Let me first start off by saying that I’ve never been the biggest fan of Red Bull Rampage events. After watching only 5mins of it, I usually feel like I've already seen the entire event – just looks all the same to me. It just doesn’t get me going like good balls out racing footage. I’m not dissing the event by any means, just stating my own personal opinion. I got to give it to those guys, they got bigger cajones than I will ever have - heck, I wish I had 1/4th the skills of some of the competitors.
With that said, I really appreciated the Retrospective Box set though! The series of 5 DVD’s really makes you realize how much this event has evolved throughout the years. The first ever Red Bull Rampage event was held back in 2001 in Virgin, Utah. Event founder Todd Barber organized this event based on free skiing events, where competitors pick their own lines down mountainsides. The Red Bull Rampage is no different – instead of skis competitors use a bike and replace snow with dirt. Other than that you need the same amount of courage and commitment.
Judges score each run in four categories. Line difficulty, air/amplitude, control/style and fluidity/technique. Winners takes home a good chunk of moola – prize purse is something like $15,000.
Retrospective has a good mix of riding and interviews explaining the evolution of this event and how the Red Bull Rampage recreated and redefined the sport. It’s interesting to hear that when Todd Barber was trying to organize the first event, people were not even returning his phone calls! Riders were skeptical and weren’t too keen on the concept.Event Founder: Todd Barber
The inaugural event turnout was sparse, with few spectators but the following years saw the number of riders grow considerably, same goes for the number of spectators. After the first event, everyone knew this was THE EVENT to be part of if your aspiration was to become a professional freerider. It was amazing to see/hear how Darren Berrecloth literally became a professional freerider overnight after finishing 3rd at the 2002 event.
Gracia on Berrecloth when he met him for the first time at 2002 event: "Super white trash, he was all dirty, long hair and had a beat up bike. Who is that guy? With his bandana sideways! It's like - hey! Do you think you're 2Pac?" Ha - I thought that was pretty funny!
Compare the 2001 event to the 2004 event and it will become apparent that the Rampage grew to huge proportions. Spectators came in from around the world to see the competitor ride the scenic Rampage venue in Virgin, Utah. There we so many spectators that at times they were in the way of the riders as they were picking their lines, thus becoming obstacles. During the 3rd event restrictions had to be put in place for the riders benefit, as the amount of spectators was a serious problem.Kyle Strait back in 2001Kyle Strait at the 2004 event
Red Bull Rampage Retrospective is brought to you by the guys at Freeride Entertainment – so you know the footage is high quality and that the editing it top notch. Some of the footage has already been released on other DVD titles, but has an added documentary DVD, which takes a look back at how Rampage affected mountain biking. It has interviews with riders, organizers and the other characters that all helped make the Rampage an historical event. In total you get approximately 6 hours of footage.
As pointed out earlier – it was pretty wicked to see riders progress thorough the years. Just look Kyle Strait for example: Compare his performance from the 2001 event, where he was only 14 years old, to the 2004 event were he won with amazing tricks like a suicide no-hander over this gnarly 60 plus foot gap. Crazy!!Kyle Strait sending the 60 foot gapper
The extra footage is also quite entertaining – the crash section is an eye opener as to why I don’t go sending it off cliff edges, but a reminder of the risks involved. Cedric Gracia, winner of the 2003 event, is all over this collection. After watching The Retrospective you’ll understand why they call him Cedric “Showman” Gracia.Cedric 'Showman' Gracia
The Red Bull Rampage Retrospective is definitely a one of a kind video compilation worth adding to your MTB video collection. The 5 DVD set comes in a foldable sleeve, all wrapped for your pleasure in a nice embossed tin box. The Red Bull Rampage is no more, but with this nifty box set you can re-live every single event, from the warmups to each rider’s final run.
Buy your copy today