2017 sees SPANK Industries roll out the World Whip Offs globally, with eight events in eight countries from February to August.
Since presenting the European Whip Off Championships at Crankworx Les Deux Alps in 2014, SPANK has recognised that whip offs draw in the World’s best athletes and the most dedicated mountain bike fans. Riders love to show off their skills while looking to beat the rest, and those trackside enjoy the spectacle of riders getting sideways.
SPANK Industries is very proud to announce the inaugural SPANK WORLD WHIP OFFS. Starting in South America in February, the series heads across three continents and eight countries in its hunt for the World Whip Off Champion. Both the ladies’ and mens’ champion will be crowned at Crankworx Whistler, the established Official World Whip Off Championships.
If you have a mean whip, but aren’t a pro, then this is your chance. Open Qualifying rounds mean you have every chance of getting your bike sideways with the pros. Practice gives everyone a chance to mingle with former and potential champions. All you need to do is meet the organisers’ age requirements and register for the event to be in with a shout.
It’s fitting that the final event of SPANK’s very first World Whip Off Series is at Crankworx Whistler, as it was the birth-place of the first ‘unofficial’ whip off contest about four years ago. The now legendary Crabapple Hits was the venue that saw the seed planted. Riders looking to see who had the best whip were joined by media and photographers, and the rest is history.
Nobody knew it would have been so popular with riders and fans alike. Crankworx and SPANK have worked together over the past three years to introduce an official whip off to every stop on the Crankworx World Tour, something that is now a reality for 2017.
“It’s the big unifying event at Crankworx,” says Whip Offs judge and photographer Sven Martin. “This is for anybody. For any rider, when you’re out riding your bikes, you’re doing drifts and you’re doing whips. That’s the kind of competition you have with your buddy. It’s like who’s the most stylish, who’s the best whipper. That’s a big mark of respect for the riders.”
For Finn Iles, 2016 World Whip Off Champion, “It’s just a really fun event riding out here with a lot of sick guys, doing trains and just trying to huck as far as you can. It’s definitely one of the best events here at Crankworx and its fun for the spectators and the riders, and overall I’d say its definitely one of my favourite events of the year.”
For spectators and media, the event is a favourite too. It’s like shooting fish in a barrel. You got two hours where riders from all disciplines including racers, freeriders and slope stylers hit one of the best jumps in the world 400 to 600 times.
But with so many riders hitting a jump continuously in a jam style whip off train, how do the judges score the perfect whip?
Judge Sven Martin says, “There’s no single good whip. It’s kind of in the eye of the beholder, but when it gets to those top ten guys you can see who stands above the others. What really makes it, is all the styles of riding. Free rider, racer, dirt jumper, slope styler, fest rider, and the girls as well, …its the coming together of so many disciplines and styles to see what rises to the top. Its very hard to judge.”
So what is the criteria that the judges are considering? In a nutshell, it’s summed up as ‘sideways, amplitude and style’. Breaking it down, here are the key components that combine to create the perfect whip:
Honouring the labour and toil of designing, digging and shaping the perfect whip jump, the SPANK ACE OF SPADES AWARD will be presented at the end of the season to the build crew that produced the best whip off jump of the series. Stay tuned for jump build photo epics from each event as we document the ACE OF SPADES.
Official launch of the 2017 SPANK WORLD WHIP OFFS.
Sam Reynolds’ fourth annual installment of Pure Darkness, arguably the biggest jumps hit event of the free ride calendar, brings a number of firsts to eager online spectators this year. Staged deep in the coastal forests of South Africa’s Garden Route, the event is not only an official fixture on the Fest Series Circuit for 2017, marketed this year as DarkFest, it also marks the official media launch of the annual SPANK World Whip Offs. Sam Reynolds, together with the invitation only field of riders including Andreu Lacondeguy, Danny Pace, Ethan Nell, Kyle Jameson, Olly Wilkins, Cam Zink, Matt MacDuff, Clemens Kaudela, Adolf Silva, Kurt Sorge, Graham Aggaziz and Nico Vink, staged the invitation only DarkFest Spank Mega Whip on February 11th in a bid to show the world what the fest series fraternity’s biggest hitters deem to be the ultimate in mega whip steeze.
Photo: Kurt Sorge with his winning Mega Whip.
Hosted at the iXS DH Cup Latin America, the SPANK WORLD WHIP OFF ARGENTINA was staged on 5 February in Bariloche, Argentina. Sebastian Alfaro of Lima, Perú took the win, with French rider Adrien Loron and Argentina’s Jerónimo Páezplacing second and third podium. All three riders have automatically secured their place in the World Whip Off Championships to be hosted at CRANKWORX Whistler in August this year.
