Getting to Know: Damon Iwanaga

Mar 11, 2017
by Harrison Fetter  
Damon Iwanaga - Getting to Know

Damon Iwanaga

This California native knows how to send it and yes, he rides with the Fest Series. When not at Northstar bike park or with the Fest boys he can be found working to make a positive difference in the lives of those around him. An enthusiasm for life and some incredible style on a bike make Damon hard not to like.

Who is Damon Iwanaga?

That is a good one right there. I smile and eat a lot of gas station food, love life, work 4-5 days a week, have great people around me, and try to keep the stoke high!

Where are you from and where do you live?

I was born and raised in Gilroy, Ca. Yes, the garlic capital of the world… After high school, I moved up to Lake Tahoe, surfed the couch wave and ended up in Incline Village, Nevada.

Views: 28,879    Faves: 734    Comments: 54

Who do you ride for?

Loose Riders, Deity, Five Ten, Village Ski Loft, Ninjaz Gloves, and Brad, Cam, Howie, and Mark over at YT Industries US made last year possible for me with an amazing bike and parts at hand when needed, thank you, guys.

What are your strengths?

Knowing my dad is always watching over.

What are your weaknesses?

I'd say being on the smaller side of most normal-sized human beings… ha, I don’t know; bodywise my knees are bad, at heart Summer the dog, at my job.

How did you get involved with the Fest Series?

That is another good one. I think timing and luck? And Instagram. Really, Kyle Jameson is just the man. I can’t thank him and Arik Swan enough for the huge opportunity they gave me to throw some shovel loads, meet a ridiculous amount of rad people, and ride during the Cruz Fest event. That is where I was fortunate to meet another rad human, Nico Vink, who gave me the opportunity to ride at Loose and Royal Fest.

Ian Collins

What's been your worst crash over the years?

When I was 13 or 14 I compression fractured my T6, 7, and 8 racing motocross. I kind of just high sided and started flipping down this chute like downhill. That actually made me shorter and stunted the growth in those vertebrae. Or possibly jumping out of a car when I was 2 and fractured my skull.

Where's your favorite place to ride?

Easily, Northstar. I haven’t been riding that long to get to a bunch of places but no better place than home. Then the obvious, Whistler.

What bikes are you riding right now?

I have a 2015 YT Industries Tues and a sweet cruiser bike.


Do you have any big projects or trips planned for 2017?

I don’t have any big projects planned at the moment other than putting out more video content. For trips wise, I plan on heading over to Europe a couple times for a couple Fest stops and then traveling around here in the States.

What inspires you?

Open minded people inspire me. It doesn’t only come from mountain bikes or motocross. It’s the people who go out and get what they want. I don’t mean getting paid the big bucks, but having a passion and actually make a difference in people's lives.

Who's your favorite rider?

My favorite rider has always been Mike Aitken. That is such a tough question being there are a ridiculous amount of amazing riders. Aggy and R-Dogg are definitely two dudes I could watch all day like Chase Hawk.

What do you enjoy doing away from bikes?

My roots are in motocross so that is right there with MTB. Half the season I can’t ride locally due to snow so getting on my board or the recently learned skis is at the top.

What's your favorite non-bike website?

I scroll on Amazon way too much.

What's your favorite motto or saying?

I say “dude” a lot. Favorite motto, “Till the wheels fall off”

What grinds your gears?

Bad drivers, ironic? Ha.

What makes you happy?

Being on my bicycle.

What do you enjoy listening to?

People arguing about stupid things.

Trevor Reeves

If you weren't a pro mountain biker what would you be doing?

I’m not even sure if I am that. There was this card I paid for to race and then just ran into trees. Haha. I’m not sure, I am working on my teaching credentials so probably being a high school teacher.

Where do you think the future of freeride is headed?

I see the size of jumps going towards the FMX world. It's insane how big riders are going. The lines of big mountain or man-made have just been getting to a whole different level. But I feel like it is making its own little corner again. The whole social media thing is crazy fast paced, showcasing so many talented riders every minute. So I think the base of it will expand a lot over these coming years even more than it has been.

How do you want to be remembered?

I want to be remembered as a person who made a difference in your life.

What does the future hold for Damon Iwanaga?

Hopefully some good things! I will be doing a little bit of racing, a few Fest stops, head up to Crankworx, and mix it up in between!

