DOES a fledgling stunt-riding sport have a future in a country where basketball is a religion and motorcycles are used mostly as a practical mode of transportation?
Aaron Colton definitely believes so.
The American Sportbike Freestyle star gave Filipinos a glimpse of what his extreme sport was all about on Tuesday, when he awed his audience with bold stunts with his potent motorbike in a demo inside Eastwood City, Libis grounds.
After whetting the appetite of basketball-crazy Pinoys, the 22-year-old Colton expressed his confidence that the American sport can gain more attention in the country.
“Absolutely. There’s room for everything,” beamed Colton, who has been in Manila for almost a week now. “I think I’ve seen way more motorcycles than I have basketballs, so that’s got potential and I’m not saying it’s gonna replace basketball. Basketball has its place and so does my sport.”
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Colton probably hasn’t seen the basketball courts around the metro, but that’s understandable as the XDL Freestyle champion is here in town to promote his sport. He held his first exhibition on Tuesday night at Eastwood.
“If there are ten people doing it in the Philippines right now, there’s no reason there can be a couple of thousand in the next couple of years,” he said. “It’s gonna be a sport that grows and I’m confident that after this tour it’s going to be.”
Colton continues his trip on Wednesday at Capitol Commons, Pasig, then on Thursday at A-Venue, Makati, before capping it off at the Fort Strip/High Street in Taguig a day later.
Size doesn’t matter for height-challenged Filipinos, according to the 6-foot-3 Colton.
“It doesn’t necessarily mean you have an advantage or disadvantage, because there are competitors of all shapes and sizes,” Colton said, adding there are stuntriders as short as 5-2 with the average height at 5-8.
“I’m the tallest in the field, but … what I make up for with the body position and pull I have with my height, you can make up with speed and agility with the size you are, just depends on the style you want to ride,” the long, curly haired Minnesota native continued. “I don’t think it makes any difference at all in possibility and potential as far as what your size is.”
Having a Granstar bike, which, he says, costs around US$8,000 or roughly P350,000 — excluding modifications, certainly helps, but it doesn’t mean the motorcycle makes the rider.
“Never be discouraged and think that the only reason I’m able to do what I do is because of the motorcycle I’m on,” said Colton, regarded as a prodigy in his sport, having won his first stunt-riding title at age 15, only two years after turning pro.
“There are more affordable options than this to get started on to see if it’s actually what you want to get into.”