5 Things We Learned at Red Bull Rampage 2019

Oct 28, 2019
by Ed Spratt  
Brendog backflips his canyon gap on his way to fourth place.
Brendan's iconic canyon gap flip was a showstopper.

Now that the dust has settled on another edition of Red Bull Rampage let’s take a deeper look into what we spotted from the sidelines.

1. This was probably the best Rampage ever

Of course there'll always be lots to criticize and improve (just scroll down to get started with that), but from our vantage point this was an amazing event. It seemed like a lot of runs had healthy mixes of tech, steeps, tricks, and creativity, and unlike other years, everyone competing clearly looked like they belonged on the mountain. Regardless of personal opinions, the judging was largely sensible, and the cream rose to the top. It's insane how casual and confident people were about 50 foot stepdown flips this year; progressions is an overused word, but it's clear that even with just one true big mountain freeride event a year, the sport has changed dramatically in the last few years. Most importantly, everyone emerged (relatively) unscathed.
Vinny T was riding fast and loose today. He took 10th place and most stylish rider.
Vinny T was so stylish out there. I'd hate to be a judge.

Rampage first timer Emil nose-bonking a small rock.
Emil nose-bonking his way through his first ever Rampage run.

2. The Proving Grounds qualifiers failed to make the Top 10

For the first time ever, the Marzorcchi Proving Grounds qualifier event in September acted as a feeder event for Rampage. Five riders made it to the big show on the back of their Proving Grounds results.

By finals day with the competition heating up and plenty of high scoring runs, it was definitely a tough job for the last minute additions. Proving Grounds winner Reed Boggs and Joyride winner Emil Johansson would make the best of the tough competition with scores of 80 and 79 respectively.
Reed Boggs looking forward to a day of huge moves on the mountain.
Reed Boggs had an amazing line, but will have to earn his way back in again next year.

Reed Boggs (1st at Proving Grounds, 11th at Rampage)
Johny Salido (2nd at Proving Grounds, DNS at Rampage)
DJ Brandt (3rd at Proving Grounds, 16th at Rampage)
Bienvenido Alba (4th at Proving Grounds, 19th at Rampage)
Emil Johansson (5th at Proving Grounds, 12th at Rampage)

Andreau hit the deck hard in a hectic first run. His second run was none the less energetic and unfortunately ended his hopes of a win.
Andreu hit the deck hard in his first run.

3. Year 2 in this venue seems safer, but maybe not easier

Last year was a brand new venue for Rampage, and the combination of new terrain and the stresses of building seemed to wreak havoc on the field. Many athletes commented this year that they felt way better on the hill, with less digging needed, but when you compare the results, the number of crashes seems pretty even.

Crashed out in 2018:

• Bas van Steenbergen (in practice, out of the comp)
• Cam Zink (in practice, out of the comp)
• Szymon Godziek
• Vincent Tupin
• Adolf Silva
• Tyler McCaul
• Carson Storch
• Brandon Semunuk
• Carson Storch (again, kind of)
• Brandon Semunuk (again)
• Reed Boggs
• Andreu Lacondeguy

Crashed out in 2019:

• Johny Salido (in practice, out of the comp)
• Cam Zink
• Bienvenido Aguado Alba
• Kurt Sorge
• Thomas Genon
• Ethan Nell
• Andreu Lacondeguy
• Cam Zink (again)
• Andreu Lacondeguy (again)
• Bienvenido Aguado Alba
• Kyle Strait

The apparent parity of crashing could be just bad luck—a lot of the crashes this year were weird, small mistakes at the bottom. It's also possible that there's some safety in a fresher, raw venue, versus year two when people are pushing harder to get tricks into their lines. It also seemed like only one person (Johny) got taken out due to injury this year, compared to several last year. My unscientific takeaway is that year one is more dangerous, but year two is harder.

Rheeder spinning down into the finish area in front of the huge Rampage crowds.
Rheeder's placing may have been down from last year, but his run was even crazier and his score was up.

4. Returning riders building on their 2018 runs had a big advantage

2018 was a tough year for riders, with a new venue and a focus on more natural features there was so much building to be done that a lot of riders felt they didn't have enough time to fully practise their lines for finals. This year saw most of the returning riders stick to their previous lines, which meant there could be a greater focus on nailing the tricks they wanted to do. This was definitely a factor in why the results were so tight at the top.

All but two riders from 2018 managed to improve on their runs, with just Andreu Lacondeguy not bettering or equalling their past run. But if he'd been able to hold onto his final hit after a wild second run, he likely would have bettered his 2018 score of 87.33.
A fine debut performance from North Van local Reece Wallace.
Reece Wallace with a big stepdown flip.

On the other hand, riders that were first timers at the event were at a clear disadvantage. Emil, Johny, Bienvenido, and Reece had to scratch lines in with the leftover terrain and avoid the existing lines built by the returning riders, and Reece's especially got penalized for a lot of down-time in his run. None of them finished higher than 12th place.

All of them missed out on the Top 10 that get invited back automatically, and will have to earn their way back into the big show again next year. I'd love to see a way to level the playing field a little bit for returning riders, especially since line choice and creativity plays such a huge part in the judging. Maybe since returning riders don't have the advantage of a year's experience, they could get free rein to ride a section of other riders' lines without the original builders whining about it? I'm sure someone has a better idea than that, but I'd like to see something.

Brendan Fairclough
This carbon Gambler was Brendan's bike for finals, after breaking his custom painted alloy bike in practice.

5. Bikes aren't invincible

Every year I'm blown away that bikes don't self-destruct at the mere mention of Rampage. These machines are legitimately incredible; the bikes of Rampage simply don't get enough credit. Not only are the forces involved in casing or over-rotating a 50ft 360 absolutely heinous, but freeriders are notoriously terrible at taking care of their bikes. Yes, some of them are meticulous and have the budget to have spare frames and mechanics doing full teardowns and inspections for cracks after each day, but many of them don't. Hell, of all people, Semenuk's brakes sounded awful all week.

So, while I'm sure that marketing folks and mechanics work hard to hide any failures in practice and elsewhere, it's always been surprising that there have been so few broken bikes at Rampage.

This year though we saw several high profile failures. Brendan Fairclough's custom painted alloy Scott Gambler appeared to succumb to a vicious case of his canyon gap in practice, and he had to ride his carbon World Cup bike instead. Even more high profile, Bienvenido Alba's carbon YT Tues experienced a catastrophic failure during the live broadcast as he cased a front flip in his second run. I'm still not sure why the broadcast team didn't want to discuss it; the broken bike was clear for all to see, and sports marketing is always a high risk, high reward game. And finally, Carson's tire failed after an almost perfectly stomped 360. I'm not sure if it was already compromised, but it seemed cruel that he wasn't able to finish an absolutely incredible run.
Bienvenido's broken bike after casing a front flip.

To be clear, these failures don't mean there's anything wrong with either of the bikes that failed. I'm sure others failed behind the scenes, and I'm sure their failures don't reflect the quality of the bikes. Absolutely nobody should be riding Rampage level moves and feel like their bikes deserve to emerge unscathed.

2019 Rampage podium.
That's a hell of a podium.

A few more thoughts:

• Kyle Strait is the most consistent Rampage rider. The veteran has been at every event since it began, and is still one of the riders to beat. His score of 83.33 was solid, and it's nice to see him adding 3 drops to his bag of tricks. Looking back through Strait's career, he has only dropped below 70 points twice: a 65.75 in 2012 and 59.8 in 2008. After securing ninth place this year he will be automatically invited back for 2020, his 15th Rampage.

• Brandon Semenuk joins Kurt Sorge as the most successful Rampage riders of all time. Brandon Semenuk was looking for redemption this year. Two crashes in 2018 were clearly on his mind. With more time to refine his line and add a few new features, it's no surprise he came out swinging and earned a 92.33 from the judges. With three wins a piece, he joins Kurt Sorge as the most successful Rampage riders of all time.

• Not everything went smoothly in production. As much as I'm calling this the best Rampage ever, parts of the viewing experience shortchanged the incredible riding. The cable cam didn't work at all—I don't think I saw a single shot from it that worked all day, it kept awkwardly trying to correct itself during the final hits. I'm also not sure why long lenses are harder to come by than helicopters. And did I hear fake bike sounds? What was that? This thing costs Red Bull a shocking amount of money, and as an industry we're indebted to them for giving these athletes a stage, but sorting this stuff out doesn't take money (actually it might save money).

