Bad 4 Life Tag

23 Dec Embassy Decade in Review: Bad 4 Life

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.

There’s a tendency in BMX to define large parts of the culture by its urban areas. So much of BMX is centered around what’s happening in LA, Austin, and New York. So much of Canadian BMX is centered around Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal (and Calgary, and Edmonton, and Winnipeg, and Halifax, etc.). These cities are where the distros, the skateparks and the best street riding are. They’re where riders move to when they leave home for a bigger scene, and generally, they produce most of the content that we would want to post about on a website like this.

Canada isn’t quite that way though. Past the big cities, most of the riding scenes in the country are small. A group of friends that knows another group of friends an hour down the highway. A local skatepark that may be new, or may be 20 years old, ramps and jumps in somebody’s yard… this is how a lot of use grew up.

Brodie Gwilliam’s videos paint a picture of the extreme other side. Among the rise of urban street riding, Brodie and his group of (kind of) misfits seemed to explore every random town on the prairies, they rode waterslides, and literal rocks, and they did it all in super clear high definition on one of the first RED cameras to shoot bmx. The fact that all of this existed at all, in the form that it does, doesn’t make much sense. But it’s amazing.

Justin Schwanke interviewed him for Embassy here. Jeremy interviewed him about their full-length Let’s Get Fistical here.

The B4L video that I’ve watched back the most was the “Van Life” edit, from a two week trip Brodie took to Vancouver. Peak Ridgeway, Andy, and Dave Laliberte while travelling around in Mat’s $300 van.

Amidst all of that exploring, the Pinnacle of Brodie’s filmmaking this decade was the “Bush League” series. Filmed mostly (entirely?) on his own farm, he rides the most ridiculous obstacles. Modified ramp setups, tractors, hay bales, farm equipment, and so much more. Brodie’s riding really holds its own as well. It’s one of the most well-executed and unique projects I’ve seen in BMX, and he put together three (!) amazing versions of this concept.

While Bush League 1 exists, and is a pretty fun collection of Sask locals riding nothing, the second through fourth episodes are where Brodie really found the style that defines the series. And they’re unreal.

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16 Mar Bad 4 Life at B-Line Bike Park

Hot dog lovers Brodie Gwilliam and Zach Lokken recently took a winter road trip to Calgary, Alberta to sample the finest of packaged meat slurries. Here is what they captured during a few days of taste testing at B-Line Bike Park. Additional appearances from Jack Nicholl, Austin Odegnal, Darcy Peters, Justin Schwanke, Travis Kozie, and more.

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29 Jan Bad 4 Life: Subrail 2

The Bad 4 Life boys have been keeping warm the last couple winters in rural Saskatchewan. Join Jarek Mus, Zach Lokken, and esteemed barn owner, Brodie Gwilliam as they get weird indoors. This is Canadian creativity [and resourcefulness] at its finest!

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17 Oct Let’s Get Fistical – Split Part

Here’s a slice of Brodie Gwilliams film Let’s Get Fistical. A 5 man, 9 minute split part from Saskatchewan’s Bad 4 Life crew. Heavy on time lapses in the beginning, but it picks up with a real diverse mix of riding throughout the whole thing. I’m looking forward to when the last part of the video goes online and we can share with you one of the weirdest enders in recent BMX memory. You can also go back and read our interview with Brodie about the filming of his video here.

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26 Dec Bad 4 Life Video Out Now…. and on the News

When I saw that this had happened, my first thought was that they had re-created the set of CTV Morning Live and hired an actor. This would not be outside the capabilities of Brodie Gwilliam and team. The best part is when he fumbles the title of the video. It’s a great case “what is that word/can I say that on TV”.

Let’s Get Fistical is available now from Bad 4 Life, and it’s probably going to be awesome. I have a copy coming and will post a review when it gets here.

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