Results: Darkfest 2024

Feb 11, 2024
by Ed Spratt  

After some massive sends the results are in from Darkfest 2024 with Vaea Verbeeck and Elias Ruso taking home the King and Queen titles. Check out some of the other awards from this year's event below.



King & Queen

Vaea Verbeeck
Elias Ruso




Best Moment

Tom Isted's 110ft flip on his first drop
Robin Goomes and Harriet Burbidge-Smith's flip train on the step up




Spank Bikes Best Whip

Vinny Armstrong
Dan Paley




GoPro Best Line

Bienvenido Aguado



Pinkeye VisionBiggest Burke Award

Vero Sandler



Kenda Tires Mind Bender Award

Kurtis Downs



Dan Paley sadly had a horrific crash during the final day and is currently undergoing reconstruction surgery to fix his ankle. A GoFundMe has been set up to help cover his medical bills here. We wish Dan all the best for his surgery and recovery.




Author Info:
edspratt avatar

Member since Mar 16, 2017
2,977 articles

50 Comments
  • 111 2
 Does everyone just rely on gofundme instead of insurance now days?!
  • 43 1
 Does trave insurance cover freeride events? Ether way god love the NHS.
  • 35 1
 @thenotoriousmic: who mentioned travel insurance? You can get normal insurance that takes into account extreme sports and competition. Works worldwide.
  • 73 9
 He mentions in his video he’s been unable to get insurance as a professional athlete. Nobody is forcing anyone to pay, if you don’t agree with it, don’t donate. If you like watching (for free) people push the limits of themselves and progress the sport we love, donate if you can afford to.

That’s my view on it anyway.
  • 17 0
 @ciechan: OP mentioned insurance, I asked a legitimate question as I had no idea how insurance would work at an event like this. Thanks for answering though.
  • 11 7
 @thenotoriousmic: sadly these days unless your dying getting anything else done on the nhs is non existent. I’m currently waiting to see the vascular unit for a problem with my hip which is stopping me from riding . . . After 2 years of misdiagnosis I’ve still got another 60 weeks to see someone.
  • 4 0
 I wonder if darkfest has an insurance plan for the athletes? I've seen a few race sign ups where you have to opt in a few dollars for it.
  • 3 0
 @thenotoriousmic: I imagine there is a market for this type of insurance, but it's probably a thin market, as carriers only like to underwrite risk they understand. Further, without a huge pool of participants (extreme athletes taking out similar policies) to spread the risk, it makes writing such a policy even more expensive. My guess is that there are very few carriers willing to write this type of policy, and as a result it would probably be a cost prohibitive product for most free ride MTB'ers.
  • 1 0
 @jaytdubs: Not sure about other markets, but in Canada the insurers are far more hesitant to cover competition than recreational riding. The few times I've added an extended travel health rider I've had to sign a declaration that I would not be competing.
  • 9 5
 @thenotoriousmic:

Damn straight the NHS is awesome
  • 1 1
 Well said
  • 23 1
 @chriss78: The NHS is as good as it can be thanks to the heros that work there, but they can only perform so many miracles. What they really need is a massive increase in long term government investment, so that they can have fair working hours for their level of streas, renumeration and world class facilities.
  • 9 2
 @rojo-1: ..

Agreed, my wife is an NHS hero!
  • 5 0
 @RichS85: it’s highly unlikely that he couldn’t get insurance but I expect the cost is just prohibitive.

Imagine telling an insurance company to it about to go and backflip a 110ft jump and can you insure me: I’m sure they would but it would be a massive premium
  • 1 0
 Just like with rampage we all have this discussion every year.
What are you going to do? Freerider mountain bike competition
How many entrants? About twenty
Chance of claiming on the insurance? At least one person per event.
Insurance rate would be greater than 1/20 of the expected payout.
  • 3 0
 If I can’t get insurance for my job I’m pretty sure you’d struggle to find someone to insure a BMX/freeride athlete who is loosely or not at all backed by any major brands.

And then if you did, get them to back him on jumps that size.

What’s wrong with him asking the community for help anyway?

I like his content, I gave him 20 quid, I’d do the same again tomorrow.
  • 2 1
 @rojo-1: unfortunately it doesn’t look like there’s any government that’ll be able to make that happen! Sad times.
  • 4 0
 The thing about insurance is the operating principle is many people pay into a pool of money with the idea that only a few of those people will make claims. The underwriting company cannot plan on every participant making a large claim or the account as a whole would not be sustainable. If the company is for-profit, that adds another layer of funding, but even a non-profit still has to have the total amount of money folks pay in be equal or less than the claims paid out.

If the participant is a professional freestyle athlete, the chances of that participant making a claim is near 100% as injuries are part of the sport. This makes that person very expensive to insure as they will almost certainly require more in claims than they will pay into the pool over their time of participation paying into the pool.

Is it a shitty system? Kinda. And abuse and all sorts of bookkeeping weirdness runs rampant - especially on the medical side. But that is pretty much how insurance has worked for hundreds of years.
  • 2 1
 @RichS85: After donating, I'm actually a bit surprised they are only asking for 15K. Here in the US, that surgery would likely run into 6-figures.
  • 18 1
 That's a real shame about Paley. MTB needs more people like him joining from the dark side
  • 17 0
 Feel like these event sponsors should front up some money medical cost, or at least budget for it.
  • 23 10
 Sadly no love for Dylan Stark… He didn’t go the biggest or had the most insane tricks, but hands down he should have won the steeze award. Everything he does on a bike looks so effortlessly stylish
  • 12 0
 Getting invited at all is sick. Ho couldn't ride a lot due to ankle swelling
  • 5 0
 Right? I need to see the Paley whip if Dylan's Kaos-like 180 whip on the step up didn't take it.
  • 16 0
 Results? I thought this was just a stoke bro fest?
  • 11 0
 Yes, but some riders were more stoked than others.
  • 8 2
 Two jumps in a week
I bet you think that's pretty clever, don't you, boy?
Flying on your motorcycle
Watching all the ground beneath you drop
You'd kill yourself for recognition
Kill yourself to never, ever stop
You broke another mirror
You're turning into something you are not
Don't leave me high
Don't leave me dry...
  • 4 0
 Dunno about anyone else but Instagram is blocked here and every article where the main point of interest is a Insta post, well, I'ma gettin nuttin from it. Cheers reporters!
  • 4 0
 Pinkeye award?

:/
  • 4 1
 That's the brand name of Sam and Matt's newish sunglass company.
  • 1 0
 I just think South Park...
  • 3 2
 I thought the point of free ride was to allow anyone to push it own limits, why always look for a winner ?
  • 2 0
 If you push your own limits further than anyone else does, you win.
  • 3 2
 Are there going to be videos of these people?
  • 7 0
 There’s a ton of content on YooToob. Basically all the riders have something posted and Monster too.
  • 5 1
 @BikesBoatsNJeeps: Agreed. It's almost laughable in the posted content how so many riders are filming at the same time for their own channels. But I'm not complaining about high quality free content!
  • 2 5
 So who won?
  • 3 2
 Your mum
  • 6 4
 @enduroNZ: ha she's dead
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