Vibes were at an all-time high last week as we joined some of the world’s top riders in Fort Scott, Kansas, for Red Bull Imagination. What is Imagination? Simple, it’s a dream freeride event from the inspired mind of 805 Authentico Tyler Bereman.
Every year, Tyler and his friends get together with one goal in mind: to advance the sport of freeriding. And this year was no different. Ten different riders — including Axell Hodges, Jeremy “Twitch” Stenberg, Tom Parsons, and more — showed up in Kansas with Tyler and fellow 805 Authentico Vicki Golden for a chance to put their name in the record books, which is exactly what they did.
The quality of both the riding and talent was evident from the get-go. Thursday’s practice session leading up to the event showcased some of the best freeriding on display ever. Vicki got the party started by hitting multiple jump lines before the rest of the riders. One particular highlight of hers included clearing a road gap connecting both sides of the course. That was then followed up by Twitch backflipping the same gap, because why not? It’s Imagination.
The creativity and line choice was mind-boggling, and the riders hit the life-sized playground course with unmatched energy and determination. Tyler sent the largest jump of the event during practice by absolutely skyrocketing a 180-foot gap. To create a visual, imagine Tyler clearing over the first 120 feet double, committing and finding his landing zone on the lip of the next double from 70 feet in the air, because that’s exactly what he did.
There were no fans present at this time, just riders, teammates, select media, close friends, and family. But everyone who was lucky to see the moment Tyler found solid ground and rolled away were clapping, screaming, and, in some cases, even crying. Hugs, hi-fives, and congratulatory cold ones were in order after watching what was universally agreed was the gnarliest jump ever.
Tyler followed that up, of course, with another gnarly jump — this time just a 150-foot feature. And as he always seems to do, he handled it with ease and the crowd erupted once again as they remembered why he’s the ring leader of this event in the first place.
And again, this was only the practice session. But even then, many agreed it was one of the heaviest sessions they’ve ever witnessed, and one of the highest-energy sessions in the history of free riding. It was a day, and night, when many people set down their cameras just because they wanted to soak in the absolute awe of it all.
The fans came out in full for competition day itself. Our friends from the Fasthouse crew in particular were out in numbers, ready to enjoy some cold beer and good company.
The energy levels stayed high throughout the competition. Axell was a major standout as he and Tyler went jump for jump, upping the stakes between the two of them in true freeride fashion. Unfortunately, Vicki’s competition ended early with an injury. But, she was widely regarded as the absolute standout sender of practice sessions, as she was the first to hit multiple jumps before the dudes, and was towing them in on some of her crazier lines.
Congratulations to Axell for winning the whole thing, Tyler for coming in a close second, and everyone else who showed up to provide some of the highest-quality freeriding we’ve ever seen. We were more than happy to be there to provide cold ones and enjoy even better times.
If you missed the action from Red Bull Imagination, you can stream all the action now.