Josh Landmann: An Inspiration for Everyone

Recently we met one of the most inspiring men we have ever seen. Hearing all about his story and what he’s accomplished is sick and it’s the exact attitude we want to represent the Haardvark movement!

We’d like to introduce you guys to Joshua Landmann. Josh is a 22-year-old lad from Knott End and around three years ago, his life took a crazy turn.

When he was on holiday with friends in San Antonio he dived into a pool to cool off from the heat. However the pool was a lot shallower than it looked and he hit his head off the surface. The impact was so severe that he fractured a vertebrae at the top of his back as well as compressing another vertebrae further down his spine.

Following the incident Josh was airlifted to the nearest hospital for major surgery, where the doctors were certain he wouldn’t walk again.

After three or four months of recovery, Josh was finally able to walk around 10-15 metres with no aid. If it weren’t for his mint attitude, he wouldn’t have made even half the recovery he’s made today!

Since the accident, Josh completed ‘Tough Mudder’ with the help of his father who wheeled him between obstacles. A video of Josh went viral on the internet when he took on the ‘Everest’ obstacle where people have praised him for his determination—the video even hit over 20 million views on social media.

It doesn’t stop there either—Josh climbed Mount Snowden in Wales which is 1,085m high in under 6 hours! On top of that, he’s a Team GB Para-Snowsports Athlete and he’s hoping to represent our country in the 2022 Winter Paralympics.

When we spoke with Josh he said that his disability had “opened loads of doors” for him as he is now getting to experience things in life which he probably would never have got to do if it weren’t for his accident.

Calling Josh inspiring would be an understatement and we think you should all take a leaf out of his book when it comes to attitude and determination.

Haardvark Partners With Sun Print Racing #51!

Recently the Haardvark community has grown bigger once again. We are now partnered with Sun Print Racing and we can’t wait for the work we’re going to be creating with these guys. Every member of the Haardvark community is irreplaceable and we can’t thank you guys enough for being on board with is!

Sun Print Racing #51 is a world champion offshore racing team based in Tampa Bay. Late last year, they were crowned winners of the Clearwater Championship and they even qualified for the world championships.

Not only did they qualify for the world championships, they were also predicted to win the whole thing! So these guys are no jokers, they mean serious business. Just take a look at this video footage!

If you’d like to find out more about these amazing guys, head over to https://sunprintracing.com/.

The First of Many

We have some sick news here at Haardvark! The first job opportunity has been created and we’re buzzing. A 17-year-old apprentice named Fin has hopped straight into the Haardvark team and he’s absolutely smashing it!

Fin attended Cardinal Allen Catholic High School and finished last year. The first time we came into contact with Fin was back in 2015 when he came into 2am for a week of work experience. Then, when he was leaving school, Pete chased him up because he saw the perfect opportunity to get him on board with the Haardvark Initiative.

After a few months of showing Fin the tricks of the trade, he’s now managing Haardvark’s social media accounts, taking control of all the stock and he’s in full swing with the Haardvark School’s Programme Initiative.

When we asked Fin how the Haardvark Initiative had helped him, he said: “The whole idea of Haardvark and the ethos behind it has helped me massively in terms of my career. When I was coming up to leaving school, I had no clue about what I wanted to do—just like most kids.

“I knew I wanted an apprenticeship but I didn’t know which line of work I wanted to be in. Then after Pete approached me and introduced me to the whole idea of Haardvark, I became very interested in the project.

“Now I’m working within the digital marketing trade and I couldn’t picture myself doing anything else. Without Haardvark, I wouldn’t have a clue as to what I wanted to do in the future but now it’s crystal clear.”

Aaron “Wheelz” Fotheringham: Wheelchair Athlete

In terms of skating, my guess is that the majority of skate parks consist of your typical skateboarders, BMX riders and scooters, correct? But what about if you saw a man in a wheelchair hitting the ramps?

I’d like to introduce you to Aaron Fotheringham. He is a 25-year-old man from Las Vegas, Nevada who is paralysed from the waist down and he’s been in a wheelchair since the age of eight!

From an early age, Aaron would watch his older brother ride his BMX at the park until one day he decided to give the ramps a shot in his wheelchair! It was his passion that pushed him to give it a try, and ever since, his desire to skate has kept driving him to achieve his goals.

Now Aaron is a professional extreme wheelchair athlete—which really goes to show, if you put your mind to it, you can achieve anything! He uses a customised wheelchair which is lightweight and has four-wheel suspension, therefore allowing Aaron to perform all the tricks you’ll see in his videos..

Back in 2010, Aaron became a part of the Nitro Circus Live tour which toured around Australia, New Zealand, the United States and Europe. Here, Aaron faced a fifty-foot mega ramp with a huge jump at the end. It doesn’t stop there either—due to his specially-made wheelchair, he can perform rail grinds, 180 spins and one wheeled spins.

At the age of 14, Aaron became the first person to successfully perform a backflip in a wheelchair and just four years later, he became the first person to successfully complete a double backflip in a wheelchair!

He’s a truly inspiring athlete who can serve as an excellent role model to anyone out there trying to achieve their dreams. Everything from his mindset to his passion show that anyone can accomplish great things.

