The Red Bull Rampage 2016 Judges







Controversy has followed Rampage judging since its inception and has long been the most talked about aspect of the event.

Most notable was in 2012, also known as the year that ‘Norbs Got Robbed.’ Outraged viewers and fans took to the internet to vent about the injustices they witnessed – including Greg Minnaar, who tweeted, ‘WOW ‪@redbull Rampage judges have no clue...2 great runs by ‪@TylerMcCaul ‪@CamMcCaul and they sit in 5th and 6th. Have the judges ever ridden??’ In fact only one of them, Josh Bender, had ever ridden a Rampage course.

Judges on the ridge. Right out of the gate it was evident that judging would be at a different level than previous years. I ve never at any of the nine Rampage events I ve attended in the past seen the judges actually walking the entire venue left line right line and center line. Not only do the judges all still ride at an insanely high level but all of them have a unique perspective on line choice and difficulty as specific to the Rampage.
  Right out of the gate it was evident that judging would be at a different level than previous years as we saw the judges actually walking the entire venue and examining the lines. Each of the judges this year are past Rampage riders.

bigquotes Gully's been judging some events this year so he's got some good basis behind it, Bender's been a judge at this event quite a few times so he understands it, and then those guys have ridden it. We've also gone through a viewing of last year, we've talked a lot about stuff, and we've been walking through the lines - I think it's going to come out great!
- Randy Spangler

The judges’ panel in 2012 – and most years – was a mix of judges from other sports and long time mountain bikers, but not Rampage competitors. And while this may have caused a furious amount of angry typing from those at home, it was the riders who suffered the most. Whether the scores were accurate or not, they were risking their lives without the confidence of being scored accurately by people who truly understood what they were accomplishing.

Randy
  Randy Spangler

As recently as last year controversy followed the judging when Cam Zink chose not to take a second run after being disappointed by the judges’ scoring of his first. “I didn't do my second run because it wasn't worth it. We are risking our lives out here. Paul [Bas] got carted off and couldn't feel his legs when they Care Flighted him out. My run was as it was. I mean I could have cleaned it up a hair, I could have done a little bit better but not a lot. It would have been a tiny bit better, maybe fifth, maybe fourth, but they weren't liking what I was doing today, so it wasn't worth risking my life. That heavy of a run, the scariest, gnarliest run I've ever done in my life - to do it again to maybe gain a place or two? It's just not worth it,” said Cam immediately following the 2015 competition.

Geoff Gulevich
Geoff Gulevich
Geoff Gulevich

bigquotesThe past Rampage riders are the only ones who truly know how gnarly, intense and risky riding rampage is. You need that humbling experience to understand what your peers are going through in their runs. I don't know how exactly it will be different. I do know there will be a lot of eyes on us and it will be the toughest job on the hill, 100%.
- Geoff Gulevich

In an effort to rectify these issues, and give more confidence to the athletes, a panel of judges who are all past competitors has been appointed for this year. Randy Spangler (Head Judge), Josh Bender, Kyle Jameson, Mike Kinrade, Geoff Gulevich, and Nico Vink will be the ones scoring this year’s event. “Not that [the past judges] didn’t do a great job, but from a rider’s perspective, unless you’ve been in that start gate and on that hill, you really can’t put it into a judging criteria, so I think it helps the riders to have that confidence in knowing that we’ve all been there,” says Head Judge, Randy Spangler. “I think it’s great and a lot of it was based around what the riders were hoping for and wanting. Not only am I excited that it’s gone that way, but also that those guys are behind having rider based judges.”

Nico Vink
  Nico Vink

While Randy and Bender have past experience judging Rampage, Geoff, Kyle, Nico, and Mike are all new to it this year. But Randy’s confident that they are ready, “there’s a lot of education for these guys coming into it. It’s not like we’re just throwing them on the stand to give an award to their best friend. Basically – and I hate to say it – on that day [the riders] are all a number. I mean, they’re all great people and they’re all our friends, but we want to reward the guy that puts his stuff on the line that day and give him the prize for it.”

