Vero Sandler on Her Switch to Santa Cruz

Feb 6, 2021
by Alicia Leggett  

Vero Sandler has been one of the most fun riders to watch over the years. She has made a name for herself with some stellar media appearances, especially in her own movie, Vision. She's also one of the six riders invited to create a segment for the first X Games Real Mountain Bike video contest alongside Cam Zink, Brandon Semenuk, Danny McAskill, Brage Vestavik, and DJ Brandt. At the beginning of this year, Vero announced that she will be representing Santa Cruz in 2021.

Congratulations on Santa Cruz!

Thank you very much. Yeah. I'm super stoked. It's kind of been a childhood dream, I guess since I started riding bikes. I've always been a massive fan of Santa Cruz and what they stand for and how much cool stuff they do for the bike community, so I couldn't be more stoked, really.

What has that partnership been like so far?

It's been awesome. Obviously, it's like early, early days but the couple of guys that I've been working with so far have been awesome. And we see eye to eye on a lot of things. So I'm really hyped to get some projects started for the year and see where we go, really.

That must be so exciting. How did you get sponsored by them?

Let me think. I think actually through my friend, Joe, who's a videographer. He does a lot of work with them, and he kind of linked me a couple of months before the end of last year. He just hit me up to say, "Oh, by the way, I've got these guys from Santa Cruz who are keen to chat to you." And I was like, "Oh my God." So he just put us in touch with them. Then I just jumped on a call with them and had a chat, and then it went from there.

What bikes will you be riding?

At the moment I've got V10, so the downhill bike. And a 5010, so the small trail bike. And I'm pretty dialed with those at the moment, but hopefully I'll have a jump bike in the near future. And then we'll see what else, really. At the moment those two bikes are doing me super well, and I'm absolutely loving them. So, yeah, I'm stoked to see what the other ones are like too.

Do you have a favorite out of those two?

Oh, it's hard to say. I absolutely love, the 5010 because it's so playful and also handles bigger stuff really well. So, for an all-around bike, I'm absolutely loving it, considering it's like a quite small travel trail bike. It goes pretty fast, but also it's really fun to throw around. But I don't know. That's a hard one. I do love them both.

Photo by Kieran Kenney

What projects have you been working on?

For the last sort of four-and-a-half-ish months, I've been working on the X Games Real video segment, and that's been taking up all my time. So we've been working really hard on it, but we're handing it in in a couple of days’ time, so that's going to be finished pretty soon. And then I'm going to be kind of free to do some new projects that I've got lined up. So, pretty excited for it. But it's been such a cool experience being part of an X Games segment. Absolutely sick.

I bet. How does it feel to be one of the first riders in something so big?

I honestly don't even know how to put it into words. I'm just beyond stoked. I just feel super honored, really, to be a part of it. All the other riders in it are massive inspirations to me. So, to be kind of in there, in the mix with those guys, is something I never would have imagined. So I'm just ridiculously stoked.

Yeah, that must be incredible.

Yeah. I can't wait to see all of those guys' segments. They're going to be absolutely amazing.

What are your riding goals right now?

Well, in Wales where I live, we have been pretty locked down for the last, well, ever since the start of the virus. So, in terms of riding hills, it's all local stuff to me that I've been riding for the last almost year, and it looks like it will continue for quite a while. So, just working on some of the trails and features that I'm really familiar with, and kind of working my style and trying to get better at that is on the cards. And then also some of the video projects or just projects, in general, I've got coming up, I'm pretty excited about. So I'm just going to work as hard as I can on those.

Photo by Kieran Kenney

Views: 9,957    Faves: 26    Comments: 2

Vero had an incredible run with Marin, and we are even more excited to see what she can accomplish in the future with Santa Cruz. Vero, thank you for taking the time to chat, and best of luck with your next endeavors!


