Whip around the world in eight months
Since hosting the European Whip Off Championships at Crankworx Les Deux Alps in 2014, SPANK has heeded the call of the spectators and the stoke of the riders in staging Whip Offs around the world every year, in search of celebrating the ultimate in whip steeze.
2017 sees SPANK Industries roll out the Spank World Whip Offs globally, with four events 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.
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.
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:
- Sideways: how far sideways you can get your bike. Ultimately, its about getting that bike to 90 degrees or beyond.
- Style: it’s an artistic thing. Is that sideways, high and forward, or low and forward.
- Amplitude: the height and trajectory of a perfectly styled whip is usually the tie breaker factor.
- Fluidity: a.k.a Steeze. Is the rider looking comfortable, carving off the lip, not looking stiff and landing nicely.
DARKFEST Spank Mega Whip - 11 February
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.