Night of the Jumps

Words: Amelia Berkeley ǀ Photos: NOTJs press images



The atmosphere was electric in the Olympic Arena as spectators watched as freestylers risked their lives to perform incredible stunts. The heart-stopping show featured death-defying, awe-inspiring tricks, including rock-solid flips, double backflips and volt combos.



Every year, thrill seekers from around the world flY to Munich to watch the NIGHT of the JUMPs; the world’s largest Freestyle MX Series. This year, the sold-out event took place at the Olympiahalle on 27 April.


Dany Torres dominated the proceedings, closely followed by David Rinaldo. Joining them in the nerve-wracking final were Libor Podmol, Brice Izzo, Jose Miralles, and Maikel Melero, but the final round was a two-man battle between Torres and Rinaldo. Both stars executed a double seat grab backflip. Rinaldo came up with triple combos and various landing and take-off tricks. Tores hit back with stunts including the lazyflip, oxecutioner, Paris Hilton and barhop to the Indy superflip. In the end, Dany Torres finished one point ahead of Rinaldo to receive his maiden NOTJ victory.


NIGHT of the JUMPs veteran Chris Brock took to the stage after a seven-year absence from the scene and his efforts received a top-ten placing. Another highlight was Australian FMX superwoman Emma McFerran, who wowed the crowd with the first-ever motorcycle backflip attempted by a female rider in Munich.


Rinaldo continues to dominate the leader board of the Freestyle MX European Championship on a score of 58 points, just 10 points ahead of his closest rival, Brize Izzo. The final round of the FMX European Championship took place on 24 and 25 May 2013 in Hamburg.



“The atmosphere in the arena is absolutely amazing. Everyone is there to have a good time and watch some unbelievable stunts. I can’t even imagine how the contestants pull off half of what they do. It’s just an incredible experience,” says Mike Williams, who went along to last year’s event.


The sport of freestyle motocross has progressed at a rapid pace over the last decade. It began when thrill seekers started to copy BMX tricks on motocross bikes. The first successful backflip on a motocross bike was performed by Bob Kohl in 1993. Carey Hart was the first person to attempt a backflip on a full-sized motocross bike, although he crashed shortly after landing, which created speculation about whether he had actually landed the trick. It wasn’t until 2002 that Caleb Wyatt managed to pull it off without crashing. Once the art of the backflip had been perfected, the sport was pushed further with bikers doing no footers and one-handed backflips. Travis Pastrana came along and changed the face of the sport by attempting the inconceivable: a double backflip. He perfected the astonishing stunt in 2006, and the sport has grown in strength from there.


The very first NIGHT of the JUMPs was held back in 2001, at the Arena Riesa in Germany. It quickly became the ultimate place to show off freestyle motocross skills and thrills, as competitors battled it out to be crowned European and World Champion.


The next NIGHT of the JUMPs will take place on 10 May 2014, at the SAP Arena in Mannheim, Germany. Advance ticket sales have already commenced. Flights to Germany can be booked from Emirates Airlines, and more information about the event can be found here,