Video: Behind the Scenes Footage, Interviews & Judges' Feedback from the 2021 X Games Real MTB

Apr 25, 2021
by X Games  

Words: X Games

As X Games Real MTB week draws to a close, featuring the ground-breaking parts from DJ Brandt, Danny MacAskill, Vero Sandler, Brandon Semenuk, Brage Vestavik and Cam Zink, it's time to revisit all the action with the ABC “World of X Games: Real MTB 2021” show, a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the X Games all-video freeride contest. The full show, hosted by Tyler McCaul, will feature the original video parts from all six athletes, behind-the-scenes footage, athlete interviews, judge feedback from Aaron Chase, Geoff Gulevich and Calvin Huth, plus the awarding of the first-ever Real MTB medals.

There's still time to make your voice heard at XGames.com/RealMTB for the hotly contested Fan Favorite vote through Sunday night!


85 Comments

  • 188 7
 Imma let you finish Brandon, But Brage put down one of the best videos of all time
  • 25 224
flag DoubleCrownAddict (Apr 25, 2021 at 9:48) (Below Threshold)
 Most of Brandon's videos could be called some of the best of all time. Brage probably crashed at least 50 times making his edit, whereas Semenuk likely crashed a fraction as much making his. In a real contest, there would be no contest.
  • 85 2
 @DoubleCrownAddict: But crashing has nothing to do with this contest or it’s scoring.
  • 19 3
 Tf does that have to do with anything lmao @DoubleCrownAddict:
  • 19 2
 @DoubleCrownAddict: You must never have ridden street or bmx. Its not about the final result, but the challenge it took to get there. I could toboggan a stair set first try and be less satisfied than if I crashed a bunch of times to get some weird manual pad line.
  • 12 2
 @DoubleCrownAddict: yo, you got some brown stuff on your nose there bud
  • 7 133
flag DoubleCrownAddict (Apr 25, 2021 at 11:11) (Below Threshold)
 @awitt: I never said it did, just giving some perspective. Semenuk's riding looks much cleaner and polished, but Brage looks like he's barely pulling stuff off after the 20th attempt. I'll also bluntly admit I'm not overly impressed with the circus act balance skinny stunts that have little to with modern mountain biking. Riding skinnies isn't really fun, it's just a balancing beam act from 20 years ago when people thought it was cool. Hopefully this will be the last year of these edit contests and we'll get back to real contests next year.
  • 5 1
 such a fishstick move....
  • 45 0
 @DoubleCrownAddict: this is one of the best events that's ever happened to mountain biking. Also, a 180 on to a skinny to half cab off 15 feet off the ground is not old school. Brage is about as new school as it gets.
  • 51 3
 Hey @DoubleCrownAddict: Man, I wish I could help you to not be such a negative presence in the PB community. Honestly, I want to be empathetic here. we see your comments. You are upset about something. we know it's been tough. I'm mad about a lot of things including whistler probably not opening this year. Everyone is upset about stuff. Can you try keep it positive and give props? for everyones sake.
  • 9 5
 Brage video makes me want to go outside ride my bike, semenuk video make me want to stay in my couch and sell my bike.
  • 4 18
flag DoubleCrownAddict (Apr 26, 2021 at 2:53) (Below Threshold)
 @RideThicccBC: I'm not upset about anything. Just stating my preferences and opinions when it's comes to freeriding.
  • 7 2
 @DoubleCrownAddict: Dude, are you okay? Yeap Semenuk is the machine! He is phenomenal rider and unreal technical. BUT! For now we have enough of that (technical and smooth riding). I mean - we don't have "some" Disorder with huge drops, northshores, wild riding. Brage reminded me of the very times when we waited for a new episode of New World Disorder every year.
  • 5 1
 @DoubleCrownAddict: @DoubleCrownAddict: I just reported you via Pinkbike, because of your lovly picture collection. This is nothing 4 pinkbike or any other page.

