Video: Steps to the Top - Finn Iles

Aug 15, 2014
by SRAM  
Views: 94,877    Faves: 1,058    Comments: 54

Only a few weeks ago, the rules said that 14-year-olds couldn’t win the Whip Off World Championships — they couldn’t even compete, in fact. It took a social media campaign and a healthy dose of lobbying to #LetFinnIn, but when the judges tallied their scores, it was Finn Iles who walked away with the big check and the title of World Champ.

The story of the 2014 Whip Off Worlds at Crankworx reads a bit like an unbelievable Hollywood screenplay: Young phenom and local favorite gets to ride with his heroes and then beats them. It’s so incredible, it even caused some cynics to wonder if the judges had gone easy on Finn. But those in attendance — judges, photographers, fellow competitors and fans — knew it was a good call.

Steps to the Top - Finn Iles
Steps to the Top - Finn Iles

From his first practice run, it seemed clear that Finn was a sure bet for a podium spot. If the kid was nervous, he did a good job of hiding it, reminding himself and anyone who asked that he was just out there having fun.

For the few-thousand fans on hand, Finn Iles’ definition of ‘fun’ was demonstrated with run after run of massive, clean and seemingly effortless whips. A natural competitor with a bright future in mountain biking, Finn’s confidence grew as the day went on, until he knew he had a real shot at the win.

Steps to the Top - Finn Iles

It started as a dream to ride with the sport’s legends in the same arena. It ended with a talented 14-year-old becoming one of mountain biking’s heroes.

Photos by Adrian Marcoux.
Video by Mind Spark Cinema.
Words by Joe Parkin.

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105 Comments
  • 199 1
 Sponsors are gonna be all over him like a fat chick on cookies
  • 10 0
 Cookies?!? Try cupcakes!! Wink
  • 12 1
 Nah man, cupcakes are either with chocolate and too intense, or without chocolate and too dry. Blueberry chocolate chip cookie is where it's all at
  • 9 0
 knock knock. Redbull
  • 3 0
 "Just do your thing and you might surprise yourself"
  • 90 1
 This kid is going places
  • 40 0
 Sideways through the air to produm!
  • 22 0
 Step 1: show up
  • 6 0
 i will give the the best whip i have probably ever seen.
  • 14 0
 just came back from some jumps and feeling good about them, then i log in and see a 14 year old going more sideways than mccaul...
  • 80 1
 The cynic in me thought it was a bit contrived to start with, but seeing how composed he was, how massive that whip was AND how clean his landing was completely changed my view. Massive respect for earning that win!
  • 15 26
flag BDKR (Aug 15, 2014 at 5:25) (Below Threshold)
 Great whips, super composed, but I still think it's all a bit contrived.
  • 36 0
 It's the landing that won it over for me. Some of the other contestants - from what I could see in the vid - had it equally as whipped, but Finn landed his perfectly in line, where most of the others still had the tail hang out there a bit on landing. He also had it a bit dumped a bit in the air, which looked super stylish.
  • 7 1
 I hear ya! He definitely managed to get it back inline compared to most of the other riders. But it's too antiseptic! Cruz and Lacondeguy get it out there farther. Finn just looks like a more precise version of Elliot Jackson.
  • 6 4
 It's funny that you guys say that because when Bernardo first won the Whipoff,
everyone commented on how long he managed to keep his whip and how sideways he managed to land.
Guess the criteria for what a "good whip" is has changed
  • 3 2
 You guys eh - you recall me saying that then eh?
  • 6 0
 Pretty sure he meant the pinkbike community in general. I still think Fin deserved the win, did you see how he came off the lip in shot from the front at 3:41? Pause it throughout the clip, so much style.
  • 6 0
 I was thinking the same thing c0w. "He just won it because of all the attention he got before the event", but then I saw his whips...
  • 3 1
 Anyone can land a whip sideways though, it takes a lot more skill to bring it back in line. Landing sideways all the time is the reason I have hella dents in my rear rim, I wish I could land as cleanly as Finn.
  • 47 0
 "Dude just do your thing... and you might surprise yourself." Incredibly motivating words from Mr. Curtis Robinson, props to everybody for letting this kid show what he's got and let people know that "being to young" means nothing when you're going for something that you really want.
  • 32 0
 This is seriously awesome. This kid is so young and shows so much talent. To get out there and win against top level pros that do this kind of stuff for a living is amazing. Great job Finn. You are a huge inspiration to shredders everywhere!
  • 21 0
 Just can't stop smiling!
  • 3 0
 exactly.
  • 17 0
 That pedal stroke to bring the tail back around... pure class
  • 12 0
 Incredible. Well done Finn. You know people are going to hate on it for "feeling contrived" or whatever but the fact is this kid has great skills on a bike and should be applauded for it. To get up there and shred like he did under that kind of pressure would be tough for anyone but this kid is only 14 years old! He's clearly a well-rounded, decent lad so I wish people would give the "his parents must be rich" stuff a rest". No matter how privileged an upbringing you've still got to have the talent to get anywhere in this world or you get found out pretty quick. Huge respect to the pro's like Curtis Robinson, R-Dog etc for being so stoked on Finn taking the win. This attitude is why I love biking so much - elite athletes in some other sports would shit their pants at the prospect of a new threat to their throne, but not those guys. We're so lucky that the athletes/sponsors at the top of the biking world are all about the future and bringing through the new talent. Long may it continue. Cant wait to watch Finn in the future. Well done lad!
  • 9 0
 Stoked to hear Finn was allowed to ride and even more stoked that he won! Congrats little man.
  • 6 0
 This is what progression is about. I'm actually quite touched by the whole story... The kid belongs on the top. Finn had the support of the biggest companies and the biggest names in mountain biking, and be proved them all right. Congrats Finn! You're well on your way to a very successful career.
  • 9 0
 the FLYING FINN!!!
  • 9 2
 Whistler Dads better be revising their teenage daughters curfews, while the champs in town!
  • 7 0
 I would sell my left testicule to whip like Finn
  • 28 0
 ....good idea but you actually require testicles to whip like that !!
  • 1 1
 try a kidney instead? you don't need both anyway
  • 2 0
 Norbs was..........oh, wait, that's a month or so out. Wink

You can't fake the funk on a nasty dunk...or whip. Finn earned the win for sure. Others may have had the rear wheel further forward, but they landed waaaaaay less smoother.

