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2016 Giant’s Head Freeride GIFs and Photos

At the end of June, 200+ riders descended onto the steep, sweltering Head of a Giant in Summerland, BC to ride the beast for three days. Great weather, a great organization, and an outstanding hill made for a perfect event. The 2016 Giant’s Head Freeride (GHF) brought the best out of everyone and provided me with some prime raw material. I’m proud to present to you these animated GIFs and photos from this year’s event. To watch the GIFs, click on the links in red or the photos that say, “CLICK TO ANIMATE GIF “.

With sixteen corners and an elevation drop of about 200m down about 2km of road at Giant’s Head, you can imagine the potential for speed. Once the track is clear, the first riders are the ones tucking down the course and riding hard-lipped wheels. Next come more round-lipped wheels and the kids doing 180’s all the way down. Mixed in there are those that don’t mind trying to make dangerous passes on unfamiliar riders. If you make it down every time without any road rash, you hadn’t taken enough chances I guess. Good for you though, ’cause every lunchtime at the event is beach time on Okanagan Lake, and we all know road rash and swimming don’t mix well.

Lunch break on Okanagen Lake.

Lunch break on Okanagen Lake.

Bustin Boards brought a ramp and some cash for those brave soles who decided to jump off the ramp into the water. I was one of those people with my Keen soles on to keep me comfy.

Flotation Device

Flotation Device

My feeble attempt at the jump ramp into the water.

My feeble attempt at the jump ramp into the water. Photo by Casey Morrow, I think.

They don’t call it Summerland for nothin’; it gets mighty hot up on the hill. The fire danger was serious. The freeride was cancelled previously because of fires in the area. No smoking on the hill allowed. None. Just don’t.

No smoking on Giant's Head.

No smoking on Giant’s Head.

Back on the hill it’s not snowing, but thane dust is in the air at every corner.

No, that's not snow and it's not rain, it's thane.

No, that’s not snow and it’s not rain, it’s thane.

This year, the ramp features were not there. That meant a whole lot less work for the GHF crew, but also meant that people got back to the main reason they came: the road itself. Still, the dirt banks off the side of the road are rideable.

Bussy, the Switchbacks bus, is a very agile one, taking the wallride.

Bussy, the Switchbacks bus, is a very agile one, taking the wallride.

Bussy Wallride GIF

Stephen Vaughn powers through the wallride.

Stephen Vaughn powers through the wallride.

Oscar Gutierrez surfs through Dead Man's corner.

Oscar Gutierrez surfs through Dead Man’s corner.

Victoria Waddington got a bit beat up by the Giant.

Victoria Waddington got a bit beat up by the Giant.

Jordan Koehler dips through that apex.

Jordan Koehler dips through that apex.

Some prime GIFs from the first two days of riding:

Dirt Corner Mayhem <<<Click to watch.<<<

Camilo and Beyoncé <<<Click to watch.<<<

Giant’s Head Racing

Every year, head to head racing starts as grudge matches between two racers. Riders race the lower section of the hill and weed out the slower riders. Spectators, videographers, and photographers line Dead Man’s Corner and the heats get exciting to watch.

Alex Ameen, video maker for Skate House Media, Valhalla, S1 Helmets, and Skate[Slate], gets real close for his video shots. Maybe, too close…

Alex Ameen and Zachary Lecker both drop it low.

Alex Ameen and Zachary Lecker both drop it low.

Alex drops it low and riders get pitted.

Alex drops it low and riders get pitted. CLICK THE IMAGE TO ANIMATE THE GIF

Race Heat

Race Heat

Race Heat - Jaden Chavez goes down.

Race Heat – Jaden Chavez goes down.

Race Heat GIF with Jaden Chavez going down <<<Click to watch.<<<

Thane spray!

Thane spray!

Too fast, too furious.

Too fast, too furious.

Martin DePass lays it back to survive the debris in the road.

Martin DePass lays it back to survive the debris in the road.

