Video: Royal Hills Experience

Sep 19, 2013
by Damien Vergez  
 
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Views: 60,527    Faves: 1,063    Comments: 63


Words : Nico Vink
Royal Hills is a location in the south of France, Close to Albi and only 80 km away from Toulouse. It's owned by some Belgian MX friends who rent out the place for MX vacations. They offer a 50 hectare domain where you can shred Moto, BMX and DH for your private use. To me it's one of my favourite spots to go shred with my buddies in the "off" season.

Here is the story of this project :

Location:
For the last three years I have been thinking about building a big line for big bikes. I have been looking too long for the perfect location and I could not find it until my buddy Piere from Royal Hills in France told me I could build my line over there. I was stoked, but to build the ultimate line in which I had in mind, I needed much more elevation than 'The Royal Hills'. After a few years of looking for the perfect location and not finding one, I just wanted to get something done. I called Piere and decided to build my line at Royal hills. A good thing about Royal hills is that it's a 'Moto X paradise' and we had all access to the diggers they use to shape the Moto stuff.

Making Of - Royal Hills Experience Photo FastFokus

Inspiration:
Over the last few years I got a little fed up with racing. I felt like I was riding the same tracks and trying to push going fast for the wrong reasons so for me it was just no fun anymore. I started looking for new stuff to do and ended up riding more Moto X and enjoyed the fact of going bigger. Also, living in Belgium and having almost no hills or mountains, I've been building and riding lots of BMX trails. The thing I love about riding BMX is that it flows so much. That's all the stuff I love doing lined up and so the idea of creating my big bike line was born.

Making Of - Royal Hills Experience Photo Keno Derleyn
Making Of - Royal Hills Experience Photo Keno Derleyn
Making Of - Royal Hills Experience Photo Keno Derleyn

Realization:
I started building the line in January 2013. With not having a lot of elevation we had to build the line really 'flowy' with lots of compressions that make you go faster as you hit it. This is how I build up the rhythm to carry maximum speed and we'll be able to build big jumps at the end of the line. I was not able to build all the ideas I had in mind yet due to the lack of elevation, but I see that as a good thing and it leaves room for a next project where we will push it further.

Making Of - Royal Hills Experience Photo Keno Derleyn
Making Of - Royal Hills Experience Photo Keno Derleyn
Making Of - Royal Hills Experience Photo FastFokus

Testing:
I headed over to France 10 days before we started filming the line to give it the last touch and finish the jumps. Due to the bad weather we have had in Europe at the beginning of the year, the jumps were still pretty soft and it was a bit stressful for me. Luckily the sun came out and the line dried super fast. Hitting some of the stuff was pretty scary, but it all worked out and I got away with a couple of big cases and some sketchy moments.

Making Of - Royal Hills Experience Photo Keno Derleyn
Making Of - Royal Hills Experience Photo Keno Derleyn

Riders:
I contacted some freeriders and racers to see if they would be up for riding the line with me, but most of the guys had a super busy schedule and did not find the time to come over. I was super stoked that Norwegian legend Makken showed up. It was the first time I ever met him and he's a super cool dude to ride with and has a sick riding style. Second, we had my lifelong, Belgian buddy Kristof Lenssens and partner in our company 'Ride Creations' showing up. At first, he was not sure about hitting all the jumps, but he ended up riding them smoothly.

Making Of - Royal Hills Experience Photo Keno Derleyn
Making Of - Royal Hills Experience Photo Keno Derleyn
Making Of - Royal Hills Experience Photo Keno Derleyn

Shooting:
We had a week planned to shoot the complete line. It was pretty hard work to get it done in one week. You always end up building a bit more than planned. After 5 days of shooting we had all the tech stuff and the setup jumps under our belt and it was time to move into the biggest jumps. We built a 50 foot shark fin into a 60 foot race hip finishing with a 60 foot straight jump.

I was a bit worried about the last one. That night it was a bit windy so we ended up riding Makken's ramp line instead, Makken did a couple of extended supermans in the golden light. It was a little windy and I blew off on a whip which took me out 4 weeks so nobody ended up riding the last jump on the big line. That's why we decided to release the edit without the footage of the last jump and go back over to Royal Hills next year.

We hope that you enjoyed watching it.

Making Of - Royal Hills Experience Photo Bart Cautaerts FastFokus
Making Of - Royal Hills Experience Photo Keno Derleyn
Making Of - Royal Hills Experience Photo Keno Derleyn
Making Of - Royal Hills Experience Photo Keno Derleyn
Making Of - Royal Hills Experience Photo Keno Derleyn
Making Of - Royal Hills Experience Photo Keno Derleyn
Making Of - Royal Hills Experience Photo Keno Derleyn

Crew and Support,
A few of my Sponsors helped me to get some budget for my first project and I really want to thank them a lot.

It's a pretty long list of people and companies, but it would not have been possible without them :
Royal Hills, Hope, Reverse, Chatel, Fmx4ever, ScottUSA, Schwalbe, Canecreek, Vans, Liquor Brand, Stoica Graffix, Beau Velo, Drone Productions, Damien Vergez, Keno Derleyn, Piere, Ben Walker, Rachael Walker, Peter Schmid, Stoica, Dominique, Jimmy, Timo, Fourch, BC and Jan.

