One of the best freeride mountain bikers in history, Brandon Semenuk has been competing since the age of nine and he's expanded his skills to rallying, too.
Growing up in the mountain bike paradise of Whistler, British Columbia, Canada, there was no way Brandon Semenuk was not going to learn how to ride a mountain bike at a young age.
His older brother got him into the sport when Semenuk was just six years old and, by age nine, he started entering cross country races on the BC circuit. Competing in his first BC Cup Race aged just nine, it didn’t take long for Semenuk to dominate the cross country circuit -- and quickly burn out on the race scene.
By the time he turned 14, Semenuk discovered the world of freestyle mountain biking – jumps, tricks, and most importantly, less rules and regulations. At that point, he transitioned over to freeriding and the rest, as they say, is history. In 2011 and 2012, he won the Freeride Mountain Bike World Tour overall title (earning six wins on the tour in 2012 alone) and he scored a silver medal at the X Games debut of slopestyle mountain biking in Germany in 2013. He also took the win at his first Red Bull Rampage appearance in 2008, aged just 17.
In between his busy contest schedule, Semenuk somehow made time to film groundbreaking video segments, teaming up with Red Bull to create his YouTube series Life Behind Bars, which followed him on his trips around the world, and riding on his own home turf. The series was an instant success.
So much so that, when Semenuk took time off from contests in 2013, he decided to join forces with Freeride Entertainment and Red Bull Media House to collaborate on an even bigger film project – a full-length movie called Rad Company, released in 2014. The feature film followed Semenuk, as well as fellow riders Cam Zink, Graham Agassiz, Cam McCaul, Stevie Smith, Thomas Genon, Ryan Howard, Yannick Granieri and others, on travels from British Columbia to Utah and beyond.
“I definitely enjoy filming and coming up with concepts,” Semenuk says. “I wanted to create something that hasn't been around, a really progressive film that focuses on the riding.”
It was back to competing after that and the overall title of the FMB World Tour quickly followed, opening the door to even more future achievements, including victory at Red Bull Joyride in 2015 and the season-opening slopestyle contest at Crankworx Rotorua in March 2016.
Since then, Semenuk has slowly transitioned away from competition, focusing more on film parts. Like his transition away from cross country into freeride, moving away from competition has allowed Semenuk the freedom to express himself how he likes, like in his 2015 viral one-shot clip from Teton Gravity Research’s award-winning 'unReal'.
More recently, Semenuk has focused on his own production company, Revel Co., producing groundbreaking shorts and films such as Revel In The Chaos, a full length film showcasing Semenuk’s otherworldly riding abilities. Along with his own production company, Semenuk’s Raw 100 videos with Red Bull have always moved the needle, drawing millions of viewers at each release.
While focusing heavily on filming has taken over much of Semenuks free time, he still makes a few cameos on the competition scene, winning Red Bull Rampage in 2016 and 2019, making him only the second athlete ever to win the event three times.
If being the most successful Crankworx athlete of all time and having his own production company wasn’t enough, Semenuk has also been competing in rallying events since 2010. During that time he's notched up numerous overall Canadian Rally Championship (CRC) event wins and North American Rally Cup (NARC) titles.
He signed up with the Subaru Motorsports USA team for the 2020 American Rally Association series season, where he competes alongside motorsports legend Travis Pastrana.
Still considered one of the best freeriders in the world, Semenuk always has the next groundbreaking segment up his sleeve and maybe even another podium. The mountain bike world can’t wait to see his next move.