“Off Road Essentials” DVD Review

Byron Wilson | December 10, 2013
Off Road Essentials
Check out “Off Road Essentials” for “An Instructional Journey” in various off-road riding conditions.

Red Tide Pictures’ new release, “Off Road Essentials,” is a simple and thoroughly informative instructional video for dirt riders focused in four areas of the craft. Tips and techniques are offered for Desert, Trail, EnduroCross and Sand riding with instruction coming from seasoned off-road riders Colton Udall, Rory Sullivan, Colton Haaker and Kyle Redmond.

The basic instruction format runs like this, after giving some verbal explanation on how to pull off a move like an EX rock turn or manage a long downhill in the sand, the rider hops on his bike to show how it’s done. Pretty straight forward, but thanks to amazing cinematography and great editing the feature becomes much more than a simple how-to video.

At the outset of the approximately hour-long film comes the subtitle, “An Instructional Journey,” which on the face seems like a kitschy way to describe a how-to video, but it quickly becomes apparent that no more accurate wording could be used to describe the film. Wide shots of the various terrain cycle past and soon you hear a throaty rumble in the background, like some unseen beast lurking in the woods, and as the electronic music track finally gets into heavy percussion Colton Udall comes blasting by on a desert track. Fast and slow motion blend together with angles that make you imagine you can feel the ride, like when Haaker’s front tire makes contact with a log and the camera, mounted on the end of the log, shudders. The opening sequence is exciting, inspiring and above all else makes you want to drop everything and go ride.

Haaker is first up with EnduroCross Fundamentals, running through everything from how to manage the wood pile, getting through the Matrix in one piece and dealing with rocks without giving up off-roading forever. Weight back, feet on the pegs, look forward and smooth on the throttle is all easy to say, but after watching Haaker manage the EnduroCross obstacles you realize it takes much more. Riders must have tenacity, determination, a hell of a lot of skill and a certain level of stubbornness to deal with all the headaches that can come up in EX.

Redmond follows with his Conquering Sand section, and it was my personal favorite. Redmond had some of the most dramatic shots kicking up dirt on a fire-scarred hillside , running up and down massive sand hills and even spending time on turning techniques. He had a natural way of explaining his method while tackling different obstacles. Redmond would also make mistakes on purpose to show why, for example, keeping your weight forward and drifting the rear tire in a sand berm is ideal.

Sullivan gets a bit of time to address Trail Basics and focuses mainly on dealing with rocks, letting the bike move underneath on rocky uphill sections. He also spends a fair portion of time outlining what to do when you come upon a washout.

Udall finishes off the video with his Mastering the Desert portion, giving tips on how to manage the high speeds in terrain absolutely littered with hazards. Udall goes through straight-line braking, ways to choose lines on two track roads, dealing with G-outs, picking lines and reading the terrain for signs of water flow and erosion.

The tips and techniques are great for beginners and more experienced riders alike, and the joy to be had from watching “Off Road Essentials” is enhanced exponentially thanks to its highly polished and exhilarating presentation. I cursed the snowy hills surrounding my house after finishing it and will definitely put it on for some added fire before I hit the trails again in the spring.

Head to Red Tide Pictures to order a copy ($24.95) or you can download it on iTunes here.



Byron Wilson

Associate Editor | Articles | Byron's sure to be hunched over a laptop after the checkers are flown, caught in his own little version of heaven. Whether on dirt, street or a combination of both, MotoUSA's newest addition knows the only thing better than actually riding is telling the story of how things went down.

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