2021 Pinkbike Awards: Video of the Year Nominees

Nov 19, 2021 at 9:57
by James Smurthwaite  

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 Dirt



Why 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.




Your Turn

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.

What is your 2021 Video of the Year?








142 Comments

  • 171 7
 All these videos are completely unwatchable. Not a single one is set to an Imagine Dragons song.
  • 79 1
 Or Sail by awolnation. My ears have been bleeding ever since Sail stopped being the flavour of the week/year/decade.
  • 4 0
 holy crap that brings me back. I was so tired of that damn song by the time the action sports industry stopped using it.
  • 28 0
 Greatest use of awolnation in an edit ever right here

vimeo.com/80704110
  • 9 0
 @hatton: that looks so painful holy shit
  • 3 0
 I thought it was neat that 3 car companies used sail to identify their unique automobiles
  • 4 0
 @hatton: my god that was tough to watch!
  • 6 0
 @adrennan: At some point I saw an awolnation box set and was like "wtf?!?". Is it 'Sail' repeated 60 times over 4 discs?
  • 7 0
 @hatton: I'm partial to this versionSmile youtu.be/Awf45u6zrP0
  • 2 0
 @hatton: THIS IS HOW I SHOW MY LOVE!
  • 6 0
 INBOUND - Brendan Howey x Rupert Walker
  • 1 0
 @hatton: Imagine racking your balls on a cliff, that guy has done that.
  • 1 0
 @hatton: Holy crap!!!!!!! Never saw this. That is completely crazy.
  • 2 0
 I’m waking up, there’s Folger’s in my cup…

That group has thousands, maybe millions of fans. I am not one of them.
  • 1 0
 @BikesNRussets: earlier this year at the Capt. Ahab trailhead we saw a base jumper hit the wall and chute get all Tangled up. Was super scary for a bit, but luckily they lived. Needless to say, none of us wanted to push it hard after that.
  • 1 0
 @knice: YES!! The best use ever. I’m still amazed at how everything line up perfectly to the beat.
  • 1 0
 Ha! Yeah but that first vid back in the day from Shimano with ID over Messere, Hunter, Aggy, Semenuk and the"props to the builders" finale was really really good.
  • 1 0
 @waffleShirt: I bet you can't find the first use of that song in a YouTube edit!
  • 73 5
 Brage deserves this one, girls gotta eat dirt was soooo good too.
  • 9 2
 Agreed! Each on different ends of the spectrum but both so enjoyable.
  • 6 3
 almost feels like they should be two separate categories. brage's quick action edit vs "feature length" edit.
  • 9 2
 100% agree. I had to vote Brage for redemption (#bragegotrobbed) and because the edit was soooo raw, but girls gotta eat dirt was a true favorite for very different reasons.
  • 5 2
 @adrennan: I feel the same wayish, hard to group all of these together but i think brage has had everyone who bikes talking since that real MTB release so.. he did kind of blow away all the other vids, if we have to pick ONE, i think he's the clear winner.
  • 11 2
 Those are my top 2 as well. RANKED CHOICE VOTING PLEASE PB.
  • 6 2
 @crys-vb: brage's was the rawest, most fun to watch. but girls got my vote because 1) it's rad af to see non pro girls shredding and 2) it's rad af to just watch normal people on bikes. the bike love is real in that video and it's the only one that feels that way.
  • 10 2
 Girls Gotta Eat Dirt is a CLASSIC, who knew that would be a top 3 VOTY, so good!
  • 53 1
 Can’t we nominate 5 or 6 instead of just voting for one? So many amazing videos, so many different styles, it’s difficult to choose just one.
  • 50 1
 You don’t have 5 other accounts to vote with? That’s just lazy
  • 26 0
 @DizzyNinja: do you ever accidentally troll yourself?
  • 31 1
 How is Killian Bron's - "Follow the Light" not nominated!!!! www.youtube.com/watch?v=ih1X0IMYi-I
  • 5 1
 Second this. It deserved a nomination
  • 1 1
 I lasted about 45 seconds on that one. I'd be doing it a disservice if I said I'd rather watch paint dry but it offers much the same as a 100 other edits.
  • 37 8
 Brage is sick, but Girls Gotta Eat Dirt was the best film of the year IMO. Fun on bikes.
  • 3 2
 Agreed. One of them gets me stoked to ride, the other gets me stoked crash.
  • 7 1
 Totally agree but was that an ad for jorts?
  • 19 0
 Rheeder's video has some of my favorite editing in an MTB video ever. But man this is a hard year for video voting. Absolute bangers all the way down the list. Guess that's what happens when Covid forces everyone to get creative with their asset creations to retain brand value. Nice work athletes and crews!
  • 23 4
 Brage ! easy answer
  • 1 1
 100% - my first thoughts
  • 2 5
 He will definitely get robbed again
  • 1 0
 Brage isn't everyone's cup of tea...or cup of whatever animal blood it is that Brage drinks.
  • 35 21
 I think girls gonna eat dirt should win, not only because I think it's the best one, but also because it probably does a lot for women in mtbing. I can imagine a lot of mtb parents showing it to their daughters and that having a big effect.
  • 4 5
 That reminded me of an FSA video from the other day staring Danica Fife. Both are very positive and star women.

