Visions Becoming Reality – The Max Rendall Interview

Interview by Stuart Leel. Photos by Louis Arnold, Innes Graham and Glen Thomson. Videos by Stuart Leel and Glen Thomson.

Max Rendall is one hell of a rider. Whilst I’ve been aware of Max on the Scottish race scene for a couple of years now, it was only just last summer that I had the pleasure of meeting him in person for a filming project with fellow shredder Ryan Middleton.

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Normally meeting someone for the first time can be an awkward affair, but Max doesn’t do awkward… Within minutes of meeting him, his energetic personality shone through with a full itinerary of where we were filming, right down to what we were having for lunch. This action plan was followed by some singing, impersonations and general hyper behaviour filling any silence there possibly could have been. I really need to find out what this guy eats for breakfast.

After spending two days of filming with the guys, Max and I began plans for another video, this time on the trails that Max grew up riding. Plans were set in place and I made the trip to Innerleithen for a fun-filled two days of filming. Having these trails as a local riding spot has definitely helped Max get up to speed as well as provide a variety of terrain for him to get comfortable on.

Max spent a year on the BASE mountain biking course at the Borders college which found him at the Innerleithen trails regularly. It’s obvious that having a group of riders to challenge each other with line choices and gaps has also had a positive effect on Max’s progression. It’s also clear the these trails helped shape his unique riding style; rough and rugged, big airs and the occasional playful jib thrown in for good measure.

That day of filming he donned his pink shirt like a cape, letting it flap erratically behind him to match his loose style on the bike, not to mention it brightened up the earthy tones of the Innerleithen trails. The amount of riding Max can squeeze into one day once again had me questioning where he gets his energy from.
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Whilst I’m sure his choice of attire for that project will be disapproved by many naysayers, one thing that can be agreed on is that mountain biking needs more erratic, flat out riders with the same positive attitude as Max. Here’s little insight into the mind of Max Rendall –

Who is Max Rendall?

The worst mechanic ever. My mum makes the best curry’s on the planet. I study Sport and Exercise at university and work in a cocktail bar. I live for good latte’s, real genuine friends and unique ideas. I try my best to see the good in everyone and take inspiration from that, forever learning.

How did you get into mountain biking?

There were times in high school where I felt everybody was just doing the same social things just to be normal and fit in, I didn’t really vibe with that so I was always searching for something. I suppose the simple answer is footage! Without the internet I might never have known, I hope that some of our videos have that same effect. I was 16 when I watched ‘If only every mountain bike video was filmed like this’, Bought a £150 Carrera Banshee and the rest is history! I think what sold mountain bikes to me was the community, I met so many inspirational people at the Scottish races.

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Where do you enjoy riding the most?


What has been your favourite race/event from over the years?

Spectating at the 2016 Fort William world cup. Fresh after Stevie Smith’s death there was a moment of silence or “Ghost Lap” for him and whilst the circumstances for that moment were awful, I had this huge profound respect for the mountain bike community as a whole. The minute or so silence was a seriously powerful moment for me, it displayed mass humanity that I had never seen, a really incredible way to honour such a legend! I actually wish the racers could of seen it from the crowds perspective.

What are your thoughts on the shift in media over the past few years moving from physical formats likee magazines and DVD’s to internet only based content?

Instant information is changing us in a lot of ways, we have access to all human knowledge in our pockets. This means physical forms of media are becoming more specialist and I think in the future people will realise there is immense worth in holding a magazine or a book and reading it, especially if it’s delivered in a new and exciting way!

Who/what inspires you?

People who don’t apologise for being who they are, be as true to yourself as possible.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not riding?

Practising Yoga, going to the gym and listening to loud explicit rap music.
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What are your thoughts on the current state of mountain biking?

All is well, we just need local councils / governing bodies to recognise the sport exists in Scotland and it will be perfect! Countless times we have spend days building jumps to come back one day and find they have been flattened either by people who think that land is specifically for them and their dog or by land owners who are forced to stop us for fear of being sued. Globally, though, mountain biking has never been better and limits continue to be pushed.

What’s your favourite motto or saying?

 What a day it is to be alive.

What does the future hold for Max Rendall?

Visions becoming reality.

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Thanks Max! Give Max a follow on Instagram for regular updates – @MAXXRENDALL