Opinion: Freeride is Dead, Long Live Freeride

Oct 12, 2021 at 17:10
by Mike Kazimer  
Jaxon s drop is slow and technical a big change up from the rest of his fast line.

Red Bull Rampage is in full swing, the time of year when hordes of armchair experts take to their keyboards to spout off about who got robbed, and how the course is too groomed and manicured to really be considered 'freeriding.'

The heated debates about judging don't bother me too much – I totally get not being happy when your favorite athlete, the one whose progress you've been following 24/7 on social media, doesn't place as well as you think they should have. No matter how detailed the judging criteria gets there will still be contentious decisions; that's why things like the “People's Choice” award exist, to give that fan favorite run a little more time in the spotlight.

It's the idea that the Rampage lines are too manicured, too polished to count as freeride lines that gets under my skin. It's 2021, not 2001, and riders are going faster and bigger than ever, which means more prep work is required to ensure they can make it to the bottom in one piece. Back in the early days, the drops weren't as big and the speeds weren't as high, which made it possible to plop off a cliff into a sandy landing that had been scraped in over the course of a couple hours. That tactic simply doesn't cut it anymore – the chances of sticking a monstrous drop onto a raw landing are fairly slim, and even if someone managed to do it once, repeating that feat would be even more unlikely.

Drop cliffs not bombs. Reed Boggs leading by example.

It's all too easy to become numb to the sheer size of the features found on the 2021 course, especially if you've never seen them in person. Watch enough helmet cam footage and highlights from past years and that 50-foot drop suddenly starts to seem normal, instead of being the incredible accomplishment that it actually is. It's akin to watching big wave surfers make 70-foot walls of water look like playgrounds. It looks almost doable, until you go to the beach and nearly drown trying to drop in on a mushy set of waves that are barely head high.

There's no room for error on most of the Rampage course – getting just a few inches off line can make the difference between stomping the landing or rag-dolling off a cliff and into a ravine. And yes, I know that plenty of people like watching crashes – the success of Pinkbike's Friday Fails is an unfortunate testament to that – but I don't count myself in that camp. I hate seeing crashes of any kind, especially when the terrain is as unforgiving as it is in the desert.

Andreau hit the deck hard in a hectic first run. His second run was none the less energetic and unfortunately ended his hopes of a win.

Rampage may be the modern day equivalent of a gladiator contest, but I don't want anyone to get eaten by lions. Those big landings and carefully sculpted lips act as islands of safety amidst all the wild terrain. They're small pockets where riders know what to expect, in between reaching terminal velocity when dropping into near vertical chutes, or pulling out a wild trick with massive exposure on both sides. To continue the ocean analogy, think of the big landings as the mountain biking equivalent of the airbag vests that surfers use to avoid getting held underwater. Those vests don't make the surfing accomplishments any less impressive, just like those landings shouldn't detract from the fact that 99.9% of the riding population couldn't complete a top-to-bottom run at the current Rampage venue.

No matter what, Rampage is a freeride contest. What we're witnessing this week is the culmination of over two decades of progression. It's time to stop looking at the early days of freeriding with rose tinted glasses and embrace the current state of the sport. I've still got a soft spot for old janky stunts and weird slow speed technical maneuvers, but I'm not about to tell any of the diggers and riders who have been toiling away down in Utah that they're doing it wrong. Each team is making their vision of modern freeriding come to life, and I'm all for it. Bring on the big show.





257 Comments

  • 372 21
 Preach, Kazimer. Preach! Would love to see PB commenters attempt any version of freeride lines and not die. Haters gon' Hate.
  • 342 5
 You called? Oh...
  • 105 21
 I don't think 'hate' is the right word....lots of guys just like the natural flow of less sculpted runs, nothing wrong with that. It would be easy to solve, put in a scoring factor for something like "use of natural terrain"....does a 360 flip off a groomed jump massively outscore a whip over a natural step up to gnarly landing? I'd say no as would many.

It's a spectator sport after all, nothing wrong with spectators weighing in on what they wanna see (IMO) or how it should be scored.

To me it's the difference between true "street" BMX vs "park" BMX, both amazing and impressive, but my preference is def with raw street riding and making use of the terrain that was never designed to be ridden on.

Freestyle moto is doing same thing, lost it's luster when the "freeride" vids started to become sculped jumps with 10 guys building and/or the use of metal ramps...just a preference...
  • 50 8
 It's not hate for how amazing current riding is, it's nostalgia for what Rampage started as. You can build stuff anywhere it's OK to build a trail...? What was unique about Rampage is they were scouting natural terrain and hitting stuff with minimal changes. It's VERY RARE that it's OK to go ride some random line that isn't part of a pre-built or expanded trail system. They hit "virgin" lines in Virgin Utah and then originally when they left they put the terrain back the way they found it and let nature reclaim it.

Maybe it's like cigars and I just have to give this up and enjoy what we have now. But I can't help missing OG Rampage runs...
  • 29 9
 @RadBartTaylor: Yeah, this. Why does it have to devolve to 'hate' every time? I also like to see gnarly natural lines, but I'm not "hating on Rampage" because of the grooming. I just don't think it's really possible to judge/score who rode the gnarliest natural line with the most style. Luckily there are freeride edits and movies out there where we can watch those 2 French fellers doing scary lines at Squamish or Whistler, or guys at Farwell or in Utah.

This all just seems like more manufactured controversy to get clicks.
  • 18 2
 @number44: Absolutely manufactured controversy and Brendog absolutely got robbed!
  • 22 18
 Ya'll are too literal. Get out of the armchairs and go fucking ride your bike.
  • 11 6
 Not hate but reality. It's all driven by revenue. If people aren't blown away, they won't watch it. This will decrease revenue for the athletes from sponsors. I remember the first time I watched a backflip on a motorcycle. I was blown away. The world was blown away. If someone does a 360 now in a professional venue, they would get thrown out unless they are also making an origami animal while they do the 360. It is harder and harder to keep people interested. That's reality. I couldn't even hike the Rampage trail but I can spend money on a carbon bike and new helmet. That's what feeds the industry. More people watch Rampage than Crankworks. The reason is because Rampage is Raw. You take that away and you lose viewers. I respect and understand how shitty it is that these athletes need to risk their lives to make a buck but they are better off than the rest of the world punching in a timecard doing something they dislike.
  • 19 1
 @mexicant: the majority of people watch rampage because it’s f^cking impressive and unique, not because it’s ‘raw’.

