Awesome Totally Awesome - Stacy Kohut FOURLIFE

Stacy Kohut Interview
Four Wheels + For Life = FOURLIFE

For this edition of Shine, we have the privilege of interviewing one of the most gifted and insane athletes on the planet, Stacy Kohut.

Twenty-seven years ago, Stacy tried to loop a giant swing all the way around. He made it all the way to the apex and plummeted back onto his head from at least thirty-five feet up. Thereafter, he found himself paralyzed. He now refers to that day as his rebirth—and as atypical as that may seem, spend any time with Stacy and you’ll realize that he is anything but typical. If I didn’t know him and his parents before he was paralyzed, I’d be certain he was an alien, sent to earth to rip and destroy—while rocking some butter Vans.

Stacy’s a rock star: he’s Joe Strummer, Evel Knievel, Christian Hosoi, and Rodney Dangerfield all at the same time. Moreover, Kohut goes fucking big, as big and as technical as anyone on the planet, paralyzed or not. Don’t believe me–check out his words, pictures, and videos below.

ATA: What are your days like now that mountain bike season is in full gear?

SK: Full that’s for sure. Riding 3 or 4 days a week, working a part-time Mc Job 3 days a week. It’s great and needed to have some rest days once ya get over 45, it really helps keepin’ ya fresh. I try to get 5 or 6 runs in the morning, then 5 or 6 runs after lunch. Its important to me to feel like I’ve put in the work, ‘punched in’ for the shift, when I ride. Makes the day have some more importance and meaning. A purpose if you will.

Awesome Totally Awesome - Stacy Kohut FOURLIFE

ATA: What tricks or skills have you been working on so far this year?

SK: Silly rabbit tricks are for kids!!! But yeah, the old folks call them maneuvers. Not so much tricks, but just riding clean, smooth and fast. Small techniques improvements are picked up every season and this year I’m trying some new stuff. Less ‘scandi flicks’ and more like a ski racer…big smooth arcs. Loading up the outside wheels and just hit the speed button.

ATA: Boosting big airs have never been a problem for you. What’s the biggest you’ve ever gone?

SK: Man I don’t know that one. Height is what is feeling comfy for me these days. Long jumps are hard to gauge speed wise, and the chance of a major case and crash is way more likely with the long jumps. Would sooner boost to the moon and have a nice amount of time up high in the air. Floaty.

Awesome Totally Awesome - Stacy Kohut FOURLIFE

ATA: Do you see any limitations in your equipment or yourself that keep you from going as big as you want?

SK: I don’t need a ‘better’ bike or a new bike. What this kid needs are more bikes. It would be killer to have a couple more…a race ride, a training ride, and a stunt ride. The stunt ride could be used for foam pits and things like that. I don’t wanna smash up my ride ‘trying stuff’ that’s for sure

ATA: How much bigger do you think you can go?

SK I’m reaching the end of how big I can go. The question is how much longer can I keep going big and fast. Well, with the right nutrition and such, I wanna keep the hammer down till I’m at least in my 60s. I did have a second birthday the day I broke myself off, so I’m only 27 right now.

ATA: What would that require?

SK: It will definitely require some attitude and some perseverance. It’s all about keeping and staying with the level I have now and making sure I keep evolving as a rider and a promotional tool. Sooner or later. Sooner or later man…..

ATA: One of the things that makes you bigger than life is your swagger and showmanship, have you ever been offered to do anything like Nitro Circus?

SK: Nope. And to be honest, it doesn’t mean that much to me. I do wanna race some of the more popular race tracks around the world though. UCI World Cup DH level tracks. The Euros would go bonkers watching me rip some of those WC tracks.

ATA: If you could dream it and make it come to fruition, what would your Evel Knievel/Danny Way moment be?

SK: Would have to be the old James Bond ramp to ramp barrel roll.

ATA: Does anyone influence you? Who? And Why?

