Darkfest 2024 Photo Highlights

Feb 12, 2024
by Pure Darkness  
photo

Words: Darkfest

Recapping on a massive edition of Darkfest 2024 in the Vuurberg mountains near Stellenbosch, South Africa. Hosted by Darkfest mastermind Sam Reynolds, with the full week seeing some of the most progressive riding ever seen on the XXL course. From huge makes, some brutal slams and plenty of good times on and off the bikes, the spirit of MTB freeride is alive and well. 
The riders had to endure some tricky conditions throughout the week, from changing wind directions and high temperatures. Prompting some early 5:30 am wake-up calls to ensure a chance of riding. With ground-breaking tricks landed and new standards being set for female mountain biking. Finishing the week-long event with rider-voted awards for riders who pushed their personal limits.

King & Queen of Darkfest 2024: Elias Ruso and Vaea Verbeeck

photo
photo
 
Best Moments of Darkfest 2024 presented by Monster Energy: Tom Isted’s 110ft backflip on his first drop in on the line, Robin Goomes and Harriet Burbidge-Smith backflips in a train on the step up

photo

bigquotesI love that my season begins with Darkfest because you start with the craziest jumps of your life. It gives you this boost of confidence for the rest of the year.Robin Goomes (NZ)

Best Whip presented by Spank Bikes: Dan Paley and Vinny Armstong

photo

photo

Dan Paley unfortunately suffered a nasty crash on the final day which resulted in him breaking multiple bones and requiring surgery in South Africa before he heads back to the UK. All help towards Dan Paley’s surgery on the broken leg and wrist he sustained this Saturday is being directed to the GoFundMe set up by Veronique Sandler and the other riders.


Darkfest 2024 Best Run presented by GoPro: Bienvenido Aguado
Bienve is well known for putting down some of the heaviest top-to-bottom runs and this year was no exception. With a run including a flip on the 90ft and a gigantic front flip on the rocket launcher feature.

photo
photo

The Mind Bender (Best Trick) Award presented by Kenda: Kurtis Downs'
nothing to double-grab to rock-solid was a wild FMX-inspired combo, the likes of which has never been seen before.

photo

photo


And last but not least...
The Biggest Burke Award presented by Pinkeye Vision: Vero Sandler for the daring 'Nutty V' haircut.
photo

photo

photo


Event medics were kept busier than usual this year with a number of big crashes writing off bikes to the workshop and multiple rider visits to the hospital, including Carson Storch, Kurt Sorge, Talus Turk and Dan Paley. Despite this, Darkfest 2024 went off, setting the tone for the year and producing some of the most engaging Freeride Mountain Bike content at a location unlike any other in the world. Stay tuned for the full video highlights coming soon!



Photos - Eric Palmer, Tom B, Syo Van Vliet
Sarah:

Author Info:
PureDarkness avatar

Member since May 6, 2015
23 articles

19 Comments
  • 37 0
 Please can these photos be made full screen like the ones from the photo epics from the World Cups - they deserve to be bigger
  • 4 0
 Was just about to say the same thing... full screen please!
  • 1 0
 I zoomed in
  • 18 0
 Hope Paley heals up quick! With no intention of being insensitive - how does the situation arise that an extreme sports athlete, competing on another continent, doesn't have sufficient insurance to cover surgery for broken bones? I would've thought insurance would be required upon participation? Either funded by riders themselves, or ideally through their sponsors?

Seems like a massive risk and now a financial burden - great to see him getting the support required though.
  • 2 0
 I know nothing about insuring of athletes, but if I was an insurance broker, id probably not want to take the risk at all, or the premium on cover for an event like this would probably be out of most riders budgets.
  • 4 0
 IMO Darkfest should be helping out riders to get covered. These events generate a lot of revenue, surely some of it could go to riders to help cover injuries sustained during the event.
  • 2 0
 Sucks that Paley got injured, but cool that he still got to be in the group photo. Hope he gets well soon and doesn't get into too much debt covering his injuries.
  • 4 0
 Tom backflipping the 110 on his first hit was mental
  • 1 0
 Watched some footage on youtube but couldn’t work out how far through the course the women got. Just riding anything is mental! Just interested to know!
  • 9 0
 Robin Goomes went top-to-bottom (also did it last year, I think).
  • 5 0
 @barp: vea did too
  • 1 0
 @barp: excellent
  • 1 0
 How did Paley crash?
  • 1 0
 got sketchy on a whip on the first rocket i think
  • 1 0
 @nrelf038: Houston, we have a problem
  • 5 0
 @nrelf038: nah he nailed those whips on the rockets and won the best whip award for it. A trick on the step up got him on the last session.







Copyright © 2000 - 2024. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv65 0.028487
Mobile Version of Website