Rampage 2013 Build Blog: The Sender Takes Shape

Bigger and better than before, Oakley’s Icon Sender begins to loom over the Rampage site.

© Dave Reuss/Red Bull

In each year since the Oakley Icon Sender’s 2010 inception, it has been one of the build crew’s largest and most ambitious tasks, as well as the most mesmerizing feature on the course. The Icon Sender has consistently challenged the athletes, inviting them to take the absolute gnarliest drop in the venue, and to link their creative lines on the top and bottom of the course.

Taking into consideration the limited space on the cliffside and a crowd-sourced design inspiration (via Oakley’s Render the Sender competition), the team of designers at Oakley collaborated with riders and builders to come up with a feature they collectively agreed would produce the most thrilling possibilities.

Designs were sketched, considered, altered, and canned before the team came to a consensus on what will be on display come qualifying day -- a design that pushes the ever-evolving envelope, which is exactly what has come to be expected of the Oakley Icon Sender.

Rampage build blog 3 DSC_3739© Dave Reuss/Red Bull

The 2013 Sender gives riders an option: bold or technical. Athletes who choose to incorporate it into their lines will have the opportunity to showcase either skill in a critical part of the course. This years’ iteration includes five takeoffs (three of which are new) and three landings (one of them new).

Rampage build blog 3 DSC_3757© Dave Reuss/Red Bull

As a crucial navigational point on the course, the Icon Sender presents the Rampage build crew, led by Jeremy Witek, with its greatest construction challenge -- one which requires equal parts strategy and execution.

Compared to previous years, a lot of additional construction was necessary:

• New landings required a serious assessment of trajectory and slope from multiple angles

• Uprights needed to be embedded in the cliffside in order to erect the structure

• Maneuvering massive machinery up a slope on soft and shifting soil continued to be a daunting challenge

• Retaining walls of natural rock were hand-stacked

• Countless wheelbarrow loads of dirt were dumped and leveled to complete the landings

Rampage build blog 3 DSC_3727© Dave Reuss/Red Bull

Nothing comes easy in this unique build process. While all of the new launch options are massive and trying, the builders have taken extreme care to create a precise and rideable feature. Builders stand at different segments of the features and consult each other to make sure takeoffs and landings match with proper trajectories.

Rampage build blog 3 DSC_3800© Dave Reuss/Red Bull

The amount of collective thought, consideration, and collaboration from riders, designers and builders put into this year’s Icon Sender has created a truly unique focal point on the course that should result in some all-time shredding. Get ready!

Rampage build blog 3 DSC_3789© Dave Reuss/Red Bull

Bookmark the Red Bull Rampage site to experience all of the content leading up to, during, and after the October 11-13 event days. Watch the live webcast of the finals on October 13, follow the Road to Rampage video series, and mark your calendar for the December 21 Red Bull Signature Series highlights broadcast on NBC.