Elisabetta Canovi, or Redz, Betz or Redzbetz as she's known to her friends, is quite possibly one of the raddest women on two wheels to date. At 22, she exudes energy, every ounce of it channeled into riding. Leaving home at only fourteen, she discovered mountain biking a few short years ago following winter after winter on her snowboard. Following her introduction to MTB in 2011, she fell head over heels, using all that passion and energy to push her limits on her bike, sending it all over the world and working damn hard to spend the rest of her time doing what she loves; riding her bike. Find out more about the Italian shredder from turning up at a FEST event, her thoughts on freeride, to learning hard lessons about hitting the big stuff.

bigquotes When I put my helmet on, the music starts and I can smash berms, hit big ramps, brakeless freeride, I feel like I've got energy drink instead of blood. - Elisabetta Canovi

You’re only 22, so how long have you been riding bikes and how did you get started?

I've not been riding bikes for a long time actually! I was racing snowboarding freestyle for five years before from about 14-19, and in 2011 I tried downhill for the first time. I always dreamed of having a motocross bike, when I met Manu Zucchi I couldn't believe that mountain bikes with big suspension were riding down the forest just a few km from my house. Manu is a sick shredder! An ex-motocross and enduro motorbike racer, he is dedicating part of his life to the mountain bike world. He taught me biking and life. So my life was all about winter sports, but after a couple of summers of being a downhill weekend warrior, borrowing bikes, riding small races sometimes, winning two Italian amateur championships whilst hungover, the changing progress in my mind is how I ended up here, what is my life at the moment. It was two years ago in the 2014/15 season that got my first bike.

Who introduced you to freeride?

I just don't like racing. Biking is my music. I ride when and where I feel it. I'm not interested in competing (only vs my buddies haha) I love to travel, to have fun, play my music and share it! From here all the rest it's called freeride, I think.

Did you grow up riding in Italy?

Yes, I did but we don't have any downhill jumps in Italy.

Views: 6,309    Faves: 16    Comments: 1

Do you ever come across many other female freeriders, or do you mostly ride with the guys?

I always ride with the boys! The only real freerider I know is my sister! We have the same mentality: "SHUT UP AND RIDE."

So your sister rides bikes too, do you guys ride together a lot?

My sister is killing it on her dirt jump bike! She is so good! 360s, backflips, tuck no handers! We never ride together unfortunately but... be ready! The Canovi sisters team are going on a Pacific shredZ trip! Anything can happen when we are together! Drift and jump cars, wakeboard and surf sessions, skate parks invasions, dirt motorbikes, cliff jumps, tricks, crashes, parties - OMG be ready! This is a bomb ready to explode!

Redzbetz with Casey Brown.

Why do you think more women won’t risk hitting bigger stuff and trying things like freeride?

I think everyone likes different things, I have so much energy that I really need to hit big stuff or scary things so I can come down at the and of the day. When I put my helmet on, the music starts and I can smash berms, hit big ramps, brakeless freeride, I feel like I've got energy drink instead of blood.

But probably other girls are more "down to the earth" or they don't need to get crazy to feel ok. Anyway, it's unreal how much power and muscles you need to have so you can hit big ramps or berms at high speed! I've had a few faceplants over the handlebars before I got fit enough. I knew I was pretty fit when I landed on my feet on the other side of Thomas Genon's bag jump on my big bike with a dirt jump ramp!

Dunno girls! Always ride what makes your happy and smile We are doing it for fun!

Views: 11,559    Faves: 82    Comments: 10

You came third in the Whip Off at Crankworx Les Gets this year, any plans to compete in other contests in 2017?

I'm always excited for a sideways session with my buddies! I would love to check out the Rotorua whip off jumps. Good size doubles are always difficult to find.

On the Whip Off podium at Crankworx Les Gets 2016.

You’ve spent the summer shredding all over the world, what did you have to do to make it happen and what did you get up to during your travels?

