At just 18 years old, Swiss rider Lucas Huppert's slopestyle star is quickly rising and if his 2018 season is anything to go by, he's going to be knocking on the doors of the Crankworx FMBA Slopestyle World Championship sooner rather than later. Consistently scoring within the Top 10 at different events and winning his first-ever FMB Gold Event at O'Marisquino a week before Red Bull Joyride, he's a very promising rider. We caught up with Lucas when he touched down back in Zurich, with his new Red Bull Rookie of the Year Award in hand!
How was your Whistler experience? Was it your first time in Whistler?
Being in Whistler during Red Bull Joyride was just great! Riding the bike park with everyone was amazing and I had super good times riding with everyone, especially during the Air DH train! It was my second time in Whistler, but my first time during Crankworx.
Being in Whistler during Red Bull Joyride must have been pretty special. What was your favorite part?
I've always been watching the livestream at home, so now being there and watching my homies killing it was super cool! The highlight for me was definitely Erik Fedko's run!
What made the biggest impression on you?
Watching the battle between Nicholi Rogatkin and Brett Rheeder was just amazing, especially seeing it up close!
Talk us through your 2018 season. How did it go for you? What were your aims for this season?
The 2018 season was definitely my best season so far. At the start of the season, I never thought that I would make it that far. I'm super pumped that I was able to ride at a level that put me in the Top 10 at nearly every event and the win in Vigo is just a dream come true, but my goal for 2019 is definitely to make it to the Crankworx FMBA Slopestyle World Championship contests!
Looking back at the season, what was your personal highlight on the FMB World Tour this year?
There's only one answer for that: O'Marisquino in Vigo, Spain!
What went through your head when you heard you won the Red Bull Rookie of the Year Award? We heard you needed to check with your boss about going to Whistler?
First, I was like "I'm going to Whistler!" But I still had to ask my boss whether I could go, but he said, "For sure!" I'm super stoked to have a supportive boss like that, because without him I could probably only ride very few contests per year.
How important do you think an initiative like the Red Bull Rookie of the Year Award is to riders and the dirtjump/slopestyle scene as a whole?
It's really cool, because it can open loads of new doors for young and unknown riders, like new sponsorships opportunities etc. and you can experience a comp like Red Bull Joyride and you can see how much pressure there is for the pros at such big events. And it's definitely extra motivation for other young riders for the upcoming seasons.
At 18 years old, your one of the youngest riders on the FMB World Tour circuit and one of its rising stars. When did you start riding dirt jumps?
I started riding 4X when I was 8 or 9 years old but switched to Dirt and BMX when I was 10 years old.
What attracted you to the sport?
I used to watch a lot of New World Disorder films and Crankworx Whistler Slopestyle videos, so I would have to say that they drove me towards biking.
Who has been your biggest inspiration to start riding bikes? What about your mentor?
Ever since I was a kid, I've always been a huge Sam Pilgrim fan! But my mentor from who I learned most of my tricks is definitely Chris Raeber. I've learned a lot from him, so definitely need to thank him for getting me to where I am right now.
Do you have any words of advice for young riders trying to make it to where you are right now?
Never lose the element of fun while riding! Having fun is the key to success!
Riding any more contests this year? Any plans for the off-season?
Yeah, definitely! I'm riding the Zurich Trails Jumppark Contest in October and maybe FISE Chengdu in China. In the off-season, I'd like to do a trip to Barcelona!
Looking towards the 2019 season, which events are you most looking forward to?
I'm definitely going to try to get into the SWC Contests, either by winning one of those FMB Wildcards or by getting enough points - so it's going to be a busy year!
Thanks for taking the time and good luck during the rest of the season!
All photos by © Dope Hammer