MTB Skills Camp: Confidence, Progression & Great Memories
Everyone knows that the better your skills, the more you can enjoy your mountain biking. But not everyone makes an effort to invest in improving their skills. Well, that wasn’t the case for 49 mountain bikers that attended the fourth annual Waterberg Summer Skills Camp from 4-5 January 2023 at Summerplace Game Reserve. Here’s what went down and information about the next one.
If ever there was a perfect venue to host a mountain bike skills training camp, it’s Summerplace Game Reserve. Every January there’s a group of mountain bikers of varying levels that spend three days at the Waterberg Training Camp and leave with improved confidence, honed skills and an eagerness to keep improving.
Organised and hosted by Summerplace Game Reserve, the skills camp is aimed at all levels of rider – and all ages. The majority of the participants at the 2023 edition were youngsters, but there were also parents of those riders that enjoyed the benefits as well as adults relatively new to mountain biking keen to develop their ability.
Summerplace Game Reserve is one of South Africa’s premier mountain biking destinations and is specifically geared to deliver stimulating, memorable mountain biking experiences, including training camps, skills clinics and various mountain biking events or races. There’s a range of primarily singletrack purpose-built trails, which include features and obstacles to challenge mountain bikers.
The Summerplace Game Reserve Trails Team, under the expert guidance of co-owner, David Baber, is constantly building fresh trails and upgrading existing trails. Ahead of the January Skills Camp they enhanced the main skills area in front of the Bike Village with more jumps, rocky roll-downs and other challenging features.
A total of 65 people attended the multi-day camp, which was structured to ensure the riders were challenged and progressed at their own pace. Obviously, parents of the children were there, some of whom participated in the skills camp, but all of whom made it into a fun, family getaway to the bush.
There were six experienced and certified coaches that took the riders through a range of skills over the three days in an effort to ensure they better understood the fundamental elements of corners, technical climbs, roll-downs/drop-offs, technical climbs and jumps. The instructors were Barry Crouse, Markus van Niekerk, Inus du Preez, Lilian Baber, Cade Badenhorst and David Baber.
“Most skills clinics take place over a few hours. But to attend a skills camp over a couple of days at an appropriate venue like Summerplace ensures that everyone gets ample time to learn and practice their new skills techniques. The skills coaches at this camp are also available to help any rider with a little extra time and focus to ensure that everyone leaves a more competent mountain biker,” said Markus van Niekerk, Chief Skills Instructor.
“A multi-day skills camp like this also creates an opportunity for families to spend time together as well as allow mountain bikers to meet new people with a similar passion and even make new friends,” added Van Niekerk.
The 2023 Waterberg Winter Skills Camp will be held from Friday 30 June-Sunday 2 July. Details are still being finalised, but it’s sensible to make an accommodation booking soon to avoid disappointment as numbers are limited. Email email@example.com to secure you place.