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5 Things We Learned from Red Bull Rampage 2021

Oct 21, 2021
by Ed Spratt  

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. Brandon Semenuk Broke Records

Brandon Semenuk was the rider to beat at this year's Rampage. After winning the event in 2019 with a 92.33, all eyes were on him to see if he could secure the top result again. After a disastrous first run, he would be the first rider down for run two, managing to put together a historic Rampage run.

Scoring 89, Brandon managed to take the 2021 win and became the first rider to take four Rampage wins. He is also the first to win two Rampage events in a row. The closest riders before were Brett Rheeder (first in 2018, second in 2019) and Andreu Lacondeguy (first in 2014, second in 2015). Brandon also joins both Brett and Andreu in being the only three riders to ever secure a top-three finish in the event following a win.

Semenuk made use of his RockShox ZEB single crown by tail whipping it down his drop in the middle of his run. He also flip-whipped further down his line which just shows you the progression of the technology we have at our fingertips these days. Insane.



2. Enduro Bikes and Single Crowns

A trend that was more apparent than ever before at this year's Rampage was the rise of the enduro bikes and single-crown forks. Looking at the top three riders, none were on your traditional downhill bike with a dual crown fork. Brandon was obviously on a single-crowned Session with his RockShox Zeb, Kurt Sorge was riding an Evil Insurgent and Reed Boggs was on a Yeti SB165. Overforked bikes are nothing new at Rampage, but it has been interesting to see the complete top three at this year's event not being filled with what you would think of as a traditional freeride bike. After Brandon's success this year, we wouldn't be surprised to see more single crowns in future events and since Evil and Yeti's enduro frames are up to the demands of Rampage so we don't see either brand launching a downhill bike anytime soon.




3. Every Finisher Qualifies for 2022

Rampage this year saw a smaller group of riders take on the event with just 15 names on the list for 2021. With the top 10 automatically qualifying for 2022, every rider had great odds to make it to next year. This year had some heavy crashes before finals even began with Andreu Lacondeguy, Carson Storch and Brage Vestavik unable to compete on event day. When it came to the big event, we saw more crashes in the first runs as riders pushed their limits on the huge course. Tom Van Steenbergen was unable to complete his second run after a horrific crash in his first run that landed in him the hospital with multiple injuries, while Vinny T elected not to do a second run after a huge crash off his biggest drop in his first run. We wish all the injured riders from Rampage this year the best with their recovery and we can't wait to see them all back on the bike.


With five riders injured at this year's event, the second runs saw only ten riders hike up to the start, meaning every rider dropping in should make it through to the 2022 event unless the qualification process is changed. Both alternates to the event, Reed Boggs and Thomas Genon, are on the list of ten athletes.

- Brandon Semenuk
- Kurt Sorge
- Reed Boggs
- Cam Zink
- Tyler McCaul
- Kyle Strait
- Thomas Genon
- Ethan Nell
- Jaxson Riddle
- Szymon Godziek



4. The Level Was Extremely High

While this year's Rampage featured some heavy crashes, it could be one of the most competitive years ever with every rider fitting in some wild drops, technical features and huge tricks into their runs. We don't envy the judges this year with everyone bringing something amazing and unique to their runs. In the past, we have had variety in runs with some opting for speed, others for tech, and other for tricks. But this year, it seemed that every rider that competed in finals brought a little bit of everything to their lines and it was a huge step up from the last time athletes competed at this venue in 2017.

While the top two finishers, Semenuk and Sorge, each claimed yet another podium finish on their revamped lines from 2016 and 2017, it was impressive that two newcomers to the site, Reed Boggs and Jaxson Riddle, were able to walk away hardware, as well. Reed Boggs finishing in third place and Jaxson taking the Style Award and his build team of Joel Shockley and Samuel Mercado taking the Digger Award.
As with anything Rampage-related pictures do not do it justice however believe us when we say this hip was massive and the room for error was tiny this meant that this feature was one of the scariest to hit onsite. Between the construction of the feature and the wind from the day before Reed had to wait until the morning of the event to guinea pig this feature.



5. Jaxson Riddle Was the Undisputed Fan Favourite


As we found in our poll, everyone had strong opinions on who they thought should have placed higher. While Brandon Semenuk scores highest in our poll for first place, Jaxson Riddle received the highest number of votes to take second and third place despite actually coming in ninth. Interestingly, if our poll decided the top three then Brandon Semenuk would have been first, Jaxson Riddle second and Cam Zink third. Jaxson also had the most votes to the following two questions: "Who was underscored?" and "Whose run did you enjoy the most, reglardless of scoring?"






296 Comments

  • 412 73
 More things that we learnt
1). Rampage is a boys club where the judges will always vote for their mates **cough cough** Sorge and vink **cough cough**
2). As much as i love rampage i feel they are soo hostile to letting new riders in only 2 new riders this year (jaxson riddle and brage)
3). we need more riders- 20% of the riders invited did not participate in the finals due to crashing out i propose raising the number of riders to 22 (top 10 from previous year get selected, top 5 from proving grounds, 5 wildcards and 2 "rookies" that have not competed at rampage
4). different locations too make it more fair those who competed in the venue in 2016/17 had a distinct advantage
5). out of those who "completed" a full run jaxson finished last and thats f*cked while kyle is still doing his 1 handers and getting top 6
  • 76 3
 I agree with everything you’ve written. The field is way too small IMO, and it’s beginning to be the same group of guys every year. I like the spread of invitations you’ve suggested. There needs to be more opportunities for newer riders to participate.
  • 103 22
 more new riders. Zink will do each year 360, Strait no hander, Sorge backflip.
  • 12 11
 Did covid-19 not play a role in the smaller competitors list this year? Hopefully when a "new normal" is...normal, the field will grow again!
  • 65 6
 I've got massive respect for the rampage veterans but watching the competition year on year now, especially at returning venues is getting a little de ja vu and boring.... more of a class reunion than a competition! Think they need to ditch auto qualifying when they go to the next venue and start fresh and make everyone submit stuff for entry.
  • 37 3
 @Afterschoolsports: To be fair, when they did open it up abit more a few years ago, a lot of people got injured.
  • 12 20
flag MikeyMT (Oct 21, 2021 at 5:30) (Below Threshold)
 @HenkkaK: Agree with these. Its time for the old guard to step down and let the future pave the way.
  • 263 10
 To your points:

1 & 2) When they opened it up more, more people got injured. There's something to be said for skewing invites towards riders who are more experienced. This event is really gnarly.
3) see above
4) They tried, permits didn't work out. I assume they'll be able to sort the permits for next year, or find somewhere else new.
5) Kyle does *no handers, and also big stepdown flips, flip t-bogs, and rides the gnarliest chute in the history of rampage with style and flow. See also points 1 & 2 above. I love that Strait is in the event because you know he's going to hit the biggest drop out there (and Cam's going to flip or spin it), but also the two of them will find the gnarliest, steepest top section possible—it won't get scored all that well—and they'll continue to do it because they think it's important to keep that element in the event
  • 22 0
 I think part of the shorter rider list is to mitigate the risk of wind picking up during the event, which has caused issues before for second runs. The desert gets windy pretty much every afternoon.
  • 153 5
 6) We had to sit through over 4 hours of inane pointless commentary. Keep Cam for his insight, but bring in someone like Tippie or Warner, who can link it together without sounding tedious or stupid.
  • 4 1
 NAILED IT
  • 4 0
 @RPJN: By the sounds of it, this event can only be ran in certain locations for a whole bunch of reasons like road access, Utah's park bylaws, elevation. Which is a bummer, but a reality.
  • 93 1
 @steezysam: I'm actually pretty impressed how Strait and Zink and show up year after year and throw down. I also think they typically get under judged for their steep and technical riding of the top sections. Isnt that what everyone wants, steep and gnarly?
  • 18 31
flag Almostredbike (Oct 21, 2021 at 7:03) (Below Threshold)
 Can we all agree it’s a slopestyle event too Wink
  • 5 16
flag Theysayivebeentheone (Oct 21, 2021 at 7:05) (Below Threshold)
 They should let some of the fans pick who the wanna see competing. I saw Jaxon getting his ass whooped in proving grounds by riders that did more events, n dropped more clips than him. Not talking down on the kid he’s badass, I’m just saying there’s other people that earned the spot more than he did.
  • 18 5
 @Theysayivebeentheone: Like Johny Salido who was at Hardline, fest series events n drop multiple pro videos.. I would like to know what was the process that they used to choose the athletes bc that was straight up bs
  • 9 3
 @LemonadeMoney: I don't think I could handle 4 hours of dad jokes. Warner for sure.
  • 13 0
 I don't think the number of riders can increase with the current format. There wouldn't be enough time to get them all down the mountain over 2 runs. It's also likely they favor previous riders because they know they can make it down the mountain without getting injured. The more new people you introduce the higher the chances of someone getting hurt.
  • 16 1
 @LemonadeMoney: Rob Warner and Cam McCaul commentary would be legendary!
  • 75 5
 Totally fair for you to have your opinion. But, this perspective REEKS of someone who's never visited the Rampage site in person.

