With just over a week before Crankworx makes its return to Whistler for the first time since 2019, fan excitement has reached a new level with the unveiling of this year’s Red Bull Joyride course.
In celebration of Joyride’s 10th anniversary, the new course will showcase a brand new feature called “The Sphere,” which was first shown in slopestyle legend Brandon Semenuk’s video project Realm, and voted on by fans.
“The goal of the film project was to try a bunch of different new concepts for slopestyle. And so Brandon helped design these things with Justin Wyper,” said Crankworx managing director Darren Kinnaird. “It’s completely new. We saw something similar to it in 2010, but not quite the same, as it will allow for far more creativity. But we’re looking forward to seeing what the athletes do with it, as most of the athletes that are competing at Red Bull Joyride this year have never seen anything like it.”
Along with the “Sphere”—a bowl-like feature tipped vertically at the end of a jump—Semenuk’s Realm showcased three other features including the “High Beam,” a tall skinny boardwalk with multiple dismount options; “The Double Dip,” a flowy feature with back-to-back big-air jumps; and “The Redirect,” a halfpipe-esque feature where the rider airs a gap between launch ramp and landing before dropping into another jump.
While the stoke is high, fans aren’t the only ones getting pumped to see the “Sphere” in action, as multiple slopestyle athletes have shown their excitement for the new feature, including the number one ranked slopestyle athlete on the planet and winner of the last nine major slopestyle events Emil Johansson.
"I think it's sick. It's something really different to what we usually see at the slopestyle course," he said. "That course used to consist of a lot of different features, and over the years, even though we still have a lot of different features, they've gotten more and more towards being more trick jumps. But I think this feature is interesting, it's different. Even though I've ridden something that looks a bit like it in the past, It was way less like a bowl. And honestly, I can't wait to ride this thing."
When asked what fans can expect from him on the new feature, Johansson simply said, "time will tell," as he needs to wait and see how the feature speaks to him when he gets his first look at it in person in just over a week.
Crankworx Whistler officially kicks off on Friday, Aug. 5, with Red Bull Joyride taking place one week later on Saturday, Aug. 13. The slopestyle athletes will have four days before the event to practise on the new feature and plan their race-day tricks.