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Home » Sports » FMX » Personal Progression – Interview with Freestyle Motocross Rider Jacques Human

Personal Progression – Interview with Freestyle Motocross Rider Jacques Human

2023 has been the year of progression for Freestyle Motocross rider Jacques Human, most notably adding the backflip to his list of tricks and unlocking a new chapter in his riding career. We caught up with Jacques to talk about his life as a FMX athlete, the build-up to landing his first backflip and more…

Personal Progression - Interview with Freestyle Motocross Rider Jacques Human

Full name: Jacques Human

Nickname: Junky

Age: 31

Hometown: Pretoria

Years riding: Riding for 17 Riding Freestyle for 11 Years

Sponsors: Jungle Rush FMX, NEWORDER Group, KTM South Africa, Bloodhound MMA, Bandit Graffix, Shock Logic, Bridgestone, Motorex, Protaper, Fly Racing, TRP Distributors, 100Percent, FRLSS South Africa, K.O.D Products and Storage King.

Personal Progression - Interview with Freestyle Motocross Rider Jacques Human

Give us some insight of how you got into the sport of Freestyle Motocross?
I began my journey in motocross, but my focus wasn’t on finding the fastest racing lines; instead, I was constantly in search of the largest jumps that offered the longest hang time. I would attempt modest tricks, although my success rate remained disappointingly low. That all changed one memorable day at Chestnut Hill MX track when I saw Leuwellyan van Rensburg doing a Cordova over the main table. I casually asked him if he would teach me how to this trick. Little did I realise that this chance encounter would mark the start of my freestyle career. Leuwellyan not only laid the groundwork for my freestyle career but in the process also became a cherished lifelong friend.

What first sparked your interest and passion for the sport?
While I was growing up, I was inspired by watching X Games, MotoXXX, Crusty Demons, On the Pipe, Nitro Circus and so on, just seeing those legends throw down got me hooked. From the first time that I saw FMX I knew that it was exactly what I wanted to do.

 Interview with Freestyle Motocross Rider Jacques Human about his career and personal progression  Interview with Freestyle Motocross Rider Jacques Human about his career and personal progression

What does a week in your life usually consist of?
I’d describe it as quite typical – weekdays are occupied with work and gym, and Saturdays are always reserved for riding. You know the drill – Saturdays are for the boys!

What have been some of the highlights of your career so far?
Doing a Backflip train with Dallan Goldman at the SA Dirt Bike festival.
Taking 3rd place for best upright trick at King of the Whip 2019.
1st and 3rd place in the Pro- AM category during the Institute FMX development series.
Jumping over the globe of death during the Aussie Circus.
Traveling abroad to ride shows.
Being able to meet some of the riders that I looked up to and ultimately riding alongside them.

 Interview with Freestyle Motocross Rider Jacques Human about his career and personal progression

With the inclusion of the Big Air Bag into the Jungle Rush camp, how has this added to the progression of your riding?
The Big Air Bag has not only enabled me to master Backflipping in the safest conceivable environment but has also provided me with the benefit of learning from minor errors while significantly reducing the risk of severe injuries, a luxury I wouldn’t have had if I was practicing on dirt.