Are there any other events in the world where athlete of this caliber create their own line and the compete on it?
  • 4 0
 @preach: excellent
  • 1 3
 @emrysevans: yes...the 'Real Moto' edits are similar, but do rely on production value (quality, cinematography, music, etc) with a similar discussions to what we are having here...the edits are scored by the fans and generally the more raw & unique edits (like old school Rampage) have been the ones that win....
  • 7 0
 @emrysevans: freeskiing and freeride snowboarding
  • 3 1
 @RadBartTaylor: technically that’s not an event nor are they all competing at the same venue.
@mick06: what event in particular are you referring to, Freeride World Tour? The consequences of dropping a 60ft cliff to snow is a lot less than dirt.
  • 4 0
 Yes so much yes! This is as free ride as it gets. These guys all create and make their own lines in two weeks. I know this is a course from before but still it’s their work, their creativity, and their balls.
  • 1 0
 "Boom, you looking for this?"
  • 1 0
 @cupobeanzz: I hear ya
  • 1 0
 @emrysevans: thats why I said "similar"...
  • 4 1
 @RadBartTaylor: The stuff you're talking about is more difficult, yes - it's also a lot more dangerous. Do you remember those grainy old videos of early free riders hucking off massive cliffs, failing to stick the sandy natural landing, then plowing into trees and nearly dying? Were you cheering then?
  • 1 0
 @emrysevans: you asked if any other sport has top athletes creating their own line and i answered.
  • 6 6
 The lines are too manicured, too polished to count as freeride lines. Seems more like an Audi nine event, which is cool, but not freeride.
  • 2 0
 @RadBartTaylor: Would be cool if entrants rode each other's lines just once. Would be interesting.
  • 4 0
 @emrysevans: Mate, you're not considering the whole context. In the freeride world tour you can't try the line you'll ski, it's all on-sight, you don't know what the snow will be like, it might be completely different in a 50m radius or 30mins later. Also it's really hard to stick to a line and know exactly where to hit that cliff and where to land.
Consider also that most of the times, competitions take place in complete utter s...t snow even if it doesn't seem like.
I wouldn't say the consequences of hitting a cliff at speed that you've never done before, hoping to land between rocks is much different than hitting a drop in dirt that you've practiced several times and that saw other people do as well.
  • 7 0
 @RadBartTaylor: I really like the "use of natural terrain" scoring idea. Yes, it's impressive, but by getting so sculpted, Rampage is losing what makes it unique. It risks becoming just another slopestyle event, or Audi Nines in the desert.
  • 220 2
 I just want to see dudes in hockey pads tomahawking down cliffs, is that too much to ask.
  • 71 2
 (Batman Voice) I'm not wearing hockey pads.
  • 7 0
 This made me laugh way too hard. It's all fun and games till we're ragdolling.
  • 3 0
 go to instagram and check out @kooksofsumit you'll find that man
  • 3 1
 At your service. I'm an old school downhiller that looks like I'm heading to hockey practice
  • 4 0
 This guy remembers early free ride,
  • 68 11
 One thing I really wish Pinkbike could do is replace paid flair like Outside+ with earned flair like “clean double black”, “ten foot drop”, “35m 4k climb”. These annotations would make it clear who in the comment section is busy judging freeride competitions while learning to hop curbs.

My bet is that you’ll never see complaining like this from anyone who rides real freeride features.

I personally have barely managed to work up to expert park features and I keep my mouth shut about rampage because freeride at this level isn’t a sport I participate in or know anything about. It’s like having an opinion on Illness when doctors are talking- STFU.

I’m interested to hear someone complain about Rampage course design and his name is Paul Bas.
  • 115 1
 Rankings from Joey to Pro based on uploaded photos and Trailforks data. Vaguely dystopian but I like it.
  • 17 0
 @brianpark: Just give me my dentist flair and I'll be happy.
  • 10 0
 I think you should have to post a video of your riding if you want to comment on the inadequacy of certain bike parts.
  • 15 0
 @brianpark:

You’re the new Hang Time Hero in town!

You just claimed the title of Hang Time Hero on Dee's Nuts.

Your .753 seconds of Hang Time mean that you’ve completed the most air time on this segment over the past 90 days.

Way to earn the laurel crown. How long can you hold on to it?
  • 4 0
 Muddybrit [gaining confidence on 18-inch tabletops]
  • 6 0
 @brianpark: Joey -> Dentist -> weekend warrior -> Bro/Brah -> Shredder -> Pro. Did I miss any levels?
  • 5 0
 @racerfacer: but I suck AND break parts
  • 9 0
 @nzandyb: Yep, I'd love to reach the Joey level during my lifetime. Can you please add a couple of levels below it?
  • 1 0
 @brianpark: I still don't get it, what's the point of uploading rides to Trailforks other than the occasional contest or the Joey to Pro ranking you suggest?
  • 1 0
 @brianpark: perhaps a counter of working hours spent elaborating arguments and badges when you win a discussion with your comment, like in college debate club? What about a commenter fantasy league?
  • 2 0
 @Mtmw: does that flair come in Yeti Turq colour? Asking for a friend.
  • 45 0
 Brage seems to be building a pretty raw and gnarly line relative to the more trick oriented lines other guys have on the go. Not to detract from the other guys lines, but that's what I'm looking forward to seeing the most.
  • 4 0
 if he doesn't podium he will fs get the people's choice
  • 2 0
 @DAN-ROCKS: sadly not now. Another fallen victim to that "perfectly manicured" drop.
  • 1 0
 @gabrielreichman: Such a rough bail, I hope he comes back and rides the line when he's all healed up and not crunched for time.
  • 42 1
 I’m curious how many of these arm chair athletes actually rode or watched real free ride as it developed over time. You’re telling me that the legends of the early free ride scene, who spent a lot of time building crazy stuff in the forest, or massive machine built jump lines (remember Cranked?) in fields aren’t free ride because they were “manicured” or “polished”. Are you kidding me? Go back and watch some of those movies and you’ll see things aren’t that different.
  • 17 0
 Nobody …. Its f*cking dumb and downcountry is where its at
  • 3 0
 @Compositepro: I don't want to agree with you, but I have to. downcountry is awesome.
  • 38 0
 I think if these complainers actually went back and watched the full broadcast of some of the early Rampage contests they would probably find it kind of lame and boring compared to what these guys are doing now. I think for most people its the memory of how rad and gnarly it was at that time, that makes them want the contest to go back to being that way.
  • 17 0
 Yep. No offense to the OGs, at the time they were absolute pioneers, but it's pretty ghetto by today's standard. I don't even think they expected/intended to land half the stunts. Some of those guys are the judges now, and they seem to have nothing but respect for the current level.
  • 2 0
 Footage of Super T's rampage win starts at about 2:00 in:
www.pinkbike.com/news/what-ever-happened-to-tyler-super-t-klassen-video.html

That still looks huge to me, but I think after the first guy did it, everyone saw that they could and now all the current guys can probably do it with their eyes closed. I guess the logical evolution is, indeed, manicured landings so that they can go even bigger and add in crazy tricks.
  • 5 0
 @toooldtodieyoung: it is big but there must be hundreds of riders that can straight air those drops and jumps with that level of style and speed now.
  • 1 0
 Except for the fact that you just had to show up and put your name down then.

"Freeride" in the competitive sense has got really stale because it's been exactly the same motherf*ckers riding in the comps for the last 10 years. Yeah there are always 4/5 different riders each year but about 70% of the field hasn't changed since around 2008, and everyone is bored of that.

