South African Freestyle Motocross rider Brendan Potter is out with injury and has had some time to put this edit together for all to enjoy. We caught up with Brendan to see just what happened, how his recovery is coming along, FMX in South Africa and what the future holds for him in the FMX scene.
Check out this awesome edit of footage collected over the year and also check out our interview with Brendan:
Tell us a little about the edit you have put together? Where, why how?
I’m 3 years into trying to ride FMX professionally, part of doing that is being able to show sponsors/ fans what it is you are up to. I received a GoPro earlier this year from my gloves sponsor, Novik Gloves, which has basically allowed me to film the shenanigans I call my life. I’ve been collecting footage ever since and have been working on putting something together for some time- out with injury I finally finished the sucker! It was shot using two GoPro’s, various mounts, a retractable paint rolling pole and some duct tape, we need a big camera to mess around with but with what we have it’s a great start. This specific video was shot at our Ride Authority compound & home park in Muldersdrift, Gauteng with some shots from the JRC compound.
You are out due to injury. What happened?
I crashed 7 weeks ago while training at our park. It’s been a busy year for me in terms of FMX events. Shows/ demos are pretty much how I try make a living for now, so sometimes I have to ride smart, get exposure for sponsors and pay the bills. Other times I get to put my head down and train to get my riding to where I want to get it. I had a quiet patch in the calendar and decided it was time to get the monkey off my back and try backflip to dirt again over the comp distance of 21m. Not having a functioning foam pit I basically weighed up my options and went for it, and unfortunately this time things went pear shaped… I panicked upside down and lost my orientation and ejected off the bike at the worst possible time landing feet first to the flat ground. My right leg took the brunt of the impact and I fractured my femur just below my hip, and funny enough right above where I broke my leg 6 years ago. Pretty much knew as soon as I hit the ground with my butt & head at the same time… Doh!
Photo Caption: Brendan hitting the eject button from the backflip
They say the femur is the most painful bone to break – do you agree?
I have a pretty long list of bones broken (not that I am proud of it). But from my experience the femur definitely takes the cake for sucking big time… It takes around 2 tons of force to break which is a crazy thought. The worst pain I have ever been in was pretty much my most stupid injury, a ruptured spleen plus two days of internal bleeding, not fun.
What does the recovery from such a hectic injury entail?
It’s a strange thing recovering from injury, especially when you love riding so much. It’s a combination of both a mental and a physical battle. You really need to be patient, you need to stay headstrong and let the body do its thing. It can get frustrating but making progress is the best part to really see how far you have come. It also definitely helps knowing what you can do to let your body heal most effectively, for example my program: physiotherapy, hyperbaric oxygen sessions, bio kinetics and proper nutrition.
When will you be back on the bike?
Its depends on how fast things heal up, but so far progress is great. At this rate I’m hoping to be back up and riding around November to get back on my game for some potential events happening end of year. I need to keep this titanium rod in my leg in for around a year, so that means no crazy riding for a little time because injury with that in would suck double. So that means walking the fine line between a consistent rider and a kamikaze.
The backfilp has been a bit of a nemesis for yours – what do you think it’s going to take to overcome this and land perfect backflips constantly?
Flipping can be a big mental thing in terms of having confidence, you’ve gotta know you can make it or at least believe that. I’ve been juggling all the madness of trying to backflip to dirt without a working foam pit for the past two years. it’s been a huge & expensive exercise to keep that thing operational. In the past two years I have learned silly lessons the hard way. Flipping alone, I’ve crashed four times, that’s one lucky walk away, one broken wrist, some stitches, concussion and a broken right leg. Realistically (and responsibly) speaking I need to make a plan to fix up our foam pit to train as safely as possible and get that sucker waxed. Once that is safe and operational I basically get comfortable with it in the foam pit, then try it to dirt again and once that’s dialled, we learn some variation!
Photo Caption: Brendan landing the backflip to dirt earlier this year
Once you have them down will you go straight into variations to improve your riding calibre?
That’s definitely the plan! I know I have the ability to go further in my sport and progress from where I am now. Once I am comfy with flipping the next step is to get some variation. I’m hoping I can take how big I do my tricks into the upside down realm.
What are your goals in FMX?
Short term: Get healed up and riding again, more importantly get stuck in working on our foam pit and get it safe and operational.
Mid term: Get the titanium rod removed from my leg, heal up and get backflipping. First in the foam pit then to dirt.
Long term: Take part in the IFMXF world championship and put a South African flag in FMX competition again, hopefully get invited to ride show tours in Europe/ America/ Australia such as the Masters of Dirt tour, Nitro Circus live, Nuclear Cowboys tour etc.
Photo Caption: Brendan’s HUGE RockSolid
What would you like to see happen in the local FMX scene? What is it missing?
Because of how small and fragmented the FMX scene is in South Africa I would like to see it survive. I know there are loads of people keen to ride FMX and there have been a few guys coming through the wood work in recent years. I want to see the sport grow in our country and I want to see guys progress together and put all animosity aside. I’m hoping that we can get some events going to better benefit the local FMX community, such as more training/ open days. Also something that will definitely help the level of both riding and sponsorship value would be a competition series. What’s missing from FMX is our country is the short coming of our sport. We have very little to no lucrative sponsorship deals, opportunities on an entry level and on a corporate level are few and far between, and truth is, you gotta fight for it. Those who do earn money for riding odd shows get below average rates (a tenth of what’s earned in Europe/ US) simply because some people in South Africa (for some reason) can’t comprehend the actual costs involved with what we do, let alone the risks involved. That’s why the reality is that if you want to peruse FMX as a career at these times, you need to plan to travel a bit.
Who would you like to give a shout out to?
To my family, Mom, Dad, Quinty, Craig & Granny, thanks for putting up with my crap & looking out for me always.
To my amazing girlfriend who has supported me since we met- thanks for the unconditional love always, for being there for me in tough times and nursing me back to health.
To my sponsors that have stuck with me through the years:
We All Ride Clothing Co.