Top 12 Red Bull Rampage Moments
Highlights From The World's Biggest MTB Freeride Fest
While there’s nothing like seeing the sending at Red Bull Rampage in person, the imagery from our Senior Photographer Re Wikstrom comes close. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite visual moments that capture the nerves, awe-inspiring feats, and stoke of the world’s biggest MTB freeride competition.
1. The buzz around Jaxon Riddle could hardly be contained on event day. His moto-inspired tricks earned him the Best Style award, and one of the best debut Rampage runs we’ve witnessed to date.
2. Brandon Semenuk has a tendency to draw lots of attention—which makes sense considering he smashed records and unveiled two first-ever Rampage tricks at the bottom of the course. We’re also still in awe of the gnar-factor of this chute at the top of his run. Photo from Backcountry Photographer Marcus Gracia.
3. Speaking of chutes, this venue is home to one of the most awe-inspiring features we’ve ever laid eyes on. Cam Zink and Kyle Strait devoted a considerable amount of their digging time to it, and it paid off on game day—Kyle pointed it Strait.
4. One rider took rawness to the next level by showcasing Virgin’s incredible terrain. While he withdrew from the event due to a last-minute injury, Brage Vestavik put on quite the show at practice. His idea of Rampage was skidding down unmanicured lines easily mistaken for goat paths—as other riders constructed dirt highways down the course.
5. From a spectator standpoint, the most compelling aspect of the venue was the 180-degree bowl of enormous drops that funneled into the trick jump at the finish corral. Here, Tommy G hung a foot in the middle of an impossibly stylish cork 360.
6. Among the standout showings from the stadium of step-downs was Reed Boggs’s heavy 360. After his tire exploded on the first attempt, he slowed down his rotation for a clean landing on his second run, earning him third place.
7. In the blink of an eye, Ethan Nell managed to yank a backflip, land, and take off again on his lilypad feature before he tore into the trick jumps.
8. The nerves in the air from the riders were almost palpable, as they mastered the process of turning fear into fuel. Case in point: Tom Van Steenbergen conquering his frontflip step-down.
9. Athletes used several different strategies to guinea-pig and test ride each feature before finals day. To get a feel for his big drop, Vinny T tip-toed his bike to a rather-perilous ledge about a third of the way to the top of his takeoff—which loomed several feet above him—and dropped in from there.
10. Every crew tackles dig days with a different plan of attack. Carson Storch’s crew worked on the takeoff for his colossal drop, with his bike-hauling side-by-side below.
11. Brage Vestavik’s crew scratching in a “landing” for a hipped stepdown that spectators never got to see ridden. Onlookers peer down into the ravine from the takeoff.
12. Reed Boggs was the only rider to hit the South ridge of the venue, which hosted a slew of high-consequence features. Boggs shared his line with his dad during practice a few days before finals.
Kendall Zylstra is a writer at Backcountry. Follow along @kzylstra22.