Seeing a Strait do stuff when he was still literally a kid? Insane
Seeing DH racers send mad lines at mad speeds? Brilliant

Seeing a pro rider do the exact same sequence of tricks they did for their last video part on a line they've been messing with for the last 4 years? who gives a shit.
  • 32 0
 Well said. Stoked for this event, and wish everyone there success! Let's gooo!!! \m/
  • 27 1
 As a 30-yr rider & armchair commentator I can easily say that 1) Kaz is fully correct here and 2) Fairclough still got robbed on that canyon backflip in 2019. Never gonna let that one die. There was also Godziek’s mega distance drop that at least looked like actual flight. But hey: only 3 ppl gonna win, Rampage is baller & better than ever, the riskiest even of all, and I fully welcome Semenuks 190 single crown - eat crow haters… Id watch him do this on a jumper. At least we get to watch Brage this year so really is there to bitch about… tho Im sure plenty of you will
  • 2 0
 YES!
  • 26 6
 For me personally it is not the fact that they have buildcrews, it is the fact that some competitors are making Rampage a big slopestyle line, which in my eyes takes away from what Rampage is. And I don't buy the argument "it is only because you cannot do it", since I can neither do tailwhips nor huck a line like Andreu's, or what to me was one of the coolest lines ever at Rampage, flow from top to bottom at mach 3 without seemingly barely touching the brakes like Gee in 2010 (and also in 2012 before he smashed himself out). I don't want them landing on untouched soft dirt and going OTB, but when the line itself and the riding and steepness/gnarliness factor stops being the key feature and the highlight is a 720 bar, to me it is not freeride anymore but slopestyle. Take for example Bret Rheeder 2018's run: brilliant riding, and way out of reach for any of us, but when the focus of the commentary (and the judging) is "oppo 360, can can backflip...." instead of on the line, to me it takes away from it, and I would much rather see lines where the focus is on the terrain and the line itself, like for example Brendog's line. The creativity on the line itself was great, the riding close to flawless, but yet he needed to put some flips just to get into a top 5. That to me is a shame, as it takes the focus away from where (in my opinion) it should be, the line itself and how good and flowy said line is ridden.
  • 10 1
 That's because the level of riding has surpassed just finding a way down the hill. Everyone at Rampage can ride the steeps and send big hucks, and they will build it to suit their skill sets (Zink/ Strait with their 60+ degree 100+ft long chutes vs Semenuks steeper but slower/ technical double drops into chutes and such). It's all super gnarly, but nowadays, the guys spinning off of 50 foot cliffs and hucking big tricks are going to place higher than the people just riding down the chutes and whipping the big sends.

I feel like most people gloss over how gnarly the top half of Rampage is now compared to what it used to be. All those massive chutes and drops up high mean that the riders are at the bottom( "slower" more jump-filled) area of the hill so quickly that it is almost easy to miss.
  • 8 1
 @leon-forfar: It is true that both riding and bikes have progressed a lot, for sure, but let's stick with Rheeder for a sec: the opening of his 2018 run was a manicured jump which most of them could straight air on a dj bike, and the key was an "oppo 360". That to me is not freeride. The chutes Zink or Lacondeguy built are to me much more in the spirit of Rampage. Even Zink's 360 or backflips of the Oakley sender, yes, that is wood and a massive patted landing, but those are first timers going way beyond what anybody had done before, so hats off to that (even if to me Gee's line was more deserving of the win, as other than the 360, impressive as it was, Zink did not do so much), but bulding smaller jumps to add more tricks in my eyes defeats the purpose of freeride/Rampage. And Brendan showed you can actually deviate and find cool features (like The Rock), without needing to pack you run with slopestyle tricks.

I am curious to see how Brage will score this year, he seems to be going away from the already done lines and going for rougher stuff, intrigued to see if he a) lands it and b) how it scores. Kinda scared for him, the dude seems to know no pain, a la Bulldog, and goes massive with seemingly reckless abandon (I do know that even then he is in more control than most of us).

I do hope everybody gets their lines in and their runs clean, without any (more, get well soon Andreu) injuries or big crashes.
  • 4 0
 I was literally thinking of Gee in 2010 as a great example. That run was light speed down gnarly shit, I don't care if he can't do a backflip. I still like all of it, but I'm here for that kinda stuff first. I think it was Semenuk in like 2013 at the 2nd site where he was just going straight down the face of the mountain when everyone else went left or right. And then Andreu's chute and/or Vink's at I think what was this site previously? I appreciate the chunk and loose at light speeds I can't even fathom where you need repelling gear to work on that part of the line. Of course backflips over a canyon (I was sitting under McGarry's) are amazing. Brendog's was amazing. Andreu in 2019 was so freakin out of control awesome and loose, we were losing our minds there watching. Different strokes for different folks. I'll take any and all of it I can get, but if I'm asked which I PREFER... I'd rather see the gnar than the tricks.
  • 33 11
 ''sIngLe CrOwN FoRkS dO noT BeLonG aT RamPagE''
  • 57 1
 Remember when the main differentiator between a freeride bike and a DH bike was a single crown fork? I do. I'm also confident that Semenuk will be just fine on a 190mm Zeb. It's not like he's trying to compete on a hardtail...
  • 9 0
 @mikekazimer: Russ Morrell already did the hardtail at rampage thing, though I think he was still on a dual crown fork. I agree though. If he is capable of riding it on a single crown, I say let him. The only thing that limits the bike is the person riding it.
  • 5 0
 @danielfloyd, yep, he sure did. It didn't really work out that well, though: www.pinkbike.com/news/throwback-thursday-russ-morrell-the-rampage-hardtail-rider.html.
  • 5 0
 @mikekazimer:
I was being sarcastic...
I 101% agree that anybody can bring whatever they want to Rampage, just being able to ride the course is an accomplishment in itself. I'm just not a big fan of people saying that someone riding like Semenuk kills the freeride spirit, if he can add a barspin or tailwhip to whatever line he's doing it should be seen as added value to his score compared to big freeride bros that will ride a similar line but only do one bar turn as a trick the whole way down and still be judged comparatively...
  • 18 2
 @tgr9, totally. A clip just came through of Semenuk tailwhipping a huge drop - he's already pushing things to the next level this year.
  • 5 0
 @danielfloyd: Shoutout to Sam Pilgrim too Smile
  • 5 0
 The first DH forks were single crown
  • 5 0
 @tgr9: "anybody can bring whatever they want to Rampage," So if Adolf Silva showed up on one of these you'd be cool? www.pinkbike.com/news/ruff-cycles-launches-worlds-first-e-dirt-jump-bike.html Wink kidding. I can't wait to see Semenuk's run it'll be mind blowing, but I'm equally as excited to see what Brage puts together, different styles are the spice of life
  • 9 2
 Its terrible! a 190 mm fork doesn't belong next to 200 mm bikes. SUCH big difference!
  • 4 0
 @slayerdegnar: especially when you consider the axle to crown is the same between the 190mm single crown and a 200mm dual crown. but I am sure this semenuk guy just doesn't know.
  • 7 0
 @locoola: Sam Pilgrim would do Rampage on a commuter bike with front basket as one of his free bike challenges Smile
  • 2 0
 @DHJohn: Very true, and the first freeride forks were dual crown (jr, super t and monster t were around years before 66 and 36). It’s rather confusing on paper.
  • 2 0
 @mikekazimer: That's cheating! Write an opinion piece and then start publishing articles that support your opinion... bias much.... jkn


Dudes are probably on their phones in the middle of the desert going oh yea, watch this!!!