• When Brandon wins, Canada wins. Every year except 2013 has had at least one Canadian rider on the Rampage podium. For 2019 it was all three medal positions going to Canadians Brandon Semenuk, Brett Rheeder and Tom Van Steenbergen. The only other time this has happened was back in 2008 when Semenuk took his first Rampage win.


  • 281 3
 8. Keep Cam. Get rid of the rest of the announcer crew. These guys are embarrassing. “The pride of Squampton British Columbia.” Nice.
  • 180 2
 Seriously, he’s the only one who sounded professional and like he knew what he was talking about.

I know he probably doesn’t have as much broadcasting experience, but I’d love to see Darren Berrecloth cover Rampage with Cam.
  • 42 0
 i remember never watching the x games
  • 69 0
 ya hearing the other 2 guys using the same mantra and repetating the same cool words 400 times left me thinking what did my friend Cam think about sharing the desk with them. You see Cam working its like a world class chef and constantly searching fora new description of a move. He is so passionate it flows through his throat. Gotta love the Caminator.
  • 49 0
 Cant agree more. Masekela and Dickson just dont belong here. Good at what they do but we have actual athletes that are great commentators as well.
  • 20 1
 @jeremy4130: Masekela sounded like he was eating brownies and mushrooms all day WTF was up with that?
  • 22 7
 You have never been to Squampton ? Sorry you missed out beautiful place.
  • 152 5
 Keep Cam, add Tippie and Rob Warner!
  • 34 3
 Rob Warner?
  • 23 0
 Other than Cam it really is embarrassing! Love rampage but the commentary team is a joke
  • 7 1
 @eyun: The dream team
  • 39 1
 @mtnbkrmike : straight outta Squampton !!
  • 9 0
 I like watching the older dditions where apparently the only "color commentary" they had in their bag was the phrase "shut the front door". They should bring an Australian in to do their "yeeeeh boooy" after every hit.
  • 17 2
 Keep Cam and add Rob Warner maybe? or Darren Bearclaw?
  • 54 11
 @BamaBiscuits: That's probably just not a realistic scenario for a production like this. You can't just throw 2 riders in there an expect it to be any good. You need a professional broadcaster in there like Pat Parnell to run the show. There is alot more to running a broadcast than simply talking while watching a screen. There are alot of technical aspects to it from the intros, to the transitions to the pre-recorded stuff, to transitioning down to the finish line for the live interviews etc. There is a reason why there are trade schools and college degree programs geared specifically toward broadcasting and working in the media. You can't just throw a headset on a couple of riders and expect it to be a clean show. Riders know the riding and are the best to analyze it, but you need a trained broadcaster to lead the commentary. Its the same on almost all major sporting events. You have a commentator to run the show, and then 1 or 2 analysts, who are usually ex-athletes in the sport to offer insight.

Just look at the World Cup broadcasts. When they took over the broadcasts years ago they actually sent Rob Warner to train as a broadcaster. He took lessons and shadowed other professional broadcasters so that he could be as good as he is at running the show now. Hes put in alot of work to become a good broadcaster, not just an analyst.
  • 18 1
 cam held it together but the other two where turbo cringe! just the way they said stuff like "full send" just sounded like they had read a book on colloquial mtb terms before starting the broadcast! As much as I dislike most of the dribble that comes out of rob warners mouth.... he would have done a much better job!
  • 1 0
 @madmon: fly into Vegas, buy drugs, go to Utah. Typical routi e
  • 25 1
 They put Cedric Gracia on the french version, priceless haha
  • 12 12
 @kwdog: Yes. Rob Warner. Actually Claudio would be awesome too!
  • 8 0
 Listening to old rampages with brad announcing is painful@BamaBiscuits:
  • 14 4
 @jack-otb: When Warner gets excited he goes into over the top, non-stop shrieking mode and Cam wouldn't be able to get a word in until a minute or two after the run was over.
  • 6 0
 Stay on your bike Andreau!!@jack-otb:
  • 21 0
 Cam is definitely on top of it. The others are clearly along for the ride. I was half expecting Matt Jones to show up. He did an good job at Joyride, considering it was his first gig.

Go back and watch Rampage from 5+years back with super annoying "shut the front door" "mother trucker" guy. Then give thanks to how far we've come.
  • 11 5
 Yes get rob warner that would be so much better
  • 5 2
 @demoflight: I remember watching Pat Parnell announce BMX shows like Crank and other dirt comp's for 20+ years. The dude has been a staple in mainstream BMX and its sweet to see him at Rampage, I grew listening to Pat and he deserves it. Sal on the other hand, is trying way too hard to fit into 2 wheel action sports. Dude should stick with boardsports and eXGames. Good job Cam and Pat, Sal are you trippin dog?
  • 46 1
 I'm hoping YT can pull some strings and we get Christopher Walken in the booth next year.
  • 23 0
 Anyone else catch their best phrase of the event? "last year was one year ago".... that one had me in stitches
  • 6 1
 Cam has become so much more competent as a commentator since he started doing Joyride - he obviously knows the riding and trick side backwards which makes him the ideal for the event but his filling chat and additional stuff has come on from the old stupid fluff he used to throw out. The other too just kept ranting about manifest destiny and redemption like that means anything.
  • 26 0
 Tippie and Matt Jones!
  • 1 0
 @optimumnotmaximum: that's what we used to call squamish back in the day. It was a shit hole forever
  • 2 0
 @sino428: TDF uses riders.
  • 1 0
 @madmon: I have never watched that so I can’t comment. Who are the riders and how long have they been working in broadcasting? It’s not that ex-riders can’t be the host or lead a broadcast (like I mentioned with Rob Warner on the WC broadcasts). They can transition and become good broadcasters as people have also mentioned how Cam was good hosting joyride.
  • 6 0
 Cam was incredible. He's an absolute natural.
  • 7 1
 I know a few riders in Canada that refer to Squamish as Squampton.
  • 2 0
  • 4 0
 Cam is great, and a nicely polished communicator!
  • 9 2
 McCaul and Rob Warner=done.
  • 5 0
 Keep Cam, agreed. The surf broadcaster dude is awful, just awful.
  • 2 2
 @yakimonti: Yea I could do without Sal. Seems like a good dude but he's just a little over the top. And I'm fine with how it was in past years with just Cam and Pat Parnell. Parnell has been around broadcasting action sports of all kinds for years.
  • 6 1
 Matt Jones would be a great addittion to the commentators, just get rid of those two guys and put him there instead
  • 1 4
 Was it maybe intentional? Squampton - Compton?
  • 3 2
 @eyun: hell no, him yelling and screaming an worldcups is enough...my ears need some rest in the off-season!
  • 1 0
 @kwdog: yes yes yes. With a couple or past riders too like The Claw. The commentating just grinds me down.
  • 4 1
 @ImAManCheetah88: I think that the event itself is part of the reason. Its a LONG contest, and when you consider the time between riders, waiting for score, etc there is alot of dead time to fill. So I think its inevitable that the commenting will eventually do that to. Its not an easy one like world cups where there are multiple riders on course at the same time just coming down rapid fire.
  • 4 1
 @sino428: and if they are true mountain bikers the time will easily fill. Just take a look at the Tour de France and having seasoned vets commenting so well. NO non rider can do this. Keep Bearclaw for the serious shit he's dope. Put in Tippy along with Cam.
  • 3 0
 @sino428: surf dude I meant Pat, he is not good at MTB broadcasting, he just uses the same 12 big words over and over with every sport he commentates on.
  • 3 0
 Like other sports have learned- it's great to have people in there with credibility! McCaul is fantastic and it would be great if he was paired by someone else with his presence, history and cred in the sport. Berrecloth would be a natural fit for that- or maybe Paul Bas?
  • 7 2
 I just want to be sponsored well enough that I can launch a perfectly good $6k plus DH bike into a fence post because I'm so stoked on 20+ seconds of descending...all whilst looking like I crapped my Charmin kit.
  • 6 2
 Cam, Tippie and Darren to MC. Do a special invite for Claudio to follow one of the top 10 riders down an a course preview.
Come on RB, pre-stage fixed stations for camera crews with booms or pre-fix proximity drones to each qualifying rider to chase each one down course backing with a "possible" cable cam.

