For the third consecutive year we’ve invited our tried and true Kona Dealers from all over North America to come spend a couple of days with us at our US headquarters in sunny* Bellingham, Washington. They come from Tennessee, they come from Las Vegas, Maine, Ontario, SoCal, even Texas. And no, it’s not a wine and dine fest. Nor is it a brainwash tech farm either. Sure, they’ve got to sit through our presentations for a couple of hours each morning, but after that it’s all about the ride (and then, of course, the apres ride).

Here’s a look back at two launch sessions over the course of one sunny* week on our home turf. Sure, the trails were sweet and the beers neverending, but for us, it’s all about the people. This is our extended family, and our Launch is really a reunion of sorts. And boy, do we love the character, passion and good times nature of our kin.

Thankfully the bus trip to our Lake Padden demo center and the post ride entertainment were short. Men + endless IPA + confined space = quarantine.

For the first year we invited the Canadians (took some paperwork). Here John Franzky of Calgary’s Bow Cycle – the largest Kona dealer in the world – takes a Process for a spin.

The theme for the Launch was space, as in the Last Great Frontier. It was an honor to have Captain Jean Luc Picard at Space Bowling.

Jordan from Queen City Cycles bowled a Turkey, and won the grand prize from Sram. Both of our partners Sram and Shimano were at the launch in full force, doling out tech support, tech education and tons of sweet swag.

Like us, Kona Dealers like to do things a little different.

One of Kona’s top NA dealers is Portland’s iconic Sellwood Cycles. Owned by longtime Kona Team rider Eric Tonkin, here “the Caveman” meets with his formidable staff.

Kona rep Willy Warren takes a breather on the urban ride, where new 2013 MinUtes kept the Rainier Beer cold and flowing.

The Kona Thumb’s Up logo made a big resurgence in our 2013 materials. Yup, it’s our 25th Season making bikes, so we decided to bring back the retro.

Charles from Nelson, BC’s Gerick Cycle helped out with keg transport. Thanks to Ninkasi for the fine local brew.

Winthrop, WA based Joe Brown of Methow Cycle leads Kona’s Marketing Manager (dealer’s always go first), Eddy Marcelet through the sweet singletrack of Mt. Galbraith, our epic testing grounds.

Group rides with long-time friends in a great location on sweetly tuned, minty fresh new bikes is as smile-inducing as it gets.



Vytus of Ozone Bikes in Austin, Texas shows us the versatility of the famed MinUte.

Shimano was giving out XT derailleurs out our photo and bowling comps like they were going out of style.

Of course, what’s a family reunion without fine lawn games on a sweet pitch?

One of our post-ride locations on the gorgeous Pacific Ocean.

Legends of the ride: Vytus from Ozone, Pat White, Kona’s longtime Product Manager and Kona USA rep, Scott O’Dell.

Speaking of legends, Kona Canada’s Sales Manager, Dik Cox. No one in Canada has spent as much time on a mountain bike as this fine fellow, one of the originators of the Deep Cove movement that changed our sport forever.

Johnny I of the Whistler Bike Co. enjoying another savory local brew.

Ian Schmidt of Kona USA preparing another bike at our Lake Padden test center.

Kona dealers ooze style and confidence, and usually sport sweet hair and/or epic tattoos.

The redesigned 2013 Honzo was one of the hot demo rides.

The Enduro ride was one of the most popular. Mt. Galbraith is loaded with sweet jump trails like Unemployment Line. The new Process 150mm all-mountain bike was a fan favorite.

Erik Tonkin of Sellwood Cycles takes the new Dew DL for a spin.

Hair, tattoos and of course, the almighty stache. Check the T-shirt.

Kevin from Dizzy Cycles, one of Kona’s longtime Vancouver, BC dealers.

Smiles at every turn.

And Thumb’s up to boot.

One of the sweet new T-shirts dealers were given at the Launch.

The new gravel grinder Kona Cromoly Rove was also in attendance at the Launch. Dealers were raving about the diversity and fun ride feel of this new addition to our Cross platform.

The staff even relented some of our 2013 prototype frames. Riders got to sample Pat White’s Kona Carbon Race Hei Hei Supreme, an all-new bike for 2013.

Our base model Process was a hot ticket at the demo. New for 2013, this 150mm rear travel, 160mm front travel enduro bike is one of eight new models we introduced at the launch.

Kona’s Gravity Product Manager Chris Mandell gives the goods to Kona dealers.

One of our post ride events was dinner, drinks and strikes at the local lanes. Kona and Maxxis were donating $5 a strike to local Bellingham cycling advocacy groups. Thanks to some sweet bowlers we raised nearly $3,000!

Is it a gutter ball or a strike? Regardless, perfect form.

Of course dealers bring their kids. Family affair to the core.

We blew the local bowling alley right out. Here, we kick it off with the inaugural “first bowl.”

Some fine form on the lanes. Turkey city for sure. Thanks to everyone who came out the 2013 Kona Launch. It was a blast, and we hope to see you all back next year.