A satisfying Rampage debut and experience for Emil Johansson
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Want to be fluent in freeride mountain biking lingo? Here's your chance
Not a mountain biking expert, but want to sound like one? Here's a full breakdown of the most used vocabulary, terms and trick names so you'll fit right in at Red Bull Rampage.
Written by James Stout
Published on
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Red Bull Rampage

United StatesVirgin, Utah, United States
If you’re watching Red Bull Rampage for the first time, you could be forgiven for thinking the desert was full of people speaking a different language. But fear not, we're here to help bridge the void between mountain bikers and the rest of the English-speaking world. Read on for a breakdown of mountain-biking vocabulary and most-used trick names. This is your Red Bull Rampage dictionary.
360/720: These are degrees of rotation in a jump, so a 360 is one complete circle. These can also be 'cork' which means the rotation is off-axis, like a corkscrew.
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See Cam Zink's Best Trick-Winning Rampage 360 Drop
Bail: Leaping off the bike to avoid a crash, usually when the rider and the mountain bike are mid-air – something which happens a lot at Rampage.
Blowout: Hitting a tyre so hard that it blows off the rim – not good!
Booter: A huge jump where you have to show maximum commitment. It can also refer to a man-made structure that's designed to give a rider a higher elevation into the air when they jump off it. Such structures were part of Rampage courses in the past.
Graham Agassiz in action at the Red Bull Rampage 2014 MTB event.
Graham Agassiz blasts the Polaris RZR booter
Bottoming out: This is when a rider runs out of suspension travel on a landing. It can be a hard bottom out, smashing the fork (front of the bike) or shock (rear of the bike) into the bottom of its travel range, or a soft bottom out where the rider smoothly hits the limit of the travel.
Buckled wheel: If a circular wheel buckles under strain it won’t pass through the forks any more, or if it does the wobble in the wheel throws the bike off balance. Most of the riders use very overbuilt wheels and this rarely happens.
The wreck of a mountain bike after it landed the Kelly McGarry Canyon Gap at Red Bull Rampage 2014.
Big mountain riding can take a heavy toll
Can-can: A trick, or an addition to a trick, that involves the rider taking a foot off the pedal and kicking it out on the other side of the bike like a can-can dancer (kind of). Brandon Semenuk likes to throw can-cans into backflips and other tricks for even more style on the mountain.
Canyon Gap: Just as it sounds, this is a jump that spans a canyon. It’s one of the major features of the current Rampage location, with a sketchy run-in and a landing that requires a sharp pivot to avoid a long fall. Just landing this requires major chops.
Mountain biker Tom van Steenbergen goes big over the canyon gap at Red Bull Rampage 2013.
Big, bad and beautiful: The Rampage Canyon Gap
Chute: A narrow gulley of rock that riders will 'drop in' to and ride down. Often these can be a great way to gather speed, but they can be rocky and don’t leave room for riders to avoid obstacles.
Dialled: Used to describe a run down Rampage mountain that's perfectly executed.
Drop: Where a rider jumps off a near-flat take-off and the bike's trajectory in the air is immediately downward or vertical.
Dropping in: This is when riders begin their Rampage run from a standing start at the Rampage start hut on top of the mountain.
Darren Berrecloth drops in at Rampage 2002
Darren Berrecloth drops in at Rampage 2002
Hucking: Much like 'sending', but it generally refers to riding off a drop. “Oh wow, she hucked that huge cliff drop.” You might also hear “huck to flat” which is, as it sounds, is the act of dropping from a great height on to flat ground. It isn’t good for riders or bikes – a smooth landing is preferred.
Landing: A sloped transition from air to ground, building these makes bigger jumps possible.
Syzmon Godziek prepares his line during the Red Bull Rampage in Virgin, UT, USA on 22 October, 2018.
Patting down an angled landing strip
Kicker: A jump, usually man-made, that will give the rider a much higher elevation to give them more time in the air.
Line: The sequence of jumps and drops a rider uses to get from top to bottom.
Oppo/Opposite: Much like being left-handed or right-handed, riders have a preference to which way they rotate during tricks. If a rider rotates a way that isn’t their preferred direction while pulling a trick that's them doing an 'opposite'.
Sending: This is really just another way of saying 'doing.' One might send a big drop, a canyon gap, or simply 'send it' when commuting to a feature.
Szymon Godziek in action at Red Bull Rampage in Virgin, Utah on October 26, 2018.
Szymon Godziek sends it at Rampage 2018
Step-down: This is where the rider launches down to a lower section of the mountain from a higher section with the use of a lip.
Step-up: A jump in which a ride lands higher than they took off.
Superman: The rider take their legs off the bike and stretches their body out behind it, like Superman. Szymon Godziek is famous for these.
Take-off: This is a crafted lip which sends riders in the air over a lip, gap or simply up in the air.
More details and explanations of the most common tricks used in mountain bike freeride and slopestyle can be found here.
Part of this story

Red Bull Rampage

United StatesVirgin, Utah, United States