chatHoffman, Thorne chat up a storm

When it comes to the X Games, bicycle stunt legend Mat Hoffman and ESPN extreme sports guru Rick Thorne have most of the bases covered.

On Feb. 5, Hoffman and Thorne held a special chat with users to discuss a variety of extreme subjects. Hoffman and Thorne answered fans' questions from Mount Snow, home of the fourth annual Winter X Games. The pair discussed many issues during their two-hour chat, including the marketing of alternative sports.

An edited transcript of Hoffman and Thorne's chat follows.

Randall: I messed up my left knee from doing a wheelie in June of 99. I tore two ligaments and cracked my patella (kneecap) in two places! I had to go in for a 3 hour surgery. I read in BMX Plus! that Mr. Hoffman was walking around right after you had the fake ligament put in your knee. How were you able to walk around without messing up the ligament?

Mat Hoffman and Rick Thorne:
The ligament was synthetic -- made of polyester -- so it didn't have to graft to the bone. So it was as strong as it was going to get the day after surgery.

Carrie: Rick Thorne, I think you are amazing, your energy gives me a rush! Have a good year!

Mat Hoffman and Rick Thorne:
(Rick) I owe it all to the bean -- the coffee bean. check out x 2day and thanks for the positive words. rock n' roll.

matt attack: Matt Hoffman you Rock.And I am so happy you came back to the sport.

Mat Hoffman and Rick Thorne:
(Mat) Thanks. I am happy to be healthy enough to ride my bike every day again. I hope to keep it that way so i can ride all year.

mewefan: Just wanted to bring back some "old school" memories for Rick Thorne. I competed in the "CSFA" comps back in the late 80's and early 90's and rode in the 14-15/16-17 expert flatland classes. Hadn't been riding for 9 years or so (college, married, etc.) but got back into it awhile ago. Got a Hoffman SD4 (Matt, thanks for making good bikes for a fair price) and am now in good shape! I am originally from Columbia, Mo. (Rick, do you remember Brett Foster the flatlander from Jeff City?), but now live in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Rick, if you have any updates on any of the riders from the CSFA days, post them on the chat - it would be fun to hear what those guys are doing. A big thanks goes out to both of you for sticking with the sport and helping it reach where it is today - Oh yeah, the show on ESPN2 is really cool - keep up the good work.

Mat Hoffman and Rick Thorne:
(Rick) Do I remember Brett Foster? How could I forget? He was doing death trucks when they first came out. Plus we saw a fugazi show together in '89. as far as the CSFA days things have come a long way -- but those days were fun.

Thanks along for writing me -- hopefully we will cross paths again some day.

(Mat) Girls like dangerous guys -- dangerous guys ride SD4's.

tim hefferan: Matt I think it's great that you are back riding again. I was just wondering if you are going to be in next years X games?

Mat Hoffman and Rick Thorne
: (Mat) Yes -- I qualified for 2000 X Games by the skin of my (teeth). I am also going to try to ride some of the new CFB contest this year.

joey: Rick - what kind of tattoo is that on your neck?

Mat Hoffman and Rick Thorne:
(Rick) The kind of tattoos that show much "love" and "respect" with "no pain, no sorrow" in my "53 Chrysler Crown Imperial."

throne JR.: What is up Mat and Rick. I just want to tell you that you and Mat are sick on the vert ramp. You rock. Thanks, your number one fan Throne Jr.

Mat Hoffman and Rick Thorne
: (Mat) Thanks for the kind words. But do you mean Thorne Jr.? If so, Rick, is there something you're hiding from us?

(Rick) I don't know ... it's a long story dude.

matt hall: Hi Mat and Rick. You guys are my favorite bikes, so are all the other bikers at H*B. H*B are the best bmx bikes made now and ever (i'm saving up for one now). I also liked you touring with birdhouse (I also skate). Thanks for your time. Sincerely, Matt.

Mat Hoffman and Rick Thorne
: (Mat) Thanks for the props. Yea the Whoop Ass tour was super fun. Check out the Hoffman bike website for my journal entries from the tour. Thanks for the support. Rock on.

(Rick) Hey dude! Hoffman bikes do rule. Keep on riding and rock the house.

