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The History of BMX in Kitchener-Waterloo

Have you ever thought of the chances that a big name pro once rode your local skatepark or street spots? For the locals of Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, Canada it isn't a question of if, but when. Kitchener has been rode by some of the biggest names in BMX, including Mat Hoffman, Van Homan, Garrett Brynes, Nathan Williams, Dan Lacey, Tony Neyer, Corey Martinez, John Heaton, Dakota Roche, Aaron Ross, and many more dating all the way back to the year 1989.

I've searched the Internet for as many videos and photos of the pro's listed above, and included some local crews and there history as well! If you think I've missed anything, let me know so I can add to this. So let's jump into this, starting at the year 1989!

1989- Mat Hoffman, Worlds first 900

The year is 1989, and Mat Hoffman is the young age of 17 when he pulls the world first 900 in his last run of a 2hip "King of Vert" contest at the University of Waterloo! Since then the bmx scene in KW has seen some of the most talented riders in the world, but no one has ever topped this.

1996- Ryder Distribution 

In 1996 Ryder Distribution opened its doors and has since been supplying BMX shops all across Canada with top quality parts from brands like Cult, Sunday, Odyssey, Suborsa, and more!

1998- Seek and Destroy

22 years ago BMX legends Darryl Nau, Garrett Byrnes, Van Homan, Pat Juliff, and others from the Little Devil crew came to KW and rode Courtland School, City Hall, The Aud Skatepark, and a few other spots. I'd like to think that when the legendary video "Seek and Destroy" came out, it helped to put Kitchener-Waterloo on the map in the BMX scene. If you haven't seen "Seek and Destroy" before, I highly recommend watching it! (Full Video- Seek And Destroy)

Garret Byrnes

Service Ontario- 1:38

Pat Juliff

The Aud- 3:07

Courtland school- 3:51

City hall manual- 4:30

Marvin Loetterle

The Aud- 6:43

Van Homan

Courtland School- 1:39


Courtland School- 5:51

1995-2010 John Heaton

John Heaton was born in Woodstock Ontario, Canada on September 20, 1980. He started riding BMX in 1995 because "I liked the way the bikes looked. I didn't really know anything about it. I wanted one because they looked good and I started doing tricks from there." John shared a bike with Mike Judge for quite a while, finally starting to hit up a Toronto skatepark a couple of years later. He eventually became a very talented park rider, who was sponsored by MacNeil, a Canadian BMX company started by Jay Miron and went on to pull the world first Backflip to manual! Over the next 10 years John rode for Volume, Primo, Little Devil, and Etnies.

2004- John Heaton, MacNeil Bikes

Red Brick Wallride- 1:54

Fredrick and Lancaster rail- 3:30

2007- Primo Strange Crew

In 2007 the Primo team came to KW, and wow, these clips are still some of the best ever filmed in Kitchener in the last 13 years. It still blows my mind to think that Dan Lacey, Tony Neyer, Corey Martinez, John Heaton, Nathan Williams and Dakota Roche all rode our spots back in the day. This video is always a great watch, I make an attempt to watch it a few times a year. Enjoy!

Dan Lacey turndown to 360 at University of Waterloo- 0:14

John Heaton Fufanu the back rail at the Aud skatepark- 2:00

Ryder bmx warehouse- 2:34

Waterloo city hall rail- 2:49

Dakota Roche 180 at the University of Waterloo- 3:53

Ryder warehouse- 4:34

The Aud- 6:04

In and out post office rail- 6:27

Gap to rail post office- 8:32

Over pegs 16 stair rail U of W- 8:40

2010- Sunday bikes in Canada

Back in 2010 Sunday's pro riders Lee Dennis, Alex Magallan and Eric Lichtenberger came to Kitchener-Waterloo and rode some of the best spots in town, its really cool to see that these spots are still around 10 years later!

2002-2012- Bad Karma's "Welcome to Flavour Country"

"Welcome to Flavour Country" was a local video released back in 2012 which was filmed in KW, and the surrounding areas. The video has a true mid-school BMX feeling, and the riding still holds up to todays standards. Jordan Bonifacio's part is probably my favourite in the video. Jordan still kills it all these years later, along with quite a few of the other riders in the video! Grab a tall can, sit back, and enjoy some riding from the local legends who helped shape the Kitchener-Waterloo BMX scene we have today!

(Part one)

(Part two)

2013-2014- KINK & Sunday Bikes Shop Stop

2013 was a great year for pro's visiting from out of town, the Sunday team did a shop stop at Back Peddling Bike Shop, and the Kink team made a trip up and destroyed the local spots! Check out these videos of James Steele (who grew up in KW), Darryl Tacco, Aaron Smith, and Ben Hittle!

2013- James Steele Edit

Courtland kinker- 0:15

Courtland uprail over 0:33

L'harmonie School 0:54

Margaret School 1:03

Over pegs big yellow 1:09

City hall Manny hop up 1:14 

James Steel | Kink 2013

Icepick grind at engineering 5- 1:06

Uprail to cannon ball- 2:08

2013- Aaron Smith and Ben Hittle

Rail hop table at Margaret School- 0:10

Nose bonk on a university sign- 0:30

Window Tire slide at Red Brick Wall ride- 0:45

2014- Darryl Tocco

Pegs up to over on black 14 rail- 1:51

2014- Aaron Smith

Tried to go up Bluevale School rail in the intro, double down it- 1:43

Pegs easy 3- 1:51 

Big curve rail to 180 behind Wilfred Laurier University- 1:55

Big rail hop gap- 2:05


About 5 years ago the guys from London Ontario's "DWOK" Crew took a trip out to ride some of the local spots, and a few of the spots ended up in "The DWOK Promo", a mixtape style video featuring Mason Gray, Eli Taylor, Dallas Davis, Mitch Oudshoorn, Jack Leonard, Tyler Mass, Owen Gray, Parker Atkins, Charile Crumlish, Chris Cadet, Joel Fortin, Tom Hrinivich, Devon Lampman, Mag Wheel Guy and Josh Babu.

Waterloo City Hall- 7:31

Waterloo City Hall green uprail- 15:15


In 2014 I started filming my first full length video with some of the Kitchener Locals, called"FUCKASSES". The video features a ton of street riding all over southern Ontario, however most of it was filmed right here in KW. We ended up selling copies all over the world when it was released with help from RideUK. If you haven't seen the video before, take a look!

2016- Corey Walsh  

A few years back Corey Walsh was in town to sneak a session on these waterslides, and managed to get a few photos and videos for his Instagram. At this point I believe Corey had just gotten on Cult, and was still pretty much unknown. He used to live pretty close to KW, and called Riverside Park in Cambridge his local for a few summers. Pretty rad to see how far he has come over the last few years!

2016-2019- SPACEGOATS!

Just over a year ago I released my latest full length video, "SPACEGOATS!". This video was heavily based in KW, and featured full parts from 9 riders from Kitchener-Waterloo and 2 from London, Ontario. I'd say a good 60% of the footage in the video was filmed in KW, with the last 40% being filmed in Guelph, London, Montreal, Toronto, and everywhere in between! "SPACEGOATS!" ended up selling out world wide in 13 days!

video parts in order

(click name to watch)

2020- The Future of KW BMX.

The BMX scene in Kitchener-Waterloo is alive and well, and I'm excited to see who shows up in the next few years! I hope to see more BMX companies send their teams here, and see the big name pro's ride our parks and street spots!

Thanks for reading, Stay Rad!

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