  • 120 4
 Here‘s me buying my 3rd Santa Cruz yet noone wants to do an interview with me.
  • 117 1
 So tell us, how excited are you about buying, is it your 3rd? Santa cruz bike?
  • 95 2
 @makripper: Thank you so much for getting back to me. Yeah I got the Nomad first but pretty early on I felt that 650B is pretty much outdated given the steep and fast race courses nowadays. I then switched to the Megatower but had to admit that the amount of travel might be too much for my liking. I sold that one and -yeah- got the Tallboy with which I'm pretty happy now. It's fast and nimble. It's like a slalom ski, so much fun!
  • 38 3
 @MindPatterns: dude, if you wanna brag about it you should have bought a Yeti
  • 26 0
 How has mountain biking influenced your life? Do you prefer hot dogs or bratwursts?
  • 1 2
 @vemegen: sir BragsAlot
  • 10 1
 @MindPatterns: wait, so big travel was not a problem on Nomad but it was on Megatower, hence switch to Tallboy?
  • 7 0
 @MindPatterns: ... that's awesome. So now we have established just how much love for Santa Cruz runs through you and which is your preferred weapon from their armoury, it's time for the big questions...
Tan-wall tyres... Cool or Fool?
  • 1 0
 @ciechan: as someone who also had a nomad then went mega and also has a tallboy, the mega feels like a way bigger bike than the nomad. For me that was a good thing, but I can see for others how it would be a bad thing.
  • 2 1
 @vemegen: well I have three Yetis and I’m not a dentist or a hedge fund manager. :-)
  • 6 1
 @eurojuice: does your name happen to be jeff bezos
  • 4 1
 @eurojuice: are you a Nepalese cryptozoologist?
  • 4 1
 What is fluoride and why is it important to dental health?
  • 1 0
 @vemegen: I got a 20oz Yeti tumbler as a gift two years ago, man that shit keeps my coffee hit well into the afternoon if I forget it somewhere, real happy with it.
  • 55 14
 These interviews are so pointless. 1000 words about how a contract was up and another was signed because they paid up, heavily soaked in "I have always loved the culture blah blah blah"...
  • 29 2
 Exactly. Short version should be. They offered the best package I could get so I signed up
  • 12 1
 @CM999: "they wanted to give me free bikes"
  • 4 0
 As opposed to say, anyone on here or around the traps that wouldn't have a childhood / teenage / adult dream to be sponsored by Santa Cruz? If you get signed up by a company like Santa Cruz, surely there's not much to complain about.

The adage that sponsorship is just about how much money they get thrown takes away any hard work that goes into making these decisions. It's not like in professional life you change jobs just for the money. And if you do, you'll be short lived in the industry. You change for all the right reasons and a package deal. Bikes, money, other deals and perks, supports, eminence (vids / social influence etc) plus any number of other things. Pros / Cons and all that goes with it. To say its just about cash is a bit misleading.
  • 5 0
 @FuTAnT: my childhood dream was to be a spaceman. Not get sponsored by a mountain bike company. Back in the 80's I'm not sure that was a thing lol
  • 3 1
 I'll never understand why anyone would take 5 mins of their time just to say the most un-useful thing ever.. if these interviews are pointless why would anyone even click to read them, let alone leave a comment to explain how pointless they are. Your life must be awesome buddy.
  • 2 0
 @VZLNMTB: lol you think this negativity took me 5 minutes. Try 5 seconds.

Plus your response in it self is kind of guilty of the same point your trying to make. It's some real lnception type shit.
  • 1 0
 @shaowin: 5 minutes.. 5 seconds.. you're still hating just because.. I'm just pointing out your hating and how pointless it is..
  • 34 3
 Vero, please could you ask for an XL hightower and if you don't get on with it then perhaps put it on the classifieds? Massively reduced with me as first option. I think it's only fair. Win/win
  • 68 0
 With username like that who could resist such an offer?
  • 5 1
 @gafoto: one of the greatest bands ever Beer
  • 22 10
 While I think she is very deserving to be on a big bike brand like Santa Cruz/Juliana, I am very confused as to why she is not on Juliana bikes where there is an equivalent bike (such as the Furtado instead of the 5010). What message is this sending to the market about Juliana bikes and their riders?
  • 30 3
 Does it matter?
  • 19 8
 @chillrider199: maybe not if you're a dude!
  • 9 0
 I'm sure there's some marketing budget/ regional sales goal or some silly reason. Their response would surely be that santa cruz bikes are unisex not just for men.
  • 2 0
 could just be a stock issue?
  • 14 0
 The separate male/female brand thing has always seemed a bit odd to me. Obviously these are two different user groups, but I work in Medtech development, and it is abundantly clear from working with female clinicians that it is downright offensive to them if device designs and coloring/branding are made "girly" if female clinicians make up the majority of users for a given device. I've often wondered how the other half feels about some of the gender biased branding present in the mtb world.
  • 28 25
 Juliana riders ride elbows out hips back stiff as a board down “trails” with nemba sand Fanny picks. Santa Cruz riders are like vero. Get it now?
  • 7 1
 What we already know which is Juliana is precious little more than some shallow marketing
  • 8 0
 I think it's mostly a marketing/brand identity thing from a few years back, when the industry was trying to figure out how sell bikes to female riders. The PB podcast about this topic, from a few months ago, is a pretty good listen.
My guess is that SC have realized that there isn't really a need for two separate brands, but you don't just ditch a brand that you've built up over decades. There's loyal customers, distributor contracts, sponsor contracts, internal staff for Juliana... As long as they see even a little value, they won't just drop that investment.
Also, yes - SC brand is "unisex", but while it's confusing that they seem to cannibalize their Juliana brand, it really shouldn't upset anyone.

