04 May Embassy Decade in Review: The Rise of Hango
Because Embassy started at the beginning of the decade, almost the entirety of the website has existed over this period. One of the great functions of the site has been to serve as an informal record of things that happened in Canadian BMX. In this series, we’ll attempt to bookend the decade and call back to some of our favorite things that happened over the last ten years.
The last Nelson contest took place in the winter of 2003. It was the end of a long and storied tradition in Canadian BMX, but it was also the beginning of something. Dustin Guenther won that contest, but right behind him was 16 year old Jordan Hango, riding his local indoor park. BMX media was pretty thin that year, and the only write-up I remember seeing was from Wade Nelson, who pronounced that “Jordan Hango is the future”. He was right – Jordan’s riding is so undeniably pure, gnarly, and effortless, that it was inevitable for people to take notice. And in a way, it kind of had to be.
I don’t claim to know Jordan well, but I have known him for a long time. The most obvious thing about his riding is that if he wasn’t in the spotlight, he would still be doing the exact same thing. I don’t get the sense that he ever put much into getting sponsors, and he’s where he’s at now because it’s impossible to see that guy ride and not be blown away by it.
Of all the guys putting out big video parts this decade, I don’t think more than a couple of dudes can touch the volume of full throttle wild sections that Jordan’s put together. It would be easy to wax eloquent about how great everything is, but better to just watch the parts, compiled below.
Blazeguard. John Thompson made some of the most epic web videos of last decade, so the anticipation for this one was high. I think if there was a videographer equivalent to Hango’s riding, it’s probably JT. Very talented, super dialed, and just a guy that executes well. The video only had three parts, but this was one of them, and it’s so good.
Holy Fit. Legend has it that Hango wasn’t supposed to have a part in this video, and a few Fit guys came to the Northwest on a filming trip not knowing much about him. After that trip, he was probably getting a section in this thing. The fastplant rail combos in this one are amazing, and at 2:40 he conquers a spot in Vancouver that everyone’s driven by a hundred times but nobody thought was possible to ride.
Fit web videos. These were web videos. (web videos!)
Atlantis – Battle of the Birds.
Atlantis videos. These parts are the best, because they have such a natural feel to them. It’s pretty clearly just Jordan out filming with Schubert and whoever else is around, and then throwing in some absolute deadman stuff for good measure.
Atlantis – Splyglass.
X-Games. And then, for at least a moment, a wider audience got a bit of a glimpse into just how good Jordan’s riding is. The behind the scenes descriptions from Moeller from the full episode are perfect (it’s out there if you search for it).