Seoul: Watch our latest BMX feature

Martinez, Hoffmann, Kachinsky, Dandois and Perrin ride the streets of Seoul, in South Korea.
By George Marshall & Rich Forne

Sometimes you have to be prepared to take a risk and journey down a path less taken. In this new edit, Corey Martinez, Bruno Hoffmann, Brian Kachinsky, Matthias Dandois and Anthony Perrin do exactly that and venture to South Korea’s capital – Seoul – a vast city of skyscrapers that tower above a dense maze of back alleys and streets below.

For eight days, the riders searched the city’s unfamiliar streets, in the hope of finding new and unchartered spots – they weren’t to be disappointed.

Filmed and edited by Rich Forne
Photographed and produced by George Marshall

Anthony Perrin poses for a portrait in Seoul, South Korea.
The young Frenchman © George Marshall

12 years separated the oldest and youngest riders on the trip. Despite his lack of miles on the clock, young Frenchman Anthony Perrin took to Asian culture like a hardened traveller.

The endless maze of back streets, alleys and dead ends in Seoul
Seoul backstreets © George Marshall

From the air, Seoul appears to be a collection of vast skyscrapers and towering residential blocks, but beneath these exists an endless maze of back streets, alleys and dead ends; this is the beating heart of the city and where we spent our days searching for spots.

One of the many crosses that dominate the Seoul Skyline
The search for the Holy Grail © George Marshall

In our search for spots, we found that the grounds of vast Christian churches often had the best stuff to ride, but sadly they also had the most security.

Corey Martinez poses for a portrait in Seoul, South Korea.
Cory Martinez © George Marshall

Rather than staying in a glamorous hotel in the business district, we opted for a humble hostel in Hongdae – a student area notorious for its nightlife; just imagine Ibiza meets Hong Kong. Here, Cory Martinez tries to wake up for a day's riding after a late night of rice wine and bed bugs.

Filmmaker Rich Forne poses for a portrait in Seoul, South Korea.
Filmmaker Rich Forne © George Marshall

Respected filmmaker and rider Rich Forne sliced open his finger on the second night at 4am and sprayed blood all over the entire hostel. Two hours of cleaning blood off the ceilings and a few stitches later and he was back rolling.

The masked jogger poses for a portrait
The masked jogger © George Marshall

Jogging, masks and Manchester United are big in Seoul.

A view of the Han River in Seoul
The Han River © George Marshall

The city of Seoul hugs the Han River. Over the week we rode up to 30 miles a day up and down the river, getting from one end of the city to the other.

A view of a Fried Chicken Shop in Seoul
Fried chicken © George Marshall

Pleasantly, Seoul has very few Western food restaurants. The food in Korea is an acquired taste, that taste being red-hot chili. For the most part it was delicious and thankfully dog is not on the menu.

Portrait of dog and owner in Seoul, South Korea
The English Bull Terrier © George Marshall
Portrait of South Korean soldiers in Seoul, South Korea
Ceasefire © George Marshall

Seoul is just 35 miles from the hostile neighbour of North Korea, and thousands of US and Korean troops are stationed in the city.

Bruno Hoffman and Rich Forne at work in Seoul
Back and forth © George Marshall

The process of filming a technical line can be a draining ordeal for both the rider and filmmaker. Here Bruno Hoffmann and Rich Forne put in the work.

Ducks pictured on the River Han in Seoul
Ducks for hire © George Marshall
Corey Martinez performing on the streets of Seoul, South Korea.
Corey Martinez's feeble down a big wooden ledge © George Marshall

This ledge has a 30ft 'dead man' drop off a cliff to the left. Corey chose not to look at the drop and instead focussed on it working out perfectly, which it thankfully did.

Bruno Hoffmann performing on the streets of Seoul, South Korea.
Bruno Hoffmann's huge 180 access hop © George Marshall

You wouldn't think it, but Bruno came on this trip recovering from a broken foot. But he didn't take it steady; he did huge stuff like this access 180 on the morning of the first day.

