In October 2015, we brought you the news that Ryan Williams had landed the World First nothing front bike flip at a Nitro Circus Live show, and while our audiences had been dropping their jaws at the trick for the last year, R-Willy’s big win at the Nitro World Games made it a household name. So we caught up with R-Willy and asked him to walk us through how he does the seemingly impossible trick.
“This trick is all about technique,” he says. “I can always immediately tell if I have done it wrong or right.” He reminds us that a straight air is surprisingly difficult on a ramp that size, and as huge as this trick is, its base is a straight air. “The motion I do to create the frontflip motion of the bike isn’t just pushing forward; it’s kind of like circular motion that actually starts with pulling the bike into me a little bit,” he continues. “This is because you want the bike to flip close to you, not just be pushed away, but not too close — otherwise you will end up with tire burn on your face or chest.”
This is the moment where he always knows for sure whether he’s got it dialed in. “About a quarter of a second after this point, I know if the bike is in the right spot and/or flipping fast enough, and I calculate where the handlebars will end up after the bike has done the frontflip,” he says. “Sometimes it spins perfectly and I have time to smile and laugh to myself, and sometimes I’m yanking the bike as hard as I can to get it underneath me.” Notice how in both scenarios he still sticks the trick. That’s what it’s like to ride in R-Willy’s world.