Do you often find yourself whining about the freezing temperatures during the preseason? Well then check out what Red Bull pulled off at the Arctic Circle together with their team riders Felix Georgii, Dom Hernler and Nik Gührs. The crew had to withstand icy temperatures of up to -32 ° Celsius – frosty!
A frozen lake in Jokkmokk, Sweden. What happened here is anything but ordinary: a big crew made up of riders, park builders, winch operators, photographers and filmers got to work to create something unique. Equipped with chain saws and winches, a feature course was built that has never been seen before in this scale and sophistication – almost everything here was built from blocks of ice.
The first thing to do was to break through the ice surface with the chain saws in order to expose the pools. Next on the program was the construction of kickers, landers, boxes and rails. All of them were built with 60-80 centimeter thick ice blocks, which were also laboriously lifted out of the lake. The 110-meter-long course was a big success, you’ve probably already so on Instagram in recent days. Luckily, Lorenz Holder, two-time Red Bull Illume Overall winner, was in Sweden as well and captured wonderful moments with his camera that will last forever.
How do you prepare for a project like this? “We had to get our hands on the best wetsuit equipment there is”, Felix said; in this case 6mm thick wet suits to remain warm for over an hour in 1° degree-cold waters before landing their trick and heading back indoors to warm up.
Every morning, the pools had to be cleared of a newly formed layer of ice again. Crazy! A total of 518 tons of ice were lifted out of the lake, of which about ten tons were used for the obstacles on three different lines. The riders were pulled by multiple Sculpture Winches, which were specially equipped with thermal insulation so that the batteries could withstand the extreme temperatures.
“After two days it got really cold, it was minus 10 degrees and then I started to freeze up, my jacket was all frozen, my boots were frozen up and I just felt like a proper ice man. I couldn´t move anymore and in the end it was actually pretty extreme.” – Dominik Gührs
“My highlight was definitely the riding, sliding around on ice obstacles was something new I´ve never done before.” – Dom Hernler
There’s more to look forward to, because a 20-minute documentary will follow in mid-March. After that, we will all be a bit smarter about how this trip really went. Hats off to all involved!
Photos: Lorenz Holder / Red Bull Conte Pool