Rockstar-Husqvarna-Dragon supercross rider Jason Anderson turned in his second consecutive podium performance, with a 3rd place finish at the Salt Lake City Supercross. The race was fairly drama-free for Anderson, who after a great start in the main event, held on long enough to stay on the podium. Most of the arena was focused on the 1-2 battle between Eli Tomac and Ryan Dungey, while Anderson quietly cruised to another podium finish.
“I got a great start in the heat race with a third,” began Anderson about race day. “I made some changes to my bike after that and ended up getting a great start in the main. I rode in third the rest of the race and felt pretty good. My starts have been much better lately, but I want to win. I never line up with a desire for anything else. My speed was good this weekend and I felt much closer.”
The New Mexico native also managed to sneak up into 4th place in the overall points standings, but unable to make a real run at the title, given a DQ and a mechanical issue in two races earlier this season. On the 250 West side of things, Rockstar-Husqvarna-Dragon’s Martin Davalos finished just off the podium in 4th place for the second consecutive race.
The circuit shifts east to New Jersey next weekend, as Jason looks to grab another podium and 250 East rider Zach Osborne is back in the saddle after a month off. He’s in the midst of his career best year.
Follow Dragon Motorsports for more from the Supercross world.
Shane Dorian, one of the most accomplished watermen and surfers in the sport’s history, recently released Lemon Pepper, a 7-minute video by Ryan Moss. Filled with striking visual imagery, a driving electronic beat, and, of course, incredible surfing, Shane answered a few questions about the making of Lemon Pepper and what’s next.
Dragon: Where does the title come from?
Shane Dorion: Ryan Moss, the filmer/editor, and I tried for a few weeks to come up with some sort of name for the edit. It’s nothing significant, just an obscure rap lyric reference to a rapper named Rick Ross. Pretty random but I like the sound of it and I couldn’t think of anything better.
DR: The 7-minute video is packed with nearly 6-minutes of action. In a world where shorter videos are dominating, what was the impetus behind making a longer and visually impactful edit?
SD: I think people get so inundated with ultra short-form clips these days via social media, I think it’s refreshing to see something a bit longer, that isn’t rushed along. We got pretty lucky, footage-wise, so we wanted to use most of the great stuff Ryan shot.
DR: Any specific waves or breaks in there that were your favorite?
SD: It’s shot at random waves in Hawaii, some that are just fun shreddable waves and some ultra-rare slabs. The slabs are a favorite for sure. When surfing waves like that you really have to be switched on and focused because if you mess up you could be headed to the hospital.
DR: Was there a longer story behind the shark sighting mentioned in the beginning?
SD: Not really, I surfed a really fun novelty wave for a couple hours with a friend and just after we came in a huge tiger shark was lurking right in the lineup, just cruising back and forth.
DR: There’s a little credits clip of you and your son. What’s it like being able to surf with your son now? Does it change your viewpoint on surfing at all?
SD: For sure. I used to always wish the surf was overhead, now I am stoked when it’s waist high because my son froths to surf. He is little so waist high for me is head high for him. Surfing with your kids is amazing, it’s like you get to see surfing through their eyes: it’s new all over again.
DR: What’s the next project look like? What have you got on the horizon?
SD: Next month we are releasing PROXIMITY, a new film by Taylor Steele. I am really excited to see that. He paired surfers from different generations together on trips, according to a common thread between the two surfers. I am paired up with Albee Layer. [Other pairings are] John Florence and Kelly [Slater], Rob Machado and Craig Anderson, and Dave Rasta and Stephanie Gilmore.
For more on Shane’s exploits, head to his Instagram feed.
Congrats to Zach Osborne on grabbing the latest cover of Racer X. Zach, who is in the midst of a banner 250SX East season and will be in the outdoor contention this summer, has graced the covers of two magazine now (previously Transworld Moto).
Zach is back in action in a couple of weeks on April 29th, in East Rutherford, NJ. He currently is 3rd place in the overall points standings.
A legendary skier, Jossi Wells, recently stepped outside of his comfort zone while filming The Free Man. The stylish Kiwi teamed up with The Flying Frenchies to explore the deeper meaning of what it means to be free and motivate oneself to push your limits. And amidst this deeper exploration, Jossi was in the middle of one of his most successful contest skiing years of his storied career. We caught up with the Olympian, X Games gold medalist, and Free Man, to talk about his experiences making the movie.
Dragon: What’s the premise behind The Free Man?
Jossi Wells: The film follows me going to meet with a group called the Flying Frenchies. They wing suit, base jump, high-line, and are also performing artists. So they’ll play music, dress up and are a little bit wild. The film follows me going and meeting them and the idea was to get me outside of my comfort zone and explore ‘the flow state,’ and explore the reasons of why people like us do what we do.
