Crankworx and FMBA Launch Slopestyle World Championship

Feb 8, 2018
by Official Crankworx  
PRESS RELEASE: Crankworx and FMBA


Photo Fraser Britton
The Pinnacle of Slopestyle
Unified series takes Slopestyle to the next level
Brett Rheeder at the Crankworx Les Gets Slopestyle in France. His win in the event earns him the fifth pre-qualified spot in the 2018 SWC. Photo: Fraser Britton

The sport of Slopestyle mountain biking is entering a new era. TheCrankworx World Tour and the Freeride Mountain Bike Association (FMBA) are excited to be launching into the 2018 season in unison. Starting this year, there will now be one elite-level series of slopestyle mountain biking events.

The Crankworx FMBA Slopestyle World Championship (SWC) will replace the FMB Diamond Series and the Crankworx Slopestyle World Tour. SWC events on the Crankworx World Tour will represent the pinnacle of the sport.

Emil Johansson in Redbull Joyride action from Crankworx Whistler. Photo Fraser Britton Crankworx
Photo Fraser Britton
Based on his 2017 results, Emil Johansson (left) is the first pre-qualified rider for the 2018 SWC season, while Nicholi Rogatkin is second. Photos: Fraser Britton

bigquotesWe were running two separate elite series’, and eventually had to ask ourselves, ‘why?’ Both Crankworx and the FMBA are integral to the sport, but when it comes to how we recognize the athletes that are competing at the highest level, it makes sense to have one elite-level championship series. Having the SWC will make it easier for fans to follow along and be more logical for our athletes who are competing on the FMB World Tour circuit on the hunt for a coveted spot to compete on the sport’s biggest stage at Crankworx.Darren Kinnaird, Crankworx World Tour General Manager

The FMBA as the governing body of the sport will continue to operate the FMB World Tour, a classification system of events comprised of Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Diamond level events, and produce the FMB World Ranking through which young talent can break in and rise up to the SWC. In order to ensure riders can make the leap, the FMBA has remodelled the points system for Gold and Silver events, awarding more points at these contests.

bigquotesI think having Crankworx and the FMBA working side-by-side will really progress the sport. Crankworx Whistler was one of the main reasons we created the FMB World Tour back in the day and we’ve been partners for a long time now. We recognized though that having two separate series’ rankings complicated things on multiple levels. It felt natural to sit down together and work in unity from now on.Tarek Rasouli, Vice President of the FMBA

Overall, more than $200,000 USD will be awarded throughout the Crankworx FMBA Slopestyle World Championship season, with the Slopestyle World Champion claiming his crown at the end of the season at Red Bull Joyride in Whistler, Canada. Meanwhile, the mystique of the Triple Crown of Slopestyle lives on - Crankworx will continue to offer an additional $25,000 prize to any athlete who can win three out of four Crankworx Slopestyle competitions in one season.

Photo Fraser Britton
Szymon Godziek, flying high in practice for the Crankworx Innsbruck Slopestyle presented by Kenda. Godziek will be the third pre-qualified SWC rider in 2018. Photo: Fraser Britton

14 spots will now be up for grabs for SWC events. The top six riders according to the SWC Standings from the previous year automatically qualify for all SWC events. This year the top six riders from last year’s FMB Diamond Series will automatically qualify for the SWC’s premiere season. These six pre-qualified athletes will be joined by the next best six riders according to the FMB World Ranking six weeks before an SWC event. The two final spots will be awarded to FMB Wildcard entries who can win their spot on the start list by competing at designated FMB Gold events taking place before an SWC event. Additionally, winners of Red Bull Joyride, Slopestyle’s ultimate event, will be granted lifetime entry to SWC events.

