DarkFEST: The Darkumentary

Sit back, strap in and get behind the scenes of 5 years of dirt, sweat, massive booters with The Darkumentary!

Back in 2013, Sam Reynolds, Danny Pace and Matt McDuff wanted to build some big dirt jumps, ride, crash and hopefully film some gold for their friends. With filmer Tom Grundy on hand, who has an expert eye for capturing the behind the scenes madness; Pure Darkness was born.

“We wanted to take it back to its roots; big crashes and rock n roll!”

Sam Reynolds 

Catapulting the boys into the starry heights of success amongst the core MTB scene, Pure Darkness2 came around, with more wild stunts, more friends and plenty of new ideas.

Around this time, some friendly South Africans were keen to help the boys go bigger and harder in a new location, and the whole circus exploded into the Knysna Bike Park, where their wildest dreams were unleashed on an untouched hillside. A 25 meter, near-vertical drop in tower was constructed to hurl them at speeds of almost 70 KPH into some of the biggest dirt jumps ever built. PD3 was the edit that truly set the boys apart and made the world stand up and watch what was being constructed in the fields of South Africa. With the genius addition of master-builder Nico Vink, and legend of his field, Clemens Kaudela, the boys created a masterpiece of a course, with flowy slopestyle lines and fast and dangerous jumps.


“It was just a friends thing really… and then we invited some more guys, and it got real!”

Matt McDuff

As part of the original Fest-Series crew and creator of several Fest-Series events, Nico Vink saw the potential this project could have and invited Sam to host his own event; DarkFEST. Taking the course they slaved over the year before and adding bigger hits, MX style jumps and more lines, the first ever DarkFEST invited the very best Freeriders in the world; Andreu Lacondoguy, Kyle Jameson, Cam Zink, Ethan Nell, Adolf Silva and more completely tore up the course and cemented DarkFEST into the history books of the greatest events on the calendar.


“Adolf’s just that guy that will try a double Front Flip for fun, and completely crash and die”


 2018 welcomed a new venue, close to Cape Town, in the scenic wine district of Stellenbosch. A whole new course, the brainchild of the 3 protagonists, Reynolds, Vink and Kaudela, took a month to build and included jumps like ‘The Beast,’ a 90-foot goliath that pushed all the boys to go beyond their comfort levels, and the 26-foot Step Up that encouraged newbies like Nicoli Rodgatkin to throw some of their biggest tricks over.

 “…a dream come true… building whatever you want and riding with friends… that’s what it’s all about!”

Nico Vink

Thanks to Monster Energy for the photos!