I am Kyle Norbraten and I am from Prince George, BC. Growing up in PG I was lucky to have a lot of freedom to ride bikes. PG is set like a bowl, with hills surrounding the town. I lived right at the edge of town so I had access to a lot of trails that I would explore as a kid. I found myself loving biking more and more as I was growing up, and as I began to catch bigger air on jumps and drop off roof tops I realized I had some skill in what I was enjoying. There was nothing I loved more than biking. I went from all day dreaming about bikes while I was in school, to all day dreaming about bikes while I was at work, to just dreaming about making riding bikes a job in general.
That dream came true through a natural and unplanned process when I moved to the Sunshine Coast of BC. After moving to this mountain bike wonderland I met Curtis and Dylan and discovered they were the same as me: happiness = ride bikes and do all things that involve riding bikes. An opportunity to create a movie segment for Kranked 8 was our first major opportunity to prove ourselves, and my first movie segment. We set a high bar for ourselves, accomplished big time and the Coastal Crew was created. We realized we worked great together and were good at three things we had deep passion in: riding, digging, and filming. From there we bought our own camera and had fun with what did by creating a web series throughout 2010. The series brought great popularity and helped to define us as the Coastal Crew. We created a loyal and enthusiastic fan base which we enjoyed sharing our videos with. Throughout our adventures we did some work with Anthill Films who we soon partnered up with to create our first film, ‘From the Inside Out’, which was a great success as well. Now here we are in the present: recharged with the confidence of the best bikes in the world, and open doors to the endless possibilities of what to do next…
Interior Scout TripApril 1, 2013
I’ve been researching a particular region on Google Earth for a really long time that looked like it offered lots of big mountain/ freeride lines; just what I’m looking for to have in my film part in our new movie we’re working on. I finally got the chance to head out to this area last week since the weather looked good and I couldn’t stand waiting any longer. It was a solo mission of my own, so I packed my truck full of coolers, tools and the proper supplies I’d need for truckin around in remote areas. I will leave this place un-named for now in respect of the few locals and Indian bands who live in the area, who actually gave me permission to explore and recreate on their land, which I am very grateful for because without their permission, I wouldn’t have been allowed to find all the crazy lines I found!
This place is not easy to get to. I used back road maps and pre-planned my routes. A lot of the driving is done on dirt roads that aren’t paved. And once you set out off the highway, there is no cell service to speak of.
As I followed the road in I found myself driving through some snowy patches through the mountains, but as I neared the canyon and could see down, I was stoked to see dirt…and tons of opportunity. The final road down into the canyon was really steep and sketchy with lots of switchbacks, fallen rocks, and cliff edges. A real ‘locals only’ route. Once down in the canyon I was over whelmed with the amount of potential there was. I didn’t want to over look any ridge, line or gully, so I hiked everything I possibly could. It’s hard when there is no trees or reference to size. Looking from one ridge to another a lot of terrain looks ride-able, but as soon as you hike over and look down you realize it is wayyy to big or just doesn’t line up how you expected.
My favorite part, and reason I chose a place like this is because I love riding the terrain as it naturally is. Sure there is a lot of scraping, tuning and building to be done but the basis of every line is that it naturally exists there already – you just need to ride it. I love looking at big open terrain and trying to find a really fun, flowy way to get down it.
My trip did not disappoint and I found and built a few things that are really scaring me. There’s a lot more to do but the initial scout was very needed. Now I know what to expect when we go back as a full crew. More lines, more big hits, and some serious fun will be had. That’s all for now! Check the pics to let your imagination run!
Brazilian AdventureMarch 7, 2013
I never could’ve imagined Brazil would be a destination bikes would take me to, let alone a place I’d ever get to visit. But I just got back from two of the most amazing weeks of traveling in Brazil and bikes were the main cause of the trip!