Insert gangsta music here.

Insert gangsta music here.

See the GIF of the photos above: Smiles and birds at Giant’s Head Freeride <<<Click to watch.<<<

Cam Brick also goes the safe route with the double hands down.

Cam Brick also goes the safe route with the double hands down.

Sean Young, GHF 2016 MVP, and Eduardo Cordero battle during a heat. Ed slips into the Temple of Doom. CLICK TO ANIMATE GIF

Sean Young, GHF 2016 MVP, and Eduardo Cordero battle during a heat. Ed slips into the Temple of Doom. CLICK TO ANIMATE GIF

Slides for daze. CLICK TO ANIMATE GIF

Slides for daze. CLICK TO ANIMATE GIF

Racers were complaining that the hill was too dirty and went on strike. They wouldn’t race as long as the course wasn’t cleaned. All the spectators and people on Dead Man’s helped clean up.

Crowd clean-up. CLICK TO ANIMATE GIF

Crowd clean-up. CLICK TO ANIMATE GIF

Even with the clean-up, crashes still happened.

Ouch. CLICK TO ANIMATE GIF

Ouch. CLICK TO ANIMATE GIF

Riley Richter slides down the Temple of Doom. CLICK TO ANIMATE GIF

Riley Richter slides down the Temple of Doom. CLICK TO ANIMATE GIF

Micah Green and Stephen Vaughn battle through the carnage. CLICK TO ANIMATE GIF

Micah Green and Stephen Vaughn battle through the carnage. CLICK TO ANIMATE GIF

Alec Whitman's board just couldn't leave Jordan Koehler alone.

Alec Whitman’s board just couldn’t leave Jordan Koehler alone.

Jordan Koehler and Alec Whitman with some tight racing. Alec loses his board and it follows Jordan all the way to the outside of the corner. CLICK TO ANIMATE GIF

Jordan Koehler and Alec Whitman with some tight racing. Alec loses his board and it follows Jordan all the way to the outside of the corner. CLICK TO ANIMATE GIF

Laine Jackart and Nolan Kraeker race through Dead Man's.

Laine Jackart and Nolan Kraeker race through Dead Man’s.

Laine Jackart and Nolan Kraeker stay tight through Dead Man's. CLICK TO ANIMATE GIF

Laine Jackart and Nolan Kraeker stay tight through Dead Man’s. CLICK TO ANIMATE GIF

Micah Green gets taken out by Ross Druckrey, who was trying to make that inside pass.

Micah Green gets taken out by Ross Druckrey, who was trying to make that inside pass.

Ross Druckrey and Riley Harris crash out.

Ross Druckrey and Riley Harris crash out.

Ross held on to his board and was the first to get up.

Ross held on to his board and was the first to get up.

Riley gets taken out by pine cones and Ross makes it out like a bandit. CLICK TO ANIMATE GIF

Riley gets taken out by pine cones and Ross makes it out like a bandit. CLICK TO ANIMATE GIF

When it comes down to it, if Dillon Stephen is there, he’s probably going to win the race. It’s his hometown hill and he learned how to longboard there from King Brian. After winning previous Giant’s Head races, he was crowned Prince Dillon. This year, he dominated the course. Dillon won, Laine Jackart got second, and Ross Druckrey got third.

Prince Dillon wins the Giant's Head Freeride Race.  Is it a freeride or a race? Both.

Prince Dillon wins the Giant’s Head Freeride Race. Is it a freeride or a race? Both.

Dillon is the victor, Laine is still stoked.

Dillon is the victor, Laine is still stoked. CLICK TO ANIMATE GIF

A gigantic thanks to the GHF organizers, volunteers, the EMT’s, Landyachtz Longboards, and Pabst Blue Ribbon. Thanks to Striker for letting me use your speaker set-up at camp to DJ music into the night. Don’t forget to check back for my Giant’s Head Freeride Skate Faces post.

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