The six riders who pre-qualify for the Crankworx FMBA Slopestyle World Championship in 2018 are:
1. Emil Johansson (SWE)
2. Nicholi Rogatkin (USA)
3. Szymon Godziek (POL)
4. Ryan Nyquist (USA)
5. Brett Rheeder (CAN)
6. Diego Caverzasi (ITA)

bigquotesCrankworx and the FMBA creating one overall title doesn’t only simplify the sport for fans but also legitimizes and builds it in the direction we need. My greater goal as an athlete in the sport is to push mountain bike slopestyle to the Olympics. I feel that with the progressive riding level, event coverage and now with Crankworx and the FMBA working together, it will help get the attention the sport needs in order to do so.Brett Rheeder

The FMB World Tour is heading into its ninth season. A preliminary FMB World Tour Event Calendar covering the rest of the 2018 season is expected to be released soon.

The first Crankworx FMBA Slopestyle World Championship event of the season will be the Crankworx Rotorua Slopestyle in Memory of McGazza on Saturday, March 24, 2018 in New Zealand.

Photo Boris Beyer
Photo Fraser Britton
After a stellar 2017 that included a podium finish at Red Bull Joyride, Ryan Nyquist (left) pre-qualifies in fourth place, while Diego Caverzasi takes the sixth and final pre-qualifying spot. Photos: Boris Beyer and Fraser Britton

For more information on the changes to the FMB World Tour Ranking points leading up to the SWC, get the details here . Keep up to date on all the latest from the FMB World Ranking and Crankworx FMBA Slopestyle World Championship standings here.


39 Comments

  • + 58
 All I can say is $200k in total prize money is not enough for what these guys have to risk to win. Makes me wonder what the executives are making every year in salary to sit in an armchair and make decisions like these. If we want to see better competition, reward the riders.
  • + 21
 You ain't lyin. It should be $100K total prize purse per contest.....And that's low. Man, this sport really needs to figure out how start paying fairly.
  • + 7
 It would be interesting to know what's going on behind the scenes as far as funding goes. In my mind the amount they make over their career (which can easily be cut shore by injuries) should be at least $3.2 million since this is what you'd make over a 40 year career making an average of $80k a year. This would included sponsorship deals and competitions of course.
  • + 9
 @robito: what is fair pay for someone that rides their bikes for a living? It's not just competition winnings but a Redbull contract is like $30K a year plus bike sponsor, plus outer wear, plus googles, the top riders that are traveling to events are making pretty decent money. Top ten riders are probably pulling $100k+/year. The real thing that needs to be built into contracts is health insurance and disability as those guys are taking big risks which could keep them out of the game for a bit, and that is where things need to change.
  • + 8
 There is no real money in mountainbiking. Far to few outside sponsors with real budgets, no tv money ...so its gonna be b Paenuts compared to other sports .... its still a ninche sports
  • + 8
 Once people are willing to pay big $$$ to go watch these events, buy memerobilia at big $$$ or pay to watch all the free content we already get, maybe the riders will get paid more.. Its not like any if the big four sports where fans and corporate sponsorship enable the athletes to make big $$... Besides most of these guys would be pushing it on their bikes for fun if this wasnt their job...
  • + 6
 The fact is very few of us know how much money is actually flowing through the industry. It is definitely a niche sport, but I am willing to bet they could get creative to cut costs somewhere else and supplement the rider’s earnings. And you’re spot on about the health insurance thing.
  • + 2
 @slickwilly1: Exactly. I keep hearing 'pay them more' or 'give them insurance'. Well, until what you say above comes true and we pay $$ to watch everything including Fest, Rampage, Crankworx, etc. and start paying crazy money for branded jerseys, and 25-60 thousand people pack the stands, we will still see only the top of the top make the 'real' money.
  • + 3
 @robito: the way to pay more is to get non-industry based sponsors. Mtb is a small market, especially something like slope. Frankly slope has a better chance than DH or Enduro to be a bigger money sport just based on its presentability to arc audience.
  • + 4
 @dirtbiker327: I'm not sure to be honest. They don't have to make pro basketball money but they should be able to live pretty comfortable and be able to put some away. I guess they get paid in relation to the money they generate for the sponsors they represent.

