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Kelly McGarry captured the eyes of the world when he backflipped the 72-foot canyon gap at the 2013 Red Bull Rampage. The gap had never been flipped, only straight jumped, but Kelly when inverted with ease, during a flawless top-to-bottom run. He earned 2nd place at Rampage for his heroics, but won the People's Choice award, proving he's a fan favorite. The guys at Gravity talked to Kelly about his experience in this awesome interview below. When you're done reading, you can buy Kelly's Gravity cockpit in the ridegravity.com webstore.

How does it feel to know you did what you came to Rampage to do?

I just wanted to make it through the Red Bull gates at the bottom of the course without smashing my face into the ground! After turning up to 3 Rampages in the past and riding & crashing in 2 of them,and then breaking my leg a few days before another, I'm stoked that I got through those gates in one piece. To get on the podium was for sure a career highlight!

The GoPro video of your run just hit well over 12.5 million views, what does that feel like?

It's pretty crazy that over 12 million people saw my Rampage run!I'm so stoked people can get a feeling for what it's actually like to throw down a run on that course.

It’s noticeable that you are humming a song when you are mid-run in that video, and I’ve noticed you do that often when you’re riding. Do you have a certain song you hum when you ride, or is it just whatever song is stuck in your head?

So many people have asked me about that! To be honest I don't even know. I think it's just random stuff I make up to get me in the zone and to make me feel like I'm in a Mountain Bike movie!

What kind of music gets you psyched to ride?

I like all sorts of random music these days but I'm a 90’s punk kid at heart. I love all the old stuff like NOFX, Face to Face, PennyWise, Rancid and The Likes. Good and fast and gets me amped to ride bikes.

How many times did you jump that canyon before you back flipped it?

I think I probably hit it 5 or 6 times before the loop went down.

What is it like jumping something that big for the first time?

I was pretty nervous, and I actually cased the crap out of it the first couple times. I had a different run-in than every one else and it was too flat after the first drop. I was loosing a bunch of speed on the run-in and it was causing me to hang up, I chopped the rock back so I dived into the run-in a bit more and it worked out way better. I sailed over that thing!

Do you get nervous before a stunt like that?

Yeah of course, I thought it through a lot,thought of worst case scenarios, thought about falling back into the canyon and landing on a cactus. But in the end I thought I had it and I told my brain to shut up and I just sent it!

How do you prepare for a day like Rampage? Do you have any“Pre-Game” rituals or superstitions? Do you eat anything specific on the day of a contest or perhaps the night before?

I try to get a good sleep, which can be challenging with so much stuff going through your mind. Then I slam a big ol’ breakfast and listen to some music and get up to the course early so I’m not stressing.

What does your girlfriend think of you flipping over a canyon that big?

She was a bit worried but gave me a lot of support and it was really cool to have her there to hang out during the event.

What is your favorite memory of Red Bull Rampage History?

I still think cam Zink's three drop is the best sequence of events that went down at rampage. Crashing hard on the first try then punishing it 2nd time around. He won the event and it was so cool to watch and everyone get so stoked for him .

We noticed you seem to always be running the new Gravity Gloves in all of our POV videos and photos, how do you like them?

Yeah the Gravity gloves are sweet, nice and thin and they fit my over-sized paws nicely!

It’s no secret; you killed it at Rampage this year. People's Champion, 2nd Place, Longest Flip in MTB, 12.7 million views online,etc. Was that the best run of your life?

Yeah it was a pretty sweet run, I can’t remember exactly the best run of my life but would have probably been cooking the BBQ and flowin’ trails with my mates!!

What do you think about more big mountain events like Rampage?Do you think there will be more of them in the future?

I hope there will be more events like Rampage, they are fun to ride and you can get creative and even tactical. I like the idea of picking your own line and if you want to work hard and make something crazy or different you can. The thing is finding a good location, southern Utah is a perfect spot, hopefully event organizers can find some more spots that will work and some more big mountain events will pop up.

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Who do you look up to in Big Mountain Riding?

Pretty much the usual suspects! Claw, Sorge, Zink, Aggy, The McCauls and Lancondeguy, just to name a few. Most of the dudes that ride at Rampage inspire me in one way or another, I love to watch everyone get loose in the desert and put their own style on their line.

When we called to congratulate you on your big podium spot, I asked you if you were going to take some time off and chill, you responded that you were “going to Mexico to ride down volcanoes instead”. What keeps you motivated to jump right back on your bike and get back at it?

I love to travel and see new parts of the world, and if opportunities arise where I can travel and ride at the same time then I take it! Riding bikes is my job but it's also my passion, and I can see some amazing places that I wouldn't normally visit if I weren't riding.

We notice you split your year between New Zealand and Whistler in between contests and trips. What is your favorite Trail in New Zealand, and what is your favorite trail in Whistler?

I'm lucky enough to split my year in two of the most radical places in the world to ride bikes. If I had to pick one in each town to be my favorite it would be “Rude Rock Trail” on Coronet Peak in Queenstown, and among the many in Whistler, Up Up & Away is always pretty sick!

Gravity Components are pretty popular in New Zealand, how did you get hooked up with them back in the day?

Matt Whittaker from Wide Open Distributors has been with me from day one, there is no way I would be where I am today without his help. He's had a massive influence on the New Zealand riding scene,and he has been helping many of the top NZ riders get to where they are today. He's an all round good bloke!

We have to imagine your bike takes quite a beating under your riding style. You must be pretty confident in your bike to put it all on the line like you did. What is your favorite part about your bike?

I don't really have a favorite single part, my whole bike just kicks ass thanks to the help of the awesome companies that sponsor me and allow me to do what I do.

We notice you prefer the full Ice Grey Gravity Light Kit, as opposed to classic black that most riders prefer. What do you like about that colorway?

I like the shiny look, and it always stays fresh looking even after a few seasons of shredding.

Who would you like to thank?

Getting round the world with 5 bikes in tow can be a mission and a half! And I couldn't do it without my girlfriend and my mate's support. Not to mention the help from all the companies that I work with.

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Thanks to everyone who's helped this Kiwi out....

  • Gravity Components
  • Diamondback
  • Marzocchi
  • Unit clothing
  • Atomlab
  • Kenda
  • GoPro
  • Shimano
  • Teva
  • Hope Brakes
  • Wide Open Distributors
  • Giro Helmets
  • Adidas Eyewear
  • Camelbak
  • Yakima Racks

The new Gravity Website is something we've been working with Mark Brent Productions up here in Seattle. Mark raced DH competitively and has an awesome understanding of the industry and what looks good and what doesn't. He has shown us a different approach to building interactive websites. I't took a few months to get it fully dialed and we are happy to show you the final product. It's a highly functioning website that links up our social channels as well as our athlete feeds, blogs, and product showcases. We wanted a clean look with the ability progress as a brand. Gravity has one of the best teams around and has some of the most straightforward product you can buy.  Check us out, we're coving many events from around the Northwest and Beyond. If you live in the USA you can buy all of our product via our new webstore, including everything you see on our athletes bikes, including all the Ice Grey Gravity Light Components you saw on Kelly McGarry's 2nd place Rampage run.

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