Then endorse marketing to iconic riders like Jordie; that every log-on subscription 5% etc. goes to a charitable cause and then get a bike company like YT or Rocky Mountain to build a LE Jordie AF bike to raffle off to participants and or viewers.

PB could go a long way to endorsing this type of venture model to raise the access to this niche in MTB.

Ok, rant over, I will go back to my hill and repair trails.
  • 1 1
 @yakimonti: Surf dude is Sal, not Pat.
  • 2 1
 @dthomp325: uhm, they're English and saying "ya boi" but your opinion has been registered.
  • 3 0
 @paulskibum: I thought he was pretty quick when Storch's tire exploded. He was obviously emotionally invested as they're both Bend locals but he threw out the quip "can we get a clown down there to make a bicycle out of that inner tube?" - good stuff.
  • 2 0
 @lwndrt: It's not that we don't know what he's talking about, it's that some dude who's obviously never ridden a mtn bike is pretending that he's down with the BC biking scene. It's twice as painful because Squampton hasn't been a thing for the last decade since housing prices went through the roof and displaced lots of people. To be lucky enough to live in Squamish these days...
  • 3 0
 @Blawrence: yes, squamish used to be the working class community for everyone who couldn't afford whistler and blue-collar logging jobs. It hasn't been true for years; now it's million dollar homes and amazing outdoor lifestyle.
  • 2 0
 Glad it seems everyone agrees on this. The two dudes either side of Cam are beyond painful to listen to.
  • 1 0
 @lwndrt: squeamish. squish. sqamtonamo bay. squamladesh.
  • 1 0
 @lwndrt: yep Sal ain’t that dumb
  • 1 0
  • 3 0
 I hate sports commentary, Its a massive pet peeve. That said, I like Cam, but the rest are rather annoying.

Tippie + Cam would freaking amazing tho. Cam with the technical breakdowns, Tippie with the dad jokes!
  • 1 0
 @Blawrence: if you know you know
  • 3 4
 Personally I love the commentary team as they are, they appeal to all ages and demographic of viewers and do a great job. Nobody suggested in these comments would step in and do a better job, it would just turn into a boring geek-fest with an all-rider commentary booth
  • 1 0
 I think Pat Parnell actually does a really solid job of keeping the commentary flowing (a super tough job) while Cam provides great technical analysis. It was also really nice/sad to see Pat crying after the Jordie tribute and not really able to talk. Now Sal....
  • 2 0
 @steezysam: I do too. That’s what I was saying in my earlier post about needing an experienced broadcaster to be the host and run the broadcast. Parnell has been around the action sports scene doing this for a very long time and is good at what he does. He does what a good lead broadcaster is supposed to do by setting the scene, setting up his analyst (Cam) with good lead in questions, etc.
  • 3 0
> There are alot of technical aspects to it from the intros, to the transitions to the pre-recorded stuff, to transitioning down to the finish line for the live interviews etc.

All that's true, but you're describing the TD (tech director) or actual live Director in the truck. Ppl in front of the camera aren't doing any of that.

I'm thinking it's either $$ or contract;
RedBull thinks they need "wide" audience for Rampage so they pull in cheerleader types who can't let a moment go by without flapping their gums & spewing banalities.

It's so sad. Even NFL gets this right.

I literally watched 5hrs of Rampage on mute.
  • 2 0
 @smithcreek: ...and it would be AWESOME.

  • 2 0
 @taijidave: That's just not true. The people on camera are absolutely involved with all that.

I would suggest listening to this interview with Rob Warner from last year for some great insight into what goes into being an actual commentator. Its way more than just slapping on a headset an talking.

  • 1 0
  • 1 0
 @ehansen007: Rob 4 sure.
  • 1 0
 @sino428: okay, I'm talking from industry experience shooting network multi-cam, PTC, & talking heads. Talking heads do NOT take part in live production cueing, titling, etc. But yeah, they have the pull to bitch/moan when stuff doesn't flatter them, & get ppl fired.

Makes sense that UCI makes their announcers do double-duty; their budgets are close to the wire. But Red Bull has 2+ $1k/hr chopper cams onsite... They have budget.

Srsly Pat? Or Sal? If those guys were in charge of live cueing inserts & titles? Those would be waaaay more f'd up than they are currently.
  • 2 0
 @taijidave: I don't know all the technical terms for it so I'm not sure if we are talking about exactly the same things. In the interview with Rob he's talking about production meetings, going over scripts, communicating with the producers in the truck, taking cues to go in and out of pre-recorded and live segments, etc. Thats the kind of things I'm referring too. My only point is that for a broadcast like this its unlikely they could just throw a few riders in there and expect it to go smoothly. They likely will always have an experienced host in there (which could be an ex-rider like Cam if he gets enough experience).
  • 7 0
hell get the dudes from GMBN they would do a better job
  • 1 0
 How about that moment that the 2 didn't seem to know that Semenuk would be going last in the second round *facepalm*
  • 1 1
> for a broadcast like this its unlikely they could just throw a few riders in there and expect it to go smoothly

But they have? Cam hosted with his brother before, & had a series of riders give extra color. The worst that happened was some dead air... but the commenting was on point.

Has anyone watched Rampage with a MTB-newbie, who appreciated Pat & Sal? They just sound korny & repetitive to everyone I've tried, while painfully stupid to me
  • 1 0
 @taijidave: Sure, it could work if Cam is ready for that host role, which by alot of accounts he might be. I even mentioned that in one of my comments above. But he's been getting more an more experience as a broadcaster, which is different that just throwing some random other rider into that role, which is what is often suggested.
  • 1 0
 Cam, Berrecloth, Tippie in the booth. Done!
  • 1 0
 @sino428: Wtf how is he a surf dude? He's been commentating the x games since the 90's
  • 1 0
 @plyawn: Yeah it uses to be a shit hole
  • 1 0
 @makripper: I didn't call him a surf dude, someone else did. But its not off base to say that. Sal is an avid surfer and comes from a surfing background.
  • 1 0
 @sino428: but hes not really known for that relative to being the face of the xgames forever
  • 1 0
 @makripper: No he's not, but my comment was only correcting someone else who was getting Sal and Pat confused. They referred to the surfer guy as Pat.
  • 1 0
 @sino428: He's more in the surf scene than sal. He was a surf comp commentator for ages
  • 1 1
 @makripper: not sure why you keep arguing about this. I really don’t care much about who is or isn’t in the surf scene. Someone referred to the surf dude as Pat and I thought they were confusing them with Sal. That was the extent of my comment.
  • 1 0

Rob Warner

we need more excitement like this:

  • 1 0
 @sino428: But you are wrong. Pat has way more to do with surf than Sal.
  • 116 26
 Let's say that Rampage will keep the freeride spirit and creativity as long as Mr. Brendan Fairclough and his crew are in. As soon as he decides quiting Rampage will turn into a Slope Style event on steroids.
  • 41 12
 All the riders in Rampage, even the guy that finished dead last, are phenomenal, period. You are right however, this has become a giant Slope Style competition. These guys show up with shovels, rakes, sand bags, wood, and water and turn the place into a giant bike park. Granted, with giant features. There needs to be another competition where its more of a "play it from where it lies" type of thing. Go back and look at the original Rampage vs. today if you want to see what I mean.
  • 42 21
 "This is a big slopestyle event!"- stated every gaper who only knew of Rampage's existence in the past 5 years...

I've yet to find a single person who has ridden at any of the newer sites and claimed it was like riding a slopestyle course. SlodownU- Go ahead, make a trip out here and give it a shot and let us know how much of a slope comp. these lines are.
  • 23 2
 @SlodownU: ANDREU LACONDEGUY certainly played it as it lied!
  • 25 2
 @mexicant: I had some hopes pinned on Gee using more natural lines, shame he didn't make it.

@scott-townes nobody is saying those lines are easy, but they are very groomed compared to the lines of old.
  • 14 7
 gamonoso: I’m with you. With each passing year I feel like Rampage is departing from the very founding principles of Freeride. I still couldn’t ride any of those features but it’s not really doing what it says on the tin - Freeride.
  • 40 6
 @SlodownU: In my opinion, if you take away their shovels and sand bags, we'd be in for a very boring Rampage. They're able to go bigger than ever because they build proper roll-ins and landings. You really expect them to backflip a 50 footer straight to loose dirt and bushes?
  • 9 25
flag tremeer023 (Oct 28, 2019 at 9:31) (Below Threshold)
 New hill, no tools; fastest down the hill wins.

