Video: Tim Howell Attempts the UK's First MTB BASE Jump

Oct 11, 2022 at 9:29
by Jamis Bikes  
Views: 14,706    Faves: 16    Comments: 0


Words: Jamis
Photos: Sam Taylor

In September Tim Howell became the first person in the UK to successfully BASE jump and land a mountain bike, riding his Jamis Dakar off Clogwyn Coch near the summit of Mt Snowdon, North Wales. He had 80m of vertical drop to deploy his handheld pilot shoot before flying 250m to a smooth landing, on the bike, on the rocky shore of Llyn Du'r Arddu. Ex-Royal Marine Commando turned professional adventure athlete, Tim's main focuses are alpinism and climbing, usually ending in a BASE jump and often by wingsuit. With almost 1000 BASE jumps to his name and 500 unique exits, he's one of the most experienced BASE jumpers on the planet. Tim had had the location in mind for a while, knowing that to pull off an MTB BASE jump there's a number of specific factors to take into account beyond the usual BASE jump considerations.

Although bikes have been BASE jumped off cliffs before, it's rare for someone to land with the bike and this is the first MTB landing in the UK. Tim also believes it's the first handheld MTB BASE jump, where Tim held his pilot chute in his hand on exit and released it mid-air to deploy his main chute. Everything went incredibly smoothly and we were super stoked to see Tim come into land so effortlessly. Tim’s got bigger ideas in the pipeline and we’re looking forward to helping him achieve some of his even more ambition goals in the future.




bigquotesThe run in is what makes this jump unique because there might be plenty of cliffs in the UK which have the height and the landing to be able to do this, but what we really need in this case is a nice smooth run in which can start 10, 20, 50m behind the exit which gives me a clear line of sight from when I start pedalling and finally reach the edge of the cliff. I think the main difference with this sort of jump is that you’re getting a lot of speed off the exit, it’s probably quite similar to a lot of the ski BASE jumps I’ve done, so you can exit the cliff at 30, 40kmph or more. So for a normal BASE jump you’re stepping off and you’re quickly descending whereas with this you’re pushing out almost like a gap jump before you start descending so you get that feeling of hang time which is going to be very similar to ski BASE but a very cool feeling where you’re just pushing out over a 60m cliff before you start falling and that’s going to be the point, just before I start descending, that’s when I’m going to deploy my parachute.Tim Howell

For most BASE jumps, the point of no return is the instant you launch yourself off the edge, and only lasts fractions of a second, this jump, however, was a little different. The run in of this jump was long and off camber and an attempt to stop once committed to rolling would most likely result in crashing the bike off the edge rather than exiting in control. If you pull your brakes too late, you’ll still go over the edge, just with less control and less exit speed. In this jump, it was more like 5 seconds. It might not sound like much, but we’re sure it feels like an eternity when it's you behind the bars.

bigquotesFree ride and dirt jumps were probably the first extreme sports that I started and it’s probably a good thing that I didn’t take the same mentality as free ride for BASE jumping - not thinking too much about risk and just send it, just go for it. For me, BASE jumping has to be a lot more calculated because the risks are higher but it’s so good after all these years to be able to combine those two sports that I’ve been really passionate about in the past, yeah it’s good to get back on the bike.

I think everyone has their own levels of risk, what they’re willing to risk in terms of overall reward and you shouldn’t necessarily judge other people on what they’re willing to risk because maybe you don’t know their ability or their skillset, but for me, every time that I do I stunt, I want to pull it off with a huge margin for error. I don’t want to get by by the skin of my teeth, I want to get it done and think "yep, that all went really smoothly” and there was tonnes of margin for me if something did happen. And that's where training and experience and my 10 years of BASE jumping really comes into play. I mean, I don’t foresee myself stopping any time soon, and the only way I’m going to be doing that is by making the right decisions and not making stupid mistakes, keeping in check and not injuring myself. Everything I do and all the jumps I do I’m going to take the utmost care to make sure I can pull it off.

If the jump doesn’t feel right, whether it's to do with condition or the height of the jump, or the landing or the wind, or just somethings not right then I’m more than capable of walking away, you know. It’s worth waiting for another day, the cliffs are still there, and there’s been plenty of times… the top of the Matterhorn for example, the winds were out of my limit, I said no and I walked back down. So sometimes, 10 hours of climbing and you get to the exit point, it’s not good enough and you walk back down.

