Video: Is Red Bull Rampage Worth It?

Jan 11, 2019
by Pinkbike Originals  


Is Red Bull Rampage worth it for the riders? In 2001 the prize purse for the whole event was $8000 and has since risen to $200,000. But is "worth it" about more than money?



MENTIONS: @pinkbikeoriginals




227 Comments

  • + 103
 I think people need to get past the contest aspect of it. The event seems to have evolved more into a showcase than a contest. Guy seem more happy just to push themselves and land their run than they are with the standings. It should probably be looked at more like any other way of these riders showcasing their talents, like movie parts, or social media, etc. Its more about the outlet and the exposure it provides them as they make a career. Yes its dangerous, but that's part of the deal if you want to make a living as a freeride mountain biker.
  • + 3
 that is the problem when a sport or an event becomes more mainstream, then people start to talk about many and consider this relationship between money, prizes and risk. But many people, pros, understand freeride in a very different way. let just keep it cool, let's make better score rules, let's keep it the way freeride should be.
  • + 71
 Oh and it shows, Brendog definitely got robbed
  • + 49
 @BartDM: saying that money doesn’t matter as if it was an actual zero issue is like getting into a relationship and saying you don’t care about sex. Yeah, nobody does it for the money but nobody would do it for free. And it’s not about the prize money, it’s about the future contracts and being able to ride the bike for living. If you don’t ride for living, you don’t compete in those events. Romanticizing it is as needed as staying pragmatic. All young couples like to talk about romance... when life hits you, you better be covered. And it will hit you. And dealing with it better be as ecstatic as flying above canyons or you’re in for a rough time.
  • + 5
 @sewer-rat: Deaks Rampage edit was a lot of fun to watch.
  • + 19
 I agree. It should have awards for multiple categories. The obsession for a high score seems to really ruin it for some riders and a lot of the fans. I like it all and don't really care about who gets first.
  • + 1
 You said it all brother
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: you are mostly right, I just get a little bit too romantic with the age...
  • - 3
 "exposure" doesn't put food in the plate or pays rent...
  • + 1
 @BartDM: making it from the top to bottom at Rampage means you’ve made it in life. It gives you credibility across many disciplines of life, wherever you go. It’s like An Olympic medal. And nobody can take it from you. I would love to have something close to this. I don’t see though how money makes it different Wink
  • + 4
 i completely agree with you but sadly results mean income and sponsors, although this is changing such as rat boy for example
  • + 8
 @Luis-Sc: Yes "exposure" certainly does put food on the plate or pay the rent. How do you think these professionals make a living? They are paid by sponsors and the more "exposure" they get, whether it be contests like Rampage, social media, web coverage, or movies, the more money they will make. Exposure is literally what makes these guys money. Its the exact reason a sponsor would want a rider using their products.
  • + 3
 I think the real question isn't about Risk Vs. Reward....The harder question is for those out there who have the drive to prove something they aren't capable of proving due to financial reasons or hardships...

Don't forget, this event was made by a Collective of OG shredders and it has become an organized, safe and contest driven event. I still think the Lore of Rampage is the Reward - and being crowned Champion on a badass piece of mountain is a sight to behold.

Not many of us get up top of a mountains edge and peer off thinking...I got this.

The Peoples Champion Vs.The Crowned King? Who feels like the Winner?

It's cool to watch these guys set themselves up and launch it off the booters - that's why we watch and are amazed at their talent.

You're all winners to meeeeeeeeeeeeeeee…..post that medal on the fridge so your daddy can see when he gets home!!!
  • + 6
 @WAKIdesigns: lots of people who rode ramapage don’t have shit still
  • + 3
 Kids just want the competitors' goggles and gloves. Do they even bother the risk of the competitors?
  • + 3
 @WAKIdesigns: what a load of poppycock ! 99.9% of people haven’t even heard of rampage . You haven’t made it in life cos you can ride a bike down a hill ! But I no your just being daft !
  • + 2
 Why not just pay more money ?
  • + 6
 @Matt115lamb: we don’t use poppycock enough
  • + 3
 The issue is we all want to think and know they make more money. Real money. We want our beloved sport to be legitimized in such a way that top athlestes, indeed the entire field, can’t escape making real money.

Fact is, it’s not there yet and it’s frustrating. Infuriating given the risks taken.
  • + 6
 It's great for kids to get a chubby on to. Same with those FMJ and Dankfest events. Once you get elderly like me you'd much rather watch videos of people taking apart a transmission from a car you'll never own.
  • + 2
 @jeremiahwas: It would be interesting to know what they pay the guys competing in the RedBull straight rythm as a comparison.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: Good analogy about sex.

What makes the Olympic Games or the World Cup extra special? They only happen once every four years.

Rampage would do better to follow this format. Instead of two days to dig with a two man crew or whatever it is, just make it into a marquee event. Two months to get ready, huge sponsors, guaranteed appearance money of $50,000 each for all riders. That would be better for everyone.

Having it every year devalues the event, in my opinion.
  • + 3
 @sino428: I am interested to hear more about the exposure thing. Do riders actually get paid more for getting more "Likes" on Twitter? Really though? I know people say that's important, but is there a direct link between wages and "likes"? For example $1000 for a million "Likes", and $1 extra for every "Like" on top of that?
  • + 1
 @jaame: I’m sure every riders contracts are different but yes the number of followers, likes, etc does matter. It may not be a direct link, like every hundred followers = $xxx, but a rider with a huge social media following is going to be more marketable than one doesn’t. For some riders it matters more than others. For a racer who’s getting exposure during race coverage on the broadcasts and pages like Pinkbike social media may not play as big a role. But for riders who’s main outlet is social media, it’s going to play a much bigger role in how they are paid.
  • + 1
 Best content from the entire event @timmyelle:
  • - 2
 @Matt115lamb: you obviously read what you wanted from it, never said Rampage is the highest thing of all things for all people out there. But you are going to have a hard time finding people who would not be impressed seeing a complete run. Yes you have made it in life when you get on the pinnacle of any discipline of sport or art or science. Even in chess. Intimidated much?
  • + 5
 @feathers54:

Yeah, I agree. I admit.. I like watching Rampage, but when are we going to minimize the chance of riders being killed? I love the way Josh aka Rat Boy and the 50to01 crowd is going. You can still impress people doing crazy stuff 3' off the ground instead of hucking yourself upside down off a 40' cliff. Just my two cents.
  • + 1
 @mkotowski1: yep and still sleeping on couches..
  • + 3
 @gorgefreerider: This...! Same with a guy like Jeff Kendall weed... I aspire to be able to do more of that kind of stuff instead.. He makes It look fun.. Not brutally scary or high consequence..
  • + 2
 @gorgefreerider: only mountain bikers, and really only the "core" people know about 50to01. Everyone knows about Rampage. If I tell someone I mountain bike there is a good chance they will say "oh I saw that crazy Red Bull thing in Utah. Have you seen that?"
  • + 1
 @thejake: That is true.. I get that as well..
  • + 2
 @gorgefreerider: yep, i agree...just as high on the fun spectrum but lower consquence. still, the extreme of any sport will always be a draw.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: Actually, the IOC takes medals from people on a regular basis for drug violations...
  • + 1
 @woofer2609: if you cannot see difference in PED use of Larry Wheels vs Olympic weight lifter like Kolokhov, then well... Smile
  • + 54
 Unpopular opinion: Rampage sucks and its personally my least favorite event of the year. The risk is nowhere even close to the reward for the majority of those competing. Whilst I understand it is Free-ride and it is also a huge opportunity for our sport to gain exposure via big broadcasting it paints an unrealistic general picture of what our sport actually is. I don't wish it would go away, I just wish it wasn't the trademark event for our sport. Also plz bring back Dual Slalom Smile
  • + 15
 I haven't watched Rampage since Paul Bas had that awful crash in 2015. With what came out in the aftermath it became apparent that the competitors were all being taken for a ride.
  • + 8
 You are not alone @The-mnt-life365. And yes, bring back Dual Slalom!
  • + 7
 @Fix-the-Spade: That was a low point for sure and similarly where my interest petered out. Props to team YT for having his back though, which lead to me being able to donate and get a cool bike as a side effect. #irideforpaul #mcgazzaforever
  • - 1
 Unpopular indeed~
  • + 6
 You're right. Itsucks. Dont wanna see people taking Potentially catastrophic risks for some soda related exposure. Its belly cringing enough to read about fatal accidents on pb and how People face drastic downturn of life trying to cope with it. So many other cool exposures of mtb nowadays.
  • + 5
 My two cents is that Rampage grew out of its baby clothes and it’s not a very cute adult.
It got bigger but not better.
Now mix up some Hardline racing with a few Rampage like option lines for points and I think it would be better for all.
  • + 8
 Make spandex great again!!
  • + 2
 Rampage is dope and ultimately it is your own decision to fly off that cliff, let the slayers slay and if you can’t hang take it easy like remi did.

It’s no different than nfl football where you risk long lasting brain damage by playing. Not all will be affected but some will. These guys have all weighed the risks and some would do this shit even without the exposure. Some wouldn’t.

P.S. - I do think the event would be safer and more fun to watch if it was less trick oriented and focused more on creatively navigating the terrain.
  • + 11
 I just find it pretty boring to be honest. Same as free-style motocross. Sure the skill is impressive, but once I've seen one dude do a backflip I don't really need to see it again.
  • - 7
flag anchoricex (Jan 10, 2019 at 16:33) (Below Threshold)
 Rampage should be a contest hosted on a-line at whistler
  • + 6
 @anchoricex: did you wreck today and bump your head?
  • + 5
 @markinator: Rampage is so over hyped, limited time to build what they want, limited dollars, and then it’s windy.

Same with fest, first season of it was rowdy. But now it’s just so repetitive of guys doing straight airs over huge gaps. Talent is required but boring to watch a million times
  • + 2
 @kubaner: Well put. Bigger but not better. I didn't watch it last year or the year before. I have lost interest I guess. Don't really know why.
  • + 2
 @The-mnt-life365 I agree with you 100% especially the dual slalom racing. That should be beought back for sure! Not only fun to race it is fun to watch!
  • + 3
 Enough riders must think it's worth the risk or it wouldn't happen. Chloe Kim & Yater Wallace aren't realistic reps of their sports either, but no one wants to watch people like me flail around a superpipe or drop a rock. Rampage is the rep of the sport precisely bc it's so unrealistic.
  • + 3
 @markinator: agreed , that’s why Brendan’s line was best
  • + 3
 @Matt115lamb: Agreed, the tech stuff is much more appealing to me that the flips and twists on huge smooth ski jumps.

If Rampage is the trademark of our sport, World Cup DH is right behind it and the risks and marketing are similar.
Here's a boring video for the Rampage haters:
youtu.be/LMA8bp3d1VI
  • + 0
 @Flowcheckers: That Niche is $799 aluminum treks. That market isnt going anywhere. Thats whats referred to as a loss leader bike. Shop makes $80 or so, Trek makes $30 or so. The industry is NOT missing out. That video is one of those "Get off my lawn, damn kids" videos
  • + 0
 @owlie: It's just a different perspective. I hated that video first time I watched it but liked it the next time. What's more enjoyable, watching stunts on television or having a mellow ride with the family? To each their own.
  • + 1
 @sumarongi: Tech climbing is my new years reso dude.. You see guys like Nate Hills with his follow cam Friday really showcasing it now... That's the shit I like.. Add in a gnarly descent like he does and it's the full meal deal.
  • + 1
 @bman33: Brother... We have successfully brought dual slalom back......
  • + 1
 @bman33: YES, dual slalom please!!
  • + 41
 You're asking the wrong question. You're asking a bunch of dudes who started hucking off stuff before it was something real. When the early guys started doing this people still looked at you funny when you showed up at the local DJ's on an MTB. And if you tried to explain jumping off 50 foot cliffs no one believed you. So for the guys doing it... yes it's worth it. They're making careers. They're getting paid to do what they love, some better than others. But beyond that they're getting that feeling of doing something very few people can do or have done. And they're still able to walk.

If you notice... the guys questioning the worth or at least quantifying it... are all guys that have been hurt. Ask Paul this same question and see what he says.