Have to agree with @kdstones though, might be a bit boring without any mods to the terrain. However, much easier for the judges :-)
  • 11 14
 @kdstones: The early Rampages weren’t boring, and if the terrain doesn’t allow enough options, go find a spot that has more. And Yea, I expect them to hit a 50ft’r and nail a narrow landing zone, kind of like how it used to be, or risk eating shit like Bender used to.
  • 21 17
 @scott-townes: Man, what a typical 12-year old response from you; “oh yea, lets see you go ride it”! You’re missing the point entirely. While its impressive to watch, this ain’t freeride anymore, so don’t call it that. Perfectly lipped take offs and wide, perfectly manicured transitions are not freeride, but built that way SO THAT they can land tricks with a margin of error. Go watch the early NWD videos and first few Rampages, they were way more freeride. Less rehearsal, more balls to the wall just send it, and much less margin for error.
  • 13 3
 @SlodownU: Having been to the Original rampage sight and the 2016 zone the new rampage zones are more just as "freeride" and wayyyy gnarlier than the OG spot. the lips and landings are like that because the drops are the basically the biggest ever done on bikes.

Even the Bender Sender has a pretty nice landing and good run out. Is that not a real freeride move?
  • 9 0
 @kdstones: You can still have a huge drop with a safe landing in the middle of a more natural and unique freeride line, one thing doesn't kill the other.
  • 5 1
 @tremeer023: u like crashes and inquiries huh...even baja 500 is a 'course'
  • 3 4
 @jrocksdh: No, I don't like to see crashes (but when they do happen there may need to be an inquiry).

If the event is designed to showcase freeride (whatever that is these days), then man made stuff is pretty inevitable I think. Otherwise you may as well turn it into another race down the hill - that was my point, not very well made. In its current format though, someone will always be getting robbed as tricks and style are so subjective.
  • 13 6
 @McNubbin: cool let's expect the athletes to just huck it and pray just so we can be entertained. Brilliant idea. Rampage has evolved because the athletes have pushed it that way. Not a single competitor out there is complaining about having water and tools to be able to scrub in a line and build lips and landings. The event is gnarly enough the way it is. Expecting these guys to huck 50+ feet into soft dirt with no landing is asking for a lot of injuries.
  • 13 2
 The previous Rampages got me motivated to go out and ride because the natural lines they were doing looked like huge versions of stuff youd find in real life. This one didnt motivate me at all, all the manmade dirt tracks and jumps are totally unattainable and dont look anything like real life. For me I dont watch Rampage for the flips, I watch for the crazy ways they ride natural stuff. There was still some good natural lines but I think they went way overboard with the manmade stuff, I probably wont be rewatching any 2019 Rampage when I need some inspiration.
  • 4 6
 @scottishmark: "but they are very groomed compared to the lines of old."

Uh huh, despite previous Rampages allowing for more diggers and use of sandbags along with multiple pre-built wooden features. Thank you for proving my point.
  • 4 3
 @SlodownU: LOL come on buddy, come out here and see how perfect it all is. And yes, that's a valid point because you're judging something you've never seen in real life. I didn't think that was so difficult to understand. But yeah, let's trust someone's opinion from New Jersey who has only watched the past few years on the current state of Rampage.
  • 6 3
 @scott-townes: I've watched it since 2001 pal. Go back and watch the first few Rampages, I think the differences are pretty evident. I realize that you're butt-hurt by my opinion, but seriously get over it, its just an opinion. When my skills are as scary good as yours, then I'll come out and ride it.
  • 2 4
 @steveshannon: First of all, no one is forcing these guys to huck and pray. Second, it’s a dangerous sport to begin with, let’s not hide behind this safety bullshit, because if anyone is watching this worrying about safety, you’re entirely full of shit.
  • 5 0
 @McNubbin: I think each and every sane person watching is concerned about safety. We’re also all wanting to watch the sickest and most skilled riders take the sport to level previously thought impossible, and the riders provide, in spades, each and every season. The rider’s, collectively, have made the decisions that have taken Rampage to where it is now, BOTH bigger and safer by far than what came previously, and I think we should respect that their judgement, from a firsthand perspective, is probably on point, especially in comparison to the armchair QBs. Carson Storch essentially said as much in his lead up interview, as have many of the other riders.
  • 3 8
flag CM999 (Oct 28, 2019 at 13:04) (Below Threshold)
 @kdstones: no I expect a free ride competition about smooth riding down mad terrain. What we get are slopestyle tricks on manicured jumps they have spent 2 build periods on
  • 3 0
 @SlodownU: you ever looked at the freeride world series of skiing? maybe a little like that…?
  • 10 5
 @SlodownU: Point is, you're forming opinions on something you've never seen in person. Do you see how absurd that is? Probably not.

And yeah, the original Rampages were more raw however they were more tame lines and much smaller drops and features with zero tricks being done aside from Cedric tossing a mini backflip and Berrecloth doing his superman seatgrab over a 20ft. gap.

Based on your lack of understanding, I have to say your opinion is crap. The biggest moves done at Rampage, they were all done on "shaped" massive features aside from Klassen's monstrous drop that only Zink was able to repeat. So please, enlighten me more, mr. gaper man.
  • 2 3
 @paulherrmann: Exactly like that! Still throwing down tricks, but off of natural terrain. I’d say explain it to Scott-Douchebag now, since I’m just a taper that doesn’t get it.
  • 3 6
 @scott-townes: You know what they say, opinions are like a*sholes, everyone has one. And I’d say based on you’re lack of understanding of another’s perspective, you’re a complete twat, so go and sob softly into a pillow somewhere, since at the end of the day, I could give a rats as what you think, keyboard tough-guy.
  • 6 1
 @SlodownU: except freeride skiing is much different than freeride mtb. the concepts are the same but a landing that you can ride out of is much easier to find when the ground is covered in snow vs ground with uneven rocks, loose sand, bushes etc. You can't just huck a 50 foot cliff because is has a nice slope at the bottom like u can in skiing. There are way more factors to deal with in mtb.

I also don't understand why there has to be such a limit on what "freeride" is. When I think of freeride I think of skinnies 20 feet off the ground, the massive jump lines that the coastal crew make, gnarcroft, the ultra steep gravel slopes james doerfling rides, fest series, rampage. Just to name some examples of the top of my head
  • 8 2

I am not a competitor at any freeride events, nor have I ever been.
I do not have the skill set to ride anything even a 10th of the size of anything the athletes at Rampage attempt.
I am not a slopestyle fan.
I used to be a huge Rampage fan.

To me, it has changed and most of the riders' lines are not my kind of thing anymore.
To me, it has morphed into something between the old Rampage and a FEST event.

And to me, your opinion about my opinion is quite frankly as irrelevant as my opinion about any of the lines the athletes at Rampage choose to create and ride.

I am tired of hearing you go on at people who say "I don't like how Rampage has changed". Opinions of people like me are irrelevant, but they are our opinions, so let us have them please, and you can have yours, and the athletes theirs.

Have a good day.
  • 2 2
 @McNubbin: @McNubbin: you're the one saying you wish Rampage would go back to the days of huck and pray ala Bender. And I'm full of shit because I worry about safety yet watch rampage? f*ck off. Yes there is inherent risk involved, especially competing in Rampage, but no sane person wants to see these guys get hurt. I'm a big fan of the recent years where the competitors have access to water to help pack lips and landings, greatly increasing their chances of landing. And guess what? The riders want to do stuff like this, provided they can make it reasonably safe. If you took out the building part I bet a lot of the current riders would decline an invitation. The building in recent years has been helping and overall the event is improving. Wanting to push things back 18 years to riding off cliffs with no landings shows how little regard you give for their safety. Yes there will always be risk, but take a look at this year. Less crashes, and more cases of riders walking away ok if they do crash.

