Graham Agassiz

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!

Your Brain on E(lectric)

This is E. This is your brain… on E. Any questions?

Those of us that grew up in North America during the 80’s or earlier no doubt experienced the War on Drugs. The commercial campaigns were creative and entertaining in a dark way and left a lasting impression on an entire generation. With the impending deluge of electric bikes that is sure to take the bike industry by storm, we wanted to poke a little fun at the perceived polarizing device that is the electric mountain bike. Your Brain on E is our take on the instant happy feelings you get when you pedal an electric bike for the first time. It’s undeniably fun!

With the launch of the Remote CTRL electric mountain bike, we wanted to show that pedal-assist bikes can be ridden downhill just like any other trail bike. We all know how fun they are to pedal uphill, but how do they feel on the descent? We put Graham Agassiz on board and watched him ride with so much style that it blew our minds. The Remote CTRL features 150mm of front and132mm of rear wheel travel -that perfect amount of squish to make everything fun! After watching Aggy ride this bike, it’s safe to say this thing absolutely shreds.

The world of electric bikes is rapidly expanding. While we’re best known for our innovative geometry and progressive mountain and alternative road bikes, we’ve been working hard behind the scenes to up our electric game as well. When we launched the Remote in 2018 we saw greater possibilities unfold in front of us. We knew we could bring more travel, more applications, and more Kona to the Remote. We’ve built the Remote CTRL to answer the call to go further push the boundaries of what is capable on a bike.

Check out all of the technology that we put into making the Remote CTRL one of the most entertaining bikes we’ve ever created.

For more information on the Remote CTRL, be sure to check out our Innovations page.

 

Finding Remote with Graham Agassiz and Matt Stevens

Finding Remote

Your escape. Your secret stash. Your remote. The place you long to be all week, and can’t wait to head out to, even if just for the day. The Kona Remote is the bike to get you there.

What exactly is remote? Well that’s really up to you. For Kona Gravity team rider Graham Agassiz and Kona Canada’s resident fishing enthusiast Matt Stevens, that thing is fly fishing. So, they made a plan, packed up their Remotes, and converged in Lytton, British Columbia to head to their own secret stash. Prepped with fishing and camping gear, Matt’s fishing kayak, and Aggy’s dog Autumn, they headed straight for the goods.
















Find Your Remote

Whether you’re a fisherman, an outdoorsman, or a recreational enthusiast, the Remote can take you where you want to go and get you there quickly. It’s a capable mountain bike with Bosch’s top end Performance Line CX pedal assist system. We equipped the Remote with Bosch’s compact Intuvia display, high capacity 500 watt Power Pack, and a re-keyable Abus Plus battery lock.

With the made-in-the-USA Old Man Mountain rack, you can add accessories to carry just about anything you can think of. The wide range SRAM 1×11 drivetrain and Level T brakes ensure you’ll be happy going both uphill or down. The Remote is an access tool, adaptable to your needs. Swing a leg over one, and find your remote.

The Remote is one of three Bosch-equipped pedal assist bikes in the Kona lineup this year. Get the details on the Remote from Kona Product Manager Trevor Porter:

Kona Remote – North America

 

Kona Remote – Europe

 

Head to Konaworld.com for all the details on the Remote.

How to Get the Shot with Paris Gore and Aggy

Recently, professional photographer Paris Gore spent some time in the woods with Kona gravity rider Graham Agassiz. Together the two are able to get the perfect shot. Paris is a wizard with outdoor lighting. Matched with Aggy’s unique style, the two are able to create some truly incredible imagery. Check out the video for the behind the scenes look at how they get the perfect shot.

 

The Thaw

There’s nothing quite like that first real ride of the season when the snow melt and the dirt is the perfect consistency. Kamloops spends its winter buried under a frozen blanket. Each spring the riders are itching to get back on the trails. Check out The Thaw featuring Graham Agassiz aboard his Operator riding with friends in BC. If only we all rode this well our first time back on a bike each spring…

 

 

Video: Ice Fishing with Aggy POV

Back in early January, Aggy headed out to The Farm in Kamloops. It was the first snow ride of the season and a solid crew showed up to shuttle laps in The Farm‘s winter ‘Burb (an old 4×4 Chevy Suburban with full chains and an internal wood stove!). Aggy was riding his custom painted Trout bike, a 2015 26″ carbon Operator, built up with Maxxis beavers (in the Exo sidewall) with custom studs, up on Novatec demon wheels and hubs. The bike is kitted with SRAM and RockShox head to toe as well and has a Kore cockpit, Sensus grips and HT pedals.