DR: Does it focus more on you or the Frenchies? It’s hard to tell from the trailer.
JW: It’s split. It kind of tells my story and their story. And then [ours] as we link up and they take me through the high-lining and the rope jump with them. The film wants you to ask questions about yourself. What does it really mean to be living and what do you believe in and gets pretty deep. The whole premise at the end of it is, ‘What is a free man,’. What does that entail? You’ve got a group of guys together that share a similar view of what it means to be free. It all relates pretty similarly. Why we do what we do and why it makes us feel free.
DR: How did you get involved? Did they draw your name from a hat?
JW: I was actually approached by the production company and the director. They thought I’d be a good fit for it. So I did a few auditions on Skype and met them up in Auckland and kind of kicked it off from there.
JW: I’d never actually heard of them before but after being with them I recognized them from videos I’d seen online of BASE jumping. Once I had met them, I realized I had seen what they do before. They’re wild dudes. It’s not something I thought I’d ever be interested in. When it comes to guys like that, there is a preconceived notion that they are adrenaline junkies. But after hanging out with them, I found a lot more similarities between my mindset and their mindset. I think there are a lot of similarities between action sport athletes and an extreme sport athlete. It’s very similar. We are all chasing the same thing but we get there by different avenues.
DR: Did you film with just them or were there other characters of interest?
JW: We filmed with a bunch of other people and did other stuff but it didn’t make the cut. So the film was just me and the Frenchies.
DR: How long was the filming?
JW: I was filming all year because I was going on other missions, but the stuff with the Frenchies was a two week trip in France. A lot of the interviews in the film were done over time, so I was filming for probably eight months or so.
DR: What were your thoughts going into it?
JW: The whole thing was very vague and I didn’t really understand why in the beginning. They were taking me somewhere where I didn’t know what was going on to get me outside of my comfort zone. Because it was a documentary, they wanted my natural reactions to things so they kept me in the dark. I had no idea what I was doing in France until I landed and they told me. It was a very intense experience because I knew it was about getting me out of my comfort zone, not knowing what to do except that it’ll be pretty savage and I’ll be in uncomfortable positions. It was pretty full on. Definitely not mellow. I think I probably came out mentally stronger.
DR: What were your thoughts when they told you’d be walking above a canyon on a rope?
JW: I was freaking out. [laughs] It was so gnarly. Just mainly because they gave me, like one day in the valley trying to learn how to slackline… for like three or four hours. The gnarly thing was that I knew I didn’t have the skills to do it so that was the intense part. I was just thrown into it. It was pretty scary.
DR: What was the coolest part about being with those guys?
JW: Those dudes are such a tight crew. They’ve each got specific roles that they play within the crew and they are all very, very tight. The coolest part was opening up and letting me in and being so accommodating. That was the biggest appreciation I had. They had no idea who I was or what I was like as a person but they brought me in and helped me along the way.
In the beginning was like, “I want to walk across this, but why would I bother if I know I can’t,” but in my mind it switched after hanging out with these guys. By the end of it, when it came to actually walking, I wanted to make those guys proud and be amped that I was giving it 100-percent. Make them feel stoked that they opened the crew up to me and make them proud of that decision.
DR: Did they tell you you were going to be high-lining ?
JW: That was the plan. You’re gonna slackline one morning then the next morning you’re going to be high-lining. At this point I still had no idea what high-lining was. [laughs] It was pretty daunting. Being with a film crew and these guys, and I’d never been to Chamonix before. I was pretty alone, man. I became good friends with the director Toa [Fraser]. I felt alone because I wasn’t with my crew and it was such a foreign place and foreign activity. But I just had to embrace it.
DR: They filmed you for eight months, and in the midst of that, you had one your best skiing years ever. Was that a coincidence?
JW: I think it kind of played on each other a little bit. Because I was doing something so outside of what I was used to and so mentally tough, that helped out a lot when it came to competition and knowing the stage of my life where I was attacking everything. I was all in with my skiing and all in with this filming and it fed off each other. I did well at the first few events skiing and then we’d go on these trips and I’d get really gassed up, living to the fullest, and then I’d come out the other side feeling accomplished. I’d go back to the contests all in again and it was a snowball effect of motivation.
DR: Are you happy with the movie?
