Before I could barely swallow my last sip of take away coffee for the morning - I was standing in a FMX Freestyle legend’s backyard. His backyard is pretty impressive by the way and kitted out with ramps, berms and a surprisingly comfortable looking foam pit which I just wanted to jump into as soon as I saw it! For those of you who do not know – Nick de Wit is part of the Red Bull XFighters, GoPro athlete and:
- Is the first rider to regularly pull of backflips in South Africa (he’s actually the first non-American to do so);
- Achieved 5th place in world rankings in 2006;
- Is no.1 in SA for 7 consecutive years;
- Have multiple podiums in world championships.
Impressed yet? Well, we got to see him in action as he took his bike to the skies with teeth clenching tricks and flips. The first thing that came to my mind was – “crap, this guy’s poor mother”. But he landed his flips perfectly and we did manage to help him strap a GoPro to his helmet and bike tail before he took flight. Here are a few stuff we chatted to Nick about:
In September 2013 Nick de Wit executed a stunt that hasn’t been done in Africa before, alongside Aerial Acrobat, Glen Del. It was named the Red Bull OVER UNDER Project and involved Glen flying his Extra 300 aerobatics aircraft low enough for Nick to ramp his bike over it. Sadly - a month later, Glen died after a crash at the Secunda airshow. But they have achieved a phenomenal feat, which took two years to plan before executing perfectly. This video will give you chills!
Nick also featured on Carte Blanche when doing a backflip over Derek Watt’s head!
Elzette: I think we can all agree that what you do is pretty dangerous. We’d just like to know ONE thing – how many bones have you broken in comparison with GoPro cameras?
Nick: Laughs. GoPro is a very sturdy camera, I have definitely broken more bones than I have cameras. With the camera I can just dust it off when it falls and carry on – not so much with my body. That’s also why it’s so important to train (which some don’t always understand). You have to train your body to not only be fit but also to be able to take the punches.
Elzette: So, what you are saying is that you’ve taken a few falls in your life?
Nick: THAT’s why I wear a lot of protective clothing and pads when I ride but the most important ones are my CTI knee braces and my fox boots , pants, shirt and RedBull helmet. I never get on a bike without all my gear on.
Elzette: What do you like doing when you’re not hitting the ramps and giving your mother a heart attack?
Nick: I actually love mountain biking and I keep those two wheels firmly grounded – no tricks, just riding! I also enjoy hiking and anything outdoors! The other day we did the Wings for life World Run where A total of 35 397 runners in 32 countries started at precisely the same time, racing ahead of a catcher car instead of towards a finish line. We had so much fun!
Elzette: You're pretty successful, where to from here? I’d like to see a back-belly flip from a submarine please…
Nick: Almost chokes. Yea I have accomplished a lot of my dreams and goals in this sport but that's the beauty of it. The sky is the limit and I am working on a lot of stuff. Not only tricks but projects and events that will grow and motivate people in the sport. For the submarine trick – why not – I’ll give anything a try! Laughs
Because we were so inspired by him, we thought you might follow suit, so we threw together a Nick de Wit bundle of which you will receive a FREE signed hat from Nick. Remember – the sky is the limit!