Nick De Wit is a household name when it comes to Freestyle Motocross in South Africa and around the world and for the first time, Sick Nick will be showcasing his talent on the biggest FMX stage in the world right here on South African soil come September 7th at the final round of the Red Bull X-Fighters World Series in Pretoria.
We caught up with Nick to chat to him about his world class event, his preparation for it and more:
Full Name: Nick De Wit
Nickname: Sick Nick
Hometown: Johannesburg Krugersdorp
Year riding FMX: 2001 13 years
Machine of Choice: KTM 250 SX
Sponsors: Red Bull, Red Bull Mobile, Oakley, Fox, KTM, CTI, GoPro, FreeStyle Films, Maxima oils, Michelin, HRP, Dirt Nurse and MotoStrappa.
It’s a big year for Freestyle Motocross in SA with the Red Bull X-Fighters coming to our shores in September. What do you think it is going to do for the sport in our country?
Yeah, it is a big year and I think it is going to have a big impact on the sport in SA. I think it is going to give a lot of exposure to FMX and also show the local riders how big the sport is internationally. X-Fighters is like the Olympics of FMX and SA is very lucky to have an event of this caliber.
Do you think it will have any impact on the growth of FMX in SA?
I definitely think it will help grow the sport because it will give the younger generation riders something to aspire to and also give them a wake up call to how high the level actually is. I only realised how big FMX is once I started traveling and seeing big events, so the young guys are lucky that the event is coming to them.
With it being the last stop of the 2013 X-Fighters series and with the points being so close, who do you think is going to take the title and why?
FMX is a really risky sport and as they say “anything can happen” but as it looks now Tom Pages has a good lead but not good enough to sit back and relax. He has to keep on top of his game to hold on because I can guarantee that the 2nd and 3rd spot riders are hungry for the win.
“A few years ago they said a Backflip was impossible and now the guys are doing Rock Solid Backflips and Double Flips”
You will be competing at the SA stop of the X-Fighters world series. What are and will you be doing to prepare yourself leading up to the comp?
I will and it is an honor to be riding in front of my home crowd. It is the biggest extreme sport event that has ever hit SA and I have a lot of work to do for the event. I am concentrating on some of the key judging areas and perfecting some of my tricks and techniques but I’m also putting in some time in the foam pit to learn a few new ones to throw out on the night. I want to pull out all the stops and go for it.
What new tricks are you working on?
I’m working on some new flip variations and also just making sure I have all my tricks really solid.
How often do you ride and train for FMX?
Well I try get out on my bike at least 3 times a week but with X-Fighters coming up I want to push that up a bit. I am also putting in some time on my bicycle so that I am in top shape for the big event.
What are your expectation from yourself at X-Fighters Pretoria?
I expect to go there and have an awesome ride. All the guys have been on the circuit for the past 5 stops so they are in the swing of things but I still want to go and put an awesome run together.
You have ridden in the X-Fighters before. What was that experience like?
X-Fighters is the event that every FMX rider aspires to ride in, so for me that was a dream come true. Riding in Madrid X-Fighters was the highlight of my career and I can not explain the feeling of going out there and riding with over 20 000 people screaming and shouting for you. It was really mind blowing.
What can fans expect from the event come Showtime?
The fans can expect the best FMX action by the best FMX riders in the world doing the craziest tricks they have ever seen. Frontflips, Double Backflips and so much more.
What type of run is needed to take the win at X-Fighters?
The Judging is pretty specific at X-Fighters and they judge on a number of points. You would have to put a run which combines a good style, technical tricks, good showmanship, proper course usage and a number of other small things. You would have to put them all together perfectly, or better than the other guys in order to come out on top.
Freestyle Motocross has evolved a lot over the years, what do you think will be the next big game changer and how much further do you think it can evolve?
Yeah, it has and I have no idea where the sport is going. A few years ago they said a Backflip was impossible and now the guys are doing Rock Solid Backflips and Double Flips. Its just a matter of time when a young fearless kid comes out the woodwork and pulls off something all of us have wet dreams about.
Explain what a month in the life of Nick De Wit is like with all the traveling and shows?
I have spent the past 10 years traveling the world riding my dirt bike. For me a month can either got 2 ways. It can either be hoping in and out of planes and performing in front of thousands of people or it could be a quiet month and I will have 1 small show in Builtfontein. Its really unpredictable but I wouldn’t have changed anything. When I’m home I do a lot of training and also focus on some other projects I am working on.
From your experience, which country is the coolest to travel to?
I have been to so many countries and for me to choose 1 would be rude. Each country has its goods and bads but for me I really liked Taiwan and Singapore for the fact that they are so different to the western lifestyle. Its awesome seeing a different culture and experiencing their way of life.
When, where and what was the coolest show/ comp that you have ever ridden in?
I must say the best comp was Madrid X-Fighters for the magnitude of the event and the atmosphere. The best show must have been X-Fighters Jam in Turkey when I jumped over the horse of troy.
Unfortunately FMX riders don’t have a long shelf life. What do you see yourself doing once you retire from FMX?
I think I have been pretty wise with the money I have made and I have a few good investments but I have a lot of contacts locally and around the world so I am working on an event company www.extremesportshows.co.za and a few other projects that will take over from FMX when I need them to.
When do you think that will be or is it something that hasn’t crossed your mind yet?
Well I have no idea when I will be done with FMX but I think you are stupid if you don’t think a little into the future and make sure you dig the well before you need it. I do believe I still have a few years left in me and will carry on riding as long as I can.
What are you most grateful to Freestyle Motocross for?
I cant say just 1 thing because there are many things and I think the top 3 must be:
- The people I’ve met and places I’ve been
- The Money
- The life its given me
For more info and ticket sales for Red Bull X-Fighters Pretoria click here.
Photos by Red Bull Content Pool / Craig Kolesky