SK: I’m influenced these days by peeps who are doing what they want with their lives. Peeps who are focused doin’ what they HAVE to do.

ATA: You’ve always been mentally strong what drives you?

SK: Confidence is something I definitely got from my Dad. He was very sure of and still is, sure of himself and his life decisions. The dude battled through some sticky situations and really made something outta himself. I respect that and wanna do the same.

Awesome Totally Awesome - Stacy Kohut FOURLIFE

ATA: What keeps you mentally on point?

SK: Realizing we only have one shot at this time and /in space. I just wanna be true to myself, and i’m naturally inclined to be on, and stay ‘on point’.

ATA: Are you still vegetarian?

SK: Yep. Classic veggie. I don’t eat anything with parents. I do subscribe to the classic vegetarian diet, I do include some dairy and whey. No eggs, no flesh, and I try to stay vital. Don’t wanna eat brick nor drink lead soup.

ATA: How is that treating you?

SK: It works for the lifestyle I have. It’s definitely not for everyone. And it’s not a religion for me, I don’t preach it nor do I wanna convert everyone…and I don’t really care if my friends eat meat or not. I do it for performance reasons….thats it. Its also getting to the point where I don’t even care what something tastes like or how i feel when I eat something. I do care how I feel 30 minutes after eating though that’s fo sho! That’s how I decide if something I eat is right for me…. how do I feel 30 minutes after eating is the question that comes up time after time.

ATA: What is one thing that most people don’t understand about four-cross?

SK: Being strapped in is damn gnarly. You can get punished. I think other peeps in wheelchairs understand how gnarly it is, but the average person that sees me ride has no idea how hard and scary it can be all strapped in.

ATA: What is one thing that most people don’t understand about you?

SK: Probably that the reason I can do what I do in my four-cross, is because how hardcore I am in my daily life living in a wheelchair. Peeps wanna give me a high five and get a selfie because of my shreddin’, but they get all bent outta shape when I deny them a chance to ‘help me’ or take away my independence. Its a package deal folks…you can’t have happy, friendly, shreddin’ Stacy without respecting the Stacy that wants as little help as possible in my daily life. Examples? Opening doors, peeps wanting to push me up small hills, peeps grabbin’ my wheelchair when I’m getting in my van etc…

ATA: What type of prejudice do you have to deal with?

SK: There are still a lot of preconceived notions of what people like myself can or want to do with our lives and how we can be used to promote active, exciting rippin’ lifestyles.

ATA: How do you deal with it?

SK: Ride harder. Ride faster. Ride more. Have more style than most, rock that swagger you mentioned earlier….and really, if 50% of the world gets me, and 50 % don’t, well, that’s still batting .500, and that will get you into Cooperstown that’s for sure!

ATA: What things make you say, “Fuck You”?

SK: Racism, discrimination, all the nasty ones. All the ones that are perpetrated by petty and nasty people.
Injustice. Sometimes you really do have to be a member of the F.V.K. !

ATA: What is the most difficult thing about being Stacy Kohut?

SK: Probably being 10 years ahead of the curve for what
I do.

ATA: What is the best thing about being Stacy Kohut?

SK: Being 10 years ahead of the curve for what I do!!! lol

ATA: Do you perceive yourself as a role model? Whether you do or not, it seems like something that’s thrust on you. How do you reconcile being true to yourself to doing what society or some other outside force expects?

SK: I’m just being me. If someone looks to me as a role model that’s fine. All I really care about is entertaining anyway.

ATA: I don’t know anyone that knows you that hasn’t been influenced by your love for music. You’ve always been a step ahead. What are you listening to now? Any new shit?

SK: Lots and lots of ‘new to me’ music that for sure. Some of the stuff, the bands have been around for years, but was just outta the loop and got in late……

Red Fang
Zig Zags
Uncle Acid

ATA: How about classics? I’m sure London Calling is somewhere in the rotation.

