Kelly McGarry

Kelly took some time to talk with us about joining YT this year, his second place run in 2013, and overcoming his big crash in practice last year. With the best head of hair in the business and a smile as big as he is tall, Kelly is simply the friendliest giant at Rampage.

You are by my estimation, the nicest and the tallest athlete at Rampage, how are you so nice? Does the world just look better from up there?

Haha, it's not a bad view from where I am standing for sure. I travel the world and ride bikes, things could be worse! Actually me and Martin Soderstrom are pretty much the exact same height, but he's not riding Rampage so that makes me the tallest fella out there!

Photo Rene Van Wonderen
  Photo: Rene Van Wonderen.

The first time I met you was at Rampage in 2013, you had the best looking, but also the smallest dig crew. Last year you had more helping hands, did you find that there was an advantage to having more help?

Yes, in 2013 I had my girl, Sammy, on the end of a shovel - she was great! Last year I had an awesome crew of diggers too, I think last year everyone needed a big crew as we were starting from scratch at a new location and there was a hell of a lot of digging to be done. So in short my dig crews have always been awesome!

In 2013 you came in second with a run that was so inspired that it was easily the most publicized through media and social media post event, do you feel like you should have won that year?

No I don't feel like I should have won. I had a rad time ripping the course that year and to get second was an awesome feeling and getting the People's Choice was the icing on the cake.

 redbullbike podium rampage
  McGazza takes second in 2013.

Your backflip over the canyon in 2013 inspired a photo by Paris Gore showing the actual goosebumps it gave the media. How do you get your head around throwing down a trick like that for the first time with the world watching?

I'm pretty stoked my riding could have that effect on people. It's just like any of the big comps we ride in - everyone is watching so you just go for it!

Kelly McGarry full sequence over the canyon gap surprising the entire world with his massive flip.
  Kelly's awe inspiring canyon gap from his 2013 run.

Last year you were pushing the limits again and had a pretty big crash in practice, how did that effect your psyche for the rest of the competition?

I had a super bad crash in practice last year, it knocked me around both mentally and physically. I had to have a bunch of massage and physio (in two days) to get myself feeling like I could ride again. Then I had to go back to the Canyon Gap and get my mind around hitting it again. I went back on the morning before finals and owned the jump. It felt good to get through those barriers and I ended up top twelve in the comp which pre-qualified me for this year's final. I wasn't as stoked with my result last year but considering the circumstances I think I did okay!

McGazza on his back flip attempt across the canyon gap. Like Raboul things didn t quite go as planned for the big Kiwi with a case on the knuckle ending his bid for the podium.
  Gapping the canyon at the new site last year after a bad crash on his earlier attempt.

With the location staying the same this year do you already have an idea of the line you want to build?

Umm yes and maybe no. I liked my line last year and feel I didn't really smash it like I wanted to. At the same time there is some cool new stuff on the course and it's rad to change it up.

What is it about Rampage that keeps you coming back?

I think the location and the straight up epic-ness of the comp is what keeps me coming back, it's really cool to look around when you are up there digging or riding and appreciate where you are. I feel pretty lucky to get invited to the event and I'm looking forward to this year's shredding!

Photo Rene Van Wonderen
  Testing out his run for this year. Photo: Rene Van Wonderen.

This is your first season on YT Bikes, how did that transition come about?

The guys from YT got in touch with me end of last year and I signed with them this year, it's been so rad! The bikes are the nicest I have ever ridden and I like how YT as a company rolls in general. We have an epic team and great bikes to go with it so I couldn't be happier!

Kelly McGarry
  Photo courtesy of YT.

Does having a YT team at events like Rampage (yourself, Cam Zink, and Andreu Lacondeguy) offer more support in these situations or are events like Rampage still very much individual endeavours?

It's rad to have the YT crew around for sure, YT are backing Rampage pretty hard this year which is awesome! I'm proud to be riding for a company that puts back into the sport and events like Rampage as well as makes epic bikes! Cheers boys!

Kelly McGarry was one of the first to run the ridge after the digging was done today.
Kelly McGarry was one of the first to run the ridge after the digging was done yesterday.

Tune in live at starting at 10:30 a.m. MT[/L].

MENTIONS: @YTIndustries


  • 109 2
 I'm expecting big things this year from Kelly. Such a genuine guy and super talented
  • 27 11
 You might blame me for this but the comments of each rampage-article with a specific rider are always like: I am sure he will win/ this guy is the greatest/ I expect he will pull something crazy
I do not think that helps because each of the guys are awesome on his way.
I do not really care about how they will perform in there final runs it is just great seeing the riders having fun together.
  • 78 4
 I love the paradox of rooting for some rider and nowhere else it becomes more cruel than in case of Rampage: I want Kelly to win, which basically means: you want everyone else to lose and that inevitably involves crashing hard for some guys.
I don't care who wins, I will be happy for the very dude. I am looking forward to a great show and hope no one will get injured.
  • 13 1
 I am upset that redbull doesn't pay them all and insure them all. These guys have families and lives. Their career has brought them to this point and they can either say no and take a huge hit or risk it all for peanuts.
  • 2 0
I want them all to win; it means the coverage is working. If it's just a name i don't have anything invested, but seeing Mcgarry's happiness or Semenuk's break in his usual tension makes them human and relatable and lets me experience their Rampage vicariously. It's pretty awesome.

