Brandon Semenuk - Rampage from the side lines

Sep 28, 2010
by Tyler Maine  
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,


Photo by Justin Brantley
Photo by Justin Brantley

Brandon you broke yourself on the same jump that claimed the Claw at Crankworx in Whistler, please tell us what went on there?
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?!
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.
Even the world's best slopestyle riders need to stay fit and ride on trainers.

The World's most powerful...
The World's most powerful...


Can you please tell us more about this gyroscopic ball and how it works? What is it for and how is it used?
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.

Pumped on his 2008 win!
Pumped on his 2008 win!


How has your sponsorship support been through all this looking towards Rampage with an injury looming over you?
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.

Daily driver, but the rally set up looks just like this minus the rack.
Daily driver, but the rally set up looks just like this minus the rack.

Besides getting into your rally car, what plans do you have for the Fall and the rest of the “Off Season” ahead?
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!

Thanks!


50 Comments

  • 20 0
 Thats a shame. Heal up quick dude!
  • 24 12
 Nooo! I wanted Brandon to be able to compeat in Rampage! My life is over!
  • 38 1
 ^ Might be a tad overstating it there, champ...
  • 4 0
 to be fair it would be sick, he would probably no hander that 50x50
  • 28 2
 I'm sorry to hear this, but listen up Brandon, swallowing the Gyroscopic ball WILL do the job, trust me, I heard from an old lady, she looked pretty reliable. At the other hand, she might be lier from the day she was born, but you cant tell with those wrinkels! Good luck swallowing that thing! Have some Pineapple juice with that!
  • 5 0
 Woa,get off the jock Rideslots !
  • 1 0
 I ate Apples for the 'broad' they contain as they are supposed to heal bones too. Next break I'll try pineapples.
  • 3 8
flag cGonzalez (Sep 28, 2010 at 14:26) (Below Threshold)
 well i guess im not watching rampage this year....heal up man!
  • 3 5
 semenuk sucks. jk you are bye far my favorite rider
  • 2 0
 lol you people take stuff to seriously
  • 12 0
 Heal up quick Brandon, that pineapple thing made me laugh haha but whatever works. Wrist rollers will keep your muscular endurance up! Healin vibes
  • 7 0
 The wrist gyro is the best wrist strengthener ever. It definitely works out your whole arm etc. Get well soon. Ken
  • 2 0
 Yeah it works really well, I've seen it in action a few times, it rocks!
  • 2 0
 I wish Brandon a speedy recovery and recommend (if he hasn't already) that he pursue some sponsorship from powerball.ca as I'm sure their sales have spiked (I ordered one) since this article was posted.
  • 2 0
 No kidding I just ordered one too. They have 2 models so I went for the bigger one.

250hz model www.powerballs.ca/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=1

350hz model www.powerballs.ca/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=19
  • 1 0
 I have the 250, get the 350 it's gnarly haha.
  • 1 0
 i like the breakdown (sorry, no pun intended) of his recovery regimen and his good outlook... but ... devouring a pineapple in 20 minutes? i can't see how binge eating is going to improve the effects of the protein. it's apparently an effective anti-inflammatory, but in my experience, too much pineapple means too much time in the loo. yeesh.
  • 1 0
 Why eat so much pineapple if you can buy raw Bromelain? www.bodybuilding.com/store/now/brom.html

Eating that much pineapple everyday will probably make your tongue bleed in a couple of days plus an excess of fructose that will probably upset your stomach and turn into fat.

Btw, torque is force x distance, so pounds is not a unit of torque.
  • 3 0
 get well soon dude! i feel your pain! i'm recovering from the same thing D:
  • 1 0
 if you're reading this brandon Then heed this advice... GET TRAUMEEL

it helped with pain and healing of my femur/hip/shoulder break a few years ago..

find it at health foosd stores.
  • 1 0
 I was at Kinrade's last summer and was hurting from riding and used this on my aches etc and it worked way better than anything I'd tried in the past. Great stuff.
  • 1 0
 I hope you heal up soon Brandon! Im 5 weeks into a broken collarbone too. I can't ride and I can't drive home =( Bummin around in Whistler is not that fun when you can't do anything active.
  • 1 0
 Yeah man. I know how you feel too. 3 weeks into broken ribs and a cracked scapula. Whistlers just not the same when you can't ride.
  • 1 1
 hey BS, [ and anyone w/ injuries ] it's no BS that Bromelain is one of natures healers but the only thing you will get eating a pineapple a day is the s...s! try a supplement of Bromelain w/ Glucosamine, and don't forget muscle and bones heal much quicker with a LOW suger diet [ NO Red Bull drinks - sorry kiddies, absolute garbage filled w/ caffein, sugar and other toxic waste ] and even the huge amount of fructose in a Pineapple are excessive sugars ] Try a high quality Protein Powder w/ added Taurine , L-Glutamine [ about 5grms ea. ] and a few grams of Creatine - mix in a coconut milk base with some berries [ or just get Brendan Braziers Acai Berry Sport Drink Protein Powder ] and of course the R-I-C-E formula: Rest Ice Compression and Elevate. Meantime if you are like most muffin shredders, you will heal quickly - everyone knows if you are under thirty, you are all worms [ no bones to break ] Dr. jesse.
  • 1 0
 This guy is cool! happy to see new people i can look up to when the sport has been like on hold for 3 years but is now on running again Smile !
  • 3 0
 Let's see some pics of the rally car.
  • 2 0
 Get well soon!! I'm in the same boat with a broken collar bone, only two weeks into recovery tho Frown
  • 1 0
 i'm 4 days in on my broken collarbone and i'm bored out of my mined lol. Really sucks he wont be in rampage this year, i wanted to see what he would pull off on the 50x50 Razz
  • 2 0
 when you see that Subaru with the bike and rack on it pull up at your local park. you know ts goin down!
  • 1 0
 Aww man its definitely bad times for Brandon. On the other hand, competition is all to play for now!
  • 1 0
 What workouts does he do with the powerball, I feel like getting mine out of the cupboard as I recover from injury.
  • 1 0
 Im sure he will be fine in a few weeks. He has an Xbox 360 so he knows what hes doing Smile get well soon!
  • 1 0
 Best of luck in your healing process Brandon. Hope you make a healthy full recovery. Good luck for 2011.
  • 1 0
 reminds me of super t, he won in 2002 an was unable to compete in 2003 due to injuries in whistler.
  • 1 0
 Damn semenuk....heal soon........does anyone knows were can i find the rack that on the subaru......thanks
  • 2 0
 is best rider on New world disorder 10!!! is best!!!
  • 1 0
 I swear you guys should get into coming over to NZ for your off season! Heal up man!
  • 1 0
 shhhhh! don't tell the world about NZ's awesome riding! Wink
  • 1 0
 heal up man, and the snow rally race in december? Does that happen to be the one up at Big White?
  • 1 0
 i am getting a trainer gyro ball and eating a pineapple a day for the rest of my life
  • 1 0
 im going to miss seeing him the the rampage.
  • 1 0
 such a nice car. he has the life
  • 1 2
 you're the boss dude! on the bright side i guess someone else actually has a chance at rampage glory braaap! btw your run slayed crankworx! braaap!
  • 1 0
 man i was looking foward to see him at rampage...
  • 1 0
 Hope ur back shredding again soon Semenuk!
  • 1 0
 better get some extra TP as well...:-)
  • 1 0
 HEAL quick
  • 1 0
 the STi is very nice!!!!
  • 1 0
 awww thats gutting as!
  • 1 4
 screw this brandon not in rampage.. Nooooo!!!!!!!

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