JW: Yeah man. You know, I didn’t really know what to expect. I knew the stuff we did, but I didn’t know how the film would be put together, so I was excited to see it and I was stoked with the way it came out. The main thing from watching it… you’re watching me and the Frenchies do our thing. It’s not this “Jossi show” like an ego thing. It’s not like “Check out what I can do.” It’s deep and anyone that watches it will be asking themselves the same things we were asking and answering in the film. You get people thinking and that’s really cool. That’s a good thing. I think it’ll resonate with people.
People will be watching and my hope is that they ask themselves the same questions and answer those questions and really motivate them to live their life 100-percent no matter what. If it can motivate people to chase their dream and attack whatever they are doing, give it their all, I believe that that is real freedom. This film is called The Free Man, so I hope that when people see it, it motivates them to live like that.
The film is being released for digital download April 10th in the UK and later in May in the United States. For more information on Jossi, follow his Instagram feed.
With almost no practice and battling rainy and windy conditions, the Supercross field was in for quite a race on Saturday night in Seattle. Rockstar-Husqvarna-Dragon’s Jason Anderson managed to fight through a wild qualifying and main event to snag his third podium of the year, a third place.
“My heat race was kind of squirrelly, so I was kind of up there and just wanted to do solid laps,” Jason told the post-race press conference. “And then Marv [Marvin Musquin] got by me and I tried to stick with him, but I still struggled with that track quite a bit. I wasn’t really riding that pace. But all in all, being on the podium [is] cool. Pumped on that. Haven’t been up here much this year, so I really want to finish out the season strong and I really want to try and get a win.”
Because of rainy and windy conditions throughout the week leading up to Saturday’s race, the organizers decided to change the normal 8, 10 and 10 minute practices/qualifying to a single 10-minute session. With rough conditions, no track time and a lot on the line, Jason overcame a crash in qualifying to make the main event easily. From there, he took the hole shot (something he’s been struggling at this year), avoided crashing and ran a solid race, where he ended up in 3rd place.
“First of all I need to be faster,” Anderson told the press conference on his plans to win this year. “I feel like during the week I’m pretty fast but I need to bring it during the race day. I need to keep getting good starts as well. You’re not going to get a win or anything like that if you don’t get good starts. I feel like the last two races I’ve put myself in a good position, but I really haven’t been racing up there much this year. The last couple races I’ve done better, but I really need to step up my game. Just try and bring it at Salt Lake, New York and Vegas. But I really do want to get a win before the end of the season. Running out of time but I think we can do it for sure.”
This coming weekend is the Supercross off-weekend, and the action picks up in Salt Lake City on April 22nd. Jason sits in 5th place in the overall points standing, a position that is not likely to change this Supercross season.
Seattle also marked the first time since Arlington, TX on Feb. 11 that the 250 West class has raced. Martin Davalos qualified smoothly and managed a great start (both before and after a red flag restart), but couldn’t hold on to a podium position, ultimately ending up in fourth place. He currently sits in fourth place in the points standings, as well. With two races left (SLC and Las Vegas), that position isn’t likely to change, either.
For more, follow our motorsports counterparts on Instagram.
The beginning of April has been kind to Dragon surfers, as two of them have recently bagged covers. Longtime Dragon surfers Mikala Jones and Owen Wright landed on the covers of The Surfer’s Journal and Surfing World, respectively, with killer images. Mikala’s stands out because he’s also the photographer, while Owen’s story is amazing due to the fact he recently returned to the water (and World #1).
We also want to wish Owen good luck in the quarterfinals (and beyond) in the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro, that is currently on a lay day, but will hopefully run soon.
Evan Geiselman is one of the most exciting young surfers in the world. The young goofy-footer was on the cusp of the Championship Tour last year, and he hasn’t lost sight this year. He kicked off the year with a warm up win at the Ron Jon Pro at Cocoa Beach, FL, but the stakes will get higher with every contest. We snagged a little time with Evan before he competes at the first ever Barbados Surf Pro on St. Michael.
Dragon: You started the year off with a win at Ron Jon. Does it feel good to get started on the right foot?
Evan Geiselman: For sure, getting heats under your belt is huge when you have a break and don’t compete for months so getting a win and surfing a bunch of heats felt good. Not a keeper for the overall year hopefully, but was nice to win.
DR: Ron Jon was held at your home in Florida. Does it help or hurt competing with home field advantage?
EG: To be honest, I’ve only surfed Cocoa [Beach] only a handful of times so I didn’t really feel an advantage but I was really working on heat surfing and trying to keep how I surf a heat consistent!
DR: You finished just off the mark at 19th in the QS last season, is the goal this year to qualify for the CT?
EG: At the end of the year, yes, the goal is to be in those top 10 spots but I’m really looking at it as each event and consistency for the overall year and try to win.
