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  1. Event Details: Date: 10 February 2018; 8am - 6pm Place: Hellsend Dirt Compound, Vuurberg, Stellenbosch General Admission: R150Tickets available on Quicket. More information available on the Facebook Event page. A reminder from last year's event: Riders: Sam ReynoldsSam is the head of the project from UK, a professional freerider that has taken a serious liking to South Africa. He has been coming back regularly since his first trip a few years ago. A personal project with a few friends called Pure Darkness evolved into a bigger project inviting more riders and now we are getting ready for the second year of DarkFEST. Nico Vink Master builder and rider from Belgium, started off his career racing downhill but has always enjoyed jumping. As downhill slowed down he got more into doing big dirt jumps and after struggling to get people to build the type of jumps he wanted, he got in the digger himself and runs his own Fest event in Belgium with some of the biggest jumps in the world. Clemens Kaudela The Austrian operator, a master ramp builder that builds for many European events including Masters of Dirt and Nine Knights. Not only can the man build perfect dirt or wooden ramps, he can ride them just as well and participates in most of the events he builds for. This makes him the perfect addition to the build team here in SA. Cam Zink Zink is a heavy hitter from Nevada. Starting with downhill racing with Santa Cruz Syndicate while still competing in slopestyle events. He has two Rampage wins under his belt as well as a few best trick titles. He is also the record holder for the world's furthest backflip at just over 100ft. Ethan Nell The young shredder from Utah that is quickly making a name for himself, coming third at Rampage last year. He has ridden at Loosefest, DarkFEST, Nine Knights and many other international events. Nicholi Rogatkin The trick machine from Massachusetts. He started riding BMX at age five and became professional by the time he was 13. He later switched over to focus more on riding mountain bikes. In 2016, he earned himself the title of the best-ranked rider in the world and is no surprise he has a list of world's first tricks under his belt. One of them being a 1440 rotation. We're looking forward to seeing what he brings to these jumps. Kyle Strait One of the godfathers of freeride, Kyle popped up on the scene as a young teenager and is the only rider to compete in all nine Rampage events, winning two of them. Carson Storch A sender from Bend, Oregon. He started riding at age 10 and has grown up riding MTB, BMX & snowboarding. At the age of 17, he decided to focus on MTB and make it his career. He has had standout moments at Joyride and Rampage. He had trouble with injuries in 2015 and 2016 but came back in full force last year. Jordy Lunn The badass of mountain biking, Jordy is known for his no fear attitude and not letting a crash slow him down. He is the first person to land a 360 backflip on a mountain bike. DJ Brandt Another young shredder from the States, most well known for riding dirt jumps on his hard tail, but isn't afraid to throw his DH bike around in gnarly terrain. So much so that he has moved to Utah to ride the infamous mountains there. Brendan Fairclough UK downhill rider and general style cat, Brendog made a name for himself as a young lad in the DH scene. He now focuses more on video parts, but still competes on the DH circuit. Adolf Silva The young loco rider from Catalonia. Adolf lives life at 100 miles per hour. Skydiving, riding MX, BMX MTB and Skateboarding are a few of his hobbies. He has no fear and once his mind is set to something he won't stop until he lands it or gets knocked out in the process. Possible Local Wildcards? Theo ErlangsenA local Downhill racer that is not unfamiliar with the podium or big jumps. He's never had the opportunity to try jumps this size but is quite eager to join the guys and try to complete the line. Greg Minnaar This man needs no introduction. A Pietermaritzburg local that has won more world cup downhill races than anyone else on the planet, a legend in the sport. Build Update Week 3
  2. The first diggers teeth sunk into the beautiful mountains in Stellenbosch on Monday morning, since then if you blinked you'd miss a feature being created. The dream team of Clemens, Nico, and Sam are amazing to watch. Clemens the operator, is chief of piling the massive landings. Nico is the shaping perfectionist in the 5 tonner and Sam is sight foreman, making sure the boys are comfortable & everything runs smoothly. The course is designed this year around my 3 favourite jumps that I've ever ridden. First being Nico Vink's Loosefest. I'd love one of those, sort of like his first one, a 70/80 foot long jump. Another one of my favourite ever jumps was from Nine Knights a few years ago, a big 90degree hip, which you could just blast. Last, but not least, the DarkFEST step up from last year. Sam Reynolds Being mid-summer, the temperatures have been in the mid to high 30's, which makes the midday shift a sweltering one, so lots of trips to dams and pools go down during lunch to cool off and recharge for the afternoon shift. The dirt is like powder in the heat, so is a bit tricky to shape things, but with the drought in Cape Town at the moment the water usage has to be minimal, so we're hoping for some rain to sprinkle over the course and help us out. The progress this week has been really good so the guys have rewarded themselves with a few trail rides with some of the locals, followed by a mandatory braai, beers and red wine. Another 3 weeks of building before the rest of the riders arrive, so lots of dirt to still be moved. We'll keep checking in with weekly updates on the progress, so keep an eye out, these boys have something special on the way!
