“Who the Hell is” series was always about the riders who make an impact on our scene and a way to share their passion to the world. There are tons of people out there that need to be heard as they are truly the forefront of change in our little world. One of them is Ramon Hunziker who by no means is a “new kid on the block” or “upcoming start”. This man has sculpted the “big mountain freeride” as we know it today and he is not hailing from the States. Sounds awkward? Well, we feel a bit like it as we put him into the same hat with riders who are just making it through. Ramon Hunziker has “been there, done that” for a while, and if you are already checking his Red Bull Rampage runs or involvement in the Flying Metal crew – well, we know you are young. Please welcome with a warm applause… or a nice cheer with a coffee mug filled with lightly warm tea, one of the greatest European freeriders of all time – Mr. Ramon Hunziker! Time to make your Sunday little more epic!
PSBMX: Kicking it off just right for the young readers of PSBMX – please introduce yourself, Mr Hunziker!
Ramon Hunziker: Hi there, my name is Ramon Hunziker, I am 32 years old from Thun, Switzerland and I love to ride bikes!
As a person which has been surrounded by one of the highest mountains in Europe, how did you found out a bike is a perfect weapon to go down the hill?
I have started riding with my Dad and when I was 12 years old I started riding cross country and then a bit of dual slalom finishing with racing downhill a lot later on. From that point, it simply moved into slopestyle and freeride.
I recall you from the times when you are already on the last point two points from that list as I have been only watching the scene from like, 2005 I would guess. But getting back to the point, how did your parents see your passion being driven more and more into the extreme bits of MTB?
Actually good! My Mom is still a bit scared but my Dad was fine with it as he was racing downhill already. He still does! A few years back he actually won the World Champion title in downhill Masters class!
With parents goals already on point, what are yours for let’s say, right now? Video projects, competitions, trips?
Now I set my goals more on filming and than on contests. I am still riding some slopestyle contests even! Mainly the ones that we organize ourselves (laugh). Same goes for jump shows and building stuff to ride!
Can you give us a little insight on that? What’s up with the Flying Metal Crew?
Well, we have started quite a while ago because I wasn’t satisfied with how the jumps were built in Switzerland at the contests. We have started building our own stuff and over the years we grew to the point we are now. On the way we have started organizing events, made it to the point we run a company now and we are still pushing the limits of what’s possible I suppose!
Who are the main people behind the Flying Metal Crew?
The crew contains people from around Switzerland, mainly Thun and then, there is a company that I run together with my brother Andy.
Jumping to the hot topic of the last week. As a Red Bull Rampage Veteran, could you enclose to us how many times have had you been there and what’s your insight on the contest itself?
I’ve been there 4 times and I still love it!
Would you go and ride as a competitor, it if they had invited you?
Hmm, I would definitely love to go there but on the other side, I would prefer just to watch it live (laugh). It’s really a full on event and if you are not 100% in, it’s not worth it. It could be pretty dangerous too! Right now I feel I will be better off with not competing but still, I love to rise up to the challenge.
After all these visits to Red Bull Rampage, what was your highlight than?
That’s hard to say, but well, it’s truly magical to be there with friends, build a line that belongs to you and send it!
As we speak before 2017 edition, but this will be published probably the week after it, for whom do you keep your fingers crossed?
It’s really hard to say as there are at least 10 riders that could win this event. I really like to watch Brandon Semenuk, Andreu and I can’t wait for what Vinny T has prepared for us.
That would be definitely sick to watch! Jumping back and forth, any personal projects rolling around for you?
Mainly try to have fun and ride bikes as much as I can. I can’t do it as much as I would like to due to work but I still try mixing it up with some MX…
Here comes another question! What are your passions outside of mountain biking?
Motocross, surfing, skiing & snowboarding I would say.
Are you hucking it on snow just like on a bike?
Well, I hope so!
Who would be your perfect company for a road trip as you have travelled the world wide and far?
One of the best trips ever just happened this weekend, to be honest. We had 18 people, all my friend from Thun. We went for Fest Series jumps at Royal Hills. It wasn’t ride-able 100% but still, we had tons of fun there!
Do you have any artsy side? Are you expressing yourself through something else than riding bikes?
Could you tell me more about your art of building jumps than?
Well, I really, really love building! I love to work with wood and dirt, sculpt from it. Bring my mindset to the course, make stuff perfect and of course, try the course myself! I think a lot of builders don’t always put in 100% and that’s why I always strive for perfection. Another part is to ride the stuff I am building too. So when riders come to the site or contest course I’ ve designed, I can tell them how fast they need to hit etc. I rode it, I know how it works, and they are safer!
Are you riding everything you have built?
Pretty much yeah.
Hands down best builder attitude you can have! What’re your plans for the winter season?
Well, we will see – If we get decent snow, I will go skiing and if not, riding my bike! For the next year, I guess it would be pretty similar to 2017. Building, riding, phot shooting and designing courses!
Do you organize anything apart from Swatch Rocket Air?
We do just a building part for a few contests – like Bike Days. We have a show called “Trick It” we are trying to make bigger lately. It’s a rezi landing contest type. We are looking now for more stops and tour a bit with it, but there is a lot of work to build up a whole construction, so we can’t make too many stops. We try our best though!
Classic one now. Do you ride with music?
Nope. I used to when I was younger but now I guess it’s too distracting for me.
So what do you listen to now?
Metal all the way!
For whom are you riding lately? Any new sponsorship deals on the radar?
I ride for Trek Bikes with my beloved Trek Session. Apart from it, there are DT Swiss wheels, Chromag parts, TSG protection, Dakine, and 5.10 shoes!
Do you want to shout out to anybody?
Definitely! Big thank you to all the riders I have a chance to ride with! As a rider, that’s the best thing – to have friends to ride with! It’s pretty boring to do stuff just by yourself! Huge shout out to Flying Metal Crew also for still wanting to ride with me (laugh)!
Sounds like you have a dark side during the trips (laugh)! Are snoring or anything like that?
Haha, when I am on the trip I guess I am a bit too focused on riding bikes.
Waking people up at 6 am with a roar “let’s go shredinggg”?
Well, more like, I don’t help much around as I just want to ride!!!