m.youtube.com/watch?v=w3OtlwYuHh8
  • 4 4
 To the downvoters, I will admit that Brage's video is rad, although in a different way. The girls vid makes me happy and Brage's gets me pumped as hell.
  • 1 2
 @cedric-eveleigh: Maybe better to just have a womens and mens "best video contest". Kinda hard to compare them. The men are on a different level.
  • 1 1
 I think it was a great film reminding us why we ride, regardless of sex
  • 8 0
 Come on, how about the SHORT ENDS film? Ok, so I may be a bit biased considering my nationality, but I enjoyed it more than anything else* this year. If you've missed it, I highly recommend going back to it. So good.

*Well, with the exception of Brage's part that is.
  • 9 1
 Dylan's video gets me so stoked. That double roof drop, that school to gully hit and that dh huck to flat are iconic. Hope he gets into x-games.
  • 5 2
 ...strong background in BMX
  • 3 0
 Brage's video was just too good, but Dylan Stark was definitely next in line. He always sends it like crazy.
  • 9 3
 A rider gets two entries. I understand its video of the year and not rider of the year (and it can actually hurt that riders votes)... But why? Was it to intentionally split the vote since he wins any popularity contest by default?

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 :/
  • 5 0
 Came to comment section to say the same thing, Kade needs to hold on to clips and make a full segment. He is insane, I can imagine the sickest edit of classic DH and slope together.
  • 10 0
 Kilian Bron - Colours of Mexico One of, if not THE best video this year.
  • 6 0
 I vote for Iohan Gueorguiev See The World video series. Iohan Gueorguiev (born January 20, 1988, Bulgaria, died August 19, 2021, Cranbrook, Canada) was a great traveller, fully committed biker. His video series is a masterpiece, "a way to show you what traveling slow is all about" as he wroted by himself. Following Matt Bardeen: "As tragic and, perhaps, unnecessary as his death was, his legacy will be in his interactions with the people he met along his journey. Picture yourself as an arriero, a Chilean mountain cowboy, riding along on your horse on some isolated trail high in the Andes mountains, when you come across a foreigner pushing a heavily-loaded bike.

“De dónde viene?” (“Where are you coming from?”)
– “Alaska”
“De dónde? Nunca he escuchado de esa” (“From where? I’ve never heard of that”)"
  • 5 0
 THIS! THIS! THIS A THOUSAND TIMES! Iohan was a legend. The hole he left in the bikepacking world is immeasurable. I implore everyone to go to YouTube and watch his videos. It will make you a better person. RIP Iohan
  • 3 0
 Gut wrenching to read. Such a young, healthy person. But that idea of putting yourself through the greatest struggles and then chopping up a video that is very "internet-digestible" can cause wicked cognitive dissonance, on top of any number of reasons to be losing the positivity in life on cold, lonesome journeys. I think there was a moment for a lot of us where not biking/travelling was chipping away at our happiness. I can't imagine what a man who structures his entire life around it felt like. Must have been world stopping.
  • 1 0
 Thank you!
  • 7 2
 -Brage Vestavik for the raw, visceral style and actual badass freeriding.

