Whistler is about to become the Mountain Bike mecca of the world again! Whistler Kokanee Crankworx runs from July 15-24 with the Red Bull Joyride slopestyle finals on Sat. July 23. I took a trip to Whistler to view the slopestylecourse and talk with course builder Paddy Kaye of Joyride. The course is about 80% done and they are just putting the finishing touch's on this wicked new course. I spent some time walking the course with Paddy as we watched Greg Watts and Brandon Semenuk test some of the build out. Both Greg and Brandon are stoked on what this new rider input slopestyle will show the fans on sat. night. The course has seen a huge change with Red Bull and Joyride combining with top rider input, it is huge..... the jumps and lips are going to send riders into the NASA zone. The course starts midline with a roll into drop, you then choose the center or right line which join on the same feature after some HUGE gap jumps. You the hit the Tombstone on the center line then hip the jump right or left towards huge take offs to hip jumps before coming back to center again to hit the right / left satellite dish's then head through the Kokanee Cabin and the final lip to the finish line before a possible 25K screaming fans. This is what Paddy Kaye had to say:
How long have you been working on this Joyride course and when do expect it to be done? What were some of the challenges? Started May 15th and expect to be finished by July 15th. The main challenge was to lay down an entire new design in the bone yard, build everything new, and make it all work in a tight timeline (we had a ton of snow and Crankworx is earlier this year).
The riders gave you input on design and helped give ideas on placement of take off and landings? Does this mean this a work in progress and could still change in small ways during practice and up to the final Slopestyle day? Yes it is a work in progress and we're doing our best to make the adjustments now so we won't have to during practice... but if we have a problem we will address it and adjust.
Brandon Semenuk and Greg Watts rode the course as trial guinea pigs, both thought it was wicked. How does that make feel after all the hard work? Ha, it feels good for sure but we're still building, so I'm not getting ahead of myself.
You built one of the original Whistler bike park trails aptly named Joyride, which is still in use today, then started the first Joyride Mtn Event at Whistler a decade ago. You built the Rampage 2010 course in Utah and have seen freeriding reach new heights . Where do see the sport growing and going in the future? I could write a book on this one... I see the sport growing in many different directions. Here's a quick summary of what I see: The bike park / lift assist thing will grow as resorts move to more year round operations, more people will travel with their bikes, more communities will build skills parks, pump tracks, and dirt jump parks along side skateboard parks and soccer fields. More people will ride 'mountain bikes', kids will get on it earlier, more sustainable trails, bikes will continue to get better, etc... For slopestyle contests I think we'll start to see more athletes with the skills to win, more technical tricks, more attention to style, and more stomping (clean landings).
At the end of Red Bull Joyride 2011 do you plan on meeting with some rider to get feedback on the course and how it could be improved the following years? Yes, we plan to collect as much feedback as possible, from athletes, judges, sponsors, and even media input. We're planning to add features as well as tweaking.
Are we really lucky to have Red Bull as a sponsor at the biggest Slopestyle Mtn Bike event in the world? Do you see their involvement as the center for future improvement in pushing the boundaries of freeride slopestyle contests? Yes we're lucky to have Red Bull investing in our sport, no question. Not only their investment into the event/ sport, but their media house is a huge opportunity to bring mountain biking to the main stream audience.
When your watching the Joyride finals along with 25K screaming fans on Sat. July 23 how big is the smile on you face going to be? I hope so, if the athletes are smiling I'll be too. Cheers Paddy K
Here are what a few riders has to say about looking forward to Red Bull Joyride this July 23:
'I think bigger gaps and drops are the way to go. nice 40- 50 foot doubles with big rolling landings would make for an insane show! just make sure they are built right, and they can be almost as big as moto jumps, but still safe enough. and cut all the bull shit stunts out like the hot tub thing last year and the wedge after it. unless you want to make a loop cause that would be rad! haha jk. no more hips on to sketchy things or off either haha. drops, fruit bowls, and on off boxes should be big, but build right so no one falls off them. i think the last stunt should be a big trick booter cause that would be good for the crowd.'
'I think that moutain bike is finally going in the good way ...!! cause we are not riding MTB for gay small gap and drop we need big stuff big gap north shore full helmet ...! the full package...!!'
'I think it's awesome the riders are instrumental in designing their own course and that Red Bull is the sponsor. Red Bull doesn't mess around and I predict the course will be both bigger and safer for the riders, as well as even more entertaining for everybody...can't wait!'
'Super stoked that this comp is finally being built and designed by some real bad asses. Now how do I get on the invite list?/