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Practice shots from Dark Fest


Feb 072018

After four long weeks of building, testing and tweaking. DarkFEST is officially a go as the rest of the crew arrive in town to join Sam Reynolds, Nico Vink and Clemens Kaudela.


At first sight, the new arrivals jaws hit the floor! After some "minor" changes, the first hit is now around 100ft long and seriously intimidating. Some riders were feeling the jet lag and took a while to adjust, but after watching Sam, Nico and Clemens hit the line, the lag and fear was quickly pushed aside. The following in boys who has hit the line before to feel out the speed they needed and after a couple attempts they were all making it through the course, adding more tricks and amplitude with every run.


Check out the final instalment in the DarkFEST prelude videos to see some priceless reactions as the new arrivals check out the course for the first time.

CHECKING IN WITH DARKFEST CReator - sam reynolds

Hey Sam, so what's been going down the last few weeks since you touched down in SA?

A ton of building has been going down the last few weeks, we've been having a blast on the farm inbetween the hard graft. Some scary times too testing the line, the jumps are massive. The last few day we've just been making some final tweaks to the course, now the rest of the boys have arrived so I'm super excited to see what we come up with over the next few days.

Did the build go quite smoothly for you guys this year?

Yeah! Considering what we were trying to achieve and how risky it is doing a build on this scale, scorching hot days and of course with the drought here, the dirt being dry was a little bit of a problem. On the plus side we haven't had to deal with any set backs with the weather andfortunately there was some moisture in the ground so the jumps ended up packing in real good, weirdly enough everything worked first go, so it did run really smoothly in my eyes.

What is your favourite feature on the new course and why?

Honestly, I couldn't pick a favourite between any feature, to me that's like trying to pick a favourite child, haha! Each hit has it's own vibe, really it's the whole line that's my favourite so I couldn't choose.

So this is the first stop of the 2018 FEST Series? Who's come out to join you this year?

Yeah! Kicking off 2018 with a bang. This year we have a few old faces and some new ones too. So we've had myself, Nico Vink, Clemens Kaudela, building the course and testing. Now joining us we have the FMB world champ Nicholi Rogatkin, Carson Storch, Jordy Lunn, DJ Brandt, Ethan Nell, Cam Zink, Brendan Fairclough, we even have Matt Macduff out here trying his hand at the downhill bikes.

You've raised the bar yet again? Is there anything you would have changed about the course if you had more time?

We gave ourselves a pretty good amount of time this year - A whole month to get the build done, we had 3 machines running flat out from the beginning and we ended up getting everything we wanted to do done. We got the piling done in 2 weeks, a week to shape them followed by a week of testing, which we then got to buy a little time to do some final tweaks which was great!

What does hosting an event like this do for the local scene? Have you met any local riders?

We've had a lot of locals who have been super excited, theres a great scene down here in Cape Town and Stellenbosch, a few local riders have pitched up too and offered some help, which we're really grateful for. One guy in particular Theo Erlangson. He was super keen to help us during the build and test the jumps with us, which he did. So we've had a few sessions with him and he's held it down. We saw he was good enough to ride the jumps so it looks like he'll be rolling with the boys on the weekend, stoked we have some SA locals riding with us.

Any shout outs?

A special shout out goes to Seb, Ike and the family for letting us build here on their property and trusting us to do what we want. Another shout goes to Nico and Clemens for all the long hours and hard work they've put in with the course build. Without their skills we wouldn't be able to remotely do what we've achieved here.