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.
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.
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.sram.com
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
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.
Also, the shitty turned down contrast in this "Steps to the top" series is pissing me right off.
And yeah, his whips were amazing, and he got them right back for landing too, but to take the win? Andreau's whips were just as big maybe bigger for sure.. Sounds like some sympathy vote for the young kid to win.
And yeah, I know, Neg prop me. Truth is the truth, and it often hurts!
You can borrow a basketball for free, but that hasn't made you an NBA star has it? If you rode your Diamond Back to first place in your local races and showed a deep pool of talent and a serious amount of dedication, maybe your parents would have supported you further as time when on, or maybe they wouldn't have to because Trek would step in. And if you don't think talent and dedication can outshine a cheap bike when you are starting to prove yourself, then I feel sorry for you.
If you can't afford to spend $10K on your passion, then you should try working harder instead of bagging on others who put in more effort to succeed than you do.
He's sponsored so that stuff is either free or heavily discounted. So nah