Dragon snowboarders invade Videograss Visitors

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It’s snowboard film season and Dragon’s snowboarders Spencer Schubert and Mark Wilson are the latest to get in the mix. The street shredders are featured heavily in Videograss’s latest Visitors. The full part with cameos from Dragon’s Blake Paul and Tommy Gesme just launched, check  it out.

Watch Chris Benchetler’s latest film, Chasing Advanture

A year’s worth of blood, sweat and hard work went into the making of Chris Benchetler’s latest film project, Chasing Advanture. The Mammoth Lakes-native spent the entirety of the season living in his custom built Sprinter van—The Stealthy Marmot—with his filmer Matt Cook aka Ski Chef. The duo chased the snow, embraced bad weather, immersed themselves in other sports with other elite athletes, and learned a lot about themselves in the process. Without further ado, watch Chasing Advanture and get hyped for winter.

Read about Chris’s filmmaking process for Chasing Advanture here.

For more from GoPro, visit their YouTube channel here.

To learn more about Chris, follow him on Instagram. For more from Matt Cook, take a look at his Instagram.

For more information on Dragon’s premium products, visit dragonalliance.com.

Chris Benchetler - Lumalens®

Watch Nate Adams in a GoPro Kind of Day

The folks over at GoPro have released a killer video of FMX rider Nate Adams, following him throughout a day riding his bike. The Dragon athlete showcases signature tricks and moves that show why he’s a 19-time X Games medalist and legend of the sport.

For more from GoPro, check out their YouTube channel here. For more from the Dragon FMX riders, follow them on Instagram: Josh Sheehan // Destin Cantrell.

For more from Dragon MX, follow Dragon Motorsports.

14 year old Thatcher Johnson shreds Kelly Slater’s Wave

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Fresh off the WSL Test event, Kelly Slater Wave Co in California has been the talk of the industry. We managed a few words with Dragon youngster Thatcher Johnson, who snagged a session at the facility. This is what Young Thatcher thought of the experience.

Surfing Kelly’s wave was so much fun and it was so cool to be up there with just Kelly [Slater], John John [Florence], Nathan [Florence], Ivan, my Dad and [me].

I actually surfed it before the event. It just took me awhile to make my edit.

I think that the right felt a little more open and square than the left. The left felt a little tighter and harder for me to come out of but I think I liked the left even better than the right.

Even though I live in Hawaii, my favorite surf spot is Rincon because the wave is really good for all types of maneuvers. Also, it is a long right point where you can catch a bunch of waves.

My goals in surfing over the next couple of years are to make a national final and to get a proper barrel at Pipeline or Backdoor. Also, I just want to keep enjoying surfing.

For more from Thatcher, follow him on Instagram here.

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Jason Anderson grabs 2nd at Monster Cup Supercross

p: Aaron Blatt

It’s been a while since Jason Anderson has raced—he had season ending surgery in August—but he came back and made sure everyone knew he was back. The big story was Marvin Musquin winning the Monster Million, but it was great seeing Jason back so quickly, showing he’s still one of the best in the 450 class. “Last night was fun. Time to look ahead,” Jason succinctly put on Twitter about the night.

More to come as videos come out, but congrats to Jason and the Dragon partnered Rockstar Husky racing machine.

For more on the racing and results, visit RacerX.com. For more from the Dragon motocross riders, follow them on Instagram: Jason Anderson // Zach Osborne // Michael Mosiman.

For more from Dragon MX, follow Dragon Motorsports.

Dragon supports World Mental Health Day

Mental health affects everyone and mental health disorders are really common (each year 1 in 4 young people experience one so if that’s you or someone you know you’re not alone). For something so widespread in our society we want to change how little it gets spoken about.

Did you know that the stigma that presently surrounds mental health disorders can prevent or delay people (i.e. you, your mates, your family, workmates and community) seeking out the support they need?

As part of World Mental Health Day, Dragon Australia has created this video featuring Dragon athletes Mick Fanning, Owen Wright and Adrian Buchan in the hope of getting a positive conversation going. We encourage you to watch and share so that together we can get the ball rolling on normalizing this topic.

Evan Geiselman catches East Coast swell on Surfline

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Surfline recently spent some time on the Atlantic Seaboard, as the coast saw record-breaking surfing conditions. But at what cost, as the swell was due to a few hurricanes that devastated other regions of the world. A handful of athletes, including Dragon’s Evan Geiselman, managed to find themselves in auspicious conditions. View the photo and video gallery here.

In his words: Chasing Advanture with Chris Benchetler

Chris relaxing in the Stealthy Marmot.

Chris relaxing in the Stealthy Marmot.

Chris Benchetler grew up in the great outdoors in Mammoth Lakes, CA, so it’s no wonder that his latest film project, Chasing Advanture, features skiing, rock climbing and surfing. But how he got there, is a much longer story. The easy-going pro skier was recently in Seattle, WA, at evo where he was premiering the aforementioned film for the first time, co-exhibiting artwork for charitable causes, and painting a 70-foot mural on the outside of evo. The film, a 31-minute love affair with the outdoors sees Chris and filmer Matt Cook aka Ski Chef, living and traveling the west coast in Chris’s van—The Stealthy Marmot—and meeting up with assorted pro athlete friends to take part in various sports, filmed on GoPros. It sounds like what you and your friends do on the weekend, only we can assure you, much, much, much better.

