Commencal has always attracted top racers and now they’ve signed Kyle Strait, one of the premier freeriders today. We’re excited to see this collaboration between Kyle and Max Commencal, the suspension genius behind the company. We’ll see a lot more of Kyle this year as he’ll compete in the Crankworx New Zealand, Alpes and Whistler, as well as the Red Bull Rampage and a host of other events.
Interview with Kyle Strait
Commencal: Kyle Strait, more than just a two-times Red Bull Rampage winner in 2004 and 2013. An icon of a generation, particularly in the United States. So why have you made the decision to join Commencal, an Andorran company located between France and Spain?
Kyle: As a youngster, I traveled a lot to different World Cups and events around the world. One place that I really enjoyed was Andorra. I always had fun racing there and really enjoyed the principality that is Andorra. With one of my childhood heroes being on Commencal at the time, the brand has always been in my mind as a passionate, driven, bitchin’ brand! I always thought Commencal would be a cool brand to work with. From their innovative bike designs, to their passionate love for competitions and overall prominent brand image, I am pleased to be joining the Commencal family.
Commencal: In addition to having your name associated to our Andorran company, you become our ambassador for Commencal USA (www.commencalusa.com), a company created last September in California, in order to provide a direct sales service in the US. You’ll be asked to contribute to the development and reliability of our bikes. Is this a role that you’ve always thought you might want to take on one day?
Kyle: I’ve always wanted to be a major ambassador for a brand and I feel that partnering with Commencal is a perfect fit for both of us. Since being in the industry for so long, I have been educated on what makes a bike ride well and work great. I am really excited to be able to work closely with Commencal in bike development and design. With Commencal’s move to the US it has opened up this awesome opportunity for us to work together and I couldn’t be more stoked.
Kyle’s 2013 Redbull Rampage winning run.
Commencal: People know you well but tell us; what’s a typical day in the life of Kyle Strait (at work and play)?
Kyle: It all really depends on the day, most days would start off with feeding my dog, Frank. Then onto myself, making a smoothie, then onto catching up with emails and checking the weather for the next time it will rain. It doesn’t rain a lot where I live so I always want to be ready for when it comes to go dig some jumps. If it has been raining I like to go out and dig. Either in my yard or in the town I live in, always building trails, mega jumps and even trail maintenance. Wintertime is a great time for me. I am home a lot so I get to spend time with my old lady, ride with friends, build jumps and if there is enough time in the day I love to fish and work on my classics. I have two classic vehicles that I love to drive and work on; one being a 1969 Lincoln Continental and the other being a 1961 Chevy Apache. But once summer hits, I am traveling most of the time, which ends up working out great since it is so hot at home during the summer.
Commencal: In training, what do you like working on the most? Tricks/Style/Air?
Kyle: It always depends on what events are coming up next on the schedule. So, say at this time in the winter I ride a lot of trails on the trail bike to get a decent base fitness. I also try and hit as many jump spots to keep my muscle memory on point. If a slalom or DH event is coming up, I try and ramp up my intensity training and do more sprints. I like to say style is not something you work on; it’s more of just how comfortable you feel on the bike and it translates to your riding. Feeling smooth on the bike is one of the greatest feelings ever. It’s addictive.
Commencal: You have a pretty full video schedule. What projects are you working on?
Kyle: Filming is and always has been a non-stop thing for me and I love working on film projects and riding in them. It’s a great feeling to see what you can do on your bike and to see how stoked people get watching you ride your bike. As of right of now I am in the middle of some awesome top secrets projects that will be coming out soon!
Commencal: A question from all those young Red Bull Rampage fans. How does one win twice with nearly 10 years between each victory?
Kyle: I think it has to come down to being healthy for the event. With Rampage starting in 2001 the event has change tons over the years and it is very hard to stay ahead of the progressive curve. With myself being the only athlete to compete in every single Rampage in history I have found myself so close to winning the event many other times (besides 2004 and 2013) just to fall short because of a crash. It part of the game and I am still very happy to be the only rider to win the event twice. It goes to show that it is a very hard event to win more than once.
Commencal: Intimate question: Do you dress up in fancy dress often?
Kyle: Hahaha! I’ve found that when there’s the occasion to dress up “fancy” I do enjoy dressing like a cowboy. Full on boots, Wranglers, and cowboy hat.
Commencal: Which American custom/tradition will you never be able to live without?
Kyle: I would say that is a pretty hard question being that there are so many I love. Although some of them may not be traditional, there is fishing, Monster Trucks, watching the Super Bowl (even though I don’t really care about football), NASCAR, Supercross, The 4th of July, pouring hot sauce on everything and being able to get and eat ice anywhere I want!
Commencal: Which European/French tradition do you like the most?
Kyle: Although I haven’t had a chance to be part of many European traditions and enjoy them, I’ve had a chance to be part of the 1st of May in Spain and have also been to Oktoberfest in Germany. Which were both a great times. I can’t wait to experience more European traditions.
March 25-29th Crankworx NZ
April 16th-19th Sea Otter Classic
July 9-12nd Crankworx Les 2 Alpes
July 14th-19th DH and DS National Championship, Mammoth Lakes
August 7-16th Crankworx Whistler
TBD – Aggy Fest Event
TBD Sorge Fest Event
TBD Redbull Rampage
TBD Highland Spring Training
TBD Highland Ayr Academy Camps
For more information visit https://www.facebook.com/commencalusa