We caught up with Sam Reynolds during the Suzuki Nine Knights Freeride MTB contest to get his thoughts on the event, the course and his Downhill Bike category win. Here’s what he had to say.
You were one of the guys that helped build this year’s Nine Knights course. Take us through the process and how much time actually went into building it?
So Clemens Kaudela and the other boys were here for three and a bit weeks and then I was here for two weeks. They moved around some dirt and stuff before I joined them, we finished up and changed things from last year.
How much changed from last year’s course to this year’s?
The big line was the main thing that changed, we had three new jumps. Last year it was just one big jump at the top and this year we got given a bit more space so we could extend the line and make it a bit more flowy. We also made the two new booters at the bottom, the two new trick jumps which are an addition, and just tweaked up last year’s stuff really.
What were your thoughts on the final outcome of the course and which was your favourite jump?
Oh I loved it. I liked the new one, the massive far right jump. It just gave you crazy amount of airtime and you could boost it super high. It’s also one of the biggest jumps I’ve done.
Which rider impressed you the most?
The Italian Diego Caverzasi did definitely, Nicholi Rogatkin always does, Clemens Kaudela really did with his massive airs on the quarterpipe and of course Emil Johansson with all the new tricks.
Which trick impressed you the most?
It has to be one of Emil’s, I mean there were six world firsts. He doubled the amount of barspins that anyone else can do which is pretty sick to see.
Explain the feeling of hitting the big line?
It’s awesome, It’s like a different style of bike riding because you’re going really fast and the wind effects you a lot more, so you can turn the bike and fly it through the air. That’s why I like the big line and the high speed of it, but it also comes with a lot of digging and the line has to be perfect. To test that one is real scary [laughs]!
What does the opportunity of riding Nine Knights mean to you?
I heard of Nine Knights during their first three years and always tried to get an invite to it then. So was always a fan, then came four years ago and I got the invite and have been invited back ever since. It’s cool to be really involved with it now.
What does an event like Nine Knights do for the sport of Freeride Mountain Biking?
I like it because it shows you that the FMB way is not the only way that you show yourself and sort of make a name for yourself. You can come ride a Downhill bike, you can come and just throw down some big tricks and we try and invite people that maybe wouldn’t have had a chance elsewhere, and I think that’s what’s really cool about it.
Which of your tricks or lines are you most stoked on?
I felt the happiest doing the big line, cause that was long build and took three or four days to actually sort of work it out and manage just to jump it.
Sam on being announced at the 2017 Suzuki Nine Knights Downhill Bike category winner:
“It really just all come together for me this year at Nine Knights. I’ve been out here for 3 weeks with Clements Kaudela building the best course we can for the riders . It was so good to see most of the athletes bring out their big bikes to session the larger stuff and make the Downhill category so competitive this year. It was so rad to session the course we created with all my friends and to come away with the win is just the cherry on top.”
Photos by Klaus Polzer and David Malacrida.