  3. Week 3 at the Darkest jumps in Africa has seen all the final touches come together and things are ready to go for all the boys! Click here to view the article
  4. The weather messed us around again this week, so when the sun was out, so were the rakes, spades and diggers! On the down days, they went out to practice their surfing skills and ended up doing some surprise shark spotting. There was a big trailer camper at the bottom and seeing that there were way too many people staying at the build site, it was a perfect opportunity for some more living space. It was a little worse for wear, but the boys did a good job welding things up and getting her ready for the journey up to the top of the hill. Most of the riders arrive this week, another good test session went down and some of the boys had a go at the step up, but the bottom of the bomb hole was a bit spongy from the rain and killed the speed. A bit more sun and she should be ready for some proper action! Ethan found an unattended moto and took it for a spin on the new long and low line and he was soon going through the whole line easily while sending some greasy whips on the last big booter. That got the stoke up seeing how fun and good it looked! Can't wait for the downhill bikes to send it! Aggy and Sorge landed and headed straight to a mission at the Knysna Elephant Sanctuary where the guys got to feed and interact with the giants. Looks like these guys don't do anything small. All the riders are here now and after a heavy rain the jumps are a little muddy, so some cleaning is needed, but the sun is blazing, so the dirt should be nice and tacky and perfect to work with. In the next day or two, the fun will get kicked up a gear, everyone is so excited and a little scared, but will soon make friends with these monsters! DarkFEST is ON!!!
  5. The end of last week saw the birth of a 82ft long and low that goes over the berm leading to the step up. Nico was on duty on that right line and spent the week dialing it in and making another slightly shorter set up jump for a massive booter at the bottom. The local yacht club invited us to a braai off, where you bring the finest steak you can find, braai it over the coals and add your special touch & technique to make it as tasty as possible. Everyone involved tries a bit of each steak and votes for their favourite at the end of the evening. Needless to say we all devoured tonnes of the most delicious meat until we couldn't move. To help the digestion we went to a very interesting club that resembled a psychedelic curry house and sampled some of the local DB&C's. Saturday was a slow start after enjoying the curry house a bit too much, so once we all surfaced we made our way down to Sedgefield for some takeout and supplies. Rain rolled in again and was quite heavy during the evening & the next afternoon and made things a bit too wet to work with, but luckily the boys made such good progress that they were planning to take the weekend off. Sunday was fun day and we went for a trail ride on some demo bikes Scott had out, next was a mission to meet Chris Botes in Knysna for a spin on his powerboat. He is the minister of fun and took us out between the heads and into the sea over the rythem section of swell and cut a few berms into the water almost getting the boat vertical. The sun and sea air makes you very hungry so we headed to Totties for some local Afrikaans food at a massive buffet! These boys don't do anything small! With so many activities the boys were desperately in need of a chill at Black Snake River and had a little afternoon swim & snooze. That revitalised them so much that we went to the dirt jumps at the bottom for a fun little sunset session, followed by the mandatory braai. Monday was back to work, after the rain drainage was needed desperately, so Clemens and Sam got some pipes and got to making dirt funnels while Nico piled the dirt for the last lip in the long & low line. The shark fin was worrying Sam with the DH bikes, so they decided to have a little test to put their minds at ease and it worked like a dream! Sam went on and tested the 2nd jump and that was also working perfectly. The step down wasn't 100% ready and groomed, but he decided to give her a go anyway and came up a bit short, cased 50/50, got thrown over the bars and slammed hard. Luckily he came out with only a sprained wrist and is still good to go! Nico was getting used to things and warmed up on the first 2, getting more and more smooth with every run. Clemens hit the line for the first time and cleared the shark fin nicely, but when he went for the 2nd jump he had to eject, his bike's suspension was too soft and absorbed the lip too much. Tuesday was another solid day of digging. With the digger hours coming to an end it was time to get some rakes out to smooth everything out and move the last two lips after getting the tape measure out. We all went down to town to meet MacDuff and Louis and have supper at a local restaurant for a bit of scenery change. With an even bigger crew now everyone grabbed a rake or spade & things were getting manicured before your eyes. Final touches to the last lip in the long & low line with the digger and more measuring to make sure the gaps were right for the speed you would carry. After a good morning beauty treatment and some lunch we headed down to the river to cool off. Everything is coming together nicely here, the lines are almost all done and ready for proper testing with a week to really dial things in. All the other guys are here this time next week and the madness begins! Can't wait to see what unfolds on these mountains!!!
