There aren’t many South African seven-year-olds clearing big gap jumps and landing huge drop-offs. Sebastian Flynn, a Grade 2 learner at SACS Junior in Cape Town is one of them. The little guy has big courage and loads of ambition. We interviewed him recently. Here’s his advice for other youngsters as well as photos and videos of his impressive feats.
Sebastian lands a big drop-off.
SHRED: How (and when) did you get into mountain biking?
Seb: I’ve been riding since I was three years old and loved it. My mom and dad’s friends in the UK lent me a bike whilst we were visiting and off I went. Then my parents got me a bike.
SHRED: Where do you ride/session mostly?
Seb: Hellsend, Hoogekraal, Paarl & The Bike Park at Constantia Uitsig.
SHRED: Which is your favourite place to ride/session – and why?
Seb: Hellsend Dirt Compound because they’ve got fun downhill tracks and skills park with jumps.
SHRED: Which spots (local and international) are your dream riding spots?
Seb: The Dolomites in Austria, and, locally, the upper Tokai trails.
Sebastian wears Fox racing gear and rides a Norco Fluid 24-inch bike.
SHRED: Which trick are you most proud of being able to do OR which obstacle are you most proud of being able to ride/send?
Seb: One-handed and one-footers are fun and rock gardens…
SHRED: You also race downhill. What is it about downhill that you enjoy?
Seb: I like to go really fast and go over really fun jumps.
SHRED: Do you have a crew of others you ride with regularly?
Seb: I’ve made loads of friends at all the different places I ride, Matthew, Jensen, Theo, James, Luke, Finn, Hilton and loads of others.
SHRED: Who are your mountain biking heroes?
Seb: Greg Minnaar, Theo Erlangsen and of course Johann Potgieter “Pottie”.
Sebastian in action at a downhill race | Photo Ewald Sadie
SHRED: Tell us about your bike and your gear?
Seb: I use all of the Fox gear and I ride a Norco Fluid 24-inch bike and I added really cool Death Grips.
SHRED: Do you have any sponsors yet?
Seb: I’m sponsored by Namgear, which makes lubes and cleaners, and I am an ambassador for Ardent, which is a cool clothing/cap brand from Florida, USA. I also recently got sponsored by Brew Kombucha, an organic Rooibos energy drink.
SHRED: Do you have a coach that helps you get better with your riding?
Seb: No, I learn by myself and do what I can as I know my limits…
SHRED: At seven you are quite advanced for your age in terms of mountain bike skills/ tricks. It obviously wasn’t easy getting to this level. What do you attribute your progression to?
Seb: Because I practice a lot and I push myself.
SHRED: Since you aren’t old enough to drive yet, who is your main driver to and from riding spots? And do you need to do any chores in return for your driver’s commitment?
Seb: My dad. I don’t have to do chores, but I do say thank you (little giggle).
SHRED: Based on your experience, for other kids that are getting into jumping/sending, what advice can you give them when they are struggling to make progress to the next level?
Seb: They just need to practice a lot and try their best. They must not give up. If someone else can do that trick, they can do it too.
SHRED: We know it’s almost double your life span, but where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
Seb: Probably doing backflips and riding in Europe.
SHRED: Anything else of interest you want to tell us?
Seb: I love animals and travel. I am most happy when I’m outside!
Anyone in particular you want to thank for their support?
Seb: My Dad because he drives me a lot and my mom as she enters me into the competitions and finds me places to ride.
Follow Seb’s progress on Instagram: @sebastian_flynn1