DR: What will it take this year to do that?
EG: I mean its really comes down to peaking in those Prime events. If I had the run I had last year in the Primes rather than them being in the 6,000 [range] I would have made the [World Championship] Tour, so really focusing on those 10,000-point events this year but every event I enter is just as important; that’s the consistency I’m working on.
DR: You’re the defending champ at the Vans Pro and the Chiba Open, does that add any pressure when you go compete there? Or are you just laser focused on the overall goal?
EG: Every event needs to be laser focused. There [are] always going to be ups and downs but trying to get to the finals day of a event is always a good goal then dialing in finals day to win but I don’t feel pressure for those events. I just hope to put myself in those positions to win!
DR: Which event or destination are you most looking forward to this year and why?
EG: I’m going to Barbados for the next event and haven’t surfed the wave the competition is at. I like see new spots but again, I’m looking forward to every destination this year.
DR: What was it like growing up with an older brother to help you with your surfing?
EG: I look up to my brother [Eric Geiselman], he’s one of the best out there so it’s awesome when we get to surf together but our schedules don’t link up much. Surfing together rarely happens but still to this day I look up to him.
DR: You’ve had over a year to look back at the injury you sustained at Pipe in late 2015. Is there anything you can take away from that whole experience?
EG: Really it just helped me appreciate life. Surfing is awesome and what I love to do but as far as my competing I just feel lucky to still be here and have the chance to compete. Take things as they come and enjoy the experience. I’m really fortunate to call surfing my job and love what I do.
After a rough week in Detroit, Rockstar-Husqvarna-Dragon’s Zach Osborne is back in the mix of things with a 3rd place finish at the St. Louis stop of AMA Supercross. And despite battling the flu all week, and sustaining a crash in the first practice of the day, Osborne powered through to finish 3rd, and not let the points race get too far away from him.
“I’m ok, and in a good position to win for Rockstar-Husky,” Osborne mentioned in the post-race tv interview. “A lot of people rallied around to get me to race here but at the end I ran out of steam. I was on death’s door on Thursday so I’m thankful for being here today. It feels good [to be up here] but after a couple of wins to start the season and a bad race last weekend it would have been nice to finish better.”
Osborne currently sits in 3rd place in the overall points race, only 12 points back from the leader. However, time is running out for the Virginia-native, as the East Coast racers take a monthlong break before returning at the New Jersey stop. And with only two races left, Osborne’s margin for error is shrinking.
Zach’s teammate on the 450 side of things, Jason Anderson, was the day’s fastest qualifier, and Heat 1 winner. In the main though, Jason couldn’t quite keep pace with the top three riders, but finished a respectable 4th place. He keeps his hold on 5th place standing in the overall points with four races left in the 2017 AMA Supercross season left.
For more up-to-the-minute imagery, follow the Dragon Motorsports account on Instagram.
Chris Benchetler doesn’t need much of an introduction. The acclaimed freeskier is a legend within the sport, as well as an ambassador for outdoor living. The skier (and surfer and rock climber, to name a few), tackled a new project this year: Completely custom-fit a Sprinter van that he and his filmer would cruise around in to find the best snow, surf and climbing spots, and document the whole thing on GoPros. Living out of a van may sound rough, but wait until you see it. We caught up with the long time Dragon athlete in Pemberton, BC, Canada on a down day to hear about the process behind The Stealthy Marmot.
Dragon: Why the Stealthy Marmot?
Chris Benchetler: The name?
DR: Yeah, did you crowdsource it or something?
CB: [laughs] No, so we [Chris and Scott Smith] were researching a ton of different builds, and a high percentage of them were like, fierce predators. The grey wolf or black bear; this, that or the other thing. And so the stealthy marmot was a placeholder. We went with the most insignificant creature we could. And then it just kind of stuck while we were building it.
DR: And how long did it take to kit out?
CB: 45 days. Scotty slept in a cot next to the van. He worked from like 8 am to 2 am everyday and I worked like 8 am to 11 pm everyday. So it was really obnoxious hours. It was full on. We had a deadline because we went to Thailand for my 30th birthday, and Scotty came. And so that was our deadline. That and he was remodeling Michelle Parker’s house, so he had to finish that before winter, too.
Electrical was huge. That was the hardest part for me. I was just researching, researching, researching. and essentially had to hire an electrical engineer at the end of it [laughs]. I either wasn’t smart enough or whatever it was to be able to see how much amperage was needed. It was crazy.