The second leg of the SPANK WORLD WHIP OFFS went sideways on 12 February at the Nevados Bike Park in Chile.
Bernardo Cruz (Brazil) took the win followed by Sebastian Alfaro (Peru) and Kike Genova (Chile).
Also hosted at a leg of the iXS DH Cup Latin America, more information is available at www. http://ixsdownhillcup.la
Africa’s biggest MTB & BMX dirt jump competition returns to Cape Town on 24 February. The Night Harvest is back for it’s 5th year and every year the news spreads overseas and more of the world’s top riders flock to the Cape, making this the most fun and spectacular events of the year!
Perfectly manicured dirt jumps surrounded by mountains with top notch riders throwing down for your pleasure. The jam format of this event, hosted under floodlights to pumping music is a spectator favourite!
This year sees the start of a new addition to the evening, the Spank World Whip Offs South Africa. Officially a stage of the eight-stop Spank World Whip Offs, the winner of the South African leg at the Night Harvest automatically secures an invitational spot to the Official World Whip Off Champs hosted at Crankworx Whistler in August this year. This is one not to miss, so make sure to head to Potato Trails in Hout Bay for the madness created by the Trails Crew of Cape Town, and proudly presented by Monster Engery.
Leap into the air, turn the bike 90 degrees and raise the tires to greet the horizon. There you have the whip. Pull it off mid-air, with rock star amplitude, and it’s a Crankworx crowning achievement.
The Official Oceania Whip-Off Championships presented by Spank brings all the entertainment to the home country of its creator, combining big attitude with big whips as riders duke it out to win the admiration of the crowd, the respect of their peers and, ultimately, the title of sovereign of style.
2016 winners: Ryan Howard and Casey Brown
Details: Wednesday March 29 5:00pm - 7:00pm
Registration: To be confirmed. Visit www.crankworx.com
Format & Judging: Jam style. Riders will be eliminated based on the judges’ discretion during the competition. The judging panel will select a winner based on amplitude, style, degree of whip past 90 degrees and, most importantly, the return of the bike to a straight position down the fall line.
Crankworx Les Gets opens with one raucous showdown of dirt-churning, whip-off action. Forget the rodeo’s bucking broncos and the high-flying acrobatics of the circus. When a great rider hits a long, clean whip, it is a smooth horizontal 45-degree salute to our world of endless sun, big air and dust-spitting attitude. Get ready to revel in some tire-swinging steeze as Crankworx Les Gets revives the Official European Whip-Off Championships presented by Spank. 2016
Winners: Bernardo Cruz and Casey Brown
Event details coming soon. Visit www.crankworx.com
22 June sees the inauguration of the first Austrian Whip Off at the 2017 CRANKWORX INNSBRUCK event. Hot on the tails of the LES GETS stop, we can’t wait to see how the kings and queens of whip steeze fair in the second European event.
Event details coming soon. Visit www.crankworx.com
Hillbilly Huckfest has established itself as one of the leading bike festivals in Norway. Festival Manager Magnus Tveito turned his family farm into a bike festival back in 2009, and the rest, as they say, is history!
Mads “Makken” Haugen is the biggest mountain bike star in Norway and together with the Hillbilly Huckfest team he invites the world’s best athletes to a spectacular bike show!
In 2015, JBS Sports, Norwegian distributor for SPANK, initiated Norway’s first SPANK Whip-Off to the stark-raving-crazy Norwegian crowds at the Hillbilly Huckfest. Now… it’s an institution! Fasten your seatbelts and get ready for takeoff at the 2017 SPANK WORLD WHIP OFFS SCANDINAVIA. A long weekend of bearded Norwegian bike-maniacs, pumping music and a Scandinavian festival vibe second-to-none!
Stay in the loop at www.hillbillyhuckstore.tictail.com. Tickets to this festival sell out fast!
Skill and steeze reign supreme as the best adrenaline junkies in the biz meet for what undefeated whip wizard Casey Brown says calls “Christmas” for the gravity crowd. Developed by the Grand Pooh-Bah of mountain biking photography, Sven Martin, the Official Whip-Off World Championships combines big attitude and sideways flare in a playful throw-down of killer whips that never fail to draw one of the biggest crowds of the week. Grab a vuvuzela and get ready for a hike down from the Whistler Village Gondola. The crowd going wild never fails to hold a little influence as we get set to bestow the title of sovereign of style.
2016 Winners: Casey Brown and Finn Iles.
Event Information & Formats:
Registration: The Official Whip-Off World Championships presented by SPANK is an invitational event. The invitation list will be announced in early August each year. There will be an open qualifier earlier in the week. Minimum age requirement is 18 years old.
Course: Crabapple Hits in the Fitzsimmons Zone of the Whistler Mountain Bike Park
Event details coming soon. Visit www.crankworx.com