Graham Agassiz Says Goodbye to Kona

Jan 2, 2019
by James Smurthwaite  
Photo by Ale Di Lullo

After 12 years, Graham Aggassiz is parting ways with Kona. Check out his full statement from an Instagram post below:


"12 years ago I signed with the Kona Grassroots team, I was 16 years old. I had been riding Ian Duncan's old Kona Chute for well over a year before hand, and that thing really changed my life. It had Mag 30’s, a single crown long travel Sherman with a 15mm bolt axle I think? It was a beast, and nearly indestructible. Ian had already hit everything in town on it before me, including the ol' valley gap, which is still a very burly gap if you don’t know what I’m talking about! I was racing BMX for nearly 10 years at that time, and was getting burnt out and over the race scene. I needed a change, and I was very fortunate to grow up here and be exposed to mountain bikes when I was through the Bicycle Cafe Kamloops.

"A lot of people took me under their wing, and showed me the ropes if you will. Ian Duncan, Scottie Duncan, Stevin Tuchiwsky, Matt Hunter, Lone Wolf Productions, Kyle Proznick, Taylor Hollstedt, Brad Stuart and many more... The culture here was very genuine, and truly helped shape the person I am today.

"I had a hard time throughout school and bikes became my escape, something I could channel my energy into and build up my confidence. Every day after school waiting at the bottom of Rose Hill road, thumbing every passing vehicle for a lift up to the top of the once iconic trail. Those were some of the best days of my life. The range of people you would meet from all over the world who came to Kamloops just to ride that trail, it was mind blowing!

"I would religiously watch movies like the Collective and Freeride Entertainment's NWD series. I quickly idolized the Clump Team and aspired to one day be apart of it, film video parts every year, compete in Crankworx, Rampage, and ride with all my idols & now good friends Derren Berrecloth, Cam Zink, Paul Basagotia, Robbie Bourdon, Andreu Lacondeguy, Cam McCaul, Kyle Strait. Unfortunately the Clump team didn’t stick around as long as I would have liked— but it was a dream of mine, and we did have one really fun trip together. Reno/ Mammoth, what a time it was!

"In a few hours that chapter will be over, but I’m so excited to soon reveal what’s next!"


109 Comments

  • + 96
 "Industry Insider" - Uses public IG post.
  • + 47
 3 days late to the story.... super insider
  • - 7
flag chyu (Jan 2, 2019 at 7:52) (Below Threshold)
 YT Rampage 2019
  • + 1
 Yea we all saw this already lol
  • + 34
 I'll ask the devs to change the category to "industry slacker"
  • + 0
 I prefer my news late, complete and correct rather than "first", "exclusive" and "you don't need to be Sherlock Holmes to..."
  • + 56
 I feel like Kona's losing their identity.
  • + 24
 Just evolving.... Actually more like growing up. MTB isn't a counter culture lifestyle anymore, it's for everyone now. Kona has slowly been turning into a company who can supply you with bikes across every discipline and they are damn good bikes. Look back when the stinky, the coiler the Dawg were a major part of their mtb FS offering from Kona. Not exactly pushing the limits of capability when your trail bike is a shortened travel version of the free ride bike essentially.
  • + 49
 Do you know how many athletes have been mentored through Kona - it's massive. They have consistently cherry picked the best upcoming riders over the past 30 years and taken them to the next level.
  • + 39
 Or maybe they don't want their identity to be big hucks and injured 340 days a year?
  • - 48
flag greenbikegram (Jan 2, 2019 at 8:54) (Below Threshold)
 @TheBearDen: ya bikes that blow up and snap off at the head tube on small jumps at trestle. there also real good at not caring at all that you snapped your bike broke your back and now you cant walk for three months. Kona is definitely evolving into a worse and worse brand everyday!!!! hope your happy sipping the Kona fake brew!!! I just dont know how your could be such a brand whore to a company that literally cares 0% about most consumers. My 2012 operator snapped in 2013 1 year old and a dh bike at that... they literally laughed at me at rampage and would not even reply to my emails or offer a replacement or crash replacement discount nothing!!! cant see how your so in love with a company that is as fake as its name there is no Hawaiians involved in Kona or does it have anything to do with Kona in real life these dudes should just give up before they have to submit to the real owners of the game, all the new consumer direct companies. To say that mountain biking isn't counter culture anymore your just dead wrong and that is a huge slap in the face to every one like Bender out there. Maybe you are right though there has always been a plethora of types on the xc trail but true freeride and dh will always be a counter cultures 80% of people in the world will never have the balls to freeride or walk up giant dirt hill for that matter!
  • - 6
flag hfranklin (Jan 2, 2019 at 8:59) (Below Threshold)
 Yep,still top dollar for old technology.
  • - 2
 They're just giving a crack and not cracking.
  • + 7
 @thesharkman: OOOOOH SHIIIIT shots fired!
  • + 17
 @thesharkman: Just the other day DJ Brandt was singing the praises of Mongoose for standing with him through injuries. That's an identity of a brand I can get behind.
  • + 14
 @nate0852: Who's fake Brew am I sipping? Why am I a Brand whore? I feel like you you read my observation of where a company is at with its identity as some type of PR thing for the Kona brand? shit... I don't even own a Kona havent for 4 years.