I have - attended as a spectator in 2014. Once you see the event live in person, your opinion will change. Trust me. Video does NOT do justice to the steepness/intensity of the terrain.

Strait and Zink scored high because their chute at the top of the course is the gnarliest thing on the entire mountain. It might not look as impressive as throwing a superman on a step-down, but its MUCH crazier.

I see your in Australia, so I understand the logistics of attending Rampage might be tricky. But, you HAVE to see it in person. It'll change your mind about every single point you wrote.
  • 11 0
 @dthomp325: They could start before 11:00
  • 3 0
 @jdills: they've gotta anticipate wind/weather delays which happen nearly every year, and it's a live broadcast so it can't be 8 hours long.
  • 1 0
 @steezysam: Well said!
  • 1 1
 @superman-4: Well said too!
  • 3 11
flag adrennan (Oct 21, 2021 at 9:09) (Below Threshold)
 @dthomp325: I almost think making rampage a video contest with a week to film would be great.
  • 10 4
 @lalientoxc:
Salido blew himself up at the 2019 event and DNFed. Riddle threw down two strong top-to-bottom runs this year. That's the whole point: organizers want riders who stand the best chance of *finishing* the event. Yes the field felt small this year, but the wildcards who got the call-up bagged podium spots and style awards, so clearly they deserved their spots, and riders w/ nothing but DNF results from the past deserved to stay at home.
  • 9 10
 Let's talk about this Sorge / Vink "conspiracy"... Specifically, how was Sorge's run overscored?
  • 6 7
 @DustOnCrust: That was 2 years ago n other than Riddle hasn’t done anything but face plant the ground at a museum. If you compare both careers Salidos’ has a lot more to dig in than the Riddles’. yes he got injured n wasn’t able to make to the finals but other than that he has proven to one of the best out there!! Certainly better than Riddles’ who has never scored a better result in a final run than Salido!!
  • 2 8
flag lalientoxc (Oct 21, 2021 at 9:47) (Below Threshold)
 @DustOnCrust: He was a crash on practice, it was his first time in rampage n he doesn’t live down the street from there like Riddle does, so he was not familiar w the terrain. I wouldn’t say that he blew himself up he WANTED to compete but his medical condition didn’t allow it. On the other hand THE SAME YEAR at proving grounds where Johny beat Jaxon, Jaxon wouldn’t even take his second run bc he was too scare. Even Casey Brown the pants to throw down a second run. Didn’t go well for her but he didn’t back down!! I’m just saying to a lot of us it looks like y’all are pushing that kid over other guys but reasons that I’m not gonna get into but Johny should have been AT LEAST!! On the backup list AT LEAST n even that feels like he was getting roved.
  • 12 1
 Re: #4

I completely agree, but for a different reason. I think we are starting to see lots of big, gnarly crashes because riders are having to outdo, the preceding year. it's getting bigger and more ridiculous becuase it's in the same place every year, and the only way to differentiate yourself is to go 1 bigger(turn it to 11 Nigel!!). This will get someone killed one day. I think a partial solution is to take it to different venues and let riders and dig crews be creative on a new canvas. It will allow for mind blowing riding with less 75ft blind drops with postage stamp landings in the gusty wind(my palms got sweaty typing that).

my $.02
  • 6 15
flag MTBthoroughbred (Oct 21, 2021 at 10:40) (Below Threshold)
 @Theysayivebeentheone: Salido sucks and is only relevant because he the best rider to come out of Mexico. You think he would have a RB sponsorship in any other country? As for riddle, he is young talented with amazing bike control that trumps that of Salido. As he showed this year at rampage, and this inherently shows in his IG videos also.
  • 3 1
 @Almostredbike: if it’s slopestyle then why are big mountain records being set every year?
  • 3 0
 @Afterschoolsports: More young bloods in there
  • 10 0
 @steezysam: I definitely agree with you about KS and CZ. Those two really embody the spirit of Rampage in my opinion. I love seeing the stuff they come up with. I was happy to see them hit that chute again with better camera angles. f*ck what an epic start to their runs!
  • 4 2
 Agree with most of your points but....There''s nothing I love more than a huge tabletop by Strait. There's absolutely nobody who can do it more stylishly!
  • 6 27
flag Greener43 (Oct 21, 2021 at 11:06) (Below Threshold)
 @rockyflowtbay: technically this is because the federal government has taken back control of state and federal lands, thanks to the Biden/Harris admin. Thank your favorite democrat.
  • 4 3
 @skimtb1: not sure how Sorge scored 10 pts higher on his second run. Russian judges
  • 3 0
 @Bikedude666: the cameras really don't do it justice. That chute is insane. The go pro footage made things look so much crazier.
  • 1 0
 @jaydawg69: Helping make Rampage great again. They have a reasonable track record round them parts.
  • 6 1
 #1. Consequences are REAL. We love watching the full sends but these guys are risking life and limb. TVS is lucky it wasn't even worse. No matter how much is dug out, it's still rowdy as.
#2. The level is high AF. Everyone is a critic. Have fun on your bike!
#3. Gotta spin to win.
#4. Fans appreciate new riders!
#5. 'nuf said
  • 8 0
 Strait has unbelievable style and strength. He makes the most technical features on the planet look effortless. That is more unique than throwing a backflip.
  • 1 0
 @steezysam: Good points dude...Hard to dispute that.
  • 7 2
 @jaydawg69:

His first run was underscored it seemed like... He had a couple of bobbles and he dropped early on so the judges were still calibrating a bit.

