that you haven’t had the chance to go to yet?
I 100% without a doubt want to go to Barcelona one day. That place seems like a paradise with spots every where. I also want to go to California really bad. That would be sick.
Let’s say you got a fat budget to take any 5 riders to any place in the world to film an edit. Who do you bring, where do you go and why?
I’d would bring Dennis Enarson, Garrett Reynolds, Dylan Stark, Tony Hamlin and Simone Barraco to China. For one, China is absolutely insane with all the crazy architecture. I can’t even imagine what the spots would be like. Also, I would bring these five dude because they’re my favorite riders and who wouldn’t want to see their favorite riders do some fucked up shit?
What are you usually getting into when you aren’t riding? Any hobbies, jobs, school or anything like that keeping you busy?
No actually I’m a very boring person all I do is ride and when I’m not riding I am either sleep hanging out with my girlfriend or at work, haha.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Anything in particular you hope to accomplish?
I hopefully look to be living in my own place just chilling and riding my bike. That’s literally it.
How can people keep up with you these days?
Yeah, my Instagram is @caseycased my Facebook account is Casey Starling.
Do you have any shout outs or thanks?
Yeah, shout to my mom and my girlfriend, Rachael, for supporting me through everything. I also want to give a shout out and huge thanks to Shannon Sheri, Jay Graz, Witty and Kyle. These guys are my family and they have helped and supported me through so much, so thank you guys!
Anything else you want to say?
Yeah, just for the record my real name is Kayin I got the nickname Casey in like 5th grade and ever since then it just stuck. Also, to any kid just getting into BMX, don’t worry about going pro or getting sponsored, just ride your bike and have fun with your friends because at the end of the day that’s what BMX is really about!
… Oh, and to anyone wondering… Yes, I used to be goofy footed I used to ride left foot forward. I switched my feet and that’s why I do my flairs switch footed. I learned them that way first!