Six Flippin’ Questions for Cam Zink
Jul 14, 2021
Lara Kaylor: Why did you choose Mammoth Mountain for this event?
Cam Zink: I grew up racing here because it’s close to my home in Reno. It’s the perfect hill, plus they were willing to work with me, and eager to make it happen. The staff here knows how to build jumps. I don’t have to be here to oversee changes, I just tell them what I need.
It’s similar to a snow jump. Mammoth knows transitions; they know how to put you in flight. The setup is essentially a snowboard jump. A lot of people do over 100 feet on a snowboard, but not on a mountain bike. [Zink is expected to hit speeds of up to 45 MPH before launching off a 15-foot high kicker, soaring 100 feet in the air and landing on a 25-foot high landing/run out.]
Plus, with Monster presenting the event it’s one big happy family of Monster, Mammoth and X Games.
LK: How often do you practice a trick like this before the actual event?
CZ: You don’t want to over-practice because then you could become desensitized. Maybe you do it once beforehand, but you also risk getting hurt if you do it too much. You don’t want it to become too easy. It’s good to have a build up.
LK: Why this particular trick?
CZ: Backflips are really fun and memorable to people … they have that cool factor. If you can jump it, you can flip it. The biggest right now is 80 feet … 100 feet is a good triple digit. And it will be the biggest flip, dirt-to-dirt without a tow in, just gravity fed.
LK: What do you think about when you’re in the air?
CZ: I try to think about nothing except what I need to accomplish. I try to just feel and live in just that moment.
LK: What is the most important factor in having a successful flip?
CZ: Wind. Wind is the most important factor and the only downside to mountain weather. A head or tail wind is OK and I can accommodate for that, but a side wind will make you take a hit on the landing. Mountain bike tires are like sails.
LK: How ready do you feel at this point?
CZ: After today I feel 100% ready. I feel awesome. I almost did it today [Zink has been practicing with large airbags]. The lip of the jump is ready at this point and today was the last day with the airbag so now they’ll remove it and build the landing.
“Mammoth Flip with Cam Zink presented by Monster Energy” will air live on ESPN on August 21 at 9:30 p.m. ET and on “World of X Games” on ABC, Sunday, August 24 at 2 p.m. ET. The world-record attempt was conceived as part of the “World of X Games” series, which features a variety of X Games and action sports athlete-focused content.
Spectators in Mammoth Lakes can watch this event for free at Canyon Lodge on August 21. Festivities kick off at 6:00 p.m. PT with live music from Southern California rockers, Bad Suns, and food and beverage items available for sale.
“This event gives us an opportunity to really shine a bright light on our sport,” Zink said in an interview with Mammoth Mountain. “Every day guys are doing things on mountain bikes that just defy what we thought was possible. It’s one of the fastest growing sports in the U.S. and hopefully the world-record attempt will give the sport some exposure and inspire the next generation of riders to dream big.”