Matt Crooks: What inspired you to start your own company besides the money? And what did it take? If you could answer this it would mean a lot to me. Thanks for Matt in Annapolis.

Mat Hoffman and Rick Thorne
: (Mat) I wanted to run a company with no compromise and do exactly what I wanted to do. Plus I wanted to have a way to employ my friends and this was the best way I could do it. Just kidding.

It takes a lot of time and energy and passion to start your own company.

mike delaney: What do you think are the bet tricks to start out on bike street with?

Mat Hoffman and Rick Thorne
: (Rick) Well it's really a matter of opinion and style, do you know what I mean? Let's take a 360 for instance -- it really doesn't depend on what's the best trick -- it's how you do it. As far as new tricks, there are so many.

matt w: Do you feel that since alternative sports have gone so mainstream that kids have lost focus on why some of the more progressive athletes started in their sport and that too many companies have jumped on the bandwagon because of the popularity of these sports? (i.e. gravity games)

Mat Hoffman and Rick Thorne
: (Mat) Alternative sports have definitely gone mainstream, but no matter how mainstream they become my ramp in my backyard has always remained the same. It doesn't matter what the marketing of the sport becomes -- it's what the sport means to you.

(Rick) Don't forget the struggle. Don't forget the streets. Peace.

k2dmc: When will the new Evil K. bike be out?

Mat Hoffman and Rick Thorne
: (Mat) We're doing a new Evel Knievel bike coming out in September, 2000 that will be the Wembley Stadium edition, so check it out.

Mat Hoffman
Matt Hoffman soars during Summer X V in San Francisco.
Randall: I was wondering what was your worst injury Rick? Also your show X 2day rules. I watched the one on the Whoop Ass tour everytime it came on because it has my local skate park - kona - in it. What kind of motor and hop ups do you have on your old truck?

Mat Hoffman and Rick Thorne
: (Rick) As for my worst injury be sure to check out the next issue of Ride magazine -- it's the new Hoffman ad with an X-ray of my face and 25 screws. It's cool you like X 2day -- keep watching, the show is only getting better.

The truck has a rebuilt 350 with a 350 turbo tran all chromed out.

XFAN IN OKC: Matt would you try any Winter X events?

Mat Hoffman and Rick Thorne
: (Mat) I was thinking of trying a new event where I wrap myself in cellophane and jump down the hill headfirst toward the big-air jump.

jeffrey flaland dude: Hoffman Rules!!! Day Smith is the coolest!!!

Mat Hoffman and Rick Thorne
: (Rick) If you ever see Day Smith in person, call him the bomb.

Spike: Matt, I saw you , Rick and, Wwope, in Kingsport, Tenn., when you had the Big Ole 18 wheeler with portable ramp I think it was one of the first times you pulled a 900. What happened to Blyther, Wilkerson, and Joe Johnson?

Mat Hoffman and Rick Thorne
: (Mat) Man, you have some roots. The Tennessee show wasn't the first time I pulled a 900, but it was the first time I pulled a 900 on that portable ramp. I pulled the 900 first in 1989 at the 2hip contest in Canada. Blyther, Wilkerson and Johnson are all still riding. I rode with Johnson two months ago and he was still doing tailwhips. It was pretty awesome. Take care.

(Rick) Blyther? We had a session the other day at the Vans skate park in Ontario, Calif. And then we feasted a BBQ in my backyard. Wilkerson? everybody is still trying to figure out what happened. Johnson? I was with Mat two months ago -- it was a moving experience.

Tennessee show? I remember. That's when I sucked.

k2dmc: How come you quit sending me newsletters every month?

Mat Hoffman and Rick Thorne
: (Mat) Call HB and make sure you're on the mailing list. We just finished the last zine and it's going out next week, so hurry up and call. The new zine rocks.

(Rick) The Hoffman zine is like, totally, rad, awesome, boss, buff, thick, bio, aggro, bro, bra ... it's like really nifty.

Randall: This one is for Mat. Why did you cut your hair?

Mat Hoffman and Rick Thorne
: (Mat) I had to cut it because when you have a mop like mine and shoulders that have had six operations on them it makes it very hard to brush and take care of.

k2dmc: Who is your favorite vert rider to watch?