The event is judged subjectively, so it should be experienced subjectively.
  • 1 0
 He's run in 2013 is the reason the world notices Rampage. It's like the gangnam style of Youtube. Every mom and pops think you ride your bike like him too.
  • 2 0
 @taletotell I dunno about group insurance, but definitely minimum payment for all qualifiers, medics on-site and choppers on hand for quick evac etc. I'd imagine these boys would all have their own medical insurance. Mad if they don't...
  • 75 8
 Kelly - is that true that Redbull wanted you to build a really long set of stairs instead of jumps and drop offs?
  • 45 0
 I asked him earlier this summer if he was gonna ride Rampage this year... he said "Does Dolly Parton sleep on her back?"
  • 20 2
 In 2013 you came in second with a run that was so inspired that it was easily the most publicized through media and social media post event, do you feel like you should have won that year?

"No I don't feel like I should have won. I had a rad time ripping the course that year and to get second was an awesome feeling and getting the People's Choice was the icing on the cake. "

What a humble dude, I bet Kelly does not get all caught up in the 'dont you be poaching my line Bro!' antics going on out there.
Good luck Bro, Kia Kaha.
  • 3 0
 Have to be happy to survive with a run that epic! The people don't lie though, he should have won with how mind blowing that run was, not only the flip but the speed of his upper section as well
  • 20 1
 Its fair to say McGarry could flip the whole course if physics allowed it
  • 14 1
 Such a likeable dude! tup
  • 10 1
 McGarry is kind of like the Features at Rampage, FUCKING GIANT IN PERSON! haha, rad dude too!
  • 2 0
 Mountain biking and horse racing are the only places where 6'4" qualifies as giant.
  • 1 0
 Is he really only 6' 4? Cause I met him in Whistler and man he seamed way taller than 6' 4 haha that makes him only 4 inches taller than me.... Felt like he was closer 6' 7
  • 5 0
 Yannick Granieri is on YT too! he even made his lins super smooth for Claudio's course preview Frown Go Team YT!
  • 6 0
  • 7 2
 Nicest guy in freeride. Always cheering for ya homie.
  • 5 2
 I hope the YT Team makes the podium. Cam, Andreu and Kelly. Doesn't matter which order but I hope they take top 3. YT would rule rampage.
  • 3 7
flag dzenyy (Oct 14, 2015 at 14:03) (Below Threshold)
 Man, it's mostly not only producer's competition. It's just people; You know, there is always riding on the edge of ending on a wheelchair by Aggy, moto-style tricks and bangers from Godziek (personal favourites), almost sure frontflip on something from Tom, Brandon and Brett doing tricks like robots... and also (personally don't like the form of freeride, that DH guys prefer, just boring imo) fast rides down a hill from guys like Brendog (I think he was very overrated last year), and ofc You don't know what Strait is plannig to show.
Do you just prefer some riders only because they ride the same manufacturer's bikes? Not understandable for me. However, as always Andreu is just... over any measurements. Crazy guy. Same goes for Cam, for his 'the biggest ... ever', and i always liked Kelly for being such a nice guy, not to mention his crazy fails- he is the master of leaving such situations without any big harms. Fingers crossed for YT team, but my FAV PODIUM IS: Aggy, Godziek, Zink/Lacondeguy. Last places to all downhillers.
  • 1 0
 OH! I forgot: ROGATKIN! Nicholi is also my fav! Aggy, Godziek, Rogatkin, in any order on podium.
  • 6 0
 When you see the headcam of Brendog's run though, with the double canyon he built - gap isn't as large as the proper gap, or as big as some of the other drops, but the technical aspect of it and the rest of his line was sweet! Defo not a boring, fast run down the mountain!
  • 1 9
flag dzenyy (Oct 14, 2015 at 16:27) (Below Threshold)
 @jtn1989 fast, ofc. Gap to gap, maybe with some no-footer or sth. There's no clock to count time, so pro- downhillers, or 'free-racers' are performing some kind of overrated ride down a hill, with a clock, counting every second, in mind. Stop this. That's what the freeride is: whatever the track is you can perform any trick at any place and go down the hill at any time THAT IS NOT COUNTED BY THE CLOCK, ok? So be creative, build something that can cost you additional seconds but it's totally worth it, when you gap, or flip it. It's the real freeride: NO F'KIN CLOCKS! Judges look at your whole run, searching for tricks, speed, difficulty, air... counting the up- and down- metres (ft) that you dropped or jumped up, multiplying it by the tricks you've done. Yes, there's speed, but looking at this level of performance and unbelievable skill WHO The Fck WILL LOOK AT THE CLOCK?!

