Extreme interview: Marin Ranteš

Since his earliest days, Marin Ranteš tried many sports, such as soccer, basketball and handball, but BMX changed his life completely! In his hometown Varaždin, this hero didn’t have a skatepark where he could try his starting tricks. After some time, his love for BMX grew so much that he spent every weekend in a nearest skatepark – Zagreb. 2012 was more than successful for him; it led him to his way of life of becoming the best Croatian BMX rider, and hasn’t given up ever since!
In the following questions you’ll find out some things about his life journey, successes at Pannonian, his idols, adventures and misadventures…

1. Can you remember your first encounter with BMX, how it all started?
At the age of 8 I moved from Varaždinske Toplice to Varaždin, and I’ve played soccer since. A few years after moving to Varaždin, i.e. at the end of 2008, my friends took me to a big ramp, (for which I thought was for cars), and that was my first real encounter with a BMX. I came home and made my mom buy me one. It was mainly for hanging out an playing, but when I enrolled highschool I made a decision that I want to do it for real. I told my mom that one day I wanted to become a professional BMX rider for Red Bull. Now when I think about it, I remember how it only sounded like a dream. Luckily, it’s a dream I am living today

2. How long have you been riding?
I’ve been riding for 9 years. I’ve been coming to Pannonian ever since 2011, and it’s been very special to me ever since. First time I rode in the amateur group and won 4th place. What can I say about Pannonian than that Osijek became my second home because of it. A big sporting event followed by concerts, after parties, good organization, and positive vibes. It will always have a special place in my heart, because at 2014 Pannonian I won a Red Bull helmet and joined the Red Bull family.

3. Did you have many falls, and if you did, what was the most painful one? 
Of course there were falls; they’re unavoidable in this sport. My most painful fall, both physical and mental, was when I hurt my shoulder. Behind the backyard of my grandparents, we made a foampit and resi, so that I could train. Unfortunately, the rubber on resi was too short so I fell badly two times in a very short period. I cannot describe the physical pain I felt back then, but mental too, because in a couple days I was supposed to go to a competition in Poland and to Pannonian in 10 days. Physical therapists at a hospital in Varaždinske Toplice tried their best to enable me for competitions, but when I came to Osijek I wasn’t sure if I could ride. I wanted to perform in front of the home audience, so I even went to a hospital in Osijek where they gave me a blockade of a shoulder, but even then I didn’t think I was ready to compete. At the end, heart won the head, I competed and won 3rd place.

4. If someone who’s not from Osijek asked you what’s Pannonian and what makes it so special, what would you reply?
Pannonian Challenge is the biggest extreme sports’ event of this part of Europe. Best skaters, rollers and BMX rider from all over the world come there. During the event there are many concerts. I’d recommend it for everyone that’s in need for a rush of adrenaline and good time.
It’s special because of its relaxed atmosphere that lasts during the whole competition. Once riders come there, they always come back gladly. Last year skatepark was redone, so it’s definitely one of the best in this part of Europe.

5. Why shouldn’t you give up after all the falls, breaks, ‘’flights’’ in the air and on the ground?
I’m extremely happy that I discovered my love for BMX very early and that I’m able to do what I love. Many people go through their whole lives and don’t find their source of happiness. So if I must fall, break, fly in the air and on the ground to be happy, I’ll continue doing it and hoping I’ll be flying more than falling.

6. Do you have any hobbies?
BMX riding is my job, and sport in which I invest all my time. It’s my lifestyle, my dream, so no… I don’t have time for hobbies.

7. Do you have a role model? Who is it and why?
During growing up of course I’ve had role models: Harry Main, Brett Banasiewicz, Mark Webb, Senad Grosić, Michael Beran, Daniel Dhers, Martin Logan…

8. Are you coming to Pannonian this year?
Of course I’m coming to PC this year too. If someone still doesn’t know why they should come, it’s best if they come and see for themselves. Adrenaline and good times don’t lack. See ya!!