Pursuit of Performance

Freeride Videos Bring Attention to the Sport

Bartek “Jaws” Krzysztoń uses the latest technology to produce popular freeride videos.

With the rise of competitions like the X Games and the continued popularity of internet videos, extreme sports are becoming increasingly mainstream. One such sport is freeride.

Similar to downhill biking, freeriders use reinforced bikes to quickly ride down hills. The difference is that freeride is less about a speedy descent and more about the stunts and techniques used on the ride down.

Bartek “Jaws” Krzysztoń freeride videos
Bartek “Jaws” Krzysztoń

Bartek “Jaws” Krzysztoń, a Polish freeride professional who has been practicing for years, knows what it takes to be a top contender. Widely recognized in his home country and within the internet biking community, Krzysztoń has turned his passion into a legitimate career path.

While a typical day includes a lot of time in the woods honing his technique and stunts like hands-free backflips, the professional MTB freerider doesn’t focus solely on his sport. Krzysztoń also showcases his unique skills by creating a catalog of popular freeride videos.

backflip - freeride videos
Backflip — rotating your body and bike in the backward direction.
Photo: Tomasz Rakoczy

It was actually Krzysztoń’s creative side that first prompted his interest in cycling 15 years ago.

“I have always been passionate about sports — I used to ride a skateboard — but I also liked to draw,” he said. “I took part in an art competition announced on TV and my drawing won me the first prize — a BMX.

“I started riding it, doing my first stunts in the backyard, and I immediately knew that this was it. For four years, thanks to the sponsors, I have been able to make a living out of freeride.”

drop - freeride videos
Drop — this is not a stunt, but rather an obstacle: The rider jumps down from a flat plane without gaining height.
Photo: Bartek Woliński

This sport is not for the faint of heart. Riders, like Krzysztoń, who excel must be calm and confident as they precisely navigate the challenging terrain.

Despite the risks, freeride makes for some dramatic videos.

With a GoPro Hero 4 Silver Edition camera on his helmet and a team armed with Sony NEX-FS700 and various DSLR cameras, Krzysztoń is able to capture enough footage during his forest adventures to support Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.

He also has videos as part of the Jawsume series on the Epic TV website, some of which have been viewed thousands, if not millions, of times.

“I devote a lot of time to cutting and editing videos of my rides,” Krzysztoń said, noting his program of choice is MAGIX Fastcut, which allows for quick and easy rendering and editing. “Well, maybe ‘a lot of time’ is a bit of an exaggeration now, because the new computer, an Asus notebook with an Intel processor, allows me to work much faster.”

Whereas Krzysztoń’s old computer made creating a two-minute movie an hour-long task, his new hardware allows him to achieve the same results in minutes. Sometimes, he says, rendering is completed in a few seconds.

“The improved performance doesn’t just mean I’m saving time — it also means I have more options,” Krzysztoń explained. “Now, in an instant, I can check various predefined settings in the program and compare templates to select options which will produce the most interesting artistic effect.”

Table Top — freeride videos
Table Top — positioning the bike at an angle of 90 degrees.
Photo: Bartek Woliński

It also means the freerider is able to focus on his other passions, like learning to tattoo.

“I used to draw with a tablet a lot, but I gave it up because vector graphics were too demanding for my old processor,” Krzysztoń said. “Now, with a new machine, I can take it up again.”


Original reporting by Olaf Szewczyk.


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