This year many people were feeling a bit divided. Maryhill or Giant’s Head? Grip and rip or slide and survive? I was really torn for a bit on this too but eventually pulled the trigger and decided that I’d rather be at Giant’s Head this year. And, to be completely honest, it was a great decision.
The freeride takes place in the Okanagan Valley which is about 4 hours east of Vancouver. It’s beautiful country out there but was also incredibly hot.
This photo was taken around 5:45am when the sun woke me up. I tried to sleep through it but it’s hard to go back to sleep when you are sweating profusely in the back of your truck.
Luckily the campground/rodeo-ground is much more agreeable at night time. All the bleachers provided a great place to hang out and enjoy a beer or set up your hammock when the time comes to go to bed.
They even had a small golf course set up. Well, it was just a small tee-box and a barrel about 60 yards out. Oli was super close to getting it in the barrel which would have gotten him $200! Maybe next year…
Ken Smith (along with Nick Breton) held it down at the top of the hill. They gave the riders meetings and sent everybody down the hill. Since there was a wide variety of skill levels it can be challenging to get everybody down the hill safely. I’d say they did a great job.
Nick helped out by keeping the motorcycles safe.
The first day of the freeride was a chance for new people to ride with a handful of pros. Not only was this an excellent chance to ride with some talented skaters and improve your skills, this also was a super small group which meant we got HELLA runs in. If I were you I’d shell out the extra cash for that first day or fresh road.
The features this year were bigger and better. The wall ride close to the top of the hill got a facelift and now looks like a sand worm from the movie Beetlejuice.
This was a “shortcut” located at little picnic created by Stumanchu and was named The Stuicide. Most people made it through here safely but a lot did not.
The Bear Bar was a pretty rad bank with a wallride feature coming off of it. Nick Breton demonstrates and ollie to truck bash in this photo.
The Bear Bar and jump-ramp-to-bank-wall provided a great place for the Sunset Sliders to hang out and not skate much.
Eric Jensen was ripping all weekend and was possibly the best-dressed individual.
I take that back, Dillon Stephens was the best dressed.
This was the usual scene at the top of Tight Rope. It gets fast and narrow through there so people usually wait on the side to catch a free spot so they can blast down and not get tangled with another rider. Better safe than sorry.
Once the lunch/swim break rolled around I would bust ass down to Yaki’s to get a delicious sandwich. (pro tip, call in your order before going there)
What better place to enjoy a sammich and a soda than at the nice cool waters of the Okanagan. This lake provided us with a delightful reset button that we desperately needed after being out in the warm prairie sun.
Some people opted out of sunscreen and paid the price in unusual ways…
Guff was hard at work making another rad video.
Very hard at work…
The Prince and the King were both in good form this weekend.
Papa Grizz brought out the family. #projectcat was stoked.
This guy had an “Authentic Giant’s Head Experience.” Lucky fellow.
When you’re a taco but you’re Max Dubler. Hopefully this tattoo will survive the road rash. #thestruggle
Yates was keeping his arms up and off the road after getting some fresh ink done by Sean Sorg. Benchmade would be proud.
Sean brought his assistant with him to help out for the weekend.
Sometimes his assistant was a bit of a distraction.
Giant’s Head has a few quite notable corners (18 from top to bottom) and the gravel corner is probably the first one you will encounter. Don’t forget this one, it’ll sneak up on you.
The bottom of Tight Rope is probably the fasted section of the road (if you couldn’t judge by the copious amounts of urethane on the road).
Dead Man’s corner had a big wall ride setup with a DJ booth as well. This was the party spot/front row to the shit show.
It rained on the 3rd day that I was there but it was kind nice. Cooled down a bit and cleared off the urethane. Everything dried up after lunch and the skating was prime.
This was a bad idea but they made it down the hill somehow.
Louis Pilloni was really stoked on the view. Maybe too stoked…
This hill is notorious for chewing up wheels. You can try and fight it or you can embrace it and see how far down you can get to the core. Nick Hurley got a bit too close.
The medics were on site for the whole weekend and stayed super busy patching up road rash. I was stoked to get a nice group photo of them and Nick fucked it up.
After winning MFOS, Hayato managed to make it back up to Giant’s Head to win both races as well. He’s a champion skater and a very good friend. Well deserved win Hayato!
Andrew is the man. He’s been putting on the Giant’s Head Freeride for years and does a great job. I’m stoked that we’ve got people like this in our community that put forth the time and effort to organize events like this that are all about having fun and enjoying summer. Thanks dawg!
While I felt like I missed out a little bit by not going to Maryhill this year. I definitely enjoyed my time and will plan be attending the Giant’s Head Freeride every year now. Already looking forward to Giant’s Head 2016.