Video: Charlie Murray's Practice POV from the NZ National DH Series Round 2

Jan 21, 2023 at 8:47
by Ed Spratt  

bigquotesPractice lap down the race track for round 2 of the 2023 NZ National DH Series.

This track starts on Community Transmission and links into the GC. Thanks, Christchurch Adventure Park and Gravity Canterbury for hosting!
Charlie Murray

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Member since Mar 16, 2017
3,049 articles

  • 14 0
 “CHARLIE MURRAY”! (Dave Chappell voice)
  • 4 1
 What did the hand say to the face?
SLAP! I’m Rick James b**ch!
  • 5 1
 CAP looks like one of the best Bike Parks in the world! I hope to get out there someday as well as Queenstown and Coronet Peak! Sick parks \m/
  • 12 5
 Lol, it is not. It’s feeble compared to Canadian bike parks.
  • 3 1
 @bonfire: By the looks of it, it seems on par with many of the other Canadian DH bike parks of similar height, terrain and lifts. ie.:

Sun Peaks, BC.
Silverstar, BC.
Panorama, BC.
Bromont, QC.
Mont-Sainte-Anne, QC. (although different terrain)

I'm genuinely curious why you think it's subpar? I want to ride there but I live on the other side of the planet so I feel the need to hear why you think it isn't good so as to not potentially waste time and money Razz

To me it looks sick Big Grin
  • 6 5
 @kyleluvsdh: most of us in NZ don't even travel to go there.
  • 11 6
 IF you live from out of Christchurch, its not worth traveling to CAP. Poor layout after the fires, they tried to fix it but for whatever reason refuse to spend money on the summit connection and The other trails that actually LEAD to the downhill trails. Get arm pump before you even ride the real trails lmao
  • 7 3
 as Others have said, Its not really worth the price, Many refuse to go there when group rides are done. its just so rough to ride IMO

common to see the Pro's ride Nelson's trails and then miss CAP and head to central to ride proper and well looked after trails at cardrona/coronet & skyline(QT)

The 3/4 bike parks in central South island are well worth it, Fly to nelson or rotorua for any other real riding.
  • 6 2
 @HeatedRotor: yeah I was confused by the 15 minute traverse to find trail starts from the lift. I thought there were some fun trails though, nice to ride some rockier stuff compared to Rotorua etc. Could see it being a bit rough on a trail bike but totally fine compared to the likes of Fort William. As others have said though just go to Queenstown, Cardrona and the like if you want excellent lift trails in the South Island.
  • 2 0
 All good to know, thank you all for the info! For natural and technical terrain which would be the best bet?
  • 9 1
 It's not the best, but it's definitely worth a trip. Lots of the haters ride there all the time
  • 1 0
 Meant Cardrona not Coronet Peak (in my first comment). I always get those 2 names mixed up
  • 1 0
 @kyleluvsdh: Rotorua, Nelson, The Gorge, all good natural tech. But ya have to (mostly) pedal.

(Mostly....there are shuttles available, just not lifts)
  • 1 0
 I ride Bromont, Mont-Sainte-Anne and Camp Fortune Bike Park(s) in Québec cuz I love the rough stuff. So wherever the gnar is at, send me there Wink
  • 1 1
 @bonfire: You are spot on about CAP...........
  • 1 0
 Rotorua was on my list of places to go but after seeing how small the bike park is I fell in love with the lower south island riding destinations. There certainly are some killer looking spots on the northern island though I have to say. Just the concentration down south seemed like more of a bang for the buck ya know?
I only ride DH so anywhere with epic technical downhill trails and old school freeride trails that can be accessed via shuttle or chairlift, I'm all about it! LET'S RIP Big Grin \m/
  • 2 0
 @HeatedRotor: I was confused by their chairlift not going right to the top of the hill? Why is that?
And if it went right to the top would it alleviate the traverse over to the other trails or would it require a lift to another peak?
  • 1 0
 It looks like they could benefit from a second chairlift from the base up to the top of Kama Sutra, Bro Zone etc. trails?
  • 6 0
 @kyleluvsdh: Would have to be the more expensive type i believe(the ones that can go up steeper inclines like the QT gondala) - however i dont think thats the answer to CAP's Lack of popularity(this is a bit skewd as the ones who "whinge" about it actually live there an ride it.. because its there)

They need a proper trail leading to the road from the top(summit connection) of the lift and then properly fix "choir boy"(traverse) - they fixed the Lap 1 arm pump section but need to extend it all the way from the road.