If you have Pastrana wanting to see what you're about, you are definitely doing it right.
  • 6 0
 I wanna see a shot of that one-handed whip from this little dude....
  • 5 0
 Sounds like such a grateful kid, he's definitely going places.
  • 3 0
 Hope this kid goes to the top. Passion and investment can bring great things! Well done Finn, wish I could ride a bike like you!
  • 3 0
 What's amazing is that this young man has now opened the door for other young riders with similar skill levels to compete at the pro level.
  • 4 1
 That kid had the best landings and whips, if you look at the other pro riders they land way more side ways than him. Whip of the century whit that pedaling whip!
  • 4 0
 father who is like me, impossible not to be moved ... Congratulations Finns !!!!
  • 3 0
 That video was very well done. I loved how it showed more than just riding. The personal aspects of the riders was the key.
  • 5 0
 Hella Yeah!!!!!!
  • 1 0
 Mesmo torcendo para Bernardo Cruz e achando que ele foi muito melhor e passou fácil dos 90 graus não posso deixar de reconhecer o mérito do garoto Finn que ja e com certeza um dos grandes atletas do futuro!
  • 1 0
 Big up Finn! If only I had had the cahoonies to start doing that stuff at your age ... would hopefully maybe also have been able to piece together something resembling a whip like that!
  • 4 1
 Redbull - take care of this new talent, he will win world cup in the future if he would like to
  • 3 0
 I was thinking the same. Does he go the freeride route or keep the tires on the ground and race?
  • 6 0
 Freeracer!
  • 5 0
 Or go the Brendog route and just do it all.
  • 4 0
 Well seeing as his brother came 2nd in Junior at Mount Sainte Anne and he is also a really good downhill ski racer he may stick with DH. He puts in the work and it is showing in what he does.
  • 2 0
 I'm twice his age. He's got more money than me, a cooler bike, and more skill in his little toe than I have in my whole body. Amazing whip!!
  • 2 0
 Saw this kid a while back in a couple edits! So stoked that hes getting some attention!!!!
  • 1 0
 I had no doubts this kid was gonna win it. Seriously pulls some of the fattest whips I've ever seen. We'll be seeing much much more of this kid in the future.
  • 2 0
 What a legend man! This dude is the future and pretty damn inspiring. Big up to the little whip boss!
  • 3 0
 Anyone know the name of the backing song?
  • 1 0
 GRace - by Tony Anderson from the album Season
Shaaaazaaaaaaaaaaam

www.youtube.com/watch?v=--ZByDPjZpk
  • 4 2
 he deserved the win and he is one lucky kid to ride a bike like that at his age. 22 before I could afford a DH bike.
  • 2 0
 Yet another reason why the whole mountain bike scene is so kick ass. Doing the right thing!...and nice shots Marcoux.
  • 1 1
 evidence of parents being fully supportive of their childs' hobby's and dreams.. if only I could persuade my parents to spend £10,000 and move me to whilster - that'd be awesome Razz
  • 3 0
 Imagine Jackson gold stone when he is that age..
  • 1 0
 Sick! Gives me so much motivation being at the same age, to go out and train harder!
  • 2 1
 Where's the champion and second place in this year Bernardo Cruz in this video !!!!?????? Why !!??
  • 1 0
 That's the best thing I've seen all summer. Well deserved win, much props to that kid for mixing it up with the big boys.
  • 2 0
 You know you're going places when Travis Pastrana shows up to watch you.
  • 1 0
 You killed out there man! And yet I though my whips looked alright, props man! #letfinnin #finnisin
  • 1 1
 To me the whole social media campaign and then the fact the kid won the whip off seems a little too coincidental. Just my 2 cents
  • 1 0
 And thats how a legend is born! What an awesome story to tell his kids in a few years...
  • 1 0
 good job lil man!!... thats so good to see!!
  • 1 0
 That was insanely well shot!!!!!
  • 2 0
 So sick!!!!
  • 1 0
 You sir, just made it to my wallpaper.
  • 1 0
 Was there ever any doubt?
  • 4 7
 Kind of cynical about preempting the win with the shooting of the video before anyone knew the results and a big sponsor of Crankworx getting a good story out of it but seeing Finn ride it is clear he has talent way beyond his years. I've no idea how they judge something like this and I think 5 or more guys could have got the win and no one would complain (Kerr is my personal fav). Good on the little shredder though!
  • 2 1
 feelgood story of the year!
  • 1 1
 I've never seen someone whip so far round the back wheel is further forward than the front wheel
  • 2 0
 Even more impressive is the fact he landed it cleanly.
  • 1 1
 Makken did a bigger one, at Nine knights (2013 ?).
  • 1 0
 Congratulation, Finn Iles is RAD 2 !!
  • 1 0
 Ok, that was pretty damn rad.
  • 2 0
 badassary young fella!
  • 1 0
 Awesome edit! Huge props Finn, you're my new hero!
  • 1 0
 That's one bad little dude! Such an awesome story.
  • 2 0
 Huck Finn!
  • 1 0
 strong boy!!!
  • 1 0
 still cannot believe it
  • 2 3
 #letfinnin
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