The weather looked ominous, the numbers were plenty, but no one was going to back down. The ramps were still good, the foampit was ready – what more could you ask for? Our second Freestyle camp ever with Nick Franklin was set to go and, with more interest than the first camp we had to make allowances to extend the number of bookings we could take. We even had a father son combo!
Day 1 and the riders were keen despite the drizzle so they headed to the Super X track where Broxy and Franklin could assess the riding and jumping ability of each rider before splitting up into groups. They went to work on different areas of the farm with Franklin taking the first group of riders to probably the best place to improve their jumping – a 60+ foot jump with the safest landing you could ever ask for. The riders really pushing their limits only grew in confidence, the very best advancing to the real ramp set up in front of Nicks gigantic dirt landing where they continued their work improving whips and mastering the heel clickers two riders learned.
Broxy’s group had their turn on the ramp next. 65cc riders doing one handers and no footers while almost clearing this huge jump is always an impressive thing to see while getting the odd pointer along the way. The wet conditions took their toll on the dirt run up, something that will be remedied for the next installment.
Age No Barrier
After lunch it was all on for the foam pit. Similar to our first camp it was the youngest of the riders showing up the older ones by jumping in first and progressing from a dirt jump off the side of the pit to Franklins knarly kicker jump. Brett Kimberley and Brayden Stephens, who were more experienced, defied their limits by attempting backflips. Brayden gave everyone a fright the first time after only making it half way around and letting go of his CRF before entering the pit. Coming out unscathed his second attempt was a full rotation and received the loud cheer he deserved.
Our camp was joined by Neil Dempsey from Palmerston North who came to help out and promote the up-and-coming riders of NZ interested in having a manager to guide them and their sponsorship in the sport of FMX . Four of our 16 riders actually booked in through his advertising and made the long drive north from Waiouru to practice their skills and improve their freestyle moves. Unfortunately the peer pressure to hit the foampit wasn’t enough to encourage them and after day two the camp was called off due to the rain and wind, they didn’t get a chance to show us what they could do.
Despite being called off early, most riders seemed happy with what they had achieved after a full 7 hour day of riding on the first day. So the happy campers left with brand new jackets, and a half price coaching or camp session for next time.