Run 2 was flawless with more speed and aggression, the clicked superman, and the 50ft flip nac. That flip nac was in the Top 3 biggest moves of the day along with the TVS frontflip and Semenuk's tailwhip.
  • 1 0
 100% agree with the top comment!!
  • 12 4
 What the heck are you talking about 1 handers? Kyle rode the gnarliest chute of Rampage history.
Also in terms of judging higher Ethan got 3rd there in 2017... so please explain what happened here? Have you ever been to Rampage? Have you ever seen the shit in real life? If not you have no opinion because you life in a fantasy of what it really is.
  • 3 0
 There is not enough room on the mountain for more lines 15 is a good number.
  • 5 0
 @jdills: The sun comes over the crest of the mesa or butte or whatever is the correct term for that and would make filming and viewing blinding until 11.
  • 3 5
 @smgishot13: Yeah, there’s a reason we don’t see sui’s thrown off big drops. Definitely more gnarly than a 3 or flip. Especially when they’re proper laid back like Kyle’s and not hunched over. Doing that off a huge drop and making it look smooth is insanely hard. Dogging it like it shouldn’t score well is ridiculous.. obviously opinions from people who have never even tried a sui.
  • 4 2
 @HenkkaK: Those tricks aren’t acrobatic enough or what? And didnyou notice the terrain? Talk about desensitized.. Maybe go try a sui off a drop to refresh your perspective, see if you find them boring
  • 3 2
 @LemonadeMoney: Absolutely! It felt like watching cheesy US sports pundits analysing a football game. Bring in Warner and a bit of banter.
JP
  • 1 0
 @RPJN: They tried to get a new venue but have run into significant push back from BLM this year that was not a problem in previous years. It is a significant hurdle to try and change the location with all the impacts the even comes with.
  • 2 0
 Number 4 really isn't possible. It takes a lot to get the spaces they currently ride at.
  • 1 0
 @Afterschoolsports: Does beg the question of how big a field of riders are out there that would like to be able to participate in Rampage that have not yet been invited?
  • 3 3
 @steezysam: With respect to permits, perhaps that part would be easier if the Rampage event didn't terraform the land so much. The damage these due sculpting all those ramps, landings, etc. is massive and won't get washed away particularly quickly.
  • 1 1
 @adrennan: Yeah I think more riders would require more days of competition, feels like they just squeaked the few riders they had this year.
  • 1 1
 @LemonadeMoney: Can I upvote this a million times because the commentary was seriously horrible and embarrassing. TVS is super injured and being cared for, crowd's giving him support and the idiot is all like "the crowd is cheering...generally...in a sporting event....that means he's up on his feet and OK." Cam was totally uncomfortable with it. The commentary was borderline unlistenable (minus Cam.) Hardline commentary was way better.
  • 3 0
 @rockyflowtbay: The misconception is that this is some giant zone comprising thousands of square miles of southern UT, which isn't the case at all. "Rampage terrain" is really a pretty small, extremely unique area on top of the plateau, immediately surrounding Virgin. Go five miles down the road in any direction and the terrain is entirely different. Great riding, but not fit for Rampage-style building.
  • 1 0
 @booMcaT: Haven't heard of it. We didn't get that here.
  • 1 1
 @Henrito: to be fair
  • 2 0
 @SuperHighBeam: Yeah, I guess just regress to 2001 where it was straight airs and sketchy landings on loose, natural 10-foot drops. I'm sure viewership would be through the roof.

They're not doing as much terraforming as you think, when I can only find two of the locations on Google Earth, much less in person, despite a lot of time spent trying to do so.
  • 136 7
 Did nobody else find the vibe to be pretty messed up? I tuned in just in time to watch Vinny T's crash, and turned it off after Tom went down. I know this take won't be popular here, but gotta say it.

Most top athletes in MTB who compete in DH, enduro, etc who still face a high risk of injury generally seem very hungry to compete so long as they're not suffering burnout on a longer timescale. But the rider interviews for Rampage came off as bleak as hell to me. They all seem pretty shook lining up for their first runs, and I'd write it off as part of the marketing except that they're getting wrecked this badly this frequently. It's hard not to feel like this is spectacle is too much of a meat grinder that very few of these guys are really up to. Most of the finish line glee seemed to be about surviving more than stomping runs.

Watching Van Steenbergen actively contemplate his mortality for like 5 full minutes on the caveman move, back down, go on to 'make history', then immediately pay a huge price seems like the perfect encapsulation of what this event is for these guys. It felt pretty messed up to watch.
  • 21 2
 100% agree.
I switched the TV off after TVS crash.
  • 38 3
 I agree with this. I believe this is going too far. I understand the ‘’no one force them to do this’’ argument, but I believe this event put the riders in a context where they have to take so much risk that it became unreasonable. I believe the organizers should tweak the event to break the ever increasing risk level and bring it back to a reasonable level. Injury should be exception, not 30% of riders. I am sure there are ways to reduce risk while keeping the event fun. I’m thinking of Jaxson’s run, his run didn’t have the risk, the gnar, the size and the exposure that other riders had, and he got low scored for that. But still, he got fan’s favorite. I believe this is a good tip about where Rampage should be headed.
  • 42 3
 Well said. Not a lot of joy in watching young men destroy themselves for our entertainment and then reading comments that it felt too tame.
  • 21 1
 Good comment.
I don't think this PB writer was brave enough to include the rising body count as something "we learned", but I know the team expressed their misgivings on the podcast before the event.
It's left a nasty taste in my mouth this year anyway.
  • 8 2
 Ya agree, the vibe felt weird and a bit morose. I thought that vibe was pretty evident with the commentators as well, who seemed like they were really struggling to keep positive about the event in the wake of the injuries. This was especially noticeable as Semenuk waited at the top, as they tended to TVS below. My guess is there will be changes, it just seems like everyone is on the same page that it's going in the wrong direction IDK.
  • 14 3
 Yup, I quit watching a few years ago. It's only a matter of time before someone dies on live tv at one of these.
  • 17 2
 My biggest issue is with the coverage of the TVS crash. They showed a replay before showing TVS was "ok". I don't want to see a replay of someone dying. I'd rather see no replay if the rider can't walk out. The director should watch the coverage of Grosjean's crash last year at the Bahrain F1 Grand Prix for an example.
  • 7 4
 Agreed. It's one of several reasons why I quit watching things like NFL. I don't need to be entertained by someone destroying their future. The line is different for everyone but it became clear this year that I no longer care to watch this.
  • 6 0
 I went and walked the site a couple days ago. I don't blame them. That shit is completely insane, none of the videos or photos do it justice. I think you have to be missing your fear instinct to even consider riding some of that stuff.
  • 4 0
 @flattoflat: the world is split between those who like to watch people take spectacular risks in the hope of glory and the rest. Maybe there's a grey area in between. Risk is effectively subjective.
  • 10 3
 Agreed. End this event. There are too many serious injuries. A few years ago, Clif stopped sponsoring the free solo climbers. It was the right move. I recocognize that people can disagree on what level of risk is ethical to fund, but this event goes pretty far over the line for me. It is way on the high end of the spectrum in terms of risk.
  • 9 12
 The riders know the risk. As far as i know, no one is obligated to compete at rampage. Freeride is an extreme sport, and dangerous at that with huge risk involved which the riders are fully aware and sign up for. i think it should be kept that way
  • 10 2
 @ibishreddin: "no one is obligated to compete".

But there is a responsibility of the organizers to not let it get too dangerous. F1 adjusts rules each year to keep the cars from going too fast & sketchy, & the sport survives just fine.
  • 1 3
 @taijidave: that’s true, but some sports (motorcycle road racing) have gone the other direction and are surviving fine too
  • 5 1
 @t1000: An option would be to see them sent to a new venue, where the terrain is similar but the scale is inherently smaller, but the terrain would still be challenging and interesting, just without the huge exposure and speed. You could limit bike size too, and award technical lines and features such as jibs. Brendog's line from a couple years ago comes to mind. It was gnarly but the air time and speed was less.

Award natural terrain use, so riders aren't sending it on huge built features. They are still going to crash but without the high mechanics of injury.
  • 6 2
 @ibishreddin: That isn't true, if you don't go to rampage you don't really exist in freeride. Yes freeride is an extreme sport, but it's really the highest level of Dirt Jumping, which is where all these guys came from, just kids hitting DJs after school, they get really good and suddenly they have to go to Rampage. There isn't any big time DJ competitions where riders compete on standard big line at your local DJs and are awarded for that at a level like Rampage or even Slopestyle events. Which is unlike skating where you don't have to compete at mega ramp to succeed, you can go to the Olympics and compete at a skate park which isn't much different from your local skate park.

At an Olympic Freeski event, the half pipes are standard as at many ski resorts. Athletes are super dialed in and the run outs a huge, you see injury's but not nearly the same percentage of athletes are getting injured as at Rampage.
  • 5 0
 @chakaping: Yeah, seeing this conversation get neglected by media pretty wholesale, especially in an article with this title, was very disappointing.

