Behind the Scenes - Diamondback in Utah

May 5, 2011
by Ian Hylands  
 
You must login to Pinkbike.
Don't have an account? Sign up

Join Pinkbike  Login

Diamondback's 2011 Team consists of riders Billy Lewis, Kyle Thomas, Eric Porter, and Kelly McGarry, and this year after Sea Otter I joined them at their team camp in south western Utah. Also at the camp were team manager Jon Kennedy, videographer Kevin Philbin, and photographer Justin Olsen. The camp was based out of Hurricane, just outside of Saint George, and Porter had arranged for a sweet house for the team. Not having to live out of a hotel room was amazing, even though I did end up sleeping on my thermarest on the floor.
  Diamondback's 2011 Team consists of riders Billy Lewis, Kyle Thomas, Eric Porter, and Kelly McGarry, and this year after Sea Otter I joined them at their team camp in south western Utah. Also at the camp were team manager Jon Kennedy, videographer Kevin Philbin, and photographer Justin Olsen. The camp was based out of Hurricane, just outside of Saint George, and Porter had arranged for a sweet house for the team. Not having to live out of a hotel room was amazing, even though I did end up sleeping on my thermarest on the floor.


Photographer Justin Olsen, look for his photos from the trip in upcoming Diamondback catalog and advertising materials.
  Photographer Justin Olsen, look for his photos from the trip in upcoming Diamondback catalog and advertising materials.


Kelly McGarry pinning it into the entrance to the Grafton trail. If you've ridden this trail you'll know that close to Kelly's right is a pretty big drop down into a boulder field...
  Kelly McGarry pinning it into the entrance to the Grafton trail. If you've ridden this trail you'll know that close to Kelly's right is a pretty big drop down into a boulder field...


The Grafton trail is built on an old pioneer wagon road that wound its way up onto the mesa. Large sections of it were built by hand stacking hundreds if not thousands of large boulders against the cliff back in the 1800's. Here Kyle Thomas hits what's left of it at full DH race speed...
  The Grafton trail is built on an old pioneer wagon road that wound its way up onto the mesa. Large sections of it were built by hand stacking hundreds if not thousands of large boulders against the cliff back in the 1800's. Here Kyle Thomas hits what's left of it at full DH race speed...


Video guy Kevin Philbin documented the whole trip. At any one time Kevmo (nicknamed slow-mo by the crew) probably had 3 or 4 cameras running. From his Canon 7d to a handful of GoPro's and a few others, Kevin collected what amounted to hours of footage. I'm stoked I don't have to go through and edit it all...
  Video guy Kevin Philbin documented the whole trip. At any one time Kevmo (nicknamed slow-mo by the crew) probably had 3 or 4 cameras running. From his Canon 7d to a handful of GoPro's and a few others, Kevin collected what amounted to hours of footage. I'm stoked I don't have to go through and edit it all...


Billy Lewis corners for one of Kev's many cameras. Billy was just recovering from shoulder surgery so he wasn't up for anything too crazy, but he still had a lot of fun riding with the rest of the team.
  Billy Lewis corners for one of Kev's many cameras. Billy was just recovering from shoulder surgery so he wasn't up for anything too crazy, but he still had a lot of fun riding with the rest of the team.


Kyle Strait first made this gap famous more than a few years ago, here Kelly McGarry throws some fresh Kiwi style into it.
  Kyle Strait first made this gap famous more than a few years ago, here Kelly McGarry throws some fresh Kiwi style into it.


After our morning session on Grafton with the big bikes we took a short break and headed out to the Jem trail to shoot some All Mountain/XC style riding in the evening light. Billy Lewis and Kyle Thomas check out Porter's trail riding setup.
  After our morning session on Grafton with the big bikes we took a short break and headed out to the Jem trail to shoot some All Mountain/XC style riding in the evening light. Billy Lewis and Kyle Thomas check out Porter's trail riding setup.


