_K3A9259This past weekend saw the first event in the Fest Series go down deep in the Santa Cruz woods. The aptly named Cruz Fest joins Kona rider Graham Agassiz’s Aggy’s Reunion, Kurt Sorge’s Hoff Fest, Mads Andre Haugen’s Hillbilly Huck Fest and Nico Vink’s Loose Fest. Together these events and personalities create the rider driven, and the much admired, FEST series._DSC9242Rider driven and rider built, Ryan “R Dog” Howard, puts the finishing touches on one of the large landings. Photo: Toby Cowley

According to the Fest website the series “brings out the purest and realest essence of MTB Freeriding, which is about pushing the limits of the sport in unique natural landscapes and terrain and riding massive jumps in optimal conditions.”

MK3A7059Aggy leads out the boys on day 1’s Klunker cruise. Photo: Toby Cowley

All Fest events are by invitation only, in fact in most instances even being a spectator requires an invitation and the Cruz Fest was no exception. Located on Swan family land in Santa Cruz County, the #swanpound course was built and hosted by local shredders Kyle Jameson, Ryan (R-Dog) Howard, and Jeff Herbertson. Going off rider feedback, photos and the video content emerging it was a welcome addition to the Fest Series. Jumps this size do tend to take a toll though, with Andreu Lacondeguy and Aggy both taking heavy hits during the weekend.

CRUZFEST_agassiz_by AleDiLullo-4587Fest Series jumps aren’t for the faint of heart. Aggy lofts a huge backflip over the final double. Photo: Ale Di Lullo

Next up in the series is Kona’s own Graham Agassiz, with his HUGE event, Aggy’s Reunion, check out last years coverage here. You can follow the Fest Series on their website here or on Facebook here.

MK3A6452Aggy putting in work. Photo: Toby Cowley

Untitled-2Ryan “R Dog” Howard leads Aggy down the massive line. Photo: Toby Cowley

_K3A8548Back in Black. One bad ass murdered out Operator. Photo: Toby Cowley

_K3A9511Hipped step-down anyone? Aggy is making moto noises in this photo for sure. Photo: Toby Cowley

_K3A8704There’s nothing like a massive Indian air seat grab to finish off an amazing Aggy photoset right? Photo: Toby Cowley