Walk the Line - Red Bull Rampage 2017

Oct 27, 2017
by Danielle Baker  
Red Bull Rampage 2017

Building a winning line here at Red Bull Rampage – and building a line that is going to get you off the mountain safely, can be a bit of an oxymoron. In past years riders have sketched in their own lines between existing features, but now they build their lines top to bottom and have more freedom to express their own personal visions. Geoff Gulevich competed at Rampage for five years and has been a judge for the last two – “You need to build a line that you can find some sort of comfort in riding, but at the same time be able to push it. And that’s definitely on a different scale for every athlete here. Everybody has something unique to bring to the table and there’s more that one way to skin a cat.” And he’s right; at the end of the day what person throws down here in finals is completely unique to the individual, so we talked to a few of them about finding that tricky balance between comfort and winning.


Andreu Lacondeguy exits an impossibly steep chute at warp speed.
Andreu Lacondeguy exits an impossibly steep chute at warp speed.
bigquotesI don’t think that a [winning and safe line] exists. Maybe back in the day it was more like some people would have their riding so dialled that if they had a chill line they could win. But man, I think that now everyone is almost on the same page – just sending it. Even if we have two runs, I think that everyone is kind of on the first run program, like everyone wants to just send it and get it out of the way and then see what happens. But making it safe and then winning – I don’t know, it would be pretty crazy.

Being here last year, I just wanted to change a little bit because I didn’t really find my line last year. And this year changing the top and going through like the main chute was a big change for me and finding a trick jump made me more stoked, and now I’m pumped on my line. I’m stoked actually to be riding it!
Andreu Lacondeguy

You can only contemplate so long. Action is the cure for analysis paralysis and Dr. Sorge is in.
Sorge throwing down in practice.

See Kurt spot. Stick Kurt stick he did.
Morning warm up

4th place last year with a lot more to give on his burly line Kurt Sorge wants to get to the three-peat first.
4th place last year with a lot more to give on his burly line, Kurt Sorge wants to get to the three-peat first.

bigquotesThere’s definitely got to be a formula for [building a winning line and getting down the hill safely] for sure. I think that’s a big part of the strategy with line choice, you’ve got to build a line you know you can ride and that works to your skill set and is gnarly enough to be a contender if you put it down.

We pretty much stuck with a very similar line to last year. Stuff we didn’t have time to finish off or make as good or as big as we wanted last year, we got to do this year. We pretty much got to finish most of our digging within the first five days, so the last few days I’ve been able to ride and get a little more practice in. I’m feeling just a little more confident going into the finals.
Kurt Sorge

Red Bull Rampage 2017
Bas making it his own.

bigquotesMy approach to that would be – you just build a line that suits you exactly. That’s the beauty of Rampage is that you build your own line completely and how you want it. Your strengths are different than other people’s strengths, so you definitely are out of the comfort zone, but you know how to ride it. And then the second thing is getting a few tricks in, is definitely key. Tricks you know you can do, but doing them well and making everything flow – you can piece it together that way.

Even if you do know you can do something, it’s different out here because it’s so exposed. You build a jump on a ridge and if something goes wrong, you can fly off the side and tumble down a cliff. And everything is just bigger than usual; it’s way bigger than stuff that we usually ride, so that’s kind of how you get out of the comfort zone. You can’t really prepare for this.
Bas Van Steenbergen

Antoine Bizet barely notices the massive amount of exposure on his way from the top through the rest of his line.
Antoine Bizet barely notices the massive amount of exposure on his way from the top through the rest of his line.

bigquotesFor the bottom I have a few new [things] too so I’m excited about pushing it. I personally was pretty good on my last year’s line and I don’t want to get injured again, so I prefer to increase, because the goal is to ride it way better and faster and bigger than last year, so increasing the line – I know it’s not the trend really, it’s cooler to have a new one for sure, but that’s how it is. I’m feeling better than last year on the line.

It’s not easy at all. It’s very hard, because whatever you do at Rampage, it’s risky to race close to the best you can do. If you really do the best, best, best you can do, there’s a lot of chance of crashing.
Antoine Bizet

Want something done properly you know what to do... Storch mucking in with the build.
Want something done properly, you know what to do... Storch mucking in with the build.

2017 Red Bull Rampage
Carson dropping in.

This is the best way to escape a zombie attack. Carson Storch gets away with brains intact.
This is the best way to escape a zombie attack. Carson Storch gets away with brains intact.
bigquotesI think everyone who has a winning line at Rampage just has a little bit of everything in their line – steeps and big hits and one big trick or a couple big tricks. It’s a place for me to let my creativity shine and I can ride stuff that I want to ride and build stuff that I want to ride as well. So, for me I just try to have fun with it. This year I built my ultimate line – I’m not saying it’s a winning line, but I’m just going to go have fun on it and see what happens.Carson Storch

What kind of madness can we expect to see off Zink s burly elevator drop for finals
What kind of madness can we expect to see off Zink's burly elevator drop for finals?

Cam Zink greasing his gargantuan step down to the road.
Cam Zink greasing his gargantuan step down to the road.
bigquotesYou don’t come to a contest to get second place and you don’t film a video part half-assed, you put in the best run you can. Here it comes down to: you can only ride what you build and you have to strategize pretty well because you can easily bite off more than you can chew. Being the second year [at this venue] it’s a little easier because we already had a line established. We had to put in a couple days to get it back running but now the rest of the focus is on top and elevating it.

The rest of the line we just tightened up a couple things. Like our set-up jump wasn’t much of set-up jump because you still had to brake after, but we didn’t have time to adjust it to make it a proper set-up jump. [We are] just thinking about things to make it flow better, things that you wouldn't even see – like a spectator or the judges, but it makes it easier to ride and flowier. And up top, it eliminates the whole ridge. Getting off the ridge and then finding the best way down was the goal.

I think it’s a winner. It’s the best way off the top, the gnarliest, gnarliest chute on the mountain, gnarliest big mountain line portion and then it goes into our line last year which I think would have been a winning line if Kyle or I would have landed it as we had planned, so fingers crossed.
Cam Zink

Zink and Strait picking their way down the hill ticking off monster gaps.
Zink and Strait picking their way down the hill, ticking off monster gaps.



15 Comments

  • + 12
 looks like Cam Zink is going to back flip that drop
  • + 3
 prophet
  • + 3
 audio is horrible... how many freaking languages and people do we have talking over each other?
  • + 2
 Will there be a replay after the event? Work is in the way and I don't want the NBC version a month from now..
  • + 1
 There should be a replay on Red Bull TV
  • + 3
 the Gnar
  • + 1
 The Bizet and Storch pics are insane. Where are they going/landing???
  • + 1
 Stream just started riding starts around 10 i believe
  • + 1
 I think the lilly pad beside Zink's drop is my favorite feature
  • + 1
 Connor and Reed out. Anyone know what happened?
  • + 1
 When does it start?
  • + 1
 15 minutes
  • + 1
 RAMPAGE!!! so stoked!
  • + 1
 No more work for today!

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