10 Trip Essentials for Giant’s Head Freeride
Are you packing your things for the 2017 Giant’s Head Freeride in Summerland, BC this June 26-28th? Well, then this article is for you. If not, this is still worth the read. Here are ten essential items to enhance your experience at the Giant’s Head Freeride.
1. Swim trunks or Swimsuit
The first thing you’ve got to know is that it’s going to blazing hot while you are there. Unless you are from the desert and used to the dry heat, you are going to want to take the right precautions in order to stay cool. The best way to cool off at lunch or after a day of skating is to jump in Lake Okanagan. This year though, after record winter snowfall and intense glacial melt, the water level is really high. As of June 18th, it seems the water level is 71 centimeters above the normal levels for this time of year. The usual dock spot might be close to submerged at this point.
2. Sun Protection.
Now that it’s summertime, the sun is out for the longest periods of the year. And, they don’t call it Summerland for no reason. It’s going to get hot during the day, so you are going to want to protect yourself. A wide-brimmed hat and sunblock are pretty essential items out there.
3. Eye and Face Protection.
Wearing sunglasses can help you from getting a headache from squinting in the sun. Also importantly, eye protection is good for the amount of urethane shredding off of wheels and stirring in the air.
Bandanas are a good idea and they have multiple uses. You can use it to protect your neck from the sun, cover your face to prevent yourself from eating urethane dust, or wipe off sweat as it comes.
4. Full Face Helmet.
This one is a given. Obviously, you will be better protected if you wear a full face. You won’t need glasses if you have a full face, but some people prefer the extra protection of sunglasses and a full face. A half-shell helmet won’t protect your face if you fall.
Whether you prefer full knee pad protection or lower profile shock absorbers like G-Forms, it’s a good idea to protect yourself from the almost inevitable crash. With hundreds of riders mixing it up down the hill, sometimes things get out of your control. Below, Jimmy Riha shows us how he pushes the limits while wearing G-Form pads.
6. Extra Pants.
You never know when you’re going to burn a hole through your one pair of jeans.
7. Extra Wheels and Slide Pucks
For most experienced riders, this is a given. Giant’s Head is a steep hill which requires so much sliding, you burn through your wheels very quickly. If you can afford it, it might be a good idea to bring a couple sets of wheels for each day. Hard lipped wheels and softer wheels will last longer than hard wheels or rounded lip wheels. If you don’t do stand up slides all the time, you will also burn through your slide pucks. Bringing an extra pair of pucks is a good idea.
8. First Aid Kit.
Let’s face it. We all fall down at some point when we are pushing our limits. The last thing you want is an infection from your GHF trip. If you get road rash, you want to cover up your wounds. You can always get patched up from the medical staff under the tent halfway down the hill, but the bandages may be a bit restricting if you want to continue riding. Tegaderm is a film that hospitals use on large rashes that you can sometimes find at a drug store or by ordering online. Most downhill skaters swear by its ability to keep your wound clean and sealed from infection-causing bacteria.
9. The Obligatory Button-up Shirt.
It wouldn’t be a GHF without a bunch of kitschy Hawaiian shirts. In addition to them being a popular style choice, they are functional too. You can un-button your shirt when you need to cool down.
10. Sweatshirt or a Jacket.
It’s hot during the day in Summerland, but it also gets cold at night. If you wanna hang out at camp comfortably, it’s not a bad idea to bring some extra layers.
Well, unfortunately I won’t be at the 2017 Giant’s Head Freeride. I wish I could be there this year. So, to all about to get some Giant Head, have fun and stay safe.