If I’m too scared or too nervous, if my hearts beating 100 miles an hour, that tells me I’m not ready, my minds not in the right place, so I’ll take a step back, take a breather and try and figure out why my mind isn’t in the right place, why I’m nervous or scared and rationalise those thoughts. At the exit point, I’ve done my gear checks, I’ve gone through all the measurements, I know everything’s right and I know I’ve got the ability to do it, so I’m pretty chilled, I’m pretty calm and I want it to be well within my ability and when I’m ready I’m ready.
Tim Howell

The bike:

The Jamis Dakar is a 120mm front and back, full suspension trail bike perfect for big days in the mountains and the majority of trail riding the UK has to offer. The MP2 suspension platform has been designed to increase torsional stiffness which helps the Dakar climb efficiently and with the trend in longer, lower, slacker and enough travel to tackle a World Cup DH track, it's good to have the option of a shorter travel, well priced bike on the market that handles as a true trail bike should. The Dakar is available now at GO Outdoors for £1,300 with your discount card.

For more info on Tim's jump, the Dakar and behind the scenes content check out the Jamis Bikes UK Instagram and to keep up to date on his latest adventures, follow Tim on Instagram.




74 Comments

  • 179 1
 Bender could have done this without a chute.
  • 10 0
 Would need to get the Karpiel up to 30" of travel and then certain he would have landed it the same as his biggest hucks
  • 6 0
 He damn near did!!
  • 2 0
 Huck it ! This is madness
  • 2 3
 Took a few times reading this sentence to understand what you were trying to say
  • 4 0
 R.I.P. and all tribute to the legend himself, Shane Mconkey.
  • 121 1
 Nice. I actually enjoyed this. Landing it made it much cooler than the standard "ride bike off cliff then throw it away" base jumps, which always seem a little pointless to me. Link the base jump into a track with a minute or two of normal trail riding either side and it'd be awesome, haha.

Also, respects to whoever made the video, for not making it 10 minutes long and full of endless warm up runs up to the cliff edge followed by a moody shot of the rider looking determined. More videos should be this straight to the point. 5/5
  • 59 2
 I think he chose to do it on a Jamis so he could keep his options open.
  • 34 0
 Great points. Under a minute. No shoelaces. No coffee. No shots that cut off just at the edge. Winner.
  • 8 0
 @gabriel-mission9: We’ve got bigger plans in the pipeline for something similar - keep your eyes on the Jamis Bikes UK page for future projects.