At one point they almost started talking about the body count in the comment booth in a reflective manner that went beyond the start list implications, and it got shut down quick. I have no doubt a promoter was in an ear piece screaming no. It was all the more painful knowing that all these people are friends and are clearly genuinely terrified for each other.
  • 3 0
 @taijidave: Yeah, it really has to be done by organizers. The incentives for athletes to take it this far are clearly too strong for athlete walkouts to keep rampage from being the top tier prestige event that it is. I have no doubt there are some riders out there who might get the tap but decline because they are willing to draw that line for themselves, and good for them, but you gotta reflect on what we learned from the salary surveys PB did this year: unless you're on the very top, you're not really earning money, and they've all come way too far and risked & sacrificed so much to not be inclined to take that chance.
  • 4 0
 I feel that the current formula is exhausted. I understand that the riders are insanely good and totally respect them, they are gods of mtb. Yet I was mostly scared and bored instead of being totally amazed. I also know that RB has put a lot of money and effort into coverage, yet the povs do much better justice to the gnarliness of lines even flattened by wide angle lenses. I do not know what has to change but for sure will not watch it live next year if nothing changes.
  • 4 0
 The older I get the less I watch this event, I get very stressed year on year watching these guys wreck them self's, spend more time worrying if they will make it down safe than wondering what tricks or lines will be had.
  • 3 1
 @inside-plus: I would argue that. A closer analog for this event from the ski world is the Freeride World Tour (www.youtube.com/watch?v=AqPOWGF2VGo). This is a distinct even from Slopestyle or Halfpipe. Sometimes skiers can cross over, but the things required to win are very different. Freeride Skiing is not the pinnacle of Slopestyle or Halfpipe skiing. The points are awarded similarly and heavily related to how the natural terrain is used. Unlike Rampage, skiers don't have build teams and natural terrain is skied. Snow and dirt/rock are dramatically different though an I think subtle adaptations to the terrain make sense. I didn't love the giant man made features of the past in Rampage so I am glad those are gone but think some building makes sense to allow riders to create a ridable line. So yeah- I don't agree that Rampage is "the highest level of dirt jumping"
  • 3 0
 @snl1200: I would like Rampage more if it were more like FWT and less like Crankworx in the desert.
  • 3 0
 @blackercanyons: Totally! I think it would be so hard though given the difference between the mechanics of skiing and ski terrain compared to biking. You have so much more flexibility with skiing where you can kind of go where ever you want vs. needing to make terrain ridable beforehand. That said, from my middle aged, not interested in drops over 10 ft., "armchair quarterback" lens, scoring lines like Zink/Strait's raw chute line way higher and capping trick scores would be the way to get there. Just a thought.
  • 112 11
 Voting needs to change, still confused at how Genon only got 7th
  • 31 3
 *Scoring, not voting
  • 25 15
 I think we can all see and feel the passion and creativity through riders like Tommy G and Jaxson, and its so exciting to watch! When I see Strait, Sorge, etc, taking their runs, I kinda just zone out.. it is executed well but it feels like they are just doing the minimum to tick the boxes to get the scores... (and maybe a couple boxes were already ticked for them before the comp even started)... Don't want to take away from those dudes, but if there is any sort of seniority scoring, it puts a wall in front of younger riders that slows down the progression of the sport! New generations bring new talent.
  • 55 6
 @Joebohobo: If it was voting, Trump would have won Rampage for sure.
  • 5 31
flag sewer-rat (Oct 21, 2021 at 4:55) (Below Threshold)
 I agree, the audience / spectators need to impact the scoring more - it's crazy to think TV talent shows can run this format but something like Rampage can't
  • 47 3
 @sewer-rat: God no. Spectators don't know shit, they have not walked the course, they have never ridden features half as big, etc. Everyone that doesn't die is a winner at this damn thing. The riders don't care yet the keyboard warriors do...hmmm....
  • 32 2
 @bigtim: The drop was huge, biggest America has seen, maybe even the world. It was all natural and just like the old freeride, the good freeride. Nothing like the slopestyle modern riders do. I will make rampage freeride again!
  • 37 0
 Gotta love Pinkbike, people spend two weeks complaining that Rampage is too slopestyle and then are outraged when the runs with bigger airs and more raw sections outscore the more groomed (still extremely gnarly) runs with cool tricks.
  • 14 0
 I wish they made the score more transparent. Especially the score for line choice. Almost like a degree of difficulty before dropping in.
  • 2 0
 @MikeyMT: if spectators don't know shit (and I'm not in any way saying they do or don't) and the riders 100% don't care (which I don't know as I'm not one) why publicize it and make it such a huge event? Like it or not streaming it across all media channels publicizes the sport and in turn opens it up to a forum of comments and opinions which are just that, opinions. However I'm unsure if Redbull would sponsor it / be involved if it had no exposure or they couldn't cover it? The fact they are and they do leaves it wide open to interpretation of rights and wrongs, man that's why I love Hardline - its gnarly and the only judge is the clock
  • 2 3
 @sewer-rat: So you're saying RedBull would not cover/sponsor Rampage if there was no money to be made? lol, you don't say...Tricks and wild stuff gets clicks, Redbull wants people to finish runs, and do sick tricks with good views in the background. It's pretty simple. They don't care who wins...
  • 3 2
 @dairydolores:

Specifically, how were the boxes "already ticked" for Sorge?
  • 5 0
 Maybe the judges should mail their votes in
  • 3 0
 @skimtb1: I'd like to think with a quill pen, whilst wearing a monacle and chuckling in an evil deranged overlord kind of way. Bwahahahaha.
  • 2 0
 Amen to this. I feel like other than semenuk, his run was by far the highlight. So smooth and much more technical than many of the other runs. Those threes both ways were things of beauty. I’d like to see a greater emphasis on course usage technicality, and style.
  • 12 3
 @bigtim:

Sorge's run was 100% podium material. People think there is a deep Fest Series conspiracy infiltrating Rampage judging need to get their f*cking brains adjusted.
  • 64 8
 The problem for me was that the lines aren't memorable or characterful. I don't have too much of a problem with making lines safer, but looking back on the event I hardly remember who did what. I certainly couldn't tell you which of the lower drops any of the riders came down.
I remember the big chute, the gnoblin and Riddle's nose pressing style. Then I remember Semenuk's single-crown tricks and
Tom Van Steenbergen's front flip.
The rest kind of blurs into one!

IMO that's why everyone enjoyed Brendog's Rock and Canyon Gap line so much. Characterful. Shame we were robbed of seeing Brage's line Frown

It's a bit like when I watch a BMX park event and come away with the overriding memory being a crazy creative transfer.
  • 9 0
 Off the top of my head… T-Mac getting redemption after an 18 month injury. Reed Boggs stomping a massive 3 after exploding his tire on first run. Ethan Nell flat flipping the double drop flawlessly twice. Godziek almost nailing his huge 360 but sliding out twice. Riddle having insane Moto style. Zink landing a huge flat back flip while injured. Semenuk crashing huge and then going right back to the top of the mountain to win the event.
  • 11 1
 The Zink/Strait chute was the most memorable feature for me. That thing was huge on the screen. When Strait greased it on his 2nd run i was blown away. Only the slightest head bobble the whole way down. Then some style on that jump after.

Semenuk’s bar spin into the hip and then tailwhip looked cool and was new, but i wasnt blown away. ItS jUsT sLoPeStYlE. UNTIL I saw the drone footage near the end of brodcast. It looked so much gnarlier. Ive watched that drone footage so many times.
  • 4 0
 @jojotherider1977: Holy shit i just went and peeped that 5g drone footage at the end. The barspin he does looks f*cking horrifying, then the flatspin he does onto that hill he wiped out on... okay wow yeah that's f*cking horrifying. I completely get why someone who can execute tricks and stuff like this is scored so high now. The tailwhip just looks freaky. I would likely never send most of this with straight airs.