When I'm out shooting stuff like this, the riders make the call on what they're going to ride. I am genuinely concerned about their safety and don't push them into stuff they're not comfortable with.
  • 2 4
 @steveshannon: Wow, your level of concern is touching, but I bet you keep your camera rolling as one of these athletes that you’re so concerned about is crashing, don’t ya? And based on the popularity of the Friday Fails, looks like everyone else is real concerned also. In summary, take your false indignation and pound it up your narrow ass.
  • 2 7
flag scott-townes (Oct 29, 2019 at 8:32) (Below Threshold)
 @orientdave: Awww, I'm sorry I hurt your feelings and the athletes are not progressing the way you want them to. Such a hard life.
  • 3 2
> This one didnt motivate me at all, all the manmade dirt tracks and jumps are totally unattainable and dont look anything like real life.
> For me I dont watch Rampage for the flips, I watch for the crazy ways they ride natural stuff.

Perfectly said.
I already am bummed that Slopestyle judges seem to like 'technical oppo truckdriver' more than a 1080 front cork/Twister...

...but now that shit is in Rampage? "Oppo 1foot can-can" somehow means "more points"? WTF does that have to do with FREERIDE?

I kinda think that cerebral shit is the OPPOSITE[sic] of Freeride!

Andreu L's 2014 run is THE BALLS.
As is McGazza's 2013 run.
& Cam & Kyle hitting that insane chute in 2017.
& now Brendog's 2019 run.

THAT is Rampage.
  • 2 1
 @McNubbin: Sadly I've disappointed many people that have crashed and asked if I got the shot because I've put the camera down to keep an eye on them and be of service as fast as possible. Crash photos aren't something I enjoy capturing. It might be hard to believe, but those of us involved in this industry actually care about the athlete's and everyone else's safety.
  • 4 0
 @taijidave: If you re-watch Andreu's 2014 run its about as paved as can be, everything is smoothed out. It's still an awesome run, and huge features that pushed what guy's were doing this year to where they are now, and great vision to scope and sculpt that line out of the natural landscape available, but it wasn't raw and natural at all.
  • 2 1
 YES! Fairclough is the man. By the way this Jack ass that wrote the article doesn't have a clue what goes into maintaining a Rampage Bike.
  • 57 1
 number 6 - it is pronounced faircluff!
  • 156 9
 It's actually pronounced "gotrobbed".
  • 6 1
 Brendan it's not Fairclough.
  • 2 0
 He said it amuses him
  • 6 0
 When you're a rampage judge and Brendan's up
  • 52 0
 Storch's rear tire should be arrested for robbery.
  • 5 0
 He went flat out up till then.
  • 5 0
 It blew my chances of winning a Boxxer
  • 31 0
 TIPPIE in the finish corral instead of Tina. The stoke and the riders would open up way more with him at the finish, and Tip has years of live and tv experience (and has competed in Rampage). He brings out the best in the riders in all his interviews. Redbull, you need to be paying back the forefathers of our sport that you are making money from, and including our guys in there!
  • 30 1
 Keep Cam and get ride of the other announcers! They did not know what they were talking about. It should be athletes commentating. Cam knew the tricks and the other two didn’t. One of them said it was not huck and hope and rampage is calculated, but then 5 minutes later he calls it reckless. Cam corrected him. The other two announcers do not know rampage like Cam does.
  • 18 4
 Cam, Tippie and Claudio!!
  • 18 4
 @kcj801: yesssss we need TIPPIE
  • 16 2
 @kcj801: tippie has that contagious spirit that is awesome!
  • 3 20
flag monsterville (Oct 28, 2019 at 10:59) (Below Threshold)
 @ajaypate1: Yeah but that would require Tippie to take time away from shamelessly reposting others’ content as his own without giving credit. Gotta pay the bills somehow.
  • 2 0
 @monsterville: I’m just saying that tippie is awesome and has a contagious happy vibe. But i don’t understand what you mean by repost can you elaborate? I’m just dumb and don’t understand
  • 4 0
 @ajaypate1: he's just trolling.
  • 7 0
 @monsterville: he's just trolling. I haven't seen Tippie do anything offside. He's a gent, his content is rad, and i've seen him throwing props left right and center.
  • 8 0
 Cam Mccaul has gotten really good. He obviously knows the sport but is clearly quite intelligent and articulate. I could see him readily going from the color role to main commentator, and I bet with a bit more training he could credibly do this for other sports. Tippie has actually improved a lot over the years, at least he's learned to modulate the Bett Tippie persona quite well. This is actually hard to do and there are many interesting characters in media who fail to make it to the big leagues precisely because they can't turn their shtick on and off (I'm looking at you John "Narduar the Human Serviette" Ruskin of Vancouver) Brett's behind the tape video for this event was very nice to watch. One thing I've observed watching Formula 1 since the 80's is that the colour guys who are still in the sport or very recently retired have a lot more interesting detail to share than someone who's not actively raced at that level for several years. I would actually say this about Rachel Atherton's Hardline's commentary which was, dare I say it, pleasingly insightful compared to typical World Cup commentary.
  • 31 2
 Drones, Redbull should look into drones for footage, they're cheaper than helicopters.. maybe not as macho, but we get great content from them, why not use them here?
  • 9 1
 Drone batteries run out really fast don’t they? Probably very difficult to coordinate the unpredictability of switching batteries with riders runs
  • 14 1
 @IsaacO: Helicopters run out of fuel. Plan ahead. They could be programmed to follow 20-30 feet behind or above the rider. There aren't exactly trees to run in to.
  • 3 1
 @fruitsd79: helicopters do run out of fuel but I know drone batteries can run out in only a few minutes sometimes. I’m sure there’s more expensive longer lasting options but it’s no where close .
  • 3 0
 @IsaacO: It's not that they run out of batteries so fast, that would be managable in coordiantion. But its the wind and staying on the riders as they go down the mountain. Some Drones were used in the past, 2017 or 2018 I believe. And the footage wasnt quite that great.
  • 9 1
 @IsaacO: Get more than 2 drones flying. With 3 qualified pilots, 3 qualified drone filmographers, 1 or 2 guys to change the batteries and you could get at least 2 drones filming every single rider.

The big question mark is if they could get it online in real time. Usually drone films are made, edited and then uploaded.
  • 4 0
 @IsaacO: The modern video drones fly at least 20 minutes. Just look at videos done by guys flying DJI drones on WRC events. Stuff is crazy. Redbull can have more drones, and more batteries. By the time you're swapping batteries on one, the second or third one could be in air. It is a solved problem, and not an issue anymore.

I think that Redbull wants to fly the drones as well, but they have helicopter already and they don't want to interfere with that (safety wise). I personally think you can have both of those, but I guess they didn't do it yet.
  • 2 0
 @Notmeatall: You can do it in real time, not a problem at all anymore.
  • 8 0
 Why not use static cameras at key points in the runs? Director could cut to say under Brendan's canyon gap at the critical moment to give more perspective. To me this is the biggest issue, the helicopter doesn't give nearly enough perspective of how big these moves are. For example Emil's nose bonk looked minor from the video then you see the stills and the gap off was 10' out and 15' down.
  • 4 0
 I was there in ‘17 and they had 2 drones filming. They were getting pretty close to the riders so I wonder if the riders called them off? Was there Friday and no drones this time. Might be distracting to the riders.
  • 5 5
 I don't understand why people just keep on banging about drones. They aren't suitable for Rampage. Have you guys ever heard of wind, that phenomenon that made the riders delay their runs for an hour?