It's so heavily ridden that the place needs more care than say Cardrona (CAP is open all year round)

The place used to be great pre 2017 fires But they got in trouble and the council helped out and now they seem to have some control... im not sure who gets to decide "lets just keep building trails and forget about the previous ones"

I want to like the place alot as im christchurch often but its hard to justify bringing my bike.
  • 2 0
 @EvolutionMTBer: Great feedback! I hope they're reading all this because it's good to voice how you feel especially if it can potentially help make something better
  • 3 0
 @kyleluvsdh: Skyline side at Rotorua is small, but Whakarewarewa, or also known as the Redwoods, is much larger. The shuttle will take you right to the top, and there are plenty of descents to choose from, and not that many machine made. Shuttles operate from both sides of the hill so all trails off the summit can be your oyster. Plus there are private shuttles that will take you pretty much anywhere in the forest. There are well over 120km of singletrack in the forest.

But if you do want to just do laps like a ski bunny, then Coronet and Cardrona and QT Skyline might be your thing.
  • 6 1
 @handynzl: I wouldn’t say Rotorua has natural tech, there’s no rock at all and very few roots. nelson and the gorge 100%.

Chch is defo worth a nudge but it’s nothing on Queenstown, rotos and Nelson.
  • 7 6
 Its awesome, don't listen to the haters, sure there are other parks that are good or better but that doesn't mean CAP is crap
  • 2 0
 @KiwiSheep: Bike parks are Based on opinions of experience.

In this instance, its clear people avoid it for a reason... probably their experience from visiting.

I would love to "love" the place aswell but they make it hard, long ass chairlift, then its blown out right from the very first corner of summit - I took a group there via a bus trip recently and we had Green riders to Some really good riders, i never noticed before but there is NO greens or green-blue progressive trails on the main side of the hill....

CAP was awesome before the fires but they've failed to reignite the flame they had before that.
  • 2 0
 @enduroNZ: and I’d say without any bias at all that the trails around Wellington are more than a match for CAP. We’ve got the goods some of it a 5 minute ride from the CBD

Don’t discount us Wink
  • 6 0
 One of the big problems at CAP is the sort of soil there, it's loess soil which is made from very fine particles and suffers very badly from erosion. When they reopened after the fire they had to build a lot of their trails on the deforested erea which had nothing to hold the soil together and they could get blown out in just a few weeks from wind or rain and just being ridden on, most of those tracks are closed now since they can build in the forrest but the trail to get to all of them in out in the open so has all the same problems. I do think things have improved over time but they need more regular maintenance still.
  • 1 0
 @Wilm: definitely. Wellington and the wider area has more to offer than chch, although it needs a few more trails like Nelson
  • 1 0
 @ten2one: CAP has a special place in my heart and it's great for building serious stamina riding at full whack into the chunk. But post fires it was definitely a case of let's try to build the longest trail we can from top to bottom which means lots of the classic runs there are straight, 180' corner straight, 180' corner all the way down. I've never done so many hairpins in a single run as here.
  • 1 2
 @kyleluvsdh: I grew up in Canada riding, pano, Fernie, Kicking horse, sun peaks, silver star, and a few trips to Whistler.

The pedal access riding in NZ is absolutely excellent.

Lift access riding here, leaves a bit to be desired. Usually super blown out, CAP is especially punishing. It’s $120/day and you essentially have to skip a third of the vert the lift gets you, in order to get to the majority of trails. The a lot of those trails in that section are just a random mix of trails and cut lines. The trail quality is pretty low, and sporadic (they had a large fire a few years back that greatly set them back).

Queenstown bikepark is mostly a side hustle for the gondola, its main job is to sell lift passes to tourists to drink coffee at the top. Acceptable riding in the park, but far better riding around the bikepark. Elevation is also limited, QTBP is like 400m of vert. Not like say, kicking horse gondola laps, or Whistler laps, or even silver star and the new stuff at Revy with like 2,000m a lap off the summit.

Coronet has some excellent stuff, but again lots of good stuff that isn’t on the lift directly. Full transparency haven’t actually ever had a lift day at Coronet, just pedalled all over it a bunch.

If you’re coming to NZ, bring an Enduro sled and you’ll never run out of good trail to pedal. It’s excellent. But if you want to lap parks, western Canada is the goddamn dream.
  • 17 1
 @bonfire: I’m sick of people bagging CAP. you sound like those kids who never grew up riding a hard tail… you’ve got a purpose built chairlift access bike park in your back yard. Yeah the dirt is hard to work with and they’ve had fires but the riding there is epic considering the hand they’ve been dealt. Of course it’s not like the bike parks in Canada, it’s janky, the type of riding chch is famous for. Slowly but surely it’ll get back to how it was before the fires and the tracks will improve. It’ll take time.. the last thing they need is to be labelled online as a shitty bike park.
  • 2 0
 @EvolutionMTBer: Correct. I live in chch but mostly just ebike to the top and ride down. Its definitely not worth the cost currently. They lost the whole open side of the hill Airteroa, Possum, Jandal, DOHC, now there is no true flow trails left in the park. There is also a severe lack of trail maintenance (can only really be done in the winter). I'm sure as the replanted trees on the open side grow they can develop that side of the hill again.

