It takes a lot of dedication to be an athlete and even more to be considered a pro. Pro freeride mountain bike rider, Paul Basagoitia knows a thing or two about pushing limits. Here is a video and a Q&A to find out exactly what went into the partnership between Red Bull and Teva, and the process behind the big mountain move.Hi Paul! What's your take on the barrage of comments when the video first dropped on PB a couple of days ago?
I really appreciate the discussion. This is definitely not the first double backflip that has been done on a MTB. I give credit to my friend Greg Watts for that one…and we’ve talked about it in great length as I was preparing for this project. This project addressed a personal goal for me - to do what I believe is one of the most dangerous jumps, on a duel suspension bike, in the mountains versus on a course built by professionals. For me this was about the essence of mountain biking and progressing the sport at its roots. Yes, the lip of the jump was shaped by me because the success of a double relies on everything lining up perfectly…there is a very, very small margin for variations in this jump as those who have done or attempted will know. Call it what you like - big mountain double flip, back country doubleflip - either way, I’m stoked to have had the support and opportunity to accomplish something that I’ve wanted to do for some time. I look forward to celebrating with others who are progressing their riding in the mountains as well.So how are you feeling after completing this jump?
Pretty good for the most part. My ribs are a little sore after taking the bars to the chest a couple times when I under-rotated the jump. Other than that, I’m walking and couldn’t be happier with how everything played out!That had to hurt!
Yeah, I slammed the bars to my chest so hard a couple times it knocked the wind out of me. That happened every time I under-rotated. Bruised ribs are a lot better than cracked ribs so I can’t really complain.How did this whole thing come together?
It’s pretty funny how it worked out. When Toshi [Corbet] started working with Teva he gave me a call and asked if I had any cool ideas. I told him I’d always wanted to do a double flip on natural terrain. That hadn’t been done before on a mountain bike. Toshi and I kept in touch and he kept asking, “Do you still want to do that double flip?!” The next thing you know I was driving out to Utah.What kind of team goes into something like this? Do you go as far as to enlist a team of engineers to calculate wind direction, the angle of the lip and the speed needed to stick a double rotation?
In order to prepare for a double flip you’ve got to start in the foam pit. You can’t just go out and practice a double flip on the dirt; it just doesn’t work that way. I spent a few weeks doing twenty plus flips a day to create some muscle memory. When you double flip that many times you’re pretty aware as to where your body is in the air. That was my main focus. When I went to Utah, it was totally different than anything I’ve ever ridden in my entire life. The lip wasn’t anything like I’d been practicing on.When you’re preparing for a jump in natural terrain do you go as far as looking at the dirt and how you and the bike are going to behave off it?
Looking at those specifics wasn’t even an option; it was just super natural and raw. I wish we’d had the crew to engineer the perfect lip. I think that’s one of the coolest things about our sport is that no matter what nothing’s going to be the same, especially when you’re bringing that element to the big mountain. We weren’t dealing with perfectly groomed terrain and I hand-packed the lip so it was ridable.How do you mentally prepare for something like this?
On one hand you have to not think about what could happen, just go for it and hope for the best. I had to have that mindset with this jump, especially after taking a few hard slams. Prior to that, I really didn’t think hard about how I could get hurt. I just held my head up, kept going and knew that I would eventually land on two wheels.Can you run us through the process leading up to committing to the double backflip?
I straight jumped it a couple times to get a feel for the lip and then I did a backflip. After I did that single flip I went back up the hill and tried the double.What equipment were you on?
I was on my Kona Bass - my pro model. I bumped up the travel quite a bit running a 130 fork on the front, which has five inches of travel. It was a perfect set up for this. I needed more suspension for the top section because it was super steep. You definitely couldn’t do it on a hard tail.Is there a specific song or artist who you listen to in order to get pumped up?
I like to listen to Eminem before I go riding. The attitude he has motivates me to go out there and push my limits—to just go for it.What other tricks do you have up your sleeve? Any interest in throwing some variations of the backflip?
Not necessarily with new tricks but I definitely want to do some more stuff in the big mountain environment. I always think about doing things that stand out, especially on a mountain bike.Any closing comments or some info about what you have planned for the future?
I’m just really stoked to be part of the Teva team! I’m really digging what they’re doing with action sports, especially with how hard they’re backing mountain biking.
- Interview by Dustin on the Teva Collect