Social Round Up: First Hits at DarkFest 2023

Apr 17, 2023 at 9:57
by Ed Spratt  
The riders have arrived and have put tires to the dirt at DarkFest 2023 with some massive sends including a new 110ft jump. Check out all the action from the riders as they get comfortable on the big sends.


Harriet Burbidge Smith

Vaea Verbeeck

Sam Reynolds

Kurtis Downs

Clemens Kaudela

Theo Erlangsen

Bienve Aguado

Kade Edwards

Kaos Seagrave

Szymon Godziek

Sam Hodgson

Tom Isted

Matt Jones

Matt Macduff

Johnny Salido

Vinny T

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edspratt avatar

Member since Mar 16, 2017
2,851 articles

  • 161 1
 This is a different sport than what I do.
  • 9 0
 I was just thinking, I case when I try to bunny hop up a curb, meanwhile …..
  • 4 0
 Yesterday I stood at the other side of the valley and saw them bolting down. It looks even bigger in reality, like base jumper without the wing suite. You stand there and think how is this possible. Got so embarrassed that I deleted all my 'small air' footage on my FB acc.
  • 11 0
 @endurafrica: what the absolute elite riders of the world can do doesn’t take away from what you can do, no need for embarrassment.
  • 45 1
 Tom Isted is an absolute weapon on a bike, give him a frame sponsor already!
  • 4 2
 I’m pretty sure he doesn’t want one, or at least he’s waiting for the big bucks. He already has heaps of sponsors behind him that support him.
  • 32 0
 And I still haven't cleared that 15ft table on my local trails :/
  • 11 0
 Maybe you just need a little Push. On a serious note, yo I feel you but this is the year! Make it happen!
  • 7 0
 Just shape an arrow.
  • 2 0
 @Takaya94: I'm hoping this is the year, last year injuries kept me to less than 300 miles for the year.
  • 2 0
 One more hard pedal! You got this!
  • 4 0
 @11six: Damn, well im guessing you're healed up and ready to rock this season though eh? My goal is to do the first two doubles at my local bike park black line. I say we both check in here by July and hold each other accountable for doing that thing we gotta do!
  • 2 0
 @11six: Shit... I haven't done them yet. I have done some bigger jumps, even jumpe some smaller cars... but not those doubles yet. I did get someone on board to tow me through them.. All I need now is some balls ha.

Hows your jumping goal coming along? You clear that table yet?!
  • 1 0
 @Takaya94: Dang it's already been about 3 months. No, haven't spent much time riding as my hamstring is still improving slowly. New goal is before the end of fall.
  • 2 0
 @11six: yeah rest today so you can ride tomorrow. Keep me posted... I'll see what can do about my local jump..
  • 21 0
 the 110 footer looks like motocross with that kind of distance/airtime. wild
  • 25 4
 never got why this was boycotted by the original fest group (with aggy, vink, sorge, lacondeguy, semenuk...)
  • 10 0
 Yes, that was strange and confusing. What made me the most confused was Nico Vink was a such a key part of the build in the current location from 2018-2020. Also I still remember his manual all the way down from the hip to the step-up.

In case people are wondering what this was about, a couple years ago:
  • 10 37
flag naptime (Apr 17, 2023 at 13:48) (Below Threshold)
 This article proves why the original Fest series organisers,builders riders had a very valid point. WAY TOO much social media coverage........ The same insta clips over an over an over from too many posters cheapens the whole movement. just makes wanna wait for the final proper edit. That an shite edm
  • 12 1
 And now this event has more recognition than all of the fest series combined, all from the riders doing their own vlogs and posting videos, which was the whole reason they split in the first place
  • 17 0
 @naptime: personally, I really enjoy the behind-the-scenes Vlogs on YouTube. The repeated, recycled, and regurgitated Insta clips I could do without.
  • 2 17
flag naptime (Apr 17, 2023 at 13:53) (Below Threshold)
 @ECT: yeeaah that's what I just said.........
  • 22 5
 @ECT: @ECT: "all the riders doing their own vlogs and posting videos" was in no way the reason Fest Series and Dark Fest split. They split amicably because they were moving in different directions, and constantly bringing it up as if Fest hates youtube is tired and so annoying.

Dark Fest has more recognition because it has more budget.

Please remember that hype online is bought and sold, and it shows here like it shows with Audi Nines. Meanwhile, Fest was conceived as a training ground and progression space, for freeriders by freeriders; it was never meant to be about pleasing us as fans and it was especially never meant to be about pleasing sponsors. Sponsorship is a great way to fund these events, but it will always be a compromise because money doesn't come for nothing. I know it seems trivial to people like us on the outside looking in, but the entire point of Fest was to remove the pressures and constraints put on athletes to please sponsors and have a space to ride for its own sake. This doesn't mean eliminating social media or youtube - because if I want to post about the sick whip I just threw over a ten foot table, these guys certainly want to share their insanity - it just means removing the pressure where riders have to make it happen.

I hope you can try to respect that. Dark Fest and Fest Series are both awesome, and we as fans benefit from having both of them available to athletes.
  • 7 8
100% Agreed! but some people just don't understand 'Integrity'. But, what pisses me off the most is how Nico is getting all the flack from pb commenters any time a freeride,Fest or Nico article comes up. Like he was the only one to blame... It's very small minded an petty.................. and boring zzzzzzzzzz, time for a nap
  • 13 0
 @Rudy2455: Fest Series should have had you doing their pr at the time! That makes so much more sense than the mess that came out at the time, where (in my opinion) the Fest guys didn't come out of it well - hence why people still bring it up!
  • 7 2
 @Rudy2455: That’s not what fest said at the time. Instead they were nasty and implied dark fest had betrayed free ride by being popular.