As for your feelings that True freeride and true DH as you call it are still counter culture, thats fine. I am talking about the sport in a whole, not just two disciplines within the sport. I grew up during the days of monster huck to flats, Skinnies 15 feet in the air, the north shore being fueled by monster chaos and do what you want mentality, it was a great time... other than all the derailleurs I broke, rims I warped and headtubes I cracked... lol. To see the sport plant its foot in the ground as an extreme sport that came with a Counter Culture lifestyle was awesome, gave us all a higher feeling of validity in what we were doing as things got more popular. I still think It's okay that the sport as a whole is now becoming more and more for the masses and the major companies begin to have a lineup of bikes that suit the needs of everyone instead of just a few.



It would seem that your hate fueled reply to my comment is because of getting screwed over by Kona and from the sounds of it maybe a buddy or two of yours as well... I have owned Konas in the past, sometimes the customer support was good and sometimes it was downright shit... its the same for many companies unfortunately.
for the past 4 years I have owned a new Fuel and now a slash and both came with that Stupid rear shock that has both times failed me and neither the manufacturer of the shock or trek want to take proper responsibility for the failures. I told them every chance given to shit on trek's stupid shock I was gonna do it, still ride their bikes as they are great bikes but it shows no company is perfect. find a company you like ride their bikes and hope they treat you well, if not move on .

Personally Im always happy to see dudes out there still promoting the zero f*cks given lifestyle side of mountain biking, it always pumps me up to go ride when I see pros or none pros just sending it and having a f*cking riot.
  • + 1
 @chriskneeland: Get behind him ECJ!!!
  • + 1
 An entourage and a process 167 because Aggy is THE man (and goddamn he can sell me any bike he rides)!!! Now what?
I'm too old to post comments like this but wtf Aggy is the man!!!
  • + 2
 naw they're good so long as they still have Joe Schwartz
  • + 1
 @TheBearDen: so true.... Stop the #mcdonalization of Mountainbiking....
  • - 1
 @TheBearDen: killer comment.... ????????????
  • + 35
 This is a shame. I'm not an oldschool MTB'er by any means. I didn't know anyone who rode MTB when I grew up, didn't really have any contact with the sport. Guess I might've seen some early XC stuff but it certainly hadn't left a lasting impression. Later I mostly rode some fixed gear in my mid-20s and finally ended up getting myself a Kona Cyclocross bike much later when I'd already turned several years past thirty. I remember looking at Kona's news feed at some point and there was this trailer about a new film called Ashes to Agassiz. Checked out what it was all about and fair to say it kinda blew my mind.

I bought my first mountain bike (a Transition Scout though, sorry dude) like 6 months later. I know my limits and lack of skills well and I'm not about to emulate just about anything I saw him do in that film, but I guess it's fair to say Aggy got me into mountainbiking. Cheers, thanks and all the best!
  • + 3
 NWD10 for me. I grew up riding bmx, but never considered riding MTB. One day I stumbled into a buddies barracks room and he was watching NWD10 and I was blown away. Aggy fucking kills it. I'm super interested to see who he's going to ride for next!
  • + 0
 So what’s a shame exactly???
  • + 34
 I feel old now hahaha. Thanks for the mention Aggy. Super stoked to see you evolve over the years to become one of the worlds most talented riders. Can't wait to see what you've got up your sleeve.
  • + 23
 This is a bigger deal to me (and probably many of us) than racing team moves.

