Ok, so maybe you think that you did see this. He did stomp it in his finals run but without actually being there you can’t really comprehend how wild it was. The run-in involved a massive drop, a fast and loose landing, panic braking then a flat take-off. “We saw this!”, you still say. NO! It was 10 whole degrees more nosed in than you realise… and way bigger. Ok, so my first example sucked. You did see it. Just checking. Let’s move on…
This guy, man. Woah! A real life American hero. So he turns up the day before qualifying, he can barely walk. I really mean that. I was amazed he even managed to hobble up to the Oakley Icon Sender.
He came straight out of hospital with fluid being drained from his leg, his wife's about to have a baby, it’s a real life TV drama. With the sun setting he walked away from the biggest drop on the Sender smiling and asked for a 6in take off. Talk got around that he had claimed the flip in an interview. Disbelief spread. I had every faith that he would send it. The extra pads on the outside of his helmet showed his... intent.
To be barely walking and to flip that thing on your second run through couldn’t be any manlier. He then sacked off the rest of his run, people were saying it was because he didn’t want to crash. I honestly think he was finding it hard to not fall asleep on terrain so boring compared to the HOLY JESUS TITS flip he had just sent. Debatable...
The White family digging team
Could you imagine sending your mum up a mountain to shift a load of dirt and pack down a landing?! Will White could, he even got his girlfriend on the job too. His line was a real family effort. Although his dig team was made up of mostly girls, his line was as manly as could be. Next year his girlfriend is doing qualis for him and mum's doing finals.
Yep, not only could you crash off what could only be described as a CLIFF, you might land in Tarantulas too. Brilliant.
Crash, bang, drama
Whilst watching from your comfortable living room seats, I feel you may have missed the full sobering effect that the crashes had on the riders. Because the terrain is so difficult to get to and the crashes were pretty nasty they really dragged out. It can’t be the easiest thing waiting at the top of that hill with a helicopter buzzing around and your friend down below on a spinal board. I hope Logan, Mark and Mitch are on their way to recovery now.
Although the rules state that you can drop into any line you’d have to be a douche to do so. Nope, it’s strictly ‘stick to what you built’ at Rampage. Wanna share a feature? You need to help out, or pay tax. The Strait dig team were offering a toll if you wanted to hit their handy speed jump before the sender. Reports say they made some big money…
You might be thinking I got away free of danger here. Wrong. Digging up that cliff face is like a battlefield. Rocks flying overhead from the Vanderham dig team, pick axes coming loose and tumbling past your head. Mum would have wanted me in full armour if she had seen what I was working with. Thankfully, I’m rock’n’roll enough to get away with only an open face helmet, and kneepads. Didn’t wanna look uncool, you know?
Kyle Strait’s guinea pig run
Kyle was the first to roll out of the biggest Oakley Icon Sender drop, the last puzzle piece to his run. A feat in itself, the night before finals too. He must have hooked up by less than a foot and withstood an impact so big it would have turned me into a compressed ball of meat, not Kyle though. The American bucked about 30 feet further down the landing and rolled to safety. A big sigh of relief came from the dig crew. He was ready for finals. Good thing too!
Chris Van Dine’s finals line
You might be thinking, ‘Chris Van Dine didn’t make it to the finals’. Well, you are right. If he had though, he would’ve been riding the most delusional and crazy run I’ve ever seen. Literally impossible. If he had pulled it off then the world might have exploded.
At the very least I would have had a panic attack and dribbled on my t-shirt. I'm praying for him to prove me wrong next year and bring it in the finals.
With so much work to do and me being the true professional, I arrived pretty early most days. Not as early as Brandon Semenuk though. As I arrived to my line I witnessed him pull the very three he crashed in finals. To my complete dismay I looked at my watch and it had just turned 7am. He probably then went back to his hotel and finished his pancakes, still warm from the oven, and got on with some emails. Alas it wasn’t to be.