aggy

Aggy’s 2018 Rampage Recap

Rampage 2018 has come to a dusty close. This year’s event was packed with big lines, big hits, and big crashes, but thankfully everyone walked away mostly unscathed. For Aggy, it was a test of mettle and proof of what the body can do. With just two weeks cleared of a broken scapula, he put on quite the flow show, riding smooth and giving the crowd a taste of his signature style they know and love.

We caught up with Aggy to get a couple of thoughts after the event.

What part of this year’s Rampage did you find most challenging?

Rampage is a purely mental game. No one truly understands unless they’ve been in those shoes themselves. Having the right people there to remind you of self-discipline and tell me exactly what I need to hear to perform at my best and be my best self, and also keep everyone updated while I entered my zen state for the event. Mathieu Dupelle performed at his highest level as a coach and manager and was the MVP of the event for me.

How did your Scapula hold up with the digging and the riding? 

My scapula held up fine, but day one of digging I went too hard and developed severe tendinitis in my arm just above my wrist. Felt like my arm was broken for a few days and I was barely able to lift a tool with it. Once the sports physio team showed up later in the week they were able to help me keep it at bay so I could hold on tight for the event.

What is one thing you think fans at home need to know that they don’t understand unless they’re there in person?

Everything is much bigger in person and it’s hard to describe what kind of time goes into the build. We worked roughly seven days total, waking up at 5:30 am, eating breakfast and heading to the site…We’d work all day long with taking only a short lunch break on slope and then right back at it until it was dark around 7:30 pm. It was probably between 70-80 h0urs per person over those 7 days.

Who was on your dig team and how do you know them?

Colin Davis was on my dig team and we know each other through Retallack Lodge where he works. We’ve known each other for a few years now and he’s always offered to come help and dig for me at Rampage and this year with only 2 weeks notice I hit him up and he dropped everything to come to join me. We had a great time and he worked as hard as two dudes out there. Key player to the team this year, I really appreciated his hard work and attitude throughout the entire event.

Were you listening to music at the start? 

– I was listening to, A Tribe Called RedElectric Pow Wow Drum.

You were chosen to wear a telemetry monitor. What was that like? It was interesting to see your heart rate. 

I didn’t notice it at all but ya it was really cool to see and hear about what my heart rate was looking like and doing during my run. Sounds like I was pretty chill for what I was doing!

Did you ever consider skipping your second run? What goes through your mind after your first run?

At first, I was considering calling it a day but I wasn’t happy with how I messed up the bottom portion of the run so I really wanted to clean it up. Luckily I had a pretty fun and conserved run so going back up I was almost excited but still a little nervous because there are helicopters and a lot of people watching.

Congrats, Aggy, on a successful mission to the desert!

Rampage Question Time with Aggy

Graham Agassiz and his build crew and have been on Utah soil since Saturday, scoping and building their lines for Red Bull Rampage at the new 2018 zone. This year’s blank canvas has once again leveled the playing field and the new site is providing its own challenges. At twice the vert and with steeper terrain than the most recent venue, the building and planning required for this year’s Rampage are on another level. We pulled Aggy aside during some very rare downtime between digging, eating and sleeping and posed six big questions to him.

You’ve just arrived in Virgin for Rampage 2018. How does it feel to be back?
Being back in the desert here for Rampage I have mixed feelings. I know what I’m capable of doing but I’m having to constantly remind myself to just chill and try to keep it fun.

How is your shoulder feeling?
My shoulder is feeling ok, kind of how I’d expect it to feel after only a month. Day one of digging I went a little hard and still feeling it for sure.

How does the new venue look? Did any lines pop out at you right away as must-hit?
The new venue is really steep compared to the other venues and nearly twice the vert! With only seven days to build and test the line, It’s a massive undertaking. There are twice as many features and that’s twice the workload.

Who is on your dig team this year and why did you choose them?
My dig team this year is Colin Davis and Alex Volokhov. Colin is crusher, works on the trail crew up at Retallack Lodge, and Alex is still recovering from a broken collarbone but was feeling good enough to give us a hand.

