Stories

Published photography features and storytelling from around the globe…

The King Of The Kootenays

A visit to the home environment of the mysterious three-time Redbull Rampage winner.

Mountain lions, grizzly bears, bull elk... of the many dangerous creatures hiding out in the mountains of Interior BC there's one to rule them all. An unparalleled destroyer of the planet's gnarliest terrain, repeatedly flying in under the radar to victory, Kurt Sorge is possibly the ultimate dark horse of the MTB world.  

This man is a rockstar beyond hats and helmets. The King of the Kootenays has earned his crown.

This One Time at Team Camp

Intense Factory Racing get the band back together for winter training in California.

Off-season. A phrase that conjures mixed emotions... Sure, there are those able to regard it in a positive light—an opportunity for much-needed rest—time to relax the body and mind away from the saddle and the race track. For others it's all about the hard grind—a sufferfest spent putting in the hours with a brutal physical training regime that will allow them to climb another rung of the long ladder to the top. But sadly for many of us, it's a dull and dirty word… an empty chasm of nothing but a long, dark, lonely, cabin fever-inducing void that must be endured while the weather goes off the rails outside. There are also, however, the lucky few who continue to live the vida loca on bikes all year long. These are mainly pro riders blessed by the latitudes they call home. Australians, for example. And Californians. 

The Woodsman

At Home with German slopestyle supertalent, Amir Kabbani

On the steep banks of the Rhine, somewhere in between the crenelated walls of gothic hilltop fortifications and the steady flowing river, packed with ferry-loads of grape-intoxicated tourists, you'll find him... the woodsman. Deep in the forest. Probably with a flying mattock or roaring chainsaw in bandaged hands, or maybe he's mid-line, inverted, with the bike violently rotating overhead. His time is well split between the moving the bike and the earth. There aren't many people this guy can't out-dig, let alone out-ride.

Inside Schwalbe

Behind the scenes at the German tyre producer’s HQ

With golden leaves coating the hills, the twitter of birds and the smell of fresh grass filling the air, we pick up the trail outside the little village of Wiehl, near Cologne in Western Germany. We're a stone's throw from Schwalbe's international headquarters, home to the R&D, storage and distribution of some 17 million bicycle tires over the year. As interesting as that place may prove to be, this morning is very much more about the latter end of the development process - a key area best enjoyed with one or more like-minded friends; some real-world testing on local terrain. Our two riders sprint towards the trees swaying in the autumn wind while a captive audience, for some reason difficult to quantify and remain awake, look on in apparent fascination. 

Land of the Riding Fun

Exploring the culture and hidden trails of the Japanese mountain bike scene.

In this twisted, mountain-bike dominated world in which we all live, Japan seems to fly a little under the radar. Unless you’re into riding powder on planks, there’s not much you’ll be hearing from the land of the Sumo and running sushi besides perhaps the latest drivetrain innovations... until now at least. Join Shimano Team riders Bernardo Cruz and Steffi Marth as they fill their treads with volcanic soil and their bellies with Tokyo onagi on a bike adventure to Japan’s main island of Honshu. Hosted by Japanese pro, Hiroshi Ato, it is set to be a fascinating eye-opener, both on and off the bikes.

Gas to Flat

At Home with top UK downhill MTB racer, Adam Brayton

Of all the great many mysteries shrouded deep in the depths of the MTB scene, one surely stands out for any downhill rider above all others as the most elusive: how does a racer really 'make the big time'? How does somebody somehow find themselves at the upper end of the elite field, scrapping it out with the Athertons and the Minnaars of this world, finally getting those massive results they always dreamed of? There has to be some x-factor that takes you to the next level... Qualifying alone is one thing, but to then grace the top 30, the dizzy heights of the top 10... the podium? Well, those guys must be from a whole other planet.

Return of the Goat King

Slopestyle legend, Timo Pritzel, discovers the backcountry of old haunts in the Austrian Alps

The wind gusts and the hairs prick on exposed forearms, emerging from a thick, red, Oakley hoody. Leaning over a set of 580mm handlebars in baggy jeans and white hi-top shoes, the ‘Goat King’ calmly surveys his estate before him, but the reality of failing on the 10-meter drop at the end of the woodwork is kicking in. The year is 2005 and Timo Pritzel, reigning champ of the event’s best style award, sits on top of what is now the biggest European contest feature to date at the Adidas Slopestyle in Saalbach, Austria. If he doesn’t get it smooth someone else surely will; the start list is a formidable one. Gracia, Berrecloth, Strait, McCaul, Bourdon, Vanderham, Zink… The list of freeride heroes in the making goes on and this is a leap of faith they all plan to take before continuing onto a huge satellite dish, a wall-ride, cable-car gap and a big line of doubles. Well, it’s time to put Europe on the slopestyle map... this one’s for Germany! Timo’s dropping in…

Inside Dakine

Discover the inner workings of the iconic extreme sports brand from the Pacific North West.

Just as Sony is to sound and Budweiser to beer, Dakine is a name inseparably intertwined with extreme sports. Spanning the holy trinity that is snow, water and dirt for 35 years, the company continues to nurture some of the World's most idolized athletes and create their must-have equipment for snow-capped peaks to sun-burnt beaches. Beginning on volcanic shores back in 1979 on Maui, Hawaii, Dakine found its way to the foot of another volcano, this time on US mainland in 1986... now residing under Oregon's towering Mount Hood.