To me the question should not be... Is it worth it. The question should be... can we get you more and should we.

Answer to that is yes. It is honestly down right ridiculous that Red Bull has even had to be challenged to raise it to the point they have raised it. Until recently they did not get show up money and the pay outs were next to nothing.

This is Red Bull's most watched event, period. They have very very little expense in producing it in comparison to many other similar events. The riders are doing their own work. The network is in place and so is the established viewership. Now people like Fox or ESPN or whatever are starting to reshow the event. That means they're paying Red Bull for the content.

This needs to be a big pay out event. I think you have to be careful not to go to far with it because you don't want people making stupid choices for the opportunity of earning a million dollars. But paying out the winner say $250k would be warranted. Raising show up amounts, look at what Godziek said in his videos... the foreign guys lose money to show up.
Raise the show up money to $10k and at least triple the pay out to winners, etc. That is still a very very small chunk when compared to what Red Bull is pulling in.

To me it's very similar to the comparison of Boxing and the UFC. Same pay per view numbers, the boxer is making $3m-10m. The UFC guy is making $100k-500k. So who's pocketing the rest. The UFC. They could double their pay outs and still be underpaying people. I think that Rampage is in a similar boat. They can double and triple it and still be underpaying guys but at least they'd be respecting them.

Riders will continue to do it anyways... but that doesn't mean that as an industry we and as a fanbase that we should not be pushing Red Bull to pony up. Especially with their expansion in the camping area, fan zone, etc. They want companies like Ohlins (this years suspension sponsor) to pony up $25k to do that. Run that out to the other sponsors at lower dollar amounts and you're talking about $250k worth of income just from companies wanting logo placement and/or display space. Campers paying, attendees paying, selling swag at a 3-500% profit margin. Etc. They're making stupid money off this.

A direct comparison is the Mavericks surf competition. Back in 2009 they doubled the payout and became the highest paying event in surfing. Here's what Beading the CEO said...

“There really is no amount of money on Earth that could compensate the guys for the risks they take out there at Maverick’s,” Keir Beadling, CEO of Mavericks Surf Ventures, wrote in an e-mail, “and I honestly believe they’d surf in the contest with no prize purse. Many of them have said as much."

That is exactly what we're talking about here. Will they do it. Yup. But that doesn't mean they shouldn't get paid a reasonable amount to do it.



So.... in short.... you're asking the wrong question so that you can get the answer you want. You get riders to say... yes it's worth it and you get amo to use when you don't pay what you should/could. All this video did was ask a predictable question to get predictable answers to get people to forget about the issue.

So start asking the right questions and start getting the right answers.
  • - 4
flag dog123456 (Jan 10, 2019 at 13:05) (Below Threshold)
 What
  • + 11
 Dude. Virtually everything you said is simply not true. Are you just guessing or is this one big piece of performance art?

I'd bet my bike that Red Bull shows up and loses money on this event every year. The costs must be huge.

You bring up UFC. UFC makes a profit by selling out arenas and charging $99 for PPV. Where do you think Red Bull's mystery profit on Rampage comes from? The PinkBike crowd watching the well-produced stream for free? The $20 tickets sold to the 400 people who drive in? I bet the ticket sales pay for 2 hours of the MedEvac heli that's on site for four days.

You are right to bring up Mavericks. The promoter you quote is no longer in business and gave up the event the year after they gave that quote. That event has also been tossed around from promoter to promoter over the last five years (the last two went bankrupt). Also that event has only ran 4 times in the last 10 years.

Look, doing stuff like this is hard and expensive and requires companies that do it because the people who work there love this stuff. Just because you say that there should be more money doesn't mean reality and economics will cooperate.

Every Rampage thread has a bunch of people saying that Red Bull needs to do more but the reality is Red Bull is the only company stepping up and writing the check every year.
  • + 11
 @LA-Law: lol well say good-bye to your bike. You do know they've had a TV deal with NBC for the past few years, right? That's bringing in a bulk of the money. They also have a ton of sponsors to help with the costs of the event and all of their youtube videos that rack up a lot of views bring in money as well- which is why athletes are not allowed to post their own POV footage. They're not losing money.
  • - 6
flag LA-Law (Jan 10, 2019 at 15:48) (Below Threshold)
 @scott-townes: Let's do the math instead of just assuming that there's evil afoot.

Say the event costs $2million. What do you think NBC pays to air it every year? $3million?

In order to do that, they'd want to sell $4million in ads. Given that each hour of TV has about 14 minutes of ads, that means each 30 second spot would cost $150,000.

That's the price of a spot for an early season NFL game. Those games get roughly 10 times the viewership of what Rampage does so the above seems highly unlikely.

On YouTube, the average video gets paid $7 per 1000 views. Let's assume 8,000,000 views for Rampage videos. That's $56,000.

Doesn't add up.
  • + 12
 @LA-Law: Yeah except you don't have any numbers, only blind assumptions so there's no math to be done, bud.
  • + 5
 @scott-townes: Agreed.

And when what the entire post really boiled down to is that people are asking the wrong question. And that point still stands regardless of the number crunching arguments. The entire video seemed to be Red Bull addressing the constant statement that riders aren't getting paid enough by asking the riders the wrong questions in order to get the responses they need to defend that they are because the riders would do it either way. Which is the wrong way to think about it.

The UFC/Boxing comparison was really just to illustrate that just because money is coming in doesn't mean money is being fairly distributed.... or even respectfully distributed. Example...



