Photo: Justin Kosman
Flash back a couple years ago. It was my second Interbike and for some reason I decided to only book a flight and see if I could just find a place to crash to save some money. One thing lead to another and all the sudden I’m crashing in this dude’s parents time share a ways off the strip. At the time, I had no idea who this guy was other than he was hilarious and rode BMX. It’s always pretty cool how things work out if you just don’t plan anything. But yeah, in the end I had a place to stay and I was able to meet Tanner Nelson for the first time. Since then, Tanner has gone on to get a pretty solid reputation in BMX with his web videos that are always loaded with goodness and his ridiculous Twitter account. After taking a little time away from BMX due to some health issues, he recently re-joined The Take‘s team with some refreshed energy. We decided to catch up with one of the masters of the Griz Air to find out where he went and what’s new. Let’s see what he had to say!
Name: Tanner Nelson
Location: Salt Lake City
Years riding: Somewhere around 10 years
What was it that first got you into BMX? Any early memories come to mind?
A friend of mine talked me into getting a “BMX” bike from Wal-Mart. I was just your average kid with a shitty bike that got a kick out of jumping curb cuts and shit. I ended up seeing videos like System and realized what you could do with a bike.
You were recently added back on to The Take’s team after taking some time off. What made you want to step down from the team originally? Did you get burned out on BMX for a bit?
Well, I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in my hip and it really felt like it was taking a toll on my riding. They basically told me the only solution was surgery and it was a real eye opener. It made me appreciate riding so much more. But overall I wanted to make room for some young blood on the team.
What was it that got you to come back to the team? Were you disappointed in the performance of the young guys or did you just decide you were ready to put it down for The Take again?
I started figuring out little things that made my arthritis more tolerable and I threw 4 pegs on. I was having the most fun I’ve ever had on my bike and one day Jeff (The Takes TM) hit me up and asked if I would come back to the team. I just felt I was ready to start pushing myself again.
Do you have any other fresh sponsor news you can tell us about?
Haha, nah. At least that I know of.
You got hurt back in June. What exactly happened? Has it been a lingering injury or are you all good now?
Haha, fuck. It was actually pretty ridiculous. I rode with the Redline team while they were in town. We rode all day and I had a really good day of riding. At the end of the day they dropped me off a little ways from my house. While I was cruising back to my house my chain snapped while I was hauling ass and I woke up in the middle of the road bleeding and delirious. I got knocked out, ended up with a concussion, some torn shit in my shoulder, and a sprained wrist and elbow. Everything is good now but my elbow is still a little touchy depending on the day.
Photo: David May
You moved to Salt Lake City a little while back, right? What made you want to make the move? How is the scene around there these days?
Yeah, I have always lived about 30+ minutes away from downtown Salt Lake and it’s always been a little dream of mine to live down there. I lived in one of the cleanest/nicest cities in the valley. But after a while it got really unmotivating. All there was to ride was skateparks and all the street spots were way spread out. I would just ride manny pads and little curbs a lot or me and the homies would end up just getting high and riding the same parks all the time. Now we live downtown and it’s awesome. The scene is rad. Riding with Elf, Tate, Cameron Wood, Beringer, Aitken, and all the other people is amazing. It really helps you think outside the box and I love having good spots a short pedal from the house.
Where have you been getting most of your riding time in these days? Have there been any sessions in Beringer’s backyard going down for you?
I cruise around the city quite a bit but I usually end up at this real good jersey barrier spot right by my house. Beringers house is about 35 minutes away so I’ll stop by and ride his house when I’m in the area. We also have an awesome street oriented skatepark pretty close by that I go to a lot.
Have you been filming much at all? I know you just had that welcome back to The Take edit drop a month ago, but I feel like we need more footage from you soon.
I havent been filming as much as I’d like to. I literally have a notepad full of ideas and clips I want to get but the dudes I usually film with have clashing work schedules with mine. I’ll have some clips in a few upcoming vids/edits but I’ll hopefully be able to get another edit done before winter hits.
Did you get the chance to travel much at all this year? Any trips you want to make happen here soon?
I spent New Years out in California with my dude Dylan but other than that, all the trips I’ve taken haven’t been for riding. I think I’m going to be taking a trip to the east coast or Cali again sometime soon. I really want to go film in some new cities.
What have you been up to when you aren’t riding? You’re holding down a full-time job right?
Yeah, I work full time at Wal-Mart building bikes and it’s the easiest most entertaining job I’ve ever had. Haha, but I spend quite a bit of time with my girlfriend. She’s awesome. We usually just hang out and smoke weed while watching Seinfeld or some riding videos.
You have been going pretty hard on the Twitter for a while now. What can people expect from you and what’s your link?
Haha. My twitter is basically where I spew my random ridiculous day to day thoughts. I usually just tweet about anything remotely offensive, drug use, or fat people. Follow me @beerporn
Approximately how many people have threatened to kick your ass over a tweet you dropped?
There have actually been a few. Me and my group of friends usually take things a bit too far and end up stepping on people toes. I’ve had a couple death threats too.
Photo: Josh Hayes
Other than riding and pissing people off, do you have any other talents?
Nah. Not really. Haha
I know you like to party. What makes for a good night of partying for you? What kind of party supplies do you need?
Any sort of psychedelic drug is always fun. Usually a few blunts, a couple bottles of wine, the homies, and some caffeine will make for a good night.
What’s the wildest scenario you have ever been in? Care to drop a story for us?
It’s hard to narrow it down to just one. Most are probably a little too explicit for an interview. But I almost got hit by a truck when I was on acid once
Have you ever been arrested or anything cool like that?
Nope. I’ve never been arrested
Let’s say you find a big bag of cash. What is the first 3 things you buy?
A lot of weed, some bionic body parts so I don’t feel so shitty all the time, and a Four Loko water fountain.
What’s something about yourself that might surprise people?
The fact I haven’t been arrested or done time surprises me.
What’s the last song you heard, movie you watched and website you visited?
Song – Codeine Cups by Juicy J. Movie – Killjoy. Website – The Come Up.
Do you have any shout outs or thanks?
Big thanks to my mom for everything. Shouts to my dudes Cameron G, Colton, Amanee, Braden, all my friends, my girlfriend Devyn for always putting up with me being a mess. Shouts to anyone who’s been down and has ever helped me out in the past. Big shout out to all my dudes on The Take and Jeff for giving me another opportunity to be a part of the fam. Too many people to name!
Anything else you want to say?
Stay sloppy. Have fun. Smile forever