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.
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.
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.
Back on the hill it’s not snowing, but thane dust is in the air at every corner.
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.
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…
Race Heat GIF with Jaden Chavez going down <<<Click to watch.<<<
See the GIF of the photos above: Smiles and birds at Giant’s Head Freeride <<<Click to watch.<<<
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.
Even with the clean-up, crashes still happened.
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.
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.