For Langers, riding a BMX is all about pushing himself and the limits of what’s possible. Back in April last year the laid-back guy filled me in on a little project he was working on in the rolling hills behind Cambridge. I use the term “little” loosely here, as what he was planning was anything but small. Langers wanted to eclipse the world long-distance record for BMX dirt-to-dirt jumping set by Dane Searls back in 2011.
The biggest difference was that Langers was building his entire set-up by hand, carving the upramp and downramp out of the hillside and using a natural slope as his roll-in. No plywood, no Posi-Tracks, no crowds, no hype, pomp or circumstance. He wasn’t doing this for money or for fame. There wasn’t any pressure from sponsors or investors demanding what he must or mustn’t do. Paul was doing this wholly and solely on his terms.
After several failed attempts, blown tyres and cracked helmets, Paul was ready and eager to get this done.
Conditions that evening were far from ideal. There was a blustery headwind that would’ve turned 99.9% of riders away as soon as they'd arrived. That meant his roll-in speed was compromised and he had to change his technique slightly to ensure he carried enough speed.
After several roll-ins, practice-runs and a couple of crashes and sketchy landings, Langlands hit his jump, lofted for what seemed an eternity, kissed the edge of the downramp and rode away with his fist in the air, convincingly smashing the long-distance record.
That feeling of pure elation, adrenalin and relief is one only a handful of people will ever experience in this lifetime, but Paul’s far from done. He’s already begun modifying his upramp to jump even further in a few months’ time. I’ll be there to document it all, that’s for sure!
You’re probably wondering why there’re no stats (such as the distance he actually jumped), riding shots or proof of Langers’ epic feat floating about on the internet yet. The Ryan McCrae-produced video documenting his achievement will be released in the coming weeks, with the intention of maintaining the suspense around the jump until then.
For now, check out a couple of these out-take photos and wait with bated breath to watch history be made very soon…