Tuhoto resides in near by Rotorua just 2.5 hours drive from Fourforty Bike Park. Tuhoto had very recently returned from a very successful season overseas, the highlight being crowned king of Crankworx which is a massive achievement for such a young rider. Tuhoto had made a few brief visits to Fourforty in the past to take out some national DH events but had never experienced the full layout of trails the park has on offer.
We were gifted some perfect late spring crisp weather for the shoot. As a keen fisherman you could tell Tuhoto was right at home at a bike park so close to the east coast beaches of New Zealand. We started out on trail bikes to session some of the many flow and technical trails that better suited the smaller bike. I quickly found out Tuhoto is the type of character that lets his riding do the talking, watching him flow the trails with such fluid style you can tell Tuhoto has a significant BMX race background. One of the highlights of the day was seeing Tuhoto drop into our black jump trail “Pretty Fly” completely blind and easily clearing all the gaps while even managing a sneaky hand off the bars. A trail that even experienced riders take their time to build up on.
Famous throughout the park is the winding snake runs of wall ride berms carved into the landscape. Tuhoto was not shy on getting his tyres into unchartered real estate on these features, boosting high on to every wall ride.
Next up we swapped out trail bikes for the full downhill race bike. Fourforty had recently completely rebuilt their national DH track in preparation to host the first round of the national DH series on the 16th of January 2024. There were many new berms, doubles and fresh loamy sections of trail to session. Tuhoto attacked every feature at race speed on his first runs, it was insane to see 15 meter doubles floated with such ease.
I don't doubt we will be seeing more visits from Tuhoto over the summer. He may be a low-key humble guy, but once the wheels touch the dirt things take a dramatic change! Chatting with Tuhoto over the few days of filming it was clear he has huge confidence combined with high ambitions for racing next season. We look forward to seeing Tuhoto on the world cup podium in the near future and wish him all the best.
I thought the bike park was mean as! So many sick trails with heaps of fun lines! Fourforty is a good place to take anyone from a beginner to a hard-out rider. Also, the location makes an awesome weekend away with the family or mates, I will definitely be up over the summer. Tuhoto Ariki Pene
To learn more about Fourfourty Bike Park - https://www.fourfortymtbpark.co.nz