How is it safe for people supposed to fly drones there, all it takes is for one drone to catch a gust, spin out of control and hit Carson Storch as he starts his suicide no hander off a 60ft step down. It's not likely, but it's also not impossible and therefore it's just an unnecessary risk to the rider.
  • 7 1
 @JamesGTi: The wind is not a big problem anymore if we're talking about modern professional drones. Unless we're talking about gale force winds, the drones are very stable. And they will also notify you if the drone is having trouble because of the wind. It will not crash uncontrollably, and especially not into the rider. There are safety precautions that could be taken (positioning the drone down wind from the rider if you're that paranoid etc) to bring a probability of a crash pretty much to zero. The future lies in the drones I'm 100% sure and the footage those drones do are absolutely worth it.
  • 2 0
 Solar powered drones Wink
  • 3 1
 @JamesGTi: you need a better grasp of UAS before commenting. Issues with battery life are easily overcome through system management and rules for commerical UAS operation negate your point about riders getting hit with the drones.
  • 1 2
 @craigcanucks: you need a better grasp of English, try to read my comment again, I wasn't discussing the battery life of drones.
  • 3 0
 @JamesGTi: yes, drones are much safer than helicopters, which famously never crash
  • 3 0
 Richie Schley was droning out burritos to the diggers. Made a video of it. Was hilarious
  • 19 1
 "I'm also not sure why long lenses are harder to come by than helicopters." This statement is so true when looking at images and video from this year's rampage. Get those boys some long lenses!
  • 6 1
 Long lenses are harder to track the riders with. It's not that easy with telephoto lenses and the photographer/videographer could miss key moments.
  • 42 2
 @LiquidSpin: as a pro filmer (and as someone who has never flown a helicopter)... operating a long lens is easier than operating a helicopter.
  • 1 1
 What @PeterWojnar said
  • 1 1
 @PeterWojnar: Search Youtube how WRC gets their awesome Heli shots, it's intriguing. Plus a heli is able to position itself wherever the pilot wants.
  • 21 0
 @LiquidSpin: If a camera guy can track a golf ball off the tee at 180mph from the Goodyear blimp with a long lens, they can track a mountain biker...
  • 1 0
 @PeterWojnar: check out this guys. they did the live stream footage at the rocket air for the past few years. www.3element-pictures.com
  • 1 0
 @jsnfschr: This is a real thing that you speak of? You just pulled off what I had previously thought to be impossible.

You made me want to watch a few minutes of golf on TV.
  • 17 1
 I would love to see some BTS coverage for what it takes for Red Bull to set up the broadcast side of events like these (or even world cups). I'm sure there are other video nerds out there who would wanna see that, and it'd be cool to show folks what goes into a live even of this caliber.
  • 1 0
  • 3 0
 Same goes for World Cups and Enduro to try and shut up all those idiots who always want live coverage of a day long multi-stage race which good coverage on every stage. I dont think people understand the difficulties on doing this stuff at a major ski resort let alone out in the middle of the desert.
  • 1 0
 @paulskibum: Oh hell no they don't. I don't think people even understand how much man power goes into a live sporting event at a venue that is built to accommodate a television production. Stadiums and arenas are a big enough pain in the ass and they're designed with broadcasting in mind. A ski resort or a random mountain out in the wilderness isn't going to have anything set up to make the crew's jobs any easier.
  • 19 0
 Yes I was wondering why everybody's bike had the same rattly sound ????
  • 17 0
 "And did I hear fake bike sounds? What was that?" They did it last year too....drives me nuts! Like a bag of washers and bolts being dropped constantly
  • 7 0
 Also Huey soundover on helishots...guess they thought the used helicopters didnt sound helicopter enough..
  • 1 0
 @feeblesmith: nailed it!
  • 3 0
 If the're gonna put in fake bike sounds, they might as well make them sound good. Instead, they gave us sqeaky, squishy, weird bike sounds. Not a fan, ended up muting.
  • 2 0
 @Lookinforit: when I mentioned this from '18 I got ridiculed because it's a "free" broadcast and I shouldn't bitch about it. It simply makes no sense...those "sound effects" take away from the reality, especially if you're someone that rides bikes and understands what's going on. I also watch pro surf contests around the world... "free" to view, but, no added sounds...no water spray or grunts. It's just natural environment with ex pro surfers giving commentary. I think Red Bull could learn something from the WSL. And how to film
  • 1 0
 @GlassGuy: I agree and I fully believe that in a free broadcast, opting out of things us much more acceptable than trying to get things added! Let's get rid of the bike sounds and add a few extra bucks to someone's pachequeue somewhere!
  • 1 0
 @GlassGuy: No water spray or grunts?

I don't watch anything that doesn't involve ample spraying and/or grunting. Pro surfing has lost me for good.
  • 1 0
 @Session603: I've been watching less and less....the introduction of the wave pool into the tour(albeit amazing and a great way to showcase athleticism and creativity on a consistent canvas...I find it really boring), along with removing a few stops(Trestles for example), and instead keep the dribble of Rio, I'll watch cartoons instead Razz
  • 22 4
 7. 26 will never die!
  • 9 0
 6. Keep Cam, get rid of other two dudes. I would then add Claw in the booth with Cam and then have Tippie do the finish line coral interviews and random interviews around the venue.
  • 9 2
"I'm also not sure why long lenses are harder to come by than helicopters."
I'm guessing the reason is twofold, both concerning quality:
1. Thermal optical distortion
2. Telephotograpic lens compression

  • 2 10
flag mi-bike (Oct 28, 2019 at 7:26) (Below Threshold)
 Neither answer 1 nor 2 has anything to do with why these lenses are supposedly hard to come by. Besides that, your point 2 has nothing to do with quality of the image.
  • 4 0
 @mi-bike: he sounds like he knows what he's talking about doesnt he..?
  • 1 3
 @matiewz: like a pro
  • 1 0
 @mi-bike: #2 Refers not the quality of the image but the quality of the content. The image resulting with perspective compression, especially at the distances that Rampage would require (we're talking 4-800mm range or more), would make the distances and jumps of the atletes look like kids in a sandbox and not impressive at all. It's not anything to do with the difficulty to come by, but the reason helicopters are chosen over tele-lenses. Also choppers are more versatile and can cover more angles of view then a tele lens. With tele lenses, they would have to have one or two cameras for each line to cover the same amount of angles as a chopper can provide.
  • 9 0
 #4... Easy fix. Give new riders to the event double dig time. Using the other's lines is fine, but giving them more time would allow for some creativity instead.
  • 4 0
 double time is too much. Maybe 3 extra days would be good. 2nd year riders have to spend a bit cleaning up the previous year's line from a years worth of weathering
  • 2 3
 Give the new people the full amount of time an returning guy a couple days. The returning guys dont need all that time just give them time to fix stuff make some minor modifications.
  • 5 0
 I think that only addresses half the problem. Extra time would fix the problem of them having to start from scratch, but the other, and maybe bigger problem is just the lack of area to build. There are only so many prime lines down from the top and if they are all taken by the riders who were already there it severely limits the opportunities the new riders have, no matter how much extra time you give them.
  • 2 0
 Maybe for riders whom are Rampage virgins can get to go out a few days before ? Strictly digging no riding ? Or maybe just a few days to scope and plan the line with no digging ? I'd imagine it will day a day minimum to even scout a line there.
  • 7 0
 I thought it was a great event - issues, but there's plenty of room for improvement - and it's a nice stepping stone !

Proving grounds peeps didn't make it to top 10 but looking back, I think Johansen / Salido / Alba were 3 very different approaches from rookies to the event Big Grin

Lacondeguy looked like a bike-whisperer taming down a wild-one down the mountain - sometimes he would control it, other times the bike woud do its thing - it was by far my very favourite run of the event !

Brendog's backflip was INSANE !

Loved the event - can't wait to see what 2020 will bring !
  • 2 0
 Well said dude, in full agreement with ya!
  • 9 1
 what about the GoPro problem with Brendog? If he was thinking about doing a serious run this camera problem and the guy of GoPro forcing with the helmet would definitely mess with concentration ... Not so Pro
  • 2 0
 That's normal for gopro cameras. Especially black editions. Bugging out at the most critical point as always.
  • 1 0
 legend says the guy is still pressing on/mode trying to reset it.. . ....
  • 7 0
 Probably the unpopular opinion this year- but I think it is really hard to say that a rider got robbed this year when the quality of riding was so high. I love an exciting run. Fairclough is one of my all time favorites and his bike control is out of this world. That backflip was terrifying- he had to be so precise with that. But all of those guys rode top to bottom on an insane bit of terrain. If you were too look at some of those lines 10 years ago they would not have seemed possible. I would have loved to see Fairclough win also but those top three runs were all progressive, technical, and didn't take easy ways down the mountain. Semenuk flipping to the pad is insane- perhaps we are just numb to how ridiculous it is because of who he is, how smooth he makes it look, and what we have come to expect from him. What an amazing event this year! So happy Andreu made it out okay as when he crested that cliff edge off line I was legit worried we were about to watch a tragedy. Definitely a run in contention if he had made it down. Storch had an amazing showing and was bummed to see the flat. Overall a fantastic event. One thought is that I'd love to see a doing away with the trick section at the base of the slope in the future- leave it all on the slope- kinda like big mountain ski stuff. They will sneak in a move or two but most of what they do and get graded on is on the action parts of the ride- the steep stuff.
  • 1 0
 @snl1200 THIS X1000
  • 7 0
 This comment may be downvoted to oblivion because... well... PinkBike commenters.

