Red Bull Rampage 2014: Norbs

Sep 29, 2014 at 6:56
by Danielle Baker  




bigquotesI had no idea what to expect other than being there last year and the previous years, looking down the other side and thinking 'Oh wow, that's really steep and gnarly, I'm glad we're not going down that side.'


We chatted with Norbs on the rain day here in Virgin, one of the few who was still chatty while waiting out the anxiety of the qualifier delays. Positive as ever, he talks sharing instead of line stealing, and reflects on how he read the new terrain. Yesterday Norbs qualified 7th and we can't wait to see what he pulls out for finals!

Tell me about your line, how did you decide on it?
In the past I've taken more of the mellow more flowy route down, so the line decision was based on trying to find the gnarlier way down this time but with flow. We look at the options of either going wide left or wide right, not quite down the middle. So it was about picking a gnarly route right away and then getting in to some flow down the right ridge which looked like it would be scored higher.

When you first walked into the canyon did you have anything in mind?
I hadn't seen anything, coming into the site it was just a total blank canvas for me. I had no idea what to expect other than being there last year and the previous years, looking down the other side and thinking 'Oh wow, that's really steep and gnarly, I'm glad we're not going down that side.' I hadn't seen any photos and had no idea what to expect, we just rolled in and tried to see what would could find. It's more exciting that way too.

How early did you get here?
We flew in on September 16th and started scoping on the 17th, so a bit earlier. The plan was to have at least two days to scope and try to find something because I knew it would be a lot of work. Any time you go into a new zone and you scope it takes a long time, you look at things and you go away, you come back and look again and you see something different. It was more just to have time to look and see what we could find.

Norby cracking in a couple of practice runs with steeze as usual.

Did you bring a big team this year?
No, not a very big team at all. It is just David Van Hoesen, my main builder, and then Nic Genovese. Nic is also shooting a video for Specialized so he's doing double work and he's still building like crazy. I've told him that he doesn't have to do so much but he's been going at it.

bigquotesThat's always a goal for me, to find the most natural way down without using anything that's been built.

Last year your goal with your line was to avoid the pre-built stunts, is that a goal for you this year as well?
That's always a goal for me, to find the most natural way down without using anything that's been built. Actually, this year I am hitting a wood ramp at Rampage. It's fine, it just ties into the line, I'm using the Polaris Razor Jump. It is a better option for flow, speed, and big air with my line. And it's a fun jump, so I figure it's better to go out that way then through the middle where there aren't any big hits.

What is your goal coming into the competition this year?
I just want to do well. I had to qualify this year, last year I was pre-qualified to finals and then I only got my one run and I crashed. So this year with having to qualify my goal was to make it to finals and then do well there. The only thing I think about coming into Rampage is just to do my best. It's really just to push myself and to find a line that suits my riding, that I can have fun on, and not be totally stressed about.

Do you think that by having the event at a new site this year without pre-existing lines, it gives the riders more of an opportunity to showcase their individual styles?
When I first hiked around I felt like we were pretty limited with where we could go right off the top because there are not a lot of options that look possible, although now things have been built that blow my mind. I think that as far as everyone's riding style go, they have found lines that suite their style whether that is nice and super flowy or some really gnar tech down the middle. It starts off really steep, continues steep, and then gets mellow from there on, so you get down the top half pretty fast depending on how your line traverses, but I think that everybody, from racers to freeriders to slopestyle guys, has found a line that suits them and what they are comfortable riding.

Norbs making sure no one gets robbed this year.

Compared to last year's course it would seem that there is a lot more action in the bottom of the course.
I'm really surprised at how many lines have popped up, it's like everything has been used, every ridge and mesa ending. Everyone's got their own lines for the most part, some people are sharing sections, which we all kind of had to do.

bigquotesI'm really surprised at how many lines have popped up, it's like everything has been used, every ridge and mesa ending.

