Downhill Drift Triking; the first thing that comes to mind, for me at least, is memories of riding my big wheel down a monster hill then cutting the handlebars just before running into something and Mom yelling...obviously the kind we're talking about here is VERY different from the one of my childhood.
Being adventure sport enthusiasts here at Die Epic we obviously needed to know what it's all about and had A LOT of questions. Thankfully, adrenaline junkie Lindsey Kynett answered them all! Earlier this summer he became sponsored by Flatout Drift Trikes and his group, Queen City Drift Club, just had their first event and it looked awesome! (Check it out here)
So thank you Lindsey Kynett for letting us pick your brain and showing us that your goals can be achieved though being passionate and positive.
WTF is Downhill Drift Triking?
Downhill Drift Triking is a gravity sport where riders race their drift trikes down the steepest hills they can find. The back wheels are wrapped with 10 inch PVC to intentionally lose control of the rear end of the trike to drift. The longer the drift and more of an angle the better. Just like drifting a car.
What’s the history of downhill triking?
Drift trikes or trike drifting is still a very young sport. It's growing very quickly these days and can be found in most countries. But from what I understand is it first appeared in New Zealand. In the U.S. the ADTA (American drift trike association) is a non-profit organization that holds events on the east coast. So far on the west coast, it's been more of an Outlaw approach. Just local crews whom host sessions or events in their areas. My group Queen City Drift Club, just hosted our first event in June and it was a blast!
How did you get into downhill triking?
It was actually fairly random. It was exactly one week before Father’s Day 2014. I watched a video on YouTube of MadAzz shredding with some other NZ guys. As soon as the video ended, I knew I had to build one. I have no fabricating skills what so ever, but I made a personal goal to build one and ride one as a gift to myself in one week, on Father's Day. I grabbed an old BMX bike from the shed and cut it up. I called a local fabrication shop and asked them to make me a rear axle. I then found someone that could weld via Facebook. That Sunday, I had completed a home built drift trike. I rode for the first time and was hooked!
How would you describe the feeling of downhill triking to newcomers?
There are a few disciplines of drift triking. Some like to just go as fast as they can and get to the bottom. Some people, myself included, prefer a more freestyle approach. With lots of speeds and huge drifts, holding it as long as you can. I'm no stranger to action sports, as I skateboard and snowboard as well. The best way I can describe drift triking is in the moment, those times you’re going 45+mph and only a couple inches above the ground, is one of the most free and amazing experiences I have ever had. In this moment, nothing else matters. The world around you has a way of dissolving and all you can focus on is the next curve in the road, the buddies next to you, and the tricks you are doing. It's truly a unique experience. This feeling can be compared to smashing a handrail on a skateboard, launching a 720 on your snowboard, or bombing a challenging trail on your mountain bike.
What’s the cost to get started? Maintain? To go next level?
The cost to get started varies greatly. If you have metal working skills a drift trike frame can be a simple project. If that isn't your style, you can find great starting packages from www.flatoutdrifttrikes.com for around $300. As far as maintenance, it's very similar to BMX. New tires, brake maintenance, etc. Going to the next level is a lot like that too. You can get a great starter setup for about $300. But as you progress, you will find yourself wanting to go faster and drift longer. The upgrades you can add at this point are endless. My current trike setup would cost a person about $1,200. When you compare that to a sport like snowboarding or mountain biking though, that really isn't that much.
Where would you recommend people go to find more riders to meet up?
First of all, you'd be surprised how many people are actually doing it. I'd recommend checking out places like Drift Trike Chat - USA on Facebook. In fact, just doing a search for drift trikes on Facebook will show you many groups. I also recommend checking out Coast to Coast Drifters community on Facebook page. That is a community started by myself and a few other guys to help connect the sport worldwide. It's a really great community full of others who just want to spread the gospel of drift trikes and the love they have for it! Of course, if people would like, they can always reach out to Flatout Drift Trikes on Facebook or message me at my rider page facebook.com/lindseytheboy
Best advice for a trike newcomer?
The best advice I have for any new drift trike rider is to remember at the end of the day, you're basically riding a big wheel designed for adults. It's supposed to be fun! So have fun. I'd also recommend being safe and using your head. Trikes share a lot of similarities to bikes, but they are lower. Wear a helmet! Wear safety gear and be smart. Cars have a way of ruining a good time. Always, know the road you are using and the traffic. In our area, we often ride busy roads at night. So we all wear helmets and use lights. The roads are lit with streetlights and don't have a lot of turns so we know exactly what is headed our direction. We are courteous to pedestrians, people that stop to watch and of course law enforcement. So far we have had all around great support in our community. We are also fortunate enough to have a 4-mile, 8% grade high way that was abandoned by the state after new interstate was constructed. So we can go session that road and not have to worry about traffic at all.
How do you get sponsored in drift triking?
I can't say for sure exactly how I got sponsored, but I believe it has to do with the way I promote myself as an individual and how I promote the sport. I've only been doing it a little over a year. But 3 months into it, I drove to Spokane, WA from Helena, MT to what was then the first event I had ever been a part of. I introduced myself to everyone there and just jumped in. After that event and meeting others in the sport, I was hooked. I was seeking out groups and events anywhere and everywhere. I built a couple of trikes through Flatout Drift Trikes and constantly suggested personal friends or friends online to shop there. It was at the beginning of this summer that they asked me to join the 2015 team. So TLDR; be a positive influence on those around you, have fun and be passionate about it! When the time is right, someone will notice and pick you up. I think this is important in all aspects of life.
What is your goal in the sport?
My goal in the sport is to just continue to help it progress. Spread the word; get as many people I know around me to at least try it and to eventually have events on the west coast, for myself and so many others to attend throughout a season.
What was the biggest challenge you overcame in your trike career?
I've been very fortunate in my trike career and haven't had a lot of big obstacles. Out of the gate, I had friends build trikes alongside me, progress with me, etc. I've been fortunate to be sponsored by Flatout Drift Trikes who are such a great company. They truly care about the sport and make it accessible to so many. The biggest obstacle so far is one that I'm always working on and that is getting more people into it. I'm constantly inviting people out, spreading the word on social media, etc. I'm hoping next summer Queen City Drift Club can host a 2nd event as well as start organizing weekly open session for new people to come out and try it themselves!
What would be the ultimate trike product we should make?
If there is one thing I know, it's that the people in trike drifting love apparel. Tee Shirts, hats, etc. Anything promoting the sport that people can buy and help advertise what we are about would be fantastic!
Images by Ridle Photography. Check them out here.