And side note on Mavericks. Pretty sure there was a bunch of drama and Red Bull was suing cartel for breach of contract. They started up Titans of Mavericks, etc. They filed 11 to avoid the lawsuit and the $3m or something they owed. World Surf League bought it. And if I'm not mistaken they actually decreased the payouts from 2009 to something like $130k for 2017. They are also missing the boat in my opinion. They paid over a half million dollars just for the permits to be able to run the comp. Seems like they can afford to pay the surfers more than $4-5k each on average. And if I'm not mistaken, the O.G.'s don't really care for what's happening right now.
There's a ton of corporate interest, rules, etc. But the payouts aren't there to go along with that.
  • + 2
 Mavericks purse still isn’t that big, sure it went up big time but still not huge. Those big wave contest prizes are on par as far as I know as Rampage. Guys who do the Rampage, Big wave contests, Big Mountain sling/snowboarding contests all do it for the money, not the contest money but they all have sponsors who pay them because they do these events.
  • + 7
 @LA-Law: lets not forget, redbull makes money selling redbulls, and they sell a lot. They are building their image on racing sports to sell. Thats where their incomes are. Everything else is advertising for the brand.
  • + 0
 @okidou: Companies/corporations like Red Bull have compartmentalized departments so saying their beverage dept. does well is not really a solid point. While they're under the same flag, its like saying an event that's sponsored by Armada is only affordable because Atomic is doing well in sales. Friggen corporations, man.
  • + 3
 So here's an honest ? How much does Red Bull pull in from Rampage? Because I could be wrong, but there are not a lot of pp down there compared to say a 30 thousand seat MMA venue and the tickets are still less than a Jazz game lower bowl seat. Nobody's going to like this but I say jack the tickets a $100 and put it towards the riders. If you want them paid like other pro athletes, pony up as a fan.
  • + 1
 @matttauszik:
Hard to say. Millions of views translates to a lot if advertising dollars. Couple hundred k in sponsor money and a few thousand in swag sales. $500 per experience. $300 for camping. Day tickets $65. Media passes. Etc. Call it $30k. They get paid for the tv replays. Etc. All speculations... who the F knows. Lol. A lot. They spend alot too. Helicopters. Drone pilots. Staffing. Food. Permits. Mr x games announcing. That 3d stuff they did. Etc. Big expensive event. But its making enough the Red Bull is putting attention to it now. Im sure they could easily double appearance pay out and prize money. Triple for the winner. This year RB stepped into the evebt a lot more than years passed. Its their most watched event.
  • + 0
 @LA-Law: you just pulled that out your ass
  • + 1
 Valid... I'll agree with you on the base fee to show up, it's expensive to go compete.. But on the other hand waving a golden carrot in front of 25 charged up young riders is asking for trouble. Think about the risk for the reward that would happen, say if $500K was on the line; dudes would be trying to double backflip off the biggest shit out there just to win a giant check; thus risking everything for the reward.
  • + 1
 @parisgore: That's where the balance has to come in. I think they should up the appearance check to every rider. That would be a less dangerous way for these guys to get paid out. Triple that. Tack on a couple extra thousand for any not North America based riders. Then double pay out to the winners. It would make it more respectable but not obnoxiously hight. Maybe just triple it across the board. $150k is a lot but not so much you're gonna put money before life.
  • + 29
 Well clearly it is worth it to them. Between the money, sponsorship benefits, pride etc. its worth it to them...if it wasn't they wouldn't ride it.
  • + 4
 For the total package, for sure but in strict reference to prize money.... they deserve a lot more. Like a lot of riders out there, I feel the intrinsic value far outweighs the money.
  • + 6
 It's still worth it but everybody knows that the riders should get more prize money and the organizers are looking bad hoarding it all
  • + 3
 I think Cam MCCUAL said it perfectly!
  • + 4
 @scott-townes: I think the first place money is fine but I feel like each guy deserves like 20k just for competing.
  • + 4
 They're literally riding bikes for a living. Let's not make everyone the victim here
  • + 6
 The riders could probably produce it all themselves, post all their content on Youtube and make way way more
  • + 5
 honestly curious as to why people downvoted my comment. I think the upper echelon people already are making bank on their sponsorships. It is the people on the lower end that deserve more. Plus with as finicky as the judging is the payment gap between last and first should be smaller becuase often times the most impressive runs aren't even first place.
  • + 1
 @honda50r: Hockey players are literally playing hockey for a living.. Basketball players are literally playing basketball for a living... Baseball players... Football players... None of them have these types of risks, all of them are mearly playing a sport..
  • + 1
 @iantmcg: Yeah I guess its pretty good, and completely agree. They're improving every year but still they're pretty far behind in terms of what needs to happen. The last place guys are still risking a lot.
  • + 2
 While I agree with you, what the biggest delta between those folks and these riders is that those professional sports are bringing their organizations millions and billions of dollars. @gnarnaimo:
  • + 1
 @zmtthw: I'm well aware, but the fellow I was replying to was making them sound less deserving.. As we are not to 'victimize' them.
  • + 1
 Define ‘a living’. Only a small number of dudes out there are making enough money to live a comfortable life. A lot are just scraping by on loose change in the hope it’ll lead to more money down the line. That’s what makes Rampage worth it to anyone who makes it in @honda50r:
  • + 20
 To put it into perspective; the winner of the Superbike TT on the Isle of Man gets `£20.000
For that he has to race a distance of 226 miles while averaging 135mph on narrow public roads. (That's 364km at 227km/h for the rest of the world)
  • + 6
 Yeah, those guys have way bigger balls. No one has died from Rampage
  • + 5
 That does indeed put it into perspective. The last TT week without a fatality was 1982 (not including 2001 when it was cancelled).
  • + 1
 Honestly it's impressive that it is still running, an event with at least one death per year and the nimbys and SJW haven't managed to shut it down. There's hope for the race after all.
  • + 2
 Except that your simplifying It too much and it's completely different. All racing loses money. And beyond that, many of the guys in RST for example... they get paid by the OEM's and sponsors to show up and ride, and on a different scale of what your average free rider is on. They're already getting paid more than the Rampage guys without having ridden. The prize money is just a bonus. And if I'm not mistaken, there were over 70 entrants in RST Superbike alone. Add in Monster, Superstock, that's another 150 probably. Plus all the other classes, you're talking about hundreds and hundreds of racers. Not 20 dudes. And yeah... those guys are freaking nuts. Michael Dunlop won it again... and that dudes dad and brother were both killed in accidents.
  • + 2
