Ok, so maybe its not Dirt Jump nirvana for us mere mortals, but for the crew of A List riders at DarkFEST it sure was. Many were calling it the biggest line ever built and for those who came to watch the open sessions, they witnessed history. Clemens, Nico and Sam really pulled out all the stops on the setup and I am pretty sure we are going to see even bigger things come 2020.
Loco Double Backflip Adolf Silva
The Fan favourite at any event he goes to for good reason. Adolf was hunting the double backflips. He made one on the giant kicker and he was oh so close to landing one on the 90ft gap. He rides so wild that even his fellow riders sometimes cant believe how he pulls off some saves. One of the leaders of free ride now and a huge part of Darkfest. Not to hard to see why Monster Energy put him straight on the team.
Watch the Highlights Video
If you did not make it down to Vuurberg for the open sessions, shame! But never fear, the highlights video is here and you too can marvel at the Dirt Jump mayhem that was, DarkFEST. The world’s best were in action, with the likes of Nico Vink, Tom van Steenbergen, Adolf Silva, Brendan Fairclough, Ethan Nell, Nicholi Rogatkin, Jordie Lunn, Graham Agassis, Matt Macduff, Tom Reynolds, Darryl Brown, Theo Erlangsen and Kurt Sorge.
Friday 8 February and Saturday 9 February will see the return of DarkFEST to Vuurberg Wines, Helshoogte Pass, Stellenbosch, and for those two full days the boys are going to cut loose! Sam Reynolds might be out of the competition, but it it still going to rock out over the weekend, as only DarkFEST can.
What is it? The biggest mountain biking dirt jump event in Africa.
Where is it? Vuurberg Wines, Helshoogte Pass, Stellenbosch.
When? Friday 8 and Saturday 9 February. Action starts at 9 am, and continues until 6 pm.
Who? There are a crew of local and international riders, including Nico Vink, Tom van Steenbergen, Adolf Silva, Brendan Fairclough, Ethan Nell, Nicholi Rogatkin, Jordie Lunn, Graham Agassis, Matt Macduff, Tom Reynolds, Darryl Brown, Theo Erlangsen and Kurt Sorge, amongst others. Local legend Sam Reynolds unfortunately injured himself on a recent practice run, and is out of the event.
As the DarkFEST course nears completion, the boys have been smashing it all week with the diggers and with a few tiny sprinkles of rain and some spade work, have managed to compact most of the line. Mountain Bike heaven or hell depending on who you ask…
Mountain Bike Gods bless with more rain!
With a little more much needed rain on the forecast, the guys got everything ready for it and took advantage of getting some time behind the bars on the big line at Hellsend Dirt Compound with Brendog and a few locals.
The course is complete and now the line just needs to be tweaked for the arrival of the rest of the world’s best free ride Mountain Bikers next week.
Week 3 Video
Tune into the week 3 video of the DarkFEST prequel, as next week the mayhem begins! Remember I will be live, on site from next Thursday, so be sure to follow my Instagram channel – Captain Kais World
Join the Mayhem
Tickets are available online to come and witness the mayhem live, on Saturday 10 February, just outside Stellenbosch.
Space on the mountain is at a premium and believe me when I say, you do not want to miss this! The world’s craziest free ride specialists charging one of the biggest lines ever built, including a monster 80ft Gap Jump. (See Sam testing it in the picture above.)
Every year a crew of pretty mental MTB guys, led by the indomitable, Sam Reynolds, descend on South Africa for Darkfest. Their goal is quite simply to build the biggest and most radical line in dirt jumping.
Darkfest 2017 saw the scariest step up jump ever built. At 60ft high it provided the perfect platform for the world’s top riders to push the limits. Adolf Silva even hit the double backflip, much to the amazement of the local crowd watching.
This year the gents are promising an even bigger line, with three of Sam’s favourite jumps from other events, including finishing with another mammoth step up jump. The crew behind the build are some of the best in the business.
Sam Reynolds is one of the World’s top Mountain biking chargers. At the forefront of Slopestyle and Dirt Jumping, he competes around the world at the biggest events, such as Rampage and Nine Knights. He is the general of the Darkest crew.
The Austrian daredevil has become one of the top names in the freeride world and is also an accomplished builder of jumps and trails. He joins Nico on the bog machinery building the insane Darkfest run.
Check out the Week 1 Darkfest Video
This year the event moves to Frranschoek near Cape Town, which is going to mean for bigger crowds and some seriously hot temperatures. Every week I will keep you updated with the build and how you can get to the event! Check the first week’s video…
When Nick Clarke arrived in South Africa for the Mega Loop build three years ago, he did not know what to expect. The ultimate Dirt Jump was the goal. Turns out he fell in love with the Southern Tip of Africa. Maybe it was the awesome people, the really good riding or simply the laid back lifestyle. Whatever you choose, he chose to come back for Darkfest and two consecutive Night Harvests and would have stayed for ever, if not for a visa problem.
He loves a Dirt Jump
Nick loves dirt jumping and lucky for him, he made friends with the gents at The Trails Crew who quickly adopted him and took him to all the top spots. From Potato trails in Cape Town to the Garden Route trail park, he got a taste of all that SA had to offer. Oh and he took out back to back Night Harvest titles…
Not just riding!
He did not just ride either! Nick worked with myself as the co-commentator for Bmx at the 2017 Ultimate X event, did some work with Monster Energy and was a barmen at Aces n Spades, one of CT’s best bars. He really embraced the Cape Town lifestyle.
Check out the Video
Lucky for Nick, he got some serious video shot of the entire trip, thanks to Thomas Sandell, and now you get to watch the highlights from his African Dirt Jump trip! So sit back, pour some maple syrup over your biltong and enjoy the video, eyyyy!
Support Captain Pugwash
If you want to follow Nick Clarke’s adventures back home in Canada, he won’t be back here for a while sadly, then head over to his Facebook Page and Instagram and show him some love. I am sure he will appreciate it and you will be entertained!
Good Lord, I thought I would have gotten used to the insanity of Darfest after seeing it for myself, but one watch of this video and it all came crashing back down. Seriously, if you are not at this event next year, you are missing out on the most crazy thing you will ever see in South Africa. So sit back, down a tequila and prepare for Darkfest insanity…
The Fest Crew made their way down to South Africa to take on the infamous Pure Darkness jumps. Sam Reynolds, with the help of Nico Vink & Clemens Kaudela, revived the beasts and added a few more to the party and what a party it was! In true Fest fashion, these boys went faster, higher and bigger than ever! With features like a 60ft roll in, 55ft gaps and a 35ft lip that sends you 25ft into the air it is definitely not one to be missed!
Best Trick: Adolf Silva – Double Flip
Best Line: Andreu Lacondeguy
Best Whip: Kurt Sorge
Biggest Slam: Adolf Silva – Tripple Flip Attempt
Dark King: Clemens “C-Dawg” Kaudela – for killing the course build, riding and parties
Cam Zink, Graham Aggasiz