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THE MAN WHO LANDED THE FIRST “TSUNAMI FLIP” & "BACKFLIP SUPERMAN ONE HAND SEATGRAB"

Red Bull District Ride 2017 in Nuremburg:
Szymon Godziek is flying high

MTB freerider Szymon Godziek is where he has always wanted to be: at the top! In recent years, the young Pole has called attention to himself – not only with constant top results, but also with spectacular tricks. “I have the ambition to inspire others”, Szymon says: “Biking is my life. And that’s exactly what I want to share with others.”

At the Red Bull District Ride 2014 in Nuremberg, he caused a worldwide sensation: with his unseen “tsunami backflip”, his biggest coup so far. “The best moment of my career”, Szymon tells us – who, during leisure time, also likes to take a seat on a motocross bike. “The feeling to have landed this trick – I keep it close to my heart, even today.”

It’s hardly surprising that the exceptional rider already plans to fly high again: Szymon Godziek wants to make history – during the legendary Red Bull District Ride in Nuremberg from September 1 – 2, 2017, when the best slopestylers of the MTB scene come together.

"Adrenalin is the fuel
in our sport."

 

 

Every trick starts in the head

The legs are just supposed to pedal. While biking, the most important part of the body can be found further up. “In our sport, the head is the crucial part. It opens the door to the next level”, Szymon says. “If you want to learn a new trick, first of all you have to imagine it.” That’s why, after ten years on the bike, he has started to train his mental strength purposefully – to be able to visualize even better.

Can I land the trick? Do I have to counteract? Or do I have to ditch the bike and jump off? In the air, Szymon has to make split-second decisions. That’s why he edits out his surroundings and focuses thoroughly on the moment. “You have to completely move in the moment”, the pro biker explains: “Only then you have enough time to think clearly and do the right thing in critical situations.”

"Your head opens the door
to the next level."

From the landing pit into the tsunami

When an idea for a trick has formed in Szymon’s head, he’ll go into the landing pit. Here, he can also land head-first without anything happening to him. “I train the sequence of movements until it feels right. Then I switch to a padded soft ramp for a couple of tries. And when I’m sure that I really know what I’m doing – I’ll eventually switch to dirt.”

But how do you manage to draw attention to yourself among so many highly talented riders? “The level in our sport is super high, the vanguard is very tight. That’s why my creativity is in demand. For my tsunami backflip at the District Ride 2014, I’ve combined an element from motocross with biking. Oh, by the way: Right now I’m preparing a new trick that I’d like to show in Nuremberg in September.”

 

 

Perfectionism with a pinch of adrenalin

Szymon describes himself as a perfectionist. “Sometimes I’m annoying myself”, he laughs. “But that’s exactly what helps me get ahead. When I watch videos of my stunts I almost always think: oh man, that could go better!” It takes many hours and hundreds of attempts until the body has truly internalized every movement. And when you add a pinch of adrenalin you can really fly high.

“Adrenalin is the fuel in our sport”, Szymon says. “Especially, when you want to try something new.” The stress hormone that’s produced in the adrenal gland causes an increase of the heart rate and blood pressure, and optimizes the provision of oxygen and energy. “Adrenalin gives you power. It leads to split-second decisions. An incredible feeling. And when you crash you at least feel the pain a little later.”

“Biking is my life.
I have the ambition to inspire others.”

Szymon Godziek about bikes that come from above.

When was the last time you thought “thank God that I’m wearing a helmet”?

I remember that I was practicing a frontflip. And I suddenly realized that I would be too late. That’s why I ditched the bike. We were in the landing pit that day so I landed softly. But the bike came flying from above and bashed on my head. Without a helmet that wouldn’t have been a good.

Do you choose different helmets for different competitions, like the Red Bull District Ride or the Red Bull Rampage?

For dirt jumps I prefer “Open Face” – for freeriding I wear “Full Face” helmets which provide more protection when something goes wrong.

"A helmet? Above all,
it has to look good!"

Which characteristics are a helmet’s must-haves? 

It has to fit perfectly. And honestly: it has to look good! Because I already know that it protects me… I completely trust the uvex engineers who develop new technologies and lighter, better helmets every year.

Which protection equipment do you wear on top?

Pads on my knew and shins, and gloves. For freeriding or downhill I add googles. Otherwise dirt or a small stone might end up in my eye.

Do you perform a special training that protects you while falling?

Every biker should work at his back. My back has been on the receiving end in the last couple of years. That’s why I’m regularly in the gym and have purposefully trained my back for some time now. Plus: stretching – that’s how my back stays moveable and flexible.

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Szymon Godziek's Gear

uvex jakkyl hde blue-black mat
uvex hlmt 9 bike black-orange
uvex hlmt 5 bike pro pearl mat
uvex finale white - black mat