Name: Goran Jurica
D.O.B: 12.01.1991.
Hometown: Umag, Croatia
Current Location: Umag, Croatia
Years riding: 10
Sponsors: Red Bull, Oakley,, POC Protection
Social Media: Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat

I know Goran for a long time and I can say that he’s one of the best dirt jumpers currently on the scene. From huge technical variations to good old flips, his style is unique and clean. Goran makes all of the tricks he preforms look so easy, but that’s far from the truth and when you least expect it he pulls up something new from his sleeve. It’s a joy to shoot with him as he rides with such flow and fluidity that the pictures turn out so natural and immersive. Probably the reason why one of my pictures of him jumping into a line at Dirtpark Divljina went viral on Tumblr. As soon as he told me that he’ll be coming to the Eat Dirt trails, I packed my gear and told him: “Meet you there!”.

Tell us how did your love to extreme sports and mountain biking started?

Well it was a little over ten years ago when my town Umag got its skatepark. They placed it 200m from my house. I went there for the opening event, stood by the side and watched some guys riding their bikes, skateboards, inline skates on some elements that were unfamiliar to me back then. They were jumping and turning. I was interested in that so after the event I ran back home to see what I have to ride. I had 4 old bikes, one of them was mine and the others were form my parents and sister. The next morning I took my old bike and went with my friend from school to the new skatepark to try to ride it when nobody was there. I spotted a small ramp and without thinking pedalled toward it. I actually jumped from it and land perfectly… That split of a second was like a lifetime to me, I felt free, like I can do whatever I want in the air. That feeling of freedom that was paired with a big dose of adrenaline rush that I never felt before was the main reason that dragged me into this sport. As I rolled away a huge smile was on my face, that was the moment that I fell in love with dirt jumping.

Unfortunately, you had quite a huge break from riding due to a crash resulting an injury, what exactly happened?

Well yes… Last year in June I was in Leogang, Austria for the 26TRIX event which is a Gold ranked event on the FMB World Tour. First day I came early on the track, to check out the jumps and waited so the staff could let us in to do a practice run before pre-qualifications. I put my safety gear on, took my bike, got onto the roll in and started riding and testing the track. I adjusted to it and knew I had enough time to try out some lines for the event. I could pull of some great tricks and the jumps were great, but as Leogang is located in the hills, the weather is tricky and can change really fast so the staff told us that the qualifications start at 1pm not 6pm as it was stated before. That’s 5 hours less time than I expected, that also meant that the pre-qualifications runs were on in a mater of minutes and I was first on the list. On one side I was bummed that I’m out of time to setup a killer line, but on the other I was confident enough with my tricks to get me to the second run. I rested a little and a few minutes before the start I went to try my line one more to warm up. As I rolled into the track and jumped the first jump with a frontflip, jumped the second jump with a tailwhip , headed out of the bent towards the third jump, which is the biggest on the track, I felt a gust of wind coming from the other direction, since I was already prepared for a backflip it was too late to bail or change the trick. I just pushed a little  more to compensate for the wind as I thought I’ll land short. Unfortunately I was false and over rotated it for a bit, I stepped down with my right foot on the concrete landing and it forced me onto the ground. I immediately realised that something went bad with my leg when I tried to get up. Most of the good stuff in my foot and ankle was injured/broken from the impact. Eight months has past since that day and I’m still not at my 100%, but I ride, flex and train everyday so I believe that I’ll get back into form soon, do all my tricks again and even more than that!

So you got your FMB Pro Licence last year, due to your injury you couldn’t compete with the others, what’s your plan for this year now when you ride with riders from around the world?

Since I’m still not fully recovered, I’ll wait till May before I start competing again. When I’ll feel ready and my foot will do what it has to do, then I’ll plan for the season.

Thanks to your bike you go on lots of road trips, which is the best one and tell us the story behind it.

Every trip with my friends ends up great. Just the thought of traveling to new locations, new spots, improving my riding and fooling around while doing all of that excites me. I can tell you that all of my trips were unique and great on its own way. I was in the USA and Canada two years in a row with my friend Mislav Mironović and it was all about riding and having fun with a dose of sightseeing. Thanks to him and Jurica from Red Bull, my biggest dream came true. To ride and train in the biggest extreme sport camp in the world – Woodward Camp. I’m thankful to them and my parents for that. America has a huge extreme sport scene and you can really improve there, but I felt some flaws in my opinion. Their mentality and their food. I couldn’t be there more than a month or so. In the last two years I went to Barcelona twice with my friends Leo Gamboc and Primož Tanko. As we arrived I saw their spots, the city, plus their dirt is one of the most famous ones in Europe, it felt like the right place for me! People, food, the weather… Everything! I didn’t found any flaws while staying there, it has everything that a MTB or BMX rider needs to improve. Being there and riding with my friends was enough to make me come back, hopefully in April this year so I can enjoy and bring back the time I lost due to my injury.

What are their dirt parks like compared to our spots?

We don’t have a lot of dirt spots in Croatia, currently the main one being Eat Dirt trails in Rakitje were a few guys put there effort to create something that we didn’t had for a long time… A real dirt park with a few lines and great jumps, that they expand day by day. Those guy keep our dirt scene alive, I would like to thank them for that!

In La Poma, there’s  different kinds of jumps and lines to choose from, but the most important thing is that they dig and build something new all the time so when you come there’s a new setup to try.