Smile Smile Smile

Rampage is awesome no matter what it is.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: Hang on, what's the differentiator now then?
  • 1 0
 If only Rheeder and EJ were riding... Be brave to Bet against Semenuk to win this again. Alot of pressure on race day tho
  • 2 0
 @emptybe-er: My first dual crown fork was a Marzocchi Jr. T on my 99 Kona Stab. I miss the old days!
  • 1 0
 @DHJohn: Rad. I wanted a stab. In ‘99 I had a bullit with a monster T, ala superheroes
  • 14 0
 Well articulated @mikekazimer , I feel like social media has played a monster role in desensitizing people to astonishing achievements. Built up landing or not, it's probably closer to 99.98% of riders will never complete a top to bottom run on these courses outside of the actual competitors.
  • 9 0
 I think 2/1000 is generous! A fair number of WC DH racers wouldn't hit these lines.
  • 3 0
 @pourquois-pas: to be fair, 2/10000 seems more realistic
  • 6 0
 I agree 99% seems far too generous to the general population.
  • 10 0
 I couldn’t give stats on the number of mtbers in the world. But we could use USA stats and compare that to the number of USA rampage riders

So. According to statista.com , there’s approx 9m Mtb riders in the USA alone. There are 7 rampage competitors from the USA.

As a rough percentage indicator of people able to compete rampage top to bottom it’s 7/9000000 = 0.000000777777778 or about 0.00008%

There’s probable a few extras, ie capable riders out there who might stick it without tricks. But even with them factored in, the % of riders able to rampage it is vanishingly tiny
  • 4 0
 @bravefart: your wind gives us courage
  • 42 25
 ok
  • 6 6
 my first thought
  • 7 3
 I’ll turn the oven on and get some cookies going.
  • 3 1
 @Dnik: What kind?
  • 3 0
 @GotchaJimmy @Drik So long as there's no raisins we're good.
  • 13 1
 Couple points: First, It is perfectly OK for spectators to have a preference for what they "prefer" to watch. Rampage has changed over the years. Your spectating preference is going to determine whether you like this change or not. I don't need to be a freeride pro if I want to say I don't like these changes or to say that Rampage is more akin to slopestyle with "consequences" than its to pure freeride origins, anymore than a non-pro can say they prefer the current format. As spectators, we all bring some degree of credibility regardless of our abilities on a bike because we follow and spend a lot of dough on this industry). Second, if you want to use a surfing analogy, a more appropriate analogy is big-wave tow-in surfing compared to big-wave paddle in because there too is a debate about what is pure and raw and what is not. Finally, I will still enjoy Rampage, regardless of format. Rampage, like Mavericks, was destined to become commercialized and the format bent toward maximizing viewership and revenue. It is what it is. If you want pure freeride videos and more artistry you should recognize that a competitive format isn't the best format. That is OK because you can find an abundance of freeride documentaries that celebrate the spirit of true adventure that the "purists" would argue freeride was meant to embody.
  • 11 0
 Doesn't matter to me what it is called. You could call it downhill and it would be correct. It's mind blowing to me how good these riders are and that even with all the skill and courage they possess, they still require near perfect conditions to ride this type of terrain. Seeing the best of the best putting so much time and work into building lines to tame such an aggressive part of the landscape reminds me how impressive what they can accomplish on a bike is.
  • 25 16
 Life is full of compromises. Compromising "natural" for "going bigger and faster" is palatable for some, but others see it as taking the freeride out of it.

At some point you have to realize that you've made enough compromises that what you started with is no longer what you have. What they do is impressive, and I enjoy watching it, but I feel that Rampage has passed compromise tipping point for the word "freeride".
  • 21 0
 Man, labels are just that, labels. We choose how to define things. Rampage is what Rampage is.
  • 10 1
 I’d also say (as someone with a few thousand hours of trailbuilding experience) that “natural” trails that don’t erode into a useless gully aren’t natural. They’re the product of local trailbuilders putting in a LOT of hours to site/build/armor the tread. I love that style of riding, and prefer rockwork to just dirt berms etc. but it’s as natural as riding a bicycle.
  • 7 11
flag RayDolor (Oct 13, 2021 at 11:19) (Below Threshold)
 This is still Freeride. It's simply become Corporate Freeride. $$$$$$$$ is involved.
  • 5 1
 @RayDolor: Pretty Sure PON owns Rampage
  • 2 0
 @HB208: well said
  • 1 1
 @FarmerJohn: RedBull ads unrelated
  • 9 1
 Yeah people like watching Friday Fails, but I assume Friday Fails are selected carefully...I've never seen someone, for example, snap a femur in half or, yaknow, *literally die* on Friday Fails. I would be shocked if anything but a very very small percentage of those watching Rampage this year are in it for the crashes. This is an entirely different ball game than Friday Fails, and if you're watching Rampage for the crashes, given that someone could easily die or be irreversibly injured during the event, you should maybe get your head checked...
  • 4 0
 And some of those fails are brutal.. I bet they have filtered out some serious shit.
  • 8 0
 I'd like to see a caption added to each Friday Fail for what the outcome was. Like 'Bruised Ribs' or 'Shattered Pride'.
  • 2 0
 @chwk: "Ibis returned to shop for refund as it did not successfully do the work"
  • 1 0
 @chwk: fine idea, 'scuffed ego' 'chipped tooth' etc..
  • 3 0
 I cracked a rib in my Friday Fails appearance. Buddy of mine fractured a vertebra. I’ve seen waaaaay harder hits than those clips.

Don’t kid yourself-nobody is dying in the Fails, but a lot of people are getting really, really messed up.
  • 8 0
 PB comment section 1 week prior Rampage - getting hotter and hotter
@mikekazimer - let add some gas
  • 5 0
 I think the issue here is that “freeride” and fair, standardized competition don’t really mix well. Building your own lines is a big step towards compromising between the two but I don’t think we’ll ever have “freeride competition” solved
  • 7 2
 This is 100% freeride. Anyone that says otherwise is an asshat. That being said, at least for me, its not the sculpted landings or takeoffs that I care about. They need those to do 50ft drops which is mindnumbingly insane and those manicured landings allow for bigger and better hits. I think for me it is the fact that the big slopestyle-esque jumps at the bottom of the course seem to get weighted more heavily than the huge drops or steep chutes up top. Thats why you see more of it when riders realize they will score higher doing tricks off those. Its not that the jumps don't belong, I think its nice to bring in both, but at least to the outside viewer there seems to be a bias towards tricks on the bottom features when it comes to scoring.
  • 9 5
 Although I'm stoked to see a single crown fork and the ensuing barspins and tail whips that are sure to come... there's a part of me that wishes it would stay on the slopestyle courses. I'm stoked for this year. Slopestyle is awesome, but freeride is also awesome. So I'm really pumped to see Brage and Brendog and how they embody freeride, imo.
  • 2 0
 Brendog isn't in this year - Injured.
  • 2 0
 @neimbc: I forgot about that... lot of injuries this year :/
  • 5 0
 would love to see a world tour—I'm sure the first few times in the Gobi or ridges in Peru or northern BC would skew heavily towards raw, natural lines (with DH forks) and tricks would be few and far between
  • 1 0
 @steezysam: A freeride world tour like they do for skis and snowboards would be amazing. Gobi, Farwell, Peru, Something in Europe,...
  • 3 0
 Never watched disorder or something? people have been tailwhipping and barspinning in big mountain freeride terrain for decades.
  • 5 1
 It has changed over the years. So what. Being that the builders are constructing it themselves based on what they want, and think can win, ends the argument in my opinion.