Mike K
Mike Kinrade
Mike K

After his experience last year, Cam Zink is completely behind this new direction, “I think it’s the perfect direction. It’s all opinions at the end of the day no matter what way you slice it. It’s six judges, so six opinions, and they’re going to differ with people and there’s going to be conflict and controversy, but the only way to really limit that and reduce it is by having former riders – people who have lived and breathed it. And apparently all the judges have competed at Rampage, which is insane. Some are fairly current riders still so they not only have ridden, but that also means they are living the same sport; they pay attention to progression, they watch the little things that really matter and that we take pride in. Judges be judges, but it’s better to have people who have ridden it than people who are just snowboarders or something.”

Bender
  Josh Bender

“As a professional judge you might have an inkling of what it takes, but if you’ve already ridden it and you’re an ex-competitor you know what it’s going to take,” says veteran Rampage Judge, Josh Bender. “I mean these guys know what it’s going to take so it’s going to be a tough cookie to crack - so to speak, because these guys are going to be like ‘that wasn’t a winning like because of this, and this, and this,’ and you’re like, ‘oh, maybe they’re right.’

Kyle J
  Kyle Jameson

bigquotes I think it's important to have a rider judged panel that has competed in this particular event because it's its own beast . You need to know what it takes to build a line in that amount of time in this heat as well as test it and ride when the pressures on.
- Kyle Jameson

Kyle Jameson who’s judging here for the first time says it wasn’t an easy decision for him to make, “but when I thought about it, I had all the right ingredients to make a good judge for this event and I want to see my friends get judged fairly while putting their lives on the line.”

Without a doubt, opinions about the judging and who got robbed will flood the internet again this year – but the difference in this new approach is the confidence that the riders have going into some of the biggest lines and tricks of their lives.


97 Comments

  • 329 5
 This event is gonna go off like a Fox Float X2 with a Samsung strapped to it.
  • 13 9
 I've missed this joke, can someone explain it to us simpletons please?
  • 56 2
 @toad321: Fox float X2s were recalled for exploding, and samsung note 7s were recalled for exploding
  • 103 4
 @toad321: Samsung had a world wide recall on their new phone because of poorly insulated battiers. Resulting in explosions. Then if you inflate your Fox Float X2 to like 250 psi or some crazy shit like that and case, your can will make a nice pop noise Smile So fox called for the recall. Pair the two together, and youre half way to Alllhu Akbar
  • 3 0
 @toad321: Double explosion!
  • 4 2
 guys sorry to ask here, anyone know if there will be a replay after the live boradcast?
cheers
  • 2 1
 @stefanfresh: Probably. They usually always do it.
  • 2 0
 @chillrider199: cheers man. I know sometimes they dont do so until a day or so later
im in class, so gonnna have to turn down the volume
  • 1 0
 @stefanfresh: yeah it'll be uploaded to red bull tv at some point or minimum highlights and each run
  • 4 0
 @chillrider199: excellent explanation
  • 2 1
 thanks guys, just not beeing able to watch it makes me nervous
  • 2 0
 @stefanfresh: Then you won't be able to concentrate in class. I say, it's Friday, Rampage is on, so class can wait until next week Wink
  • 2 0
 @lobohusky: Yeah, I went home for the second rounds!!
  • 88 3
 I legit thought Bender was dead. The fact that he is alive means he must be a cyborg
  • 25 0
 a cybernetic organism. Living tissue, over metal endoskeleton. NEAAAAAAAGH
  • 73 1
 Alot of people don't give Bender the respect he deserves, he was doing this style of riding while half these guys were still on training wheels. he really pioneered big mountain freeriding, sure he bailed alot, but that's how any extreme sport is in the beginning. He was trying drops like this before people even looked at them as ridable. Mad props to a pioneer of the sport.
  • 6 4
 @nfstreet4life: you are actually right but I blame it on the NWD films and my teenager mind, he was just portrayed as this fearless badass that as you grow up just lose respect for.
  • 7 2
 @fercho25: To be fair, he also saddled up to some drops that just weren't realistically rideable, which made him seem a little bit like a goon. has anybody EVER actually hit the JAH drop?