What are the next couple of days looking like for you?
The next couple days consist of more sunsets and sunrises out in the desert, working from sun up to sun down. Sunday is a mandatory rest day and Monday practice starts, but not sure how much will be ready for testing by then.

What should your fans expect this year?
My fans shouldn’t expect the normal all or nothing runs I’m usually known for. I’m just out to put a something Fun together.

Photos courtesy of Alex Erickson/Dakine

 

 

Crankworx 2018

It’s been a whirlwind week as we wrapped up Crankworx Whistler, 2018 this past week. We rode the rollercoaster of a parched and smokey Whistler, BC for 10 days and what a ride it was!

With no official booth on site, we spent most of our week competing in events, catching up with old industry friends, and riding some of the best trails in the world.

Kona athletes had a strong showing in the EWS, Speed and Style, Air Downhill, Whip Offs, and the Canadian Open.

The Riders

Tristan Lemere, who took first place in the men’s junior category for Air DH AND Canadian Open DH!

 

EWS racer Alexander Kangas

 

EWS racer Scott Countryman

 

EWS racer and Kona Supreme, Hannah Bergemann

 

Super stylish mega whip master, Caleb Holonko

 

Downhill racer Anthony Poulson

 

Downhill racer and current holder of the #10 world ranking, Connor Fearon

 

Master of style and going big, Graham Agassiz

 

The Action

Kangas on course at the EWS

 

Bergemann navigating the Whistler forests during the EWS

 

Countryman on his way to 69th place in the EWS

 

Lemere on his way to victory in the Air Downhill

 

Kangas finished 35th on the iconic A Line track

 

Connor Fearon seems to really love the number 10. 10th place in the Air DH for the Aussi.

 

Anthony Poulson on A Line

 

Caleb Holonko in Speed and Style

 

Fearon going big in Whip Worlds

 

Aggy always gets sideways during Whip Worlds. Unfortunately, he went down and broke his scapula. Here’s hoping for a quick recovery!

 

Holonko made it to finals and was boosting huge the entire session.

 

Holonko in the stratosphere

 

Connor on his way to a scorching 2nd place in the Canadian Open DH.

Tristan Lemere taking his second gold of the week at the Canadian Open DH!

Congrats to all of the athletes and their amazing results. That’s a wrap for Cranwkorx 2018!

Aggy Takes a Desert Vacation with Dakine

Graham “Aggy” Agassiz recently joined up with his Dakine teammates to take a little Desert Vacation in South West Utah. The crew hit some classic spots, including infamous ridgeline descents as well as some classic road gaps and hips. Going off the video above it looks like Aggy and friends and one hell of a time.

Aggy and his custom Process 153 chill in the desert light. Photo: Alex Erickson

“It was a great time hanging with the Dakine crew on this trip, it’s not very often that we get together like this to just have fun and ride some bikes! Everyone’s schedules are so different, Casey is traveling the globe doing film projects, racing enduros, and taking Snuff the dog on alpine heli drops! Carson is also traveling lots, slowly stepping away from competing and focusing on different projects which is rad to see! Thomas is probably one of the busiest out of the group, along with having a baby girl to take care of, he’s always on the road. It is always a pleasure to watch him ride with his timeless style on a bike. All in all the trip was all time, so stoked we all got to meet up in the desert and ride some bikes. It felt really good being there as a team, sharing laughs, and enjoying the time together. I can’t wait for our next vacation!”Graham Agassiz

Aggy leads teammate Carson Storch through the South Western Utah landscape. Photo: Alex Erickson

Camp Vibes. Photo: Mike Artz

Late Night Hips with your host Graham Agassiz. Photo: Mike Artz

Photo: Mike Artz

Pinkbike Names Digging for Galena One of 2017’s Top 10 Videos!

