Graham Agassiz - Back On the Bike

Feb 12, 2014 at 19:13
by Kona Bikes  
Yes

Aggy neck brace free and ready to ride (once the snow melts). Photo: Jeff Conner


We're really stoked Kona Team rider Graham Agassiz is back on the saddle after a pretty gnarly crash that left him with broken bones in his neck. We caught up with our favorite big mountain rider to find out what happened, how he's feeling, and what's in store now that he's back in action.

What was the nature of your injury?
I broke my C6 in two places. Doctors gave me the option to wear a halo for three months, or do surgery and wear a brace for three months. The downfall to the halo besides the obvious is chronic neck pain basically for life, but without the risk of surgery. I decided to do surgery which meant fusing my C6 to my C7. They cut open the front of my neck, pushing my esophagus and neck muscles away to access the damaged vertebra. Now I got this killer scar, and some hardware!

How did you do it?
I was riding this steep high speed line just outside of town, something that I've ridden countless times. At the bottom of the line and in the flats I believe I clipped a sage bush, which caught my pedal and sent me tomahawking off my bike. I was going pretty fast to say the least.

Aggy. 2013 RedBull Rampage in Virgin Utah

How long were you in a brace for?
I was in a neck brace for three months, and it was total hell! Luckily I have some really good friends here in town that would get me out of the house and keep me fairly active. Even with the brace I was either fishing, split board touring, hiking, and designated shuttle bitch at the farm.

How long until you’re shredding full bore again?
Right now I'm seeing the best trainer around, Greg Kozoris at Acceleration Training. We are working harder then ever to not only get me back into peak performance but to get me in even better shape than I've ever been. I am also seeing the best physiotherapist and deep tissue massage people in town. That being said, I plan on being back on my game by April.


Dump 3 from Aggy.

What are your plans this spring and summer?
This spring I am working on my very first invitational event here in Kamloops. I can't give away too many details on that just yet, but it's something that I've dreamed about doing for a long time and I can't wait to get all the boys here to shred some proper mtb sized lines! This summer and all season long I will be working on a movie project with Kona and Monster Energy, that will be filmed by Sherpas Cinema. I'm really looking forward to this as well, and will be showcasing some rad things that have been in the works and kept under the radar.

Aggy at this years Crankworx whip off world championships. Aggy is a rider I ve never had the pleasure of working with but I hope to change that next year. Get well soon buddy.

Anything else? Damn are we stoked to see you ride again.
Just a massive thanks to all my friends, family and sponsors who were over the top supportive, keeping me in good spirits throughout my injury. All the goofy cards and awesome gifts, it kept me positive and motivated to get back on the saddle again. Like any injury you have a lot of time to think, and I had a lot of people ask me if I was gonna hang it up and I always laughed. With every injury I've had I have always come back more motivated and more appreciative than ever before. I still have so many goals that I've yet to accomplish, and I won't be slowing down anytime soon. I'm going to be charging harder than ever and will continue to push the envelope at the forefront of freeride mountain biking.


61 Comments

  • + 106
 Yeah Aggy! Way to have such a positive outlook on a major setback. Can't wait to see you back on the bike charging hard again!
  • + 12
 One of the sickest riders out there!!!!!!!
Just oozes steez!
www.pinkbike.com/video/285697
  • + 4
 natural-born rider, that is all. Based on what he did at Rampage, he's going to set a new precedent in combining slope into big mountain riding. FWT, look out! Wink

Absolutely stoked he's going to make a full recovery after such a serious injury. Dude is a beast.
  • + 2
 That's a big dog compare with the bike,
  • + 3
 Kamloops invitational sounds beast. When? Will Aggy be able to ride? Kona need to spec the Entourage more like Aggy does. Glad Aggy's back on the bike.
  • + 2
 That Kona man!!! sick
  • + 7
 His dumped 360 at Rampage was DOPE!
  • + 0
 Glad you are getting back on the bike! Your so lucky you didn't get a spinal chord injury, Its the worst. Good luck with everything.
  • + 2
 Aggy is awesome!

And maxlombardy! That vid is rockin! Did you see the outtakes/extras version?

www.pinkbike.com/video/298307

This vid always leaves me feeling better and stoked to ride.

