Landing World first tricks is becoming increasingly difficult, so we caught up with Erik Fedko to find out about his 350 barspin to tailwhip.
Slopestyle riders need to be ever more creative these days when it comes to throwing down massive or World first tricks on a set course. Erik Fedko had a World first in the bag when he headed to Crankworx Rotorua, so we had a chat with him about how it came about.
When did you first realise the 360 Barpsin to Tailwhip was a possibility?
This is a trick I really wanted to do. After trying it loads of times into the airbag, I realised it is possible. I flew to Crankworx Rotorua with the clear goal in my mind to show it in the competition.
Once you had decided to get it dialled, what happened next?
In the training for the competition, I started very slowly and only did 360 barspins (360-degree rotation on the bike including 360-degree rotation of the handlebars) on the stepdown, so I could get a feeling for what it’s like to add a tailwhip (360-degree turn of the bike below the body). I realised it was working well.
On the last day of training I felt confident enough to do the trick and stuck it straight away. Of course, I was even happier that at the end the trick worked in my run as well.
Did you have access to a foam pit?
Not a foam pit but an airbag.
How much of landing a new trick is psychological?
I would say about 50%. If you are too scared and do not believe in yourself, you will crash. That’s why it’s very important to be fully convinced that you can make it from the beginning. When it’s a trick like the 360 Barspin to Tailwhip which you can learn step by step you win confidence when accomplishing each step. If it’s a trick which you like, it’s even better.
Did it take many attempts to land the first time?
I first tried it at Red Bull Joyride last year but didn’t land it. So, I postponed the debut to Rotorua. Sometimes it works out first try and sometimes you have 10 big slams before you land it. Then it’s even more important to believe in yourself.
Had you changed your bike setup at all to make landing the trick any easier or more consistent?
No. There was no adjustment needed because I’m confident with my setup.
How did it feel going into Crankworx Rotorua, knowing you had a World first in the bag?
Yes, it felt amazing, but when I arrived in Rotorua the weather was bad unfortunately and we hardly were able to practice. So, this was a huge challenge to get it safe. On the one hand I was thrilled and confident and on the other hand you never know what’s happening. Guess what, I’ve got another one in the bag for the next event.
What was the reaction to landing it at the time?
I was so stoked and just full of adrenaline. I knew that I really had to get the rest of the run clean now.
How did you feel at the end of your run?
The 360 Barspin to Tailwhip from a stepdown was on the first feature and I was just full of adrenaline during my entire run and overwhelmed when arriving in the finish that also all other features were smooth and clean. Especially after having not enough practice all week.
How do you take that momentum onto another massive trick?
Subconsciously, I remember the feeling when landing a banger trick in competition, but it’s also difficult because you have to start from scratch again and need to focus on every step until you get that feeling again.