In terms of other designs I was planning on living in it and slowly figuring things out as time went on—and there’s been a couple things—but in all honestly we’ve so far pretty much nailed anything. Haven’t had too many issues other than a heater malfunction in Oregon, while I was staring in Bachelor. A wire came loose in the fuse box and I had to diagnose it. I was researching online but couldn’t figure out the error code. Eventually, I just chased the wires and figured it out. Actually, that was a huge bonus that i had helped build the entire van so I was there for every step and I knew where everything was located.
DR: Obviously, there is a huge industry for kitting out vans and vehicles. Did you have a specific vision of what you wanted?
CB: We basically researched as much as we could on already built vans and sat down together and talked about each sport and environment I’d be in. What was essential, what I could cut out. We wanted everything enclosed; everything super waterproof and sealed. There’s a lot of venting stuff, but we basically didn’t want any condensation or anything so we went all marine-grade plywood and wiring. We basically made it like a boat. We knew it’d be in the Northwest a lot and it would be shitty and wet and not much sun to dry everything out. That was a huge focus.
And I wanted enough space for all of our sports. I wanted to surf, ski and climb. And Matt [Cook; Chris’s filmer] was going to be with me, and eventually Kimmy [Fasani; Chris’s wife]. So I had that in the back of my mind. Most importantly was electrical. We had to be able to charge gimbals, GoPros, drones, laptops, hard rives, all that stuff. It sucks a ton of energy. It’s worked out that we’ve had a lot of friends open their houses to us. So, I’ll stay in the van and Matt will stay in the house so he can kind of blow up the room and have his charging stations. It worked super well in Oregon and we stayed in the van lots, but while we’ve been up in BC, it’s been nice to have friends so he can dry out and charge everything there.
DR: Why did you choose a van? What’s the impetus behind it? It’s obviously much more limiting on where you can go in one winter.
CB: A lot of it had to do with my future and what Kimmy and I have talked about. Wanting to reduce our consumption a bit and live simpler. That mentality has been growing the last few years and been getting more and more intrigued with the idea. Rock climbing, skiing and surfing… they are all very “van culture” sports and I’ve seen a lot of people just living that lifestyle and being in that location with no commute necessary and it’s been inspiring to me. Just wanting to reduce a little bit the amount of crap I do and trying to play my role a little… that was a big part of it. And also I’d be lying if I said that van —since they are so trendy—I saw it as a good opportunity for a project that people would be into.
But it was just a way to slow down and really embrace each location and not be frantically chasing weather all the time. I can post up there and let the weather go through. And if the weather does go to shit and I want to surf, I just take my house with me and go surf for a few days. [laughs] That was the whole idea. Instead of flying home or flying to the next snowy condition, embrace the bad weather and do another sport I enjoy doing. Stay in that location and access the mountains or the ocean and kind of do everything I love doing.
DR: You’ve been with GoPro for a long time and you and Matt do full GoPro projects… how has it been received?
CB: Committing to it last year was super scary. But something I’ve been missing the last few years is just skiing a lot. Red [cameras] are really slowing down the production process. Just waiting to set up; waiting for this, waiting for that. And I just wanted to rekindle that stoke of hot lapping and skiing more. Just making sure I was enjoying what I was doing.
Matt and I, the year before, at a heli operation on a GoPro trip. He did follow cams with Travis Rice and me and slaughtered it and I thought, “Whoa this could be cool.” I’ve always been into skateboarding so I thought it would be cool to do a whole project with movement and really do something different. Only have follow cams, almost no static angles. That was my idea last year and it was received pretty well. I just wanted to keep that going and it was pretty successful. Trying to think of what was next and this project encompassed everything loved to do and allowed me to slow down my life a bit and it’s the dream project basically. The fact I’ve been able to make a season out of it, is pretty cool.
DR: The project won’t stop just here, as winter is over soon-sh?
CB: The project itself—the video—will be done but the journey in the van will be far from over. I’ll be rock climbing and surfing and utilizing the van a lot. I’m already starting to conceptualize new projects and ideas while utilizing the van. It’s been awesome. I’ll brainstorm this summer and see if I can’t make a bigger project out of the same idea essentially.
I’ve met up with so many cool skiers, ‘boarders and surfers. Some new people I’ve never met and some old friends I haven’t seen in a while. I’ve met up with everyone I could have hoped to. I’ve been skiing with [Sean] Pettit a bunch here in BC. It’s been a great outlet for allowing me to do whatever I want with whoever I want. It’s not a huge production. We grab a GoPro and Matt comes and follows us.
DR: Good winter to pick the West Coast? With the winter that the whole West has had from BC to California.
CB: Yeah, absolutely. I’ve had some other complications and things that have held me back from totally killing it, but that’s life. But it’s been fun.