  6. The 2nd week of building at DarkFEST is seeing massive progress, despite a bit of rain, the jumps are almost done. A few measurements and tweaks and they're ready for testing! Click here to view the article
  7. I brought Clemens and Nico to help me make the jumps bigger and darker than ever! Sam Reynolds Judging the size of things on video is often very misleading and the two newcomers were both very surprised at the size of these jumps but they dove right in to the diggers and got to work. This week the team have been adding new lines, tweaking sections to make it more friendly for big downhill bikes, and smoothing out the eroded lips and landings from last year. When I first got here and saw the step up and the site my thoughts were, go big or go home... man, maybe I should have stayed at home. Clemens Kaudela The infamous giant step up now has two hipped landings on either side with the right line leading into an additional left hip to end of the run. It looks absolutely insane.They are also busy with a long low jump over the run up to the big step up, which will make for some spectacular shots with guys jumping over each other going mach1! When Sam showed me the jumps, I was blown away by the sheer size of these things. Pretty nervous to ride them to be honest Nick Vink Having two diggers on site now means that the speed of progress has doubled. You can literally watch the jumps grow. Nico is loving it too much and spending all day in them getting things dialled in. A bit of rain came through on Wednesday, which slowed down the building, but made the dirt tacky and perfect to work with, so it's all guns blazing again and we can't wait to see as the rest of their ideas come to life. Lots more plans to unfold, keep an eye out for the week 2 update, before all the riders come down to shred the goodness!
  8. The boys from Pure Darkness are back at The Garden Route Trail Park but this time the plans are a bit different. Sam Reynolds has brought two master builders with him, Clemens Kaudela and Nico Vink, to make the massive jumps even more crazy for DarkFEST! Click here to view the article
  9. The prize giving wrapped up an action packed week of progressive riding at Reschenpass in South Tirol, Italy, during which Austrian Clemens Kaudela boosted one of the highest mountain bike airs of all time out of the 7-meter tall quarter pipe. Silva’s perfectly stomped double backflip over the massive ‘Big Bertha’ step up, secured him the "Best Trick" award, however it was his over all riding that put him above the pack, including a ‘Rock Solid’ on the trick jump, a trick rooted in motocross. “This was one of the best weeks I have ever had”, said the motivated shredder who was invited via wild card from the ‘FOCUS Become a Knight’ video contest, “I love this course and I tried as hard as I could. The double backflip on the big jump felt pretty scary though.” Choosing the best trick was a difficult decision for the jury, with many outstanding performances. Nico Scholze’s ‘Tsunami Flip’ earned a second best trick award and Max Fredriksson’s (SWE) ‘Backflip Barspin to Tailwhip’ third best trick. Adolf Silva double backflip sequence. Photo: Klaus Polzer/distillery Sam Reynolds, course co-designer showed stunning ‘Superman’ variations, a ‘360 Flat Spin’ over Big Bertha, boosted huge airs out of the quarter pipe and tore up the flow line. "I wanted to built the best course ever for the boys to have fun. Being second ‘Ruler of the Day’ is just the cherry on top,” he said. Third-placed Scholze showed extreme versatility and Big Bike progression. "This was my first day on a Big Bike here, but it still felt pretty good. I tried what is possible with the bike and, of course, am very happy about the Tsunami Flip", said Scholze, who was riding on a bike borrowed from his buddy Patrick Schweika (GER) as he, along with Anton Thelander (SWE) and Szymon Godziek (POL), had to sit out due to injury. Max Fredriksson. Photo: David Malacrida/distillery. The new event location in Reschenpass in South Tyrol, with it’s awe-inspiring vistas, made for a super fun 6th edition of the Suzuki Nine Knights MTB. Stay tuned for the full week highlight video and for the reveal of the photo competition winning images. For more information head to www.nineknightsmtb.com. RULERS OF THE DAY 1st - Adolf Silva (ESP): Double Backflip (step-up), Superman Double Seat Grab, Rock Solid (both on trick jump) 2nd - Sam Reynolds (GBR) Holyman, Superman Seat Grab, (Step-up) Flatspin 360 (Trick Jump) 3rd - Nico Scholze (GER): Tsunami Flip (trick jump), Flip Heelclicker (Step-up), Flatspin 360 (step-up) BEST TRICKS OF THE DAY 1st - Adolf Silva – Double Backlip (step-up) 2nd - Nico Scholze – Tsunami Flip (trick jump) 3rd - Max Fredriksson – Backflip Barspin to Tailwhip (trick jump) Patrick Schweika. Photo: David Malacrida/distillery Klemens Kaudela with the highest air. Photo: Klaus Polzer/distillery. Adolf Silva. Photo: Klaus Polzer/distillery. Diego Caverzasi and Torquato Testa. Photo: David Malacrida/distillery