 @onemanarmy: Agreed it's a much larger field, but that doesn't take away from just how dangerous the event is. What you're saying about money may be true for the top guys, but most of the racers are privateers who work most of the year in order to fund their racing. Those privateers also know they won't get a sniff of any prize money, they're there for the love of it.
  • + 1
 @metaam: and that is why asking these guys if its worth it is the wrong question.
  • + 6
 It's a catch-22. The potential cost of the life-changing injuries that a rider could suffer in this event can hardly be put into financial terms, and definitely are not reflected in the prize money (especially for those that don't win). So, would increasing the money make it "worth" such risks, or would it just provide an undue incentive for people to participate? Perhaps it is best that the money isn't huge, so that only the fully committed participate. Of course, that means the corporate sponsors get to profit off the event and market around it without sharing the profits with the athletes make the event actually happen. For every athlete that succeeds in the sport, there are dozens more that try and come up short (or botch the landing). Their financial and personal futures can be forever changed in the blink of an eye or a turn of the bars. For context, Red Bull is a $10.4 billion valued business. Interesting conversation.
  • + 5
 I think the basic question here is: Are the riders getting paid to compete, or are they competing to get paid? There is a fundamental difference between the two statements. I would say that most pro Downhill or XC riders are not earning the majority of their income from winning events, but rather from team sponsors. To compare, a 1st place in WC DH earns you 3,750 EURO, even the WC overall winner is only getting 10,000 EURO for their efforts. Hard to say how much a Pro Freerider is earning from sponsorship vs contest money, but you can't put all the blame on rampage, i'm sure sponsors are pushing their riders to show up and compete for the exposure as well!
  • + 5
 And, that is why up and commers cant get paid more then a poor college student to be on T.V. and cant make "Moto" money. Because the sport is stuck in the hippie " Dude Bro" style of things. The pros need to be getting paid to be.... well Pros. Palmer back in the day and Gwin now a days are the ones raising the bar in the pay to play and make millions off my name deal. Somehow people think it is a bad thing. The minimum to play in the NFL is around the 500k mark and 90% of people dont know their names either and not on a Toyota commercial like Nate Hills. But people keep doing it for "the love". All those guys in the NFL love football too, but they just made a business out of it and not a "let just have fun now so I can try to sell coaching and live in a 25 year old RV when I am 50" kind of thing. Lets get these guys PAID! Sometimes I hate that I make more money a year then most these guys throwing it all on the line so I can watch a video when I get off. There is not 401k in this sport, you are "old" at 35 like Minnaar. I want to see these guys/ gals get paid. If I am paying Motorcycle money for something I have to pedal then the factory sponsored guys/gals should be making motorcycle money as well. It is every bit as competitive. Hell guys on the Web.com tour make way more money playing golf and that is not even the big league. Lets stop this for the love crap and get the pro men and females paid for making us want to buy a 3mm difference in hub spacing because the pro use it and will make 1% increase in stiffness. The industry markets million on what is cool and they use these underpaid pros to make it cool,and we buy it up!
  • + 4
 For my 2 cents worth many riders would compete for free. Bottom line this is a hobby that has become a business but people ride, and they generally want to ride bigger and better. If you can bring rampage back to people doing what they love all the better.
  • + 4
 I still think they should separate each of the pros runs with an amateur rider. It will do two things. Shows the crowds how difficult and gnarly the terrain actually is. And second, the blood bath coming down the mountain from the amateur riders will moisten up the ground reducing all the dust and making each of the landings perfect for the pro riders.
  • + 4
 Every year two or three people die at the Isle of Man. Life is not to be lived in a cotton box. Hopefully an air bag spine protector can be created. This event is just getting bigger. It totally curls my toes just watching it. I wish I could do it ,it would be living big.
  • + 1
 We have to expect the obvious possibility that somebody could die at Rampage and every competitor knows it's a possibility on those cliffs. If it happens it will be a tragedy but the event should continue if riders still have the desire, as with isle of man.
  • + 3
 Win or lose, good Judges or not. Rampage is the most amazing event on earth to me. It is the gnarliest, most beautiful event I know of. These riders, all of them are truly inspiring me to ride and keep the stoke on at 45, and until I can't do it anymore. Send err boys! I love ya
  • + 4
 There are more important things in life than money I suppose. Maybe they're satisfied with the money they get paid along with the pride and glory they get just from completing a Rampage.
  • + 2
 Let me start off by saying, i respect the riders, and what they are doing for the sport, their careers, and our entertainment. BUT, if you are a pro rider, and not getting paid enough for the risk you're taking for the event SIMPLY OPT OUT! If you want more money, STRIKE! I think posting a video for the public to jump on board and help you get compensated better, isn't the way to go about this. I've heard the same complaints steady, yet the riders continue to show up. STOP COMPETING, IF YOU"RE UNHAPPY WITH THE COMPETITION. Simple. No riders, no rampage, no profit for RedBull, then suddenly you may get what you want... stop feeding the RACOONS!
  • + 2
 Many many comments here. All I have to say is that what we’re seeing at this stage of our sport is it’s “golden era”. MTB right now hearkens back to the era of baseball that saw the likes of Berra, Mantle, Williams etc. Yogi Berra has to have a day job in the winter for most of his career. There was an awful lot of “love of the game” aspect going on in baseball back then much as it is with our sport today. It’s not that baseball didn’t make big money back then. It did. It just wasn’t being given to the players proportionate to their value. One day fans of MTB will hold the names of Zink, Berrecloth, Semenuk etc. with the same reverence as other sports legends. Every year the progression is driven further by riders who are at the top of their abilities. The sport is pushed by these athletes with passion and heart, muscle and bone. These are undeniably some of the best athletes in the world regardless of the chosen sport. The risk factor however is among some of the greatest if not the greatest of any competitive sport. The days of any athlete of the caliber that we see at Rampage having to need an off season day job should be history. Many other greats in other sports have already paid those dues. Pay these athletes and pay them well. Not doing so is completely unethical at the least. No one attends a sporting event hoping to catch a glimpse of the team’s owner. No one goes to Rampage hoping to meet the CEO of Redbull.
  • + 2
 The whole "look at what we have to do for only $XX amount of money" argument really doesn't fly with me.

