After watching On the Pipe 7 “The Last Hit”, I was left with a new understanding of the struggles Freestyle Motocross [FMX] riders today experience. The sport thought to be created by Mike Metzger in 1998 has progressed to a level of death defying jumps. This movie brings to light the riders who have directly or indirectly lost their lives due to FMX crashes and injuries and those who continue to push the limits. While a montage of 100 foot jumps to music looks beautiful and easy, there is more to the story. This film does what Troy Adamitis is famous for and tells the harrowing story behind death defying jumps.
Many of today’s FMX films follow the tradition of the original Crusty Demons of Dirt and glorify going big and crashing hard. Adamitis and Jay Schweitzer tell of the struggles behind getting enough attention needed to garner sponsorship, while highlighting an underground group of riders who have no such desires. The Moto industry seems afraid to expose the very real dangers of the sport, but On the Pipe 7 does a great job both explaining why riders choose to take the risks and the unfortunate consequences of the risks.
Along with the documentary there are quite a few segments that are a direct reflection and pay homage to the videos of the 90’s. These clips are in between the documentary segments and consist of music and spectacular highlights. What separates this film from others is the balance that kept me in suspense. After about 5 minutes of seeing huge jumps, I become numb to the realization that each jump could cost the rider his life. This film does a great job telling the story, while letting me enjoy some mindless highlights.
It has been a long time since a FMX video really grabbed my attention and On the Pipe 7: The Last Hit really left me with a higher understanding of the sacrifices these riders face in order to make their dreams come true. The film climaxes with a world record attempt for longest backflip and highest quarter pipe air. To add to the difficulty both are attempted on the same run. Wes Agee was originally the rider who was set to attempt the record jumps but at the eleventh hour he decided the risk wasn’t worth the reward. The project was extremely expensive and time consuming so they searched for another rider with the skill and bravery to attempt these jumps. Brian McCarty aka. “Mcgnarles” stepped in for Wes to make the attempt. Not only did he have the daunting world record jumps, he had to complete the quarter pipe going in his unnatural direction (imagine riding a skateboard with your opposite foot forward). This attempt had me questioning the sanity of everyone involved, but I won’t spoil the ending. Check it out to see if “McGnarles” was successful. I only hope the “Last Hit” wasn’t the last film by this group as I couldn’t get enough.
Check out the “On the Pipe 7: The Last Hit trailer below.