03:42:45 for anyone interested, I really think this footage brings the scale of it all into perspective. https://www.pinkbike.com/news/5-things-we-learned-from-red-bull-rampage-2021.html
  • 1 0
 I was looking forward to seeing Semenuks lily pad again, disappointed they weren't at the venue this year. It had better features.
  • 45 3
 I learned that the strength of some peoples opinions and perceived group membership drive them to be s#$tty humans without even really being aware sometimes. It's okay to have a favourite rider. But, perhaps try to do it with the curiosity and humility that you may not know everything. Further, just because you thought one run was awesome doesn't diminish the accomplishment of another rider. I get that this is a big thing in modern politics- being a fan of something is synonymous with disliking the other things believed to be in opposition. The amount of shade towards Sorge is a bit disheartening. That guy rode cleanly down the mountain on insane terrain. He is a super chill guy and unarguably one of the best riders in the world... as were all the riders there! Whether or not it was your favourite run, respect is due to all the riders. Sorry you got bored with how good riders are and that they are doing backflips off massive drops with insane consequences. It felt a bit like a Gladiator situation where I wondered if I should feel guilty for my excitement watching given the expense to so many peoples health and wellbeing. I was so nervous for all the riders this year as I tried to grapple with the scope of it. It's okay to have an opinion- but perhaps hit the pause and briefly reflect "am I in anyway being a sh#$tty human here?" I think doing so would lead to more comments like "I really liked [insert favourite rider]" vs. "This is bullsh%t. Dude always get scored crazy high cause of his bros. So boring." Either way- I felt the bitching over scores took the place of a whole lot of gratitude we should have had for all the riders. Unreal accomplishment for all.
  • 16 1
 Sorge is the man, and he rides VERY consistently at this event
  • 8 0
 Heck ya! Finally someone said it
  • 11 0
 Well fucking said! Exactly the same feeling I had reading some of the above comments. I very much enjoyed watching Sorge, Zink, and Strait. They're classic riders for a reason.
  • 10 0
 Important comment right here. Everyone who rides that mountain and then goes for tricks and getting more air each year is a fcking hero. Dismissing anyone of them is just pinnacle of armchairing.
  • 4 0
 @MTBthoroughbred: Agreed, Sorge is so dialed, smoothest run every time with no ego. The skill required to be so consistent is insane.
  • 35 4
 The single crown is so new. It's not like the Zeb is the long awaited replacement for the Totem.
Remember 66s before that, the 66 was freeride back in the day.
Bikes.. we had freeride bikes back in the day too that were not dh bikes, even the likes of the Santacruz VpFree. ( Great bike and so far ahead of its time).
So... We have started to come full circle. Just the steerer has changed or is it marketing trying to get the masses to buy a new fork, just a newer version of an older fork.
  • 11 1
 I suppose the other thing is that a Zeb is around 400g / ~1lb lighter than an air Totem and about 700g lighter than a coil Totem. A single crown with that much travel and that lower weight is maybe something a bit different? Genuine question, there may well have been something lighter, I'm no expert.

I'd consider a Zeb set to say 180mm on a bike I had to pedal, but I'd never of considered a Totem for that same purpose.

Either way though, can we just marvel briefly at the idea of jumping off a cliff and putting that landing through a fork that ways just 2.3kg. To an oldy like me that's nigh on unbelievable!
  • 2 0
 Still running the marz 66. Great fork. It has sticker saying not for freeride extreme or downhill use. On account of this I will skip rampage myself! One comment about the old stuff is that 1 1/8 just looks too skinny for a 170mm freeride fork (it's longer than my boxxer). I'm sure old 1.5 totems and 66 forks could have done the job with suitable frames at rampages gone by but maybe the riding progression was behind the equipment then. but not now clearly. Who will challenge Brandon?
  • 10 0
 This. Anyone remember Robbie Bourdon jumping the same huge 15 meter drop that Carlin Dunne hit in NWD 6?
He was riding a 170 mm Marzocchi 66. That fork was as "traditional freeride" as it gets, as were the Fox 36 and the Manitou Travis (up to 200 mm of travel!) at the time, even before the Totem.
  • 1 1
 @Woody25:

Yeah seriously! I would be uncomfortable authorizing anyone to take a single crown I had ANYTHING TO DO WITH off these cliffs. Yikes!
  • 1 0
 @Matthewsturner: Brett Rheeder is the obvious contester…
  • 4 0
 @darrentheclaw: I was thinking about the manitous as well. Only went for Totem as it was RS to RS.
@woody25: The totem was heavier, it was also a 40mm chassis, I raced them for a season or to as well, but they were really too stiff. The zeb is race proven within the Enduro circuit too.

Have we come really far since the Totem etc, probably not as far as you would think. If you look at the "progression" of a Dh fork. We removed being about to adjust high and low speed compression and rebound a number of years back and we have almost put that adjustment back now!

Example: I tried a line on my Lyrikk Ultimate (air fork) many times last week that I never had an issue with on my old 26" Lyrik R2CDH coil and never made it once as I couldn't get the front end to stick! its a slightly uphill line up and over some horrible roots on the way into a very steep trail. How annoying, bigger wheels, newer fork with a "better" damper and they kept stepping out on me. I have had a few instances of this with that "better" fork. Maybe time to put a coil in the front for that small bum compliance.
  • 7 0
 @betsie:

“Small bum compliance”

More of a Freudian slip than a traction issue
  • 1 0
 @betsie: now if they could get an air fork to genuinely match a coil.. well that would be progress for me! I’d live with an electric damper or something if I could have that!
  • 4 0
 @AckshunW: Personally, I've found that larger bums generally have more compliance. Tho some have poorly damped rebound.
  • 2 0
 @Woody25: contemporary manitou forks are the closest I’ve found to coil forks. After riding them for some time now, I find rockfox forks to be a really unsatisfactory experience when I try them. Three of my four bikes are now on manitou after arriving with fox factory forks. It’s a shame that they don’t get any oem support.
  • 6 0
 @AckshunW: I like big bumps and I cannot lie.
  • 1 0
 @Afterschoolsports: Nice, might give those a go next if there's service support in the UK. 90's me would be very happy to have Manitous on the bike!
  • 2 0
 @Woody25: there’s literally no presence in Australia, but I chanced it. After riding the mezzer for a while, it was clear I couldn’t go back. I can get my service from one guy in NZ, or the dealer in Singapore (where I’ve picked up all three manitou forks for next to nothing) is happy to send parts down to me. He sent me bushings for all three forks recently for no charge, all are out of warranty.
  • 22 0
 Jackson Riddle is definitely the future.
Whilst ~165mm enduro bikes are at an awesome level these days, I bet Reed and Kurt would appreciate a little bit more squish if their sponsors offered it.
  • 2 0
 Maybe Reed can ask Cascade Components to make him a new link- and maybe it will be released for the plebes so I can buy one too
  • 2 0
 @Staktup: I would be surprised if he wasn’t already running a custom linkage that yeti had on file from their initial SB165 development process.
  • 1 0
 Semenuk already has a remedy that he could've easily brought here- It's no mistake that he chose to put a zeb on a DH bike for this rather than just bring his enduro bike. He needed that fork for the tricks he had in mind but clearly still thought the extra squish was worth it.
  • 1 0
 @Staktup: haha calling yourself a plebe while talking about buyng a custom link for a Yeti. Funny
  • 21 1
 Of course Jaxson was the favorite. That whip superman and superman seatgrab.... ahhhhhhhhhhh
  • 9 0
 The coolest looking bike, plus he wears glasses. Absolute legend.
  • 6 0
 The hands to the hips sui though. Steeeeeezy
  • 15 1
 I think it might of been a SRAM ad on the homepage the other day, but on one side it was Jaxson doing a superman seatgrab indy air and the other it was Semenuk doing a flip whip from Rampage. I noticed that suprisingly their body position was not too dissimilar: feet off the pedals, slight superman, body twisted, etc. Then I thought about how Semenuk's bike was flipping around his bars and his body was upside down. Then I realized why Jaxson's score was not even close to Semenuk's.

