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Graham Agassiz talks DarkFEST 2019

Not only were we privileged to witness the legend, Graham ‘Aggy’ Agassiz shred the full DarkFEST course, we also got the chance to catch up with him to get his thoughts on what it was like to ride the world’s biggest jumps, the event itself and more.

How would you sum up your experience of DarkFEST 2019?
DarkFEST has been amazing, they took such good care of us this year, everything us super dialled and very well done. We had a great time out there, the course was insane and people were stoked we were out there

Give us your thoughts on this year’s course?
The course this year was huge, I know last year was really big and this year they made it even bigger so thanks guys for doing that [laughs]. They are easily the biggest jumps we’ve ever ridden, which is pretty gnarly. We all took the right precautions leading up to it and not even everyone hit the whole line, so it goes to show how burley this course is.

Graham Agassiz talks us through the 2019 DarkFEST Freeride MTB event
Freeride MTB style for days with Graham Agassiz at DarkFEST

In saying that, what was it like to hit the course for the first time? 
Yeah, the first top-to-bottom was insane for me, following Brendog (Brendan Fairclough) and Andreu (Lacondeguy), and Andreu Flat-spun the last jump right in front of me and bails, I’m way over the top of him and he’s on the ground trying to get to the side, I land three quarters the way down right beside him, and luckily didn’t crash. It was just chaos everywhere out there.

Which feature is your favourite and why? 
The Step-Up would probably be the easy one, it’s super fun and the easiest to session. You can ride that jump all day long and just lean the hell over on it and do some whips. It just feels too good.

Graham Agassiz whipping the massive DarkFEST step-up
Graham Agassiz styling it out over the DarkFEST hip jump

Which riders have impressed you the most this week?
Adolf (Silva) for sure. Clemens (Kaudela), Andreu (Lacondeguy), Darryl Brown, Fairclough, really everyone. Nico Vink makes everything look so easy. Everyone was riding so well and really killing it.

How would you best sum up DarkFEST and what does riding an event like this mean to you?
It’s a media machine really, there’s no 1st, 2nd or 3rd. There’s a couple prizes here and there but it’s really just a good session with your boys. Everyone is progressing and pushing each other, and that’s what it’s all about. We’re here to have fun and not here win any races or trophies or anything, we’re just here to shred.

Interview with Freeride MTB legend, Graham Agassiz
Interview with Freeride Mountain Bike legend, Graham Agassiz

How much does riding an event like this take a toll on your body and bike?
An event like this definitely put a lot of toll on the body, I mean these are the biggest jumps in the world and going down, it’s gonna hurt you know. The body over the years is getting beat, I’ve broken a lot of bones over the years. The bikes too, they take a beating. There’s a lot of things we do with the setup that you don’t; see anywhere else. We pushing our bikes and bodies to the limits out here.

Your highlight of DarkFEST?
Probably my first top-to-bottom run. Working all week up to that and having it weigh on you, I just wanted to get it done.

Graham Agassiz riding the 2019 DarkFEST freeride MTB course
Interview with Graham Agassiz at DarkFEST

Photos by Ale Di Lullo, Syo van Vliet and Eric Palmer.

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