MUST WATCH: Darkfest 2023 Official Highlights

May 4, 2023 at 13:51
by Pure Darkness  

bigquotesPress start, select your rider and prepare to enter a new realm of freeride. We’re stoked to present the DarkFest 2023 Official Highlights edit in all its glory, with a whopping 24-minute runtime containing the most jaw-dropping sends, huge slams, video game-esque NBD tricks and the nuttiest haircuts captured over 5-days of absolute mayhem.

Sam Reynolds and the crew have pushed the boundaries of freeride mountain biking even further than anyone could fathom in 2023. Assembling one of the most legendary and diverse rider lineups of men and women in the game, unlocking the all new 110ft double and a record breaking 120ft backflip from Tom Isted.

Sit back, strap in and absorb the definitive DarkFest 2023 experience and make sure to let us know your favourite clip in the comments.

Featured Riders: Sam Reynolds, Clemens Kaudela, Adolf Silva, Tom Isted, Ike Klaassen, Robin Goomes, Theo Erlangsen, Sam Hodgson, Vero Sandler, Kade Edwards, Kaos Seagrave, Bienvenido Aguado, Johny Salido, Harriet Burbidge-Smith, Nicholi Rogatkin, Kurtis Downs, Casey Brown, Daryl Brown, Vaea Verbeeck, Matt Jones, Chelsea Kimball, Tomas Lemoine, Szymon Godziek, Daniel Ruso, Vinny Armstrong, Vincent Tupin, Paul Couderc, Andrew Neethling, Jack Schliemann, Reed Boggs & Matt MacDuff

Author Info:
PureDarkness avatar

Member since May 6, 2015
17 articles

  • 63 0
 The level is so high and everyone killed it. Tom's massive 120 foot flip obviously steals the show, but GOD DAMN Kurtis Downs is a sick rider.
  • 15 0
 Kurtis Downs was the standout for me, that FMX style brought it to a whole new level. I wanted to re-watch his segment. Props to all the riders. I find the ladies the most inspiring, so much progression in so little time.
  • 7 0
 The side angle shot of Sam's superman seat grab. Kaos and Vinny A's whips. Bienvenido Aguado's case on the 110 followed by the best line of the week. Robin Goomes. But if I had to pick one thing, it was Isted and Hodgson on the 110 backflip train and the celebration spilling over into the bushes.
  • 9 3
 Redbull rampage looks small now !!
  • 61 1
 This is cycling aviation.
  • 10 0
 It's pretty fly.
  • 10 0
 @Jacquers: for a white guys
  • 6 4
 @nikifor88: username checks out
  • 2 0
 @nikifor88: hahahaha and that from Poland
  • 62 3
 I love how darkfest has surpassed the rest of the Fest series after being dropped.
  • 11 4
 And the rest of the fest series died lol Aggy in his basement??
  • 19 1
 There is fest series?
  • 15 23
flag ciechan (May 5, 2023 at 0:58) (Below Threshold)
 @RedBurn: it didn't die and lives well. It just doesn't aim at youtube and instagram Wink
  • 44 3
 @ciechan: so where does it aim? local newspapers?
  • 29 2
 @ciechan: yeah its still around, but they renamed it from Fest Series to The Gatekeepers Series.
  • 9 11
 @tajtigabor: At aims at being a low pressure environment for riders to perform. Something that broad coverage doesn't allow.
  • 13 25
flag skimtb1 (May 5, 2023 at 6:25) (Below Threshold)
 I dunno, that whole video was oozing "bro". Hard to watch for me. Obviously the riding is insane, but let's call a spade a spade. The whole darkfest package is pretty cheesy...
  • 8 1
 @Nerghal: some say Isted would have flipped 200ft if it wasn’t for the broad coverage of the event…
  • 31 2
 I was reflecting on the split from the Fest series while watching this film. If I recall right, there was some difference of opinion on putting clips out on social media during an event as it was felt it would dilute it, or something. And indeed, if you follow these riders on social media and visit Pinkbike, you will have seen a lot of this footage before. But I it doesn't matter. It's about the feeling, how you are completely gripped by the scale of the jumps and and how the riders are as scared, proud, happy, and alive as they have ever been. You can watch and feel that over and over again. What a great event.
  • 64 6
 "Sam Reynolds has been running the event in a way that is going against the core values Fest stands for," and "Fest series is a lot more than performance-based, It's about personalities, a lifestyle, a certain dedication to the art of riding bikes and building trails, things that are far more important than how many views or likes a video gets on social media." - Nico Vink

Nico Vink was totally right. Sam Reynold's allowing social media posts during the event really diluted things and he only invited social media influencers, not talented riders. Its a shame because FEST series has really taken off while Darkfest died off and hasn't done anything in years.....

