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Finn Isles styling out in the middle of a party train. Photo: Matt Miller

For the eighth year in a row, the the Whip-Off World Championships went down during Crankworx Whistler. There were whips, flips, no-handers, no-footers, and just about any sort of stylish trick that a mountain biker can display in the air on two wheels.

The Whip-Off is more of a gravity jam session for thousands of fans than a competitive contest where riders try to win by all means necessary. The goal is to put your rear wheel inches in front of your face while traveling 25MPH, 20-feet in the air.

There is a winner though, as with any Crankworx competition. Whip-Off World Champs start with a 45-minute jam session where the athletes get the blood flowing and warm up to the 60-foot jumps on Whistler Bike Park’s pro jump line, Crabapple Hits.

After that, the field is narrowed down to final qualifiers who advance to Super Finals. Riders are judged by amplitude, style, how far past 90-degrees a bike goes in the whip, and how cleanly and straight the rider lands. The riders that crank it the hardest win $2,000. This year two downhill racers topped out the freeriders. Kade Edwards (Trek Factory Racing) and Virginia Armstrong took home the Whip-Off belt with the biggest tweaks.

There was a clear fan favorite for the crowd today.

Riders start Crabapple Hits with a few small kickers and hips to build momentum.

After the kicker and hip there’s a slab of rock that riders can rear or nose wheelie or double to build speed.

Down from the first hip was a crossing zone for pedestrians and athletes. “Rider!” shouted a trail bouncer every 10-20 seconds. A lot of pedestrians disregarded the warning. A lot of them almost got bulldozed.

Whip-Offs are graded on style, so zebra and leopard prints are a must for bonus points. Right?

Tie-dyes too.

There were no lifts or shuttles for the athletes, so all hike-a-bike their DH rigs back up to the top every time.

photo: Jeff Barber

Speed and style weren’t necessary for the rock booter, but certainly more entertaining.

Jordie Lunn doesn’t ever send anything just a little bit.

Spectators found some interesting vantage points for the competition. photo: Jeff Barber

Racer/ freerider Brendan Fairclough going for a nice table.

You can wear anything you want, as long as it’s leopard print.

Carson Storch rocking his new 2020 Rocky Mountain Slayer with a dual crown fork. When Storch wasn’t whipping, he was back-flipping.

The progression of the whip.

Brook McDonald mid-air, ready to bring it back around.

Goal!

Andreu Lacondeguy and Reed Boggs going for a perfect-ten.

The judges kept a close watch and had to make some difficult decisions. photo: Jeff Barber

First place women’s whipper-snapper Virginia Armstrong getting that rear wheel out to a clean 90-degrees.

Background backflips.

Foreground front-flips.

Competitors awarded a pink sticker moved onto the finals. photo: Jeff Barber

Frog-legged superman backflips.

Side by side.

Casey Brown with a little case, or maybe the announcer said something wrong?

Kade Edwards almost coming off his bike for a massive whip.

Carson Storch high in the sky.

Allen Cooke’s whips had a style of their own and were mixed with a bit of a tabletop.

Ryan Howard making his way in for a clean landing.

Darren Berrecloth hasn’t slowed down.

We still aren’t sure how the physics of Kaos Seagrave’s whips actually work, but it’s fun to think about.

Casey Brown with big air.

Kurt Sorge’s whips take on a certain style of their own and his hips stay a lot straighter than others.

Two Gs for Kade Edwards.

The only thing more cool than a giant novelty check is a pro-wrestling style belt for the winners.

The proper thing to do after a successful round of Whip-Off World Champs would be a rip down A-Line.

So that’s what they did.

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