In a world of Instagram Reels, YouTube Shorts and TikToks, content is getting shorter and sh... more disposable than ever. With this award we're celebrating the videos that go against that trend and take real craft to produce. These are the videos that will have you poring over them with a fine-toothed comb to work out what the hell you just saw and rewatching them time and again to get you stoked to ride. From downhill, to slopestyle and even trail riding, we've been spoiled with some incredible edits this year. Shaving it down to 14 nominees was a brutal process, whittling that down to one deserving winner is going to be close to impossible...
Brandon Semenuk in "Realm"Why it's nominated
Brandon Semenuk clearly took to 2021 with innovation in mind. Just before kicking open the single crown door down at Rampage
, he released Realm, his attempt to move the discipline of slopestyle forward. Featuring unique features, designed to encourage creativity, Semenuk showed that he's just as smooth, stylish and controlled on unusual obstacles as he is on a four-pack of dirt jumps.
Reece Wallace in "Glory Daze"Why it's nominated
Earlier in the year we got a sneak peek at Reece Wallace's 90s themed Giant Glory
and the accompanying edit was just as dazzling. Featuring an enticing combination of sketchy woodwork, big tricks and that
ender, it was a blend of old school and modern that paid homage to the progression of freeride.
Griffin Paulson in "Freak Mode"Why it's nominated
Since Brett Rheeder's Silver Star edit
that announced his brand, Title simply hasn't missed with its video output. The latest video to add to that list is Griifn Paulson's Freak Mode. Masterfully cut, this video is filled with boundary-pushing combos and interesting cinematography.
Kriss Kyle in "Out of Season"Why it's nominated
BMXers making the move over to mountain biking is nothing new and we're now able to judge the edits without the novelty factor to see if they truly stand up. Kriss Kyle's Out of Season undoubtedly does. Without turning his back on his unique style, Kriss uses a mountain bike to exacerbate his skills and his creative eye means this edit is full of unique features.
Brage Vestavik in "Real MTB"Why it's nominated
You know exactly why this got nominated. Brage announced himself in a big way with his Real MTB edit. Burly, rugged and bruising, it marries tech tricks with huge consequences and took the public vote with 57% of the total
. Second place Danny MacAskill only got a quarter of his total at 13%.
Gee Atherton in "Slate Line"Why it's nominated
In the past 18 months, Gee Atherton has transformed himself from one of the best racers in the world to one of the best video riders in the world. He may have pushed the envelope a bit too far for an edit this summer
but he had already produced one of the videos of the year by that point. Slate Line sees Gee Atherton threading the needle among the razor-sharp scree of a slate quarry and ends with an 81 foot final sender, making it one of the biggest gaps Gee has ever hit.
Matt Hunter in "This is Home"Why it's nominated
Not every edit has to involve huge hucks or boundary-pushing tricks, sometimes it's simply enough to tell a great story that sticks with you long after the red bar has filled. Matt Hunter's 'This is Home' is exactly one of those edits. The 'This is Home' series is usually top-notch and its Kamloops visit gave some great insights into one of mountain biking's maverick heroes.
Braydon Bringhurst in "Wonder"Why it's nominated
Similarly, not every mountain bike edit has to be gravity-fed as Braydon Bringhurst showed in his gravity combatting 'Wonder'. We typically know what to expect from a Bringhurst edit now but that doesn't make it any less impressive as he flows like broken water up the techiest trails going.
"Girls Gotta Eat DirtWhy it's nominated
You know those edits where you can feel the great vibes emanating from the screen? This is one of those. Delilah Cupp, Clare Hamilton and Avra Saslow may be the least known riders on this list but they star in the most down-to-earth and damn fun video of the list. There's no shortage of jortage here but if you can look past that then you're in for one of the best showcases of women's MTB we've ever seen.
Dylan Stark in "Real Heat"Why it's nominated
Originally released as a $3 edit
to help fund his future riding, Dylan proved that he's worth every cent in Real Heat. For the price of a coffee, we saw him ripping skate parks, hucking stairs and bombing roofs in a skate/BMX inspired rager.
Tom Van Steenbergen in "Wild West II"Why it's nominated
We said it in last year's nominations
and it's no less true today, "Tom Van Steenbergen and Calvin Huth go together like corners and roost". The most recent nominee here sees Tom bring a bag of never before done tricks to the center stage despite coming back from a huge femur break sustained last time around.
Danny MacAskill in "The Slabs"Why it's nominated
The last time Danny MacAskill filmed in Skye it resulted in the jaw-dropping 'The Ridge'
so we knew we were in for something special when he returned again. Inspired by some of the world's best climbers, Danny came up with the idea of hitting some rock slabs himself, although he was headed in the opposite direction. We're used to Danny being explosive and dynamic but this time it was all about slow speed control on an intense and nerve-wracking ride down some insanely steep slabs.
