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The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

BMX legend Mat Hoffman headlines local Wheelz and Reelz fest

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Hoffman was excited to see the turnout from the younger generation of bikers. “It was rad. There’s kids here who weren’t even alive when this movie came out,” Hoffman said. “I felt pretty stoked to be able to share my story with them.” Photo credit: Aidan Bea

Legendary BMX pioneer Mat Hoffman was a key speaker at the Wheelz and Reelz event at the San Marcos Skate Park on Saturday afternoon.
Wheelz & Reelz is part of the annual Lost River Film Festival which celebrates Central Texas filmmakers and films made in the San Marcos area. The festival was four days long and included film screenings, musical performances, catered meals and film workshops.
Hoffman, who is primarily known for revolutionizing BMX with his death-defying tricks and his signature so-called “big ramp” stunts, headlined the event with a documentary showing, a Q&A session and a skate demonstration.
The event first featured a screening of the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary “The Birth of Big Air” at the nearby San Marcos Public Library, followed by an open Q&A. The documentary covered Hoffman’s rise to fame and his never-ending quest to beat the competition and to beat himself.
After the showing, the event shifted to the nearby skate park, where Hoffman and riders of all ages had a carefree skate session. The crowd was a mix of older riders and skaters who came up at the same time as Hoffman as well as younger people following in the footsteps of Hoffman and his peers.
Hoffman said he was happy to see a new generation show up to the event.
“It was rad. There’s kids here who weren’t even alive when this movie came out,” Hoffman said. “I felt pretty stoked to be able to share my story with them.”
At one point, Hoffman himself hopped on his bike and rode around with all of the attendees.
Hoffman said that even after all these years he still brings his bike everywhere.
“It’s kind of like an extension of my body,” Hoffman said. “I feel much more comfortable if I have my bike by me. It’s kind of the best therapist.”
Hoffman was invited to San Marcos by his lifelong friend and fellow BMX rider Steve “Steve-O” Ornelas who is also the host of the Wheelz & Reelz. Ornelas and Hoffman have been friends since 1985 when they met at a BMX competition in San Antonio.
Ornelas said he has known that Hoffman was exceptional ever since the first time he saw Hoffman ride.
“It was my first contest ever and I entered the 14-15 intermediate,” Ornelas said. “I had heard of Mat Hoffman a little bit, just because he was doing unreal stuff already. He entered the 14-15 expert. So when I saw him ride, man, I knew something special was about to happen.”
Ornelas has been putting together this event for three years and said he is passionate about Wheelz and Reelz and how it has grown.
“I’ve been doing this by myself forever,” Ornelas said. “I would always intertwine art, live music, BMX and skate. This is the first time I’ve had it at the skatepark because I have my own portable ramp. I usually take it to a smaller venue but this time I wanted a larger venue so I wouldn’t have to haul the ramps at all.”
The event included live music as well as an appearance from eccentric sports teams such as the the local roller derby team and unicycle football team. Free beer was provided by local restaurant and brewery AquaBrew and free refreshments were distributed by Topo Chico.
Go to https://www.lostriverfilmfest.org/ for more information about Wheelz & Reelz and the Lost River Film Festival.

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