DarkFEST | Building the Beast | Behind the Scenes with Eric Palmer.

Sam Reynolds has returned to the Pure Darkness jumps in South Africa with Nico Vink and Clemens Kaudela to take things to the next level.

Building on the Pure Darkness work from 2016, Sam, Nico and Clemens to sculpt the jumps that will bring the madness at this year’s DarkFEST. Nico and Clemens are the boys when it comes to crafting massive jumps with a digger. Eric Palmer sent this over for our delectation.

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 2 master builders with him, Clemens Kaudela and Nico Vink to make the massive jumps even more crazy for DarkFEST!

“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 both the newcomers were very surprised at the size of these jumps, but they dove right in to the diggers and got to work. Adding new lines, tweaking a few things to make it more friendly for DH bikes and smoothing the eroded lips and landings was first on the cards.

“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 2 hipped landings on either side and the right line leads into a left hip on the last jump of the line, which looks absolutely insane. They are also busy with a long low jump over the run in to the step up, which will make for some spectacular shots with guys jumping over each other going mach 1!

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“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” – Nico Vink.

Having 2 diggers here 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 guns blazing again and can’t wait to see the rest of the 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!

Big thanks to Eric Palmer for bringing us this sneak peak of what goes into building some of the biggest mountain bike jumps on the planet. Keep your eyes peeled for more!


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