Mat Hoffman and Rick Thorne
: (Rick) My favorite rider would be Robert DeNiro. He has a mean 1-foot invert.

(Mat) The vert rider I looked up to back in the day would have to be Mike Dominguez but his one-foot inverts didn't have jack on DeNiro.

Bud99: Sup. When did you first compete in a pro competition?

Mat Hoffman and Rick Thorne
: (Mat) My first pro contest was in January of 1989 in Irvine, Calif. at the 2hip finals. And I competed amateur then pro the same day. I won two snowboards. Whoppee!

(Rick) My first contest as a pro was in 1994. I was a wuss to not turn pro in the early years. But then I started using the Thighmaster -- the one the lady in Three's Company uses.

Alec: Hey Rick man I love you! You are my favorite rider and I love X 2day!! How many tattoos do you have on your neck? Thanks a lot!

Mat Hoffman and Rick Thorne
: (Rick) Alec -- I have exactly at this present time and moment four tattoos that all connect to one big fat necklace. And I love you man for watching X 2day.

I am your favorite rider? Wow. I now have officially one fan!

k2dmc: How do you pick which questions to answer?

Mat Hoffman and Rick Thorne
: (Mat) We first click the "post" button and then we say whatever is on the top of our heads and when we have made sure we have not answered the question and confused ourselves we push "post message." It's as easy as that.

alec: Hey is this really Rick and Mat or is it like two old musty guys pretending to be them? Sorry Rick and Mat but my friend doesn't think it is you!

Mat Hoffman and Rick Thorne
: (Mat) Yes this is really Mat and Rick ... and yes it is really two old musty guys.

thrasher040: How did it feel landing the 900?

Mat Hoffman and Rick Thorne
: (Mat) It's a mass of spinning confusion and then you notice yourself riding across a flat bottom and a smile is stuck on your face from ear to ear. And every time it is the same.

mtbiker500: I live near Massanutten, VA. There are summer games there, any chances you might be there this year?

Mat Hoffman and Rick Thorne
: (Mat) There's no contest in Virginia this year, but check out and we'll keep you posted of any of our tours that go there or near there.

thrasher040: Hoffman rules the day!!!!!!!!! What's up? Awesome show rick!! I watch it all the time.

Mat Hoffman and Rick Thorne
: (Rick) You know what? I think the same thing dude. Mat Hoffman does rule. BE sure to buy Mat Hoffman's Pro BMX video game which will have Mat and myself and others blasting. Here's a little hint -- it's the same people that made Tony Hawk Pro Skater -- so the game should rule.

Randall: Hey Mat do you have any fast cars? I seen on HBTV that you have a cadillac. Do you have wire wheels or any boom in it? I also bet you could take out Rick's old chevy in a dragrace.

Mat Hoffman and Rick Thorne
: (Mat) I have an old '60 caddy -- I'll challenge Thorne's 58 chevy. Mine goes over 50 mph.

(Rick) Hey -- Sammy Hagar said it best -- I can't drive 55. Actually, me and Mat have a car club called "we will run you over, because we can."

k2dmc: HBTV was the coolest, espescially watching Mike Escamillia bust out with his awesome street riding. Are you going to have any more episodes in the near future?

Mat Hoffman and Rick Thorne
: (Mat) Thanks. Glad you like the show. I am going to be producing the television for the new CFB contest series for ESPN also -- so if you like HBTV check it out because like HBTV it will be made by bikers, for bikers. Word.

Fender42: Hey Mat and Rick, who do you think would win in a fight between you guys?

Mat Hoffman and Rick Thorne
: (Mat) I'm not sure who would win, but I can beat the hell out of myself pretty good, so I don't need any help.

(Rick): Yea -- I'm with Mat.

rudeboy: Hey Mat, How was Evel Knievel's wedding?

Mat Hoffman and Rick Thorne
: (Mat) Evel's wedding was pretty cool. He got married in front of Ceasars Palace over the fountains in Vegas. He rode his motorcycle to the altar! We have a picture in the new HB zine from the wedding so check it out.

Mat Hoffman and Rick Thorne: Thanks for talking with us! Thorne has a bed time and I have to tuck him in and tell him his bed time stories. Ride on and Rise above. xxoo - Mat and Thorne.