-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.
  • 8 1
 Do I have to watch all the vids before I vote for Brage? Or can I just do that now, then watch them.
  • 12 4
 When did we start calling a video an "edit," and when can we stop?
  • 6 1
 So many good vids in so many ways. Continuum is just so impressively cut, Arthur (with that fantastic music) made me cry a little and Brage is still Raw as WTF the 10th time you see it.
  • 12 8
 Girls Gotta Eat Dirt, hands down. It's more the vibe of MTB then the same old, cookie cutter, broshredits, of a very small scope of the MTB world. More of us relate to them gals, then the likes of Brage, Brandon, or Brett. You're lying if you think otherwise.
  • 5 3
 True, but I would argue a video of the year contest should be the best film and not the most relatable. Not slating GGED at all because I really enjoyed it and it remains a great vid, but I can't comprehend it being better than Brage's.
  • 5 0
 Almost impossible to choose, But 'Arthur' just screams dedication to the craft. Going above and beyond what you expect from a mountain biking video.
  • 6 0
 I would love to see a longer vserion of Brett Rheeder's "Continuum"
  • 7 1
 girls gotta eat dirt rules. regular people riding bikes. hell yeah.
  • 7 1
 Girls Gotta Eat Dirt captured the essence of fun with friends
  • 2 0
 This is a hard choice so many killer edits.

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.
  • 3 1
 Brage, brah. It’s soooo raw, dude. Look at him! He’s in the mud! IN THE MUD! Now he’s chopping wood, brah! And he wrecks! Wreck in the MUD! But honey badger don’t care! So raw.

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.
  • 2 0
 What does pinkbike have against Kilian Bron, they systematically overlook his videos for these nonknations every year. Colours of mexico, follow the light and switzerland paradise should be considered among the best videos of the year imho.
  • 2 1
 Because his edits are boring af my friend. Boring af.
  • 3 0
 Ive watched all of these videos so many times. I think my vote goes to wonder, out of season, or arthur. Those all get me stoked to ride
  • 5 0
 COMMENCAL Segment - Thomas Estaque
  • 4 0
 Can we get 2 categories please. Cinematic art like Arthur, and absoulte gnar on bikes like Brages and Toms videos.
  • 5 0
 Thomas Estaque / Commencal - Segment
  • 1 0
 Thank god "the judges" aren't here to rob Brage this time around. We all knew he won and was totally robbed. That said, I voted for Girls Gotta Eat Dirt. Fun times with friends is what it's all about and it was set to a pleasing soundtrack.
  • 1 0
 The level of all of these videos is just mind-blowing. The current top 3 by votes (Brage / Girls / Rheeder) would be my top 3, all for different reasons, but here's a good case for a dozen of these to be crowned 'best'. I don't think it matters a whole lot who takes top spot, seeing as it's subjective once you get to such a high level - main thing is that an article like this will boost the views for ALL of the nominees and we mortals all get to enjoy it all for free!!!
  • 8 3
 Akrigg on the electric!
  • 5 0
 That was honestly the first ever E-Bike edit I didn't hate. Akrigg's riding is completely next level.
  • 4 0
 Seriously, I could not believe what I was watching. He is not human.
  • 2 1
 Semenuk being two of the choices should tell you enough. His Real MTB part is a shining work both by him and Rupert Walker. Clips are crafted with extreme care and show a complete mastery of bike handling.
  • 1 1
 boring
  • 4 0
 INBOUND - Brendan Howey x Rupert Walker
  • 4 0
 Thomas Estaque SEGMENT Commencal video was sick!
  • 6 1
 Killian Bron
  • 2 2
 After watching most of these again, the ones that stand out are The Slabs, Out of Season, Girls Gotta Eat Dirt, and Continuum.