Brandon Semenuk in "Real MTB"Why it's nominated
It couldn't be a Video of the Year article without at least a couple of Brandon Smeenuk entries. This second video took the judges' choice at the Real MTB event
and it's easy to see why as Semenuk packs in an incredible amount of content into the 90 seconds available. Little did we know that this was also a sneak peek at the single-crown freeride Brandon would bring to Rampage later in the year
Anthony Messere in "Resurgence"Why it's nominated
Since his wild contest run at Crankworx 2011
, Anthony Messere has always had boundless potential and it was great to see he'd lost none of his fight in 'Resurgence'. Now riding for Polygon, Messere wanted to rediscover his creativity and show off everything he'd learned from 10 years traveling the globe competing in slopestyle events. 'Resuregnce' sees him dig deep into his bag of tricks while still boosting to the moon off hips.
Paul Couderc in "My War II"Why it's nominated
There's dedication and then there's Paul Coudrec. The French rider broke out last year with 'My War' and wasted no time in following it up with the equally impressive 'My War II' in 2021. This is yet another edit full to the brim of World's First tricks including 73 attempts at a running front flip drop-in that left him with a broken tibia
Brett Rheeder in "Continuum"Why it's nominated
With a handful of injuries, we haven't seen much of Brett Rheeder this year but it seems like he has been busy behind the scenes working on pieces like 'Continuum'. We're not sure what kind of camera wizardry is going on here but our minds have been blown. Everything from the locations and riding to the soundtrack is absolutely perfect. We're hoping Shimano releases a BTS for this one so we can see just how they put it all together.
Vero Sandler in "Real MTB"Why it's nominated
2021 has been a breakthrough year for women's freeride with events like Formation and Audi Nines putting women on some of the biggest jumps and gnarliest terrain. The best edit to come out of the movement this year has been Vero Sandler's Real MTB entry. The edit may only last 90 seconds but it's a perfect encapsulation of Vero's riding style put to film. Fun, creative and stoke-inducing.
Calvin Huth's "Arthur"Why it's nominated
Calvin Huth clearly put in the time for 'Arthur' and it has earned him a second nomination for our Video Of The Year. Combining amazing landscapes and National Geographic-level wildlife with shredding from Vancouver Island locals never looked so good. Every shot is given time to breathe, something that doesn't happen often in today's quick-hit content. It's for these reasons and more that 'Arthur' is on this list.
On this one, you get a say. Let us know which edit you think is best and we'll be awarding a Reader's Choice Award alongside our own.
That group has thousands, maybe millions of fans. I am not one of them.
*Well, with the exception of Brage's part that is.
Also the answer is Brage and I have no bias. I am newer to MTB and haven't heard of him until I started watching Fest Series & Rampage. He's probably mixing up riding styles the best of anyone and his set ups do NOT look like professionally built dirt skateparks specifically for filming one thing. Looks like he and his buddies rolled a few logs around, jabbed nails in them, and called it done and dusted. I come from BMX, I'm not as impressed by tricks or professionally built and benched out features. What makes MTBing truly different from BMX is using the terrain to your advantage. Something Gee Atherton has always done well, though lacks some of the tricks and creativity that makes a video well rounded.
Also Kaos & Kade need to be okay with sitting on clips and doing edits with their sponsors. I know they're more in the quick snippet for the 'gram era, but it's a criminal shame neither had a proper edit this year. Seemingly just single session jumps n jibs. I love that the race world cups but... It's not why I tune in to those guys man :/
“De dónde viene?” (“Where are you coming from?”)
“De dónde? Nunca he escuchado de esa” (“From where? I’ve never heard of that”)"
-Tom Van Steenbergen for pushing the boundaries of the sport and doing it in style.
-Brandon Semenuk for those perfect signature "How is that trick even possible?"-moments.
-The riders from "Girls gotta eat dirt" for positivity and being "down to earth" in the best way possible.
I think many are over looking the "video" aspect of it tho and just voting for the rider they thing deserves it. Which I totally get, but really got to give credit to some of the cinematographers, camera (wo)men, and editors for the artwork. For that I think it's gotta be Arthur for me but Continuum blew me away too.
I don’t know what spell this Viking has y’all under, but it’s deep. Between that and the Grrrrrrrls video, seems 80 percent of this site has lost its mind.
It’s hard for me to enjoy videos of the most dangerous riding now, knowing that so many of those riders have since had huge accidents which take them out of action for so long. And it’s also hard for me to vote for them, as it feels like I’m rewarding dangerous riding, and don’t want to encourage young riders to emulate that style just for video edits.
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