The real issue is risk vs reward. These guys get paid next to nil to be out there for 2 weeks building and risking life and limb and that's not right. Each invited rider should get what the winner gets for this event. What is it like 25/50K? I'd probably be still complaining if each rider did get that. It still wouldn't be enough...
  • 7 1
 Isn't the hint in the name? FREE ride? You're FREE to do whatever it takes to make it as awesome as possible. That means being free to sculpt or not sculpt what you want.
  • 4 0
 To me, the builds are part of what makes this event so gnarly. Anyone who’s built a dirt jump knows how insanely difficult it is! The fact that these guys can finish features of that size in such a limited amount of time and that those features are actually rideable is just as impressive as the riding itself!
  • 8 0
 freeride isnt dead the trail building just got better
  • 5 3
 Exactly.
  • 4 0
 Mountain biking is mountain biking in and of itself regardless of the discipline(xc, enduro, DH, freeride, etc.). To me, and I'm sure others, rampage is about going big, not so much how "raw" the dirt/trail is. It's freeride, go big, do tricks, mob down something that may not be considered a trail, etc. It's called freeride for a reason, the freedom to ride how you want. These dudes are going bigger than ever, just as the surfing analogy explained, these guys are some of the top mountain bike riders in the world, nobody can top the level they ride at. I've never thought twice about sculpted takeoffs or landings, thats what I ride on local trails, and it all looks normal to me at rampage. I saw Semenuk throw a flip bar(I think) on his rampage setup in one of the previous videos shared and if thats not going big and pushing what mountain bike can be as a sport(especially on a non trick specific designed bike like a DJ) then I don't know what is. The only thing specific rampage needs to entail is allowing these guys to go absolutely nuts and show that no drop is too big, no gap too far, and no bike is "too much bike" to toss around like a little bmx. I conclude.
  • 6 0
 Rampage has evolved from a huck and pray approach to a creative personal interpretation of the hillside. Both are entertaining... I prefer that latter.
  • 4 0
 Plenty of other amazing freeride going on elsewhere - check out "Accomplice" if you haven't already, some amazing stuff in there.

I kind of feel like the fact that it's judged and scored probably means it's not pure "Freeride" anyway, regardless of whether they give more weight to terrain use vs tricks.

I'm not a freerider and would never hope to ride anything close to this level, but Rampage is what it is, who cares if you call it "freeride" or not, it's impressive as hell and my favourite event of the year regardless of who wins. I personally really like the slopestyle influence, I think it's awesome to watch.
  • 7 0
 Its all really just mountain biking.
  • 4 1
 I totally agree that rampage is 110% free ride and those lines are absolutely insane. But i also would say - when does rampage become something like DarkFest? Which is also insane, and is certainly free ride, but I feel like people see both events in a different light.
  • 5 0
 ...when you take all the technical bits, cliffs, added consequence, more extreme natural elements like weather, makeup of the ground, pre-existing terrain and lack of access to power tools away... then it might be like Darkfest.
  • 8 4
 Slopestyle is lame. Freeride is about natural terrain. Norbs got robbed. Redbull ruined Rampage. Terrain is too smooth. No digging should be allowed. Tricks don't belong at this contest.

What did I miss?
  • 12 3
 Pinbike is owned by Outside
  • 3 0
 I like being a part of the moment to witness mountain bike progression: people doing things never thought to do before. As long as we can continue to reward progression in scoring over safer/cleaner routines, freeride will live on.
  • 3 0
 The riders are extremely skilled - agreed The lines are max difficulty - agreed I couldn't ride any of the lines - agreed The riders display extreme courage and ability riding the lines - agreed The lines are unrideable in their natural state - agreed Thanks Kaz for the article.
  • 6 0
 PB Staff Meeting:
"Anyone know how we can get the comments section lit up prior to Rampage?" Kasimer: "Hold my beer"
  • 3 0
 I remember when the Gillard road gap in Kelowna was first posted and everyone was dumbfounded over how big it was. Somewhere around a 40ft drop and a 60ft gap and that was over a decade ago. It was massive even compared to Rampage at the time. Now you have riders flipping and spinning off the same size feature like it's nothing.
  • 3 0
 The problem with progression is it moves forward. If you liked something and progression happens you might get left out in the future. It is all cool, just like trails are evolving to more flow and less tech events are doing the same. The biggest issue with Rampage is, was, and will always be that there is no camera on earth that gives you any idea how burly any of this stuff is. Add to that we will probably see another Semenuk smooth as glass run making the craziest stuff on the planet look like a backyard pump track.

