Freestyle Motocross: Aerial Spectacle and Pure Adrenalin

Freestyle Motocross, a spectacular discipline in which riders defy the laws of gravity, has captured the hearts of millions of fans around the world. From acrobatic tricks to dizzying jumps, FMX combines technical performance with physical prowess. In this article, we delve into the exciting world of Freestyle Motocross, exploring the major events on its calendar and highlighting the stars who dominate this extreme sport. The icing on the cake is an interview with Julien Mannon, the famous French freestyler. The French rider emphasises the importance of being properly insured when practising an extreme sport. You can read about this in an article on his blog. And as with any sporting activity, it’s important to take out accident insurance. Read our article to find out more.

FMX rider in action at a sporting event
Photo credit : @neven_motors

The Grandes Toiles of Freestyle Motocross

X Games: Extreme Olympics

The X Games, where FMX virtuosos come to paint the air with their indelible technical prowess. This not-to-be-missed event is an epic where the souls of the extreme take to the air in a veritable artistic poem.

Red Bull X-Fighters: Arena of the Titans

In the Red Bull X-Fighters arena, modern-day gladiators transcend the art of the possible. Here, competition becomes a moving fresco, where every jump becomes a stanza, every landing a verse in the great book of Freestyle Motocross.

Nitro World Games: The Renaissance of Risk

The Nitro World Games are emerging as the new chapter in the modern era of FMX. This festival of innovation is a hymn to the new, where athletes, like avant-garde painters, sketch the contours of a bold future.

Freestyle pilot who performs a trick in the air
Photo credit : @neven_motors

The Freestyle Motocross Maestros

Travis Pastrana: The Homer of the Air

Travis Pastrana is one of the pioneers of this discipline, whose epics defy the firmament. His legend is woven with feats such as the first double backflip in history, and his name echoes in the infinite echoes of FMX.

Nate Adams: The Performance Polymath

“The Destroyer” isn’t just a nickname for Nate Adams, it’s a promise kept with every flight, every aerial ballet executed with the precision of a watchmaker and the soul of an artist.

Tom Pagès: The Illustrious Innovator

Tom Pagès, France’s prodigal son, is a sculptor of the air, an artist whose canvas is the sky itself. His inventions, like the vertiginous ‘Bike Flip’, are revolutionary brushstrokes on the vast fresco of the sky.

Julien Vanstippen: Rising star

Julien Vanstippen is renowned for his daring style and aerial ease. With a meteoric rise in international FMX competitions, he captivates audiences with innovative sequences and impeccable technique.


Freestyle Motocross is more than a sport; it’s an ode to freedom, a never-ending quest for beauty and excellence. Through its majestic events and extreme artists, FMX weaves a flamboyant narrative where the sky is not a limit, but an inspiration.

Freestyle rider doing a backflip
Photo credit : @neven_motors

Interview with Julien Mannon

As you approach your twenties, you make a fairly radical lifestyle choice, leaving art school for an apprenticeship to make a living from FMX. What motivated this decision?

“I needed this training to buy my first bike and to be able to open a garage if freestyle did not become my profession. When I was 21, I went to live near La Riole, where there was a freestyle area. It was the perfect place to train and progress”.

What’s the main difference between the state of mind in FMX in the USA and France?

“I’d say there’s more mutual support between riders in the USA. In France, it’s a bit more every man for himself, at least that’s how I felt when I went there”.

When did you start getting into Freestyle Motocross?

“In 2015 it became more stable. What made the difference was passing the backflip and especially taking part in shosws abroad because it allows me to continue doing events during the winter as there aren’t many shows back home.”

Freestyle motocross rider creating his own track
Freestyle Motocross is more than a sport; it’s an ode to freedom

Freestyle is often seen as a high-risk sport. But what is the reality? Are accidents rife in the sport?

“Absolutely. Freestyle motocross is an extreme sport and, like any sport of this kind, the risks are real. Even with safety devices like foam trays, accidents can still happen. Airbags have revolutionised our sport. They offer extra protection, that’s undeniable. But here again, they are not infallible. A bad bounce can still cause injury”.

How would you assess the development of safety in this sport?

“There has been some notable progress. In France, for example, you almost never see hard landings at shows any more. But what really counts is the quality of the whole safety system: a good ramp, enough space for landing and braking, and good lighting, especially at night. It’s often the peripheral aspects, not linked to the jump itself, that cause problems”.

You mentioned the importance of cohesion between the drivers. How does this affect performance and safety?

“That’s crucial. When I put on a show, I try to bring together drivers who know each other and who are used to riding together. This cohesion translates into better performance and greater safety. Beyond technical skills, being a good freestyler means being a showman. We’re there to give the public a good time. Personally, I get involved in the show. This job is above all about passion and connecting with people. They are the ones who support us, and it’s thanks to them that we can make a living from our passion”.

“Riding with insurance means riding with peace of mind

Julien Mannon

Today, many young people are interested in freestyle and dream of making a career out of it. What advice would you give them?

“Above all, it’s important to be pleased with the infrastructure and terrain available. Thanks to social networks, it’s easy to contact experienced riders for advice. Passing on the knowledge is crucial if we are to perpetuate the sport and practice it in complete safety. You have to work hard, take your time and surround yourself with the right people. And above all, don’t forget to take out insurance. It’s essential if you’re going to be able to concentrate on your passion without having to worry about ‘what if I’d known'”.

The motocross world has its own structures and frameworks, orchestrated in particular by the Fédération Française de Motocyclisme. What about FMX?

“Today, there are official schools such as the Charles Pagès school and other local initiatives for beginners. Another aspect to consider is insurance. Before, I didn’t have any insurance adapted to extreme sports and an accident or injury was very expensive. Today, for just a few euros a day, you can be covered and that takes a lot of stress off you. The French company Assure Ton Sport specialises in high-risk sports. I’ve had serious accidents, and thanks to insurance, repatriation and medical expenses were covered. Insurance is an essential safety net. Without it, when I had my accident in Holland, I wouldn’t have survived because of the speed with which medical care was provided”.

What’s the latest on Julien Mannon?

“I have several dates to confirm, including South Africa. I’m due to take part in the FMX Gladiator Games in Europe, and a tour with Hot Wheels, which will be coming to Paris for the first time at La Défense Arena”.

By Charly Colin

Freestyle motocross rider in the air
No hands flip executed to perfection