Dramatic light is one of the things that photographers dream about, and Jem delivered.
  Dramatic light is one of the things that photographers dream about, and Jem delivered.


Unfortunately dramatic light is often created by storm clouds. Kelly McGarry pins it into the dwindling light before the oncoming storm envelopes us.
  Unfortunately dramatic light is often created by storm clouds. Kelly McGarry pins it into the dwindling light before the oncoming storm envelopes us.


A small celebration at the end of the first day of shooting
  A small celebration at the end of the first day of shooting


Day two brought us back to Grafton to finish up some of the shots that we missed when the epic morning light faded on day one. Kyle Thomas works it for the cameras...
  Day two brought us back to Grafton to finish up some of the shots that we missed when the epic morning light faded on day one. Kyle Thomas works it for the cameras...


Kyle Thomas in the early morning light on Grafton. <br><br>Photoshoots like this one take a lot out of you. Wake up call is early enough to be at the first location when the sun comes over the horizon, and bedtime is usually only a few hours before that. Shoot until sunset, then pack up, dinner, showers, get ready for the next day's shoot. For the photographers add in the steps of downloading images, cleaning cameras, and charging batteries. 4 hours sleep a night is not unusual for a photographer on a multi-day catalog shoot.
  Kyle Thomas in the early morning light on Grafton.

Photoshoots like this one take a lot out of you. Wake up call is early enough to be at the first location when the sun comes over the horizon, and bedtime is usually only a few hours before that. Shoot until sunset, then pack up, dinner, showers, get ready for the next day's shoot. For the photographers add in the steps of downloading images, cleaning cameras, and charging batteries. 4 hours sleep a night is not unusual for a photographer on a multi-day catalog shoot.


Eric Porter tears a hole in a corner on the Grafton Mesa Trail.
  Eric Porter tears a hole in a corner on the Grafton Mesa Trail.


The logistics of managing 4 riders plus photographers and gear becomes a lot easier if you can shuttle to and from locations. Thankfully Justin Olsen brought his Polaris Ranger to make the job just a little bit easier. It's all part of the package...
  The logistics of managing 4 riders plus photographers and gear becomes a lot easier if you can shuttle to and from locations. Thankfully Justin Olsen brought his Polaris Ranger to make the job just a little bit easier. It's all part of the package...


The Ranger also made it a lot easier to bring water to the desert. Billy Lewis shapes a lip for Kelly and Eric with a little help from 15 gallons of H2O.
  The Ranger also made it a lot easier to bring water to the desert. Billy Lewis shapes a lip for Kelly and Eric with a little help from 15 gallons of H2O.


On the third day we were joined by the Freehub Magazine crew as they made their way across the country on an epic road trip. Brandon plays with the video camera while Kelly prepares to drop in...
  On the third day we were joined by the Freehub Magazine crew as they made their way across the country on an epic road trip. Brandon plays with the video camera while Kelly prepares to drop in...


Kelly McGarry, just simply stoked to be in Utah!
  Kelly McGarry, just simply stoked to be in Utah!


Kyle found a dirty spot in the desert and decided to clean it up a bit. Justin documented it up close and personal.
  Kyle found a dirty spot in the desert and decided to clean it up a bit. Justin documented it up close and personal.


Same scrub, different angle. Kyle Thomas scrubbing these bushes clean...
  Same scrub, different angle. Kyle Thomas scrubbing these bushes clean...


Kyle Thomas, this guy has some serious bike skills, he's primarily a DH racer and he had no problems at all in Utah.
  Kyle Thomas, this guy has some serious bike skills, he's primarily a DH racer and he had no problems at all in Utah.


Eric Porter has been around for a while, and I've shot a lot of great photos of him over the years. Still at it, taking a break before the evening shoot...
  Eric Porter has been around for a while, and I've shot a lot of great photos of him over the years. Still at it, taking a break before the evening shoot...


