The year was 2007. Ben Boyko stood on top of the podium at Crankworx Whistler having stuck a massive 360 off the 22ft Jumbotron drop. Something never heard of before.
But as he cracked opened the champagne and hit the headlines, it would be the 16-year-old Brandon Semenuk standing next to him, having just stolen third place, who would be the real story. With the benefit of hindsight at least.
It’s safe to say that both the event and what it takes to win it have undergone quite the rebirth in the past few years, and Semenuk has been at the forefront of that transformation.
“Crankworx is slopestyle right now,” he tells us at the bottom of the track in Rotorua, New Zealand. He’s got a record eighth Crankworx gold slung round his neck and there’s an open bottle of champagne and a cheque for $20,000 laid casually next to his bike.
“It’s where it started. I watched my first Crankworx in 2003 and that’s what got me into it. That’s where the appeal came from for me.”