In 2008 he convinced any doubters about his ability to compete outside of a slopestyle course by taking the win at the Red Bull Rampage - Evolution. This year he'll be watching from the side lines due to a broken collar bone suffered at Crankworx in Whistler.Read on to learn more about his injury and his road to recovery
Brandon you broke yourself on the same jump that claimed the Claw at Crankworx in Whistler, please tell us what went on there?
Photo by Justin Brantley
Dumb mistake I guess... I felt fine on the jump through practice, but did notice that it was losing pop each time they watered the lip. I figured it would be okay and didn’t take it into consideration. I went to flip trick it in my run and got no pop. Crappy as that!Since the crash how has been the road to recovery for you?
Unfortunately I am not recovering as I'd like to have seen happen and I am 99% out of the Red Bull Rampage contest at this time. Barring a miracle, I will not be competing this year.Wow that is really crappy news to hear, but I suppose you can't rush it if it's still broken. Tell us about what you were doing to help your recovery along in terms of exercise and eating while you were focused on making it back for Rampage?
I have been trying my best to help this injury along and get better, both in terms of how I eat and my continued exercising. One thing that had I heard about and gave a try was eating Pineapples for their Bromelain
. This lady I ran into told me that she’d broken her back and that she’d been told about the healing powers of Pineapple and that she ate a Pineapple a day for months. She was standing there taking to me, so what did I have to lose?! I went to the market and bought a bunch of Pineapples, but the catch was that you have to eat the WHOLE (ok you peel it first) thing in like 20 mins to get the full effects of the Bromelain and its great healing properties for joints. Maybe it worked maybe it didn’t, my joints feel GREAT, but my collarbone still has not healed.
20 minutes to eat all this?!
As far as exercise is concerned, I immediately got on the trainer and started spinning to keep my fitness up. You need to stay fit and keep the blood circulating to stay healthy and heal faster. I did as much work on my legs as I could. I also focused on my wrists and did a lot of exercises for them. I even bought a gyroscopic ball to help with recovery, I’m told that it’s the most powerful one available. I just wanted to be healthy and ready for the Red Bull Rampage.
Even the world's best slopestyle riders need to stay fit and ride on trainers.
Can you please tell us more about this gyroscopic ball and how it works? What is it for and how is it used?
The World's most powerful...
It's basically a ball the size of a baseball that has another ball in side of it. You get the ball on the inside of it spinning by moving your wrist in circular motions. The ball inside starts spinning on 2 different axises, creating force. the faster you make it spin the more inertia it generates. This one in particular can spin at 15,000 RPM and create over 40 pounds of torque. It's used for hand grip, wrists, forearms, and a bit of upper arm work out too. Check it out here: powerballs.ca
.Now you've made us curious, just like with the Pineapple. How did you hear about this exercise or did you also stumble upon it at the market while picking up more Pineapples? What are its benefits?
I've known about Gyroscopic balls for a while now, I think it was Tyler McCaul that first had one. I've also used them at various physio places over the years for general training and rehab.
When I got hurt at Crankworx, I went in search of one. All the physio places that I visited had them, but they were older and simply not strong enough for what I needed to achieve. Then I went to a few fitness stores and saw that the "Earth's Most Powerful..." one was actually Canadian made, so I ordered it up and am now using it to help rehap along.
The benefits to it are really vast, everything from hand/grip strength, forearm strength, little bicep and shoulder work too. It is really good for wrists and they say that it helps with tennis elbow and Carpal Tunnel syndrome relief even. For me it is all about helping to maintain my hand, wrist and forearm strength while my collar bone heals so that I can get back on my bike as soon as possible.Will you still be attending the Red Bull Rampage to watch as your peers compete for your crown?
I am just in the midst of sorting all that out. I’d like to be there for the finals on Sunday, just have a few other things to look into and then plan my traveling out.
How has your sponsorship support been through all this looking towards Rampage with an injury looming over you?
Pumped on his 2008 win!
My sponsors have been amazing considering that none of us knew if I’d be able to attend the event as an athlete or spectator this year. They all went forward like business as usual with their prep and I did the same with my recovery. Trek and SRAM built up my bike and have it ready for me, TLD has sent me all my new 2011 kits ready for the event, and my new D3 has a sick new paint job on it. I appreciate everything that they all do for me and I will be back next season.I know that you aren’t going, but tell us about what your bike set up would have been for the Red Bull Rampage? I know that you won on the Trek Session 88 in 2008, were you planning on riding that model again this year?
Ya in 2008 I won on my Trek Session 88 DH bike and I had planned to ride my new Session at this year’s event, but I really had not spent much time on it as I had been riding the Scratch a lot and had plans to only ride the Session after Crankworx. That plan got side lined really quick with my accident. I rode my Scratch at Chatel and put it on the top spot of the podium and Chatel is a big mountain style course, so I also was thinking that it may be a good choice at the Rampage.
And that is what I did, I built up a Trek Scratch with a lowered Boxxer. The dual crowns also give you added security in all that exposure and the big senders. I played with the geos a bit and the lowered fork slackened the Scratch out just enough that I had decided that it would be the bike that I would compete on.
What a lot of people don’t realize is that the Red Bull Rampage site is actually really smooth to ride on and just by thinking of all the people that visited it in the last 2 years plus adding another 40 competitors to it this year, the lines themselves will continue to get more buff. It’s the big drops and senders that you have to worry about and you can land any drop, on any bike, if you hit the tranny right. A big bike will allow for more room for error and a smaller bike will be more maneuverable and easier to trick. My purpose built Trek Scratch was the happy medium for this year’s event.Do you have any post Rampage plans, like racing your rally car?
Soon I should be able to drive my car, so that should keep me entertained till I can ride again, and there will be a snow rally in December that I am for sure planning to attend and Martin Rowe
said he may be able to co-drive, which would be ideal! I plan to attend more rally races next season.
Besides getting into your rally car, what plans do you have for the Fall and the rest of the “Off Season” ahead?
Daily driver, but the rally set up looks just like this minus the rack.
None really at this time, I just wanna get back on my bike and ride it as soon as possible. I really want to be able to hit up the bike park before it closes for the season. I’ll stay around B.C. as long as I can riding and once the snow hits I am planning on heading to California in the new year to train and ride a lot!We’re all sorry to hear that you won’t be at this year’s Red Bull Rampage Brandon, but heal up right man and we look forward to seeing you on your bike as soon as you are able!