The guys found this natural spine to spine double that only needed a bit of work. Actually it needed more time than we thought we had, but with the help of the Freehub crew we managed to get it up and running in time for the evening light. Kelly McGarry, second time at it.
  The guys found this natural spine to spine double that only needed a bit of work. Actually it needed more time than we thought we had, but with the help of the Freehub crew we managed to get it up and running in time for the evening light. Kelly McGarry, second time at it.


Kelly with a flip table over the desert double, flying into the sunset...
  Kelly with a flip table over the desert double, flying into the sunset...


Porter with a sick sunset shoulder buzz, God rays beaming right through him. Welcome to the promised land!
  Porter with a sick sunset shoulder buzz, God rays beaming right through him. Welcome to the promised land!


Back in 2006, Porter and I along with Mike Kinrade and Steve Romaniuk built a step up near Hurricane to film for Kranked. It measures about 45 feet lip to landing, and the run in is straight down the side of the ridge. In 2006 Porter did a tuck no hander over it, and now 5 years later he wanted to do something more. Kelly practices levitating at the base of the lip to get ready...
  Back in 2006, Porter and I along with Mike Kinrade and Steve Romaniuk built a step up near Hurricane to film for Kranked. It measures about 45 feet lip to landing, and the run in is straight down the side of the ridge. In 2006 Porter did a tuck no hander over it, and now 5 years later he wanted to do something more. Kelly practices levitating at the base of the lip to get ready...


Kelly McGarry, table in the sky in the first rays of morning light... Kelly also did a few no handers and a flip table over the step up, but I think this is my favorite shot. Classic!
  Kelly McGarry, table in the sky in the first rays of morning light... Kelly also did a few no handers and a flip table over the step up, but I think this is my favorite shot. Classic!


Eric Porter hit the jump a bunch of times perfectly, always about 30 mph according to the data from his Contour Camera. Then he decided it was time and busted out this sick tailwhip. 31 mph this time, 50 feet on a 45 foot step up, chucked the bike and landed like a pancake, didn't even bounce. It wasn't pretty to see, and the sounds a person makes when the wind is completely taken out of them are not easy on the ears. Happily he was mostly alright, shook up and a little concussed, but nothing serious. Sometimes all it takes is that extra 1 mph to put you over the edge...
  Eric Porter hit the jump a bunch of times perfectly, always about 30 mph according to the data from his Contour Camera. Then he decided it was time and busted out this sick tailwhip. 31 mph this time, 50 feet on a 45 foot step up, chucked the bike and landed like a pancake, didn't even bounce. It wasn't pretty to see, and the sounds a person makes when the wind is completely taken out of them are not easy on the ears. Happily he was mostly alright, shook up and a little concussed, but nothing serious. Sometimes all it takes is that extra 1 mph to put you over the edge...


Kelly at the end of the trip, stoked!
  Kelly at the end of the trip, stoked!


Justin Olsen's work can be found on his website and also his Pinkbike profile.
Must Read This Week
Video: Biketherapy
47102 views