Also, he managed to crash a lot on stuff other people were sending, too. I actually went to Rampage '04, & he went down more than the other riders by a large margin.
  • 15 2
 Pioneer yes. stylish?definitely not. Just compare him with wade simmons, both doing the same thing at the same time. Bender was riding a flippin Karpiel Armageddon and wrecking left and right and simmons was riding a RM7 and cleanly stomping.
  • 16 0
 @preach: i'm not saying he was the best rider ever, but I mean he was pushing the limits and trying just as hard if not harder than anyone. He pushed the sport towards what we see at rampage now more than most.
  • 3 1
 @groghunter: Nobody ever landed JAH drop because the landing was too steep and short. But it's still one of the gnarliest drops i've ever seen to this day.
  • 3 0
 @preach: Bender attempted the Marzocchi truck drop twice and did a no footer on one of those, to this day I still can't believe how he didn't break his neck when he rag dolled that drop.
  • 4 1
 @nfstreet4life: Right, that was my point: Hucking yourself off things that are completely unrealistic to land kinda moves you from "visionary" to "more balls than sense."
  • 2 1
 @groghunter: Yea but if you don't try then you will never know. Trial and error is how we learn what is possible on a bike.
  • 4 4
 @nfstreet4life: Disagree. There's more to it than trial & error, even in those days. Case in point: nobody else hucked themselves off that thing, because they assessed the height, landing length, landing angle, & risk, and decided it wasn't feasible.
  • 3 0
 @groghunter: good point, I can't argue that.
  • 3 1
 For those who don't get it, a few years ago there was an internet rumor that Bender died in a car wreck

www.pinkbike.com/forum/listcomments/?threadid=144072
  • 10 3
 @groghunter: I don't agree about the more balls than sense thing, 1 in 5 die trying to climb K2, but they keep going because it exists as the ultimate challenge and the drive for that in some rare individuals is unstoppable - regardless of the insane risk to life, Bender not only wanted to look into the abyss, it looks like he wanted to feel the awe of possible death and conquer it. There was a fire burning under Bender in those days, he is a rare rider
  • 11 1
 No, not dead...he was married for a few years though, to a soul sucking individual...that's kinda like being dead.
  • 4 2
 @simeon10: Climbing K2 is the absolute opposite of how Bender rode. There is ZERO recklessness involved in a Himalaya summit of any peak, because literally any recklessness is a death sentence. Those people are some of the most prepared, practiced, careful athletes in the world. Danny Macaskill is a far better analogue, as he practices incessantly before he takes the things he does to the high risk environments of his videos.

K2 climbers die because even with all that prep, a slight change in weather, one false block of ice, can doom them, completely outside their own control.
  • 2 0
 @groghunter: The drop he attempted back in the day at the Deer Valley Norba National cemented the "more balls than sense" reality.
  • 4 0
 The early new word disorders were made by benders two segments. His segment, and the crash one. Nobody has ever sent it that hard on a mountain bike. I love that he is judging rampage.
  • 1 0
 @nfstreet4life: no doubt dude i totally know what you mean
  • 1 0
 Keep in mind the bike technology he was using at the time. He usually stomped the landing, but got buck off later.
  • 6 0
 @nfstreet4life:

Bender is a rad dude and huge fun to ride with, here's a great pic leading him, Joe Schwartz and my buddy down through Garbanzo zone.

www.pinkbike.com/photo/3197180

I have great memories of my first trip to Whistler and getting to ride with Bender and then attend the Marzocchi parts with all the Freeriders plus some lovely ladies and too much beer. Randy Spangler became very attached to a classical 'bust' (statue) that looked just like him.