Is a yearly sponsor from Redbull really $30k? That seems low too. And that's only for the top cream of the crop in our sport that get to wear that helmet.

The top snowboarders seem to be making a lot more. Can someone educate me on why that is?
  • + 1
 @dirtbiker327: Top ten riders are probably pulling $100k+/year... ahaha mate! That's just a dream Big Grin
  • + 1
 @dieghino94: tell us, how many top riders have per year?
  • + 3
 @dieghino94: ... have you seen rheeder's new house in BC? that ain't no chump change.
  • + 1
 @dieghino94: Gwinn makes around a million a year. Top freeriders probably a little less but still 100k+
www.singletracks.com/blog/mtb-videos/aaron-gwin-makes-1-million-per-year
  • + 1
 I know some Monster contracts are $30k a year basing it off that probably like $50k for the top riders realistically but I was being conservative with my numbers.
  • + 23
 "Additionally, winners of Red Bull Joyride, Slopestyle’s ultimate event, will be granted lifetime entry to SWC events." Semenuk wasn't in the pre-qualified list so they decided this I bet haha
  • + 7
 my thoughts exactly! No Semenuk- No real competition in SWC.
  • + 3
 And here I was thinking it would be great to see him have to go in the tour!
  • + 10
 Now we just need some events in nortj america. Currently fmb events focused in europe only. Just travel costs alone are keeping great north ammerican athletes from being recognized
  • + 5
 Yeah, rip CFF 2018 this year too
  • + 1
 @danelliott: wait really! I hadnt heard about that. That sucks
  • - 1
 There this one event in whistler...

only 2/4 of them are in europe
  • + 1
 It cost so much money for a north American riders to go to Europe to go get fmb points
  • + 12
 What about grassroot slopestyle events or series? Smaller courses to build on the next generation.
  • + 3
 That would be nice, a few years ago there was a bunch of bronze/silver/gold North American events such as Ranch Style, Teva Mountain Games, Claymore Challenge, Jump Ship, City 8 Slopestyle, Colorado Freeride Fest ect..they are literally ALL gone! I feel bad for the kids coming up in the sport right now from North America.
  • + 8
 I'm still amazed that Diego Caverzasi still doesn't have a frame sponsor. He's got an awesome instagram page, and puts in consistent results at the biggest events. Somebody get him on a team!
  • + 3
 Seriously... pre-qualified and nobody is picking him up. He's so talented, and seems like a good, humble dude as well.
  • + 1
 @mackster23:

Doesn't make sense to me either. There's tons of smaller companies that could get him on to an equipment only sponsorship. At least for the next 2 years. Talking about a dude that's gonna be in the top 10 of every event this year.
  • + 1
 @onemanarmy: could be turning sponsors down ...
  • + 1
 @ryanme: I thought about that, but it doesn't really make any sense unless he's got something in the works with a big sponsor.
  • + 1
 I'm under the impression that the main reason why the prize money is so low compared to other sports is probably completely down to television rights. I don't know if someone could possibly explain it to me but I assume that the crankworx broadcast which we see on foxsports in Australia is probably worth close to nothing as well as red bull probably paying almost nothing for slope style and world cups as they are only on an online platform.
  • + 0
 Very few are making “a living” at mountain biking. Especially slope athletes. For most it is done for the love of riding, adrenaline and the love of travel. For the risks they take they should make wayyyy more. A small ticket price to view these events would help if it went to the riders. Doubtful
  • + 2
 I feel like I read a FMBA/Crankworx slopestyle format revamp article every year...
  • + 2
 These guys are taking advantage of the sport and steering it right in the trash
  • + 2
 I’m so excited for the SWC, no more confusion with scoring yay.
  • + 1
 I would like to see some one cash in the 25 000$ prize . They deserve more but that's not a bad lump sum of money.
  • - 3
 :-/ Crankworx combining with FMB is kinda like Ferrari combining with Fiat and claiming that Fiat will make them better...
  • + 25
 'til 2016 Ferrari was part of the FIAT group

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