Aggy sets up the studded Maxxis Beavers himself. After drilling holes from the outside in, various length sheet metal screws are then inserted from the inside out of the tire. A standard tube pumped to 60 PSI then provides solid traction, flats are rare and Aggy says that these studded tires still weigh less than his summertime DH setup.

The Trout bike in all its Rainbow glory, painted by Vancouver legend Painthouse Customs

That paint though… If Aggy keeps repurposing his old 26″ bikes like this, then #26aintdead.

Winterized: Part 5

Welcome back to Winterized, the series of winter tips from Kona employees and athletes aimed at helping you survive cold, harsh winter rides. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the warmth of the indoors while considering these tips for your next frozen ride!

 

Name: Oliver Bartoli
Kona gig: Inside sales and warranty for France
Bike of choice: Rove ST
How Oliver gets Winterized:

I live in France close to Geneva ( Switzerland) at the bottom of the Jura mountain. We have proper winter, without being Alaskan ones, but cold temperatures and snowfall are regular.

I mainly ride my gravel bike ( a 2015 Rove ST), as it permits to spend a short time (less than 2 hours) outside, having good fun and also having good fitness. For the tires, I’m still struggling to find the right ones.

Some little tips: warm tea, not too much infused, is good to replace cold water in the water bottle.

For the riding gear, I favor flexibility and ability to move than warmth as my rides are short. I use some  Gore winter stopper socks which are quite good to keep your feet warm or at least not frozen. I also use Shimano all mountain shoes. These shoes have thick material on the front, so you do not feel too much the cold air.

The rest of my kit is quite usual ( base layer – Kona ones are great!-, winter jersey + good jacket, winter pant)


Name: Emmanuelle Zucchi
Kona gig: Sales: Switzerland
Bike of choice: Kona Process 153
How Emmanuelle gets Winterized:

My winter tips are:

  • Waterproof socks,
  • long bibs,
  • 1 Thermo layer
  • 1 Jersey (no more, it’s always better to let our bodies breathe)
  • 1 waterproof jacket (just in case of blizzard and snow)
  • Beanie, winter gloves and goggles (no fancy glasses) are mandatory.

Here we have a good variety of terrain, so tires and setups are kind of a sensible topic.

Some riders prefer to change them in relation to the conditions.. I prefer to use almost the same set up: Front Maxxis DHF 2.5 3c; Rear Maxxis DHR II  2.3 3c

Best riding snacks for my personal experience are CLIF BAR.


Name: Graham Agassiz
Kona gig: Kona freerider and team legend
Bike of choice:  Kona Operator
How Aggy gets Winterized:

My winter bike of choice is my 2014 Operator, equipped with 26″ 2.35 EXO Maxxis Beaver’s that are laced with sheet metal screws. Surprisingly this tire set up is still lighter than running normal 3C DH tires, and the with the studded tires the icier the better.
As for riding gear, I’ll use my Dakine Descent shorts, Dakine Mayhem knee pads and wrapped around my Giro shoes I run Gore Tex gators that keep any snow from getting inside the shoes.
As for a quick bike set up, a couple turns of the rebounds to help speed things up for when it’s cold.

Name: Justin Clements
Kona gig: Product Group Manager
Bike of choice: Splice-E
How Justin gets Winterized:


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

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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.

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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!

Check out Aggy’s Full DarkFest Photo Gallery

I have to apologize. We have been sitting on Ale Di Lullo’s full DarkFest photo gallery for a couple of weeks now. With the epic Digging for Galena video dropping, we didn’t really want to clog your social media feed with so much Aggy radness. Now that you have all watched Digging for Galena though, the time is right to revisit Aggy’s trip to South Africa for the first stop of the Fest Series, DarkFest.

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Dark Fest was Aggy’s first major outing back on a big bike since his crash at Rampage and he wasn’t wasting any time making it seem like he hadn’t been off the bike at all, slaying the beyond massive jumps and overcoming his fear of heights just scaling the drop-in ramp.

Dark Fest has been an amazing journey for me, not only was it my first trip to Africa, but it was also my first time truly back in the saddle after my hip injury at Rampage last year. Crew vibes are always key on trips like this, and with the Fest Series it’s always guaranteed that energy is going to be high!

Our Ride When We Want to Ride motto ensures that we only ride when conditions are safest, and this allows us all to ride as progressively as possible. We suffered slightly in South Africa with the weather, luckily though there were no shortage of things to do on the rain days. We got to touch elephants, dive with sharks, surf and even get a quick tattoo to remember the trip by.”

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