Someone mentioned this on the PB podcast the other day and I thought it was an interesting perspective. When talking about 'underscoring' they countered that they thought the 'underscored' run could of been performed by all the riders who scored higher. I can't help but think that about Jaxson's run. I feel like it would be likely that all riders who scored above Jaxson could have likely done Jaxson's run (maybe not to the same amplitude). But I feel like Jaxson wouldn't of been able to do their runs. 360s and flat drops are hard tricks on features this big. As cool as supermans look, they aren't as hard. Judging them higher would be placing subjective value on 'coolness' of tricks, and I think that is a slippery slope.
  • 10 0
 Enduro bikes have basically become the freeride bikes we had 15 years ago and with the current geometry, slapping a lower range cassette or even single speed and a DC fork, hell even the 190mm Zeb Semenuk was riding, basically makes them DH bikes because the difference between the two bike types is very faint today.
  • 7 0
 My usual disclaimer, I'm not a race/contest guy but by perusing comments I have this suggestion:

Similar to Hollywood courtroom dramas where jury tampering is in play, just switch the Rampage panel with the Olympic figure skating panel. No one knows anyone and scores are sure to be...interesting.
  • 2 0
 Other judge suggestions: the Sharktank judges, Gordan Ramsey, Snoop Dogg, Trevor Noah, Stephen Colbert, Funkmaster Flex, Joe Rogan, Henrik Harlaut
  • 10 0
 6. A whole lot of people got seriously injured
  • 10 0
 I learned that PB can milk the hell out of one event.
  • 6 1
 I think they would all benefit from having more time to prepare ? Seemed like alot of riders were rushing to build or practice do to weather conditions. I mean being a supposed “Freeride” contest an all there probably shouldn’t be a whole lot of building going on but just more time to prepare. Seemed like Brage was still working on his line right up to the day prior to the event. That’s gotta cause a little bit of unnecessary stess? IDK just had the impression that alot of people were in a rush especially new competitors.
  • 2 0
 I dont know where it was mentioned, but it was mainly the new guys that were rushed. Everyone else had lines from 2017 that they had to refresh. Then they could ride it and fine tune it.
  • 3 1
 Agreed, I think there should be two weeks for building so they can get every thing 100%, then there should be a few days of rest, these dudes are riding while completely exhausted and dehydrated, I bet more people would walk away from this event uninjured, I can barely watch this event due to all the crashes.
  • 6 1
 The event is made to be extremely difficult, between building and executing the line. The terrain should not change because people feel it is “unsafe”. These are all big mountain riders and there’s a reason this is the most difficult contest to participate in. Now I do agree with everyone in that the field of riders should increase to a larger group, such as Kade, Kaos, Bienve, Johnny Salido. Another point that I personally don’t want to see us rampage becoming a slope contest, I think it’s roots are in big mountain riding and should stay there. But hey, I’m not anyone special.
  • 2 0
 The safe/unsafe line is a tricky one to walk. The way I see it is unfortunately you have to draw the line somewhere, like how we currently wouldn't run rampage in the snow, for instance
  • 1 0
 @IsaacWislon82: these guys are literally paid to ride events like this and look forward to events like this. If the safety of the event or of the riders was as great as risk, I’m sure rampage would of died years ago.
  • 5 0
 super dissapointed. everyone was crashing left and right. i think that the rain didnt help and because it rearely reains in the diesert the riders couldnt guess the right speed, thats why why was SO MANY cases. i am happy for brandon for bringing progression as he always does, reed for his first podium, jaxson for his stellar performance and the fact that tom is realatively okay. Other thank that I have a weird feeling in my mouth about this year.
  • 6 1
 I'm just a casual watcher of these events, but whenever I turned on coverage, I was really concerned with the rider safety and it made it unenjoyable to watch for me. I could just be a wuss, but I feel like the course needs to be dialed back a bit in the future, especially seeing what happened to Brage and others.
  • 5 0
 What we learned at Rampage 2021!
These boys are freaking gnarly and the heart they put into this event is bigger than anyone will ever know. The show they put on for the World, the pressure they put on themselves and their desire to win is something the average person will never understand.
Judged events are extremely hard, and Rampage is hands down the hardest judged mountain bike event. And the fact the riders keep coming back year after year shows they don’t do this for the money, they do it because it’s in their freaking blood. For people to be on here saying it’s not interesting anymore, oh another back flip or no hander are the people that have never been to Rampage... and their comments honestly baffle me.
  • 7 1
 Everyone who had the option of DH or enduro frames, chose the DH frame. I can imagine Zeb's and 38's rising in popularity though.
  • 3 0
 Except Genon (who was robbed too) appeared to be on a Canyon Torque with a dual crown fork. I run my Torque with a dorado and can confirm it is an amazing pairing. The only time I’ve run out of rear travel is when I am leaning on the suspension to compensate for operator proficiency.
  • 2 0
 @Afterschoolsports: The Genon bike was a yet-to-be-released prototype with Torque decals.
  • 3 0
 Ya, I think if Evil and Yeti had DH frames, those riders would have probably been on them.
  • 1 1
 @hevi: I didn’t get a good look at it but the shock placement and linkage appeared very similar to the torque. Disappointing if it is a new Torque or similar long travel bike that there didn’t look like it had space to fit a bottle cage in there. It’s my one complaint about the torque, and the reason I ride it less in summer.
  • 1 0
 @Afterschoolsports: I think it did if you look at the down tube closely I'm pretty sure you can spot water bottle cage bolts on it
  • 6 1
 I feel like @robinoneill's photo of Jaxon flying through the air while holding on to his bike with one hand would be a shot I'd have been chasing for 10yrs. Everything about it is perfect IMO. Well captured Robin.
  • 12 9
 In my eyes the 2018 and 2019 Rampage were a bit more spectacular and bigger. In addition they should introduce that the lines must be rebuilt after an event or/and that a line change must take place in the following year.

No more dig teams and sandbags!
  • 11 0
 Rebuild every year but no dig teams? How?

At least the got rid of all wooden constructions.
  • 3 0
 @yoobee: It was almost like Oakley was trying to make features as heinous looking as their eyewear. Glad that phase is over too
  • 3 2
 @yoobee: Just raw riding...Freeriding!
  • 1 2
 @dh-corn: Hmmmm... this is probably not what most of the riders want?! Sure, I love these chute lines of Zink/Strait or Brendog. But a good drop will do as well Wink And rotations are the icing on the cake. Steezy style of course. But this Semenuk slope style stuff Confused Does not fit here.

It won't merely work without any line preparation or digging.
  • 10 7
 "While this year's Rampage featured some heavy crashes..."

Uh... I don't think a crash should be considered a "feature" in an event of this consequence, but that's a nice way to gloss over the heavy carnage we saw this year. Didn't seem like as much celebrating at the bottom of the mountain this year, more like relief. I don't think I want to watch an event where the main emotion I experience during a run is fear and worry. 5 riders with serious injuries. I've always loved rampage, but after this year... not sure I'll be watching again.
  • 9 6
 Welcome to big mountain freeriding. If you haven't felt that before watching Rampage runs and haven't seen the previous horrendous crashes including Paul Bas', Agassiz's, Gee Atherton's, Rogatkin, Zink's, etc. etc. then you haven't been watching. Riders sending insanely risky lines, injuries, unreal nerves and elation just at making it to the bottom has always been a part of Rampage. I'm not sure you should be watching it either if you're just realizing this and it bothers you that much. Trigger warning, you should avoid watching the Freeride World Tour as well. Its really gnarly.
  • 5 2
 @scott-townes: I hear you, and I know horrendous crashes and injuries aren't new to Rampage or the sport. But this year seemed more like escalation rather than progression; like, the calculus of risk vs reward seemed imbalanced in a way I haven't seen before. No I'm not new to the sport, and I don't need trigger warnings or a safe space - but I think an event like this, where 5/12 riders end up injured, should give us pause.
  • 5 4
 @Lokirides: It sucks to say but 5 riders getting injured at a Rampage isn't unusual. If you're not new to this, you should know that.
  • 3 4
 May I suggest watching Golf?
My elderly father in law seems to enjoy it.
  • 6 0
 Gutted for Brage, Godziek and Lecondeguy. they all got that style, like Riddle too. that can shake things up!
  • 4 0
 Godziek is one of my fav riders. Was pretty bummed about his runs as I'm sure he was too. Dude can throw down.
  • 3 0
 @yoimaninja: totally, REALLY wanted to see what he could do
  • 3 0
 All riders that crashed & burned (Andreu Lacondeguy, Carson Storch, & Brage Vestavik and Tom Van Steenbergen) should get invited back automatically. However, in the case of someone with injuries like Tom, I think he should take 2 years off if he and his family, medical team agree. Warrior
  • 4 4
 With those injuries TVS won't be back. He'll be lucky if he can ride again.
  • 7 1
 pinkbike : jax undisputed fan fav
also pinkbike: youre a fckn keyboard spectator..
  • 3 0
 This ^^^
  • 8 1
 Another “top 5” article from Outside.
  • 8 4
 Tom van Steenbergen broke so many bones that even a "complete recovery" will leave him a different person. How long will Rampage continue before the first paralysis or death results?
  • 14 0
 Well for starters, Paul Bas got paralyzed at Rampage, so…
  • 5 0
 Agreed. A "complete recovery" means he'll be lucky if he can ride a bike again. Not worth it.
  • 9 4
 The #1 item should have been:

