Coming in 2018: Nothing’s for Free, The History of Freeride Mountain Biking

Sep 20, 2016
by Pinkbike Staff  
This is a massive project for us and mountain bike industry,” says Freeride Entertainment’s director and founder Derek Westerlund. "This film has been in development for over two years and a ton of work has gone into the concept and screenplay to bring this film to the big screen and to the core fan base in the spring of 2018."

The film will celebrate the DNA of Freeride Mountain biking and bring the audience on a three-decade journey with the pioneers, visionaries, and industry masterminds that pushed the sport to where it is today.

bigquotesThe story of our sport has been simplified over the years and there is so much to it that most people have never really stopped to think about. There has been tons of sacrifice and controversy. We are now a few generations deep in freeriding and the younger audience deserves to know where it came from and where the roots really are - Derek Westerlund


Nothing s for Free The History of Freeride Mountain Biking.



This is a big announcement - how did the project come about?

To be honest, this has been in the works for a few years. With these legacy projects, the timing has to be right. The bike industry has changed a lot since the height of freeriding in the 2000’s. We now have a whole new generation of rider that has no idea really where the roots and DNA of freeriding came from. They know all the big names now and probably a few from the past, but no real understanding of how the sport was born.


Why is it important to tell this story now?

We are now going into almost the 4th generation of Freerider. The sport is alive and well in some senses and dead in others. I think it is super important to recognize everything and everybody who got us here. It is really no different than we have seen in other sports whether it be the Bones Brigade in Skateboarding or Riding Giants in Surf. When people watch these films they learn a lot about the people involved, the behind the scenes business, good and bad, and gain a new appreciation for what they are doing.


Can you tell us a bit of what to expect from the film?

There are a lot of people that have had to come together to make a project like this possible. You are going to get some epic new action scenes with riders of different generations ripping together as well as all the best of the best from the past. The story is going to be told by people who really changed and had an impact on the sport. There are athletes, filmmakers, industry icons, and more.


Will it be essentially an NWD highlight reel with interviews?

Ha Ha. No, not at all. This film goes way back beyond those days to the earliest days of Hans Rey who is celebrating his 30th year with GT this year. A bunch of the OG filmmakers are involved and the film pays homage to those guys as much as anyone. Greg Stump the famous ski filmmaker who was a massive inspiration to Christian Begin and Bjorn Enga of Kranked and the director of Pulp Traction, the movie that really broke freeriding as we know it. Digger with North Shore Extreme, us with NWD and much, much more.


All those people under one roof? That must have been hard to pull off.

I'm not going to lie….there is a lot of politics involved and work gone into making it all succeed. Christian Begin is working on a really cool project about the roots of the sport in BC and those early years of Kranked etc. so we have had to make sure we are not cannibalizing each other's stories but they are radically different in the end. Getting back together with those guys after 20 years is pretty cool. There was a lot of bad blood along the way but we have all grown up and our lives have changed a lot. It's easy to put the ego’s aside when you sit back and really look at it this way. WE STARTED THIS SHIT!


Why this and not another big film like Where the Trail Ends?

The time is right. We have kicked around some other big films. Clay Porter and Freeride have been talking for awhile about a mega project but it is really hard to pull off those kinds of things in action sports these days. Clay has a wicked project coming out with Fairclough that people will be very stoked on. From what I have seen it is f*cking awesome. With a film like that, he is just doing it with one of his best friends. Taking his time and has no pressure to release on any given date.

The whole business model is tough. The sponsorships are just not there. There are very few people with money in the MTB industry and things seem to be getting tighter every year. We almost decided to crowd fund NWD 11 at one point as there has been so much demand for shred flicks. Hard to say. I need to keep reminding myself of why we kind of got out of it in the first place as the writing was on the wall. The internet has changed things. What people used to spend all year working on as a film segment people are dropping 2 or 3 of those a year just to keep their sponsorships going these days.

This film just seems to be the right thing to do.


When are we going to see this hit the streets?

Production is happening now. The film is going to drop in theaters and available for the consumer Spring 2018. The world will get a tease next year. Get ready to hold on. We are pulling out all the stops and it’s going to be awesome.


The film is a progressive timeline as told by:

Hans Rey, Danny Macaskill, Brett Tippie, Wade Simmons, Richie Schley, Josh Bender, Tarek Rasouli, John Cowan, Kyle Strait, Darren Berrecloth, Aaron Chase, Cameron McCaul, and Brandon Semenuk.

