The Nitro Circus Live show explodes in New Zealand for the first time tonight at North Harbour Stadium with thousands lining up to see the man regarded as the "World's Greatest Action Sports Star".

It is quite a tag-line to live up to but it's a billing Travis Pastrana is comfortable with as he headlines his Nitro Circus Live show.

And why not, the 17-time X Games medallist, action sport all-rounder is the real deal and when it comes to putting on a show on a bike he and his crew of mates don't disappoint.

Pastrana began in the Motocross world but has made his name in FMX winning five of the past seven X Games Gold Medals.

The new world No1 FMX rider, on his first trip to New Zealand, explained how it feels to be called the world's greatest action sports star.

"It's cool to be held in that regard," said Pastrana as he watched his girlfriend pull off moves on the 15.25m ramp in preparation for tonight's performance.

"I am a total redneck and anything with wheels and an engine gets me excited and I have had a fortunate career in a range of action sports.

"I am grateful for those opportunities and for the fact that I am still walking after all the crazy stuff I have done."

Pastrana, who has had guest appearances on the couches of Jay Leno and David Letterman, is a veteran of the FMX world at the age of 27.

He announced his arrival as a 14-year-old when he won the World Freestyle Championship and has carried on to become one of the icons of the sport.

Pastrana is credited with inventing many of the sport's most demanding tricks and every year continues to elevate the bar for the sport.

He expanded his repertoire to include Supercross and Freestyle Motocross, as well as Supermoto and Rally Car Racing and will race in the Nascar series this year for the first time.

"Some guys get to the top of their sport and they say it is just as hard to stay at the top as it is to get there and that is true.

"But there is nothing like a new challenge.

"I have done well in FMX but in Rally Car Racing or Nascar I am no-one and right at the bottom of the pecking order.

"I love learning a new sport and going as fast as I can in a car so that is why I look for other challenges to always keep it fresh."

When it comes to the Nitro Circus Live Show he admitted there is always pressure on a whirlwind world tour.

"There are nerves especially on the first one of the tour because everyone is coming back together and it takes time to get dialled in," said Pastrana.

"A lot of the guys spend the off-season having surgery and getting fixed up so this is their first big show back.

"Everyone is pumped to throw down their best moves and perform no matter what."

The challenge of always going bigger, higher and bolder is what drives Pastrana and the camaraderie of the tour takes that to new heights.

"Oh yeah," said Pastrana. "There are 26 guys on tour with 13 X Games medals between them and everyone wants to outdo each other with how big they can go ... it's scary at times."

"These tours are great as you learn so much from the guys around you and you come back as better riders and better friends."

For the managing director of Global Action Sports, Michael Porra, the show, and the antics of Pastrana, needs to be seen to be believed.

"Travis Pastrana is the greatest action sports star on the planet and to have him performing live at venues around New Zealand for the very first time is a massive coup for all of his fans there," said Porra.

"The show is the most action you can pack into 2 hours and every aspect of it will completely blow your mind."

It is almost like the Nitro Circus Live team lives in their own hyper-reality. A special land where there is no fear and seemingly no limit to what they'll attempt on a bike in pursuit of thrills seeking, adrenalin rush and entertainment.

Joining Pastrana is the entire Nitro Circus crew from the popular MTV show including Jolene Van Vugt, Erik Roner, Jim De Champ, Special Gregg and "Streetbike" Tommy.

Also in company are some of the greatest FMX riders on the planet including FMX 2009 gold medallist Blake 'Bilko' Williams (Aus) and the only rider performing FMX double back flips and current X games gold medallist, Cam Sinclair.

Some of the best BMX riders in the world will also feature including X games medallist Andy Buckworth performing the death defying double front flip among a fully choreographed production.

The Nitro Crew launch themselves off the death defying 15.25m high Nitro Gigant-A-Ramp on a multi-million dollar set on a host of crazy contraptions like kids trikes, snow skis, razor scooters and boogey boards.

"The whole show has a really fun and irreverent feel about it too so it is non-stop entertainment," said PR manager Jaime Mortimer.

"These guys push themselves at every show and create new surprises at each event as they constantly try and push the boundaries of what is possible.

"The bigger the crowd, the crazier they get so the NZ shows are going to be wild," Mortimer said.

He said these are the best in the world doing the biggest FMX tricks.

"Expect double front flips, body varials, 360 combinations and unbelievable side-by-side riding.

"You have three X games gold medalists in Travis, Bilko and Cam Sinclair and New Zealand's very own Levi [Sherwood] who came runner up to Travis last year.

"It's the best of the best,"he said.

"There is a lot of ADHD in this group," concluded Pastrana.

"It is absolute chaos and nothing like it in the world - it's not often people who come to the Nitro Circus Live Show go home disappointed."

X-tremely popular

The Nitro Circus brand, founded by Travis Pastrana, Gregg Godfrey and Jeremy Rawle, has enjoyed a rapid rise to global popularity, started by the DVD series featuring Travis and friends performing outrageous stunts on a range of crazy contraptions

The first tour in Australia became the highest grossing action sports show in Australian history with almost 120,000 tickets sold.

Tour schedule
* Today, Auckland (North Harbour Stadium)

* Wednesday, Wellington (Westpac Stadium)

* February 12, Hamilton (Waikato Stadium)

* February 16, Christchurch (AMI Stadium)

* February 19, Dunedin (Carisbrook Stadium

Find out more