From Snow to…Lava

Travelling down a snow-topped mountain at speeds of up to 50mph with just your skis or snowboard must be fairly daunting—especially when they don’t actually have any brakes. However when you swap the friendly, snowy mountains with an active, aggressive volcano, just how much more terrifying does it get?

Well three North Face athletes bit the bullet and headed over to the South Pacific to give Mount Yasur a run for its money.

For those unaware, Mount Yasur is a volcano located on Tanna Island in Vanuatu. It stands at 1,184ft tall and has been erupting repeatedly for the past three years. So it’s safe to say this was no walk in the park…or ski!

The Daredevils

The three men who headed out for the ride of their lives are all professional winter sports athletes working with The North Face.

Sam Smoothy is a 30-year-old world-class freeriding skier originating from New Zealand. Smoothy has won many titles throughout his career, including: New Zealand Skier of the Year (2012), New Zealand Snowsports Freeride Athlete of the Year (2014) and more recently in 2015 he won the Freeride World Tour in Andorra. These are just a few titles among the long list he has, but you get the idea. He’s no stranger to skiing…

Xavier De Le Rue is a 37-year-old  freeride snowboarder from Saint Lary, France. Similar to Smoothy, he also has a long list of winnings from his career, such as: World Champion Freeride World Tour (2008, 2009, 2010!), X Games Winner in 2005 and 2010 Big Mountain Snowboarder of the Year. This guy is a real snowboarding master, but how will he handle the heat of Mount Yasur?

Xavier’s younger brother, Victor De Le Rue is also taking part in this fiery ride of a lifetime. He is a 27-year-old snowboarder from St Lary, France. Just like his older brother, Victor has had some success within his career too. He was voted French Rider of the Year in 2012, 2013 and 2014 and he was awarded with Snowboarder Magazine’s #3 Rider of the Year in 2015. Victor has also appeared in movies including Dopamine, Heavy Mental and Origins.

So it’s obvious these guys are absolute artists when it comes to the snowy mountains in France, Switzerland, Austria. But lets see how that changes when you swap those mountains with a 184ft tall, active volcano that could erupt at any time.

Video courtesy of The North Face.

What’s New to Haardvark!

There are some exciting things in the making at Haardvark and we can’t wait to show you guys!

Instagram

If you haven’t seen it already, Haardvark now has its own Instagram account where we post our products, blogs, deliveries and news! We are soon going to be uploading videos of Haardvark’s own riders tearing up the streets and parks! Follow us now! https://www.instagram.com/haardvarksportsapparel/?hl=en

Competitions

Each month we’re giving you guys the chance of bagging yourself a Haardvark product for free! We’re running two competitions every month, ‘The Haardest Trick’ and ‘The Funniest Bails’.

To win ‘The Haardest Trick’ competition, you must record yourself hitting up your best trick whether it’s on the street or in the park! You then need to send them over to us (the email will be revealed once the competition is live) and we will decide which one of you is the deserved winner.

Do you have any funny videos of you bailing? Everyone loves a good fail video so that’s why each month we are hosting ‘The Funniest Bails’ competition. To enter, you must send us your most hilarious bail video. We will then look through each video and decide which one is the best!

Competitions will be announced on our Instagram so don’t forget to follow us or you could miss out! The winning video will also be announced on our Instagram and our website.

We also have some exciting news regarding our very own ‘Haardvark Riders’ but we’re afraid we’re going to have to leave you with your imagination for this one. All will be revealed soon…

Danny MacAskill: Trials Cyclist

Jumping over gates, balancing on rocks and thin ledges and flipping onto benches is a hard enough task when you’re on your feet but how much harder does it get when you add a bike to the equation? For some, it seems to be a piece of cake…

Danny MacAskill is a 31-year-old Scottish trials cyclist, currently working as a professional rider for Inspired Bicycles Ltd and he also rides for Red Bull from time to time. Danny gained fame after he posted numerous street trial videos to his YouTube account back in 2009, which were a real hit and gained widespread media attention.

Danny can pull off almost any stunt on his trials bike, whether it’s flipping over hills, balancing on ledges, hopping over fences or even riding along hay stacks! Don’t be getting any ideas though guys—he’s a trained professional! We don’t want to be putting you or other people in danger just because you tried to ride along a stack of rolling hay!

In his most recent collaboration with Red Bull, Danny explored a rural landscape and used the terrain in his advantage to do what he does best. Take a look at Danny’s ‘Wee Day Out’ here.

The Future of the X Games

How many of you could say that at the age of 11, you competed in one of the biggest skating competitions in the world? I certainly know I can’t—I was too busy sat inside on my Xbox or collecting football cards! But I’m sure even if I was active, I would definitely not have the skill level to qualify for the X Games!

The X Games is a competition where all the greatest skaters, bikers and motocross riders come together and compete in a series of different trials to reach the top and beat the world records! The Winter X Games is similar, however the conditions are much snowier and athletes compete on skis, snowmobiles and snowboards.

