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Outliers: Sage Kotsenburg

An Olympic gold medalist on the snow, and a soulful rider in the dirt. Meet Sage Kotsenburg.

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Mountain biking may not be Sage Kotsenburg’s first love, but bikes, and the joy they bring, shape a large part of his off-season life. In “Outliers: Sage Kotsenburg,” which premiered at the Beta Film Festival last month, filmer Justin Olsen, tagged along with Kotsenburg and his fellow pro-snowboarding buddies on the trails around Park City, Utah, where they swap pressure for playfulness and embrace the freedom and carefree vibes that riding brings all of us on the best of days.

In the pro-snowboarding world, Kotsenburg is known for pushing the boundaries—he became the first snowboarder to win Olympic gold in slopestyle in at the Sochi Games in 2014 and racked up numerous X Games accolades—before transitioning into a career more focused on filming and creating his own canvas in the backcountry to progress his riding. He started mountain biking on his home trails in Utah a few summers back, initially as a way to cross-train in the dry months, and it quickly grew into a passion of its own. But not one he has to take seriously, and Kotsenburg fully leans into the fun part of ripping around the dirt on two wheels, while he daydreams about someday being on Carson Storch’s dig crew at Rampage. In this highly entertaining portrait, Olsen captures what draws Kotsenburg to riding and brings the audience along for the good times.

Sage Kotsenburg
Kotsenburg’s win in Sochi launched him, and slopestyle snowboarding, into the global sphere. Photo: Chris Wellhausen

Making the rounds, medal in hand. Photo: Jeffrey R. Staab/CBS via Getty Images Right: In flight, in Russia. Photo: Chris Wellhausen
Sage Kotsenburg
Despite a still-successful competitive career, Kotsenburg leveled-up his riding by pushing farther into the backcountry. Photo: Jeremy Thornburg
And when he did it, he went big, hitting huge senders like the famous 120-foot Chad’s Gap in Utah’s Wasatch Mountains. Photo: Tom Monterosso
Sage Kotsenburg
In his summertime happy place. Photo: Jeremy Thornburg

Kotsenburg and fellow pro-snowboarder Zak Hale egg each other on, as they sort out the pecking order on the dirt. Photos: Jeremy Thornburg

Sage Kotsenburg
Photo: Jack Dawe

Featuring: Sage Kotsenburg & Zak Hale
Director: Justin Olsen
Sound Design: Keith White Audio
Music: Jimmy Hill
Color: Theo Muse
Graphics: Chato Aganza

Watch the full program from the first annual Beta Film Festival HERE.