Canyon-trike jump adds to the thrills
Achild’s tricycle assists anew jumpstyle for the Shotover Canyon Swing.
Queenstown’s Shotover Canyon Swing has pushed two of the world’s best pro mountainbikers to the edge as part of a new movie for worldwide exposure.
The ‘‘Tri-scare-a-tops’’ is the newest launch style for Shotover Canyon Swing, the world’s highest cliff-jump operator. Launching by trike requires jumpers to cycle down a short aluminium slide on a child’s tricycle to be flung into the 109-metre abyss of the Shotover River Canyon.
Not surprisingly the format fits well into a mountainbike movie currently being filmed and starring a number of wellknown top-level competitive riders and semi-retired pro mountainbikers, including Canadian Andrew Shandro and Swiss Rene Wildhaber.
The Anthill Films production is taking in the sights and sounds of Queenstown from the perspective of the local mountainbike scene, with some extreme additions.
Shotover Canyon Swing General Manager Matt Hollyer says the last film from Anthill was viewed by 2.5 million people when first released online.
Shandro and Wildhaber have big reputations. Wildhaber has won several international mega freeride races including the Mega Avalanche downhill mountainbike race in France, Trek Bike Attack Lenzerheide and Urge, as well as several downhill and cross-country races in Switzerland and elsewhere.
Shandro has won the World Cup Downhill Mountain Bike twice, is four-time Canadian National Champion Downhill MTB and has been the North American Champion Downhill MTB. He has also designed courses and starred in several films.
Wildhaber, who ‘‘took the trike’’, compared the experience to Mega Avalanche, where up to 1400 of competitors descend 2000 metres over treacherous mountain terrain. Wildhaber has won it seven times.
‘‘If you can handle the trike, you’re ready for the mega.’’
Wildhaber also did Shotover Canyon Swing’s infamous ‘‘Gimpboy goes to Hollywood’’ tandem with Shandro. Suspended over the Shotover River Canyon, the pair were released ‘‘eyeballs first’’ as they freefell and then swooped towards the riverbed.
Shotover Canyon Swing is known around the world as a must on the adventure circuit. After 10 years of operation, innovation is still key.
Matt Hollyer says the new jumpstyle brings together wheels, daring, speed and flips to make terrifying fun.
‘‘Taking the ‘Tri-scare-a-tops’ is a little bit like that scary moment when you’re riding a bike solo for the first time as a kid, but dialled up to adult-sized adrenaline-fuelled action,’’ he says.
He commends staff on continually managing to come up with new and crazy experiences.
The Shotover Canyon Swing is achieved by launching yourself from a platform perched on top of a high cliff edge. Reaching speeds of up to 150kmh as the rocks rush towards you in a 60-metre freefall, the ropes then smoothly swing you out across the Shotover Canyon.
Herewego: Rene Wildhaber downsizes the wheels and upsizes the thrills on Shotover Canyon Swing’s new‘‘Tri-scare-atops’’ jump.