8 Things I Hate About Vital BMX.

Earlier today I issued a tweet that claimed, simply, that “everyone hates Vital”. Now of course this is an exaggeration. Clearly many people like Vital. But I received at least 2 responses that seemed shocked that ANYONE would hate Vital. So you know what? Fuck it. I’ve had roughly 6 years to think about this. Here are 8 things I hate about Vital.

1) They constantly steal news from other sites and don’t attribute the source. In other words, if I post a sponsor change on TCU, Vital will repost the news without crediting TCU. This is bad internet etiquette. To be fair, Ride does the same thing and so do plenty of other sites but Vital is the biggest offender. As a result, when we take a news item from Vital we usually don’t bother linking back to them like we do with any other site that links back properly like say, Defgrip or BMX Union.

2) They run pre-roll ads on videos that they don’t own. Go watch a video on Vital and most of the time, you’ll have to watch a 15 second pre-roll ad before the Vimeo or Youtube link even loads. I’ve never seen this done on any other type of blog in any corner of the internet. Typically any sort of pre-roll advertising goes directly to whoever published the video. Any site that aggregates content (ie; every BMX site) runs banner ads alongside 3rd party content but Vital is the only site audacious enough to run pre-roll ads in front of other people’s videos… even when the video is a tribute to Mike Tag:


3) Nobody (or close to nobody) who works at Vital rides BMX bikes. I’m cool with some of Vital’s employees (I used a photo of me and Kyle Carlson all drunk last weekend at Dew Tour last weekend to stress this fact) but let’s face it, Vital is primarily owned and operated by guys who don’t really ride BMX. On the other hand, all of Ride and TCU’s non-Gutstains employees still ride and most of them ride very well. Vital reads like a site that is run by people who don’t give a shit about BMX or at least don’t know much about it.

4) Vital does nothing to support physical BMX media. I’ve made it pretty clear that I don’t hold magazines and DVD’s in the same regard that some of my peers do, but TCU is constantly posting magazine covers, DVD information and doing what we can, as an online property, to support other types of BMX media. It gives us more content to post and it helps support other people doing good things in BMX. Vital doesn’t do this. In fact if you only knew about BMX via Vital, you wouldn’t even know that any other magazines or BMX sites existed at all.

5) Vital has absolutely nothing interesting to say. Granted, many BMX sites don’t either and there often isn’t much to work with when describing marginal BMX videos. But Vital literally NEVER has anything interesting to say. The site reads like a feed of 3rd grade level video descriptions and copy and pasted press releases.

6) So get this. You have to click through to each video on Vital. The videos auto-play, unlike every other BMX site. But Vital runs pre-roll ads before all the videos they post. So even if you for some reason open a page on Vital and don’t choose to play the video, the video is already playing. But more importantly, the ad is also already playing. Maybe you don’t think this is a big deal, but when Vital began this practice, their Vimeo view counts doubled or tripled. This practice creates a bad experience for users but perhaps more importantly, it’s dishonest towards their advertisers who are paying for pre-roll ads that often aren’t being viewed at all.

7) Vital doesn’t post any video that includes a TCU or OSS logo. They don’t post almost anything hosted on Ride’s player, ESPN’s player or really almost anything associated with any other BMX media company. How is that okay? Why do advertisers support this weird insulated view of BMX media that Vital promotes?

8) They won’t argue back. Plenty of big names in the BMX industry have taken shots at Vital, even within the past couple days (Empire, Ride and JPR), but nobody from Vital ever responds. Like, I guess it’s cool to be all mature and just ask my nigga Lebron; we so big we ain’t gotta respond with it but the difference is that when Lebron James doesn’t respond, it’s because he doesn’t have to; his play speaks for itself. When Jay Z doesn’t respond, it’s because many people acknowledge he’s the greatest rapper of all time. When Vital doesn’t respond, they don’t respond because nobody at Vital could last 140 characters in a war of words with anyone previously mentioned before it would be made abundantly clear that this cat has no claws.

That’s all I got for now. Am I biased? Fuck yeah I’m biased. But I’m 99% sure I’d feel the same way if I didn’t own a rival website. Pretty much all my friends don’t fuck with Vital either, and any time I mention anything that was posted on Vital (it’s hard to even think of an example given how bland their content is) usually nobody knows what I’m talking about.

All that being said, I don’t hate Vital. I mean really, as lame as the things listed above are, none of them are THAT serious in the grand scheme of things. I’m sure I’ll get at least a few U MAD responses, but I’m not mad. I have felt this way forever, and never even bothered to write about it until now, that’s how not mad I am. Really, I could have probably titled this article “8 Things I Wish Vital Would Improve Upon” and it would have been essentially the same article albeit less mean spirited. But where’s the fun in that? Talking shit is more entertaining than helpful advice and at the end of the day, the blog business is the business of keeping people entertained. Fuck you Vital, I hope someone spills coffee on your keyboard.

Comment on this post if you completely agree or completely disagree, I would love to hear some opinions.

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297 thoughts on “8 Things I Hate About Vital BMX.

  1. Lol true. I felt insulted when I read the descriptions of videos when I would go to vital I stopped going because by the format of the site I assumed it was for children. I didn't know for sure it was non riders writing though it seemed that way knowing that I definitely won't be hitting that site

    • I wouldn't buy a car from a salesman who has never driven a car. Same goes for BMX. I don't want some crappy coverage of what sells the best.