Many competitors have had years of experience—hence why they are so talented—but some haven’t even left school yet! It’s crazy to think that some have been riding longer than others have been alive! It gets even crazier when the young ones are becoming the champions…

Jagger Eaton

Jagger Eaton is a 15-year-old skateboarder from Arizona and he currently holds the record for being the youngest competitor in the X Games—at just age 11 he qualified for the competition in Los Angeles—what an achievement! Jagger has entered many more contests since this and has performed phenomenally. His records don’t just stop there either because he is also the youngest competitor to win the Tampa Am championships!

Eaton first started skateboarding at the age of 4—being taught by his father, who is the founder of the skateboarding school Kids That Rip. At the age of 11, Jagger received a sponsorship from DC Shoes—one of the most popular skateboarding brands.

Kelly Sildaru

Kelly Sildaru is a 14-year-old freestyle skier from Estonia. And just like Jagger, she is another teenage record holder! She became the first Estonian to ever win a medal at the Winter X Games as well being the youngest ever to get gold! Kelly came first in the slopestyle event in last year’s Winter X Games, aged just 13! If that doesn’t scream ‘BIG FUTURE’, then I don’t know what will.

Sildaru was hitting the slopes around the same time she’d just learnt how to stand on her own two feet! It is well known that ‘practice makes perfect’ and this shows in Kelly’s gold medal-winning run as she scored a near-perfect 93.00, blowing all other competitors out of the water.

With the level of skill these guys have at such a young age, we’re expecting them to be tearing up the X Games for many years to come as well as smashing all the records—remember the names…

The Rise of Virtual Reality

Each and every year, there is always that one thing to come out that everyone loses their minds over! And it’s usually to do with technology. In 2016 we had everyone rolling round the streets on the infamous ‘hover boards’, taking absolutely hilarious tumbles!

Although it was first established many moons ago (around 1950 in fact), virtual reality required a large amount of equipment and the end result left a lot to be desired. However now the tech has evolved to a point where the images almost look real and everything fits into a headset! Which seems to be making a massive breakthrough as Sony has released a version which is compatible with the PlayStation where games from the console can be played through the headset, such as Resident Evil and Batman. The result is impressive, with the immersive experience being unlike anything we’ve seen before.

The Oculus Rift is another virtual reality headset which is compatible with your PC and provides a full virtual reality experience with an integrated VR sound system, but for £550 that’s the least you should expect! The Oculus Rift has been described has having great picture quality with a comfortable design, however the only problem seems to be the price. And the HTC Vive is a headset providing almost the same real-life virtual experience as the Oculus Rift, but you best get saving for this one as it’s priced at a whopping £759! It truly is an amazing piece of kit however the quality of the image is so high that it can sometimes cause motion sickness!

On the other hand, if you can’t afford to fork out hundreds on a VR headset, then there are much cheaper alternatives which can be used on your smartphone. With a number of VR compatible apps for your mobile and a headset as cheap as £15, virtual reality can be accessed by almost anyone!

Virtual reality gives users a truly enveloping—almost hypnotic—adventure, making people feel as if they are physically within the games they are playing. It also allows them to interact with things going on around them. Extreme sports games have been released for virtual reality which is great news for all us sport fanatics as we can now experience all the sports we’ve never tried before—or the ones we don’t dare to…

So if you’re afraid of the dangers that come with extreme sports, why not try them in virtual reality? You’ll experience the same head-spinning feeling when you flip but not the same bone-crushing pain when you bail! Virtual reality can also be used to play videos, so if you want to re-live THAT 900° Tony Hawk spin from the eyes of the man himself, then virtual reality is the answer to your prayers.

To give you guys a little taste into what virtual reality is like, here’s a short clip for you to experience paragliding, skiing and kayaking in the Australian Alps-enjoy!

Wingsuit Flying: To Infinity & Beyond

If you want to know what it feels like to fly through the air twisting and turning at 100mph, guiding your own way through rocks and hills, then wingsuit flying is the one for you—however you’ll need a bucket full of nerve…

Wingsuit flying requires you to run and courageously dive off the side of a cliff and use the wide surfaced ‘squirrel suit’ to glide through the air, hovering just inches above the cliff face travelling at amazing speeds! Then towards the end of the flight, you will need to deploy a parachute to ensure a ‘safe’ landing. All you need for wingsuit flying is your suit, one hell of a big cliff, a parachute and whole load of guts…do you reckon you’re haard enough?

Uli Emanuele, who was one of the most skilled wingsuit flyers, flew in between a two meter gap while travelling at a dangerously fast speed!

Unfortunately, a few stunts after, Uli lost his life when he crashed into some rocks on the side of a mountain. However Uli is not the only one who has sadly lost his life to wingsuit flying, making it one of the most dangerous extreme sports.

Sports as dangerous as wingsuit flying highlight how important it is to stay safe while taking part in extreme sport. We can’t stress to you guys enough how crucial it is to be fully equipped with the correct safety equipment—even the things you think you don’t need can in fact save your life! So please don’t cut corners when it comes to safety.

If you are interested in wingsuit flying and would like to get to know more about it then head over to http://www.tonywingsuits.com/index.html to find out about each different suit, any upcoming competitions and the latest news.