Chch this summer has been brutally dry only 35mm of rain in the last 60 days, means all the tracks turn to fine dust and get blown out in days.
  • 1 1
 I have to be honest. $120/day is insane though (nearly $105 CAD/day or $77.50 USD/day). That's more than Whistler.. That's too much. How much is a season pass in comparison? And is it a full season pass or do they split it into 2 seasons (summer and winter)?

Also why did they lose a bunch of the trails in the open? I noticed that they have a bunch closed on trailforks and was wondering why. I'm now realizing they must be permanent closures?

On the other hand though, you folks are so lucky down there! Big Grin Where I live in Canada there are NO Mountains, and the riding season is only about 5-6 (maybe 7 months) of the year if we're lucky. But lift access (no shuttle mountains available) only run for 5 months out of the year. So most of the year is depressing and wishing I was riding haha. I actually drive 13 hours round trip each weekend to get to the closest mountain to me Bromont Bike Park, Québec, or 18 hours round trip to ride Mont-Sainte-Anne Bike Park, Québec. I'm hoping to end up in Coastal BC in the next year or so, but damn I'm jealous of all the riding you guys can do, all year round! Big Grin
That's pretty epic ;D
  • 2 0
 @handynzl: Looks like the 12 month season pass is the way to go if you're a regular. Smile Albeit a lot of money the pass pays for itself in less than 2 total weeks of riding by the looks of it. Can't go wrong there! Whistler is almost that price, for a less than 5 month season pass. (Which is INSANE imo)

And TBH I'd take being able to ride DH 12 months of the year, over the less than 5 months at Whistler. Hands down.
  • 4 0
 @enduroNZ: sounds like you don’t know Rotorua very well if you think there’s very few roots Kataore springs to mind…
  • 1 0
 Off topic but also the NZ trail grading system is superior to the North American and Euro trail grading systems imo.
Having the grade 4 (dark blue) rating is crucial. Especially with the insane amount of dumbing down happening with trails and their gradings nowadays. Blue's are now Black's in many places, when they shouldn't be because the ego of some people who are new to riding think it's harder than it is. Just because someone can't ride it, doesn't make it a Black, or a Double Black, or my favorite one "THIS IS A PRO LINE!" lol ;P.
I'm surprised CAP doesn't use this trail grading system. It's the best.
  • 1 0
 @kyleluvsdh: Yeah, mostly we have green, blue, black - easy to hardest. Some trail systems / parks have light blue to sit between green and blue (440 in Auckland does this). The main problem is that the hardness of the trail is different between parks - like for instance, Woodhill has some black runs, but they would be no more than a blue in Rotorua. I did get confused with red runs in the UK being on the easier side of the scale. Correct me if I am wrong, but I think red is above a double black in most places (i.e. the "pro" lines)
  • 1 1
 @handynzl: That's an issue everywhere and it makes me grind my teeth xD. Trails need to be properly graded, and on par with what the trail grading is actually meant to be. Otherwise the whole trail grading system is redundant. It makes me so angry smh xD Razz

For example: a black technical or jump trail in Northern New Zealand, should be the same as a black in BC, the same as a black in Southern New Zealand, and the same as a black trail in Québec and elsewhere.
If the area's hardest trail is a blue so be it. But it shouldn't be rated higher because it's the hardest in the area or something along those lines. It makes no sense to me. I see trails here in Canada rated double black or pro line that are at most black. People hit them thinking they're legit double blacks or pro lines and become overconfident. Then they show up to ride something like this:

Dream Track (Queenstown, New Zealand)
Crabapple Hits (Whistler, Canada)
Diesel Wolf Train Gap (Pemberton, Canada)
Brutus Road Gap (West Vancouver, Canada)
Fort Hill - TMBP (Massachusetts, USA)

And send themselves to the glue factory. Razz

In regards to red's and pro line's, yeah that can be pretty confusing.
Technically the pro line sign is a red triangle with a black outline, it also says "pro line" ("pro" in white "line" in black - one atop the other) on the inside of the triangle, and the triangle has a black circle going around it touching all 3 of it's points.
they're pretty similar, and often confusing.
  • 3 0
 @JNZ: isn't Askins a flow trail?