Boosting in the early morning on six pack sunday... Tomorrow Morning Sucks

MENTIONS: @YTIndustries / @deityusa / @FiveTen

Author Info:
harrisonfetter avatar

Member since Nov 28, 2010
34 articles

  • 82 1
 "What do you enjoy listening to" : People arguing about stupid things. Ha ! A pinkbike comments section fan
  • 44 3
 I don't agree with your statement! Please elaborate on the relation to pinkbikes' comment section and state fundamental reasons for your argument.
  • 31 1
 @mazze: most German argumentative comment ever.
  • 14 15
 @mtnryder56: yeah what qualifies you to call something "german"?

typical american thinking he knows everything about everything
  • 6 0
 @jaycubzz: I think he just meant that it fits the stereotype of Germans being very correct about everything very well Wink
@mtnryder56 Haha, to be totally honest with you, I'm surprised that people actually took it as the joke it was meant to be and didn't neg prop it lol
  • 7 2
Funny how one american allready neg proped your comment Big Grin

Murican sarcasm detectors are probably all made in China and therefore not working properly! Razz
  • 4 3
 @mazze: i was joking.
  • 3 0
 @mazze: I think you and I are the only ones who are in on the joke!haha As an aside, I see Freiburg in your profile. I lived in Basel for a year and rode the Borderline a good number of times. Lac Blanc was a favorite of mine as well, admittedly in france... My riding buddies from there tell me that the Canadian trail and the "new" canadian trails are awesome! Cheers, and if you make it to Santa Cruz, CA, feel free to give me a buzz and we'll ride some trail!
  • 20 0
 Stylish, friendly, good human and unstoppable shredder !

Feel lucky to cruze my path with this Dude once. You made a huge positive impact on my life bro, good to know a little more about you!

  • 11 0
 Clearly his roots are in moto... sick style... loving the turndown whips!
  • 11 0
 YT if you read this, sign him and let him produce weekly edits!
  • 1 0
 Too bad they missed the boat with their team announcements!
  • 10 0
 Jump out of a car at age 2 and fractured my skull... What !
  • 9 1
 Easily the best Village Ski Loft Employee.
  • 3 0
 Rad to see you on here slayin it. Hope life's good man. I'm just starting the build for my bike park in Salida Colorado gunna have to get you an the joys out some day build ride some dream lines
  • 2 0
 Damon is a true dude! I got the chance to hang with him a bit at Sea Otter last year cause we have some mutual friends from Gilroy and he is always pumped,and ready to ride! great dude!.... Stay Loose Damon!
  • 2 0
 i've been waiting for a fest rider interview. Damon is something else. super steezy and seems to be a real genuine guy. Also cool knowing he works a normal job too to be able to ride
  • 3 0
 I've been riding @Northstar for years and am blown away at the lines this guy takes. That's some next level shit.
  • 2 0
 super AWESOME HUMAN !!! honored to of met you ... hope to shred soon... this little interview is way over due !!! Stoked for you !!
  • 4 0
 That vid clip got me so stoked, thanks!
  • 3 0
 I'd love to have him as one of my highschool teachers that would be awesome
  • 3 0
 dude rips that was actully worth watching.
  • 2 0
 I can see how Damon has bad knees after all these big hits and creative lines.
  • 4 0
 raddest dude ever
  • 3 0
 Nice to see you made it on pinkbike!
  • 2 0
 Really one of the raddest dudes out there, much love for Damon. keep on keepin' bru!
  • 3 0
 Yeah Damon! Well-deserved coverage, buddy.
  • 3 0
 I want to hang out with this dude, but I don't think I could keep up!
  • 2 0
 NORTHSTAR!!!!!! Haven't seen any remarks on where he was riding in the vid..... Sooo Here ya have it~ Sick Bike Park!!
  • 2 0
 This dude is fucking rad, met him at Northstar and god damn he rips so hard.
  • 3 0
 Love watching your progression Damon. What a"dude"!
  • 3 0
 Level guy..
  • 2 0
 he should turn his bars a little hard, he might snap his head tube off...
  • 3 0
 boost master Flex
  • 2 0
 Sick Style
  • 2 0
 Awesome shredder!!
  • 2 0
 Damon is one rad human!
  • 2 0
  • 1 0
 dope rider and an awesome guy
  • 1 0
 This video is awesome
  • 1 2
 I scroll Amazon too.

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