FREESTYLE MOUNTAIN BIKERS TAKE ON THE BIGGEST DIRT JUMPS IN THE WORLD IN AFRICA
The Fest Series is a group of some of the best freeride mountain bikers from all over the world that push the limits of what is possible on a bicycle, without competition or strict format. It’s by the riders for the riders with a very relaxed approach, except when the bikes come out.
Darkfest is the newest addition and one of the most unique stops on the list. In the Garden Route, South Africa, near a small town called Knysna, lie some of the biggest dirt jumps in the world!
The whole event was born out of Pure Darkness; a video project about some friends going on a road trip to ride a monster step-up jump with a 12m roll-in tower, built deep in the English woodlands, that went viral within the FMB community. This captured the imagination of a South African dairy farmer, who encouraged them to build even bigger jumps and a 24m roll-in tower for Pure Darkness 2, which pushed the views online into the millions. The only next logical step was to invite more riders to play on these massive mounds of dirt.
So Darkfest was born!
10 of the world’s best freeriders on the biggest jumps in the world; a recipe for good times!
Super shapers Nico Vink & Clemens Kaudela were the first to arrive with Sam Reynolds to help him build the jumps after a year of erosion and to add a new line to the right. These guys are just as amazing to watch in the diggers as they are on a bike. The precision needed to perfect the take-offs and landings on jumps this size is crucial and these guys are the best in the business.
As the cream of the MTB crop arrived to the DarkFest site, eyes would widen and jaws drop to the floor to see the magnitude of these jumps in reality. These guys ride the biggest stuff possible on a bike and to see them nervous really puts things into perspective.
This crew is like a huge family and everyone stayed in a small house near the jumps, some camping outside on the lawn, some on couches and even a few beds. Treated to a good old SA braai every night, with braai master Dylan on duty and keeping the boys’ stomachs happy.
The Insight Crew came to hang out and do a behind the scenes documentary on this unique event and dug deep to find out every role that is played to bring a project like this together, from Gunther and his crazy 24m roll in tower, to bike setups, to the media team and get inside the riders heads to see how things look through their eyes.