BUT I cannot imagine the logistical nightmare Red Bull must put up with at this event. This one had some glitches but the fact that this event is live streamed at all is a huge testament to whomever they have out there.

Most sporting events take place somewhere that has power, internet, etc (think Crankworx, every UCI or EWS event, etc.). The Rampage base camp seems to be 3 miles from the nearest paved road!

They must truck in everything. And by truck, I imagine it comes in bit by bit on side-by-sides. Have a look at Google Earth. It's nuts. I bet they have to lay the cable they use for power and signal. Then pick it up again.

Somehow they manage to do it well enough that we take it for granted feel confident to complain that the stream goes down for a few seconds or that the cable cam doesn't work while the guys producing this thing are digging a hole to shit in.

Thanks Red Bull for all the things you do that we don't see so that we can complain that Brendog was robbed.
  • 9 4
 Deff agree with letting new riders take some other big name riders' features. Also keep the trails skinny, More slashes! Andreu is a beast. Also T-mac's tight shoot into step down flip was one of the best features because its unique. Gotta keep it different. Lastly, why not better trail congregation at the end of the mountain? Maybe have some non-rider associated diggers groom out the ends to the finish for a better flow into the crowd because every run ends awkwardly.
  • 4 0
 or a common finishing feature that is a mandatory hit, something to give the crowd at the bottom a good show
  • 1 1
 @craigcanucks: they already have the “final trick jump” at the bottom
  • 5 3
 @craigcanucks: and then we're back to all the people whining about man-made/mandatory features...

why cant we all just except that if the riders are happy to compete in the contest, maybe we should be happy to shut up and watch?
  • 3 9
flag oldmanbucksaw (Oct 28, 2019 at 10:39) (Below Threshold)
 @laxguy: I disagree. If the fans are the ones paying for the content through their support of the sponsors they should have a voice in what that content is.
  • 3 1
 @craigcanucks: ha ha ha, thats cute Smile
  • 2 0
 Maybe for riders whom are Rampage virgins can get to go out a few days before ? Strictly digging no riding ? Or maybe just a few days to scope and plan the line with no digging ? I'd imagine it will day a day minimum to even scout a line there.
  • 3 2
 @craigcanucks: Logged in to down vote. Give your head a shake man.
  • 3 1
 @mbrown: why?
In the end, the whole contest is a marketing event for an energy drink. Red Bull is not a charity, they do it for money. So they need to provide what people want to see, of course taking into consideration riders' safety (hopefully).
  • 2 2
 @mbrown: I'm glad my comment was controversial enough to drag you into the conversation.
  • 1 5
flag oldmanbucksaw (Oct 29, 2019 at 3:40) (Below Threshold)
 @laxguy: unlike your mom
  • 3 0
 @craigcanucks: sick
  • 11 6
 I want more raw and less sand bags. Some lips had hundred of bags of dirt and it seemed so swayed to the big sponsors build teams. The turns looked like a wedding cake so perfectly rounded and void os a single pebble.
This is why we love Brandon's line choice, yes he had some big builds but his line was more mountain and less park.
Damb some of the trails looked like A-Line turns and I wonder how you can carve up that mountain in 4 days?
  • 8 0
 The riding and insane amount of love and tributes for Jord made this an amazing event.
  • 23 17
 Tracks were too trimmed. This made rampage look like a "big slopestyle" instead of "big mountain". Should change location every year
  • 14 3
 for environmental reasons, i disagree. but the mountain should only be allowed so much change from natural. then again, less digging means less impact and could allow for more venues
  • 4 2
 I love watching the big tricks, but I agree Rampage started as a freeride event and there should be greater limits on the amount of sculpting permitted. Even though I'm sure the detailed building helps keep the riders safe there's something to be said for keeping the runs raw. Crazy world, lotta smells.
  • 3 7
flag scott-townes (Oct 28, 2019 at 8:22) (Below Threshold)
 LOLOLOL yeah, its just another slope course out there.... totally have that right.
  • 7 2
 @craigcanucks: free ride has evolved. It’s not that it’s going from free ride to slope, but that throwing in tricks has always been a part of free ride and those tricks have just become better and better. Back flipping off a cliff onto a lilypad is about as free ride as it gets
  • 1 0
 @anchoricex: yeah I feel you. Lines are definitely being blurred and that's a good thing. But new Rampage just doesn't feel the same as old Rampage. I miss the raw feel.
  • 12 8
 What I learned from Rampage is that it's more of a slopestyle competition than a big mountain competition. Kudos to Semenuk but man Fairclough got robbed again for the 2nd year in a row.
  • 5 0
 Suppose, I learned that the concentration of tricks in a single run that Semenuk can throw down, is much more than others. Well deserved win.
  • 6 0
 anyone have a link to Andreu's run(s)?
  • 5 0
 You can watch them on the replay RedbullTV - just go right to the rider you chose.
  • 1 6
flag dicky21 (Oct 28, 2019 at 6:35) (Below Threshold)
 Dont remember catching his runs in the live stream. Was I distracted at the time and missed them or did they genuinely not air?
  • 8 0
 @dicky21: they aired. I was watching live and saw them both. including that amazing save. holy shit balls that was amazing.
  • 9 0
 @slyfink: Andreu's second run was straight shenanigans from start to crash. So much fun to watch.
  • 4 0
 @MTBrent: We were standing right above his second crash and he was saving it all the way down the hill towards us. It was amazing. As soon as we turned to watch him hit the jump we felt a gust of wind right in our faces. That's all it took to short it. Amazing how much that affected him.
  • 2 0
 @ehansen007: Best thing I've ever seen! Fair to say everyone was gutted when he crashed. Would have loved to see the score. Based on looseness and commitment I'd say best run - should have won the spirit award.
  • 2 0
 One thing that always blows my mind is when you watch POV footage how much shadows come into play for these riders. Like riding when the sun shades a lip or a jump and you find it hard to predict how the jump will feel from reading the angles... these guys X10. Anyone have footage of Fairclough snapping his gambler casing the canyon gap, I want to see...
  • 4 2
 First & foremost Fairclough’s canyon flip followed by tight steep gully drop & freeride heavy line easily a 1-3rd place... totally robbed. Not sure any other riders could've hit that canyon at all much less backflipping it. A slap in the face to Fairclough & the spirit of freeriding not to rank him high on that alone, much less essentially flawless run. Godziek also a bit robbed - easily a NASA length jump w/ full speed in both runs, longest of the event I believe. Emil also w/ a super stylish & tweaked run for having only 3 days notice.

Good points above on how overly groomed / slopestyle-like the event has become, yet its also completely mind-blowing. Would be bomber to expand this out another week and have total freeride component as well - any lines the rider wants, and entirely without grooming. Im happy w/ this and its unreal to see what teams can do but it does seem to lack the heart & soul of what it actually is.

Still major, they are all mountain gods and
  • 5 4
 I remember a lot of fuss was made about desert upper crust erosion when a promotionnal video was released earlier this year.

What about Rampage and all the building ( which in this case really means destroying ) that is done on those landscape + people attending it. Are these private lands ?
  • 4 2
  • 3 0
 Lots of cryptobiotic soil getting crunched up out there.
  • 3 2
 Wow.....Lots of armchair critic's!

I'm sure every rider at this event could ride whoever's line. How many riders would and could backflip Brendan's canyon gap for example? The only thing separating these riders is the insane tricks they're doing of these HUGE jumps and drops.

Let those who ride decide. They're the ones that are taking all the risks, if they're happy will the venue that's all that matters.
  • 1 0
 Maybe for riders whom are Rampage virgins can get to go out a few days before ? Strictly digging no riding ? Or maybe just a few days to scope and plan the line with no digging ? I'd imagine it will day a day minimum to even scout a line there.
  • 3 0
 Lacondeguy gave a glimpse of the future linking big tricks immediately into each other. The future will see every feature tricked, no straight airs or setup drops.
  • 1 0
 Would be cool to see remote sensor cameras. I understand that a lot of areas were not safe for cameraman to stand with their equipment let alone own personal safety. But having remote triggered or sensor triggered cameras could have been some cool shots. Something like Jimmy Chin did on Alex Honnald's Free Solo.
  • 2 0
 How about for once they make it a freeride event, not a slopestyle event. Big, wide, manicured lip's and landings are out, rough schute's are in. Hardest line down the mountain wins; Brendog wins deservedly.
  • 1 0
 Redbull always has problems covering these events. You think they’d eventually pull their heads out of their a** and just do some pre-production prep. In my line of work (television) Redbull has a bit of a reputation for not really sussing everything out properly before hand. They don’t pay particularly well, and they are a bit slipshod as a production entity in general. Lots of bro-ey vibes and git-er-done attitude but not a lot of professional aptitude.