SK: Yeah you know me !.. Love, love, love The Clash and really digging stuff that I didn’t know about until the last couple years. I’ve had my head down with sports and riding for a loooong time. I was blown away by The Clash’s Vanilla tapes and was equally blown away with ‘Another Combat Rock’. Mick Jones rules.

ATA: Any hip-hop?

SK: Again late to the game, but my two go to hip-hop albums these days are Deltron 3030 and Wu Tang’s Iron Flag.

Really digging the hip-hop ethos these days too…DIY, steezy, respectful, staying true to the form, borrowing,….. creating something from another thing…hip hop is a mindset that’s for sure.

ATA: Do you ride with music?

SK: No!!!! My Dad was a huge advocate for listening to your ride, getting in tune with the sounds and frequencies coming from the machine. Feeling all the vibes the machine is giving. I do end up with riffs in my head that usually last all season long. Last year, every day I rode, I had ‘Seeing Red’ by Minor Threat rippin’ through my brain as I tore down the tracks. This year its been ‘Hateful’ by The Clash…not the whole songs, just the main riff over and over and over while I’m listening to my bike. Deus Ex Machina.

ATA: What will you be listening to the morning before your run at Crankworks to hype you up?

SK: I’ll watch a few drag racing vids in the morning, just for the sound really. Maybe a few mx vids, then it will probably the ‘Hateful’ riff over and over again. lol.

ATA: Any new tattoos you’d like to talk about?

SK: Four Wheels + For Life = FOURLIFE
I’m living and now branded with the FOURLIFE.

ATA: What kicks are you rocking?

SK: Vans sk8 hi, but I’m chopping them down with a razor blade to mid tops just like Danny Way and Colin McKay did back at The SkateRanch in Richmond around 1991/92.

ATA: Any clothing companies whose product you’re wearing’?

SK: I’m really proud to be sponsored by the companies I rock that’s for sure. Troy Lee Designs, Oakley, Vans….these are quality brands with some amazing peeps and some real ‘lifer’ street cred.
They have been around since day one of their respective scenes.

ATA: What can we expect from you in five years?

SK: SMP …Session more parks, I wanna do the full bike park tour all over North America. But other than that, more of the same…work hard, be true, stoke peeps out with my attitude and energy…

Awesome Totally Awesome - Stacy Kohut FOURLIFE

ATA: What is the most important thing in life to you?

SK: Adrenaline.

ATA: What inspires you?

SK: Kids, kids who are just going for it, real, so untainted, so authentic and raw. Doesn’t matter what they are into…art, music, sports, whatever, its stokes me out and reaffirms my faith in humans to see kids just f n’ going for it!!!

ATA: What is Stacy Kohut’s legacy?

SK: Well I’ll tell ya Stu…….Fourcross is no sport, its a way of life, its no hobby.

Awesome Totally Awesome - Stacy Kohut FOURLIFE

ATA: Anything you want to promote?

SK: Just my brand new, again waaay late to the party, Facebook page…..

Awesome Totally Awesome - Stacy Kohut FOURLIFE

ATA: Any final thoughts?

SK: Just wanna thank Awesome Totally Awesome for the chance to share who I am and what I do with people.

Stacy would like to thank his sponsors: Stik/Troy at TLD, The Oakley Canada crew, Maxxis and the NRG peeps, Scott at Sun and Hayes, Leroy and the Phil Wood posse, Stefan and the Vans Canada group, Richard at Ergogenics, everybody from Fox Shox, James and the shop crew from Suspension Werx, Andrew from Maxima, Rob and Crystal from Intuition Liners, James at The Fix Inc, Chris and Pete from North Shore Billet (NSB), Robby from FSW, All the peeps from Whistler Bike Park Lift Ops, and of course my friends and family.

Also, thank you to all the people of ALL ages who respect and get what I’m all about… It does mean the world to me.

ATA: Still want more Kohut? Here is playlist of some more rad videos. FOURLIFE!

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