How did you manage the politics of line stealing?
From my perspective, you get out there and you find a line and then you're stoked on the line and you know that's where you want to build, but you know that someone else is going to want to build that too because its a stand out section or feature that has potential. You either have to work together to get it built and then share it, branching off from there, or maybe some people might not want to share that feature because it's a stand out move. In my case I've shared my whole top half with Rheeder, he and I combined out teams to build the whole thing and we wouldn't have been able to do it without teaming up. And then I teamed up with Semenuk and his team on another feature and then it kind of just flows out from there. Everyone has to team up, like Aggy and Andreu, and the Fest Series guys, it makes sense. Even though we have more building time than last year it is still a lot of building because there's no pre-existing lines to tap into, everything is blank. It is a lot of building and a lot of dirt moving. It makes sense to team up and work with guys.

at 2014 RedBull Rampage in Virgin Utah.

Do you think that the need to team up has helped build a community here?
Certain guys come here for results, to win and do their best, so they don't want to have anything taken away from that in their line choice. There are certain things you don't want to have taken away because that is what is setting you apart from someone else. For the guys who come here to win they want to have some separate or stand out features and for the guys, like myself, who are just here to have fun and do as well as possible, we will work with other people to make it happen.

Check out all of our images from the Red Bull Rampage 2014 here.


  • 135 3
 The commentators should be riders. Some of the things they say just doesnt make sense. Good job "norby".
  • 71 4
 I cringed. And when the chick goes, "that was a great run" it's like - "how the f**k do you know?
  • 62 2
 "NORBY as they call him"
  • 20 2
 @loamer She says that every single time, that along with a trucker as a commentator makes me cringe.
  • 93 1
 Oh good it's not just me then! They called Brendog's manual a "speed wheelie"...... who are these guys??
  • 45 0
 Its hard to even pay attention to the event sometimes with some of the dumb shit that the announcers are saying.
  • 123 2
 "every pedal crank just takes away speed" they totally know this sport
  • 134 0
 Just been out to the shed to find my rear fork. No luck as of yet
  • 77 1
 L0L Andreu just walked away from that bitch
  • 46 0
 best one they said was "front and rear forks".
  • 51 0
 They need Rob Warner. and/or Claudio....
  • 32 0
 A single fuck yet to be given by Andreu.
  • 6 1
 I tried a canyon gap today, my wheel got taco'd!
  • 3 17
flag jezzah (Sep 29, 2014 at 14:31) (Below Threshold)
 To be fair Kenan Harkin knows what he's talking about. It's just hugely exaggerated for TV!
  • 24 0
 Brandon didn't get a Zink-five.
  • 6 16
flag amirazemi (Sep 29, 2014 at 14:49) (Below Threshold)
 i seriously think the 2013 rampage was more gnariler, had better riders and the site was more gnarly as well! But glad for andreu.
  • 6 0
 I hear that the front and REAR forks on DH bikes have alot of travel, my dh bike dosent have a rear fork, must be some new technology.
  • 5 2
 Personally I think outside announcers is hilarious. Its was less cringe-worthy than the guys who were hired specifically for MTB events and still blow it even after years of doing it. It was hilarious watching them react to the setup as well, especially watching Andreu and others completely ignoring them about stupid BS like which camera to look into or interviews right after they finish, haha.

Great interview. Norbs is a class act and sooo stoked he got 6th. (I think he got 6th). Either way, cleaned his line, has a very cool perspective on the event and "controversial" things like line sharing. Just out there to shred, that's what it should be.
  • 4 0
 "Sick moto whips"
  • 2 0
 Those guys were tools of the industry....get some real commentators you morons!
  • 22 1
 I want Tippie and Warner to be the commentators next year
  • 3 0
 Watched someone get interviewed badly after thier run, the just as the camera turns away you see Tippie step to the rider with the mic.........
  • 4 0
 rear forks...
  • 1 0
 Claudio, Warner, Palmer, and the claw.
  • 3 1
 So does this mean we have all been hashtaging it wrong? #NorbyGotRobbed
  • 2 0
 "hopefully he can get back on his machine to finish his run" "back flips are super easy" bahahaha these guys......
  • 3 1
  • 34 5
 I hate the red Bull Media Player more than anything in the World right now,Even bieber cant Top that right now,im so pissed of
  • 7 2
 fuck the live.
  • 22 0
 Odd that Brett Tippie was at the finish line, clip board in hand.... but he wasn't announcing? Nobody brings the stoke of mountain biking to the masses like the big ole tip.
  • 8 0
 Agreed. I guess he has two much personality, experience and stoke for the Redbull brass. Seems like they like the desk jockey NBC style of commentary. It's Freeride, not golf ughhh!
  • 10 0
 At least the Golf commentators know what they are talking about when it comes to Golf. These RedBull announcers don't know shit about MTB!