76 Comments

  • + 57
 Can't wait to see Nico and Makken crushing it Rampage!
  • + 3
 Same here!!
  • + 10
 look at all these pods
  • + 2
 They have mad style for sure. There's a difference between perfectly build trail and rampage. So as has been said ... can't wait to see Wink
  • + 3
 If he wins he can buy him self a tooth Big Grin
  • + 1
 That my friends is what I call Big and Smooth!!!!!!
  • + 3
 Brake makers could run out of business if everyone rides like them.
  • + 1
 Love their riding styles..should make rampage even more exciting
  • + 1
 all style and balls out hardcore!! fucken love it! by far the best vid and pics on here in recent times. awesome shit guys
[Reply]
  • + 28
 BIG OL JUMPS! - By far the best video for ages...
[Reply]
  • + 19
 hey other video makers! you see how you don't need slow motion every second to make a good video.
[Reply]
  • + 9
 Messing around on bikes! - A very simple concept that's put across really well in this video. To 650b or not 650b? Are 29ers any good? What's the compression rate like on this or that new shock? Does this new frame look exactly like a .............. frame? Sometimes, I really don't care about any of that stuff, this video reminds me why.
[Reply]
  • + 5
 Just nice. Great edit. All about the riding not the building. Non nonsense, shred the trail and get it on film. Awesome job guys.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Nico's style is so sweet and he seems like such a decent bloke. Nothing gets rid of the "bored at my desk" feeling in the afternoon more than watching some steezy riders giving it the beans and getting some massive air! Bring on Rampage!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 can I just say, thats one of the best videos I've litterally ever seen!! nothing has made me want to ride and in fact build more! such an incredible looking track, I agree i get a bit sick of how downhill is all about the times and how fast you can go over a technical rooty off camber section or whatever, and freeride has maybe kept its roots a bit with rampage but to me this is true free ride, there is nothing at all competitive about this, they have built the entire track solely to put huge grins on their faces and thats really amazing!
[Reply]
  • + 5
 looks like pinkbike bike got iOS7
[Reply]
  • + 3
 belgian rules bro, you can't do much against that!!! nico vink could wear a moustache!!
[Reply]
  • + 3
 By far some of the gnarlyest trails on the face of the earth . I wish it wasn't midnight I want to go ride now
[Reply]
  • + 3
 who said freeride was dead?!
[Reply]
  • + 4
 YEAH boys!! so sick!
[Reply]
  • + 3
 sweet lord ! great edit and massive riding in there
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Royal riding right there.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 that steep hip thing half way down the trail was pretty amazing... definitely going to be building one of those now.
  • + 2
 one of the sickest freeride features I've ever seen
[Reply]
  • + 3
 So Fucking moto. Video of the Year potential...
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Definitely one of the best videos I've seen in a long time. Just wanna go ride now!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 f*ck yeah! Solid tunes & big lines on big bikes. Not a bad way to do it.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Can anyone tell Nico he's not on a mx bike please?
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Vink is an animal, what an amazing vid and line!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 thoose jumps are HUGE! I would sh#t my pants in every jump!
Awesome! VOD! tup
[Reply]
  • + 1
 that looks like such a fun trail. wow. nice video
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I would pay to ride that all day long...yup. Wicked...
[Reply]
  • + 1
 that was like fmx level airs right there. im impressed. awesome vid
[Reply]
  • + 1
 That aerial cut to panning across the jump tho GAHHHHHH (0:58 )
[Reply]
  • + 1
 This vid has a NWD feel to it
[Reply]
  • + 1
 whats the song! shazam wont recognize it!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Nico Vink, you send it hard and have style for days dude! Loved this edit!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Hands down best vid i ever seen...
[Reply]
  • + 1
 thats the sickest trail ive ever seen
[Reply]
  • + 1
 awesome.... would love to session that!!!!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 and i thought knarcroft was the only trail with big jumps
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Ohhhhhh yes sssssssgjfkvkcjc
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Hell Yeah, Vink and Lenssens both in the same video! Those guys rock!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 great video...anyone know the name of the song?
  • + 2
 "Friends" by Scattered Hamlet. Off the album Hillbilly Harmony.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 been there its crazy went there for a mx trip but tood the dh bike aswell
[Reply]
  • + 1
 out-of-berm jumps broutgh to next level o.0
[Reply]
  • + 1
 What a f*ck*ng HUGE air line ! Go Nico at the Rampage !
[Reply]
  • + 1
 one word amazing. moto stylez
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I just wanna go ride
[Reply]
  • + 1
 This is THAT,an MTB jump!!!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 SICK! 'nuff Said!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Soooooooo.... SICK!!!!!!!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Damn i love gap...
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Woooaaahh!!! Those trails were sick!! Mint riding too!! Steeeze
[Reply]
  • + 1
 epic trails epic riders!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 holy mother of steez
[Reply]
  • + 1
 This is so shred
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Nico is a Boss !
[Reply]
  • + 0
 such a great vibe and energy!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 super sick trail
[Reply]
  • + 1
 GO BIG OR GO HOME
[Reply]
  • + 1
 One word... Gnarly!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 that was soo awesome!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 SLAYER helmet!!! \m/
[Reply]

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