“I was pushing the speed limit, and I was planning on hopping up onto one of those massive storm-drain curbs, which are like three times taller than a normal curb. So I was flying toward this huge storm drain, and when I pulled up on the handlebar to jump up onto the curb, the handlebar broke off and the bottom half of the scooter flew directly into the drain. I ate it pretty hard in front of like 10 chicks.”
That’s X-treme Bird (and Lime, on occasion) scooter rider Cole Benedetti recounting for me one of his gnarliest bails. “It could have ended a lot worse,” he adds. “They don’t make those scooters very well, or maybe they’re just not built with people ripping around on them in mind.”
But the fact of the matter is, when you provide the public with easy access to electric scooters, adrenaline junkies (and bored teenagers) are inevitably going to shred on them. The recent viral video embedded below, which shows a hooded and masked man valiantly rocket down nine stairs on a Lime scooter, is the latest and greatest evidence of this phenomenon:
The awe-inspiring video was filmed by “Ugly” Chris, founder of Ugly Gang clothing, and his manager, Joe Tank, tells me that we can soon expect to see more X-treme scootering clips. “He’s putting together a little scooter gang with the Limes, and he’s going to drop a bunch of original content in the next month,” Tank explains. “He’s been moving viral culture behind the scenes since 2015, when he started working with a teenage Smokepurpp and a 16-year-old Lil Pump.”
Chris himself takes me through the events that led up to his friend, Abe, riding the Lime scooter down nine stairs on that fateful night:
“Honestly, we needed to go grab some stuff from the gas station — we went to like three different gas stations in the city, and none of them had it. And then, we were just like, ‘Man, we might as well just go have some fun on these scooters.’ On the way back to my place, we saw a nine stair. We were just joking around, and we were like, ‘Dude, hit it! You got it.’ He was like, ‘You guys think I can do it?’ We turned around and pulled out our cameras — we didn’t think he was actually gonna do it — and next thing we know, he was just flying in the air.”
Let it be known that X-treme scootering isn’t for the faint of heart. Benedetti mentions that shredding on a Bird (or Lime) scooter, especially the newer, bulkier models, is much harder than totally killing it on any other regular scooter because of how heavy they are. “I’d say it’s pretty hard seeing as like 99 percent of the people I see riding them can’t even go up or down a curb,” he emphasizes.
But then again, this hasn’t stopped hordes of YouTubers from uploading videos of themselves and their friends leaping down stairs — and sometimes, bailing in the process — on electric scooters.
Meanwhile, other X-treme scooterers can be seen zooming down mountains while dodging shrubbery and propelling themselves over large stones:
Now, as a former skateboarder, I have to admit that, while the maneuvers people perform on these electric scooters are indeed sick as fuck, Bird and Lime scooter riders have yet to take their craft to the same extremes as other, long-lived X-treme sports. And many of these riders, many of whom also appear to skate or ride BMX (Benedetti is an adamant skater, and Chris tells me that his scooter gang lineup will be made up of former skaters), seem to understand that X-treme electric scooter riding is kind of a joke. Take for, instance, this paradoxical video about the tricks that can be performed on a Lime scooter:
But when you consider that scootering in general has a long history of being hated by skaters, the fact that these skaters are riding — let alone shredding — on Bird and Lime scooters at all might mean we’ll soon see hardcore electric scootering climb the ranks of X-treme sports.
So who knows? Maybe this new scooter gang that Chris is putting together will end up being the catalyst the pushes X-treme Bird and Lime scootering into the limelight. “We’ve all been friends for a while,” Chris tells me, referring to his scooter crew. “But that night it was like, ‘Damn, this really could be something,’ y’know?”