You had a chance to ride the famous La Poma dirt park, what’s the dirt scene like there compared to ours?

I can say that it’s the best dirt spot I’ve ridden, like ever. It has multiple lines: small, medium, technical, big ones and even bigger than that… They have a superb foam pit there also, everything that you need to improve your game. Not only is the local scene huge, but because of its fame in the extreme biking world, people come from all over the world to ride there and enjoy the warm climate in Barcelona. That’s the main reason I recommend Barcelona to people who ride, just to feel the vibe and meet new people that like to ride.

What are their dirt parks like compared to our spots?

We don’t have a lot of dirt spots in Croatia, currently the main one being Eat Dirt trails in Rakitje were a few guys put there effort to create something that we didn’t had for a long time… A real dirt park with a few lines and great jumps, that they expand day by day. Those guy keep our dirt scene alive, I would like to thank them for that!

In La Poma, there’s  different kinds of jumps and lines to choose from, but the most important thing is that they dig and build something new all the time so when you come there’s a new setup to try.

They say Barcelona is the mecca of freestyle, is it really like that? What kind of vibe does the city send?

In Europe, definitely! The city is great for almost all action sports and preferred by riders and athletes. Not only does the city create a special vibe, it has lots of epic street spots which is heaven for any BMXer, MTB rider, skater or inline rider! It has something for everybody, you can’t go there and not enjoy it.

Your signature tricks from the jumps look brutal on pictures, how long do you practice a new trick before you nail it perfect on the dirt?

Thanks man! When I’m interested in learning a new trick, it’s mostly because I see other riders doing it and I start to imagine it in my head how would I approach it, I don’t just want to learn the trick, I want to perfect it. For some tricks it takes time, maybe because of fear or something like that. But surprisingly for other tricks I get the hold of it pretty fast and could do them whit my eyes closed. The most important aspect of it, in my opinion, is that the tricks needs to look flawless and natural while performing it, it needs to have style and flow. That’s why I keep practicing one trick over and over again, so I can do it with ease and that it looks perfect when i do it.

From all of the tricks you do, which one is your favourite?

Wow, tough question… There’s a lot of tricks I like to do, maybe 360 variations are my favourite, like 360 whips or 360 barspins. It would be a tough task to chose only one trick. I couldn’t decide on that.

What would improve our dirt scene?

Well it would be great if our country supported the sport better, maybe financially support some projects. events or training infrastructure. But I think that more riders need to put some effort into their sport and represent their sport. I think that we have a bright future if us riders keep doing what we love.

Tell us a little something about your bike, what fits your riding style the most?

I ride a Dartmoor Cody frame with a FOX 831 fork and mostly Dartmoor parts. My whole bike is quite light, around 10 or 11 kilos. It’s responsive, has great geometry and the most important, it fits me and my riding style.

In your opinion, best dirt jump mag?

Honestly, I didn’t had much chance to read international mags and our selection of extreme sports mags in Croatia is not something to brag about. I can say that I spend a lot of time on and its my favourite source of dirt jump content.

What’s your favourite video edit and why? What does an edit need to have to look so good and visual attractive?

There are a few riders and different edits that I like very much, they also motivate me to ride and improve. Some of them used big productions, look awesome and have great edits/cuts, others are more simple but focus on great riding so it evens out the lack of video quality. But in most cases, an edit to look good needs a good production crew, nice editing, quality video, but most important it needs great riders. Their riding but also their lifestyle and landscapes they ride in is what makes you go out and ride. That’s a good edit right there.

Your favourite style of action photographs? Do you have any photo project in your plans?

I like to work with photographers that don’t only know how to make good pictures, but are also motivated to look for that special frame where it all blends in into something visually stunning. I think a photographer needs to put the same effort into the picture as I do into the trick. A rider and photographer need to communicate and work out what they want to accomplish and what ideas each one has.

There’s some rumour floating around that you’re working on some kind of project with your friends Leo and Primož… Is that true? Tell us something about that.

All I can say regarding that issue is that it’s coming, it excites me a lot and motivates me to improve my riding. As well, it will contribute to our dirt scene because nobody has done anything like this so far. That’s all I can tell for now, you’ll find out more soon.

Any last words you would like to say?

I’d like to say, not only to my fellow riders, but to all people to never give up doing what makes them happy, don’t back up from your dreams and goals. Also in that journey don’t forget the reason why you started everything at the first place. In my case it’s dirt jumping. I think the most important thing in life is to enjoy what you do and make the most of it, success will eventually come as you improve. I’m thankful that I can do what I love, ride my bike and have fun with my friends. That’s the reason I started and the reason I keep moving on with it. Biking changed my life and honestly I don’t know what would happen if ten years ago that little skatepark not far from my house, wasn’t built.

I’d say a big thanks to my sponsors and supporters, all of my friends and people that are around me. A special thanks to my parents, if it wasn’t for them, none of this would be possible. I would like to thank you Stephan for creating this great project, for all of the pictures and this story!

Thanks that #ijustgotframed and that you chose me for your collection!

I thank Goran for coming by to make this story and would like to apologise to him and all of you for not posting this sooner. Unfortunately I had some server issues and needed to move the whole project onto my main site and that took some time to do due to recoding and transferring files. Now it’s all running and I can focus on the next Framed project! Stay tuned…