Just leave alone the people with your "Querdenker" bullsh*t
  • 1 3
 @torbenrider: Those pictures are for my blog on YT's controversial advertising, completely appropriate when used in the context of confronting sexism and the companies use of nazi images. Check it out if you have the time, thanks and have a good day.
  • 4 0
 On behalf of all dual crown guys, we don’t accept @DoubleCrownAddict. Learn to have some fun dude.
  • 1 0
 @DoubleCrownAddict: you see only what you wanted to see, dude)
seeing an elephant in a fly - interesting skill
  • 72 0
 Who the f** cares about the winner, with these guys around MTB always wins.
  • 76 16
 #BrageGotRobbed
  • 4 4
 #semunakgotrobbedoffsecond
  • 36 5
 Didn’t even watch the video, Brage got Blarged
  • 18 0
 It must be so hard to judge at this level with the amount of talents in this competition. Thanks every riders for the awesome. Agree or not about the winner, we're the winners with that one.
  • 19 2
 When I go to my local trails and they are wet or a little icy, snowy or it's cold, I ride real slow and cautious. Brage's video stands out for me because he did amazing stuff in the worst conditions possible. Brandon is always perfect and is my favorite rider but his lines are super clean with optimal conditions and expert guidance. It's like he had a group of scientists and engineers set his shoots up. Brage was just viking! raw, dangerous and refreshing. The Pinkbike voting wasn't even close. I think his total votes for 1st were higher than the rest of the group combined. I just don't get it. Perhaps it was some obscure video technique or use of video filter that gave Brandon the win.
  • 17 31
flag fries (Apr 25, 2021 at 13:44) (Below Threshold)
 You and every other average mtn biker will never get "it".
These are extremely decorated judges, some of the best guys to ever throw their legs over a mtn bike, you think you know more than them?
  • 1 1
 I understand the intent of your post, but let's not overstate the fact. I rarely walk my local trails after some icy weather and remove the tarps from each landing.
  • 18 2
 At first I questioned Brage not winning. But with that list of judges I trust there opinion. Those guys no more than filming and mountain biking than most pb experts forsure. Props to Brandon on winning and thanks to everyone for the epic videos. End of the day they all got me stoked to ride and I’m sure that was the goal.
  • 18 0
 Each rider threw down epic edits which pushed mtb further into the future. Kind of silly this is a "judged" event.
  • 2 0
 yep, it's a showcase of mountain biking, The medals were jsut added to "x-games" it up and give us something silly to bitch about in the comments section. Mission accomplished!
  • 18 0
 I got robbed,
  • 26 1
 post it in the stolen bikes section of buysell. Good luck bro
  • 3 0
 But you came pretty close to winning that pumptrack comp at Biketoberfest dude.
  • 18 2
 Djs was good
  • 10 1
 I like to see comments made by @DoubleCrownAddict. This is a comment section. I believe they have made a point. To me brage got robbed. This is just an opinion. That’s it. Brandon’s was awesome, so was Cam, vero, DJ and and Danny. I believe Vero rides better than most people in the world. She’s unreal. The judges had a tough time. What do I know. I’m just an old guy who loves to bike
  • 9 0
 If you're looking for a gold standard for the first real MTB videos... then the judges got it right. Overall Brandon's video was the best. tricks, vibe, cinematography ... Brage's was also sick and he still got silver and beat out some huge names... you guys are acting like he got last place or something.
  • 10 0
 "If you ain't first you're last"
Ricky Bobby
  • 20 9
 semenuk got robbed
  • 12 1
 Brage got Brendog'd
  • 5 0
 Norbs got braged
  • 4 0
 Brendog got Norbs’ed
  • 6 1
 Based off of following realski and the other xgames edit contests for awhile, I would agree with Brendan taking the W because of the cinematography and the editing. The filming and editing is a major component in these videos in regards to the judging criteria and based on previous years a well shot and edit generally gets put on top.

Combine that with the god-tier technical riding and clean landings it’s hard to deny the W to Brendan and Rupert
  • 8 0
 Brage seems like a very cool guy in person. Amazing building and riding!
  • 9 2
 Let's be fair to Brandon too when it comes to building. He lands it so smoothly because he is A. god of flying on a bike and B. god of digging. With fundamental jumping skill and confidence, you could highly possibly send most of his constructions, make it both rubbers down and shout in ecstasy wanting to hit it again. Jumps made for such tricks must be very well shaped and smooth, You can't pull complex tricks off subprime jumps. If you tried sending Brages stuff, you better be close to Brage level Smile He dide best of what he got, overdelivered in every pssible way beyond all expectations, but GT letters in his bike stand for Grand Trauma now Big Grin
  • 1 0
 @justwaki: Brandon is always quick to throw props to his builders, for good reason.
  • 8 0
 Didn't watch because I didn't want to be implicated in a robbery.
  • 4 0
 All those videos were fantastic. Such a great turnout for MTB in the public eye. All the riders deserve huge props for pushing themselves. I used to wait for each new instalment of NWD or Kranked to see the state of the sport; like a gauge for what was possible for our top athletes. This felt like that and it was mind blowing that these athletes and film makers pulled off. Hope this continues into the future. Thank you!
  • 1 0
 Didn't think about it that way, you're totally right, stoke was high for this one
  • 11 3
 Brage got robbed
  • 8 2
 Brandon deserved the win, and earned his X-games Gold Congrats! ...Bragge is a monster, I'm glad he won a medal.
  • 2 0
 Brage Vestivik is not a name I'll soon forget, even though I can barely pronounce it. His footage was raw as hell and makes me want to ride my bike...all the time...in crappy weather, which we get plenty of in Western New York. He and his crew put in an incredible amount of work into every stunt they made. Well done! I've never seen anything like it.
  • 2 1
 It goes without saying that Semenuk is probably the most talented rider on the planet...with that being said his edits and style are stale. Wide perfectly sculpted lips and landings. The flawless execution of robotic trick combinations better suited for a slopestyle comp than "freeride" mountain biking. It's all become a bit repetitive and boring.
  • 4 0
 45 min video imma just skip to the comments and go!
  • 1 0
 Vero makes me want to go out and ride my bike fast through some schralping berms and hump some hips. The rest make me want to stay home safe on the couch cuddling my teddy and eat some junk food!
  • 4 1
 I hate it and the judges were wrong!!! Now, to watch the video.
  • 3 0
 Brage just walking about the forest with a tree on his shoulder...
  • 1 0
 @sourmix: I was impressed with that too!
  • 1 0
 I'd be pissed if I watched this live. The spoilers in the previews are insane, you see almost all of their stunts before they roll the edits.
  • 4 2
 Conspiracy theory is so hip these days.
  • 6 1
 Yep, here’s my 2 ct.