What I would like to see is a comparison between each run and the courses from the DH World Cup. How much steeper and bigger are these features than what UCI puts out there?
  • 3 0
 I love Friday fails but I don't think watching a newb case a 10ft double is comparable to watching a pro rag doll down a mountain. You can chuckle when you see an amateur make an amateur mistake because we've all been there. There is no humor in watching a pro crash because if a pro is crashing its usually bad.
  • 1 0
 Well said and I almost totally agree - except ballrides are still funny when the pros do them.
  • 2 0
 A better analogy is comparing it to what actually inspired riders to find zones like Utah. Big mountain skiing, when skiers hit mega lines in AK these lines are naturally filled with snow just like the small landing zones built up by diggers. If you asked skiers to hit cliff drops that were dirt or sand they would tell you to pound sand. The camera never captures the true aspect of what these riders are doing, the only way to understand is to go out and see it for yourself. Good on all the riders who put there lives in danger to put on one hell of a show!
  • 2 0
 Preach too on the Friday fails bit. I’m maybe in the minority here, but all I can see with the “sends”, “fails”, “saves” things (fails especially though) are a bunch of middle schoolers gathered around their CRT monitors during computer class, laughing at people getting “pwned”. The Ebaums world days are long behind us (at least they are for me), so it always just struck me me as goofy and immature and clickbait-y to have that content. I’m not looking for New York Times content when I’m on here, but I’m not looking for a viral content either.
  • 3 1
 Anyone checked what those early free-riders think? you know the ones who actually did it, not the ones who bought full squish bikes and still rode XC trails, but had to push their bikes up the climb. Ive seen Josh Bender get stoked on what rampage has become. Pretty sure throwing yourself off a 50ft cliff gives you the right to call yourself whatever you want.
  • 4 0
 Its a good thing the lines are more "groomed" its for rider safety. Remember Paul Bas? His crash is a big reason why riders get water hauled up to the top of the hill now.
  • 2 0
 I could not have ever dreamed of putting it as well as you did @mikekazimer. I have been putting myself in the "Rampage Zone" in the last week by watching Kranked, Northshore Extreme, old rampage videos, newer rampage videos and listening to some podcasts from Cam and Tyler Mccaul and Zink. I am just stoked that free ride is alive and well... and these guys are putting themselves at the same level of risk as people have ever been from those original lines that Brett Tippie and Dangerous Dave were when they effectively invented free ride. Props to all the riders, and props to the media, like Pink Bike, for covering it. So stoked for this event... hope all the riders make it out in one piece and put on a hell of a show!
  • 2 0
 People are complaining about rampage features? Real question lol…I enjoy rampage every year. Such a unique event, some years are more raw than others, but that’s part of the fun…diversity.
  • 6 5
 I don't have any issue with landings, takeoffs being groomed, it's the jumps specifically built for tricks that doesn't tickle my pickle. Too much weight is put on the tricks a rider does, rather than the gnar factor. Pushes builders to making steep doubles rather than fat hucks. Huge respect to any of the riders, I could never, but it just doesn't seem quite right in my eyes
  • 4 0
 There are only three things certain in life: death, taxes and people complaining on the internet.
  • 1 0
 I have no idea of the scoring or what's scored. Speed, distance and height and difficulty of the trick. Beyond that its hard to get into the sport in depth without knowing that. Its not that's its hard to find, its just not in front of my face like world cup racing.
  • 3 2
 Here's my attempt at an opinion.

There's something different about the creative DIY ethic of something like a Brage run from whatever that best line contest was (and yes, I know, all the lines at Rampage are creative and DIY). When it becomes super polished, to me there is something different. Not saying it isn't freeride (fuq 'terms' and labels altogether), or that the 'smoothness' of features isn't warranted, just saying. The outrageous size of these features is absolutely mind-bending. My mind and eyes can't even follow many of the tricks, let alone comprehend how to pull them off.

There's nothing wrong with this (it's awesome), but it is creatively different than even a few years ago, i.e. remember the rock wall ride drop with the pocket at the bottom that Vink went bust on a few years ago? Or Brendan's run, blah blah blah. Don't care so much but sometimes the creativity of riding is smoothed over in the name of 'progression.' And that is fine. Personally, I prefer the creativity to the progression, but that's probably because I dink and bonk for my own, very minor, creative 'style' when biking and so naturally it's at least one thing I gravitate to.

Regardless, all is well.
  • 2 0
 When I was younger I remember watching the Winter Park slope style and thinking, I could give it a go.

Looked over the first 30' drop over the ravine and said "Nope"

Mad props to the pros competing, mad props, y'all wild
  • 4 0
 But, I think Red Bull and others should be putting more emphasis on protecting the riders through advanced safety gear.
  • 3 0
 I think you are a bit short on this % "that 99% of the riding population couldn't complete a top-to-bottom run at the current Rampage venue". It should be more like 99.9999%
  • 3 0
 Came here for the spicy comments. who cares, ride your bike wherever/whatever, freeride isn’t dead, trail clones do be taking over but it’ll be around forever
  • 2 1
 The only thing I Disliked is the comment about the "unfortunate Success" of Friday fails. I think in general it helps keep perspective to how difficult the features really are. Showing the injury helps people see and realize the real consequences of the sport when limits and progression isn't respected.
  • 3 0
 And throw in some bar spins and tailwhips... even more gnarly. Not sure why people get upset by Semenuk's single crown, he's riding as free as anyone else!
  • 1 0
 Having watched from the first one until now, every year is an evolution. I remember being blown away at "Super T" dropping a massive cliff to basically no landing and sticking it. Same excitement watching Kyle S go from a grom to a winner. The last few years are so far beyond what anyone can comprehend actually doing it is nuts. Kind of like when "That's It, That's All" came out and set a whole new level to snowboarding. We are in one of the best periods of DH/Freeride ever and need to soak it in!
  • 1 0
 It's the scoring they need to sort out, not the riding. If you wanna build a pefectly sculpted Audi-Nines style line at Rampage then fine, but expect to lose points for not riding more technical off track terrain like Cam Zink, Nico Vink, Brendan, Bradge have now and before. The trick score should always be the least part of the overall score imo. What Brandon is doing is incredible, don't get me wrong, but he doesn't need to go to Rampage to do it.
  • 1 0
 Well written. Some observations though. I think when rampage was early and the feat was making it down the mountain, we got to see that it looked hard. Seeing a slightly over-rotated 360 huge drop get ridden out was amazing. But when they are throwing flat spins, it makes you wonder if just getting down the mountain is no longer challenge for these riders.

The reality is we just don't understand how big the jumps are, and how fast they are going.(This should be shown, since 20mph on dirt feels fast to most of us, how fast are they really going down those chutes?)

As for Friday fails, I wouldn't watch if it was a series of rampage fails with those consequences. Crashes are fun when the rider walks away, and I will never tire of beginners rolling drops.
  • 2 1
 @mikekazimer since i read yours, here's mine. I don't like the argument that it has to be groomed because its 2021 and riders are faster and better. They are faster and better, in part, because its groomed so much. Its like American football. they keep padding up the helmets because the hits are more violent than ever. But more padding just means even more harder hits and more injury. Remove those helmets and they wont leading with their heads as much and skill becomes more of a factor. The same with Rampage. the skill to navigate that terrain and do it with style is what it can still be if it wasn't as groomed.
  • 1 0
 Love Rampage, its been rad af forever, but it's been tough watching competitors ragdoll their way to surgeries and long recoveries this year. As far as freeride goes, when I come across dudes in the woods riding random shit off trail it irks me. Constantly worried the wrong people see that kind of thing and that it would lead to threatened access somehow.
  • 7 7
 Gladiator contest, but doesn’t want anyone eaten by lions?! By default, events like this are really, really dangerous. That’s the point. Someone WILL die at Rampage when an errant gust of wind pushes them.

That’s why it’s a spectacle. These are athletes at their best literally risking their lives. I’m not comfortable with that premise, yet I still watch every year.

As for Friday Fails-crashing IS an inevitable part of mountain biking. I love watching those (and have even made fails once-just cracked a rib when I decked). If Kazimer cared about rider safety, he’d be about Fails, not Rampage.
  • 1 0
 Almost equal number of likes and dislikes. Guess I hit some nerves.
  • 3 3
 Do lines have to be much more manicured because speeds at higher, or are speeds higher because lines are so manicured?

It’s just an entirely different event than it used to be, not necessarily better or worse for it.