Bender is very fast (he was Alaskan DH champ?), huge fun to be around, very humble guy and I thought misunderstood when he changed the game with his extreme freeride action. In the UK he was seen as a pioneer and inspired a lot of hardcore riders here to experiment with increasing the scale of stunts by going into old mining quarries and woods, building big drop and stepdown lines

respect!
  • 3 1
 That analogy with mountaineering is terrible
  • 43 1
 Yeah right this is PB someone will get robbed.
  • 39 0
 #pinkbikegotrobbed
  • 6 3
 @zsandstrom: I dont really know what Cam mMcaul is up to right now but he would probably have made a better judge than some of the guys on the list, since I have no real facts and know nothing about the judges selection process im just gonna say:

#Mccaulgotrobbed
  • 7 1
 @fercho25: McCaul is commentating.
  • 6 0
 @Patrick9-32: Anything to hear less from Brad Jay.
  • 2 1
 @groghunter: #BradJaygotrobbed
  • 7 0
 @willsoconnell: please say what he got robbed of was the microphone
  • 2 0
 #wegotrobbed
  • 30 1
 #judgesgotrobbed
  • 25 0
 Really, they had snowboarders judging in prior years? Who made that decision?
  • 17 1
 Rampage drinking game:

No hander=1 drink
Flip=2 drinks
360=2 drinks
Frontflip=3 drinks
Case=1 drink
Huck to flat=2 drinks
Tippie gets crazy/stoked=2 drinks
Crash=2 drinks
OTB=3 drinks
Broken bike/parts=2 drinks
Wind check=1 drink
Someone says all time=1 drink
Someone says exposure=1 drink
Someone gets robbed=finish your drink
  • 7 0
 OK so when playing you can count with at least one Frenchman playing too. Beer in the fridge: check!
  • 19 0
 "Tippie gets crazy/stoked=2 drinks" = blackout drunk within the first 5 minutes
  • 7 0
 @PeterMarv: Nah, he only gets crazy/stoked once... then it just stays that way for the rest of the day. Now if the game had said, "Camera shows a crazy/stoked Tippie" then you'd die of alcohol poisoning.
  • 3 0
 @what-am-i-doing: what is alcohol poisoning, never heard
  • 11 0
 It's a judged competition, always room for error and bias unfortunately. The clock don't lie, but I'm here to watch people huck shit and to annoy people at work while I watch it.
  • 13 4
 "...judging would be at a different level than previous years as we saw the judges actually walking the entire venue and examining the lines"
Are you saying in the previous years the judges haven't seen the lines close up? Well that explains a lot.

Also, when Gully says that judging will be "the toughest job on the hill", is he joking? Because that's some hardcore sarcasm right there.
  • 5 0
 Seems that they have addressed the judging issues this year and I'm excited to see how it goes. But who in their right mind in the past thought it would be a good idea to have judges who were not mountain bikers, I mean ex competitors is one thing but it have someone judging who is not a mountain biker is just nuts
  • 3 0
 99% of this is making the riders confident in the judging, especially if doubt has been brought into it due to previous years. If they'd be more confident with a team of 6 chickens pooping on a scoreboard, that would've been the right choice at this point.

That said, seems like this is absolutely what's happened. the riders wanted ex-competitor judges, & they got it.
  • 6 0
 Well I'm gonna a get robbed if red bull TV doesn't replay tonight!! I have a JOB!!
  • 2 0
 Does anybody have an idea about when the riding will actually start? Coverage starts at 12:30 ET/9:30 PT, but I'd like to know if the riding actually starts then or if there will be three hours of hype before anyone actually makes a run.
  • 1 0
 During "Just the Tip" one of the riders in the background said they'd be on the hill at 10(Utah time, so 9PT). So I assume riding is going down pretty soon after the coverage starts. The NBC broadcast later on will have all the hype.
  • 4 0
 3 hours of Hype followed by first runs (45min) followed by 3 hours of wind delay, followed by half the field taking second runs for 25 minutes... you know the drill! Wink
  • 1 0
 @MrEtnie: they said it would be different this time! we should have known better
  • 5 0
 This rampage is gonna be sooooooooooo good. I hope.
  • 3 0
 Hope everyone will walk home safe. I'm not in religious stuff but seriously praying for this...
  • 1 0
 It's a judged sport. Someone will disagree with the judging, especially if they are on the wrong end of the stick or if they're a fan and their favourite rider doesn't score well. These guys all know that going in and should be accepting of the results however they end up, given who the judges are this year.
  • 2 0
 "I do know there will be a lot of eyes on us and it will be the toughest job on the hill, 100%.
-Geoff Gulevich"

