Photo: Toby Cowley
This article originally ran in the April 2019 issue of Bike. Click here to subscribe and support print.
For years, Graham Agassiz’s name was practically synonymous with Kona Bikes. He started riding for the brand as a teenager and spent 12 years building his profile—and Kona’s—into a force in freeride. His inimitable style and penchant for pushing the progression of the sport has long made him one of the most entertaining athletes to watch, and his easygoing demeanor—no doubt a byproduct of his Kamloops, British Columbia, upbringing—makes him a perennial fan favorite. Earlier this year, ‘Aggy’ left Kona and joined Evil Bikes. We took this opportunity to ask him a few questions about what life will look like working with Evil.
How did the deal with Evil come together?
I’ve been looking for something for the last couple years, waiting for the right fit. I got hurt a couple times and that didn’t help my situation out. Once things started moving last spring, I was pretty sold. I’ll be doing a lot more with the marketing team, dabbling a bit on the sales side. It’ll keep me busy but it doesn’t take away from my riding. It’s what I wanted to do at Kona. I’d been there for longer than most of the people at the company, I had my vision, but they were going in a different direction. It was just time for sure … I’m really happy now.
What will your sales/marketing role involve?
I’ll be helping those guys out on shop tours, helping get marketing projects off the ground and helping grow distribution. If I can be traveling around, shredding, meeting new people, that’s super natural for me. With Evil, it’s great to have my voice heard and have a voice.
What’s your go-to bike? Right now I’m on the Following. It’s the bike that really saved Evil, so it’s cool that I’m on this special bike, and a 120-mil 29er rides like a rally bike. We’re really stoked on the park bikes, those are going to be perfect in Kamloops.
What about an Evil DH bike?
For what we do, we don’t need a 200-mil bike yet. To go ride Sun Peaks, I can ride the Wreckoning with a Push Elevensix shock. But there is some stuff in the works.
Is Aggy’s Reunion coming back this year?
I’ve thought about it, I’ve definitely been asked a lot. It’s a lot of work, it’s really stressful—I don’t think the organizers are having fun. It’s a full-time job. The course is still sitting there, and it’s almost happened at a couple different locations. Monster’s been keen on doing it again. For now, we’re putting resources into Tom (van Steenbergen’s) Big White Invitational, so we can put that event on to compete with Crankworx.
Is Rampage still a top priority?
I used to focus my entire season around it, trying not to get hurt in a time window, mentally preparing for it, and I’m not going to put it on a pedestal like before. I gave it 110 percent for a lot of years—that’s a lot of strain. If I can go there, still shred and have fun, I’m happy. I’ve been coaching a lot of the younger guys. It feels good to give back—I remember being that kid and I can picture what they’re feeling. The last couple of years have been a struggle with injuries. You have to push yourself to the extent that you’re risking it all. And it scares my family a lot. But I’m still chasing that dream—I’d love to stand on top of that podium.