@EvolutionMTBer : I get arm pump on a lot of tracks, but connection link or choir boy isn't one of them, they could do with some work for sure, especially a few corners on link, but they are not arm pump material

I will happily point out many things they could do better, but it's definitely not as bad as some try to portray, and there is heaps of good riding in cap
  • 4 0
 @grahamsinc: the first trails are about 20s from the lift, next hub 2min from lift and most of the other tracks 5min... definitely not 15 Smile
  • 4 0
 @bonfire: day pass is $80 not $120
  • 2 0
 @dhache: I dont think you understand the problem here, we dont regard them as "shitty" but rather not worth visiting compared to cardrona etc.
The price of CAP vs what you get is very poor.
  • 6 2
 @mtbcrosscountry-com: Maybe your not going fast enough - i agree with @EvolutionMTBer - they fixed the main section but it needs extended to the road drop in, the first part is terrible also(summit connection)

We were there a week ago and its the only place(summit) i see people get punctures and having to stretch their hands back out... Right as you go through the slow gate everyone stops to shake the arms etc.

- We WANT CAP to do better and whinging is the ONLY way to get things through to places in the modern era. dont forget all the bad trail choices they've made... like a tree in a direct landing zone, or a gap jump with a damn tree in the middle(thats now removed, like wtf) wheres the green/blue progression trails on the forest side?

3 weeks ago we rode Signal hill, with some gnarly rock sections etc, its public access and its looked after more.
Rode all day no worries on the shuttles.
  • 2 4
 @HeatedRotor: or you are not going fast enough

I do agree with stuff you say about Askins, but honestly link and choir boy just need a couple corners fix mainly, rest goes good... and rest of the tracks are as good as the soil allows
  • 3 0
 @stayonyourbike: $80 isn't bad then. I should've seen that when I checked the season pass price lol I didn't even look to confirm
  • 1 0
 @HeatedRotor: I hope they carry on with the improvement on choir boy, they look to be using the same method with the gravel on one of the green trails so it's good to see they might have found some solutions.
Having the trails on the fire damaged side of the hill closed has made me wonder if having a rotation on the trails would be a good idea, for instance if they closed 3 or 4 each year then they would have some proper time to maintain and rebuild them
  • 1 0
 I'm surprised no one has mentioned that the adventure park has been ordered to pay $12 million in damages following the 2017 Port Hills fires - could be a reason they don't have a lot of cash kicking around for new trails and trail maintenance.
  • 6 5
 @kyleluvsdh: all the NZ CAP haters are full of shit plus you'll notice that none of them are Ch-ch. I work in the bike biz and hear a lot of great feedback from people from all over the world who've ridden there I like the fact that I can go for a few runs straight after work. Added bonus that it's a 10-15 minute drive from the CBD.

For the CAP haters. Don't like it?! Great, don't ride it. One less grom causing braking ruts on the berms.
  • 1 0
 @bonfire: nowhere near as feeble as your riding skills.
  • 4 2
 @streetkvnt-kvlt: so we need to move to CHCH to be able to enjoy CAP? - see its weird, the ones who live there who stop at the goat gate always say "It's rough now"

I had a bigger thing written out but i feel itll fall on the "im in love ears" and you wont care regardless if its true or not. Im not a fan but i have hope they improve,

I'll leave it with this: there's reasons the intl pro's generally skip CAP.
  • 2 0
 CAP has difficult to work with dirt and I think they manage to do pretty well with it all consideredThe tech is steep enough and pretty spicy.Wasabi is a good example as are the many pirate lines accessible. It’s not a manicured flow based park and that isn’t a bad thing imho.If you want that then there are plenty of options elsewhere.
  • 4 0
 Weird to watch dusty trails in January.. looks super fun
  • 2 0
 common to see dusty trails all year round in NZ. the coastal Towns which get massive dry spells during winter get super hard and dry.
  • 1 0
 The trail looks like that 10 months of the year
  • 5 4
 As chunky as some of those sections are it looks better than the US Nats track from the last few years. Atleast this one has a jump in it
  • 15 0
 It's DH it's suppose to be chunky. Not a magic carpet ride Wink
  • 7 1
 @kyleluvsdh: Check his username
  • 2 3
 @inside-plus @kyleluvsdh : Not opposed to chunk. The US Nats course had a good bit of it. But 0 jumps, minimal flow, and all of the chunky stuff is right out of a sharp 90 degree turn. Atleast this course seems to have some line choice, some gaps to pull for, some dirt between the chunk, and some sort of flow.
  • 3 0
 That's a nice track
  • 2 0
 This looks mad fun to ride!!
  • 1 0
 Speed and Power. That guy is a high line specialist.
  • 1 0
 How did he clear that gap after the other guy barely got out of the way?
  • 1 0
 reminds me of race the ranch
  • 1 0
 Proper sick track
  • 1 0
 Dude shreds!!
  • 1 0
 Holy Cow
  • 1 2
 CHARLIE MURRAY (said in Rick James accent)

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