Production of our next film is well under way and Brazil is one of the main segments. Our good friend Stevie Smith was the lucky rider for the seggy, along with appearance Brazilian shedder and Unofficial Whip Off winner, Bernardo Cruz. Dylan Dunkerton, Curtis Robinson, Nic Genovese, Harookz and myself rounded out the film/ photo crew making for the best team of guys to travel with. I could talk for days about how incredible the riding looked with the tacky red dirt, neon green grass and bright blue skies, but I’ll let the segment do that talking for that.
We spent most of our time in Rio de Janeiro, which was mind blowing every day. Caio and Marcio, two local freeriders, showed us around and gave us the grand tour of every epic location the city had to offer; places even the most avid traveler wouldn’t get to experience. We learned quickly that there weren’t a lot of trails in Rio, but there were a lot of stunning locations where nobody had ever ridden a bike before, until we arrived! We were more than lucky to say the least.
I think one of the funnest parts of the trip was the driving. We had a rental car so we would pile half of us in that, and the other half in our guide’s truck. The streets and highways are pretty much a free-for-all. The polica do nothing to enforce anything, so speeding, running red lights, passing bumper to bumper in the oncoming lane and driving like there’s no lines on the road are all completely acceptable. I was the primary operator of our rental and I had so much fun driving. It was a lot of fun to just keep up with the pace of traffic. As soon as I learned that the pace is fast and crazy, then it was easy to fit in and keep it natural. That said, it was nerve racking at times, but I liked it!
One of the most interesting and challenging parts of the trip was the culture shock, along with the hot climate. Our bodies had to adapt to the humid heat, water and food. I’ll leave the details out, but we contributed many toilet flushes to our hotel rooms. On the other hand, the heat would drain every ounce of sweat out of us. The high humidity had our shorts soaked and faces dripping. I enjoy heat, don’t get me wrong, but when its 48 degrees Celsius and you’re digging in the sun, it’s a little tough. I couldn’t complain once though because no matter what happened or how hard the trip got, I still couldn’t appreciate enough that I was traveling in Brazil with my best friends all because of bikes.
Here we are in 2013January 25, 2013
Here we are in 2013 with another big season ahead! I am really looking forward to the projects we have planned this year, but before I get into those details, I want to reflect on what a great year 2012 was. I had so many great rides and so many great times with all my friends in and around the sport. In BC we were fortunate to have exceptionally great spring weather that led right into an amazing summer, making for the best riding conditions for the majority of the year. I took part in a lot of different, fun filming projects so I was kept nice and busy. I was also able to spend a lot time up in the alpine in late summer, so we got to do a lot of exploring to scout new locations for future projects. I gotta say, we found some goods, even though those zones are laying dormant under tons of snow, they will be waiting for us this fall!
My biggest highlight of 2012 was competing at Rampage for my second time. I could not be any happier or more pleased with how my whole experience went. I did a lot of prep (mental and physical) for the event and it really paid of for me. Before I was even at the event I had set some person goals I wanted to seek out and accomplish – one of which was to spin a drop. Fortunately I got to spin a couple drops! I landed myself in 3 spot for qualis, and finished 10th in the finals. The feeling I got once I made it to the bottom after every one of my runs was the best feeling in the world. It was just a massive burst of excitement, relief, surprise and adrenaline! I couldn’t even believe it. It was all surreal; one moment I was sitting at the top of the Rampage course with idols I spent my grom years looking up to like Kyle Strait and Darren Berrecloth, and the next moment I’m at the bottom of the course looking back up trying to take everything in to comprehend what had just happened! Then having my best friends, Curt and Dyl, running down to congratulate me topped the whole experience right off. It felt so good to accomplish my goals and make my friends, fans and peers proud. As scared as I am of Rampage, I am pretty excited to compete at the next event!
On that note, here’s to 2013 and my new goals ahead!