The risk-reward balance is out of wack, and Redbull needs to take action to better protect the riders and prioritize their health and safety.
  • 7 1
 They should be covering all injury costs
  • 3 0
 Amazing event this year. Was insane to watch Semenuk rise to the occasion and put down the run he knew he could do. The rising body count does seem concerning though. I think Vital or MTBR approached this with a recent article but riders are going bigger now than 20 years ago because their lips and landings are more manicured and that creates increased consequences. The first events were held on a raw mountain side and the dirt was soft and forgiving. Likely it was soft enough that it actually caused crashes, but of course then the consequences weren't as bad. Perhaps there is a balance between allowing sculpting and also maintaining a raw element. Obviously these decisions should be in the hands of the riders and no one else, so if that's not what they want then we all should be happy with what they decide. But with the increasing number of injuries it seems that a conversation like that should at least take place.
  • 5 0
 No 6 - There was a trend for far higher levels of serious injuries in practice.
  • 20 18
 The things I learnt 1 the winner needs to have the right sponsors helmet on 2 is become a slopestyle event 3 riding a line that has been built over 3 years is hardly free ride 4 no one understands the judging 5 the hype is ridiculous.
  • 2 1
 good points m8!
  • 6 0
 *Kurt Sorge was riding an Evil Insurgent
  • 4 1
 6. PinkBike still have an issue with Evil - after multiple comments they still call it a Wreckoning - makes you wonder if it was deliberate, or just consistently poor reporting..
  • 4 0
 it is so painful that PB just cant get that one right
  • 4 0
 This is the second Pinkbike article that lists Sorge’s bike wrong. He rode an Evil Insurgent V3 (27.5) with a dual crown boxxer up front.
  • 8 6
 I stopped watching Rampage years ago. This industry is small and I really don't want to tune in to watch one of our buddies die trying to win a coffee mug and a slap on the ass.

Also, watching full suspension bikes do BMX tricks on groomed lines wide enough to land a plane on just isn't that interesting, and no longer has much of anything to do with the terrain. I think there was one steep spine ride that was raw terrain (and was bonkers). Everything else almost was manicured.
  • 6 4
 How about Rampage as a jam session instead of a competition?

I absolutely love the event, but i have a few observations about its current format.

-The scoring seems to be a little condescending. Its freeriding, so riders are free to choose their line down the mountain. However, not all lines are scored equal, therefore line choice is actually an illusion if one actually hopes to be competitive in the
Competition. See Tommy G and Riddle's run for example.

-declaring a single winner seems ridiculous when we all know know runs didnt happen without a team of builders.

-Amazing riders seriously injuring themselves before the competition even starts. Its all or nothing?

-Home turf advantage is real. Semenuk's riding is amazing!
But he has been building and riding his own lines as a day job for the past several years. Rampage is just another week at the office for him. Meanwhile, other riders are likely contractually obligated to compete in as many other competitions as possible. Almost all of which have pre determined courses except for this one.
I love the direction Semenuk is pushing the sport, but is an unfair advantage that he is the only rider who gets to train year round for this style of event.
  • 1 1
 None of these guys are contractually obligated to compete in other events. Genon is the only one that even competes in other competitions.
  • 3 1
 Just have to point out big mountain skiers and extreme climbers have been risking the same, and getting life threatening injuries or dying for longer than mountain biking was even conceived, let alone rampage. Yes, it was a slaughterhouse. Yes, it IS NOT worth it, but yes, it still happens and yes, this is what drives the cutting edge of mountain biking (and skiing, and climbing, and wing suit flights and...)
  • 4 0
 Things I learned from RedBull Rampage...

1 - "Stomped" is the only word to describe how something was completed, and must be used every sentence
  • 2 0
 Red Bull Rampage is surely the most extreme competition for MTBs. I thoroughly enjoy watching the riders pushing the limits of believability and capability. I want to see higher, farther, faster and "twistier." However, I absolutely disdain the carnage that inevitably results. I'm a little confused as to why riders don't wear protection. I saw one neck brace, but otherwise, my eyes didn't pick out much else. Use Formula 1 as an example of how protection enables greater accomplishments. Those cars/drivers are pushing every boundary and when they crash at high speeds (which does happen), the driver typically gets out of the car, and just walks away shaking his head and mumbling, "#@$!". There is plenty of money and glory in F1 and it's not due to any human carnage. Navy SEALs also wear protection. No scaredy cats in that bunch! I would encourage these expert riders to team with O'Neal, Leatt, Fox, etc to design and wear special protection that significantly mitigates the potential for career-ending injuries while ensuring the boundary-pushing continues. They will be role models for us all.
  • 1 0
 The trouble with that it is was one of only 2 or 3 ways off the start line. So making that safe for all riders was pretty important. Speed, or style became the deciding differentiators on that line. I agree from this side it looks a bit rough, but in this case I can understand it.
  • 2 0
 @thingswelike: I thought his point was that it's too sculpted and NOT rough.
  • 1 0
 @redrook: Ha - I meant rough as in crap
  • 5 2
 The older events showcased creativity and sheer sending it skill. I've never been so motivated to hit fast forward at an event then this year
  • 1 0
 I definitely would love to see it back to 20 riders. The list of alternates was so strong and could’ve filled the field. I’ve heard speculation that part of the reason they scaled it down was because they wanted the new riders to this venue to be able to find a line, which makes enough sense and hopefully a new venue will work out next year. I also understand that it gets windy in the afternoon, but why does the event have to start at 11? Is there a reason they don’t start it at like 9 or even 10?
  • 1 0
 A standout for me was that the weather was good, and that made for great second runs and a better show. You can't predict the weather, but knowing how good the show can be when the weather is good should mean ideas for how to do this event either over a few days or with weather options should be priority.
  • 4 1
 What I learned: Two enduro bikes and a single crown fork on the top 3. Plus pushing the bike to the top. Rampage is a super enduro. Fight me
  • 1 0
 Funny seeing the suspension and bike standards. I'm literally ordering a full dh rig after feeling my enduro bike with a zeb on it was not enough for the bike park/style of riding I do. Theirs no way in hell I'm riding harder than the rampage guys but I can def say full bike park days and a long heavy season is/was super tiring and my bike 100% got pushed to the limit. excited for progression but this conversation should 100% focus on riding style more.
  • 3 0
 1 additional thing I've learned: we've reached the inflexion point between "progression" and "risk". Maybe I'm getting old, but this is just getting pushed too far.
  • 1 0
 Jaxon's runs were the ones that really caught my eye - what he did was so different from any other rider competing that day. I'm sure the judges struggled with how to evaluate such a unique performance, thus the lower score - but, let it be known that Jaxon opened a new realm of what can be expected by those in the future.....this is what progression looks like.
  • 1 0
 The fact that this is the only event Semenuk is even interested in doing anymore really puts it in perspective just how big this event is and the kind of respect it demands from the riders. The challenge is what keeps them coming back.
  • 1 0
 These rider's deserve so much more than what they get out of this event financially. They're all putting their literal lives on the line, at no point are they "safe" and the winner gets like 25k? This is arguably one of the largest most prestigious red bull events in the world. You'd think they would dish out a hell of a lot more for the winner, and make sure everyone competing is also compensated. Maybe I'm an idiot for thinking this way, but damn. They'd have no event without these riders. PAY UP!
  • 1 0
 Hi everyone ! Sorry I'm not here to comment but to ask some questions... ☺️

1) do you know when the 2022 compétition will take place ? If not, how can you get this info ASAP ?
2) did any of you actually attend the compétition this year in Virgin, utah ? If so, any advise ? Where to stay ? How to Come ? When does it start ? When does it end ? Very practical things....