      The one thing I love about TCU is that one day on the front page I can watch an insane edit for Kriss Kyle, and Alex D. and scroll down to find a throwback Butcher part or the new Tate Roskelly edit.

  2. I think vital is still good. They sum up really good the stuff i want to see. Even if ride ir TCU got more news/vids… Most of these don't really interest me. And they got thepower hour. Quite cooli think

  3. I think vital is still good. They sum up really good the stuff i want to see. Even if ride ir TCU got more news/vids… Most of these don't really interest me. And they got thepower hour. Quite cooli think

    • I am usually down with the "if you don't like em, ignore em" approach but this is an instance in which there's a lot going on that I don't think the average BMX fan notices and I figured a lot of people would appreciate me pointing some of these things out.

  4. Well put Adam I've felt this way for years. Some kids just get sucked into vital when they first start and never want to change over or never even know that another, better site existed because vital doesn't advertise anything, not vital like you said, but I know kids that I've converted and they say they will never go back to that mess of a site. Keep it up Adam!

  5. I really hate Vital. This makes me hate them even more, and like TCU even more. Scummy business practices and shitty content and possibly the world's worst player don't make a good site.

  6. "Vital has absolutely nothing interesting to say" I know that feel bro! I have always prefered reading on things on tcu because I can feel that a actual rider posted it, not like vital does, like, "heres the video, watch it, I'm not sure if its good or bad I don't even know any bmx tricks" hahah! GET THEM ADAM.

  7. Quite similiar to shitty situation in bmx.pl.
    Don't care about Vital details, but working like that anyway is crap, no matter is it Vital, BMX.pl or anything else. If we treat BMX like worldwide business with big money in some places, let it be treated like this in both directions. You want something, then give something! I mean stuff like sponsored posts, giving credits to photographers, videographers or etc.

  8. I totally agree, I never was a fan of vital, because of the same reasons. plus it always seems like it was for little kids. plus that whole profile shit, seemed like it was myspace or something.

  9. don't forget the forums! everyone on there is just 12 year old kids and fat guys that are sad cause they can't do barspins. "who has the best looking bike" contests. people trying to scam you out of your parts. and people cursing you out and being just down right rude no matter what you post. Vital go rot in hell.

  10. what I'm feeling is that Vital is just like bmx plus they are very vague, Therefore stating that vital is more for kids and a parent audience just like bmx plus! As for TCU its more for the serious rider who looks into the industry and I guess you could say a little more seasoned in BMX knowledge! Now with all that said I prefer TCU over vital, but I do get to see some videos that I don't see on TCU that I get to see on Vital and so forth!

  11. Adam you clever boy, you really know how to hit the headlines. No, seriously, glad that there are still people who publish such critical content on their pages. Keep BMX in the internet alive !

  12. I agree vital blows, but Brad did start ride magazine which in my opinion was the best piece of bmx media for a while… its defs lost some character in recent years.

  13. I definitely agree with Adam on this one. Vital has and will always be the most boring BMX media site. Shits bland, the publishers edits tend to lack in all things good, with the exception of the rider presented in said edits.. The cleared music always eats dick and the only time I ever happen to enjoy a Vital video is because Jourdan Barba is in it. And I believe that's happened a couple times now.. Other than that, pure suck. And the ad rolls and general lack of actual BMX employees, good god. Kyle Carlson is okay I suppose, I think he wanted to fight me once for something I said, I think I called him fat but that's neither here nor there. I remember when I was blogging, I was tearing everything and everyone up, people were offended and out for me at times but I think that made mediocre entertainment for a maybe a handful of people.

  14. Vital sold US secrets to the Chinese, and helped aid the Tailban. Rumors from my imagination confirm that they've been talking shit all day as well. They voted for the other guy too and said Obama wasn't rad, and they said our troops aren't important and that freedom WAS free. THIS SHALL NOT STAND VITAL.

  15. I agree.. iv never liked vital…. the way its set up or content.. I think tcu has a well rounded staff and knows their shit.. and well.. keeps me entertained..

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  19. i got my first bike christmas 2009? and i had it for 8 months and i got pretty good for being 4'7. but i was very weak. that summer i was riding round rock skatepark and got held up. (got another bike 5 months later) becuase i look so damn small. on top of that i have a protein dificiency. i have protein shakes everyday (since beginning of 2012) and i work out as much as i can. so now im 5'8 and almost 118 pounds as of today. going into 8th grade i was 4'10 90 lbs. i have been riding a long time i just have a tough time progressing. unlike the others kids riding at house or 9th, thats why it seems like i haven't been riding that long. but i ride every day and i have fun doing it. proves you can have fun on a bike no matter what your status.

  20. For the record, I still like crusing bowls and skateparks. But I started shooting photos cause I wasn't that good at bikes and kept getting hurt. After a few gnarly medical bills, I decided to hang it up and just shoot photos. Still got all the love in the world for bmx & love being out riding with my friends.

  21. Hey Brad,

    I think you really need to move vital on from bmx! Maybe start vitalcooking or vitalwanking? I decided to stop making videos for your site because you don't have a clue whats going on in bmx anymore.

  22. Hey Brad,

    I think you really need to move vital on from bmx! Maybe start vitalcooking or vitalwanking? I decided to stop making videos for your site because you don't have a clue whats going on in bmx anymore.

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