Benjamin Seltz heads to the Cabin House Trail aboard his Kona Operator.
Thanks to Four Four Three bikes for the video.
Portland-based ad-free zine Broken and Coastal just dropped their massive fourth issue in print and online via Issuu. Regardless of whether anyone was on a Kona in this edition, it seemed only right that we tell you what an awesome little publication this is. It’s
Italian Kona rider Simone Medici together with his buddy Mattia Setti and photographer Alex Luise recently discovered their own little Italian freeride paradise. After putting in countless hours on the shovels to make it ridable they returned with Alex, who chronicled their events in an extensive photo set that’s up on WeLoveToRide right now. You can check it out the full post here.
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…
Filmmaker Adison MacDonald and Stephane Pelletier have produced a banger of a little clip here. Stephanne rallies his Operator on Whistler’s trails while Adison creates a moody yet inspiring vibe that is guaranteed to make you question why you are looking at a computer screen right now and not out riding!
Qualifying for the first round of the World Cup in Lourdes, France happens later today and the Kona team, about their Operators have kicked off practice and timed training with a bang. Racing to 7th in timed training yesterday, Connor Fearon has begun the same way he ended last season, sitting comfortable in the top 10.
“The World Cup off season is so long that I get sick of training and just anxious to get back racing. The first World Cup is finally here and everything feels good: The team, bike and myself.” Connor is clearly is going to be exciting to watch this season and we cant wait to see what he pulls out of the bag on race day!
Magnus Manson’s is racing his first World Cup on a Kona this weekend, coming off the back of a convincing win at Port Angeles two weeks back. We cant wait to see what he can do here riding for the Stevie Smith Foundation and the memory of a team mate and friend.
Stoked that the rain has disappeared Tegan Molloy is just amped to be back on the circuit again and with the team “It’s exciting to be back with a full team for the season opener here in Lourdes. The track is running awesome and if the weather holds off for the finals it’ll be even better.”
Kona Super Grassroots DH racer Nathan St. Clair lined up for his first race of the season at Race 1 of the Downhill Southeast Series Race at Bailey Mountain Bike Park. The field was stacked with local rippers as well as some World Cup regulars. Check out his race recap below and be sure to check out his blog and Instagram for regular updates. (more…)
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.
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.”
Fest Series fans rejoice! The first stop on the 2017 event calendar has arrived, and we’ve just received our first update from photographer Ale Di lullo who has joined the invite-only list of athletes in South Africa at the Pure Darkness compound for Dark Fest.
“I can’t believe we’re in Africa right now, the lines here at #DarkFest are seriously some of the gnarliest features I’ve ever seen!” – Graham Agassiz
The Dark Fest lines and features are etched in most MTB fans’ minds, I mean it’s hard not to think of Matt McDuff’s Loop of Doom crash when you look at photos from the site. Even Aggy is a little nervous “Trying to get over my fear of heights, not easy when you’re standing on top of a 75ft roll in! Huge props to everyone involved in putting this masterpiece together!”
Ale and Aggy will be updating us over the next few days, so stay tuned for more insane images and riding.
Tegan Molloy has just come off the top step of the podium at the second round of the Australian National Downhill Series. With a second place at the first round, Tegan has a solid shot to claim the overall series title at the third and final round at Mt. Beauty, Victoria later this month. Here’s her report from Thredbo with some photos from RF Photographics
This weekend saw Thredbo Resort host round two of the Australian National Series on my home trails. Practice kicked off on Friday with a bit of a slow start as I already knew the track quite well I had a bit of a late start to practice. On my fist run I clipped a rock and had a big crash, I sat it out for a little while before having a few cruisy runs to finish off the afternoon.
Photo: RF Photographics
Saturday rolled around and it was time for seeding. After three solid practice runs, I felt ready to race. For seeding the plan of attack was to throw down a solid run as there was a possibility that the seeding run could count as a race run due to high winds expected on race day. I was really happy with my seeding run, I hit all my lines and rode as smooth as I could trying to stay out of all the holes, crossing the line as the fastest qualifier. This meant that for racing I would be out of the gate last.
Photo: RF Photographics
Sunday morning started with a short practice session and then it was straight into racing. I had two runs just to check out the track and see how it was holding up after the last few days. The track was so dusty and blown out, some of the roughest conditions I have ever experienced at Thredbo. My race run was wild, swinging off the back through the rough sections and pedaling where I could to try and make up time, I crossed the line as the fastest rider with a new personal best time, over eight seconds quicker than second place. I was stoked to have such a good run in front of a home crowd and come away with a new PB.
One week off before I head to the third and final round in Victoria, which will be the ultimate showdown between Danielle and I as we battle it out for the overall.
Photo: RF Photographics
The 11th edition of Red Bull Rampage is going down in Virgin, Utah next Friday, October 14th, and Kona Gravity rider Graham Agassiz is on site getting his line prepped. The desert spectacle has been freshened up with a new event location and some different guidelines for riders. We caught up with Aggy as he began work on his new line with his builders Taylor Holsteadt and Ron Penney.
Kona: How’s the body? You took a big slam at Retallack a few weeks back, is everything 100% leading into Rampage?
Aggy: I’m going in as healthy as I can, sucks that I went down at Retallack last month, I’m still a little bruised but I’m just dealing with it at this point. My hand is also feeling pretty good, it definitely gets sore after picking away at the rock all day long, but yeah, I’m hanging in there.
Kona: There are lots of changes this year for Rampage. How are they working out – the fresh zone, the smaller build crew, and things like limits on sandbag use and so on?
Aggy: It’s actually going really well, having the fresh site was needed for sure, it’s really let us use our creative abilities to our advantage. That said we seem to have found ourselves in an interesting scenario again, we’ve got ourselves committed into a pretty gnarly entrance, but it looks rideable.
It’s real nice having a smaller crew out here with you and it makes us work together with other teams. I’m teaming up with James Doerfling on the upper section and with Kurt Sorge on everything down below, it’s good, everyone is just having a good time.
Kona: What’s the general vibe amongst competitors?
Aggy: The vibe has been really great, no complaints really, everyone except for a couple of people have been awesome. I think the majority of us get it, that we have to work together to do more and make things a lot safer, it’s just better if we team up on things. There’s only so much room up there and there is always the odd guy here and there that doesn’t want to work that way, but you just have to move on… Other that the vibes are high.
Kona: Other than the heavy entrance can you share anything else about your line?
Aggy: Besides the top, which is going to be one of the more standout bits of the line, just diving right into the face, once you clear out of the chute it heads onto a pretty big booter that the catch berm leads into. It then gets into the ridge and a bunch of step downs. There’s also a pretty big drop near the end that will be calling for something… I’m not really sure what I’m gonna do, but there is definitely going to be a lot of heavy hitting going on. I’m just super excited.
Kona: And have you decided what bike you’ll be riding?
Aggy: I pretty sure I’m going to be riding the new 27.5 Operator, Mathieu Dupelle is out at SRAM in Colorado working on the bike now. He’s sent me some pictures, I’m really stoked on how the build is looking, we are going to play around with different tires and spring rates once we get it out here. That bike is going to be a beast, I’m really just looking forward to getting on it and getting after it.