30 for 30: Season 1, Episode 17

The Birth of Big Air (2010)

TV Episode  -   -  Documentary | Biography | Sport
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 216 users  
Reviews: 1 user | 3 critic

In 1985, at the tender age of 13, Mat Hoffman entered into the BMX circuit as an amateur, and by 16 he had risen to the professional level. Throughout his storied career, Hoffman has ... See full summary »


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Episode credited cast:
Mat Hoffman ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Johnny Airtime ...
Himself - Professional Stuntman
Brian Blyther ...
Himself - Pro BMXer / Cop
Mike Dominguez ...
Himself - Pro BMXer
Himself - Pro BMXer
Himself - Pro BMXer
Bob Haro ...
Himself - BMX freestyle pioneer
Himself - Pro Skater
Giavanna Hoffman ...
Herself - Mat's Daughter (archive footage)
Jaci Hoffman ...
Herself - Mat's Wife
Joni Hoffman ...
Herself - Mat's Mother (archive footage)
Matt Hoffman ...
Himself - Mat's Father
Todd Hoffman ...
Himself - Mat's Brother
Travis Hoffman ...
Himself - Mat's Brother
Himself - Photographer / Filmmaker


In 1985, at the tender age of 13, Mat Hoffman entered into the BMX circuit as an amateur, and by 16 he had risen to the professional level. Throughout his storied career, Hoffman has ignored conventional limitations, instead, focusing his efforts on the purity of the sport and the pursuit of "what's next." His motivations stem purely from his own ambitions, and even without endorsements, cameras, fame and fans, Hoffman would still be working to push the boundaries of gravity. Academy Award nominee Spike Jonze and extreme sport fanatic Johnny Knoxville, along with director Jeff Tremaine, will showcase the inner workings and exploits of the man who gave birth to "Big Air." Written by ESPN Films

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Will Change How You Look at the Sport
30 July 2010 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

30 for 30: The Birth of Big Air (2010)

*** 1/2 (out of 4)

When I heard BMX would be an entry in ESPN's wonderful 30 for 30 series it left me with somewhat of a yawn as I never really followed the sport and in all honesty I never really paid attention to anything the riders did. Many would say a documentary should tell one a story but also make one understand why something or someone is so special and this film certainly changed my opinion of the sport and those men who put their lives at risk to push the boundaries. From the opening minutes to the closing ones, many experts are on hand here explaining why Mat Hoffman is such a genius and why it was his vision that led to major events today including the X Games. This documentary tells the story of Hoffman who came out of no where at the age of 13, got a sponsor and eventually starting breaking all the records. When the sport lost what popularity it had, Hoffman used his own money to try and keep it alive, which eventually led to a crazy attempt at jumping thirty-feet off the ramp for a total of fifty-four feet off the ground. Director Tremaine (JACKASS: THE MOVIE) does a terrific job at not only telling Hoffman's story but he really made someone like me respect the sport and see it in an entirely different light. I'm sure there were many like me who were fans of the series but perhaps weren't looking forward to this entry but hopefully people will give it a chance because it's certainly something special. The start of the film gives us some great video of the various jumps that Hoffman pulled off but the middle section dealing with his injuries is where the real pain comes from. We see countless violent falls and we even get a scene where Matt sews up his own leg to save time of going to the hospital. Tony Hawk, Danny Way, Travis Pastrana and the now deceased Evel Knievel are among those interviewed and we also have Hoffman giving his thoughts on some of the stuff he did.

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