One of South Africa’s hottest up-and-coming Downhill MTB riders is 17 year old Jasper Barrett. Hailing from Cape Town, we spent some time with the young rider while he was shredding his way down the flow-line at Hellsend Dirt Compound in Stellenbosch.
Witness Jasper in full flow mode and get to know more about him in our interview below.
Full name: Jasper Barrett
Hometown: Somerset West, Cape Town
Local trail: Helderberg Trails
How did you get into Downhill Mountain Biking and how old were you?
From birth I’ve been involved with a lot of action and adrenaline orientated activities. Once I’d learnt to ride a bicycle another world of mal-kak came about and fitted right into place with me. From trying to jump the highest and furthest in the street with some bricks and a plank to meeting a friend in Grade 1 who’s dad rode Downhill and introduced the sport to me. That’s when Downhill Mountain Biking became my passion.
Take us through the filming for this feature?
We start the edit with me on the Hellsend flow line, I like it cause there’s nice flow. The next scene is of me coming through some fast and lose corners with some rock techy bits, which I absolutely love, specially being in amongst the ferns. Next is the very fast, flat out sections which is nice for the speed.
Which are your top five favorite places to ride in South Africa?
Hellsend Dirt Compound, Helderberg Trail, Jonkershoek, Contermanskloof and Afriski in Lesotho.
Do you prefer riding your Downhill or Enduro bike?
I like them both, each for tackling different conditions.
What goals have you set for yourself within Downhill and/or Enduro?
My main focus is Downhill and my goal is to have fun. By doing that the result should take care of itself.
Which local and international riders inspire you?
I have great respect for a lot of riders. Here’s some of them; Greg Minnaar, Tim Bentley, Josh Bryceland, Brandon Semanuk, Sam Hilll, Aaron Gwin, Loic Bruni , Connor Fearon and Nico Vink.
What Bike Parks on the top of your bucket list to ride?
Morzine and Le Plenny.
How would you best sum up the local scene?
Cool people who like riding bikes.
Which races/ events do you look forward to most during the year?
All of them.
What would your ultimate bike setup/ build entail?
A bike with the top components/ specs to do what I want it to do.
When not out riding, what can you normally be found doing?
I like to trail run and keep active. I also train at FPL through the week.