The fact that such a graceful exit was right there and they refused to take it tells us just how bitter the divorce was. They hurt themselves severely just to throw some shade at someone outshining them.
  • 1 5
flag naptime (Apr 18, 2023 at 5:04) (Below Threshold)
 @Blackhat: got proof? or is that just waht you read into Nico's statement???
  • 5 1
 @Blackhat: I know that their original press release was much longer and explained this more clearly, but at the last minute they decided it was too long and what they put out instead was not well written.

I'm not ever going to describe these guys as graceful- at least not with their words. Again, Dark Fest has Monster's PR department behind it putting out professional press releases, Audi Nines has an event production company, Fest just has a bunch of guys who ride bikes, from all around the world, and many of them are not even native English speakers.

The outlandish thing is where you think they 'hurt themselves severely' because you were butthurt by their release. I promise that none of these guys give a shit about pinkbike comments, none of them read these, and none of them lost sleep over this. They're doing good, riding bikes and having fun. Try it.
  • 12 0
 My bike will never experience anything like this, poor little guy.
  • 23 0
 Im gonna go ahead and guess that my bike is pretty happy about not being subjected to this kind of abuse and terror.
  • 10 0
 Kurtis Downs' backflip whoozy whatsit bar foot grab was insane. Never even seen that done before, nor do I know what it's called.
  • 11 0
 backflip cliff hanger i believe
  • 2 0
 Hell yeah! Kurtis is so rad! So stoked he's there!
  • 2 0
 No the other one, was it a one handed super man seat grab x behind the back foot grab thingy?
  • 9 0
 Tom Isted needs to have a frame sponsor ASAP that dude is insane
  • 8 0
 Postman must of lost my invite. Was really looking forward to sending these.....
  • 1 0
 Me too. I thought it was meant to be more inclusive, I know I look weird but c'mon on guys :’(
  • 8 0
 Hodgson hitting the step-up and rocket launchers on a dirt jumper!
  • 1 0
 He is an animal, no doubt.
  • 7 0
 The hodgy insta is from last year…
  • 7 1
 Any possibility to have some video content outside Instagram?
  • 3 0
 You mean like on Youtube?
  • 2 0
 Some riders are posting vlogs on youtube
  • 18 0
 Instagram acts like it can barely even tolerate the existence of people without both an account and the Instagram app. Visit a page and you get to start with a pop-up prompting you to get the app, then ever-present banners both on the top and bottom of each page doing the same, then a fake picture in a poster's succession of pictures telling you to get the app, then after viewing 2 posts you get an undismissable demand to get the app yet again. Such hostile design. Meta can get wrecked.
  • 2 0
 @ABhardtail: Just to emphasize your final point: Never forget - Instagram is Meta (aka the corporation formerly known as Facebook) The Instagram access rules look exactly like Facebook's, always driving you into their surveillance state applications so they can monetize every single thing you do on the internet. I deleted my Facebook account in 2006 (after 6 months) because the writing was already on the wall. F*** Zuck, Ride Yer Bike.
  • 2 0
 Big props to the builders, anyone that can envisage and build a 110ft double that has pretty much the perfect speed coming into it to hit the sweet spot on the landing has to be applauded. Goes without saying but at those distances overcooking it would be nearly as bad as coming up short - see BK's crash at Hardline for example.
  • 4 0
 My man Kurtis gonna take best trick, calling it now.
  • 3 4
 sorry guys but I don't want to talk that down... those jumps are just insane but it's not the biggest jump ever built/jumped... Cam Zink flipped 110ft in 2021...
would have loved to see him being invited for jumping that monster too...
  • 1 1
 I'm sure he got an invitation. Had been there before.
  • 2 1
 Dark Fest have a 110ft dirt to dirt jump. So they can claim this one. Cam had a steel ramp.
  • 1 0
 would be sick to see cam there. the jump at darkfest is longer lip to kuckle than the one cam flipped so he could probs do an even bigger one on the darkfest jump
  • 1 0
 @yoimaninja: I was referring to this
at 6:34. As this is his 110 feet from 2021.
Your link leeds to his 100 feet backflip in 2014 which was the longest dirt to dirt backflip at this point in history.
  • 2 0
 @squarewheel: ah gotcha didnt kno he went even bigger in 2021. He still holds the record for longest dirt to dirt straight air tho. Same article from 2014 says "As a bonus, during practice Zink also claimed another world record for the longest straight air dirt-to-dirt jump, recording a distance of 119 feet and nine inches." I dont think that jump from 2014 lip to lip tho was a long, so the Darkfest one makes it look bigger and higher consequence. Regardless everything these riders are doing is huuuge and no need to 1up. I could only dream of going as big haha.
  • 2 0
 Is there some way to watch this live?
  • 2 0
 Evel Knievel Would be so proud of the riders.
  • 2 0
 Downs walks into an event, takes best trick, leaves.
  • 2 0
 That's a lot of Facebook ads.
  • 1 0
 Next time you wonder if your frame will snap on a 4 foot drop, watch these videos and realize everything will be OK.
  • 1 0
 My hands are sweating just sitting here.
  • 1 0
 That airtime looks amazing.
  • 1 0
 Bienvenido… Al Espacio! Joder.
  • 1 0
 next level
  • 1 1
 no mention of shibby!?
  • 1 0
 He's not at Darkfest?
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