Often we would hear this from Pro-MXers, all along every amateur goes to the tracks and take the same relative risks with arguable much more potential for injury.

The fact is, extreme dudes choose to do extreme things, regardless of the payday.
  • + 2
 Isle of Man TT prize money for winner is £20,000 and there are multiple deaths every year. £20,000 doesn't even cover the costs of the machine, Tyres, fuel and getting to and from the race..... True sportsmen right there.

For everyone else, it seems to be all about the money.....
  • + 4
 Sure is! And if you don't think it is, then get out of the way you old fart! There is a young kid right behind you willing to do it!
  • + 4
 Lol well that was a big mystery. Of course not, and like every single one said they don't do it for the money. I do wish they'd get paid more though!
  • + 2
 I'll throw in my 2c on this as well. I definitely do not ride at the level as these guys, no way. But I consider myself starting as a freerider, that's what got me into the DH scene to begin with.

Also I cannot speak for everyone, just for myself. Here's 2 things I feel like I share with the riders.
1) The love for the sport
2) I have had my fair share of serious injuries that have required surgeries, physical therapy, and down time off the bike.

The things I've gone through likely would deter most people from coming back to this style of riding. I'm not saying never riding again, just the high risk stuff. Although every time I was hurt, I always cursed the fact that I was not going to be able to ride for a significant amount of time. This frustrated me. But...it was never "I'm not doing this again". I understand the risks in the sport yet I try to better myself each season knowing those risks.

I don't get paid to do any of this, I do it because this is what I want to do. Granted with the pro's, there's money involved, but I would think at their roots these are all people that love riding and worked their ass off to get where they are at. Personal goals and love for biking will go a looong way to motivate someone to do something related to this sport. Money is the extra incentive, especially since it's how most of the top guys are making a living.

So is it worth the prize money? I would say yes...because every single rider goes in knowing they "could" win, not that they "will" win. The money isn't guaranteed. But it's also an opportunity to better yourself. Before anyone podiums, you just have to look at their reactions. Most riders when they get to the bottom are so stoked that they made it down, conquered their line, did something they never thought they would do, etc. Should they pay them more? Sure! But I don't believe money isn't the only incentive fueling the riders' fire.

I've followed Rampage damn near since the beginning and will continue. It's an event that really was a game changer. I believe it's the gateway to things that have spawned like Hardline and the Fest Series. With Fest though, it's not about the money at all. the risks are still super high as these guys are going HUGE. It's about throwing down with your boys and having a helluva time doing it. The reason we all got on 2 wheels in the first place
  • + 2
 Pretty much the exact comment I was going to make, bang on
  • + 1
 At the speed RR riders push toward the more more more direction. It's just a matter of time before the shit it the fan. And then, legal department will take care of rest. Risking life for the show is an other ball game SYDNEY HOBART 1998 edition was IMO the firts to cross that line and it cost them.
  • + 1
 I get that it is the riders' choice to compete and they do it for the love of the sport, but that doesn't change the fact that they are getting taken advantage of. It is on NBC and it is one of the most popular televised events on Red Bull TV. It's a similar situation to how Tour de France riders get shafted when it comes to the television rights and revenues. Rider's should form a union. Also, the builders get next to nothing for their hard work.
  • + 1
 Rampage is the most coveted mtb event every single god damned year for a reason. Its EPIC! Everybody pretty much said, they ride the event for personal gratification and to push the sport. Not to make a shit load of $$. But, yes, there should be better financial incentives for competing and better management of the whole process to give people enough time to make smart decisions and stay "safe". More digs days, more practices days! People love Rampage.
  • + 1
 I'll bite. Is it worth it? Yes. Look at how much traction it has for us in the industry, people who know bikes think it's the raddest show on dirt and people who can't even ride a bike think it's nuts! They'll watch YouTube videos of crashes and big backflips and brings this riding into the spotlight. I however, lost interest in Rampage a couple years ago. The coverage is too drawn out, I can't really listen to Sal and Cam talk for more than 14 seconds or so, yada yada. Take the "contest" aspect out of it and just have a 2 hour jam session with a "King of the Mountain" voting reveal at the end between the riders and bam! Interest renewed. Minimum 2 full pulls to score, crash 14 times, whatever, as long as you get two scores you're in the running.
  • + 1
 It would be rad to see these guys get what they deserve. lets take just a little bit from all the USA jock/ball sports out there and give it to rampage athletes!!!! These guys are the raddest dudes! They should all make 6 figuires, for sending it!!!! Glad they are so down to keep me entertained! Can not wait to see what is to come new venues, new tricks the future is gonna be great!
  • + 1
 Its about the carnal instinct to be RAD!!! Its not a contest its a lifestyle. If you add too much money to the purse people will then force their decision. It seems like a good balance of reward, ego and personal preference right now. I am not saying its not dangerous. I think RedBull should take more responsibility. But for this risk, the rider has to have skin in the game to enforce the hard decision making process. My two cents.
  • + 1
 I don't know if it's an effect of the edit or not, but notice how different Bearclaw and Schleyer's attitudes are?

It's almost a generational thing. (Admittedly Zink and Strait have been there for ages themselves). I wonder if a lot of the guys who come from more contemporary flippy-whippy slopestyle backgrounds HATE it, but to get the respect you have to do it?
  • + 1
 Its not always about the money. I went rode the new rampage site about a week ago and got paid 0 money. Its not always about the money or the sponsors. I felt as if this was the best way to push myself and my riding and i feel like a lot of the athletes may feel the same.
  • + 1
 I think everyone who competes should get cash and there should be more cash rewards for those who finish their lines and huge cash for the rider that does the gnarliest run. Gnarliest run voted by the actual riders(cant vote for yourself) Get rid of the judges and scoring altogether. Make it more about the comraderie(splelling) and giving huge props to everyone involved. Also I think builders should get props somehow, as they are a integral part of the event. Also; teach the kids asking for goggles to learn to respect the riders!! Give props and congrats on safe runs, not begging for gear. C'mon parents!
  • + 1
 "Instead of every single advertisement featuring some freerider dragging his rear tire, what if there were more photos of backcountry bikers riding some real singletrack, with gorgeous mountain peaks in the background?"
www.singletracks.com/blog/trail-advocacy/mountain-biking-has-an-identity-crisis-and-it-affects-us-all
  • + 1
 I like to read through Paul Bas's instagram* now and then. "Worst nightmare" is very descriptive. I don't need anyone taking these kind of risks to entertain me, and I don't want to fund it.