It’s in Seattle that we asked Chris about the movie, its origins, filmmaking, and more. So here, in his own words, are his answers.

On Chasing Advanture:
The whole point [of the film] was to encompass everything that’s kind of shaped me into the person that I am today. I wanted to make sure that I included people who have mastered [other] sports, not to try and claim that I’m a pro surfer or a pro climber. I wanted to show their influence on me and kind of how it kind of put me in the position I’m in today.

Snowboarding has been a massive influence and I was able to use good friends of mine that have very similar mindsets in how they ride the mountains. Curtis Ciszek has one of the best turns in snowboarding and is very surf-influenced as well, so that was awesome to include him. Austin Smith is living in his firetruck, which is rad.

I was able to include Rob [Machado] who is a humongous influence [on me]. It was really cool that I was able to get him on board. He’s influenced not only my skiing but the shape of my ski. And [in] climbing, I was able to use my friend Emily Harrington, who is one of the best climbers in the world. She’s an incredible example of what climbing is.

And I wanted to include Skye [Walker] who is an artist by trade and has mastered that more so than I have. I wanted to learn from each of these people and tell the story of learning while I was on the road.

Lastly, the van simplified my life a little bit. Not necessarily reduce my carbon footprint but just made the effort to travel less globally and slow my roll and stay in a location. If the skiing was bad, we had the opportunity to surf or climb and so on and so forth. So it was a whole journey within myself and within the van, just trying to accomplish all the things that I do.

That’s the other part [of this]. I wanted to highlight [Scott Smith] and the van as an artistic form.

100-percent the thing that stood out the most was hanging with Rob, surfing with Rob, watching him shape a board, and just talking to him about each of our crafts and explaining to him why I shaped a ski that was inspired by him. Just sharing that dynamic was for sure the highlight. He’s such a rad dude and [it was] cool to get to know him. It’s inspiring to understand a like-minded person who has been such and influence on me.

I had no idea we shared so many similarities so it was cool just to get to know him and see his take on the world.

On the Stealthy Marmot:
Van life is growing and Kimmy [Fasani], my wife, grew up living out of a van, essentially. Her mom was a nurse and they had a Westfalia, so she was used to that lifestyle. The more I got into climbing and the more friends I saw with vans—in surfing it’s very prevalent—I was kind of enamored with the idea of simplifying and living out of a van.

We kind of talked about it, “Maybe we should rent our house and live in a van for a year.” I just kept marinating on that concept for a few years. And I asked Kimmy because her mom was selling her Westfalia… “We should take your mom’s van and I can do this project I have in my mind!” and she was was like, “You do not want that van, it has like 250 thousand miles on it and it’s going to blow up.” [laughs]

But that got the wheels turning and made it more of a reality. I started shopping around for a van and pitched my concept to my sponsors and everyone was super interested, so it kind of just happened. I think her mom selling the van expedited it…

L-R: Chris, Scott Smith, Skye Walker

L-R: Chris, his dog Reese, Scott Smith, Skye Walker in front of The Stealthy Marmot.

It was always a dream of ours to have a van but a lot of time you don’t necessary pull the trigger on your dreams, you know?

The fact that I was able to make project out of it and offset the costs and have the support from everyone kind of made it possible.

On his career:
I’m incredibly happy where I’m at right now and I think what’s been lucky for me is my sponsors believe in me. I’ve produced in terms of my skiing—I’ve never missed a video part or whatever. I keep trying to think outside the box and for whatever reason it’s always worked out, so my sponsors—I’ve been with most of them for a decade or beyond—they trust me to do whatever I’m going to be happy with, so it’s been really easy for me to take a step outside my comfort zone and try something new.

Whether that’s working with Matt and potentially missing every single shot we tried or whether I’m going to do a mural on a wall… people have really been supportive of the ideas I come up with and that allows me to be creative and not feel any limitations. They are ok with me being a director and producer for a season. I’m stoked where all this ended up and where my sponsors let me go. It keeps the wheels in motion for new ideas and concepts.

Storytelling is important. We’ve seen the industry go through its ups and downs and where there was so much content being pumped out at such a fast rate; paying less attention to detail and production quality and that stuff. I don’t think everything needs to be filmed with a RED camera or anything but I do think there’s a position in the industry for well thought out pieces or something different that goes deeper than normal action shots.

Attention [spans are] so short and [people are] just so hungry for content. But I think just putting little moments out there throughout the season to keep people up-to-date is an awesome way. And then focusing on more of a project. Whether that’s a multi-year piece or whatever.

Chris in BC. p: Blatt

Chris in his element. p: Blatt

I don’t think it’s smart to put all your eggs in the social media basket. We did so many webisodes with Nimbus and I feel like that has tapered off a bit because I honestly can’t keep track of everything in skiing.