Crankworx 2012August 29, 2012
Whistler Crankworx 2012 is in the books and it went off! It was the best Crankworx I’ve had in all my years attending. All the sunny weather and excitement made for extra positive vibes. I had so much fun riding, meeting, hanging, and partying with everyone. There were way to many good times with so many good people to list haha. The whole festival is so unreal because it brings everyone together. From WC racers to product managers, it’s so much fun to ride and hang out with so many different people in the industry. Every day was a blast with a mix of bike park laps, lake sessions, photo/ video shoots and events goin off. The slopestyle was prettyt crazy and Martin blew our minds by almost sticking a 3 double-whip off the last step down. He was so close! A lot of riders went down hard and it was good to see everyone walk away. It was a huge 10 days in Whistler and I didn’t want it to end. This year was another unforgettable Crankworx experience and I already can’t wait for next years! Huge thanks to everyone for all the support and good times!!
If you didn’t catch it this funny 'Sh*t People Say at Crankworx’ video, then check it out here! Thanks to our buddy Matt Dennison for creating this!
Summer in Full EffectJuly 20, 2012
You know its summer time when you find yourself behind on daily tasks that you can normally stay on top of! It’s hard to keep your regular routine in check when the trails are in perfect condition, the ocean is like a bath and the sun doesn’t set until after 9pm. I find it pretty easy to work hard and play hard at this time of the year. Luckily work involves a lot of riding! We have been working on a new batch of Coastal Crew edits here at home which have been a lot of fun to create. They are still in the process of being completed so we will have that action for everyone soon! Besides that we spent a few days up in the Whistler Bike Park coaching at Summer Gravity Camps. We’ve been dropping in as coaches for the past few years and it’s always a blast! It’s really cool to see how well kids shred these days, and to watch their skills progress in just a few days time. Speaking of Whistler, Crankworx isn’t too far away already. It seems to come so fast every year. This Crankworx should be a ton of fun like always and I’m looking forward to catching up with the whole Specialized team!
Also, you can catch episode 5 of Life Behind Bars, which we were a part of, right here
Roadtripping to Dream ZonesJune 13, 2012
We just spent a long week on the road. We left the rain behind on the coast and headed into the interior of BC to find some new and untouched zones. Our first destination was Lillooet. With a solid crew and Freeride Entertainment documenting the lifestyles and action for another episode of Life Behind Bars, we hit the road in search of new terrain. I had a zone in mind that I had been wanting to scout for a long time. As soon as we got into the zone we knew instantly that this was the dream zone and we wouldn’t have to look any further. To sum it all up, the digging was easy, the weather cooperated, the lines rode perfect and we all made it out alive. It was one hell of a productive trip considering we entered it not knowing what to expect! Check out the video to see how everything went!
From Lillooet we went further inland to Kamloops where we continued the productivity and fun! Keep an eye out for the next episode!
Whistler Bike Park TimeMay 30, 2012
The Whistler Bike Park is now open and we took advantage of the primo conditions up there the past two weekends in a row. We went up for the opening weekend expecting mud and grime because of all the snowmelt, but we were greeted with dry, tacky conditions! It was so much fun to ride the lift and get tons of laps in with a bunch of friends who we haven’t ridden with in a while. Before heading back home to the coast we snuck in a few laps out in Pemberton where conditions were equally as fun! It was nice to get off the coast to ride some new terrain, catch up with friends and scare ourselves with face melting dh runs. We are looking forward to getting back up to Whistler again for more fun and also to do some guest coaching at Summer Gravity Camps this summer. Make your way up if you can!!
The Ultimate YardMay 30, 2012
I am really stoked and fortunate to live in a house full of friends that is surrounded by trails, jumps, step downs and major slopestyle features. Thanks to our friend Brandon, we are all able to live in a mountain bike dream house. We all take part in maintaining the features while riding them on a regular basis. Being able to ride jumps whenever you want is such a great way to stay on top of your tricks! It is still unbelievable to wake up and look outside and see everything in the yard.