Still, personally I would prefer if there was much less digging involved. There are enough slope style events already, where I can watch these riders perfectly execute a run that they have been planning for a week over totally smooth features (which are still as huge or bigger than ever, I won’t deny that).

But it’s still a great event.

As for the judging… well. Just make it people’s choice only.
  • 4 0
 I'll be waiting for the weird slow speed technical maneuver edits!
  • 5 4
 It's not the groomed for me, it's the fact that tricks are awarded so highly compared to gnarly lines, and now seeing semenuk on an enduro bike for this year, it's got me worried it's gonna turn into big mountain slopestyle
  • 3 0
 Define Enduro? Semenuk's bike has more travel than the bikes of the early 2000's. for the younger crowd, 2 crowns didnt always equate to 200mm of travel. back then it could have been 170mm. A lot has changed in the sport partially because a lot has changed on bikes. the Bomber 888's of the late 2000's only had 38mm sanctions... so were those enduro forks? because if so all the free riders back then rode enduro bikes. Boxxers used to have 35mm uppers... so trail bikes? first rampage was on trail bikes?
  • 2 0
 Semenuk on an enduhhro bike? A highly custom FR frame with 200mm travel, a very steep head angle by enduhhro an DH standards. Super short rear end an suss tuned to be a supple as a brick....
But, its got a single crown fork so it must be an enduhhhhrrro bike...¿
  • 1 0
 @TheRipp3er What enduro bike? Are you actually blind? Semenuk is on a Session.

As for the usual "gnarly lines" complaint, it's really simple. Every rampage rider could ride those blindfolded. But not everyone can go absolutely massive, hit super steep sinper double drops without dying and throw difficult tricks on top of it. Easy enough to understand?
  • 2 1
 Thanks Kaz, nice article. But reading some of these comments... it doesn't apply just to wheel size anymore. Pick your version of what Rampage should be and be a dick about it.
  • 2 0
 Ha, my literal thought upon seeing the title was “is it really freeride anymore”

There is no way they could do this stuff without the prep.
  • 3 0
 This article has attracted the most 'essay' comments of any on Pinkbike recently. Surely that is worth some kind of award.
  • 1 1
 @MikeKazimer - When I speak about being groomed or manicured in a negative manner, I am not referring to the line being less gnarly, scary, terrifying, dangerous or requiring less skill etc.

I don't like excessive grooming or manicuring as, in my opinion, it lessens the significance and uniqueness of the terrain one is trying to ride. Excessive grooming or manicuring transforms a unique obstacle or terrain feature to some generic feature one could build anywhere and thus removes any interest for me that is derived from seeing someone ride or myself riding in a specific location where the terrain itself plays a large part defining the ride.
  • 1 0
 @mike kazimer WRONG - “...shouldn't detract from the fact that 99.9% of the riding population couldn't complete a top-to-bottom run at the current Rampage venue.0

More like 99.99998% of us
  • 1 1
 I must be a big hippy but sometimes I just feel bad seeing a natural landscape that took thousands of years to create being cut up by all these giant jumps. It would be one thing if they were re used for years (which I've heard is the case for some of the smaller features), but building these giant jumps for just a couple runs over maybe a couple years and then leaving it seems kinda hard to justify. I'd like to see a mix of raw stuff that gets taken out or easily wears away at the top and then more shared jumps for tricks etc. lower down that people can ride in the future.
  • 6 4
 Wait? People saying Rampage is a flow trail? Now I see why Ebikes are so popular these days
  • 12 13
 This is not freeride, it is a contest and riders need to make a living and to score well so they do what will score. The judging criteria are leaning towards the slopestyle side. The categories are: air amplitude , control and fluidity, tricks and style. difficulty of line

No surprise these criteria promote big smooth jumps and drops, only 1/4 of the score depends on difficulty of line and nothing really score raw and creativity. This year again Semeneuk or Sorge will win and the people champion will be B-rage. Technicians vs Artisit, freeride vs slopestyle
  • 18 3
 Did you really just claim that Semenuk is not an artist on a bike, and rather a technician? Have you seen him ride and what he creates? Do you understand so little about the sport?
  • 5 0
 Why do I keep reading this sentiment that only the raw lines are creative? It's fine if someone prefers raw, but the idea that a Brendog line is more "creative" than a Semenuk line... hogwash. I hate to break it to everyone, but Semenuk could shred any of the "natural" lines in his sleep.

Redbull could keep it more rough and raw by limiting dig time and resources. We would see more natural lines and fewer big tricks. I would guess they have a financial incentive to do otherwise, this being the mountain bike event with the biggest mainstream commercial appeal. I bet they've found the general public doesn't appreciate the gnarly lines and is more impressed by huge airs and gnarly tricks, so Redbull helped it evolve in this direction.

I admit this year for the first time I thought, "man, that hill is getting super sculpted!" But in the end we get to see the best mountain bikers in the world, in terms of going fast and huge, push to the edge of their ability. I like that some guys are more trick oriented and others are more about raw speed and amplitude. I love seeing all their lines and personally think anyone who even gets invited to Rampage has already won, and if they make it down without crashing, they've won again. But you've got to invite the best, and you've got to put them in a position to push their limits or your event is dead.

If there are a bunch of pros that want to only straight-line rough slopes and hit smaller stunts into unmodified natural terrain, maybe they should fire up a new event?
  • 2 2
 @bubbaburger911: I would claim that Semenuk is both. He is super creative in his video edits but he is also able to execute perfectly a plan that's going to score. For most of his early career, he was a slopestyle master.
My point is just that the judging doesn't favor progressing the sport with new ways to ride the terrain or new tricks, it favors perfect execution of big moves. With being a really establish format, there is less freedom in freeriding, and I'm not the only one to acknowledge that we are losing the energy and excitement from the beginning. Many of the most epics rampage runs did not score well and are less likely to happen again..
Red Bull should get rid of the judges and let the people decide.
  • 5 6
 Very well written. I agree with you 100%, most of the viewers CANNOT comprehend the magnitude of these features.

As a mountain biker myself I have all the respect and admiration for these riders. What they do out there is EXTRAORDINARY. They're amazing. I don't even have the balls to send it on a 8 foot drop and these GUYS are landing MASSIVE drops and gaps. It's unreal.

For everyone complaining... STFU
  • 2 1
 If people don't think this is free ride, what do they think free ride really is? Is it their version where they sit on the couch, and complain on the internet?
  • 8 3
 Fat dudes who cant pedal bikes uphill because they had too many kids and IPAs and complain about people being too fit = freeride.
  • 2 1
 Originally free riding meant riding without a set course or goals on natural terrain. A lot of people still think of it that way.

Also the whole competitive setting kind of excludes it from being free riding anyway.

There doing such big stuff now though that without the prep they’d either die or just not do it.