Pinkbike have just named their top 10 videos of the year and Digging for Galena with Graham Agassiz made the cut! If you haven’t seen the project, kick back with your coffee, give it a whirl and watch Aggy absolutely ripping down Texas Peak aboard his Operator. Digging for Galena isn’t just a shred video, though. It’s also a bit of a history lesson. Check it out and learn a bit about the history of the Slocan Valley and what makes Retallack Lodge one of the most amazing places in the world to ride bikes. Be sure to make it full screen!

Aggy Re-Signs With Kona for 2018

It’s been over a decade since Kona joined forces with Graham Agassiz, a long tenure full of highlights and memories, and so many good times in the bank. As another summer comes to a close here in North America, cooling temperatures and falling leaves seem just right for reflecting on some of those good times and planning more for the future.

Following up on a serious hip injury at Red Bull Rampage in October 2016, Aggy worked hard to get himself back into riding form this season. The beginning of the year was marked with Aggy’s collaboration with Mind Spark Cinema on their film Digging for Galena, shot the previous fall on the new Texas Peak trail at Retallack Lodge.

FEST series events are one of Aggy’s main focuses these days, the vibe and the camaraderie of going big without judges the perfect complement to his laid back attitude. The stakes are high when you’re at the top, and unfortunately an ankle injury sustained at this year’s Black Sage Fest put Aggy’s recovery back a notch. As you’d expect, he was as bummed as anyone about this.

Aggy Flying high at DarkFEST in South Africa in February, 2017.

Injury time means finding other outlets, and for Aggy one of these is flyfishing. We took advantage of the opportunity to send Aggy and our new Remote out for a weekend in the woods with Matt Stevens, Kona’s resident fishing enthusiast. The Remote represents an intersection of Aggy’s passions: riding and the outdoors.

Knowing Aggy’s history, you know he’s percolating with stoke to get going for another year. Here’s what he has to say about it:

“I’m looking forward to going into 2018 healthy and plan on keeping it that way! Going forward I have a lot of cool projects lining up that I’m really stoked on, showcasing some things that I’ve been trying to accomplish and do over the last few seasons. 

I will be doing a monthly POV series which should also be fun, and I’ll be doing as many Fest’ivites as possible, along with some coaching with Summer Gravity Camps. Most of all I plan on having a really fun season next year and look forward to riding and working with my friends.” – Graham Agassiz

So, we’re happy to announce that Aggy will continue to ride Kona bikes through 2018, just as he has for the past decade. Follow along with Aggy on Instagram.

Kona Dream Builds: Aggy’s 2017 Custom Kona Quiver

With the second Fest Series event about to get underway in Oregon this week, we thought it was high time we showed you what Aggy and the Kona graphics department have been working on to get his quiver ready for a summer of shredding. Graham’s needs were simple: a color scheme that would go with whatever Dakine kit tickled his fancy and it needed to be bold and simple.

What could be more simple (and badass) than white on matte black? We set to work having a complete set of Kona frames painted and decaled in Aggy’s new custom livery – and as you’ll see a few pictures down, we also added a special one-off head badge to his fleet. The frames showed up last week and Graham drove down from Kamloops to our Vancouver office to meet up with Gravity team mechanic Mathieu Dupelle and assemble his new fleet.

Aggys-bikes-2017-4302First up was the Operator. No, unless you’re Aggy, you can’t buy this colorway.

Aggys bikes 2017-4319Aggys bikes 2017-4300Aggys bikes 2017-4293Long time sponsor SRAM kitted out Aggy’s bikes with the finest components while Crank Brothers Stamp pedals propel this black beast.Aggys bikes 2017-4295

Aggys bikes 2017-4318Rock Shox Boxxer World Cup. No need for a SRAMnation custom sticker kit here.Aggys bikes 2017-4316Sorry, that white on black looks so damn good.Aggys bikes 2017-4317If you were paying attention at last year’s Rampage you would have noticed that Graham was running this massive 2.8″ Maxxis Minion DHF front tire. It wasn’t just for Rampage – he’s stoked on this tire and it’s landed on the new bike.

