Story by Anjali McDaniel and Photo by Kelly Payne
Tricking, flipping, successful, energetic, loving, and smart. These are just some of the words that Bailey Payne’s family and teachers use to describe him as he goes on to become an important tricker in the US.
“I’m super proud of how social and polite Bailey has become. He was kind of a little quiet in high school, so I feel like he really came out of his shell once he started traveling and meeting other people,” Bailey’s mom Kelly Payne said.
Bailey Payne is a tricker that lives in Los Angeles, California with his brother, Jack Payne. He attended Dutch Fork High School and immediately after graduation was offered a job where he could take his skills to the next level.
“After high school, the only thing that really changed was probably just the opportunity to travel a lot more frequently because I did a lot of traveling in high school. I went to about fifteen countries between my sophomore year and my senior year all for tricking, but after high school, I just started traveling a lot more and I got to take my sport a little more seriously as in a business aspect,” Bailey said.
Bailey is not only a professional tricker. He is also sponsored by Red Bull which gets him a lot of publicity.
“You get a salary and you get to go to business meetings all over the place,” Bailey said, “It gives you a lot more opportunities, especially in what I do now because I’m the only one right now in my sport who’s sponsored by them. It’s kind of like I’m leading the way for everyone else who’s going to be a future athlete and they can kind of look up to see what I did and follow those guidelines if they’d like.”
Bailey is not the only member of the Payne family to let his skills shine. He lives in Los Angeles with his brother, Jack, and their bond with each other is clearly seen.
“Our relationship is good,” Bailey said, “We do basically everything together because we live together, so I would say it’s pretty good. We argue a bunch, but that’s just typical.”
This change in Bailey’s life was not only a big adjustment for himself, but also for his mother who is happy that her boys are sticking together during this time.
“I’m so happy that they have a good relationship because it’s scary when your kids tell you they’re moving to Los Angeles from little Irmo, South Carolina knowing that they would probably really love it there and never want to come home, so I love the fact that they look out for each other, that they live together,” Payne said.
One of Bailey’s favorite teachers from high school, Steve Fisher, remembers Bailey as a kind person with an incredible talent that has led him to success.
“He was a really good student and everything about really was good,” Fisher said, “I can’t say anything bad. However, every now and then he would do something crazy like flip backwards in the middle of class.”
Throughout all of the changes and new fame that Bailey has gone through, he manages to stay grounded and continue to inspire people to live out their dreams.
“I get messages all the time on Instagram from random kids saying, ‘thanks for inspiring me’, on all aspects such as tricking, tumbling, or just the fact that I act myself whenever I’m around other people,” Bailey said, “A lot of people like change the way they act when they’re around certain people, but I just keep it pretty consistent when I’m around everyone.”