  10. The big winner of the contest day was young-gun Adolf Silva (ESP), who claimed both ‘Best Trick’ and top spot on the podium as ‘Ruler of the Day’ of the Suzuki Nine Knights MTB 2016. The chilled jam format session saw Sam Reynolds (GBR) grab second and Nico Scholze (GER) take third place with some big tricks on Saturday 10th of September 2016. Click here to view the article
  11. The picturesque town celebrated Belgian National Day yesterday. The FEST Series is all about going big with your friends. The FEST Series is a group of invitational events with each hosted by a prominent ride. The aim is to create perfect playgrounds for exceptional freeriders in a relaxed environment where they can push each other to take freeriding to new heights. The wind and heat in Malmédy only drops at around 7PM which means the tree covered sections of Ferme Liberty Bike Park see lots of action during the day before the riders move over to the main Loosefest line. The FEST Series usually brings out the biggest names in freeride and Loosefest is no different. The likes of Andreu Lacondeguy, Sam Reynolds, Kurt Sorge and, of course, Nico Vink will all be in action this week. Just two days into Loosefest and most of the riders are already looking comfortable on the jumps. Although it's impossible for them to block out the fear each time they drop in, the euphoria at the bottom of a clean run gets them back up to the top for more. It's tricky to convey the enormity of the Loosefest jumps. This sequence shot of Sam Reynolds gets close. Ethan Nell is a youngster worth keeping an eye on. The Utah based freerider showed some serious commitment and charged hard all day. The course finishes with the scariest drop off (in the background) with a fast run into a big step up which should be a good spot for some big tricks later in the event. Sharing is caring at Loosefest. Moto riders were also invited to hang loose on the bike jumps. Even some mountain bikers jumped on their motorbikes. Andreu Lacondeguy going sideways. A thanks and good night from Nico Vink at the end of the first day's session. Loosefest 2016 - POV Course Preview: Nico Vink and Sam Reynoldshttps://www.facebook.com/MonsterEnergy/videos/vb.11768835826/10154565192745827 Loosefest 2016 - Day 1 Highlights https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0QmNkTTGaWU Loosefest 2016 - Day 2 Highlights
  12. Bike Hub are in the peaceful Belgium town of Malmédy to witness Loosefest 2016 hosted by Nico Vink. Nico, a former World Cup downhill racer, has made a name for himself building and riding some of the biggest jumps in freeride mountain bike. We've got a few exclusive photos by Eric Palmer from the first warm up sessions. Also watch the POV and highlights videos from Day 1. Click here to view the article
  13. You have seen Pure Darkness 3. Now check out the machines Matt MacDuff, Sam Reynolds, Andreu Lacondeguy, and Danny Pace used to launch themselves off the massive Garden Route Trail Park jumps. Photos by Eric Palmer. Click here to view the article
  14. In the previous Pure Darkness videos, the riders used hardtail dirt jump bikes. They could have continued with these bikes but that would mean wasting a lot of energy fighting the bikes coming off the roll in tower at speed and using their bodies to absorb much of the force on landing. It was agreed that slopestyle bikes would be far more suited to the task at hand. Matt Macduff's Altruiste Matt Macduff's bike is a unique beauty. The design was dreamed up by Gabriel Lang of Altruiste Bikes. Altruiste Bikes traditionally build steel road and track bikes but Gabriel has a rich history in designing street, dirt and slopestyle bikes. Matt's bike was designed specifically for Pure Darkness 3 and his big loop attempt. The bike has around 80 mm of rear travel with the the rear triangle, including seat tube, pivoting around the bottom bracket while the top tube length varies depending on the rear movement. Riding with rear suspension was a big first for Matt but so was fitting brakes. Renowned for riding brakeless, Matt felt that the challenges of the Pure Darkness 3 jumps were too great to continue riding without stoppers. He sought out a Shimano Deore brake at the local bike shop in Knysna. Wise! Matt gave the bike a fresh lick of paint just before filming. Black is apparently more to his taste. Andreu Lacondeguy's YT Industries Play Andreu Lacondeguy selected his YT