Vans, yes the shoe company, recently held the Waffle Cup which is a BMX event mixed with street and park features. The course was pretty amazing with a large metal dumpster-style container with transitions going into and out of it. They had a mock-looking lifeguard tower with transitions on both ends. Quarter pipes all around, a wall ride, stairs with rails, and so on. It was probably one of the best courses I have seen in a long time for a BMX event.
If we go back a couple of years before the pandemic, ESPN’s X-Games had a couple of years of women’s demo events, but no contest and no money being paid out. people were pretty annoyed they didn’t let women compete in BMX, although they did have women compete in skateboarding. Vans however was adding women to their contests and paying the podium winners money.
In my opinion, ESPN isn’t a very progressive organization. In fact, over the years the X-Games have slowly been getting less and less interesting and the crowds pretty light. Now they don’t even use a fixed venue, they basically take up some pro athlete’s yard and have the different contests there. A couple of weeks ago they put on an event called Mega Park. You could tell by watching the riders on the course that they were not comfortable with it as well as having it set up to benefit riders who rotate to the left on a 1/4 pipe. And, no women. In fact, I don’t think women are invited to any X-Games events, it’s all men.
So a huge props to Vans for having legit competitions for women in BMX. The women put on a good showing and the progression of women’s BMX riding is rapid. The best part of the event was seeing the podium payout. 3rd place was $5,000, 2nd place was $6,000, and 3rd was $10,000!! That is so awesome to see and it shows that Vans is dedicated to putting the incentive out there for women to push themselves to compete! And best yet, that was the exact same payout as the men’s podium!!!
Women deserve a place in all sports and if they are professional athletes they deserve enough money so they can make a living off of the efforts they put into their chosen sport!
Below is a video of the Vans Waffle Cup women’s event! Check it out!