Recently we have been able to take part in a special Red Bull YouTube series with Brandon. Freeride Entertainment produces the series so this is an incredible opportunity for us to guest star in and be a part of. The series is a really fun to look into the everyday interactions and experiences we all have together on and off the bikes. We are looking forward to being a part of a few episodes throughout the season! This week we will be heading out to the interior of BC to scout, dig, and shred Lillooet and Kamloops. Keep an eye out for the upcoming episode, and for now check out the premier episode here!
New ZealandMay 16, 2012
Back at the beginning of the year Dylan and I were asked to come along on a trip to New Zealand with Easton Cycling. Although our job was to shoot video, it was impossible to say no to a place we have always wanted to visit. Funny enough I got the phone call about the trip on my birthday, so I thought that was a neat ‘gift’ haha. As the departure date neared we awaited the arrival of our new bikes, which was equally as exciting! At the same time we were waiting for various other parts to arrive before the bikes could be fully built. With little time to spare before we left, everything showed up. I built my fresh, new Stumpy EVO, which was my weapon of choice for the pedaling and packing we had ahead of us on the NZ trails. I actually built my Stumpy, pedaled it down the driveway to make sure shifting/suspension/set up was all dialed then I took it inside and packed it into a bike bag. After 30 plus hours in transit and traveling forward in time we were in summer again. It’s always nice to get to your destination and be able to chill and build bikes with no immediate rushing. I was stoked that my first ride on my Stumpy EVO was in New Zealand, which I thought was pretty awesome! I made the right choice in taking that bike because it pedaled and descended like no other! The whole trip was a blast: we ate great food, drank amazing beer, road tripped in camper vans to incredible locations, hung out with hilarious, friendly people, and best of all rode epic trails. The two weeks we were there actually felt a lot longer than I thought. I was happy about that because when you travel that far to somewhere you’ve always wanted to go, you want it to last. The trip was a great success and I had a great time down in NZ and look forward to going back there again in the future!
Getting the CoverApril 25, 2012
Surprises are usually awesome and usually come in the form of good news or a gift of some sort. I was recently treated to a very awesome surprise that was the combination of great news and a very special gift. While I was doing some routine bike work, my close friends Dylan Dunkerton and Nic (Techy) Tiechrob came into my house to present me with my first cover shot on DIRT Magazine. They had planned a surprise attack to present me with a blown up, poster size cover and film my reaction. At first I didn’t know what was going on but quickly realized when I saw what was in Techy’s hands. I was in disbelief. Being on the cover of DIRT is a very special opportunity, and one I hold high. Along with Bike Mag, I have always thought of DIRT as the pinnacle cover to be on. DIRT has a very rad and progressive style and they make a magazine that our sport is very proud of. Getting a cover on DIRT is one of my greatest accomplishments and one that will live with me forever. I am still having a hard time grasping that this is real, but the blown up poster on my wall is reassurance that this dream is reality.
Check out the video and the cover over at DIRT
So Happy for a New BeginningApril 25, 2012
I couldn’t be more excited to be aboard Specialized bikes. Being able to represent this company, as an athlete, is one heck of an opportunity and one that I am really grateful for. I have always been a fan of the bikes since my first experiences on them. A few years back (2006), long before I became pro, I used to go to the local bike shop to take their ‘demo version’ SX Trail out to ride. I knew the guys at the shop and they were pretty lenient with me. I would treat the bike as if it were my own when they let me borrow it. I’d go out and blast the trails, bring it home and wash it and then bring it inside to keep it safe for the night before I had to return it. I even did this in the winter when there was snow on the trails. The whole time I was wishing so badly it was mine. I had never felt so comfortable and so excited about a bike. Luckily my friend owned an SX Trail at the time and after he rode it for a season, I capitalized on the opportunity to buy the frame from him. I spent a few seasons on that bike and they were some of the best I’ve ever had. The bike allowed me to ride in a way I can’t really describe; it didn’t hold me back at all. The way the bike maneuvered and handled made every ride so much fun, and allowed me to become better at riding. Those feelings translate into confidence for me which make me so excited to be on Specialized bikes.
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