Danny MacAskill rules the rooftops of Gran Canaria

Watch as the street-trials star takes on the beautiful town of Las Palmas in his latest video.
© GoPro
By Ric McLaughlin

Danny MacAskill's latest assault on the internet was filmed among the paint-pot houses and azure blue skies of Las Palmas, Gran Canaria.

We caught up with Danny to find out more about his incredible ride across the rooftops, including those hair-raising, vertigo-inducing POV shots. 

Danny, you’ve just released Cascadia in conjunction with your sponsor, GoPro. Can you tell us a little about it?
We’ve been working on this new film for quite a while now. Originally I had the idea to do a film on rooftops about two years ago, and it was obvious that GoPro would be the partner to do that film with. Basically the film consists of me starting on top of a hill in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria on top of a building. I use the rooftops to make my way down to the sea in the end, doing various tricks and riding along various ledges along the way.

Why did you choose Gran Canaria as shooting location?
We chose Gran Canaria for this project firstly because of the weather. We wanted consistent nice blue skies. Actually it rained quite a lot during our shooting there, but there’s not a lot you can do about it. Also the location had to be quite specific, we needed flat rooftops that were quite close together, not so spread open, so I would be able to find my way through the buildings on my bike.

Trials rider Danny Macaskill performs in his video Cascadia
Danny’s specially-prepared street trials bike © GoPro

Were there any really special moments for you during the shooting?
Hard to say. I mean the whole trip was an amazing experience. We had a team of friends from Scotland who I normally work with in my previous projects. But also working with the GoPro production team was so much fun. Though the riding itself was on a quite high level, so I had to be on top of my game. Really having the entire team behind me was an enjoyable time.

We went knocking on the doors, asking if we could get up on top of the rooftops

Did you get in trouble with any of the locals?
Not at all. Generally the locals in Las Palmas were really welcoming. We went knocking on the doors asking if we could get up on top of the rooftops. They were very welcoming and next thing would be I had to bring my bike up there. I think it would have been very difficult to do that anywhere else in the world.

 

Trials rider Danny Macaskill wallrides in his video Cascadia
Danny on a wall © GoPro

What’s the most technical trick in the video?
I would say one of the biggest builds in the video was probably the end shot. We were starting on top of the hill and I tried to think of something good to end the film, what we call the 'banger' of the video. So we built this scaffolding structure in El Roque and I come down off the scaffolding and do a big frontflip into the ocean.

I originally planned to do it from the very top of the building, which would have been like a 28-metre drop and then discard my bike before falling into the sea. But the sea wasn’t deep enough at that point and we ended up moving it down a bit, which meant I could stay on my bike, which looked pretty cool. We only had the scaffolding for one day, so the pressure to do it was quite high, but in the end it worked out.

Any advice for other ambitious GoPro filmers?
I’d say the camera is so versatile, just go ahead and play with it, see what works for you. It's fun trying to mount it all over the place!

For my general riding I use a lot of straight POV because not many people have seen that angle of trials. I also love trying to find new places for the camera and that’s also the easiest way to avoid jump cuts in your edit. Just switch angles a few times while you’re riding and experiment with new angles. I’d just say play with it and have fun, see what works for you!

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