Matthias Dandois performing on the streets of Seoul, South Korea.
Matthias Dandois' steam roller barspin © George Marshall

Parisian Matthias Dandios shelters from the rain in a vast tunnel beneath Seoul power station.

Brian Kachinsky performing on the streets of Seoul, South Korea.
Brian Kachinsky's full pipe Toboggan in Seoul © George Marshall

Tom Dugan rode this spot a couple of years ago, but being the only transition we saw all week it was too good an opportunity to pass up. Brian Kachinsky got an early start to evade security guards and blast this Toboggan.

Anthony Perrin performing on the streets of Seoul, South Korea.
Anthony Perrin's 180 bars © George Marshall

Seoul is a very safe place. One night Anthony left his iPad outside the hostel, the following day it was still there.

Corey Martinez performing on the streets of Seoul, South Korea.
Corey Martinez's bump jump to peg grind © George Marshall

Corey found this set up opposite a tattoo shop. The following morning he returned, pulled it and celebrated by getting a trip tattoo of some chopsticks eating a finger.

Anthony Perrin performing on the streets of Seoul, South Korea.
Anthony Perrin's Truck Driver © George Marshall

Anthony did this Truck in a line, which took a good number of attempts to pull. He pulled the Truck as clean as a whistle every time without fail.

Bruno Hoffmann performing on the streets of Seoul, South Korea.
Bruno Hoffmann's feeble to 360 © George Marshall

Bruno had to ride inside a school corridor to get a run up for this feeble to 360, the teachers didn't know whether to clap or call the police. In the end they did both.

Matthias Dandois performing on the streets of Seoul, South Korea.
Matthias Dandois' beyond clicked X-up mega spin © George Marshall

Whereas many have trouble touching their toes, Matthias can stretch his limbs in unthinkable knots like this 360 X-up mega spin.

Brian Kachinsky performing on the streets of Seoul, South Korea.
Brian Kackinsky's gap to pegs © George Marshall

This spot was a chaotic scene of people enjoying a warm Sunday afternoon in the city's main square. As we set up our cameras, an ever-growing crowd gathered which didn't help Brian get his mind round doing this gap to pegs. Screams of shock rang out after the first attempt, thankfully Brian's second attempt was greeted with cheers and claps.

Corey Martinez performing on the streets of Seoul, South Korea.
Corey Martinez's wedge to 360 over a rail © George Marshall

Five lanes of morning traffic were flying down this road at 50mph. Corey finds a narrow gap between trucks, buses and cars to send this 360 over the rail and into the road.

Matthias Dandois performing on the streets of Seoul, South Korea.
Matthias Dandois' Plastic Man © George Marshall

This outdoor swimming pool on the banks of the River Han was drained till high summer, providing the perfect surface for Matthias.

Corey Martinez performing on the streets of Seoul, South Korea.
Corey Martinez's wallride-gap-wallride © George Marshall

Corey has been riding for Red Bull for almost 10 years, and shows no sign of slowing down.

Bruno Hoffmann performing on the streets of Seoul, South Korea.
Bruno Hoffmann's hit and run 360 over the rail © George Marshall

Security at this church was tight, but that didn't stop Bruno from doing this huge 'hit and run' 360 over the rail.

Anthony Perrin performing on the streets of Seoul, South Korea.
Anthony Perrin's Bump Jump Truck © George Marshall

Sometimes on trips it can be hard to get that first quality photo in the can, especially when the country is very foreign and everyone is jet lagged. That wasn't the case in Seoul. Day 1, 10.30am, only a stone's throw from the hostel and Anthony Perrin got the first clip and photo in what ended up being a really productive week.

Corey Martinez performing on the streets of Seoul, South Korea.
Corey Martinez's wall ride © George Marshall

Corey threads the needle on this tight wall ride, avoiding, one, the barriers and, two, the tank of live eels to the right.

Matthias Dandois performing on the streets of Seoul, South Korea.
Matthias Dandois’ Frame Stand Tomahawk © George Marshall

Matthias has a habit of getting a tattoo from every major trip to remind him of the good times. Thanks to Matthias we all returned home with a tattoo of some description – it was a trip to be remembered.

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