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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Jogging, masks and Manchester United are big in Seoul.
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.
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.
Seoul is just 35 miles from the hostile neighbour of North Korea, and thousands of US and Korean troops are stationed in the city.
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.
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.
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.
Parisian Matthias Dandios shelters from the rain in a vast tunnel beneath Seoul power station.
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.
Seoul is a very safe place. One night Anthony left his iPad outside the hostel, the following day it was still there.
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 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 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.
Whereas many have trouble touching their toes, Matthias can stretch his limbs in unthinkable knots like this 360 X-up mega spin.
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.
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.
This outdoor swimming pool on the banks of the River Han was drained till high summer, providing the perfect surface for Matthias.
Corey has been riding for Red Bull for almost 10 years, and shows no sign of slowing down.
Security at this church was tight, but that didn't stop Bruno from doing this huge 'hit and run' 360 over the rail.
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 threads the needle on this tight wall ride, avoiding, one, the barriers and, two, the tank of live eels to the right.
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.