As far as announcers go... Parnell seems at least somewhat informed despite sounding super generic all the time. The other dude... just shouldn’t have been in the booth but he’s prob been angling to commentate Rampage for a long time. Cam is just SO good at commentating, it’s hard to listen anyone else try to do it while he’s in the booth next to them.
  • 2 0
 What happens to the venue and lines after the event and throughout the year? I'm sure this may have been answered but I missed it.
  • 5 0
 Pretty much all of the lines remain with a few lower tear downs. We go out often to ride the old site but sites 2 3 4 and 5 all have the lines still there. We go scope them and see what is possible.
  • 2 0
 @Winter73Q: Do they get rid of all the man made stuff like the sand bags?
  • 9 7
 Cam showed what a class act he is by noticing but not bringing attention to the frame breaking. I thought that was very cool of him.
  • 4 0
 @imho4ep: I don't think it would have shown the whole story. We have no idea how many front flips he attempted before that one finally failed. I'm not anywhere near an engineer, but I'm pretty sure that front flips like those put insane amounts of stress into the frame that it was not intended for. He is at arguably the most destructive bicycling event there is. I don't own a YT so this isn't fanboy defense of a brand. The internet is rough, everybody on knows everything about everything. A broken frame, regardless of the reason is grounds for boycotts and fear that it will break when you are just ridin along.
  • 10 10
 "but freeriders are notoriously terrible at taking care of their bikes" yeah - just look at the way they often send/ditch their bikes when they enter the finish...I understand the stoke, but to me that just seems a bit a) disrespectful to your sponsors, and b) a bit silly when your bike has a another run to do...
  • 3 3
 Lighten up, Francis...
  • 4 3
 If a bike can't handle a short ghost ride on flat ground, what chances do you think it has surviving a 60ft drop with 170lbs of rider on top?
  • 4 2
 Dig teams build the lines, stick them all in a hat and then ride what you draw out. That should make for some interesting riding.
  • 2 0
 I'm not sure I'd be down with this. The riders are building their lines as they plan their runs, playing to their individual strengths. An extra day of planning and digging for new riders would even it up a bit. A neutral dig team to create some common features, equally accessible to all riders might even it up a bit for first timers.
  • 2 0
 Does anybody actually know if Bienves frame of steer tube broke?
In some pictures the head tube looks fine, the steerer is hidden behind the number plate
  • 6 0
 I watched it a few times and paused it in a couple of critical spots, to me it looks like the fork steerer tube is fine and it's the frame head tube that broke.
  • 2 0
 @darrentheclaw steerer ripped through the front of the head tube. Because it’s carbon it all kind of came back together, unlike aluminum which would remain bent out in that scenario
  • 1 0
 @catfish9797: Jesus, the forces must have been massive. Interesting that the steerer wasn't the weaker link. Similar to what happened to Kelly McGarrys aluminium Tues www.mtbmagasia.com/home/more-pics-of-this-horrible-crash-get-well-soon-kelly-mcgarry

Thanks for the info!
  • 1 0
 It could be a situation where the steerer tube pulls through the headtube but the headtube keeps its shape.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=vu9IN8X0JOU (look at 3:25)

In regards to the YT, It looked like the steerer tube was intact but just pulled through in a similar manner to that video.
  • 1 0
 @rybrentd: yes, exactly like that one! A touch harder of a hit, though ????

@darrentheclaw DAMN, I had never seen those photos of McGarry’s head tube from that Canyon overshoot, only sequence shots of the crash, and shots of the wheel after. That’s bananas. Amazing that it all stayed (relatively) intact, but probably only because the wheel exploded, dissipating the force.
  • 1 0
 I think it might have been just behind the headtube, and the downtube and toptube broke. I 50/50'd a landing years ago and did that (aluminum frame), and the shop pointed out the slight discoloration at the base/outer edge of the downtube, indicating I had an earlier stress crack. That was also a pretty vicious force generated by a guy that has done a lot of big front flips.
  • 1 2
  • 1 0
 @rybrentd: Thanks! That explains it to me (see below). I would not have expected the carbon to be that flexible!
  • 4 0
 6. Listicles are still dumb
  • 1 1
 I want more info on why they were rushing to cover up Bienve's bike snapping. It was super fishy how all of the sudden some guy's head just popped up into the frame to block the other guy rushing out to grab the bike. It kind of looked like he didn't even check to see if Bienve was okay, he was only concerned with "hiding the evidence"??? And then Cam (I think?) saying "We aren't going to talk about that". What was that all about?
  • 25 26
 I dont agree, the whole thing was anti climatic, ony 3 riders had a chance to win and everyone else seemed so far behind. i agree about the progression but all that digging and the huge flat roads in the middle of the mountain are not what i want from rampage. as for strait and some of those guys they basically have zero chance to win unless something happens like the last time he won when the wind shut down the competition.
  • 5 1
 Agreed. Progression is one thing but rampage has been more about going big and technical. The digging while I understand as necessary just makes it seem over produced.
  • 7 4
 "ony 3 riders had a chance to win"
I disagree.

Semenuk (won anyway, I know), Rheeder, Steenbergen, Lacondeguy!, Sorge, Zink, Johansson and probably some others actually are very likely to win it, unless they bail.
  • 11 3
 @FloImSchnee: I think Emil got slightly robbed.
  • 7 4
 It takes a lot of work to take a natural mountain and make runways. Next year they should give them one day to scope out lines and one day to dig. The spirit of the event has totally died once you start using sandbags and have nothing but smooth terrain. I'm glad I went to the event a few times before it turned into a slopestyle event.
  • 2 0
 @digitalsoul: I totally agree. Fairclough should have won it last year and should have placed higher this year. He takes the gnar lines and still pulls tricks. At least he got 4th this year but his threat to not show up did not change the migration of gnar lines to slopestyle. Brenden is the true gnar king. Not to take anything away from the other riders. They are unreal and could totally ride gnar too but the crowds and judges appear to want flips and the sponsors want the crowds so we all know it works.
  • 5 1
  • 2 1
 No. Article's title is "5 Things We Learned at Red Bull Rampage 2019".
But we already knew much earlier that Brendog got robbed, so this is nothing new.
  • 4 0
 Push ups for Jordie!
  • 3 0
 Can someone fill me in on what the press ups mean and how they honour him?
  • 2 0
 Even that rent a Cop at the End of the track couldn't stop al the robbering
  • 1 0
 Cool to hear about the production problems. Shame that happened but sounds like there's room for improvement next year. Great article.
  • 1 0
 In reference to the cameras.. Not long until technology gives us live feed helmet cams...
  • 5 3
 Looks like a really big slopestyle course...
  • 2 4
 I think it could be just one massive line from the very top designed by the Judges to include all types of features with lots of options. That solves a ton of problems I have been reading about, but most importantly making it more World Cup/Speed and Style takes the pressure off the riders so they can ride, balances the competition and makes judging easier and more consistent.

RIP Jordie and long live Rampage!
Thanks to all, I have been thoroughly entertained for an entire week.
Now its time to ride!
  • 1 0
 A bit of everything out there. I just see it much closer than the numbers tell.
  • 1 0
 thats right... big points again for the canadians. they sure got their share of their own proving grounds for big mtn FR.
  • 3 1
 Brendog got robbed. Leave slopestyle in Whistler, and bring back Rampage!
  • 1 0
 No cheese ball commentary and no premature ejaculation from the judges.
  • 1 0
  • 2 2
 6. Cocaine and MTB don't add up well
  • 6 5
  • 1 3
 Cathro +1!
With ghost video sequences between the riders just to see who’s the fastest on the riding bits!
  • 1 0
 And no drama.
  • 1 1
  • 1 2
 The person pulling away the broken YT was embarassing. We saw it happened hey..
  • 4 5
 We the north!
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