Aggys bikes 2017-4327The Maxxis rubber is mounted to these sweet Novatec Demon wheels.Aggys bikes 2017-4315Aggys bikes 2017-4289 New for 2017 is Aggy’s partnership with Kore. His bikes will be running Kore saddles, seatposts, stems and bars.Aggys bikes 2017-4314 While Sensus takes care of the grips.

Aggys bikes 2017-4312 Oh, and that head badge! You may have caught a glimpse of it in the fork photo, but here are a few more details. Aggys bikes 2017-4298 The Aggy wolf originally showed up on a t-shirt a few years back. To honor Aggy’s custom rigs and custom head tube decals we decided to re-release the t-shirt. If you’re keen you can find it in our Webstore here.  Aggys bikes 2017-4296Also new for 2017 is a partnership with Chris King for headsets.

Aggys-bikes-2017-4332-2The next bike to roll out of the Kona basement workshop was Aggy’s trail ready Process 153DL. Complete of course with the best parts available from SRAM, Kore, Chris King, Novatec and Rockshox. It’s the same frame that you can buy off-the-shelf – it’s just the badass custom color scheme and the rider that sets this bike apart from yours.

Aggys bikes 2017-4356Rock Shox’ legendary Lyrik sits up front, while the Process rolls on Novatec’s carbon Factor wheels and the ever-reliable Maxxis Minion DHF, this time in 2.5 WT flavor.

Aggys bikes 2017-4350 Sram’s new Guide Ultimate, with just enough carbon to slow things down. Kore again looks after the bar and stem. Wolfie has his eye on you.Aggys bikes 2017-4349

Aggys bikes 2017-4344

Aggys bikes 2017-4342 Aggys bikes 2017-4336 Crank Brothers’ new low profile Stamp (and the Mallet DH) pedal is the choice of the entire Gravity team this year. Aggy, Connor, Josh, Anthony and Tegan will all be repping the California brand’s wares.
Aggys bikes 2017-4338

SRAM’s XO Eagle drivetrain and MRP’s 1X guide keep things in place and moving forward.

Aggys-bikes-2017-4358

Aggy’s Shonky got the blacked out treatment too. The Maxxis DTHs, the Pike DJ, and that Chris King headset make this low-key dirt jumper simply drool-worthy.

Aggys bikes 2017-4369

Kore + ODI + Chris King = Pure Radness

Aggys bikes 2017-4366 Chris King, keeping the Process 167 alive, Jah Rastafari.

Aggys bikes 2017-4363That’s a few truckdrivers and tail whips right there. Aggys bikes 2017-4367

Aggy didn’t quite finish building his Brocess 153 slope bike, nor his Carbon Honzo XC whip, but you can bet we’ll bring you a look at those when they are complete. In the meantime, you should follow Aggy on his Instagram here and the Fest Series here to see one, some, or all of these bikes in action at the Black Sage Fest Series event in Oregon this week!

Connor Fearon and Graham Agassiz Rally the 27.5 Kona Operator at Retallack

The word is out: we’ve got a new Operator.

That word was out long ago. If you truly want to develop upcoming technology in race situations at the UCI Downhill World Cup, you’re going to show some of your cards. And if you’ve been following along, you know that we’ve been developing this bike for the past two seasons under Kona Gravity rider Connor Fearon.

You probably also know that the Operator is the bike Graham Agassiz sends to stratospheric heights at the FEST series and at Red Bull Rampage. Aggy and Connor push their Operators to the limit in different ways, and we needed to build a bike that was suited to their needs as much as it was to the privateer racer’s or to those banging laps in the bike park.

In creating a new Operator, we wanted to retain the traits that riders like Aggy really love, while continuing to develop the bike that Connor needs to compete at the top level. It’s gotta be agile. It’s gotta be planted. It has to be fun to ride, and it’s gotta rip around corners. In short, it’s gotta ride like a Kona.

