VIDEO: CLEMENS KAUDELA TAKES TO THE UTAH SKIES IN ‘THE MINISTER’
Clemens Kaudela is not afraid to send it.
“I don’t know about you but I have always dreamt about riding in Utah ever since I saw a movie segment from New World Disorder 2 or 3 that has been shot there. That thought came along with daydreaming of building jumps there myself and filming them. It took me from 2004 until 2023 for it to actually happen. Therefore, I got extra excited when it was about time to get on an airplane and board to go en route to Utah.
Putting together the right crew was a simple task, my good friends the Ruso brothers Daniel and Elias, are strong guys, amazing riders, and have a good vibe. Lorenz Globits is a young filmmaker from Vienna who is a rider himself but most importantly a very ambitious videographer. Logan Gallagher was my choice for photography as he is local and definitely knows his way around the desert and how to handle a camera. Unfortunately just when the trip started, Daniel suffered a post-concussion syndrome and had to stay at home. On short notice, my friend Hubi from Unterstinkenbrunn jumped in on behalf of Daniel Ruso.
The mission of the trip was simple: Go out to Utah, build a big drop, a big step up, and send it. Along with this, I wanted to have some fun just discovering what´s there, ride, and film it. One thing I found out is that coming from Europe, being very limited on time, it´s quite a challenge to do a whole lot of building and riding. So that’s why we chose to use some features that had been there already. At the end of day 1 after a lot of scouting, I did see something in the distance. It was kinda like as a kid when you look out the car window and you see a perfect stepdown in the landscape but you instantly know it´s like 300 feet long and just too big. Even though it looked big, I was still always convinced it was doable. So the next day we went out there and started building. This turned into the drop that we named: the minister. After a couple of days of building, the minister drop was finished.
I knew it was go time very soon. I decided to film a different section to warm up for it. After a couple of backflip drops off one cliff, I wanted to connect with a 360 drop off the second cliff. There was hard breaking needed to not overshoot the second cliff. To be honest I usually take my time to learn jumps and the speed needed properly. This time though I was just having the minister drop in my mind so I kind of rushed it. Well, unfortunately, I didn´t slow down enough, overshot and overspun the drop, and crashed. An instant knockout with a concussion was the result. After getting checked into the hospital I knew I will have to pack up, go home and recover. Damn. Bummer. That set me back quite a bit. The project was on hold, and I knew that I would have to return to finish the video. For now, it was time to heal, get back in shape, and prepare more for this trip.
Name a better way to prepare for big jumps than Darkfest. I don´t know one, Haha. Especially this year with the 110-footer. Once I got back from Darkfest I packed up again and went to Utah. Arriving back in the desert I discovered that the minister drop wasn´t in bad shape at all. One day of work and we were ready to send it. I did film two other locations before a perfect morning was about to happen.
This specific morning the stars were aligned for me. I slept great, the wind was absolutely zero and it was overcast. The most nervous person on site was our filmer, Lorenz. He really didn´t want to mess up any angle filming neither did he want to see me crash again. I was very calm because I knew that I could do it. After 5 inruns, I started to believe that the inruns were no longer necessary. I went back up, took a few breaths, dropped in, and sent it. BOOOM.
The airtime feeling was ridiculous. I landed a good 20 feet past the sweet spot. The landing was long though, so no impact at all. After many weeks of fearing if this jump was possible, I proved that it can be done. Wow, this was an amazing feeling. All the pressure I put on myself was gone. This just felt great.
Looking back I must say that Virgin, Utah is a special place. The way the cliffs fall, the way the dirt shapes there, and the way you can dig out a few rock plates and build a rock wall is just unique. This makes it super fun and rewarding to build and ride.
A special thanks go out to Lorenz Globits. He went above and beyond. Thank you to my crew for the endless effort put into this project. Also, a thank you to Steve and Paul for randomly coming by and helping. Of course, I need to thank my sponsors and supporters for helping finance this project and providing the bike, the gear, and the goods.”
– Clemens Kaudela
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Credits Video: Lorenz Globits ()
Photo: Logan Ghallager
Build: Clemens Kaudela Elias Ruso Thomas Hubacek Lorenz Globits Logan Ghallager Steven Gledhill Pavel Hospodka
Music: Wo Fat – Lost Highway Nick Poss – Ace High
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