Aggy has been with Kona for almost half my life, and seeing big FR names change teams (a la Berrecloth leaving Spesh) is weird!
  • + 17
 I remember when Tippie and Schleyer left Rocky. That was a tough one to take.
  • + 5
 @craigcanucks: What will you do when it's Simmons' turn to leave? I jest of course, they're going to bury that guy with his RM7.
  • + 2
 @Fix-the-Spade: Well they moved him to being a Sales Rep so.....
  • + 1
 Olly Wilkins riding Focus bikes (though still a DMR representative) was an odd surprise for me.

And somehow I still felt Peaty fit best on Orange bikes with Hope brakes and TF Tuned suspension. There is something British about the man.
  • + 20
 Enough "Farewells"- let's see some "Welcomes".
  • + 10
 Cannondale welcomes Ratboy (better known as "Ratboy welcomes Cannondale")
  • + 15
 I'll have 10 bones on knolly
  • + 8
 I think that would be the only brand i would be excited about to see him riding for!
  • + 14
 Haterz kona hate.
  • + 13
 Gwin on Kona LOL
  • + 0
 If he ever wants to win the Worlds then yes, he probably needs a Kona. He has seen the picture and just can't it out of his head now. Kona -> rainbow stripes.
  • + 5
 I feel bad for people that weren’t into biking during the Clump days. This is the end of an Era but kona hopped on the softcore trend a while ago anyways, can’t wait to see what Aggy is going to bring to the sport going forward
  • + 9
 Wow, shocker for sure! I hope Aggy stays healthy in 2019
  • + 6
 Man I got tears in my eyes when he mentioned Robbie Bourdon and Paul Basagotia. Oh Aggy if you only knew how much I love you along those guys
  • + 4
 I had a feeling the writing was on the wall when he put his Operator up for sale a few weeks ago. Hopefully he lands somewhere good, he deserves it.
  • + 1
 @nate0852: Needs to do some soul searching young man. Otherwise by the time your my age you wont be riding a bike anymore and still be a disgruntled and frustrated human. 2019 is a good year to ride, go work out some of those anger issues on you better bike now like the rest of us mal-adjusted freeriders do
  • + 1
 Aggy better be on knolly that’s a bike I could really see him on. I managed to get my hands on doerphlings 2016 rampage podium and I gotta say man the bike amazes me every ride just the way it’s got that great small bump sensitivity but also the absolute best hard hit stability and traction it’s crazy that is a bike that would truly suit aggy
  • + 1
 Damn, Just looked at their webpage and couldn´t see any DH frame...
  • + 1
 Evil
  • + 3
 Apparently athletes are leaving teams this year and not getting new sponsors... or is PB just spreading out the news to get more article clicks?
  • + 29
 They do two announcements so that each brand can get separate exposure and there isn't awkward crossover for the athlete.
  • - 1
 @Patrick9-32: I get that... my comment was tongue-in-cheek re: two articles for all the click bait complainers... but where are all the signing announcements?
  • + 5
 And the pros playing magical chairs of MTB sponsors continues
  • + 9
 Magical chairs. Sounds fun
  • + 22
 @freestyIAM: It's like musical chairs, but on shrooms.
  • + 2
 Whaaaaat?! Just saw someone on the Ratboy on his Habit post commenting how Ratty off SC is weird, it would be like Aggy off Kona... Noooo! They jinxed it! Wink Sad...
  • + 1
 Dang it Aggy! Gonna have to sell my Kona now!! Hahahaha who does that? I love my Kona and wont be getting rid of it anytime soon, I will always be a fan of Aggy no matter what hes riding!
  • + 4
 Whys every person leaving every team?
  • + 36
 Money.
  • - 20
flag Kimura (Jan 2, 2019 at 6:11) (Below Threshold)
 It's only only PB you get downvoted for making a comment like the one I just did. Smh butthurt ppl
  • + 18
 contracts expire 12\31
  • - 24
flag speed10 (Jan 2, 2019 at 6:25) (Below Threshold)
 @Kimura: I only only downvote grammatical error’s: and people butthirt about getting downvoted
  • + 35
 @speed10: Well, it looks like I am going to have to downvote you for spelling "butthurt" incorrectly.