And features:

The Laguna Rads, Greg Stump, Mike Sinyard, Christian Begin, Bjorn Enga, Derek Westerlund, Todd “Digger” Fiander, Dangerous Dan Cowan, Andrew Shandro, Scott Markewitz, Bryson Martin, Robbie Bourdon, Jeff Lenosky, Tyler “Super T” Klassen, Dave Watson, Cedric Gracia, Thomas Vanderham, Kirt Voreis, Cam Zink and Paul Basagoitia.


MENTIONS: @Freeride




78 Comments

  • + 187
 Yahooo!! The word is out!! I have huck neck and sore balls just thinking about this! Ha ha Killer memories of filming and crazy stories from Pulp Traction, Kranked, NWD, with so many inspiring all time riders!! Can't wait!!
  • + 12
 I need to hit up the pawn shops for a VCR so I can go watch Shift.
  • + 2
 Sorry Tippie I need to hijack your comment a bit here; I just came back from my first trip to Whistler and heard the rock roll with close-out drop that you can see from the chair on the right side of Garbanzo is in one the the NWD's...anyone remember which one?
  • - 18
flag 2bigwheels (Sep 20, 2016 at 14:54) (Below Threshold)
 @FriedRys:

just download all 10 NWD vids on Kick ass torrents... lol
  • + 4
 @2bigwheels: Already have them on DVD, Shift goes back years before NWD. Think Wade Simmons dropping 6 foot retainer walls, lol.
  • + 7
 @juicebanger: It's not from NWD. It was a Kenny Smith line from one of the Coastal Crew movies; Inside Out (I think).
  • + 9
 Watching kranked series 1-3 and the first nwd films were daily rituals as a kid. Always loved the skits between segments in kranked too, like that chainring throwing ninja.
  • + 1
 @Zaeius: well I just watched inside out and it wasn't in there haha any other thoughts for what movie it might be in?
  • + 5
 @juicebanger: arrival , at the end Wink
  • + 3
 I hope they have a proper story on the Jah drop (not Jaw). I remember seeing Bender's segment on one of the Crusty Demons DVDs. You know you go big when they feature you on a FMX film.
  • + 3
 @wrc21: Ha! every time I head up the road in Kamloops near Jah drop I slow down and take a look. You can still pick it out after all these years...
  • + 2
 @poritz: Ding ding ding! Winner! Thanks friend! It's such an awesome line!
  • + 23
 I hope they make it long enough to actually cover stuff properly. Too many of these films get chopped down to under an hour and it ends up being a bunch of random snippets of information. Also don't make it too sappy or self important.
  • + 10
 Couldn't agree more. However, the audience needs to understand that it's going to dive into legacy and stories and not just be bangers all the way through. Kids these days- can't sit through an interesting interview...
  • + 2
 Being a Freeride Entertainment flick, three quarters of this doc will be in slo-mo. Joking aside, the first bike film I ever saw was Fat Tire Fury. Used to rent it from the bike shop before I got a copy of my own.
  • + 23
 Can´t wait to see what comes out of this! the freeride is the reaseon why mtb is what it is right now (we know that cause we al saw the NWD and got blown away) cheers for this!
  • + 16
 Before NWD, it was the one and only Kranked, I must be older than you haha. So stoked for this!!
  • + 9
 @loamer: Search for the Holey Trail!
  • + 2
 duuude just saw kranked 1 for the 1234th time last weekend hahaha thus is awesome!!
  • + 2
 @panchocampbell: viva chilee mierdaaa!
  • + 14
 Let's get some props in here for Super T!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Soooooooo much style.
  • + 11
 I put Wade Simmons and Warren Miller as my heroes in my high school year book. I've never had anyone recognize the names.....

