Crankworx was born out of a vision for the future of a fringe sport that had begun gaining traction in the early 2000s.
Mountain biking was becoming a way of life in the Coast Mountain Range north of Vancouver and, as a ripple of the sport’s popularity moved through the Sea to Sky region – beginning in North Vancouver and running north through Squamish, Whistler and Pemberton – the desire grew to channel this energy into a festival.
The Whistler Summer Gravity Fest launched in 2003, including an Air DH, Joyride Bikercross and “Slopestyle Expression Session,” among other events. It set the stage for what was to come, and solidified Whistler’s growing reputation as Mecca for the mountain bike scene.
Paddy Kaye, Chris Winter, Founders of Joyride | Photo: Blake Jorgenson
The following year, Crankworx got its moniker, and what would become the world’s biggest mountain bike festival was born.
Here are a few of the milestone moments that’ve been a part of Crankworx history:
2004: Crankworx is born in Whistler, B.C.
2007: The first Crankworx outside of Whistler is held. Crankworx Colorado, hosted at Winter Park, would run for five years (through 2011).
2012: Crankworx lands in Europe, bringing the action to Les 2 Alpes, France. L2A would remain the French home of Crankworx for four years, through 2015.
2015: Crankworx touches down in the Southern Hemisphere, launching Crankworx Rotorua in New Zealand.
2015: Crankworx announces equal prize money for male and female comptitors.
2016: Crankworx sets down new roots in the French Portes du Soleil region, and Crankworx Les Gets is born.
2017: Crankworx adds a fourth stop to the Crankworx World Tour, with a second European home in Innsbruck, Austria.
2018: Crankworx joins forces with the FMBA to create the Crankworx FMBA Slopestyle World Championship, a singular elite-level series of Slopestyle mountain bike events.
Over the years, Crankworx has been the place for game-changing moments, legendary performances, unmatched two-wheeled athleticism, and “you saw it here first” examples of the progression through the sport’s various disciplines. It is ground zero for the global mountain bike community, where the bike-minded come to compete, celebrate and play.
Paul “Bas” Basagoitia, two-time Crankworx Slopestyle Champion | Photo: Peter Mozola
“When I brought the idea of Slopestyle to Rob McSkimming for the first Crankworx, I wanted to bring all of the elements that live in the forest─the ladder bridges, jumps, drops, teeter-totters and steep rock faces─to the bottom of the mountain to show everyone what goes on up there in the park. And they went for it─Rob McSkimming, Tom Pro, Jason Roe and Dave Kelly─were all such receptive people and stoked to do cool things and get things going. I knew the day we started talking about having a festival that Crankworx was going to help shape mountain bike culture.”
– Richie Schley, original Slopestyle advisor