The first FMBA Judging Clinic in Munich

Mar 21, 2011
by FMB World Tour  
15 judges from all over the world have just completed the first judging clinic of the Freeride Mountain Bike Association (FMBA) in Munich to become official FMBA judges. The clinics are one further step towards the Association’s goal of establishing reliable and structured judging standards.

15 of the freeride sport’s most experienced judges traveled from 7 nations to determine international guidelines of judging together with instructor Paul Rak (CAN). In order to conduct a successful World Tour, having generalized parameters is absolutely vital. Only a universal judging system allows for a fair and reliable ranking system as well as the possibility of comparing performances. Such criteria as overall precision, including the execution of the run and the routine attempted as well as sequences of tricks, the amount of risk in the routine, and how the rider uses the course form the basis of the judging. Using the established guidelines, the judges are looking forward to providing more clarity and professionalism in competition judging.


The FMBA is proud to report that the first judging clinic was a complete success. All judges were extremely involved in the process of determining the directives and are eager to implement them in World Tour events. The judges certified at the Munich clinic included some of the biggest names not only in judging, but mountain biking in general. Dave Smutok (USA), for example, has been extremely active in the biking world as a rider and also as organizer of the Claymore Challenge at Highland Mountain Bike Park. Tibor Simai (GER) brought 12 years of mountain bike judging to the table while Trond Hansen has a successful career as a mountain bike pro to show for. Axel Jurgens (ARG) and Tobias Wicke (GER) are some of the biggest names in the BMX scene, while Axel is also an experienced trail builder. All certified judges will be distributed among the 20 FMB World Tour events. They will be joined by judges who successfully complete the North American judging clinics on April 12th and 13th.


Paul Rak, the instructor of the clinics, which take place in Europe and North America, has been able to gather vast experience with judging in the field of snowboarding and mountain biking. For example; Paul was head judge at Crankworx Whistler and Colorado, the Red Bull District Ride and the Nissan Qashqai Challenge. Paul feels that universally valid criteria are vital for a World Tour: “It is simply not possible to organize a tour without introducing standards everyone has to adhere to. I’d say it’s high time to school judges in the mountain bike freeride sport. That’s why it is especially awesome to see how many high profile judges have come to Munich from all over the globe.”

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About the FMBA
The Freeride Mountain Bike Association (FMBA) is a non-profit organization that follows the goal of guiding the mountain bike freeride sport into a more professional direction and firmly establishing it in the world of sports. To achieve this goal, the FMBA promotes high standards of judging, course design and safety and implements them in all events of the FMB World Tour. Athletes and event organizers are provided with a tangible world ranking system and reliable guidelines forming an organized and structured framework for a free and creative sport. After an internal voting in January 2011, FMBA’s Board of Directors consists of the President: Todd Barber, Vice President: Tarek Rasouli and Principal: Jeremy Roche.

About the FMB World Tour
The Freeride Mountain Bike World Tour integrates contests of the highest level from all over the globe into one overarching competition for the title of FMB World Tour Champion. All athletes with a membership of the FMBA have the opportunity to become the next FMB World Tour Champion. FMB World Tour events envelop the many facets of the freeride sport including: big mountain, slopestyle and dirt jump.

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Member since Mar 1, 2011
144 articles

  • 11 0
 This is an important step forward, but it needs to be carefully as it can effect the direction of the sport. Will the changes in judging favor european skatepark riders, or north american big mountain riders when it comes to competition?
  • 2 0
 Great to see these issues being addressed. Standardized and fair judging is what will save slopestyle. If we don't tackle the issues with it then there will be no future for it. Good job guys!
  • 7 0
 finaly the same big names wont keep winning because of their reputation, if only they could do the same and take shaun white out of snowboarding...
  • 2 1
 it's clear that shawn white is amazing though, it's not just his name, he just annihilates, but ya i agree it will be nice to see skill rewarded over fame for mountain bikers
  • 5 1
 no he isnt, he busts out the same big tricks all the time. no variety. If you watch him ride slopestyle he just 1080s every jump with no style. he is only good n pipe and even then hes nothing special just big tricks no style. but ya it will be nice to see some of the not so famous guys who are out there killing it and killing themselves for little or no reward cause the big names beat them out by reputation. Imo they shouldn't have riders judging other riders because they are going to help out their boys if they can
  • 4 0
 this is good news.
as i think that bearclaw was robbed at rampage and sam pilgrim at crankworks too is another example..
every competitior deserves the same scoring techniques not biased on how big their reputation is. 2 cents
  • 2 0
 robbed by gee or by cam zink....because in my opinion that massive 360 definatly deserved the win
  • 2 1
 @corsair712 I also have to state that Gee was the only (yes ONLY ONE) that successfully hit the hip gap without bailing, and him being a professional WC DH Racer, not a Freerider, like the rest of the competitors. He is not meant to take those risks and neither his sponsors want him to take them (although he took them after winning the WC overall) and just because of that he deserves 2nd place on rampage.
  • 1 0
 This can be/is a very exciting time for this sport. It is a huge undertaking but if done right I believe it will take this sport to the next level of recognition.
  • 3 0
 great to see the sport getting organized...Smile
well done FMBA!
  • 3 0
 Long live freeride! Real men doing real big stuff yo!
  • 2 0
 organised, or structured? I hope its not the latter...
  • 3 0
 ya in order to race norcal XC I had to sign a form saying that I will never again in my life ride an illegal trail, or a trail with "excessive jumps, drops or technical terrain," as well as keep "two wheels on the ground at all times." Its such B.S. they make you wear XC lids and the other riders seem to shy away when they see you're not covered in lycra, and your bike is a 7 inch travel DH bike with not a spec of carbon fiber on it.
  • 1 0
 i hope theyre not to big on safety... and for that matter were the hell did their goal come from?

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