Competing in the X Games motocross best trick contest yesterday, Jackson Strong landed the first-ever front flip successfully completed in a formal competition. The first-ever non-competition front flip was only performed in 2009, highlighting how fast the sport of freestyle motocross is advancing. The flip was enough to give Strong victory in the contest. Here’s video.
In contrast to backflips, which can be controlled mid-air by modulating how fast the rear wheel spins using the throttle and brake, front flips are incredibly difficult. To perform them, the rider must initiate a stoppie with the front brake just as they launch or violently shift their weight forward once they’re airborne. Once they’re going, there’s really no way to control the speed of the flip, requiring very fine judgement if they’re to be landed properly. Jim DeChamp was the first rider to ever successfully do one two years ago.
The incredible pace of FMX and its progression into ever more difficult tricks scares even fearless riders like Strong. “One day somebody is probably going to be doing a double front flip on a dirt bike,” he told the LA Times. “I hope I’m not around when that happens.”
Thanks for the tip, Nick.