Take us through the preparation of going for and landing a Backflip for the first time?
In late 2017 upon returning from riding shows in New- Zealand I started to use the foam pit at Nick De Wit’s FMX Park. After a few sessions, under the expert guidance of Brendan Potter and Dallan Goldman, I began to make significant progress. Unfortunately for me it seemed that I could never constantly practice flipping due to unrelated injuries or life events that kept putting my progress on hold. Due to this I had managed to have five or six sessions in the foam pit over a period of two years.
In the middle of 2019, I had my last foam pit session as the foam pit was permanently dismantled. I’d spend the next three and a half years wondering if I would ever achieve my dream of becoming a flip rider. I had basically made peace with the fact that I would never flip a dirt bike at that point. Luckily for me Dallan Goldman had not given up, he informed me that Jungle Rush FMX will soon be getting a Big Air Bag and that he would help me with flipping. Naturally I jumped at the opportunity, I was instantly re-motivated and determined to get this done.
Finally, the Big Air Bag arrived in April. After a quick test and a show, it was time for me to put my money where my mouth was. Other than my fiancé I did not invite or tell anyone outside of the team that I was planning on flipping that day in case I failed and chickened out.
Dallan organised for some close friends to come out and support me on the day, which I truly appreciated. Dallan has been building me up and encouraging me all the way for months and now it was time for me to man up. On the day my mind was going crazy, I can only try and explain what I felt. To say that I was nervous and terrified would be an understatement but at the same time I felt ready and confident, if that makes sense.
After a few lastminute pointers from Dallan I started jumping and dialling in my run up. I visualised the flip in my head focusing on everything that I have learned from both Brendan and Dallan.  I then locked in clamping the bike with my knees and ran up to the ramp, as I was riding up the ramp, I let my head follow the curve of the ramp, I leaned back at the top of the ramp and as my front wheel took off, I pulled back as hard as I could. The flip started and the next thing I knew I gassed the bike around and landed the flip perfectly!
It happened so quick that I wondered if I even flipped. Once I realised that I just landed my first flip, I gave a long celebratory rev of my bike. Hands still shaking I saw my friends cheering and running towards me as realisation slowly settled in. I could not believe what had just happened; it was the best feeling that I have ever had. My friends and teammates swarmed me, celebrating this epic moment in my life, plenty of hugs and high fives were going round.
This was it, I did it, a whole new chapter in my riding career was unlocked. Since then, and only with the help and support of my team I have been practising almost every weekend.

 Interview with Freestyle Motocross Rider Jacques Human about his career and personal progression  Interview with Freestyle Motocross Rider Jacques Human about his career and personal progression

What do you feel has been the hardest part of landing the backflip consistently?
The hardest part for me was to not under-rotate or over-rotate while flipping 17 meters in first gear, once I started flipping 20+ meters in second gear the flips became a lot easier and more controllable.

Now that you have the backflip dialled, can we expect to see any variations added to it?
All in good time, it is in my blood to constantly progress and better myself, once I have built up the necessary experience and skill level, I will definitely put in the work to start learning backflip tricks.

What other tricks are you currently working on?
I have mainly been focusing on flipping. I do however have a few new tricks and combos that I am going to get dialled for King of the whip.

 Interview with Freestyle Motocross Rider Jacques Human about his career and personal progression

What goals have you set for yourself in your FMX career?
Podium at King of the whip in best trick 2023.
To learn flip tricks, especially Cordova flips.
To be a rider at Monster JAM.
To ride an international competition.
To have at least one flip trick dialled for King of the whip 2024.
To constantly better my riding.
Grow the sport in South Africa and pass my knowledge down to the next generation.

The ExtremeX event is coming up on 14 October. What are you looking forward to most about this event?
To the atmosphere of being surrounded by South Africa’s top extreme sport athletes, all excelling in their own discipline, being surrounded by true extreme sports enthusiasts coming together and of course putting on one hell of a Freestyle Motocross show with Jungle Rush FMX!

What can fans expect from you, the team, and the event itself come 14 October?
This epic event has so much packed into it from aerobatic stunt plane displays to high-speed Gymkhana, that I don’t even know where to start. From The Jungle Rush FMX team fans can expect to see South Africa’s top freestyle riders giving it their all as we unleash a barrage of colossal tricks.
Regarding the event itself, expect an electrifying atmosphere filled with adrenaline-pumping excitement, as multiple diverse extreme sports and activities converge into a single, action-packed event. Trust me, this is the one show that you do not want to miss! Thank you NEWORDER and ExtremeX for making this event possible.

Extreme X event Poster

Visit www.extremex.io or @extremex.sa for more information.
Tickets are selling fast so book yours now!

Tickets available through Computicket HERE.

Any shout-outs?
Yes, and the list is endless! Shout out to my friends, family, and the Jungle Rush FMX team for all the support, with a special shout out to Dallan Goldman and Chanel Brits.

 Interview with Freestyle Motocross Rider Jacques Human about his career and personal progression

Photos by Cloud9 Photography.

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