In all cases the new Operator needed to be durable and well-built: a bike that our top riders could smash on race courses and big hits, day in and day out. Our riders and our bike park partners need to have confidence in a bike that will hold up, lap after lap, for more than just one event. Our bikes have been evolving for nearly three decades, and the new Operator is another step in that lineage. The evolution of a bike that can compete at the top level while still being the bike you’d choose to ride on your day off.

Two years in a row we’ve had Aggy and Connor join us at Retallack for test sessions on the Operator. For these two, whose schedules rarely coincide, coming together at Retallack is a bit of a celebration. Aggy’s spent a lot of time riding and building in Retallack’s high mountain terrain and Connor has fallen in love with the place. While they may both compete at the top level in their respective disciplines, the pure joy of ripping amazing trails on a bike you love is undeniable.

2015_08_bj_konaretallack-3051Retallack Lodge has etched itself high up in both Graham Agassiz and Connor Fearon’s top riding locations. Both riders have made multiple trips to this Kootenay, BC mecca of riding. The fun and playful riding styles both riders adopt when hitting the trails there just make you want to grab your bike and ride.

kona_275_operator_02-newAlthough Retallack has its fair share of alpine riding much of the good stuff can be found deep in the fir, spruce and hemlock lower down. Aggy in the trees.

untitled-3067Not at all fazed by the classic “one more time” Aggy and Connor ponder that fact that they have yet again been stitched up by the filmers.

2015_08_bj_konaretallack-3021_27-comp-v2Speed and Style: a Retallack hip, two ways. Yum.

untitled-2936Aggy leads Connor through a set of Retallack’s perfectly sculpted subalpine booters.

untitled-2679Retallack’s tight and technical trails received a masterclass from Aggy and Connor as the pair kept things low and extremely fast for the cameras.

untitled-2600With Connor firmly locked in his cross hairs, Aggy gets barreled in BC interior loam.

rampage-compRed Bull Rampage and Aggy are always a recipe for some of the tastiest lines and burliest moves. The big mountain freerider is a crowd favorite, but more importantly is highly regarded by his peers for his line selection and steeze.

rampage16_aggy_byadl5021There are not many riders out there that can manhandle a bike as effortlessly as Aggy.

rampage16_aggy_byadl-3471The 2016 Rampage blank canvas and its new format was welcomed by the riders, including Aggy, who teamed up with good friends James Doerfling and Kurt Sorge to build one of the rowdiest and most creative lines on the hill. Lofting above spectators and fellow competitors’ lines, Aggy pilots his 27.5 Operator on one of his final practice runs.

wc_leogang_practice-3314-copThe Dream Team. Kona Gravity Team mechanic and manager Mathieu Dupelle and World Cup racer Connor Fearon’s involvement in the development of the new 27.5 Operator platform has been absolutely vital. The feedback and input provided by the two helped Ian Schmitt and the product team produce not only a bombproof World Cup racing machine but also helped Connor finish the 2016 World Cup season on the podium!

wc_cairns_finals-4193The journey for the podium was a long one for Connor and the Operator, one that began at Lourdes in France where Connor kicked things off with a solid eighth place. His lucky 13 number plate replaced with a single digit, Connor then headed for his homeland of Austraila for the second round where, due to a slipped pedal on the final straight he finished in 12th place. His teammate and mentor Josh Button, however, rode Connor’s 2015 27.5 Operator prototype on to the Podium, shocking the field with a solid fifth place finish.

during the 2016 UCI MTB World Cup at Leogang, Austria.If there is one sure thing when it comes to racing World Cups in Europe, it’s that no matter what the forecast says, there will be rain. Leogang this year was no exception with the weather swapping constantly between full blown sunshine to a muddy and boggy rainfest.

wc_leogang_practice-8686After a tenth place at Fort William, Connor kept things low fast and stylish at Leogang wowing photographers and spectators as he piloted his Operator to yet another top ten finish, this time in eighth place.

wc_lenzerheide_practice-3100The track at Lenzerheide for round five of the World Cup would prove to be a near perfect match for the Operator and Connor’s aggressive riding style. With the single number nine back on the bike, Connor would demolish most of the field in a stellar run and find himself standing on the podium in fifth place as a reward.

wc_msa_finals-8235Round six brought Connor to Mont Sainte Anne on the east coast of Canada. The popular course proved as challenging as ever and a real mix up of riders finishing in the top 20 would assure that Connor would retain his season-high position of fifth heading into the final round in Andorra.