Happy for Vero and stoked she's riding SC!
  • 34 0
 If Santa Cruz wanted to do it right, they should've used "Santa Cruz" for the female-specific line, and then created the "Santo Cruz" line for the boys.
  • 10 1
 Juliana was/is nothing more than a marketing gimmick. Some brands like Liv specifically design their frames with different rider proportions in mind, Santa Cruz stuck a girls name on it, made the colorways more "feminine" and swapped out a saddle. The message they want to send is that women are a market segment worthy of spending the minimum amount of cash to capitalize on without putting any actual effort in to improve the lives of women riders.
  • 2 1
 @cueTIP: Whilst that is true today I’m not sure that was the case back in the early alloy ‘Made in the USA’ days. I’m pretty sure back then they had different geos.
  • 3 0
 I think they might probably let Juliana brand die, I can´t recall having seen one of their normal launch hype media campaign for Juliana in the last time - only for the SC brand?
  • 8 2
 @freeridejerk888: you've apparently never met many people who ride Juliana's...
  • 1 0
 That was my thought too. However, Juliana bikes doesn't have a V10, but still seems like SC would want her to be promoting any of the Juliana bikes as well.
  • 2 0
 @uphill-blues: Or East Side / West Side if you know Santa Cruz.
  • 2 1
 No I have. The girls on the cruz shred way harder than most men plus most want the Santa Cruz name and not to be told their “separate but equal” @PAmtbiker:
  • 1 0
 Juliana doesn’t have a DH rig or a dirt jumper in their lineup so it would be a bit limiting in that regard.
  • 6 0
 @Inclag: but in the Santa Cruz world, the Juliana’s are usually better colors. More than once I wished I coulda bought the Juliana version bc: same bike, better color.

Aside: SC should have fired their palette people a decade ago.
  • 1 0
 @suspended-flesh: I don't, please explain. I plan on riding the Flow trail there and I'd like to know if I should not wear my Rolex, gold chain, and Gucci shades in certain areas.
  • 2 0
 @lilaks: Juliana doesnt have any bikes in their range. They just paint SC a different colour. Im sure a Julliana branded V10 would take however long it takes the guy in the paintbooth to respray one and stick some sticker on it
  • 4 0
 @smartyiak: Santa Cruz should just have the option of putting the "Santa Cruz or Juliana) name on the bike and women specific builds. Then there will be more options for colors.
  • 13 4
 Oh my god. Oh my god she on x games mode.
  • 6 1
 No!!!!!! not start bringing that here.
  • 10 1
 No one more deserving
  • 8 0
 Dog looks like a baby moose in the first picture. I want a moose-dog.
  • 8 3
 If I was to compare Santa Cruz riders to a car would be a perfect match with those lovely humble Audi drivers we all know and love......
  • 6 0
 Bit shocking that SC haven’t given Vero a jump bike. That’s at least half of what she does
  • 1 0
 What this space
  • 1 0
 I freely admit I must have been living under a rock and had absolutely no idea who Vero was. The preview video is awesome, and so are the vids and hard work on Instagram. She absolutely shreds. Great to see Vero leading the pack (from the blokes) in the video. Also showed my daughter for some good ole inspiration.
  • 3 1
 Whoa Brage Vestavik. I'm buying that game now.
  • 2 0
 Wow I wish I had skill, never mind a Santa Cruz
  • 2 2
 there should way more comments on this
  • 12 0
 How many more? Like one more?
  • 1 3
 Best booter booty in the biz!!
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