Extreme sports athlete 'scooting' his way to the top

By Mare Haimona-Riki

V'Chay Hemopo is a New Zealand representative for extreme scootering and is currently preparing for the Australasian National competition, for the third year in a row. 

The 13-year-old scooter phenomenon has been working on his craft since he was six-years-old, and has already mastered some of the most advanced manoeuvres.

“I do a lot of flip combos, flairs, fly out tricks and rail tricks.

“Ever since I was a little kid I wanted to ride for Mad Gear, and now I'm sponsored by them," V'Chay says. 

V'Chay Hemopo backflipping at his local skate park. Source / Supplied

Father, Ray Hemopo (Ngāti Rangi, Te Āti Haunui-a-Papārangi) says he is fully supportive of his son's extreme sports endeavours, even though it sees them forking out hundreds of dollars every month.

"It’s really underrated as a sport though because a lot of the stuff they do on a scooter is amazing.

"It can get really expensive, about $300-500 dollars for a scooter, and we go through one every month," Ray says.

However, the whānau no longer have to pay for V'Chay's gear anymore - one of the perks o being an MGP Action Sport sponsored athlete.  

For rugby it's the All Blacks, for Basketball, the Tall Blacks - but what is the pinnacle for Extreme Scooter athletes? 

“Being a pro rider will be a great next step but I think the pinnacle will be where "R Willy" is at.

"He rides for Nitro Circus and he’s got his own park called R Willy Land."

V'Chay will compete in Australasian NZ National Competiton in Jan 2021. A top 10 placing there, will advance V'Chay to ride for the international Australian title in Australia.