Double Trouble

In the past we've seen how learning the double backflip can elevate a rider's career to the next level and sometimes even make a rider's career, i.e. Scott Murray. But there's obviously a reason that you don't see the majority of professional FMX riders messing with the dub flip — it's the most dangerous trick to ever be thrown on a dirt bike. Case in point, Cameron Sinclair's near-fatal crash in Madrid, Spain earlier this year.

But for some reason, Sinclair's crash, Murray's inconsistency and the general lack of participation from the industry hasn't phased Belgium rider William Van den Putte. Within the past few months, William has been posting videos on YouTube of himself hucking the double backflip into a foam pit. With each and every video he posts, his actual height and distance become larger, looking more spectacular than any double flip we've seen yet.

I hit up William to try and understand why he's on a mission to master the most dangerous trick in the world and why he's doing it on such a gnarly setup. Check out what the Belgium ripper had to say.

All right, so, for those of us don't know, tell us about yourself. What's your name, age and where are you from?

My name is William Van den Putte, I'm 25-years-old and I'm from a city called Olen in Belgium.

How long have you been riding motorcycles and more specifically, FMX?

I started riding dirt bikes when I was 8-years-old and then started racing motocross in 1995. I've always been a racer, but I've always liked hitting big jumps and having fun. Racing motocross can be very intense so I felt a lot of pressure to perform well. Back in 2003 I started jumping ramps, but I was still racing motocross grand prix until 2005 — but then it was all FMX after that.

So were you a pro motocross rider?

Yeah, I was racing here in Belgium against guys like Stefan Everts and a bunch of other top pro's.

Yeah, I used to race here in Belgium against guys like Stefan Everts and a bunch of other top pro's.

-- William Van de Putte

Wow, how did it go? Did you have a factory ride or any really good finishes?

I got some good sponsors when I was racing, but I was still a privateer rider. I got my bikes tuned and prepped by a big Suzuki company here in Belgium, but I wasn't a factory rider. I had some good races - especially on the sandy tracks. I was able to get three top 10 finishes, but it's a hard life to get there.

So, I discovered you through the FreestyleMTX.com forums. You posted video of yourself trying a double backflip into a foam pit. What made you want to try the double backflip and what made you want to do it at such a long distance?

Yeah, it all started when we where just having fun with the BMX bike and pit bike in the foam pit. After a while, I was pulling double backflips pretty easy on the pit bike. So, then I got an 85cc to try and yeah, it worked. So naturally I just tried it with the 250 and after a few attempts, I was able to get a double rotation — not with a clean landing, but I knew that it was possible.

Then about 6 months ago, I went for another double flip, but I got screwed in my first flip, lost control and fell hard on my bike. I injured my back and I didn't want to try it ever again — but there's just something inside me that wants to learn it perfectly. So about two weeks ago, I realized that the ramp kicked too hard and maybe it was possible at a longer distance. I built a special ramp for this and I started to try it in my friends foampit, because it's a lot bigger than mine.

Everything was going OK, but it just wasn't enough for two full rotations, so I got back home and realized that I should try it on a super kicker ramp. I changed the sprockets on my bike so that I could go slower up to the ramp and it ended up working really good. So now I've done like 14 double flips into the foam pit on the super kicker and I believe that 7 or 8 had perfectly clean landings.

How far are you doing them at?

16 meters, which is about 55 feet, I guess?

In the video, it looks like you're getting higher than Cam Sinclair, Travis Pastrana or Scott Murray ever did.

Yeah, I don't know, it's all new for me so... I didn't have any advice going into it — I just figured everything out my own way.

Do you plan to do the double flip to dirt?

I don't know. It's one of the most dangerous tricks you can do on dirt, but if I get a really good feeling with it, there's always a possibility that I would try it to dirt. It just has to come naturally and on a normal day of riding — not with a plan. I'll do when it feels right.

It just has to come naturally and on a normal day of riding — not with a plan. I'll do when it feels right.

-- William Van de Putte

Has Cam Sinclair's crash made you think twice about trying the double flip to dirt?

Yeah, his crash was really bad... I couldn't even watch the video. But I read Cam's interview and he's right by saying it's a "best trick" type of trick. To do it in a 60 second run is just too hard. The first time I heard that he was doing the double flip in competition, I was already a little scared that he would hurt himself. I was riding with him on the Crusty Tour in England and so I kind of know him. He's one of the guys who really steps it up.

So, do you ride contests? You rode the Crusty Tour in Europe?

Yeah, I'm also riding contests all over Europe, like in Spain, Czech Republic and sometimes I compete in the IFMXF contests. And yeah, I rode the Unleash Hell Crusty Tour in England and I was the first European rider to get sponsored by Crusty.

Awesome man, well thanks for chatting about your crazy double flip attempts. What are your plans for 2010?

I just want to have fun on the bike and try to raise my level of riding the best I can. If I get a chance, I'd like to come to the states and ride for a holiday.

Awesome, do you have any sponsors you'd like to thank?

Yeah I'd like to thank Crusty Europe, KTM of Belgium, MX477 Dirt Bike shop, Scoyco clothing, M2R helmets and thanks to my family and friends for all the support... and thank you!