From riding insane loops to building some of the most progressive slopestyle courses around the world, Matt McDuff has quickly become an authority on what it takes to build some of the best slopestyle features in all of mountain biking. So, when Red Bull decided they want to give their infamous Joyride Event at Crankworx a makeover, Macduff teamed up with the infamous Joyride Bike Parks crew to give us a brand new course. We sat down and chatted with Matt on what he’s most excited for, who he’s got his money on, and his favourite features of the new course.—ML
Mountain Life: What’s up Matt. Red Bull Joyride is already one of the best events in action sports… why the change?
Matt Macduff: I think it’s important to always change. You look at most things in life, they’re always changing. Action sports evolve so quickly so I think it’s important that the courses evolve to create the right space for the athletes to push the sport.
Fair enough. So what exactly has changed?
The course is definitely filled with a lot more options. If you start from the top-down, you’ll see the “boner” log now has a step on/step off beside it, which is super cool. Then you have tons of hip options, and they don’t stop all the way down. That will give the guys a lot more opportunity to show what they’ve got. Not everyone likes to ride the same features—some guys flourish on flat drops, and others like to ride big jumps. So the more options, the better for the riders.
The only thing standing in his way is…I don’t know If there’s a hurricane or something. I’ve got my money on Brett for sure.
Most difficult part of the build?
The final feature. It’s the big bang at the end and it’s gotta be impressive, and leave a strong taste in your mouth. It was hard to decide what was gonna go at the end and I’m super happy to see the whale tale in there now—I think it’s gonna be great.
What feature are you most excited for?
I really like the second flat drop. I like the woodworking that has gone into it, the crowd access underneath, and it just looks like an incredible feature. And it’s pretty tech with the berm after, so I’d have to say that’s my favourite feature. I’m super excited to see what Brett Rheeder and Emil Johanssen are gonna throw down off that one. I think it’s gonna be quite a battle this year for first.
Who will benefit most from the new build?
The course is definitely pretty technical—it’s going to benefit the rider who is more solid on his bike in all aspects, not just throwing the tricks. It’s gonna be the best all-around bike rider who’s gonna win. The main thing is speed—everyone is gonna have to be precise and land perfectly. It’s exciting because the guys will have to land their tricks super clean and carry momentum down the course. So, it will probably come down to the guys maybe not throwing the biggest tricks and landing sketchy who will win. It will be the guy who has really strong bike control and is landing their tricks really clean.
How will the competition change?
I think there will be more of an emphasis on style with this course. We’re gonna see some big moves as well because there are perfect opportunities everywhere. The guys did such a good job with the build and I can’t wait to see the show on Saturday.
Who you are most excited to see ride?
I’m most excited to see Brett (Rheeder) for sure, but if I had to choose a number two it would be Dawied Godziek.
If you had to bet, who are you putting your money on?
For sure I’ve got my money on Brett Rheeder, 100%. I’ve been training and practising with him for the last 2 months and he’s just looking so tight. The only thing standing in his way is…I don’t know If there’s a hurricane or something. I’ve got my money on Brett for sure.