I left my parent's house at 14 just because I love to be free and manage my time how I like. I work in the night and live in the daylight! Always did everything by myself and the money has to come from somewhere. I'm a graphic designer, I work at a restaurant, or I wake up at 4 for my newspaper walker morning mission. Doesn't matter how, but my life is awesome sunrise to sunset to sunrise again!

Do you have a particular goal in mind when it comes to riding bikes, either a professional athlete, or someone who travels for projects and competes in select events?

I'd love a life of biking. I really love it! Working on projects, traveling and filming is what fits better with my personality. People usually love to share time and riding with me. I live outside, I do lots of different activities and I'm always happy and stoked because life is awesome! I could even compete just in select events if it meant I could make a living from biking, but don't ask me for selfies or bum shots because I'm sick of this idea that chicks need to be good looking to be considered in the mountain bike world.

Not afraid to push her limits and learn new stuff.

How about Rampage, what are your thoughts on that and would you ever compete?

Never been in Utah before! I would love to check it out and understand what's possible to build or ride. Maybe one day I will be on top ready to drop in. Why not!

What was it like to hit the jumps at the FEST series? How did you build up to hitting something that big and what FEST events have you been to?

I really love the air time on big jumps, it relaxes me a lot but I don't remember how the line was actually! Haha... lost my memory a bit. We were at Hillbilly HuckFEST in Norway, and after all day shredding the 'small' line (so much fun!) I was that ready to hit the line that I didn't respect. I dropped in with Nico without checking it properly. Had a big crash and ended up with a concussion on the second jump that compromised my trip to Canada and I'm still recovering.

These are the three rules I learned from experience:

1. Watch out for the wind.
2. Never trust the wet rocks.
3. Respect what's way bigger than you!

We had been jumping and riding so much during the months before, that's why I was so comfy and not scared at all. I like to ride lots of jumps before I hit big stuff just to keep my mind trained and never be afraid. This year I've been at Nico's LooseFEST in Belgium, Makken's Hillbilly HuckFEST in Norway, and Kurt's HofFEST in Canada.

PIC MAYHEM MEDIA http www.pinkbike.com news hillbilly-huckfest-mega-photo-epic-2016.html
Nico following Betz at Hillbilly Huckfest.

What riding do you like the most and where are your favourite riding spots?

I really love to ride all different kinds of trails and dirt. That's why I like to travel so much. In Europe, I enjoyed big berms and jumps like in La Fenasosa, Morgins, or Hurtgenwald. In Canada I had so much fun riding steep downhill and loamy tracks in Nelson. Love the dusty turns in Western Australia. I get mad when I find steep freeride's and surf too, Bali volcano, South Australia gold dunes, and The Moon in Switzerland are definitely my favorites. I get pumped just writing about it! Let's go riding! EY OH! LET'S GO!

You’re supported by Loose Riders, Fox, and Saracen but do you have any other support?

Yes, last season Saracen and Fox Head Italy gave me a hand with some materials and I'm so grateful for it! Loose Riders Global Alliance was the first team to welcome me two years ago. So much fun with all the crew. For 2017 Schwalbe tires, O'Neal, and Azonic Components trust in me and my projects. I just need a bike to put in between!

Hitting jumps in Loiano.

How did you meet all the FEST guys and who are your favourites to ride with?

This is a funny story. At the end of 2014, I got my first bike in view of a racing season. I left to go to Australia and had the best life/biking experience ever. Back in Italy, I dislocated my elbow. Killing time on the internet I saw the LooseFEST highlights. Booked the flight and after a month of really hard training to be back on my bike, I was on top of the line ready to drop in. I even asked who was Nico Vink and went to say to him that I came from Italy to hit this thing! (I'm such an idiot). No one knew me! It was so much fun look at their faces. I slept by the fire for a week and tried the start of the line so many times and I didn't even arrive at the first big jump! That's how I introduced myself to the crew haha!

The three guys I rode with most are Nico, Vinny, and Kristoff. Love how Vinny smashes the berms and how wild he is on the bike! Kristoff is so clean and fast. When I follow Nico, he is like dynamite on his bike! So much pop, so much flow, so much style, so much to say! I had such good times with Kurt and all the other guys too.

