Is Red Bull Rampage Too Dangerous?

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Ok, so lets get this out of the way. Red Bull Rampage is a highly, highly entertaining spectacle. Most people would testify to that after watching the preview video of the 2016 Red Bull Rampage, and seeing Brandon Semenuk’s insane winning run. It’s not a new thing though. Being able to watch mountain bikers risk their life and limb has been a source of constant entertainment since the sport first began with the first Klunkerz riders. After all, mountain biking is extreme and totally rad yo!

However, the Red Bull Rampage has long been the pinnacle of the extreme side of the sport, with riders flinging themselves off the gnarliest of jumps and down the steepest of drops in the Utah desert. And each year, it seems to get even more and more gnarly as riders push themselves to progress. With some serious accidents in recent years, some riders and commentators have suggested that the event is becoming too dangerous.

In fact, as you’ll see below, Sam Reynolds has stated via his Instagram account that the Rampage course was so sketchy, that he decided to tap out of this year’s event;

A lot of people have been asking why I didn’t drop in at rampage this year and I’ll be totally honest I just didn’t think it was safe! The top was so dangerous with 100ft cliffs off each side and I just wasn’t up for risking it. The decision was not an easy one but hope everyone understands. Sorry for letting down anyone who wanted to see me ride and especially my dig crew @deakinator1 @ryanza671 for building such a cool line that no one ever got to see! Thanks to all my awesome sponsors and friends for supporting me too no matter what!

A photo posted by Sam Reynolds (@samreynolds26) on

As we’re all aware though, sweet helmet cam footage of riders doing insane things often gets millions of internet views and it makes sponsors happy. Plus, a photo of you backflipping off a canyon gap makes for a brilliant advertisement in a magazine, so the more of those you can pull off, the happier your employers are going to be right?

So what do you think? Is the Red Bull Rampage too dangerous? Will it take a very serious accident for organisers to think accordingly? Or is it a case of riders being responsible for their own safety? And if you don’t like it, don’t do it?

Read:On The Rampage: Behind Freeride’s Biggest Freakshow


Comments (7)

    Penultimate sentence – sort your greengrocer’s apostrophe please.

    Argh my eyes! Fixed. I’m off for a lie down after that.

    Has there not already been a serious accident ? How serious does it need to be ?

    Watching a bleary Conor Macfarlane repeatedly stack it was not fun. There’s a lot of scary new evidence coming to light about the long-term effects of concussion. Make the contest as gnarly as you like, but giving riders prizes for being crash test dummies is not cool.

    You heard it here first, some where down the line there will be class action against RedBull for the long-term effects of concussion and yes its all getting stupidly silly.

    I think Sam’s view which I agree with having watched the POV vids is that on the top section of the course a small mistake or gust of wind could have resulted in not just an injury but death. There were 30m sheer drops off all sides, and the line to ride was uber technical. Kyles Straits line down to the jumps and drops made me feel a bit sick. Its one thing to attempt a big drop, jump, steep or trick in the knowledge that if you get it wrong you may get hurt, but quite another to think that going a few inches offline at the wrong moment could kill you….

    “Watching a bleary Conor Macfarlane repeatedly stack it was not fun.”

    Yes very much so, if it had been a boxing match they’d have stopped him. What’s odd is with all the wooden ramps removed it actually seemed less safe as they just used the most ridiculous lines the mountain had to offer instead.

    The two run format doesn’t seem to work either, conditions generally worsen as the day goes on and some riders, quite rightly, don’t want to risk a crash with no guarantee they will improve in worse conditions.

    Whole format needs a rethink

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