There is so much being released everyday, it’s hard to follow it. It’s no one’s fault, just every person is putting out grade-A content, there’s no way to keep track of it all. There’s not even enough time in the day to watch it all.

Do what you believe in and stay true to it and take your time.

On filmmaking:
I realized that last year when I did my series with Chef that I was able to ski a lot more. It was a lot less setup time and a lot less worry about where the filmer was going to be filming from, or cameras firing up, cooling down—especially when things moved to RED, things slowed down a lot.

Granted, Chef and I miss a lot of shots just because we’re trying something unique and different. Either he’ll crash or I’ll crash or just to sync each others timing is a lot harder.

This year we got into a lot bigger mountains so there is slough management and all these different variables that made it challenging… But we’re still skiing, you know? He doesn’t have to worry about the focus or any of the technical stuff. He just points the GoPro and gets as close to me as possible and hangs on for the ride. Since he’s a really talented skier, it makes it possible. It’s not like missing the shot because he did something weird with his lens.

[The reception has] been rad. I didn’t accomplish nearly as much as I’d hope to, ski-wise, especially compared to last year. I really focused on a lot of what I was doing whether it was tricks or lines or slashes or whatever. I was still focused on that this year but we had a lot of roadblocks between weather and personal stuff… More so I was producer and director of this project that included so many more elements that I was more concerned with. When we were heli-ing, I wanted Chef following Curtis, not me. I wanted to get other people highlighted for the skills, so it was more taking a step back [in] my personal skiing and being a producer and getting everyone involved.

It was challenging but it was awesome getting to think about other things. It’s nice to share the success with other people and watch them get a shot they are psyched on. Obviously, Chef is super good at follows and it’s a unique angle and to give that opportunity to shoot with him was cool.

I respect [Eric Pollard, Nimbus co-founder] so much for everything he’s done. He’s always been that guy. I’d always seen that side, now I directly felt that side. There’s a lot more stress on you for what you’re coming home with at the end of the day.

On the evo gathering:
When I pitched this idea to evo, about coming up here for a premiere and art show, I asked them—because I knew they had a rotating wall—“Would you let me and Skye do a mural on it?” [laughs] Skye was super into it. He wanted to mentor me and help me figure out painting on a large scale. He showed me his skills and helped me create.

It’s huge. It’s like 70-feet long. I’d never used spray paint at that scale. This thing was a whole other beast.

I’d say our styles actually are pretty similar. For whatever reason. For instance, for the art show, we both sent each other our pieces we both have animals, and like all these similar vibes and things. And since Skye is super into surfing and snowboarding, we’re both influenced by similar things in nature and the same ideas, you know? It’s a lot of outdoor environment that inspires us.

I’ve done a ton of ski graphics, and Old Man Winter has been a staple. I keep kind of bringing him back. He’s on the van, he’s on some skis, he’s on my Dragon goggle, my backpack with Dakine… And Skye always seems to tie in waves and Mother Nature into his pieces so they go well together… we drew up a concept and brought it to life on the wall.

I didn’t do any premiere settings with Chasing El Nino [last year] because it was released in more real time. By virtue of that, you don’t even have time to wait for premiere season. It’s cool to build the anticipation and feel the cooler temps of fall and stoke for winter. People are psyched this time of year.

I’m really happy how our project came out and I hope people like it.

Seattleites taking in Chris and Skye's mural at evo.

Seattleites taking in Chris and Skye’s mural at evo.

Look for Chasing Advanture to be released free to the public on October 19th from our friends at GoPro.

To learn more about Chris, follow him on Instagram. For more from Matt Cook, take a look at his Instagram.

For more of Skye Walker’s artwork, follow his Instagram. For more of Scott Smith’s work, check out his Instagram.

For more information on Dragon’s premium products, visit dragonalliance.com.


Zach Osborne grabs 2nd overall in at MX of Nations in England

p: Shepherd

p: Shepherd

The 71st running of the storied Motocross of Nations (MXoN) ran this past weekend, with Dragon’s Zach Osborne representing—and captaining—Team USA. Hot on the heels of his second consecutive Championship win in August, Zach was in peak form and performed the best of the underperforming US team. Osborne ended up taking 2nd overall in the MX2 category at Matterley Basin, ENG, with a podium performance in his second Moto.

“Overall [I’m] happy. It was a great experience,” Zach told RacerX’s Open Mic. “It was tough conditions for anyone today. It’s something we don’t see a lot in America. I hope to have the chance to come back again and get a little revenge. I think [sic] personally I rode well. In the second moto today I felt like I rode really, really good. Yesterday I felt like I rode really well also. It’s a tough race to win. It was going to be tough from the get-go for us period. So, it’s a bit disappointing but at the same time we can’t be too bummed.”

Osborne finished with a 10-3 stat line on the weekend, and while it pales in comparison to his 2017 results, he can walk away with his head held high. “All in all a great experience and I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to be here and ride for Team USA,” Osborne put.

For more on points, results and races, visit RacerX.com. For more from the Dragon motocross riders, follow them on Instagram: Zach Osborne // Jason Anderson // Martin Davalos // Michael Mosiman.

For more from Dragon MX, follow Dragon Motorsports.