If only every dad was this cool

Broc Raiford and his dad Ryan on the battle to turn pro in BMX.
© Wesley McGrath/Red Bull Content Pool
By Wes McGrath

In between the swamplands of Southern Louisiana, located just to the west of New Orleans, lies the small town of Destrehan, home of the Raiford family and a father-and-son BMX dynasty, Ryan and Broc.

Born in 1968, in Norco, Louisiana, Ryan Raiford was a Southern boy on the loose and hunting for speed and excitement on two wheels.

Find out more about the Railford family and catch their amazing riding in the video above.

Father and son Broc and Ryan Raiford perform a bunnyhop.
Broc and Ryan Raiford bunnyhop © Wesley McGrath/Red Bull Content Pool

In ’70s Louisiana there wasn’t much of a BMX scene, so Ryan grew up largely influenced by motocross via his uncle, although his parents weren’t exactly sold on that idea.

The Raifords, Broc and Ryan, riding in their local skate park
The Raifords in their local skate park © Wes McGrath/Red Bull Content Pool
BMXer Broc Raiford performs a tailwhip during filming
Broc throws a tailwhip during filming © Wes McGrath/Red Bull Content Pool

Dirt bikes were too expensive to maintain and race, but one day Ryan witnessed his uncle jump his dirt bike into and out of the ditch near their house. This sight fuelled his imagination and motivated him to mimic everything he knew about motocross and turn it into his version of BMX. Ever since that day he’s been hooked.

The Raifords, Broc and Ryan, ride a line in their local skate park bowl
The Raifords carve a line in their local bowl © Wes McGrath/Red Bull Content Pool
BMXer Broc Raiford airs out a local ramp in a skatepark
Broc airs out a local ramp © Wes McGrath/Red Bull Content Pool

In 1994, along came Broc Raiford. He grew up with all the access he could’ve asked for when it came to dirt bikes – his father wanted him to have the options he'd never had as a kid. But Broc didn’t take to it the way Ryan had expected.

He was the definition of a ‘rocket-powered kid’, as his dad would say – he would excel at almost every sport he chose to do. The young Broc played soccer and baseball, and skateboarded, but the whole time kept riding a BMX bike. When he was 12 he decided to focus solely on BMX.

BMXer Broc Raiford airing out a quarterpipe in the heat
Airing out a quarter in the heat © Wes McGrath/Red Bull Content Pool
BMXer Ryan Raiford rides a ramp in an indoor skate park
Ryan rides a ramp in the indoor park © Wes McGrath/Red Bull Content Pool

Broc began his journey at the bike nights held at a local skate park in Harvey, Louisiana and quickly started to gain popularity among the older riders. He soon outgrew his Dyno Coaster brake bike, and his dad bought him a Hoffman.

Shortly after its arrival he began leaving Louisiana to ride contests in neighbouring Florida. He soon gained invites to a Dew Tour Free Flow Tour stops, became a Woodward Camp instructor and featured on the TV show New Pollution on Fuel TV.

Father Ryan Raiford has sacrificed a lot to help his son Broc
Ryan has sacrificed a lot to help Broc © Wes McGrath/Red Bull Content Pool

When he turned 16 years old, Broc’s dad bought The Compound, an indoor skate park in New Orleans. The Raiford family owned the place from 2007 to 2010. “Not only did I want a place for my son to ride,” Ryan says, “I also loved the scene and wanted to have a place for the other kids to ride and to help keep my son motivated!”

BMXer Broc Raiford performs a clicked toboggan at the local park
Broc with a clicked toboggan at the local park © Wes McGrath/Red Bull Content Pool
Ryan Raiford performs a tabletop
Still got it! © Wes McGrath/Red Bull Content Pool

All of this effort by Ryan to keep his son safe, motivated and on the right track towards BMX has been a driving force throughout Broc’s career, right up to this very day. From dirt bikes to BMX bikes, from Louisiana to California, Ryan and Broc Raiford make up one great father-and-son team.

BMXer Broc Raiford clears the bunnyhop bar with a whip for good measure
Broc clears the bar with a whip for good measure © Wes McGrath/Red Bull Content Pool
The Raifords are always scoping for lines in the local concrete skate park
Always scoping for lines © Wes McGrath/Red Bull Content Pool

Broc has ridden in numerous Dew Tour events, X Games and special invitational contests all over the world, and is sponsored by some of the biggest and most well-respected companies in BMX. Today he lives in California and rides as a full-time pro BMX riding for Volume Bikes, Danscomp, Odyssey and Vans shoes. At just 21 he’s achieved a lot, but it’s all been down to hard work and commitment from both himself and his father.

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