Film/Text: Nitro Circus
Nitro Circus ringleader and action sports icon Travis Pastrana added another incredible world’s first to his resume Thursday as he successfully landed the first barge-to-barge motorcycle backflip. Pastrana battled high winds and rough waters as he flew between the two vessels floating on the legendary River Thames in London, UK, the iconic O2 rising in the background.
“Landing such a massive trick like this is incredible. Then to do it in such an awesome location, in such an iconic city, makes it even more special,” said Pastrana. “The conditions were definitely a challenge. With the waves and especially the strong winds you get variables beyond your control and that’s where things can really go wrong. But, pushing the limits and achieving world firsts is what Nitro Circus is all about.”
Already 120-feet away from solid ground, Pastrana had only 36 feet to come to a stop before sliding into the Thames. Fighting winds gusting up to 20 miles per hour, Pastrana risked flying off course and missing the 27-feet wide landing barge entirely. Going in, the danger level was already high. Mike Metzger crashed hard during his 2006 attempt, fracturing his L-4 vertebra. While fortunately Metzger made a full recovery, the trick was never attempted again, until now.
Why does Travis Pastrana, a global icon who already has achieved numerous world’s firsts and earned more competition trophies than he can count, continue to put everything on the line? The answer is simple: for him, like everyone in the Nitro Circus crew, progression is everything. “Living means taking risks,” Pastrana explained. “If you have a goal you want to reach or something you want to achieve, first you have to be willing to push it, get outside of your comfort zone and then totally send it “
Nitro Circus’ world-class athletes showcase that same mettle and determination at show after show worldwide. Pastrana flew out to London for this epic attempt shortly after Nitro Circus wrapped up its 2017 North American tour. The four-month trek included massive shows like Travis’ huge Annapolis homecoming party in front of over 22,000 fans as well as blockbuster stops at Seattle’s Safeco Field and San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium. Now the action sports juggernaut is gearing up for dates in Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia and South Africa. 2018 will feature two all-new tours, first Australia’s Next Level Tour, celebrating the game-changing progression pioneered at Travis’ Pastranaland compound, then Europe’s You Got This Tour, which will kick out the jams with simply the greatest, craziest, funniest show in Nitro Circus history.
Sponsors of this historic achievement include ’47, exclusive headwear and apparel partner for Nitro Circus and its athletes, Kevlar, Yokohama and Hyper Bicycles. Ripley’s Believe It or Not! is also proud to be a sponsor of Travis Pastrana’s world’s first event with Nitro Circus. Pastrana’s feat will be featured in next year’s Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Annual, a collection of extraordinary stories, mind-boggling facts and breathtaking photography. A signed copy of Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Shatter Your Senses! — this year’s edition is on sale now—can be won at ripleys.com/nitro.