There’s a smile on the faces of Yu Shoji and Takumi Isogai as they stroll into the SMX Convention Center in Pasay.
On any other day, it’s easy to mistake them for a couple of ordinary kids hanging out at Time Zone or the Skate Park. They’re two wide-eyed Japanese teenagers who are stoked about everything the world has to offer.
But unlike most kids, Yu and Takumi are internationally renowned cyclists who have been setting the world of Flatland BMX on fire. Collectively, they are the dynamic duo known as the Superkids.
Flatland BMX blends elements of balance, flow and breakdancing to create a unique, artistic style that separates it from other BMX disciplines.
Barely three years into this extreme sport, the Superkids have become the hottest rising stars of Flatland BMX, dazzling audiences globally with their tag-team showcase of gravity-defying tricks.
They’ve also won a number of championships: Yu won first place in the 2015 Voodoo Jam, while Takumi took home the coveted grand prize at the 2014 FlatArk Expert.
Recently, the Superkids landed in Manila for the third annual PhilBike Expo. What began as a gathering among cycling enthusiasts in the country has grown into a platform where cycling stars from all over the world can come and interact with members of local communities, share their knowledge and even find emerging talent.
The event, which marked the return of their mentor, Viki Gomez, was also a first for the Superkids.
“PhilBike is a nice event,” said 14-year-old Yu. “I think it was the most interesting event I have been to. I started BMX five years ago, and I want to be a world BMX champion and come back to the Philippines.”
When we caught up with the Superkids on the morning of the expo, it was hard not to notice the happy expression on their faces as they walked into the convention hall with their bikes.
By then, the dynamic duo were interacting with the expo staff at the SMX Convention Center, having a good laugh despite the language barrier.
And then, riding their bikes, they proceeded to execute the jaw-dropping Double Decade move with such ease and precision, it looked as natural to them as breathing. It didn’t take long before a crowd gathered around them.
What was more impressive, though, was how comfortable the Superkids looked in front of an audience, feeding off the energy of people who watched in complete awe.
Once the Superkids get on their bikes, it really is like watching poetry in motion. No matter that they speak only Japanese, they were so incredibly open and easy to communicate with. Sometimes, you don’t need words to connect with people. Actions, as this dynamic duo proves, are enough.
Photography Toff Tiozon Styling Luis Carlo San Juan Grooming and hairstyle Miko Dacanay