*https://www.instagram.com/paulbasmtb/?hl=en
  • + 2
 truth. when i watch it, i feel like i'm waiting to just watch someone get paralyzed or die. sure the riding is cool, but the risk/reward ratio is off and seems exploitative to me.
  • + 1
 I'm sure it's worth it for Red Bull. The payouts are laughable. Look at pro video gaming. In Dota 2, the games developer, Valve starts the prize pool at $1 million and then contributes 25% of the in games sales for ~3 months to the prize pool. Last year it was a record-breaking TWENTY-FIVE million dollars. Granted they are on teams of 5 + coaches + team managers etc. but still. I realize the video game industry is much larger than the MTB industry but companies could probably contribute more.
  • + 1
 I watch rampage as more of a free ride edit than I view it as a contest.
Judging MTBing tricks like a surf contest is really frustrating when you think the judges blew it, and it pushes guys to do stuff that personally I think is stupid, that know one does in my world.

Red Bull should switch it up this year and make it a race just like Hardline.
I’m just not impressed by the tricks as much as I am seeing smooth fast riding that is timed, and is a lot safer in my mind than what these guys are doing.
Sad to say though I will watch it every year until someone dies, then know one will watch because it will be canceled
Red Bull are you listening, I got more where this came from.
  • + 1
 The way I see it, is if the rider feels the risk is so great that they don't want to take a second run, there needs to be some re-evaluation. At that point the TV product is losing it's shine as well.

Not sure of the solution, but "Made my run, not doing it again" isn't really a great way to run an event, IMO.
  • + 1
 I always look forward to this and really appreciate RedBull for everything it does. We just need to let this event succeed or die all on it's own. It's raw. Two days to dig means it stays that way. There's HUGE risk for these riders, but if you're doing it for a paycheck then I think you're doing it for the wrong reasons. If the payouts are still attracting the riders RedBull wants to invite, then there's no need to change. Not something we can really control as mere viewers. Sure, we can stop watching, but then that kills the event completely regardless of the will of the riders to turn out and compete.
  • + 1
 Its awesome how many different ways people can see mountain biking as 'their' sport, from xc to downhill/freeride. And even within these subsets, people still have their own ways of looking at it down to granular level, including style, tricks, and technical prowess. I love freeride/downhill, i dont think id hit anything at rampage without a guaranteed $10mil waiting on the other side
  • + 2
 I don't really think it's about the money for the top riders. More for notoriety than anything. The money is just a plus. Or just enough to cover the crew, expenses, and logistics.
  • + 1
 If I was Red Bull I would be so sick of hearing people complain about prize money and judging I would just get rid of it.

Same qualifying process, awards for things like best trick, gnarliest line, steepest shoot, biggest jump etc. Then anyone who gets invited gets the whole experience payed for, 5start accommodation, food and the like. No money is really worth putting your life on the line is it?
  • + 1
 Tell that to lewis Hamilton Smile
  • + 1
 These guys are riding this shit and sending it regardless...so I'd say the prize money is just an added bonus to stomping a kick ass run. I mean obviously the competitors want to stand on the top step, and the $$ is rad and all, but I'd venture to say they're not primarily out there for the coin! Don't get me wrong, I love watching Rampage but the media circus is getting ridiculous. Just give me Cam, and his mic and a dozen cameras to cover all angles of all runs and kick the rest to the curb.
  • + 1
 I could do without the pretense of scoring the runs. Pay every rider a flat fee to show up and put on a show and make it worthwhile. If you must have a "winner", let the riders vote on the best run, and maybe an audience favorite vote also for some bonus money. The scores mean nothing currently.
  • + 1
 What is the purse for top spot?
I think all invitees should get full paid accommodations and travel. and take the money off the table. I cant see how anyone would do that risk for such a small monetary award. You have to love it to do that shit. Besides all the sponsor pickups for doing well (ahem, Nell)
  • + 1
 Skiing the big mountains is still much riskier then Rampage, and there are plenty of folks not getting paid to do that. And the bikers don't have the mountains wanting to kill them.
  • + 1
 I can tell you they did a great job of destroying it for spectators.. they crammed people in so tight there was no where to sit. I have been for the last 5 years and I'll skip it from now on... very sad.
  • + 1
 I have always been amazed with it because I could never do anything like that. I can care less about the competition aspect as I don’t watch crankworx or other slope style events. Rampage for me is all about the awe factor
  • + 1
 I think we need to know more about each rider's potential winnings. Don't some sponsors pony up a significant matching dollar amount for winning an event? That must be true of Rampage.
  • + 2
 I'm sure riders get a pyacheck from their sponsor just for showing up, but that doesn't seem like it's anybodys business beyond the rider and sponsor.
  • + 1
 @TerrapinBen: In the world of other sports contracts are generally disclosed.
  • + 2
 @taquitos: I suppose you're right, but I guess I should have been more clear and said who cares? I have better things to worry about than how a professional athlete - who I have no relation to beyond admiration for their bike riding prowess - is getting compensated to entertain and preform.
  • + 4
 I mean some do it for fun right?
  • + 0
 It’s worth it for the riders clearly. Most of the talk in the video seemed to be about the reward of making it to the bottom. This I understand and I’m sure most if not all mountain bikers have had this feeling at one time or another. But obviously for some it is not worth the competition. For example at this years rampage many riders chose not to take a second run. I think this is because they did it once and the validation of a potentially higher score isn’t worth it to them. If the competition was changed in the scoring format I think more riders would take a second run. Like brendog I think he didn’t take another run because he knew that his score couldn’t have been improved on but if everything was scored differently he might have because he would have been siting higher in the rankings. This is where I get confused. If a rider says I love the feeling of getting to the bottom why not do it twice? I think it comes down to the scoring and that is what needs to be changed not the cash prize.
  • + 3
 Brendog got historically robbed
  • + 2
 file this under the "existential questions white people can afford to ask" column?
  • + 1
 If the judges got their heads out of their asses and recognize creative lines that blend tech with slope style. #brendongotrobbed
  • + 1
 No too gnarly for the paycheck. I mean if the athletes really want to ok cool go send it but the injuries arent worth it. Have fun yall!
  • + 1
 Yes it’s definitely worth it. These guys are getting paid to ride their bikes. They don’t have to work a desk job they just go ride their bikes.
  • + 1
 Rampage suck for 3 years now (even in 018 it sucks and in 019 it will be too i gues). Not in case of riders but in everything other.
  • + 1
 The real title should “why on earth riders risk taking only 65k and no health coverage for a modern day gladiator event?”
  • + 1
 Obviously yes, if they keep doing it every year and most people enjoy it, and it continues to grow. Lame troll poll, surprised RC didn't write it.
  • + 1
 I wonder what the risk v. reward is for the Red Bull Ad Executive's million dollar bonuses