UCI MTB World Cup, Valnord, Andorra.After qualifying in Andorra Connor was just a single point ahead of his nearest rival in the hunt for finishing fifth overall in the 2016 World Cup Series. Connor would ride his Operator onto the platform in fifth place that day and solidify his and the 27.5 Operator’s standout season, finishing the overall in fifth place.

wc_lenzerheide_practice-3156


27.5 Operator Technical Details

The 27.5 Operator sees a number of changes which continue the evolution of our long travel platform. To retain the snappy and lively feel we’ve put a 423mm chainstay on all sizes, increased the reach across the board, and combined this with a 63º head angle. The Beamer suspension design has been updated with a more progressive leverage curve for increased bottom out resistance and a raised main pivot for improved pedaling performance. With bearings in all suspension pivots, and now in the upper shock mount as well, the new Operator will continue the legacy of Kona’s legendary durability.

heiheiop-2633

Supreme Operator

Frame Material: Kona DH 6061 Aluminum Butted 200mm Travel
Wheel Size: 27.5
Wheels: Novatec Demon
Suspension Platform: Beamer
Front/Rear Suspension: 200mm/200mm
Fork: RockShox Boxxer WC 200mm
Shock: RockShox Kage RC
Crankset: SRAM XO1 DH
Drivetrain: SRAM XO1 DH 7spd
Cockpit: ODI Flight Control bar, ODI Adjustable stem, Ruffian MX grips
Brakes: SRAM Guide Ultimate
Tires: Maxxis Minion DHF DH 3C 27.5×2.5″
Saddle: WTB High Tail

heiheiop-2642

Operator DL

Frame Material: Kona DH 6061 Aluminum Butted 200mm Travel
Wheel Size: 27.5
Wheels: Mavic EX729
Suspension Platform: Beamer
Front/Rear Suspension: 200mm/200mm
Fork: RockShox Boxxer RC 200mm
Shock: RockShox Kage RC
Crankset: Shimano Zee
Drivetrain: SRAM GX 10spd
Cockpit: Kona DH bar, Kona Direct Mount stem, Kona Slog grips
Brakes: SRAM Guide R
Tires: Maxxis Minion DHF DH 3C 27.5×2.5″
Saddle: WTB Volt Sport SE 250

heiheiop-2639

Operator

Frame Material: Kona DH 6061 Aluminum Butted 200mm Travel
Wheel Size: 27.5
Wheels: Sun Ringle MTX 33 Sleeved
Suspension Platform: Beamer
Front/Rear Suspension: 200mm/200mm
Fork: RockShox Boxxer RC 200mm
Shock: RockShox Kage R
Crankset: RaceFace Chester
Drivetrain: SRAM X7 9spd
Cockpit: Kona DH bar, Kona Direct Mount stem, Kona S-LOG grips
Brakes: SRAM Guide R
Tires: Maxxis Minion DHF DH 27.5×2.5″
Saddle: Kona DH

2017-kona-operator-geometry

For more information on the 27.5 Operator and the rest of our 2017 bikes, head to konaworld.com.

Want to win a trip to ride in Whistler with Aggy and then leave with a brand new bike?

14-MN5-503-Husky-Monster-Ride-with-Aggy-Cooler-ClingIf you live in Canada you can. All you need to do is buy your next Monster product at a participating Husky store (as well as flashing your myHusky Rewards card) and you will be in to WIN a trip to Whistler to ride with Aggy as well as his one of his pro model bikes! For full details and all the terms and conditions head over here.