Thanks a lot for your help!
Nagralpi
  • 35 34
 I'm super impressed by the skills, but I can't be the only one who misses Rampage as a big mountain freeride event, instead of a massive slopestyle event. I've been enjoying Hardline more and more...
  • 76 0
 It's an interesting take. I'm surprised it hasn't been discussed more.
  • 21 11
 Not sure I understand your point. Hardline is a DH race with sculpted jumps added here and there. Do you close your eyes between each takeoff and landing to prevent impure thoughts?
  • 4 0
 The thing is that those guys makes even Hardline look not that scary
  • 15 2
 Hardline was fantastic this year and definitely more enjoyable to watch than 20 or less runs stretched out over 4 hours
  • 5 0
 @Woody25: I agree, perhaps a PB podcast subject in the future……………
  • 2 0
 @spicysparkes: it’s not like they stretch out the event for advertisement purposes … if the winds are too high you’ll have to wait
  • 3 1
 I think it'd be cool to see Hardline, Rampage an a couple of new similar events to be competed as a world series. Kinda the best of the best type world cup series event
  • 1 0
 Indeed!
  • 1 0
 @spicysparkes: this year's hardline was probably the best-streamed mountain bike event I have ever watched. fantastic camera coverage, A+ momentary, cool mix of riders.
  • 3 0
 @nojzilla: chatel mountain style needs to return
  • 1 0
 the hardline is a much longer course, whereas rampage is very short - they have to cram a lot in a little space.......
  • 4 0
 Was Kurt Sorge on a Wreckoning or Insurgent? ...
  • 4 0
 Came down to say the same thing, he said insurgent in one of his interviews
  • 3 0
 @tkrug: It's the color of the Insurgent, I got the same....just not the skills
  • 4 0
 it was an insurgent. he posted it on his instagram. wreckoning is full 29er, which he wasn't on
  • 2 0
 26" rear, definitely not a Wreckoning
  • 4 1
 Fan favorite is the land owners. Props for allowing the land to be used. Gna be housing soon...
  • 4 0
 Judges only score flips
  • 3 0
 from what I know, freeride bikes where never wc dh bikes.
  • 3 0
 I learned that the crashes at rampage did not make the Friday Fails.
  • 2 0
 jaxson was def the people's champ and for good reason! loved seeing some unusual tricks
  • 1 0
 @redbull you should run rampage like Natural Selection. Bracket system knockout. We love watching these runs and it if it gives riders more to work with, it would be sick.
  • 3 3
 I didn't really like it as I felt really disconnected from the size and scale of the lines. The coverage did a poor job of showing the true size of the features and how nuts the lines are.
  • 5 4
 6- it's just a slopestyle contest. More freeride and no spades allowed. Now that would be nice. And more variety of riders.
  • 2 0
 One thing I was hoping to learn was why the hell Semenuk and Strait were both running the old SRAM Code brakes!?!

Anyone?
  • 3 2
 Sorge's second run score was immediately boo'd by everybody in attendance. He should not have been top 3. He must have naked photos of the judges or something...
  • 1 0
 Sorry for the injuries. but it was a show, however, I don’t think the triumphs that were made don’t justify the pain those whom got hurt sustained.
  • 4 5
 Well, with all the augmented reality stuff Red Bull offers in their app to go along with the broadcast.. why not offer a live vote for podium instead of judges. Ending endless who got robbed discussions once and for all Wink
  • 6 0
 maybe having an international team of judges would be enough...
  • 7 0
 but then it ends up being a popularity contest
  • 11 3
 as opposed to the current best buddy contest?
  • 2 1
 @f00bar: nailed it
  • 3 0
 agreed. i have been watching Rampage for a long time. I still can't figure out the judging. Some format of real time peoples choice scoring and voting would matter to me more, than what the judges come up with. Like, IMO, Riddle should hold his head up high. He may have been scored low by the judges, but he obviously earned the respect of the fans, and that should matter to him more, than what the judges score.
  • 3 0
 @jason475: Yes. They've got 6 judges and 4 criteria. Why not publish the detailed score of these 24 numbers? We would be able to see and maybe understand the scoring.
  • 1 0
 @jackheat: call it Robbed Rider of the Day.
  • 2 3
 @jason475: Rampage is judged by bias.
  • 3 2
 It’s not very interesting anymore. I already know what Strait and Zinc will do next year for their 5th and 6th place runs.
  • 2 1
 Rampage is evolving can't wait to see next year if there ara separate rules on tricks for single and dual crown forks.
  • 2 1
 Be cool to see Red Bull make the lines. Then the riders and judges have a base to work off of.
  • 2 0
 2022 Redbull Rampage, presented by the Pinkbike comments section.
  • 2 0
 Rampage is done. Time to move on.
  • 2 0
 If you're watching Red Bull Rampage to learn something, you're a weirdo.
  • 3 5
 What we learned is that Rampage is no more gnar loose freeride stuff (yes, there is still a bit, Zink/Straight line) but more like bigger slopestyle, with smooth out trails top to bottom, without a single little rock in way...and that the judges still vote for their favourite riders, no matter who shows what...yes, Semenuk showed us tricks that havent been seen on Rampage before, but they are kinda basic tricks, is tailwhip off drop more that Boggs huge 360? I don't think so, is barspin more than Tuc/Suicide? I don't think so and we can continue like that...
Bring back the proper freeride gnar Rampage and stop this transformation into slopestyle...
  • 1 0
 This year's rampage felt a little stale and boring compared to previous years...
  • 1 0
 That typo must have hurt: “that landed in him the hospital with”. :’)
  • 1 0
 I’ll watch rampage next year only if Yoann Barelli competes on a grim donut
  • 2 0
 #brendog still got robbed
  • 1 0
 I’ll watch rampage next year only if Yoann Barelli competes on a grim donut
  • 2 0
 6. Repeatedly backflips are getting boring.
  • 2 0
 6. Someone got robbed
  • 1 0
 Norbs...
  • 2 2
 Cam Zink needs better announcers to work alongside him... "special tube" and "rattlesnake" da heck?
  • 1 1
 Are enduro bikes and single crown forks in or did every manufacturer just stop making DH bikes....?
  • 1 0
 Wasnt Sorge on an Insurgent?
  • 2 1
 #Riddlewasntrobbed bring on the downvotes.
  • 1 0
 ZINK and STRAIT RIDE the RAMPAGE...GNAR !!!
  • 1 0
 Man I f-ing love Rampage! It's amazing the top 3 were all on non DH RIGS.
  • 1 0
 rampage is still the best event out there
  • 1 0
 reglardless
  • 1 1
 All I care about is that Dylan stark better get an invite next year
  • 1 2
 it's up to us to FIGHT FOR FREERIDE when the rest of the industry is all about ENDURO
  • 6 9
 That if you want to podium just do back flips off perfect built lips that’s all Sorge did or ever does
  • 4 2
 Sorge had an excellent run. Loving seen the classic riders.
  • 1 1
 @DylanH93: I disagree, as do many of the other fans out there. His run was not a second place level run, backflips off perfectly manicured lips is far less impressive. I say the judges score cards need to be made public, they are in the Olympics why not here
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