Huh? I always thought the riders had the toughest job on the hill. Learn something new everyday.
  • 3 3
 Fest is best. Ramp would be better if it was judged by the riders who competed, they not only know the lines but also the conditions and commitment. I think riding at rampage is way better than fest, but the judging by the riders who compete will be the only judged sport I will respect. Redbull should have learned this from fest. Rb's judges make ramp look like an amature attempt to recreate 90s steez x games que sky surfing and road luge.
  • 4 0
 Norbs will be robbed no matter what, competing or not
  • 2 0
 So stoked to watch this even if I'm being a desk jockey today. #shhh #donttellmyboss
  • 1 0
 At the end of the day, someone will feel their guy got robbed.. But, there's a lot of Rampage experience with these judges.. Going to be nuts...
  • 2 0
 this is the main reason i never said yes to the multiple rampage invitations...
  • 1 0
 results depends on judging, judging is subjective so in every contest someone will be robbed or will feels like was robbed...
  • 1 0
 Silly question, but does anyone know if this is going to be on in a sports bar anywhere in Hong Kong? Don't really want to watch the whole thing on my phone!
  • 1 0
 Can honestly say, judging was on point this year. I'd really like to know how Doerfling and Aggy's line would have scored if they cleaned thier runs
  • 1 0
 well you guys can't make an article about being robbed without a picture of norby like they call him
  • 1 0
 Norbs called himself norby before that horrible announcer did.
  • 2 0
 @Gasket-Jeff: goood to know, by the way amazing feature picture dude
  • 2 0
 randy spangler gives extra points for 1 foot tables #dropinseason4
  • 2 0
 Kyle J's completed judging scorecard: "I love this sh*t!"
  • 1 0
 Ikr! I thought he was going to compete this year. I diddent see him on the rider lineup and was like what happened?? but hes judgeing !
  • 2 0
 @FrozenTreads56: Old joke ref: See Coastal Crew's breakthrough segment in Kranked 8 way back when.
  • 1 0
 @nsteele: hey! I remember that one! lol clever
  • 1 0
 Nico's Vink smile "Yeahhh, I can do Suicidal on that hill", f*cking amazing rider, uaooo...
  • 1 0
 so they judges admited that brandon got robbed las year... mmm, they could´ve figure thar out long time ago
  • 3 0
 #bizetgotrobbed
  • 3 0
 And Tyler mccaul , like don't get me wrong semenuk had a great run, but Bizet was faster and more exposed, and a better line. Imo
  • 1 0
 too many semenuk fans out there, so this hashtag probably won't start trending, but I agree 100% #bizetgotrobbed
  • 1 1
 Get the two old school guys out of there. This sport is on a different level now, not just hucking your carcass off the biggest cliff you can find.
  • 2 1
 If road cycling can take away Armstrongs wins can we take away Sorges wins? 2015 he should have been 5-6th.
  • 3 0
 #Bizetgotrobbed
  • 1 0
 Kinrade with a spot on silent Aaron Gwin impression
  • 1 0
 Aaron smokes the weed...cuz Mikey looks power baked!
  • 1 0
 That smile of Nico Vink...
  • 1 1
 Come on Red Bull you gotta give us something to complain about... Or else we have been robbed!
  • 1 0
 Can't wait to pretend to pay attention in class today.
  • 2 0
 TylerMccaul got robbed!
  • 1 0
 Spelled Minnaar wrong
  • 1 0
 The judges got robbed Wink

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