Tower of Terror
Massive foam pit. Metal ramps heading in every direction. And smack bam in the middle, a rocket ship like monument to BMX glory. It is an intimidating spectacle to behold, especially when you know that this is to be your playground for the next three days. This is what confronted 15 year old Travis Howes on arrival from Waiheke Island, and it can’t have phased him much.
A Boot Camp in Tokoroa, late June? We come up with some pretty unlikely events and this would top the list- but as it turned out we couldn’t have been blessed more. Day 1. Dew made the ramps a little slippery so we made the most of the basic hill jump in the morning with some hard work to help Travis hold his style, before spending the afternoon at Tokoroa’s MX track, which happened to be in such good condition that we went back for…
Day 2. Arrival of our second rider for the camp, Hamiltons Chris Haveman. Running through everything from straight jumps to every possible scenario, we used the MX track to hone skills and build confidence before hitting ‘The Cow’.
The Cow was known in its day as the best metal ramp in NZ,so named because of a snow camo paint job that made it look like a Fresian. Now set into the base of a grassy knoll it enables the rider to start small and work their way to bigger jumps, one step at a time. It has introduced many a rider to the wonderful world of ramps, and today was no exception.
Before the day was over, all three of us were to break through our fear barriers by also jumping into the foam pit. Getting their first pit jumps out of the way was achieved with little hesitation, while mine was not so easy. Why? Because it was on a BMX, off the 50 foot high mega ramp. You have to try for yourself to see why these three jumps brought so much fear. I can tell you this, it looks much easier on TV.
The Rolling Hills of Matarawa
Day 3. Having spent the late hours of Thursday night looking over the GoPro footage of the efforts from earlier that day, Chris was straight into the best form of his jumping career, simply getting the most of the last few meters of the ramp and instantly up and over the big hill jump straight away. He was looking very good with whips to match until a lower back strain became the plague of his day and relegated him to the status of a spectator, but happy in the knowledge of how good his jumping had become.
Then it was Travis’ turn, eventually nailing the same skill himself, and subsequently, the jump. Just in time for Dad to see, with plenty of video and photographic proof to show it. Then it was time to have one more jump into the pit and watch Jed Mildon show how it is done off the mega ramp, before heading home, rightfully satisfied.
We already have bookings for another FMX Boot Camp in December, but let us know if you would like something sooner. And check out this video by Redbull to get the feeling!