Oh wait.
  • 7 0
 To this day I don't really understand the split. Don't forget that Nico Vink (a FEST founder) was a key part of the build in the current location from 2018-2020. Here, watch the highlights from that last year he was at Darkfest and tell me his manual doesn't give you goosebumps:

Then the next year this happened:
  • 9 6
 @scott-townes: Was about to downvote until I hit that last "Oh wait"
Great post.
  • 2 4
 @scott-townes: Fest series died off ? No you mug hillybilly huckfest will be running this year like every year and they will even let you ride your bike there unlike this bunch of goons.
  • 29 0
 My favorite part was when they jumped the bikes
  • 24 0
 24 min bonner
  • 23 1
  • 12 0
  • 10 0
 Might be the best edition yet! Though Nico Vink manualing after the road gap before the step up will always hold a special place in my heart!
  • 8 1
 This and Audi Nines are filled with so much pure stoke! I love the vibes of all the riders feeding off each other’s successes. Top marks to The Sam Man.
  • 9 0
 Finally some metal to support this insanity, thanks video editors!
  • 10 1
 Those ladies have bigger balls than me
  • 9 0
 Robin !
  • 4 0
 24 minutes of radness, with plenty of personality, lifestyle, a serious dedication to the art of riding bikes/building trails, plus epic riding and skill, setting new records in the process.
AND lots of stuff that hasn't been seen in the videos that were emerging during it from the riders, plus lots of dodgy drink fuelled haircuts.

f*cking awesome.
  • 5 0
 That’s some scary stuff there. Very skilled riders. I love how much respect and camaraderie there is between the riders, all stoked for each other.
  • 5 0
 SHAWN PALMER BOOZO CUTs!!!!!!! BACK TO THE ROOTS...... humongous!!!!!
  • 5 0
 Tom Isted overshooting the hip jump in the very first scene, that must have felt like eternity in the air!
  • 1 0
 And just casually getting up and being fine after
  • 1 0
 So, I've been playing "The Grim Donut" game on my phone since it came out. The last level is just a bunch of huge jumps. As I play it I realize just how insane it would be if it was in real life........ then you watch this. These folks are an entirely different kind of human.
  • 3 0
 Kurtis Downs you fmx BEAST !!
  • 1 0
 Sick event and epic edit for the round up! This is core computer spectating at its finest. You know it's big when they look massive on the video FEST!!!!!!
  • 1 0
 It’s pretty cool to watch kranked 5, then this.
Naturally progressive.
Great to see the stoke so high.
I like it when I hug my buds so hard we fall over.
Good times
  • 2 0
 This just scratched my NWD/Kranked itch I've been hunting for ... for like 15 years.

holy. crap.
  • 1 0
 I was thinking after the Brayton video that we needed a new video headline for videos that you really MUST WATCH.
  • 2 0
 Kurtis Downs is a mind-bender! So pumped on his riding!
  • 1 0
 I'M STILL ALIVE! yeah i'd scream and bearhug my crew. adrenaline overdose
  • 1 0
 What a line up, what a course. Insane level of skill & stoke, this is MTB at it's finest.
  • 4 2
 Maximum senditure!
  • 2 1
 Surely EA makes Fest-23 I would definitely play that.
  • 1 1
 No footage of Kurtis Down's cordova flips.

Video's sick AF anyway though Smile
  • 1 0
 Just beautiful, ya know... all around Smile
  • 1 0
 Isted is an absolute menace
  • 1 0
 The vibe of this event is so cool to see.
  • 3 3
 This is true prognarcor! Brobrahs and corehaas taking flight!
  • 1 0
 Kade was going 95 mph
  • 1 0
 Also, I thought Kades body english while in the air on each feature was a stand out.
  • 1 0
 I like to jumps
  • 3 3
 Excellent skills !
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