Kelly McGarry is a rider synonymous with two things: New Zealand and going big while making it all look like the best fun going. Tearing up back country lines in a just tee shirt while throwing caution to the wind, Kelly’s riding style is all about creativity and using what mother nature put in front of him to stoke us out. Taking freeriding to where it belongs, we had to get a few words with the big mountain man from New Zealand.
We’ll start with the boring stuff: Name, age, star sign, favourite animal, etc?
My name is Kelly “McGazza” McGarry, I’m 30yrs old, think star signs are Bullsh*t and I like Grizzly bears…because they are savage!
How did you get into bike riding and what’s brought you to where you are today?
I grew up riding BMX and Motocross, but when I got to my late teens I got real tall and ran out of cash for moto, so I started riding MTB. Taking my BMX stuff to the mountain bike and racing DH, which then led to me huckin off stuff and that’s what brought me to riding Crankworx comps and then to being a professional Huck agent. That’s the short story anyways!
What is the importance of New Zealand and Queenstown to your riding and outlook on life and MTB?
New Zealand and Queenstown have a massive influence on both my life and my riding. I’m so proud to be flying the Kiwi flag out there and when I fly back to Queenstown and take a look my surroundings…I just can’t help but feel stoked on life and getting on my bike and going off to ride some of the epic trails and jumps on offer; it’s like a dump truck tips a load of “stoke” on my head and I’m juuuuust BURIED in it! NZ is off the CHIZZY! Hahahaaaaa!
Where are you favourite places to ride?
Queenstown, Whistler and Utah for the big mountain stuff.
What do you like and dislike about the sport and how it’s portrayed?
I like the sport being shown in a light that’s closer to skiing and snowboarding. Riding big lines, going fast and on rough loose terrain while hittin big ‘ol gaps and jumps and hangin loose rather than doing footjams and derailleur stalls at the skatepark where you might as well ride a BMX.
How do you feel the sport could be improved?
More lift access riding …but that’s what’s happening anyways, so in a nutshell, I’m good with it!
What is your view on major corporations getting involved with the sport?
I think its good when they put back into the sport, make rad events ,help build cool stuff to ride and get riders to where they want to go and achieve goals that wouldn’t be impossible without help from an outside source.
Where do you see mountain biking it going in the future?
On the freeride side, I can see it getting REALLY FREAKIN WILD…. there is a possibility of riding F**King massive jumps and with the right setup, the possibilities are pretty insane…. I’m pretty sure somebody is going to blow everyone’s minds and set a new limits of how big you can go on a MTB in the near future.
How is it, that while everyone around you is getting old and starting to ride XC, you still love shredding wild lines or hucking ya meat on big stuff?
Um, I guess the reality is I find XC pretty damn boring. I love the use of creativity and flow when your riding dirt jumps and when you use your vision to find something gnarly and new to build and ride, and you get scared about hitting it at first, but then you MAN up and hit it….that’s a massively satisfying feeling and while I don’t mind a bit of an XC shred from time to time, I just don’t get the buzz from it like I do with freeriding and dirt jumping.
What are your hobbies and activities outside of MTB?
Surfing, Snowboarding and mucking around on my bass guitar
Who do you look up to, both in MTB and life?
I have always looked up (well down physically ha-ha) to Darren Berrecloth; He is such a versatile rider and goes huge! He builds and rides burly lines and he’s a good dude too. Also Slash from Guns’n Roses; he’s my hero hahaha!
Who are the up-and-coming riders we should look out for?
Man, there are so many! Put it this way, I cant wait to see what all the New Zealand boys coming thru the ranks have got in store for us!
Cheers to all the people I ride with all over the globe and let me sleep on their couch! Also, I gotta say a massive thanks to all my epic Sponos for helping me get where I need to go. My main sponsor Diamondback, who have opened up so many opportunities for me, I cant thank everyone enough. Go check out my Blog and check out the crew of rad company’s that help me do what I do. Cheers mates!
You can keep up with McGazza’s adventures right here – www.kellymcgazza.blogspot.com