Luc Ackermann, Josh Sheehan, and Jackson Strong landed a World First three-rider double backflip train at Caerphilly Castle in Wales to kick off a new chapter for Nitro World Games. The elite action sports competition is expanding globally to Wales in 2020. Check out the stunt right here, and keep reading for some background on what makes this stunt so hard:
DOUBLE BACKFLIPS ALONE ARE AMAZING
Not too long ago, you could count on one hand the number of riders who had landed a double backflip on a motorcycle. Not surprisingly, that number has grown since Travis Pastrana landed the first one in 2006, and today it’s a little tougher to pinpoint exactly how many have accomplished the feat, but we can estimate it’s in the very low double digits. So it’s still one of the most difficult and elusive tricks in FMX, and for every rider who lands a double backflip on a motorcycle, there are hundreds who refuse to even attempt it.
“It still is one of the most technical tricks. It took me one and a half years to feel safe with it and to try it to dirt,” says Ackermann. Nitro Circus mainstay Sheehan is one of the most experienced FMX double backflippers (as well as the only human to ever land a triple backflip on a motorcycle). Strong, who along with Sheehan was among the first handful of riders to land a double and has since moved on to frontflips and frontflip combos — in other words, a rider who is always on the cutting edge of progression.
ELITE RIDERS FOR A NEXT LEVEL STUNT
Luc Ackermann – photo: Laszlo-Steinebach
Veterans Sheeny and Strong have earned dozens of competition podiums, while Luc is just starting to make waves on the competition circuit. At 21, he’s also one of the youngest riders to attempt double backflips consistently, and his full list of tricks is more fitting of a veteran than an up-and-comer.
Simply put, these are three riders who made this stunt look easy, when it was anything but. “Getting enough rotation is the challenge on the smaller ramps. The technique and timing at the top of the ramp needs to be spot on,” Sheehan says. Ackermann adds, “You need to have a perfect technique, body position, and a bike that runs 100 percent.”
They’re talking about a solo double backflip. A double backflip train is another beast entirely. In a train, the riders hit the ramp one right after another, meaning if one of them has an issue landing it, they potentially all do. “Doing the trick by yourself is one thing, but having to think about other people and the timing just adds to the complexity,” Sheehan says. “We’re trying to focus so much on just getting our own trick right! Then the ramp setup, landing type, weather and even surroundings all affect us so we need to be as prepared as we can.”
AND, OF COURSE, THERE’S THAT VIEW
The location was as much a part of the story as the stunt itself. Caerphilly Castle was built in the late 13th century and is a stunning reminder of the depth of history and beauty that Wales has to offer. Be sure to check out more info and get your tickets for Nitro World Games Wales right here.