It seems like an odd idea to combine Fairclough, Semenuk and Fiji for a movie segment - or does it? Most who know these two understand that their riding styles go way beyond their respective career designations, and that they both possess diverse riding abilities and enjoy ripping all types of bikes and trails. I was fortunate to be able to witness and photograph the two clash it out on a custom made DH track in the hills above the pacific ocean on the island of Fiji.
In Semenuk's vision for this 'Rad Company' segment, "the trails that Adam Billinghurst and Kyle Jameson built for us in Fiji were super fast, full of jumps and built around body language on the bike. So I pictured the need of a World Cup DH caliber rider and Fairclough was the first name that came to mind. His iconic style is entertaining to see on camera. When it comes to DH riding there is nothing I like doing more, and the concept of shredding with him on a DH trail got me the most excited."
|When it comes to DH riding there is nothing I like doing more, and the concept of shredding with [Brendan] on a DH trail got me the most excited.|
As easy and luxurious as it seems to have a custom trail to be built for you, but the reality is that restrictions on time, resources and land access can make the trails extra challenging and rowdy. The land in Fiji is steep, slippery, and hard to cut into. There was no time to tweak landings, corners, or lips, and thus the challenge for these two riders was to not only ride an unfamiliar trail extremely fast together, but also to know that five cameras from the NWD crew were pointing at them constantly. This provided an overarching demand that they throw down one of the sickest runs of their lives without a second chance and with minimal line inspection.
I asked Fairclough about this experience with Semenuk and why he chose to be part of the Rad Company
, "I respect Brandon as a rider and as a person, certainly his growing up in Whistler has shaped his overall well rounded DH abilities and he is rad to ride with. He is always thinking about new lines and new ways to ride the terrain, I would like to think that is similar to me. Both of us, eyeing up the terrain together and trying to find the fourth landing of a triple! I also really like this concept for his new movie, it's a great opportunity to work with the Freeride Entertainment crew. They have a reputation as always showing super hard-charging riding."
|[Brandon] is always thinking about new lines and new ways to ride the terrain, I would like to think that is similar to me. Both of us, eyeing up the terrain together and trying to find the fourth landing of a triple! |
By the end of this shoot it was obvious that these two shred well together. It was fun to see their personalities showing through as they were challenged by the physicality of working in the heat, interacting and having fun with all the cool local kids, and watching their humor shine as they climbed palm trees hunting for as much coconut water as possible.
On what was challenging about this film shoot, Fairclough said "filming is more chill than racing but when you add in the intense humidity that hit us 24/7, pushing the bikes all over the mountains with the 4am wake up calls. . . it all made for some hard fun." And Semenuk, when asked how Fairclough was as a shred companion, said "once I got over the fact that he was gonna constantly correct my English, I realized he is a super fun kid to be around and is all about getting loose on his bike!"
|Once I got over the fact that he was gonna constantly correct my English, I realized he is a super fun kid to be around and is all about getting loose on his bike!|
MENTIONS @Freeride @sterlinglorence @trek @SCOTT-Sports @troyleedesigns @redbullbike @SramMedia @Chromagbikes