56 Comments

  • + 21
 Glad to see Diamondback finally bursting onto the scene on pb after years of isolation from much of the freeride world. Just a quick shout out to one of their graphic designers, your wife teaches my AP class, and great work on the PB ads!
  • + 7
 i guess naming the slop style after an airplane payed off.........
  • + 5
 So whens the video coming!? Big Grin Big Grin
  • + 1
 ^ Not sure but they were up at I-street in SLC so... maybe they'll be waiting for that as well?
  • + 1
 I-street delish-ness!!! id like to see that footage
  • + 2
 A lot of potential POD's in here. Good job Ian!
[Reply]
  • + 10
 So stoked! Amazing shots. Gnar riding. My non-biker friend was with me when i was reading this article and i saw his heart pumping as we got through the pics.
  • + 6
 thats sooo CG (Cedric Gap) long time ago!
[Reply]
  • + 9
 Judas Priest this is a article brimming with POD's. I hope there's a nice video to follow
[Reply]
  • + 5
 man that kiwi is sick. great article pinkbike love it!
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Nice to see the dreamliner in action. I didn't even know Porter was on DB. If he would have landed that t-whip it would have rivaled any other as one of the sickest.
  • + 3
 Yeah easy to say it but one more try and he would have had it, just a brake tap on the way in would probably have done it...
  • + 1
 I'm guessing he would have made a sound something like this -0:28- www.pinkbike.com/video/152747
  • + 1
 Yeah kind of like that only worse sounding...
[Reply]
  • + 5
 Wow, Ian H. is an amazing photographer..... Keep up the amazing work Ian!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 really dope, i like what diamondbacks doin always liked the company when i use to ride bmx. and got good riders, hung out with billy and kelley way back at the thrash san diego jam and there always pushin it
[Reply]
  • + 4
 Amazing shots, absolutely amazing!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Great photos of what looks like more than a great time. Can't wait to ride with Eric and Kelly this summer when they coach at camp. Ken
[Reply]
  • + 1
 SICK! I live in Hurricane all that is so close to me. Grafton is so much fun and so are all the unridden spots just waiting to be carved into jumps and trails.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Great write up, riding and photos! Photo 6 looks like some kind of fake backdrop, was it flash lit?
  • + 1
 The rider was flash lit, the background just is.... That's kind of what Utah is about sometimes.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Very nice piece, the new DB downhill bike looks very cool with Thomas, Porter and McGarry their should be some sweet bikes coming out of this guys.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Awesome photos, Ian! And you're right- Kyle Thomas absolutely kills it. He's pretty fun to watch.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Steeze Envy... Anyone know there those last few kickers are in Virgin? I've gotta hit me some of that.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 damnn, that's an impressive shoot
[Reply]
  • + 3
 So many great shots!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 DF5 killing it in the desert!

Awesome pics / write up and cant wait for Slo-mo's vid
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Polaris rangers are awesome. They can go over almost any terrain, plus bikes there is a pickup bit in the back!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Sweet a mashup of some of my favorite peeps. Can't wait to see Kevmo's footage.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 So sweet.... can't wait. Going to be there Sunday. Been looking forward to it forever!
  • + 1
 nice!!! enjoy, its a beautiful, harsh and amazing area- make sure you stop by the guys in over the edge sports in hurricane, they got allz you need to know!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 i must say i loved my mr.lucky diamond back i may have to buy a dh rig in a few years
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Awesome, the pro's were practically in my backyard again and I never even knew...
  • + 3
 If that is your backyard I can't feel sorry for you. Smile
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Come up to Cedar City and BrianHead, we have a lot to offer!
  • + 1
 Yes you do, just not in April... I'll be back.
  • + 1
 You should come back soon before it gets too unbearably hot! All the local spots in Cedar City are drying up nicely, and Brian Head will be ready to go in about another month.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 lookin great!!! half of these should be lined up for POD too
[Reply]
  • + 1
 In the pic with Kyle Thomas what are his rims?!
  • + 2
 The bright yellow and black ones? They're mavic d max's....
[Reply]
  • + 1
 sweet. Good to see DB in the scene.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Awesome pics - not that I had a doubt. Killer stuff.
[Reply]
  • + 0
 wow, so Haro builds a bike just for Eric Porter, and then he leaves to Diamondback?
  • + 2
 He left because they got rid of their entire mountain program and basically fired the whole team. Haro is just BMX now, that and Greg Watts...
  • + 0
 Ha, didn't hear about it, thanks for informing me.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I want a vid too!
  • + 1
 Suuuuuuper sorry man... I meant 2hit u up but i neg p-roped -ya.^^ SORRY
[Reply]

Post a Comment



Copyright © 2000 - 2014. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv16 0.033271
Mobile Version of Website