Also, 4th generation!?!?!?!? Man, reality check: I'm old!
  • + 11
 spring 2018, wow, this is teasing
  • + 10
 Wheres romanuik when ya need him!
  • + 3
 What happened to all those guys?? Also what about Ben Boyko? The guy pulled one of the biggest 360º drops ever for Kranked 6 I believe then vanished.
  • + 2
 @wrc21: yeah and won Crankworx.
  • + 1
 Still hear in Kelowna. DJ'ing now. Bummer I know.
  • + 10
 So... Pretty much every incredible rider ever!?!
  • + 7
 This is gonna be evangelical stuff about freeride. I'm 27 and been riding 15 years already, these names and films inspired me in so many ways. Can't wait to watch this story.
  • + 8
 This is definetely going on my must see list! Such a rad idea Smile Oldschool forever!
  • + 7
 I miss that era around early 2000,s, now mountain biking has gotten all fucky.
  • + 7
 Pretty stoked to see this!
  • + 4
 Finally excited about a new Mtb Movie, we all need this, can't wait to see it. Hope it's longer than 45 mins. A truly great movie commands 150 mins of content, like a great ride.
  • + 3
 Well said. Agree 100%
  • + 5
 I hope it includes Bender, Krispy and crew. Some of the first riders to freeride Virgin, UT
  • + 4
 Just watched some Bender today. He was "thee god of insanity". Great stuff.
  • + 1
 Bender is on the list above.
  • + 1
 @loamer:
Nice! I missed that in the article. Thank's
  • + 2
 Super psyched to see this news! Been inspired since day1 back then and can't believe it was all those years, bikes, and orthopedic bills ago. Remember when magura hydros and mavic ceramic rims were the best stopping power you could get??
  • + 4
 watching the old drop in episodes some of the stuff they were riding back in the day just blows me away especially the skinnies dan cowan was building. Truly terrifying
  • + 1
 So awesome! I remember Kranked 5 like it was yesterday. I watched it way too many times it still includes one of my favorite sections in bikefilms ever. Hope they include Sam Brown and his hamster wheel, many todays riders don´t know it. Also i´m waiting to see John Cowan to tell his career and first loop on mtb!
  • + 1
 If you got Hans & D-Mac then you can count me in, but if you don't have Thor, then you're not telling the whole story & I feel like without Duff, you & therefore we, lose a very important & unique take on the past, current & future state of affairs. :/
  • + 1
 I just sent in a comment to Bike Magazine asking if they would do a monthly feature and find out where all the pros and video heroes from our past are and what they are up to now. I mentioned a few of those names from a few of those videos, so I'm stoked to see this happen.

I remember when trials riding was the shiznit, and Bunny Rabbit Hansy and Ot Pi were the "Ultimate Riders", then came free riding and a whole new crop of younger ballsy dudes.
  • + 4
 I got rid of all my NWD and Kranked Videos when the VHS player went in the trash...and regret it.
  • + 2
 I really, really, really, can't wait for this. I hope it doesn't let us down. I am gonna strap my kids to their seats so they can see how a great sport evolves to such spectacular levels.
  • + 4
 I only wish we dont have to wait till 2018 for The bike industry to realise that FREERIDE IS ALIVE!
  • + 1
 2018 wow! It reminds me of Batman V Superman press releases 2 years before the move came out. Derek's work has been always impressive so the movie will definitely live the hype!
  • + 4
 A complete list of free ride legends. Can't wait to see the movie!
  • + 1
 I wanna go ride some skinnies and jump off sh;t! Now we go fast and check Strava. I do like going fast, but free ride is just rad. Bring it back. Oh wait, I can bring it back. Yes.
  • + 3
 Glad to see that Bourdon is getting in on this one. I don't have too many heroes but he's one in my book.
  • + 1
 Bender.......bourdo..........super f'n T, klassen.........o man goose bumps are rising.........sick..sick! Hey pinkbike, how about some throwback thurs, to some old freeride films to get us stoked???????????? PLEASE...
  • + 2
 Oh man, I'm crossing my fingers for something like a Valley Uprising equivalent.
  • + 2
 Narrow bars, hockey pads, 55 lb. bikes, sketchy landings, skinnies. Bring it!
  • + 1
 I would be still up for crowd funding NWD 11, but anyway very excited about this movie Big Grin
  • + 2
 Stoked. NWD, Kranked and ROAM they are the reason I have a freeride bike.
  • + 2
 Cool, glad its gna go back to the 80s!
  • + 1
 Kranked 1-4 are paragons of cool . I would rather watch those and NWD1 than most of the stuff that gets released now.
  • + 1
 I would add Ride To The Hills and Pedalfiles in that group as well.
  • + 1
 I remember watching "Hans no way Rey" on vhs till the tape was ruined. Guess I am old. Looking forward to the movie.
  • + 1
 Please, please, please, please - have some North Shore riding!
  • + 1
 More freeriding films,please!
  • + 2
 YES!!!!!!!
  • + 1
 Yo is this still happening?
  • + 1
 Trailer or it isn't in production ^^) \o/ \o/
  • + 1
 No James Doerfling? Dude is the definition of Freeride.
  • + 1
 Looks like something wicked is about to come!!! Nice!!!
  • + 1
 You got me at Semenuk!
  • + 0
 If Mr Trump gets in , the world will end before spring 2018 ! Hehehehe
  • + 0
 i'd bet on spring 2017
  • + 1
 So much win!!!!!!
  • + 0
 Where is Wade Simmonds?
  • - 2
 Herpes is free!! lol
  • + 5
 not if you get it from a hooker
  • + 3
 @catweasel:
She was so dirty her crabs had herpes!
  • - 1
 Wistler trails
  • + 15
 Sick comment
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