Hey Norby, where is my rear fork located?
  • 17 2
 Why are they calling him Norby?
  • 2 0
 commentator called him "norby" first
rear fork, speed wheelie and shit
  • 11 0
 Kranked 8 coastal crew segment intro.... And I quote.... "Hey, I'm Norby. Straight outta PG. and I like to party on the trails. " I'm thinking the rampage announcers did some google cramming pre comp. mystery solved. But I have no explanation for the other 2 hours of comments.
  • 1 0
 you are right. I just checked it out. haha
  • 11 1
 ultimate cringe from national guard
  • 9 0
 Seriously, the local police are now as well armed as the Army. What's the point?
  • 11 0
 America loves to militarize everything, especially the police
  • 13 0
 No offense against their work, but can someone explain why the "Utah mountain rescue" needs to have camouflage? To rescue more invisible? #purposefail
  • 8 0
 I love Norbs. My favorite rider. He is what got me into mountain biking
  • 5 1
 Norbs didn't get robbed.
  • 24 0
 No Norby got robbed
  • 18 9
 now rheeder got robbed
  • 9 1
 Yeah if you were hoping to watch a slopestyle event... good thing this was judged as a big mountain event. With that said, I loved Rheeder's run and that backie was insane. Overall, he got exactly what he deserved. He killed it.
  • 7 0
 How about "heavy trickery" from the announcers.... Lol
  • 3 0
 Nice to see someone being a team member and understanding the confines of working in a small(ish) area with a lot of riders wanting the best lines.................. Will White should take a few lessons from Norbs. A little diplomacy goes a long way. Its not just about being sick on the bike its about being a character off it, a nice character is the key. Even team managers will tell you personality is a key component, Gracia, Fairclough, Lopes, Peat, Warner, are great examples of insane skill on a bike but with the added bonus of being legends, this means they will have a team long after the results drop off. Smile Just be positive I reckon.
  • 4 0
 good job norby for using that rear forks
  • 3 0
 Norbs seems like a chill down to earth guy. Hope he does well.
  • 2 0
 Norbs run was epic!! what´s wrong with red bull guys, they just screw it..
  • 3 0
 Norbs is a classic class act. Solid dude.
  • 2 0
 Did anyone else catch the Red Bull commentary guys saying that a lot of riders headed DOWN NORTH just for this event??
  • 1 0
 where the hell did they find benders (from futurama) brother???? well its what one of the commentators sounds like!!!
  • 2 0
 Way to go Kyle!!! PG represent!!!
  • 1 0
 but hes from Roberts Creek!?
  • 1 0
 Whats with the Live stream and missing so much ? Did Norbs not take a second run?
  • 1 0
 Yeah Norbraten! Throwing down for 6th place - nice work! Northern BC and PG representing!
  • 2 1
 Now nobody cares about that, its live stream...
  • 4 2
 That 360 was HUGE
  • 2 1
 Probably Wil could team up with Norb next year, he such a good lad.
  • 2 0
 sup Norby
  • 1 0
 get warrner on mic.and get rid of the wood!
  • 2 0
 He got robbed
  • 1 0
 Finnally this Spe Demo Carbon is solid enough !
  • 3 5
 "Norbs got robbed!" At least that's what everyone was saying last year. First watching this year, let's see what it's all about...
  • 6 0
 He actually got robbed in 2012, where he had a killer run and got a piss-poor score not deserving of his stellar run. People just carried over the saying to the 2013 event, but he crashed out of the competition. Hopefully this year he gets a clean run in. Enjoy watching the greatest freeride event of the year!
  • 1 1
 Norbs hasn't been robbed!!
  • 1 0
  • 1 0
  • 1 3
 He's not getting robbed this year!

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