Sneak Peek: The Worlds X NASS Course. | Ride UK BMX

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Sneak Peek: The Worlds X NASS Course.

A cheeky sneak Peek...


Since hearing the news the NASS this year will be hosting IBMXFF World Championships, we’ve been eager to find out more of exactly how it’s going to be pulled off. Historically, The Worlds has been one of the most significant competitions in BMX, and the course build has had a lot to do with its success, pushing the boundaries and often on a tight budget. We wondered what this year would have to offer with the support of NASS behind it and the skills of FourOneFour park builders, who are responsible for all of the previous epic courses at NASS.

Shaun Scarfe, the owner of FourOneFour, is actually a former boss of mine, I helped build Urban Games and early NASS courses back in the day, so I thought I give him a bell to see if he’d offer up a sneak peek to what this year has in store, and see if the pressure of building a Worlds course is any more than a normal build, especially with this year being open to both Pro and Am athletes. I wanted to know if there were any special features and find out if the famous ‘Elvis’ ramp would be present for Hennon to hit the ceiling again.  His drawings divulged more than I thought he would offer about this years designs, and probably more than NASS would want, but I’ll let Shaun deal with that.



– You’ve been designing the course at NASS for as long as I can remember, in fact, I even helped build a few. What are the main challenges with designing contest setups compared to skateparks, and which is easiest / most fun?

“Doing contest courses really means you just want to maximise everything – I mean, it’s going to get thrashed by good riders, the best riders, not just the after school scoot groupies.  So we always just want to just go for it, design the dream, but then comes the reality, the hard bit. There are so many options, so many compromises and considerations that make it hard. The space, the budget, the build time, the public viewing, the access, no time for changes, transitions V’s street, it’s a big list. Designing the dream is the easy bit, but the reality of making the most out of what time and resources you have, and then being happy with it, that’s what makes designing contest courses so challenging. Then, on top of that, you’re hoping the riders are going to be stoked on it. However, even after all that, it’s the challenges that make it fun.

There are some of those restrictions with indoor park design, generally fewer with outdoor concrete park design, outdoor concrete is bar far the easiest.”


The Plaza at Corby’s Adrenaline Alley built by Concreate

– You’ve got a dedicated team behind you, and many of these are pro skaters and riders, how much input do they have on course design? 

“Yeah, we have a huge team. There is a lot of talent in the crew, both on the ramps and the tools. Some of the guys have been with us for over 10 years now, and we constantly like to work with riders and skaters, working with a lot of new guys too, so we have a core crew and a good network of ramp guys across the country. I am sure generally, that they, or we, are a hard bunch to employ, but when you get the right dude, someone that wants to put their all into something, and make it as good as it can be, then those riders/skaters can be quite incredible people to work alongside.  We spend a lot of time together, so the parks and layouts are always being discussed and everyone gets to cast an opinion and their input is very valuable.”


Street Spots from NASS. 2012

– Who’s the most ‘famous’ rider you’ve had working on a course build?

“Ha – good question. I’ve never thought about that – definitely going to use that as a line to get extra help from the numerous pros waiting to get on the course when the last screw goes in at NASS this year. There is quite a long list, lots of the top riders have put a screw or two in and tested their strength carrying timbers. It’s hard to think who the most famous one is. I think riders often want to help out, even if they don’t want or need the money, they like to have an input and see how this stuff works. 
The love we get at NASS every year is amazing; the crew who offer there help every year to build the NASS course. They don’t come for the money, we couldn’t afford that many guys, but every year they come and work so hard that it hurts – but it’s a good time. It’s the crew they make the difference.” 

 – Is there more pressure this year with it being specifically for The Worlds?

“We want the course to be a banger for sure, but then we want it to be RAD every year. There is always pressure, and this one seems no different really.”


Over the shoulder sneaky.

 – Any special features or designs for ‘The Worlds’ course you can share with us? Sneaky peek?

“Well, I guess I can show you a few plans that have been discussed, but bare in mind these could change, there is always a lot of back and forth before things get completely signed off. I’m not sure I should show you these, because we’ve not yet confirmed anything, but I guess here’s what ‘the dream’ is, what I was talking about earlier, hopefully the reality won’t be much different. There’s some pretty crazy features that I’m sure you’ll get a gist of from the image, but I’m not going to say anymore until I know.”


WTF… I hope this happens.

– I know you said you can’t say anymore, but it looks like The Elvis is making another appearance… Can you at least confirm this will be there? It wouldn’t be the same without it. 

“We have thought about changing that so many times, but we have heard so many people say it wouldn’t be NASS without The Elvis. Just watching someone pedal at that thing gets you excited.”


The Elvis Ramp dimensions.

– How or why did The Elvis come about? It’s a strange ramp, but so rad!

“Yeah it’s a strange ramp – Tranny – Flat – Kink – Flat – Tranny.  Well, that’s pretty much what it is. It was first built at NASS 2005; the idea was to make a kind of kinked bank wall ride thing that I had drawn on the plans. We had 6 tranny flat banks, and I think Damage (one of the builders) kept saying “make a quiff, like at ROM” and the banks ended up being 3 banks put upside down on top of the other 3..  So the ramp had a Quiff. We then used it a few weeks later at Urban Games in London, and oddly, a Sprite graphic on it of Elvis saying, “I’m all shook up”. It’s big, the King of ramps, it has a Quiff and so the legend was born and lives on. The Elvis.”


“All Shook Up”

– What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen on it? Hennon touching the roof in 2015? Bas Keep at Urban Games?


“Ah, so many crazy things, I guess to select some – Chunky doing the back rail. Colin Mckay over Icepick when it had no deck in the early years. Anything Hennon does on it is always sky high, wasn’t that roof he touched measured at 16ft away from the lip? I can’t wait to see someone cranking at it again this year.”

– Finally, your company, FourOneFour, do they only do big projects or can anyone get a professional build?

“Really anyone can. Self build ramp Kits are the one, we get around 50 requests for garden ramps a month, the idea behind the kits is so everyone can get a decent ramp in their garden – at a better cost than they will to buy the parts themselves. Once you can ride regularly, you start learning quickly, and then you’re hooked. So it’s not just big parks, if you want a ramp, a good one, we are likely going to be able to help, just give us a shout.”

Hennon touching the roof, 16' above The Elvis. Photo - John Wells.
Bas Keep flying high at Urban Games.
Some FourOneFour build you might be familiar with.

Check out The BMX Worlds: Steeped in History Part 1 and Part 2.
The athlete registration is open for both Pro and Am, so don’t miss out – Go and ride The Worlds X NASS course. 



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