Relevant The Oatmeal Comic: theoatmeal.com/static/exposure.html
  • + 1
 Tons of people did the stuff for no money, and that's about all I can say. I'd say it's a culmination of people doing what they want. Batman gets paid to do what he wants.
  • + 0
 My opinion? Rampage WAS exiting... Nowadays is a completely bored event, just check the "last run" of the 2018 winner...
New names doesn't mean new (and exiting) tricks... Also, Aggy never win one rampage.
  • + 1
 Well from a viewers perspective... HELL YES. Gives us a good reason to not to spend time with the wifey for a good couple of hours!
  • + 1
 Watching Cam talk about it in the freaking shoulder brace makes my gimped shoulder twinge and my stomach turn a little....
  • + 2
 Do it for the adrenaline! Though, I would never have the bravery!
  • + 1
 If you really want adrenaline do it on a unicycle!
  • + 1
 doesnt matter if it's Red bull Rampage, DH, Slope Style.. it's not the money, it's personal pride an
  • + 1
 Good to see they all had the same answer. It’s definitely not for the money that’s for sure!!!!
  • + 1
 Blame it on Bender.
If (hope to God not) someone dies on that hill on of these years, what will be the impact on our sport?
  • + 2
 it's never been about the money, it's about pride
  • + 1
 why the f*ck is anyone asking ritchie schleys opinion any more? talk about irrelevant...
  • + 2
 how much do the hosts earn?
  • + 2
 How much money is glory worth?
  • + 2
 glory is the reward. The money is incidental.
  • + 1
 Online voting for people’s choice with a hefty cash prize alongside the judged results...
  • + 1
 Unless you are a roadie, Mt. Bike and BMX athelete's are screwed all the time!
  • + 1
 This was absolutely great......thanks for stuff like this Pinkbike. I think Cam at the end had the best explanation.
  • + 1
 That's an interesting subject for sure. Definitely not for the money.
  • + 1
 Your not truly alive unless you experience RISK for REWARD..Smile
  • - 1
 I’d do it for 8k!
Lol
I’d never win, maybe make it down the Mtn rubbers down on a lucky day, but definitely nothing like the pros!
  • + 1
 Either make the prize 1million or shut r down.
  • + 0
 Yes it's worth it. Even if it wasn't recorded I'd be there hitting sick drops!
  • + 0
 I bet if there was no money, no RedBull, no coverage there would still be a rampage. Totally worth it.
  • + 1
 For some it might be worth it. But many get robbed.
  • + 0
 I take more risk sitting in front of my computer and struggling to anxiety to ride
  • + 1
 Simple answer, No. more in depth answer, HELL NO.
  • + 1
 Yes 100% worth it. Rampage is the best event of all time!
  • + 1
 They need to be compensated for the goggles they hand out.
  • + 1
 I'm curious, is Red Bull (yes, just the drink) worth it?
  • + 0
 Its not MTB its circus acts, but Evil Knievel would be proud.
  • + 0
 Just end the contest. Its stupid and ruins the desert.
  • + 1
 Only if its L'oreal
  • + 1
 Faaaaaaaaak no!
  • - 1
 I guess in the winter Pinkbike needs to resort to posting click-baity opinion pieces
  • + 4
 We're too biased to have a credible opinion here either way—we love watching but hate to watch our friends take slams. That's why we asked them... You don't think it's worth taking to athletes about this stuff?
  • + 3
 @brianpark: this is a great question to ask. I say drop the points altogether and let the riders vote for gnarliest run, trick, line, builder etc. spread all the money to all the riders. They all deserve somthing for this.
  • + 1
 @brianpark: Seems I asked this question 5 years ago in a different way?
www.pinkbike.com/news/risk-vs-reward-contest-insurance-2014.html
  • + 1
 @mclaws: You sure did!
  • + 1
 So it’s close!
  • + 0
 Take away the money..and let's see who shows up..but really who cares..
  • + 0
 I would do it for 200K
  • - 3
 That's total event, $65k is for first which is pitiful.
  • + 0
 @tgent: There are a lot of people on this board that don't make that in a year. And they have to report to the office 260 days of said year.
  • + 2
 @tgent: Yes and don't forget many riders will split that with their dig crew so its just loose change really !
  • + 1
 @giantkeeper: hopefully their job doesn't paralyze them in the process

To a general rider a crash there would be devastating

Those guys that enter rampage are one tough customer
  • + 2
 @giantkeeper: That's a truly awful comparison. I am not at risk of dying/being paralyzed/breaking bones/dying at my job, and in the unlikely event that I do, my work will pay me 80% of my salary for the rest of my life. These guys get hurt, they get a thank you.
  • + 0
 @tgent: they do it for the love of doing it, the event just gives a consolidated stage for all competitors to show their skillz. They all know the risks that come with the sport both physically and financially.
  • - 1
 @tgent: Interesting. You risk this every time you get in the car.
  • + 0
 @enger:

yeah and how many people get paralyzed at the bike park? Not many, but it happens. Its a dangerous sport.
  • + 0
 @sumarongi: heard that...love me some good bike park for sure. When it comes to rampage type runs I'll sit back and cheer them on.
  • + 3
 @giantkeeper: yeah but millions of people aren't logging in to watch you get in your car...
Below threshold threads are hidden

Post a Comment



Copyright © 2000 - 2019. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv65 0.112557
Mobile Version of Website