Glad he's better and on the way back!
  • + 1
 i saw Aggy on a mtb video on youtube and he is the one that inspired me to ride.
its always good to hear about him. im glad he is feeling better Smile
  • + 1
 Such a beast. How many people can dump a three off a twenty five footer?
  • + 1
 ^ First hit no less.
  • + 21
 This is news to me, Didn't even know Aggy was injured and I consider myself a big fan of his. Get well and back on the bike!
  • + 1
 same here, geez ,hate to hear he got hurt but, glad to hear hes on his way back to shreddin!
  • + 16
 That dumped 3 at Rampage..
  • + 13
 Where you wearing a neckbrace?
  • + 12
 Hahaha...designated shuttle bitch.
  • + 7
 Great to hear your back so quick! Love your riding style and think you had the best line/tricks at Rampage this year! Curious if this gives you an opinion/perspective on neck braces? (I think they rest right on C7/T1 so wondering if you even can?)
I have one, but can't stand wearing it when I ride due to limited mobility - you have some expertise and experience at your fingertips now, so would love some insight
  • + 3
 I wonder why they didn't ask him about this. Personally I always wear it when wearing my fullface. I am aware the effectivity of it has been questioned but I've yet to see hard evidence of them either being useless or counterproductive. Until that happens I see it as a safety measure that seems to work and I'd rather risk wearing a toilet seat for nothing than breaking my neck not wearing it..
  • + 1
 Way to go Aggy! Re. Neckbraces, maybe the firm that makes the split rear design is best. Seems to rest on muscle. I forget which brand that is...
  • + 7
 Man is keepin the freeride in freeride. Possible rampage in kamloops esque comp ummmm dope
  • + 4
 That was to long.. glad its over... Rubber side down 4 life Bro! At least when you are not doing flips,dunks,corks,whips and mostly everything you do when you are in the air..
  • + 3
 Dangerous hobby, or profession in Aggy's case. Glad to hear he's on the road to 100% recovery.

Fractured my C6 just before Christmas, 6 weeks in a neck brace, and another 6 weeks till I'm allowed to do anything dangerous again. I have now bought a Leatt, I think that had I been wearing one, it would have prevented over-extension?
  • + 1
 Thing is, this was an accident while just riding along - well for him, and at speed yes, but not while attempting a trick or jump. Hitting a bush with a bar or pedal can happen to anyone - I've had a few fast crashes from bar snatching branches - always fast and painful but not like this. Good for him, it sounds like the treatment was pretty awful...
  • + 1
 If I would try to ride like Aggy does, I would definitely wear a neck brace... Some real shredding !
  • + 0
 Both of my broken bones have been massive derps, the first one i misjudged the contors of a ski trail that i've hit plenty of times. the second i tapped my rear brake on wet bridge and was down before i knew what happened.
  • + 2
 Glad he's back on the bike! I snapped my c3 completely in two and just starting to ride again. Needless to say, no matter how serious the injury there's just something about being on two wheels that's makes us get up when we fall and do it all over again. Live to ride!
  • + 1
 It's so good to hear that you're doing well and getting back to riding! I remember when I first saw your segment in New World Disorder 10: rolling in on that Kamloops kicker and throwing that huge backflip. I showed your segment to anyone that would watch. You have an incredible style that is inspiring and so fun to watch. It's what freeride mountain biking is all about. Best wishes.
  • + 2
 Yeeewwwww! Keep the motivation up man! You kick ass on the bike! Been waitin for an update for a while, mad stoked to hear you'll be back soon. Been watchin all your vids on here. Keep being an inspiration to is all
  • + 3
 Yes!!!!! I am so happy! I wouldn't know what to do if he retired or something,Sooo happy. This is his season... I just know it ! Btw his entourage looks dope
  • + 1
 shot your sweet and how awesome is the invitational going to be? weve been needing more big mountain comps and this sounds epic!
  • + 1
 Hands down for you Graham. Your style is amazing, pure raw and massive. Congrats for the 360 at the Rampage, this is so far the raddest I ever watched.
  • + 1
 I've had two sep broken back issues in the past year and a half, know how this goes...heal up man, glad to hear you are doing well.
  • + 1
 duuude, aggy's making a vid with sherpas? thats gonna be SIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIICK
  • + 1
 I would like to know if he was wearing a neck brace (leatt) when he crashed, and if he will be wearing one in the future ?
  • + 1
 So glad he's back on track! And cool to see that he still goes with the entourage. This bike is true aggy!
  • + 1
 Happy recovery. I injured my c5, c6 so I also have hardware and a neck scar! Get well soon!
  • + 1
 One of the steeziest riders in the game and my personal favorite. Healing vibes aggy. Glad to hear your doing better
  • + 1
 the pic with his dog looks like an exhibit from the natural history museum: The 21st century shredder: Cyclis Rockis Hardis
  • + 2
 Yay!!!! What great news! Welcome back!!!
  • + 1
 He makes me want an Operator
  • + 1
 He made me buy an Entourage.
  • + 1
 Hells yeah!!! Stoked to see AGGY back in action soon
  • + 1
 Leatt brace for life. Stoked your back aggy
  • + 1
 Man that was a epic crash at r ampage.
  • + 0
 Aggy,will you try the double frontflip or 6 road-gap in Gobi Desert?Hope you never try it.
  • + 1
 Yeah Aggy !! Can't wait to see you back on the bike !!
  • + 2
 Awesome!
  • + 1
 cant wait to see that Movie Project !
  • + 1
 What is this place on the title photo? Kamloops?
  • + 2
 Yep. Thats the loops in all its winter glory.
  • + 1
 The MAN is back in the saddle!!... glad ya ok dude
  • + 1
 hell yeah Aggy!
  • + 1
 Sweet bike!
  • + 1
 Aggy sic man=D
  • + 1
 FREE RIDER FOR LIFE!
  • + 1
 YESSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!
  • + 1
 Stoked!
  • + 1
 Happy days!

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