Orange County’s Mike “Hucker” Clark has that unique devil-may-care attitude that rivals his mind-blowing riding style, which makes it impossible to not become a fan.
Fresh off of grabbing a silver medal at X Games Austin, Hucker let us pick his brain to get a glimpse into his wild world.
CraveOnline: Congrats on getting Silver. What were your thoughts on this year’s X Games in Austin?
Mike Clark: Oh, man. It was so much fun. I switched up my whole game plan for this year. I went on a surf trip to Indonesia. My friend actually got married and I was surfing for 10 days before hand. I went there completely clear minded and I went there for the first time in my life not caring if I got first or last. Every year I went I planned on winning and I ran horrible but this year I went there not really caring at all. The whole energy this year was unlike any of the past years so it was just a blast.
CraveOnline: What was going through your mind during your final run and Kyle’s final run?
Mike Clark: After I landed my second run I was so happy and stress free I was ready for my final run. And then I didn’t do the run that I wanted to do and was ecstatic because I was still tied for first. At that point I didn’t care who won I was just happy to be on the podium.
CraveOnline: Anything in particular you were most proud of from your performance?
Mike Clark: Out of my entire performance I was happy by staying true to myself and doing a 360 bar hump and keeping it fun in the contest. That trick started off as a joke and has turned into one of my favorite tricks and a crowd pleaser. I could have done a double backflip or something crazy but instead I did what felt right and kept it fun which to me is what BMX is all about.
CraveOnline: What did you do in Austin when you weren’t competing?
Mike Clark: I was hanging out a bunch. My cousin, Matt lives out there and my other cousin drove in from Dallas and my girlfriend flew out with my mom so I was lucky enough to actually hang out with my family and bring them along and show them what I get to do when I’m on the road. It was rad. We went out to all the parties and the shows.
CraveOnline: Do you like Austin? Was it pretty cool?
Mike Clark: Austin is amazing. My first time going there was about four or five years ago and I was only supposed to be there for two days and I ended up staying for two weeks. The same thing happened my second time I went there. Every time I’ve gone there I tell myself I’m going to move there but I just haven’t made the move yet [laughs]. The only reason I haven’t is one, my family and two, the ocean. I’ve grown up with it my whole life so I don’t know how I’d leave the ocean.
CraveOnline: I know you being from the Huntington Beach area like myself, you’re an avid surfer. Do you have a favorite surf spot?
Mike Clark: Yeah, when I’m home especially during the spring, summer and fall, I pretty much primarily surf The Wedge, a local shore break spot that actually barrels pretty good.
CraveOnline: I’ve seen a lot of broken boards over there.
Mike Clark: I’ve had many in my time [laughs]. I started surfing there when I was about 15 and I’m 27 now so I’ve had more than my share of broken boards there.
CraveOnline: You mentioned earlier you changed your whole approach going into Austin this year but what is the mindset for most going into the X games? Do you have to up your game a bit more because I know it’s like your Super Bowl?
Mike Clark: Yeah, there’s always a little bit more pressure for X Games than any other contest. I definitely put more pressure on myself the past couple of years competing and it showed. I ran horrible.
This year, my friend got married in Indonesia and I turned that little trip into a 10-day surf trip with my best friend and it was the best thing I could have done for myself.
When I’m home, I kind of just play it by ear with my riding. If there are waves, man, I’ll go surf every day. If it’s really good, I won’t even touch my bike for a week or maybe even two. When the waves aren’t good, I just focus on riding. It’s not even that I focus. I want to ride and I don’t want to do anything else so I’ve come to the conclusion over the years that it’s not about just doing one thing and being really good at that. It’s about staying well rounded.
CraveOnline: I understand the first place you started riding was at Sheep Hills in OC?
Mike Clark: Yeah!
CraveOnline: Do you still go over there?
Mike Clark: Yeah. Sheep is actually still my favorite spot to ride to this day! When I’m home, I can go out to Riverside and go ride amazing trails or I can drive 10 minutes and just go ride my local spot that I grew up riding which, I still have just as much fun there as I did when I was a grom growing up. It’s still my go-to spot any day of the week.
CraveOnline: That’s a pretty difficult spot for starting out, man.
Mike Clark: [Laughs]
CraveOnline: Did you see anything last weekend at the X Games that just blew your mind?
Mike Clark: Yeah. Vince Byron won the vert contest and I want to say it was the first time in like 10 years or something that Jamie Bestwick got defeated. It’s crazy…for the first time I watched a vert contest and I didn’t know if Jamie was going to win. Ever year it was no question, Jamie is going to win but Vince Byron has just been puttin’ in work on that ramp and it definitely showed. I saw him do tricks I have never seen in person ever.
CraveOnline: What were you listening to in order to get yourself pumped up before competition last weekend?
Mike Clark: [Laughs] It’s pretty funny but first it started off as a joke but I learn to love it. Every morning before we go into the event, we would just mess around and I would put on “Under the Sea” from The Little Mermaid. It started out as a joke but that song gets me so hyped. I do a lot of freediving also, and it just reminds me of being a child and experiencing it now with a whole different outlook. It started out as a joke but I do kind of love that song.
CraveOnline: I did not expect that.
Mike Clark: Nobody ever does [laughs]. I got an arsenal of music that most people wouldn’t expect and get hyped on when they hear that.
CraveOnline: I gotta check out that playlist. That sounds ridiculous.
Mike Clark: [Laughs] A lot of Lion King, a lot of Lion King. I got a handful of nieces and nephews and have become a very big fan of Disney Radio on Pandora.
CraveOnline: You’re an extreme athlete so we gotta ask if you have seen the trailer for the Point Break remake?
Mike Clark: No but that sounds like a good one [laughs]
CraveOnline: What do you have planned for the rest of 2015? What do you hope to accomplish?
Mike Clark: 2015 is going to be pretty busy, actually. At the end of the month, I’m going to be going to England for two weeks for the Goodwood Festival, which is a big racecar like race in England. My buddy Kye Forte is having a jam in England the following weekend so I’ll be there and then I’m making a movie with S&M Bikes so I got to film for my part in that and then Vans is also, making a movie too and I’m going to be filming for that so lots of filming going on and trips.
Photos courtesy of Red Bull
Joshua Caudill is a writer for CraveOnline Sports, a surfing enthusiast, an unhealthy sports fanatic, and an expert on all things Patrick Swayze. You can follow him on Twitter @JoshuaCaudill85 or “like” CraveOnline Sports on Facebook.