Carey Hart would have to work overtime to be anything less than a cool dad. He’s a former pro freestyle motocross competitor, and current designer and builder of custom V-twins motorcycles. In his sport’s lore, he became the first person to land a backflip on a 250cc motorcycle in competition in 2000. Plus, he just launched a line of CBD products called HartLuck, after his social media handle; the tinctures and salves are already available in California.
But all that’s just gravy considering his biggest achievements: Being consistently present with his own kids, Willow, 8, and Jameson, 2, with wife Pink. He’s teaching them fearlessness and the resilience that comes with always getting back up when you fall down, on a BMX track and in real life.
Hart, who was raised by a divorced dad in Las Vegas, hit the pro circuit at 18 after recovering from a series of broken bones. He was a trailblazer in freestyle motocross, and even has a trick —the invert Superman seat grab — named after him. It’s called the Hart Attack and he perfected it at the 1999 Gravity Games. He’s an X Games winner and all-around badass who finished this interview while doing 90 in a Nevada desert.
“I got my kids on dirt bikes and bicycles. People are taking so much away from their children by coddling them. I don’t want to rob them of the amazing experiences I’ve had because of what people may think or say. I’ve been teaching my daughter to shoot guns since she was three years old. I want to instill that power in her. I love exposing my kids to things. I let them try it at a young age,” he says.
What’s the coolest part of fatherhood?
I came from a long line of very young fathers. It’s been super fun. I have a couple more people to party with. I’m fortunate to live a pretty awesome youthful life. The things I do today are the same things I did as a teen. I get dirty in my garage building bikes. Having kids has have made it more fun.
You certainly ruffles feathers on Instagram when you let your kids do things that offend the parent police.
I don’t care at all. A lot of the times, if you notice when I post things that might be controversial, in the morning when I need something to do. Why I take that time to respond — I love debates and we live in a world where no one is accountable for anything they say or do anymore. It’s my opportunity to make a few people accountable. It’s just a pastime in the morning. I don’t start fires to start fires. It’s all things I believe in. The moment I walk, I don’t think about it again.
How do you approach fatherhood?
I’m not saying my way is right or wrong. I’m replicating the way my father raised me. I try to expose our kids to as much as possible before they develop that fear. Most kids get that around four. I got my kids on dirt bikes and bicycles. They bounce back.
That’s the damn truth right there.
They’re kids. People are taking so much away from their children by coddling them. I’m never going to put my kids in danger. Jamison the winter is going to start riding motorcycles. i don’t want to rob them of amazing experiences I’ve had because of what people may think or say. I’ve been teaching my daughter to shoot guns since she was three years old. I want to instill that power in her. I love exposing my kids to things. I let them try it at a young age.
You’re certainly raising Willow to be a true badass on the track. What’s she like?
She has me and my wife’s genes, sure, but every kid is their own person. She has the most amazing balance and confidence. She’s a little beast. She rock-climbs like a spider monkey. She rides BMX. She’s fearless but controlled. She’s very confident. We have to raise strong women.
So you’re laid back as a dad?
My disclaimer is that I was raised by men. No one in my family stayed married. My daughter was my baby girl. I’m a total pushover with her. Alecia was bad cop and I was good cop a lot. As she’s gotten older, I’m a better bad cop. On the flip side with my son, I’m much firmer with my son.