@jaame: Video shot and edited by @samtaylorphotos, we’ll pass on the feedback!
  • 4 0
 @Jamis-Bikes-UK: Great work mate. You know who this is ;-)
  • 65 3
 Bravest thing in this video is him riding a Jamis.
  • 13 1
 I broke a Jamis Dakar on a drop quite a bit smaller than that!
  • 48 0
 Cathro will have to update his drop technique video.
  • 23 0
 What you mean attempt?!? *clickbait hahah
  • 15 4
 Guilty. Smile
  • 1 0
 Yeah having "attempts" in the title is pretty ominous lol.
  • 18 2
 Jamis is still around?
  • 15 0
 Available in the UK at GO Outdoors and still going strong as ever in the US
  • 4 1
 Came in expecting they had just picked up an old Jamis on Craigslist...
  • 12 0
 They've decided to focus on the growing MTB base jumping segment
  • 10 0
 Worlds biggest huck to flat?
  • 8 0
 Matt Hoffman did a 'similar' stunt years ago at Angel Falls on a BMX bike.
  • 4 1
 I remember him doing a Norway jump, did he do one at Angel Falls too? www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3VA7RkQH-c
  • 7 0
 Pretty sure my old Jamis Diablo would handle the drop without a chute. Thing was a tank
  • 7 0
 5-10 years from now and Red Bull Hardline has this as one of the features on its track haha
  • 4 0
 Gee should take parachute on his next video shoot just in caseys
  • 5 0
 Hey Athertons, if I do this on my 130 is warrantied?
  • 1 0
 This is cool, have known this was possible for a long time, but so good to see it done!
As would make sense having a parachute when hitting 100 foot jumps for first time?
But suppose it is all about having the experience to do it safely in any case?
  • 3 0
 Whew - glad they posted the warning at the end of the video. I was getting ready to do a copycat when I saw it.
  • 1 0
 I enjoyed the one-hander chute throw to no-handler landing approach and that the most experienced base jumper on the planet laughed his head off after the landing. Great stuff!
  • 2 1
 not sure how the chain stays didn't snap at the welds upon landing as they did multiple times on my Jamis Dakar from over a decade ago.
  • 3 0
 when 120mm travel isn't enough, pack a chute.
  • 1 1
 I like the use of flat pedals - good in case of a bail out. Very cool he was able to land and ride it out - well played! Sort of a sad ending - nobody around to cheer with him - made me feel a little sorry for him.
  • 4 0
 There was a crew at the bottom with fist bumps waiting but we cut the video to just show Tim’s initial reaction Smile
  • 3 0
 It's not Mt Snowdon - it's Snowdon.
  • 2 0
 Or "Yr Wyddfa" to be pedantic!
  • 1 0
 @bash80: it's Yr Wyddfa in Welsh, but Mt Snowdon as in the article doesn't make sense in English.
  • 3 0
 These enduro courses are getting a little out of hand.
  • 1 0
 Tell me your bike is no good on the downhills without telling me that your bike is no good on the downhills. I kid, I kid.
  • 3 1
 I think the craziest part is the marketing material suggesting 120mm is enough travel for a world cup dh track
  • 2 0
 Sweet one-hander. If you remove the parachute and rider this would be cool to do with all Jamis bikes.
  • 1 2
 Truth hurts more than going in. Just the people you leave behind will feel pain. RIP Potter, Stanley and Bongard. Climbing couldn’t kill them, BASE had no problem. Talk to Stanley’s kid about cool it is to grow up never knowing your dad. Jamis approves.
  • 1 0
 why not use spd's instead of tying himself to the bike, surely that would have been a safer option?
  • 12 0
 Tim always rode flats and wanted the option of totally bailing the bike if needed so only having one point of attachment made the most sense
  • 1 0
 @Jamis-Bikes-UK: What about a range of parachute bikes?
  • 2 0
 Glad he was able to do this without an orange fork.
  • 2 0
 Me: Betcha cant drop that.
Tim Howell: Hold my beer.
  • 1 0
 There's no 'Mout' in from of Snowdon, it's just Snowdon, or possibly Yr Wyddfa if you want to give it its Welsh name
  • 1 0
 BASE jumping has so many factors that can go wrong and all of them get you killed.he made this look really easy.
  • 1 0
 had enough time to pop a quick bar-spin to make a couple of world records....
  • 1 1
 I heard you need the parachute for normal trail riding too as it comes with 160 / 180mm resin only rotors.
  • 2 1
 That's a really high danger-to-impressiveness ratio British to the core
  • 1 0
 makes rampage look small !!!! Beer cheers!!!!
  • 1 0
 120mm
Oh so this is what Levy meant by “down” country
  • 1 0
 Who says 120mm isn't enough suspension?
  • 1 0
 Horseshoe malfunction waiting to happen
  • 1 0
 Handheld pilot shoot haha.
  • 1 0
 I'm surprised he didn't use a dropper post. Yeah, I'll see myself out.
  • 1 0
 No FPV drone footage?! Frown
  • 1 0
 Flats or Clipless? I think it matters for this
  • 1 0
 R.I.P. Shane Mconkey. Shred legend and the first of firsts.
  • 1 1
 This has Moab all over it!
  • 1 0
 Did he make it?
  • 1 0
 Humans are fun.
  • 1 1
 That is bad ass but I cant see Jamis selling any bikes from this ha
  • 3 3
 “Attempt”
  • 1 1
 Fake news , hoax !
  • 1 2
 Last time I Heard about Jamis was in 1995 with the red Diablo.
  • 16 18
 That was dumb
  • 1 2
 Yeah, I can't believe it's a Jamis promotion. It's a goddamn clickbait!
Below threshold threads are hidden





You must login to Pinkbike.
Don't have an account? Sign up

Join Pinkbike  Login
Copyright © 2000 - 2023. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv65 0.361542
Mobile Version of Website