  • + 4
 @Kimura: haha this is one of my favorite thing about waking up and browsing 9gag. The intelligent threads and non-pettiness of the commu.... oh wait. I'm being told this is Pinkbike... hmm thats odd.
  • - 2
 @CrimsonGrimace21: *cough* WAKI *cough*
  • + 1
 @LuvAZ: Money will always be an issue in this sport.. Unless ur Semenuk or Makaskill, or Rogatkin.
  • + 4
 @speed10: Also, its "errors" not "error's". Did you make sure to downvote your own comment then?
  • + 3
 @AviMoore: I’m sew ashammed. How could I have made suck arrors in a cmmnt about errors? I deserve the downloads
  • + 3
 a day after dropping a cool riding video with a pretentious voice over making mountain biking so philosophical
  • + 4
 Looks like Aggy hasn't forgiven Kona for making him ride that E-bike.
  • + 3
 Banshee needs a shot in the arm from someone like him he's a legend
  • + 2
 I’d like to see him on a Norco or Rockymountain. Norco needs a bad ass freerider
  • + 1
 Norco doesn’t have a bad ass freeride bike
  • + 3
 Obvious YT has picked him up. #brandimage #targetaudience
  • + 1
 Evil
  • + 3
 yt have money with aaron gwin leaving
  • + 1
 We are in the every 5 yr cycle where the bike industry battens down the hatches, big storms coming-and the first to go are athletes. Sad.
  • + 0
 Lot's of transfers and contracts ending this year. More than normal perhaps. I think you are correct in your assumptions. The companies are possibly forecasting decreased revenue due to tariffs.
  • + 2
 U.S. Federal employees and Canadian mtb’ers aren’t immune to the curse of Trump.
  • - 1
 well, its a kind of sad, but i think that is the correct path for Aggy. Rampage 2016 he use a 27.5 operator: crash badly. Darkfest he use a 26 operator: everything just fine. In Black sage again had a bad crash over a 27.5 custom black operator. One year later in the same Black sage he use a 26 again, no problem. 26forever. In whilster another bad crash, a few months after the rampage, over a nice operator 27.5. Aggy just shine with 26 inch wheels, and kona never understand that. I really hope that his new sponsor really take care of him, and give the man what he really needs. I had a process 167, the last great 26" kona bike, and I bought that bike just after watched ashes to agassiz. So powerfull movie, so emotional, so truly freeride. Kona, you already destroy the house that aggy and Chris Mandell build.
  • + 1
 LOL
  • + 2
 Best of luck in this new chapter, great riders like you don’t need much to find a great place to be.
  • + 1
 Damn wtf man.. imma start keeping track of who’s leaving n everyone better get a new sponsor or I will never buy a bike from their last sponsor!!
  • + 6
 Lol.
  • + 2
 Slim pickins
  • + 2
 Welcome to MTB you sweet summer child.
  • + 1
 Aggy embodies the whole freeride vibe for Kona as a brand. I wish him all the best and sure as hell hope Kona will continue to sport the same freeride spirit with new riders!
  • + 3
 Hello Evil Bikes
  • + 1
 Yep
  • + 1
 I'm a big fan of yours, I always liked to watch the video where you ride. Good luck with your new bike family.
  • + 2
 Now time to ditch Dakine, Aggy. I see YT and Fasthouse coming your way!
  • + 1
 Nope
  • + 1
 I think Canyon or GT would be a good fit for aggy
  • + 2
 I think he's going to YT. Just a guess though.
  • + 2
 @craigcanucks: Makes sense however YT doesn't have an ebike, or mabye that's why he's going to YT? Razz
  • + 1
 Gwin? Neko? That would stir the pot
  • + 1
 For this value for money I won’t even say hello to Kona.
  • + 1
 So where is he going then?
  • + 2
 Evil bikes.
  • + 1
 Aggy on Rocky Mountain..?
  • + 0
 Haha Big Grin he tried to remove the Pinkbike logo in the picture of the post.

But haven´t seen this coming btw
  • + 1
 YT for sure
  • + 1
 god please no !
  • + 1
 Bring back the Starfish!
  • + 0
 Whaaat?
  • - 2
 RIP Kona!
  • - 3
 One of my favorite rider, i will love to see him riding for Trek.
  • + 2
 Treks shit they just break

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