Industries Play for this Garden Route adventure. The carbon bike is currently for team riders only but Andreu mentioned that YT Industries may be releasing a limited production run shortly.Andreu entrusts RockShox with his suspension, fitting a 110mm Pike and Monarch RT3 shock. The SRAM theme continues with an Avid XO brake and SRAM XO carbon cranks. A full Hope wheelset keeps the bike rolling while Andreu's signature DMR Vault pedals keep him in contact with the bike. Sam Reynolds' Polygon Trid SS Sam Reynolds usually reaches for his hardtail in competition but he knows when it is best to jump on his big rig and slopestlye bike. Pure Darkness 3 being such an occasion.Being a Polygon UR team rider, Sam's Trid SS is kitted out with BOS suspension, e*thirteen drive components and wheels, and a Spank cockpit. Sam was the only Pure Darkness 3 rider with gears. He uses a Box Components shifter on the downtube which allows Sam to quickly shift down by pushing the lever into the shifter, while pulling the lever to the right shifts up. The Box shifter operates a Shimano Saint derailleur across a 10-speed (by my quick count) cassette. With gears, Sam can't simply run a tight chain tension to prevent the pedals from spinning in the air like the single speeders, instead he has placed rubber inserts around the bottom bracket to slow the cranks. Danny Pace's Specialized P.Slope Danny Pace is the working class hero of the group. The Welshman is a former sponsored dirt jumper but now makes a living outside of mountain biking. Danny rode this trusty Specialized P.Slope.
  15. Music: Iron Angel - Nightmare IG: @PureDarkness_ Featuring: Sam Reynolds, Matt MacDuff, Danny Pace, Andreu Lacondeguy and Dylan Stone. Filmed at: The Garden route trail park, Knysna, South Africa. gardenroutetrailpark.com Supported by: Monster Energy / monsterenergy.com Photos by Grant Mclachlan. Check out a close up feature of the bikes used in Pure Darkness 3 here.
  16. The boys are back with number 3, bigger and better than ever. A new guest rider, a new course but still that same Pure Darkness we all love. Click here to view the article
  17. Featuring: Sam Reynolds Matt MacDuff Danny Pace Andreu Lacondeguy Filmed at: The Garden route trail park, South Africa http://www.gardenroutetrailpark.com/ Supported by: Monster Energy Music: RL Grime & What So Not - Tell Me (Rudebrat Refix) The full film will be out in about a week's time.
  18. The Pure Darkness crew brings you 'Pure Darkness 3 - Going big will never die'. Click here to view the article
  19. https://www.facebook.com/samreynolds26/videos/1108384145878488
  20. It has been over 3 weeks since Sam Reynolds and Matt Macduff landed in South Africa and broke ground at the Garden Route Trail Park. Click here to view the article
  21. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJsf3tL8suw With a project of this scale they were not sure if their vision for the ultimate dirt playground would actually be made a reality. But as final touches to the 60ft roll in tower are made, Sam and Matt have achieved their goal. Working day in, day out for the last three weeks they finally got to reap some of the rewards of their labour and test ride the jumps. This week has been awesome, we have pretty much finished the mega step up which will be ready to ride as soon as the 60ft tall roll in tower goes up! Sam Reynolds The progression from the crews trip to South Africa in 2015 takes Pure Darkness 3 to a whole new level. If you thought the Step Up was big last year: the roll in tower has doubled in height just to give the guys enough speed to complete the jumps. We are going to collect some serious air miles out there Matt Macduff Pure Darkness 3 begins filming this week and we will be bringing you behind the scenes exclusives from the Trail Park - stay tuned! @puredarkness_ | @monsterenergy | @thetrailpark
  22. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=knjmF-J86O4 It's like looking at a painting three quarters the way through and it looks terrible, right? Well, it's the same with our dirt jumps. Matt MacDuff
  23. Week two of the build and things are only getting bigger. Sam packs in the lip and Matt paints a new set. They also jump off the biggest bridge bungee in the world. Click here to view the article
  24. Pure Darkness was first unleashed on the world in 2014 as Sam Reynolds, Matt Macduff and Danny Pace took to the road in the UK with one goal; to film in their words the ‘darkest’ MTB project ever. What that came to mean for the rest of the world was the most heavy hitting, action packed riding edit that salutes the early era of freeride MTB film making. Click here to view the article
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