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Monday, February 27, 2012
Brian Foster and the rise of Deft Family


When not doing whatever needs doing at Deft Family, this is how Brian Foster spends his time.

There are a few Brian Fosters in the action sports world. But there is only one with the nickname "Bubbs." Brian "Bubbs" Foster was your typical, fast-racing pro who recognized the bigger picture when FMX popped out of the hills of Southern California in the early '00s. After dipping his toes in the FMX world for a few years, Foster graduated to the industry, and now spends the majority of his time as the "everything" man for Deft Family gloves. Recently, ESPN caught up with Brian to talk about the rise of Deft, his racing career, and where FMX has taken him since. Introducing Bubbs.

ESPN.com: You grew up racing but eventually ended up riding freestyle. What prompted the transition from racing to FMX?
Foster: Well, racing motocross is a sport that takes a lot of support and money if you want to climb up the ranks. I had raced pro for about three years around the same time that FMX was just getting started. In 2001 I had been racing in the Arenacross series. I ended up fifth in the series which was sweet, but by the time I got home, I still had no money. After that series, one of my good friends (Dustin Miller) who had been riding FMX for about a year up to this point asked me if I wanted to come ride his ramp with him just for fun. At this time, I was planning on riding the outdoor nationals, but I had so much more fun riding freestyle and was also learning tricks really fast. Miller suggested that I try and ride the IFMA contest in Fresno, a couple hours from Reno. So I did, and ended up making the main at my first contest and made like $2,500 from one contest. That's when I decided I was going to give this FMX thing a shot.

You rode Speed & Style at last year's Dew Tour, and got fourth. Did you surprise yourself and will you make a full comeback?
I guess I was a little surprised, just by the fact that I had been so focused on Deft at the time and hadn't been riding that much. I got the call to ride the Dew Tour event one week before. And I jumped on it just because I've wanted to ride a Speed & Style event since they started doing them. I knew I was going to be out of shape at the event, but I wanted to do it anyway to see where I still stood against everyone. Had I been in a little bit better shape, I think I could have done even better. I really want to ride Speed & Style at X Games, so hopefully my ride at the Dew Tour will help me get there!

What were your top top three accomplishments as an FMX pro?
I've been riding FMX for about ten years now. To be honest I don't have the most colorful accomplishment list. But here goes: first at IFMA in Greenville, N.C., fourth at Gravity Games in 2004, and I was a Nuclear Cowboyz participant in 2010.

Was there a day when you just quit FMX as a job or did it just slowly fizzle out as you Deft responsibilities grew larger?
I wouldn't say that I have actually "quit" riding FMX. But yes, as Deft gets bigger and bigger, there are more and more responsibilities, which has forced me off the bike more.

Deft sure has blown up. Has the company expanded for employees or is it still just "the boys" handling everything?
We're really excited that the brand is taking off and continuing to grow each year! As of right now, we have not added any employees. It's still just Logan [Darien] and I doing every possible thing you could think of! It's definitely a huge workload for the two of us to handle, but were getting it done!

What is you official job title at Deft?
I really don't have an "official" job title as there is so much to be done. Like I said, it's just Logan and I handling everything.

Last one, who is going to win the Supercross title this year?
I think Ryan Villopoto will probably win the title this year just cause he seems to be the most consistent right now. But then again, you never really know these days. I guess we will see!