Welcome to the Vurb’s Top 10 coolest riders of all time. A few words before we begin. This is all about cool, meaning results don’t play here. Most of these guys we don’t know on a personal level, either. It’s all about the persona these dudes put off. We also didn’t take a poll or include anyone else in our decision-making process. We just sat in a small office, sipped some Snapple and made this list up ourselves. We can do those things because we have a dirtbike website. A few fights broke out over the ranking of the list, but in the end we all agreed (kind of).
So consider this list gospel from this point forward. Don’t like it? Create your own damn list.
Keep in mind, this is Part I. Part II will drop next week.
10. Andrea Carson
Brought painted fingernails to the forefront. That’s all we need to say.
9. Tyler Bereman
I’m sure we’ll get 1,000 emails from our older readers about how blah, blah, blah was cooler than some young kid like Tyler. Save your arthritis ridden fingers for another email cause you ain’t changing our minds. Berryman is one of the absolute most sincere riders we’ve ever known and one of the most talented.
We’ve worked with Tyler since his B Class days, before he was known as one of the most progressive freeriders in the game. “Oh, you guys are playing favorites, this is malarkey!” So what if we are? Feel free to read the intro and go create your own list on your own dirtbike website.
The truth is we aren’t playing favorites. If we’re honest, Tyler took a racing career that likely wasn’t going to land him under a factory rig and turned it into becoming one of the most recognized names in the industry, and he hasn’t let that fame go to his head. Trust us, we know plenty of people who have.
Rather than flopping around as a fill in rider or on some homegrown team that goes under after a year and never pays you your bonus money, he’s got a chance to play a similar role in moto as Travis Rice plays in snow. Reaching far outside the eyeballs that frequent this website and drawing real attention to the sport. He’s that good and that relatable.
So, to all those who don’t support this decision, you are obviously out of touch with the current generation of talent. If his career keeps climbing at this rate, he may top this list before he’s done.
8. Jason Lawrence
We all know the J-Law story.
7. Jeff Emig
Lake Havasu. Early ‘90s supercross. It doesn’t get much cooler and Jeff Emig was right in the thick of it all. I mean just look at this Shift ad from back in the day, it just screams cool! Could you imagine that happening today?
In 1999, Emig was fired from Team Kawasaki after being caught with marijuana residue on a soft drink can in Lake Havasu. When he won the US Open a few months later, he famously added, “Being on the podium is a whole lot better than being in jail.”
Look, we don’t support marijuana use here, but if you’re going to get caught, what a better way to respond.
For more on how cooler the ‘90s were, watch this:
6. Travis Pastrana
Travis Pastrana is cool without ever, and I mean ever, trying to be cool. He was probably the atheists of cool back in the freestyle days. He was Opie Taylor while the Metal Mulisha were more like the Mötley Crüe. But that’s what makes Pastrana so cool. He’s just a genuine dude that is funny without trying to be funny and is probably the most recognized action sports athlete in the world!
Despite his Opie like persona, Pastrana demands respect through his unparalleled skill. He’s done it on the racetrack, tallying both a 125cc motocross title and backing it up with a 125cc East Coast SX title, and as a Freestyle athlete, racking up 10 gold medals and launching his bike into the San Francisco Bay at 16 years old.
Think Pastrana is just a “nice guy” who happens to rip? Like most of your life decisions, you’d be wrong again. Simply take this quote: “I always wanted to make a living riding dirt bikes,” Pastrana said in an interview in 2016. “I enjoy the racing. I enjoy hating other competitors. I enjoy convincing myself that they beat up my grandma and I’m going to knock them down and I’m going to win the race.”
Make sure to check back for the Part II next week.