Real bmx pros or Mtb pros identifying as bmxer are slowly infiltrating the Mtb community and influential media edits and will eventually bring back 26 Inch freeride bikes. Worse things could happen though, long live Banshee ....
  • 2 0
 @wildedge586: my next bike will be a Banshee because 26
  • 10 12
 Why not just let the fans vote instead of judges . Seems more relevant let 1000’s of people with no relation to the riders decide the outcome instead of 5 biased judges . By biased I meant it’s a small community at the top and most of them know each other personally .

I also just dont like judged events in any sport .
  • 15 0
 A panel of judges is going to be more accurate than a fan voted contest. The internet is a big popularity contest, someone like Danny Mac is basically a household name at this point, he's going to get thousands of votes just from people that know him as that guy on youtube with the crazy videos, where someone like Brage is mostly unknown to anyone outside deep MTB circles.
  • 12 0
 Boaty McBoatface

John Scott (NHL All-Star Game 2016)
  • 2 0
 @jackfunk: I’ve voted more than once, seems like a good system they got there /sarcasm
  • 6 5
 Because the fans don't know what it's like to have a fraction of the talent that the judges alone possess, let alone the riders. The fans only vote with their heart, which is a either irrelevant, or a very small percentage of the judging system.
  • 3 0
 @MisterChow: perfect examples
  • 9 1
 To me POY is a great example why General Public is not the best judge for everything... I love Brages edit and this making of made me like it even more. But being around Dj/slopestyle folks I cannot not appreciate What Brandon did/does on the bike and when building. Both parties had their challenges. Throwing around a DJ bike is one thing, but he works a DH bike like 90% of skilled Djers capable of dropping most peoples jaws handle a DJ bike. Yes it's a massive difference. All in all, none of this is relateable to 99% of mountain bikers out there. All in all things relatable to us mere mortals do not qualify as XGames submission... even Everesting in 1 month, or two weeks with one eye and one pedal...

One thing is sure - we all love underdogs! Perfectly understandable raction of tpeople. To be fair, seeing through comments: I don't see butthurtness or Semenuk hating. I see appreciation of Brages spirit. And in a way, there is no denying that he got the popular vote award by a huge margin Smile All good!
  • 1 0
 @jackfunk: that’s exactly the point man . To let the masses decide not a few . Popularity is kinda the point .

Why do you think sponsors sponsor not to cater to 5 People that get free bikes from others . But to sell product
  • 1 0
 the fans did vote, and voted him the winner by 58% as fan favourite.
  • 4 1
 Brage is 1st.
  • 3 1
 Brandon is literally irrevelant at this point. He's just too good.
  • 2 1
 Semenuk got the win, his video is MINT... let the man have his moment for god sake.
  • 2 0
 I loved every damn one of those videos.
  • 2 0
 Epic
  • 1 0
 Jump to 29:14 for Brage Goodness.
  • 1 0
 Is there a behind the scenes behind the scenes?
  • 1 0
 @lehott: Absolutely. The Behind the behind the behind the Behind the Scenes!
Yeahh!...That's the Ticket!
  • 1 0
 The ultimate video would be bits out of all of them.
  • 2 0
 Canadian boys club
  • 1 0
 Brandon was so excited with the win...
  • 1 0
 ...
  • 1 0
 We all know who won Wink
  • 1 3
 @awitt: DoubleCrownAddict has nothing to do with reality sooo.......
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