Patrick Schweika has been around for over the decade on the MTB’s scene radar and he has proved many times that he is a great all-around rider. This year we had a pleasure to spend some time with this warrior during our stay at Nine Knights. We have recently sat down to write all the topics we have recorded over and it turned out it would be longer than Szachimat’s Master Thesis at University (no jokes)! That’s why we have decided to split it to help you get through all of this! Grab something to drink and off we go!
Which Nine Knights event was that for you Patrick?
I guess it was 4th? Four years ago I did a submission for “Become a Knight”. It was the second time it was held in Livigno – where I was only invited for the contest day so like Saturday and Sunday. I spoke during that time with Nico and he was quite impressed with what me and my friends were doing in such a short period of time – and sending it right away. Year later I did the same and I finally won a whole week as a knight. It was the last time in Livigno and since then, when it moved to Reschenpass, I became a pre-invited rider.
Do you have any advices for the newcomers? What you need to include in the video submission to make it happen?
I guess, in Livigno we had a couple of slopestyle riders, but from last year on it developed into more “proper freeride event”. Fewer riders were hitting it with slopestyle bikes than ever I guess. This year maybe three riders tried the course on the small bikes? I think it would be nice to do a proper edit with slopestyle riding as well to show a different style of riding but sending it on a big bike is very fucking important nowadays. You have to do both and make it creative. Show your riding style, where and what can you ride to show all in all how good you are on a bike. Express that you don’t only ride your backyard, but can make the same moves anywhere! Don’t be afraid to even mix enduro there!
What was your bike of choice for this event then?
This year it was Santa Cruz V10 as you know it. For the past years, I always brought along with my downhill bike a slopestyle or hardtail bike as well. I maybe touched the small bikes once during my first appearance in Livigno. Nine Knights is pretty much the only week in a year when you can really transfer all your “small bike” tricks and style into the big one. That’s the only mission for me during the week, especially flatspin variations. I really do it the same way on my DH bike like I do it at my home spots with my hardtail.
Sick! So how it was to win the “Ruler of the Week” title in front of all your buddies during the “Gala Night”? Did you expect it to happen?
When Nico announced it I was really, really stoked and didn’t expect it at all! He was telling me through the week that I was one of the best riders through the whole week at the Reschenpass. But I was like “Yeah he is telling it to me just to get me pumped to ride even more”. But I never thought I could win the overall title. Yeah, and… It’s something different. When you go to the contest, you win a contest by being judged by the judges at one point and it’s cool. But if you are judged by your riding buddies that are considered the best in the world – who compete in Rampage, Fest Series, Crankworx etc. and represent all different styles of riding like Niko Vink who was killing it in downhill and now runs his own thing it’s… It’s like pretty good motivation! I took a decision this year for me because I wasn’t happy with my competition riding this year so I have decided to do more with my big bike. Get back to my roots and do more freeriding. Ever since that decision, I was very happy and It’s my biggest achievement when all the riders pointed that I am a fucking good rider (laughs).
That leads straight to my next question because just like you said, you took a break from the competition which seems like a movement nowadays from the more experienced riders to spend more time on the big bikes as they forgive more and still give a lot of fun. Especially while trying to match the skill level new kids on the block posses nowadays when entering the competition.
I guess you are putting it on the right point in the moment. After riding contests for like 11 years right now I was never in a position to be that “banger” kid who had all the best moves. Couple years ago it was a backflip no hander as a “casual” trick and it took me some time to get it as I was never a “backflip” kind of a guy. I preferred off-axis rotations and spins. It was hard for me to catch up on the insanely fast growing level of riding on a hardtail. But I had a lot of personal achievements on that field over the years because I had an attitude for “I want to learn that trick for myself”. That motivated me each time to get better. I am getting to the point that I am happy with the tricks I can do, cork 720, flip whips, flatspin tabletops or nice whips. I am happy with my bag of tricks somehow. I watch people like Emil Johansson pulling tricks I would never do like flip 5 bars or flip whip to bar to shoulder buzzer and think about my flip whip that I landed 3 years or so ago. There is a lot of time on big jumps for stacking combinations but I prefer slower and easy rotations for myself because otherwise, it gets hectic. I don’t want to be a hectic trick rider.
Lack of style is not worth it.
Yeah, it’s cool to see Emil send it and still insane to watch the grace and style he has.
Exactly, there are tons of sketchy kids doing NBDs with close to no air time and definitely with no style involved.
Since I have started I preferred air time. The bigger the jump, the more I have enjoyed it!
We could see it at the quarter!
Especially at the quarter! It’s not a normal jump or a ramp. It always stays the same and the only factor is speed so you can get higher and higher! I remember last year Clemens Kaudela was not braking after few days and won the highest air. This year on the second day I was not braking at all, and even pedaled down on the third day!
I was about to ask you that as this thing really could be boosted to the moon! How high was it? Twelve meters all together?
I guess somebody off the Nine Knights crew told me they measured Reynolds and Clemens’s runs and it was around 13m top to bottom. The quarter pipe is 8-9 meter high with 4-5 meters of air time it’s super huge! But what was the main question again?!
Learn more about Patrick Schweika’s thoughts as the Nine Knight champion next week, same place!