FERM LIBERT BIKE PARK PHOTO FROM http www.pinkbike.com news loosefest-2016-in-sequence.html
No dig, no ride, you've got to pitch in.

What are your plans for 2017?

I'll be traveling and filming so many alternative places around the world. Can't wait to ride with all my buddies again and live another summer immersed in nature. Of course I'll push my limits in different ways as always. Pointing wild whips and new tricks. Can't wait to see where the flow goes. Pretty sure I'll explore Australia, New Zealand, and Canada too!

MENTIONS: @worldzeditz / @azonicusa / @oneal / @LooseRiders

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  • + 53
 "Don't ask me for selfies or bum shots because I'm sick of this idea that chicks need to be good looking to be considered in the mountain bike world." Preach! In the heyday of the insta-famous, squeaky-clean, walking-billboard athlete-model, it's refreshing to see someone rocking her own style and doing her own thing. (That critique is obviously not limited to MTB, which still has a pretty good share of characters, or to woman athletes!)
  • + 18
 Just went through a bunch of female racers' Instagrams (all in the name of science of course) and TBH most of them keep the amount of look at me being pretty-shots to a minimum..
  • + 20
 No Pink or Teal?... strange. The Industry leads me to believe that these are compulsory "women's specific" items... that's probably why she placed third.
  • + 18
 Betz and Missy Giove should collaborate on shredit.... or at the least a party.
  • + 12
 I don't want any trouble, just take my lunch money.
  • + 9
 "I've got energy drink instead of blood" One question: releasing the beast, or have you been given wings?
  • - 1
 Better energy drink than tiger's blood. Tiger's blood seems to lead to major breakdowns.
  • + 4
 A prosciutto-eating Italian... It comes down to the cured meats, wine and cheese. My Nonna would definitely approve of Betz!
  • + 6
 Huge inspiration. Cannot wait to see what in store for her next season, keep on shredding Betz!
  • + 4
 In the video is Nico, Christof and Nico @Redzbetz in one off the Loosfest´s jump

  • + 1
 Sick! First time I see it!! Thank you!
  • + 1
 That's more like it !!!
  • + 4
 Other than the fact that she would put my riding to shame, she's a dream of a girl 3
  • + 4
 OMG I neverr thought I'll watch a Pinkbike video with Boikot music!
  • + 3
 So I take it you don't want a new purse for Xmas? Cool cause I spent the money on a rasta sack anyways!
  • + 3
 I'm super proud of you, Thanks Sweet Dirty Rider! See you soon..
  • + 1
 How would you like to snuggle up with that hair after a ride day?? #trustafarian
  • + 2
 She fits the YT Mob style definitely, she should be riding a Tues.
  • + 2
 Nick pescetto's gf ? (Hair style speaking)
  • + 1
 Does that make all dreadheads Bob Marley's children? Or Sway? Or 90's Lenny Kravitz? Should I keep going? Whoopi Goldberg's kids?
  • + 15
 @VwHarman: I know a few people with hair like that and they all smell swampy.
  • + 0

  • + 8
 @Earthmotherfu: The people I know with that hair all smell like weed. That said, I live on Vancouver Island, so most of the people I know with hair not like that smell like weed too, so it may be due to the geographic location of my nose...
  • + 1
 @VwHarman: hey bro, did you say something about weed? My radar just blipped Idk tho I've got concussion
  • + 2
 A very inspiring person!
  • + 1
 i tot i saw missy giove....
  • + 1
 Is she available Big Grin
  • + 1
 Video was pretty weak
  • + 1
 "Festseries" rider?
  • + 0
 dreads and white people is never a good mix lol
  • + 1
 I think I am in love!
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 Wasn't this interview posted a couple of months back?
  • + 1
 We posted an edit of her recently but I've only just done this interview.
  • + 1
 @laurenjenkins: Ahh, just found the other one, think it was the images that had me confused
  • + 0
 rad chick. I would love to shred with her.
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