OFC, retarded kid.
And bout Bendog'sdb canyon gap: it sounds like a total destrucion, butwhen you see what it really is, it's worse than some of the rhythm dirt jumps i've seen. Prepare, jump, prepare, jump. Distance? LOW LOW LOW LOW... He's line is DH one, which should be somehow ignored. Man, put some teick, so we can look further.
  • 1 0
 Hahaha, what? Oh and didn't Andreu win last year partially because of his speed and flow down the gnarly hill?
  • 1 0
 Going down a hill with a clock lose term 'free', and instead of 'riding' you just have 'racing'. It's the last thing I'd want to hear about Rampage. It's not DH UCI WC... or, reading the comments, I would very like Rampage not to be 'best time wins' challenge. Clocks should be illegal for judges and public. Sorry, speed is ok, but in a quantity enough to clear a jump or drop, not more. Style, tricks, difficulty of the line, flow.
  • 1 0
 Not that it matters, but I think he would have won '13 if he didn't miss the last hit after landing the 2nd flip awkwardly. It was such an incredible run, can't believe he kept going so large after sticking the canyon gap flip
  • 1 0
 I wish they would have asked if he's made of steel? How they hell did he just instantly popup and walk away after that massive crash on the canyon gap where he cased the landing (he didn't even look winded).
  • 3 0
 I met McGazza once and he cured my dandruff and fear of the ladies!!
  • 2 0
 One of the coolest guys in action sports. Wish him all the success!!! Hit them with it Kelly.
  • 4 1
  • 3 1
 Does anyone ride for diamondback anymore since Kelly jumped to YT?
  • 6 0
 carson storch, mike hopkins,
  • 2 2
 Carson storch
  • 3 3
 carson storch
  • 28 1
 carson storch, carson storch, carson storch, and carson storch in case you didnt hear
  • 12 2
 what about carson storch? I can't remember if he's still there or not...
  • 9 1
 dont forget mike hopkins, mike hopkins, mike hopkins,
  • 6 1
 which is why we need those PB Bike/Gear checks ASAP please...thanks my well informed brethren
  • 5 4
 Carson Storch and Mike Hopkins
  • 2 1
  • 2 0
 Speaking of he competing this year?
  • 3 0
 think so but have not seen or heard much of him
  • 1 0,9521/Slideshow,0/sspomer,2 Sounds like he has a stupidly amazing line from what he's saying
  • 1 1
 On his instagram he posted a video of him flipping the RZR jump
  • 2 0
 that was andreu flipping the rzr, but his builder jeremy witek posted a vid of cam stomping a massive stepdown
  • 1 0
 Ahhh I see.
  • 5 5

I hope I got your atention and that my little mesage got through. Smile
  • 4 1
 Because they sell bikes on the internet man. Thats where most these dweebs do their riding.
  • 3 2
 Gary McGarry is the absolute baddest. do your thing bru!
  • 1 2
 First time seeing that crash. Holy shit the front wheel just collapsed! Wtf kind of crappy wheels are those? He could have been fcking paralyzed.
  • 3 0
 Atomlab DHR wheels, I'm not sure how strong they are compared to other wheels but that was a HUGE impact and I am not sure any other wheels would have faired any better
  • 5 0
 ANY wheel = crushed in that situation.
  • 1 0
 I've ridden those dhr's, they are by far the strongest wheel in the world, just very heavy. even though the wheel is what broke first, there is no way the wheel is to blame, he went about 90 feet to flat.
  • 1 0
 Funny, safety belt in the truck- then a backflip over the canyon!!
  • 1 0
 imgaine the irony of having a car crash at rampage ;P
  • 1 0
 Sick photos Rene Van Wonderen
  • 1 0
 Rest in Peace Kelly. We'll all miss you man! Sad sad news!!!
  • 1 1
 @grandmastere Storch is definitely still there! HAHA!
  • 1 0
 How tall is Mcgazza?
  • 1 1
  • 1 0
 okay, everybody talks about his height so I'm kinda curious. Thanks
  • 6 1
 "He's about six feet tall"
  • 1 0
 Hopefully this means an XL Tuesday sometime soon. 6'4"=6'5" is pretty big on their L.
  • 1 0
 I don't see how he can fit on a L bike. I'm only 6'2" and I feel like most L sized DH bikes are too small.
  • 1 0
 Horrible crash ..
  • 1 0
 Love this dude
  • 1 0
 $100,000 but.
  • 1 0
 Just... rad Big Grin
  • 1 0
 Rest In Peace
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