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Week 2 of building and testing on site at Darkfest in Sedgefield, South Africa - Sam Reynolds & Nico Vink


Feb 022017

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'll be ready to shred! The end of last week saw the birth of a 82ft long and low that goes over the berm leading to the step up.

We check in with Sam and the crew
to find out more...

Hey Sam, so whats been going on at the DarkFEST site over the last week?

It's been one hell of a week, with barely any time to settle in after arriving, we got straight into building, a little bit of hanging out and tons of fun.

Can you run us through some of the changes you guys have made to the course?

Sam: Continuing on from last year, we’re beefing up all the original lines we built by making them taller, steepening the landings and generally smoothening things out. Some new additions are some massive hip landings and a new line thats even bigger than the previous years.

Has the build been going quite smoothly?

Nico: Yeah it’s been going good so far, it's been super chill.

Sam: I feel like it's been going way smoother this year, we’ve got these two guys killing it with the machines. (Nico Vink & Clemens Kaudela)

What kind of machinery do you have out there and can you describe the man hours going into this course?

Sam: We were doing up to 14 hours a day at one point, with two 23 Ton diggers and additional smaller digger, which is pretty unheard of in mountain biking. It almost feels we're working on a mine at times. Stoked we have a next level build crew on board this year.

"It’s always scary testing the stuff for the first time, it's nice that the jumps are working already..."

You’ve switched to a DH bike from the slope style bike this year, what kind of adjustments have you had to make?

Sam: We’ve had to mellow out a few of the lips as you can’t have too much kick when on a DH bike, the jumps will be much more comfy because to be honest last year was almost a bit too big for a slope style bike.

Speaking of riding, how did the first test session go?

Nico: Hmm, It was both good and bad...*Laughter

Sam: Yeah! It’s always scary testing the stuff for the first time, it's nice that the jumps are working already, I ended up miscalculating one of the gaps and paid the price a little bit. We’ve done a few tests, but nothing serious yet.

Tell us about some of the guys coming to DarkFEST next week?

Sam: We’ve got Cam Zink, Andreu Lacondeguy, Adolf Silva, Aggy, Kurt Sorge, Ethan Nell to name a few... Pretty much the most legendary group of people I could think of spending a week riding our creation, that’s basically how we came up with the invites.

What does DarkFEST mean to you & free ride MTB?

Sam: Well I can’t speak for everyone, but to me DarkFEST is just a no limits kind of project. I'm basically living my childhood dream of having the biggest roll in and biggest diggers you can imagine with no one tell you how to do things.

Finally, what's the Fest series all about?

Nico: Fest came about when we felt we didn’t have the platform to ride the events we wanted to take part of, so a few of us joined forces as a crew to create our own events, building the courses we've always dreamed of riding. Inviting all our buddies for a great time while producing epic videos along the way and progressing the way things are done in the sport.


WATCH NOW! DarkFEST - Week 2 | Tweaks & Testing:


Now having spent 2 weeks on the farm in the Garden Route, the boys are starting to feel at home with their surroundings and have got a sense of proportion with the jumps. This has helped with adding the final tweaks to the new and original lines which need to be tested by the time the rest of the riders arrive in a week, stay tuned!