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.
  • 5 0
 Long Live Chainsaw
  • 2 0
 Yes
  • 3 0
 Please can Brage win so he hopefully gets some money and can build a run out for those jumps
  • 4 0
 Sam Pilgrim riding a 36er somehow didn't make it on here.
  • 4 0
 But where is Kilian Bron on this list?
  • 1 0
 I loved Tom's Wild West II hope he heals up soon. Can't wait to see more Griffin Paulson bringing new blood to the sport. And Couderc is insane in My War 2. All such an inspiration to send it
  • 3 0
 Jortage! Three words combined to make a new perfect word.
  • 1 0
 Girls gotta ezt dirt defenitly! It 's the only video that stalen in my minder after six months. It even got me to ride in jorts.
  • 3 0
 Braydon Bringhurst all the way!
  • 2 0
 Bringhurst RULES!
  • 1 0
 The best part is you get to see him shred our local trails.
  • 1 0
 @BikesNRussets: Yeah absolutely.
  • 4 1
 As many others says, where is Kilian Bron???
  • 3 0
 I voted for Dylan Stark cause I like his last name
  • 1 0
 Brage should win Thomas Van Steenbergen next most fun to watch Girls gotta eat dirt most relatable and the one I shared with the most friends
  • 1 0
 Canvas - Bas Van Steenbergen. The lines, the style, the flow, THAT BAR DRAG!!!! Amazing riding www.youtube.com/watch?v=LdO7cYHJLJw
  • 1 0
 Canvas, even tho it’s under 4 minutes, is the most stunning video I have ever seen. And I’m a video junkie. Captures the essence of why we all ride…even if we don’t ride like Bas.
  • 5 2
 Brage or your biased.
  • 4 1
 Brage or GTFO.
  • 3 1
 We can vote on this one but not the other 2? Or am I just blind?
  • 2 1
 A miss to mention "The Long Traverse" by Stilspoke and Christopher Blevin just to add variety of the list of videos.
  • 2 0
 The Vero Sandler Nominee has the wrong video, because that's not her.
  • 1 0
 what a freakin year for mountain bike edits, ski edits, bmx edits, etc. We are in a true golden age for action sports.
  • 1 0
 They could have added 'How we made the Slabs' as well as 'The Slabs'. Incredible to watch.
  • 2 1
 There are a lot of unique things in all this videos (and more) that are amazing and don't need coparison, but Brage...
  • 1 0
 I don’t understand why ‘Here I Ride’ isn’t nominated I have watched it a million times!
  • 1 0
 That sending Queenstown one with Reece potter and George brannigan was soo good
  • 2 0
 No Matt Jones, Design & Conquer?!
  • 1 0
 To me, girls gotta eat dirt is a perfect mountain bike video. But continuum is better. I am sorry.
  • 3 1
 Definitely Brage!
  • 1 0
 Well here goes a hour of work.......
  • 2 1
 Let's play the game, who's got robbed?
  • 2 1
 INBOUND - Brendan Howey x Rupert Walker
  • 2 0
 #Bragewillnotberobbedthistime
  • 2 2
 Surprised Matt Macduff's Title edit didn't make the cut!
www.youtube.com/watch?v=fVmAb1Yo8QA
  • 3 0
 its from 2020 probably why
  • 1 0
 easier to choose a name for your baby
  • 1 0
 C'MON MAN......VIKING FOR THE WIN!!!!
  • 1 0
 watching brages behind the scenes makes it so much better
  • 1 0
 Matt Mcduff should be on this list!!!
  • 1 0
 Kriss or Brage
  • 2 4
 I may offend some people, but I thing the realm edit wasn’t very good. It felt to over edited, I wanted to see more riding not a city at night. But the riding was rad.
  • 2 2
 more women, more denim, more sail!
  • 1 0
 More skorts
  • 1 1
 50to01’s little old England should definitely be in the mix
  • 1 0
 BRAGE !!!
  • 1 0
 BRAGE! Man, So Real.
  • 1 0
 Slate line ftw!!!
  • 1 0
 Loosedog's edit!
  • 1 1
 calvins is most undoubtedly the most boring
  • 1 0
 Matt Macduff "Title MTB"
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