Quick Questions – Brett Tippie Interview
A few weeks ago I managed to get in touch with bona fide legend Brett Tippie, a guy that many of you will know as a founding member of the freeride mountain bike movement, someone who has been there from the early days. For others Brett will be the super positive and extroverted presenter of Crankworx and other major mountain biking events. I wanted to find out how he manages to stay rad, what his life with Sarah Fenton Tippie looks like, and how he’s inspiring a new generation of lil’ shredders.
Cranky Betty: What would you say have been the most important changes to mountain bikes since you first started riding?
Brett Tippie: First of all the bikes! They are so sophisticated compared to a fully rigid we used to hammer down the hills! Geometry and other factors such as specific bikes for different types of riding instead of one size fits all.
CB: You’ve commentated on races and events all over the world, are there any particular moments from your commentating career that particularly stand out to you?
BT: I love Crankworx because I am in my element among my peers and my own heros, but I also love announcing things such as Red Bull GRC Rallycross and the Olympic World Cup Test for downhill mens skiing, because I respect those guys so much and its a little out of my element, even though I raced snowboards on the world cup circuit for Team Canada back in the 90’s, its nice to keep myself on the tip of my toes so to speak, learning new techniques for colour commentating etc.
CB: You were a pioneer of the Freeride scene, is there a place for DH events in the future or will we all be exclusively glued to the latest enduro events? Does it really matter?
BT: I think there is always going to be the people that don’t want to race the clock, or decide they are done with racing the clock. There’s always the fringe crazy person who wants to try something different, and sometimes, that crazy person pioneers something new!
CB: Your wife Sarah is a great mountainbiker, how did she first get into mountain biking, did you have anything to do with that?
BT: She was mountain biking back in the 80’s! In fact, she grew up in the legendary area of Deep Cove with the guys who opened up the first mountain bike shop in Canada. She’s more old school than me!
CB: Do you and Sarah compete against each other when you ride? And if so who “wins”?
BT: She kicked my ass when we first rode together (to be fair I’d been off the bike for a couple of years) and she was a solid North Shore technical rider, whereas I was from the sandy desert area of Kamloops, where going big, or doing epics was the norm. We both had our strengths and weaknesses, but different areas. We don’t compete, we laugh our guts out and encourage each other!
CB: Do you think there will ever be a major women’s slopestyle event? Why isn’t there one at the moment?
BT: There has been a few, Slope Sistair etc over the years, but that was when everything was all about freeride. Never say never, but that’s up to the ladies!
CB: Is it important to you that your children love mountain biking? Do you think the industry welcomes young female riders?
BT: I hope they love it, but I don’t push it. Right now my girls are more into skiing, and I’m fine with that.
CB: I remember watching interviews with you where you talked about hitting 20 foot drops on old clunkers for the first time? You always seemed to have a pretty big smile on your face, how do you deal with the fear that it will all go wrong out on the trail?
BT: Put your brain in your pocket and go! Hahah! In fact, I just size it up, and strategise. If you aren’t feeling it after going up to something three times, I will walk away and go for it another day.
CB: I am planning to ride in my first Enduro event next summer, any advice for the first time racer?
BT: Fitness is the number one thing,then focus. Don’t under or over think!
October 31, 2016