Maybe call it Ultra Comp death riding (copyright applied for)
  • 4 2
 Thank god for this opinion piece! I was really getting sick of the comments under the Rampage content. Kaz, you‘ da man!
  • 1 0
 I think more like 99.99% of mtbers could not complete a rampage run. Pretty sure I would shit myself before dropping in if only as an excuse not to try.
  • 4 0
 I like to think I’m a pretty good freerider. I went to the Rampage sites, and was pretty shocked how ass puckeringly huge the lines really are in person.
  • 2 0
 See Brendog's line for a perfect mix of new school tricks , riding with speed and showcasing raw terrain in a modern way.
  • 2 0
 Well said @mikekazimer !
Big props to Semenuk for raising the standard of the sport.
  • 1 1
 When even articles read like an angry comment section.. can you really criticise angry commenters...¿
Especially when the ad revenue depends on comments.. (clicks an likes yall (dolla dolla bills yall))
  • 1 0
 Amen to that. And right on cue, Andreu Lacondeguy is out with broken bones after overshooting a humungous drop. Rampage is a monster.
  • 1 0
 in my opinion, freeride will never die, the people keep saying "is freeride dead?" are the only ones keeping that question alive,
  • 1 1
 As someone who barely even qualifies as an armchair expert, I thought the most-common beef with Rampage was the increasing focus on flippy-spinny tricks, rather than an objection to safe landing zones?
  • 1 0
 Blah blah... still think it is too manicured and judges are too polarized towards slopestyle tricks. Brage will get robbed for not doin oppo shit!
  • 1 0
 99.9% of the riding population couldn't complete a run top to bottom? Try 99.999%. No way 1 in 1,000 riders can do this.
This is some seriously extreme stuff.
  • 2 0
 The surfing analogy is spot on!
  • 2 0
 @suddenjolt - In more ways than one - surfing has a pretty significant cultural problem with wankers getting all wrapped up in posturing about what's core, soul, etc. Classic in-group/out-group BS, coupled with raging hormones and immature frontal lobes and standard-issue a*sholery. IMHO, life's too short for all that.
  • 1 0
 but you cant control or shape a wave. Just a friendly comment, 0% hate or critic involved in my words Smile
  • 4 4
 The arm chair trolls are the same over biked jerry's that buy the latest and greatest gear year after year in hopes of buying their talent. You know who you are. 
  • 2 1
 I like my Mega tho....
  • 1 3
 You know who you are.. yea every -1 comment
  • 1 0
 @HomelessJunkie: don't be mad these dentists can only fling around money. They worked hard for it.
  • 3 1
 "Something tells me I could easily beat those trained professionals"
  • 4 6
 You're being extremely arrogant with your opinion. Thinking that it's superior to everybody's else. If there are voices, people saying that rampage changed, and that the change is going in a bad direction its their sacred right. There is a place for raw, kind of oldschool competition like rampage, used to be, and also there is a place for events like dark fest, with huge man made smooth tracks, there is also place for slopestyle events and dirt jumping trail jams. Not every competition has to be judged the same, and look the same. That's why so many people aren't happy with the current format of rampage, that's why every year the people choice differs from the judges, that's why people voted for Brage and the judges didn't. People want different things. And that is an awesome thing.
  • 1 1
 like anything though if you're not growing you're dying. If it doesn't appeal to the masses it doesn't get funded, and it doesn't happen.
  • 2 0
 If you're building your own line and hucking it, it's freeride. No cap.
  • 1 3
 It’s not a slope course they yell….as a slopestyle rider wins by doing tricks on a slopestyle bike…..sniper landings & precision riding on 15’x40’ landings……knife edge cliffs clearly in the background of my 4’ bench cut. Ffs have some self respect already, it’s not like we can’t see it.
Let’s go Brandon!
  • 1 0
 Rampage should be a series. Take it everywhere. Make dig teams bigger, give them longer and see what they can build!
  • 1 0
 Spot on. Haters will be haters, players will be players. I'm bout ot grab a big ole bag of popcorn and get stoked!!
  • 1 0
 Its not for me, but riding bikes is good, whatever youre doing to them, right? (not you, triathalon)
  • 1 3
 The fact that you feel the need to say how all of us are "armchair" shows how pathetic you are. Some of us on here are not "armchair", we ride drops and jumps as well, maybe not that big but I have personally done stuff close to this big.

So when we give our opinion on these matters, you saying we're "armchair" is insulting.

Also yes, the courses are too manicured. You're here talking about riders safety and how it gets bigger and bigger. That was the whole point of freeride back then, doing insanely gnarly shit on sketchy terrain, and it's unfortunate that that charm has worn off over the years for riders "safety".
  • 2 1
 Applausi per l'articolo!
  • 3 2
 Great piece. Totally agree.
  • 1 1
 Freeride is too hardcore for outside+, they are going to change the name to "Dirt Riders"..
  • 2 0
 No! Freeride died!!!
  • 1 1
 "Rampage may be the modern day equivalent of a gladiator contest, but I don't want anyone to get eaten by lions." Well said
  • 3 3
 Rampage: The "New BIG SlopeStyle" event... not the Freeride everyone loves!
  • 1 0
 Freeride ain't dead, but the dual crown fork sure is. Long live the ZEB
  • 1 0
 All polished to hand load into the water....and fluuuush
  • 1 1
 spot on! The ones who claim it's not freeride are the ones who have never ridden freeride.
  • 1 1
 I cant wait to see Rampage but in nowadays its more a gnarly slope style contest (I love it)
  • 1 1
 It’s not freeride because it’s too groomed, it’s not freeride because it’s not freeriding.
  • 1 0
 I just want to watch redbull rampage 2021 live!!
  • 3 4
 It’s not entertaining unless theirs a serious chance of death or dismemberment.
  • 2 2
 Rampage Friday Fails. Sounds legit
  • 1 0
 lol
  • 3 3
 Well I just wanted to say that I'm totally better than all those guys. Wink
  • 1 2
 No you're not.
  • 3 1
 @shltler: I am too! I was shredding particularly hard last night in my dreams!
  • 4 6
 People pretending a repeat course with hundreds of sandbags, thousands of dig hours, and exclusive lines is a fair comp. it’s a slopestyle course for featured riders.
  • 1 0
 100%
  • 3 3
 Best editorial ever. 100% nailed it. Thank you Mike.
  • 1 1
 Modern day bmx racing versus its origin is the definition of groomed.
  • 2 2
 Rampage *identifies* as freeride, so just leave it be
  • 2 1
 Well said.
  • 1 0
 THANKS...
  • 3 4
 Who approves these rants. I thought this was a bicycle webpage.
  • 2 1
 It seems like Pinkbike is getting increasingly more comfortable letting us know what we (the customers) are wrong about.
  • 7 0
 @Rhymer, I mean, it does say opinion right in the title.
  • 6 1
 @mikekazimer: I get it, and I don't really have a dog in the freeride fight. I enjoy watching it all.
It does seem like in the last year or so, the staff is crossing the line between entertainingly snarky and condescending.

I quit listening to the podcasts because i was tired of hearing how your viewers are wrong about how they feel about ebikes, gearboxes, Outside magazine, etc.

I'm sure you are gaining more fans than your losing, so it's probably working, but I'm not digging i too much
  • 5 0
 @Rhymer: Someone has thin skin.
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