Shred Partners with Kelly McGarry Foundation

Kelly McGarry, better known as McGazza in the bike world, is a man that will not soon be forgotten. To coincide with Red Bull Rampage Shred is announcing a new collection of helmets and goggles that pays homage to Kelly and his memory. Teaming up with the Kelly McGarry Foundation, proceeds from every sale will be donated to help the foundation continue on its mission to support grassroots programs and preserve Kelly’s legacy in the MTB community. The new collection features Shred’s familiar Short Stack half shell, Brain Box full face and Amazify goggle’s all with custom art work that embodies Kelly and his homeland of New Zealand.

In conjunction with Shred’s partnership with the Kelly McGarry Foundation, the brand has also added Sam Gale to its team. The sixteen-year-old shredder oozes style, and is bursting on the scene. Even more fitting, “Sam is a prodigy of Kelly’s legacy,” explains Emmerson Wilken, a pro freerider from New Zealand. “He’s an absolute shredder on a bike and from Kelly’s hometown of Wakefield.

We reached out to Shred, The Kelly McGarry Foundation and Sam Gale himself to catch up on the new collection, and see what to expect from Sam in the future.

 TLW: For those that aren’t aware of the great things that have been acheived, can you describe examples of specific projects that the Kelly McGarry Foundation has helped to make possible?

Kelly McGarry Foundation Trustee Daniel Wypler: In the beginning of 2016, we worked to establish the KMF and define how to honor Kelly’s legacy in an impactful manner. Late 2016 and 2017 have primarily been focused on memorial projects: the Fernhill Loop Memorial Bench and Trail, Red Bull Rampage McGazza Spirit Award, Crankworx Rotorua McGazza Award, the restoration of Kelly’s 2013 Red Bull Rampage bike and the first annual McGazzaFest. The KMF has also made a donation to build the McGazzaLand bike park in Nelson, New Zealand.

In 2018, we’re focusing our energy and resources on growing McGazzaFest to becoming one of New Zealand’s premier mountain biking events, and creating a McGazza-style backcountry hut and trail. We will also be concentrating on donating funds to other mountain bike projects throughout New Zealand.

TLW: How has Kelly influenced Shred as a company?

Shred Co-founder and CEO Carlo Salmini: Kelly joined our team not long after we kicked off our foray into biking. Consequently, he shaped both our products and our vision– an impact that continues today. Shred started in 2006 with a focus on skiing and snowboarding, but we have always loved mountain biking. After growing frustrated with the bike helmets and protective gear on the market, we wanted to translate our product knowledge from the snow to the dirt. Kelly was an incredible ally and advocate in doing this. With regards to products, he provided excellent, nuanced feedback on both their form and function. He had an eye for how to blend clean aesthetics with exceptional performance. Kelly’s passion and personality also aligned perfectly with the values that have always guided Shred. He was all about having fun and living life on his own terms. Kelly was one of the best riders in the game and even more importantly, an incredible person. His generosity of spirit and passion were always palpable and magnetic. Though his time with us was brief, the world is a better place for it. Needless to say, his legacy looms large at Shred. His perspective on life and biking mirrors our aspirations– to live each day to its fullest, push our limits and most importantly, simply have fun.

TLW: Can you go into more detail about Kelly’s role in helping Shred to design products like the Brain Box full-face helmet?

Shred Co-founder and CEO Carlo Salmini: Kelly came on board in the midst of the development of our Brain Box helmet and we hit the ground running with him. Consequently, it’s the product that bears the greatest testament to Kelly’s influence. In addition to being focused on the fit and protective technology of the helmet, he had a great eye for how to enhance its form while also enhancing its function. Everything from the vents, to the angle of the chin bar to the size of the cutout for the goggle and goggle strap was guided by Kelly’s input. Consequently, he was especially stoked to rock the Brain Box.

TLW: How does the art reflect Kelly as a rider and person?

Shred Co-founder and CEO Carlo Salmini: We worked closely with the foundation to ensure the McGazza Forever collection embodied Kelly. His family and closest friends spearhead the organization and they challenged us to create something that would represent his roots, the land he loves and his spirit. Kelly’s impact transcends time, and this is the direct result of his actions speaking louder than his words. Consequently, we felt it was appropriate to pay homage to him with an approach that was both classic and iconic. This led us to the silver fern and the Maori-inspired pattern. We felt it was a fitting tribute to Kelly, and his family and friends agreed.

TLW: Where did the inspiration for the silver fern graphics on the McGarry Forever line come from?

Carlo Salmini: Through the years, the silver fern has emerged as a symbol of New Zealand. Both within the country and beyond, it’s commonly associated with it. Consequently, the silver fern emerged as the perfect means to honor Kelly.

TLW: What about the print on the goggle straps?

Carlo Salmini: The print on the McGazza Forever goggle straps finds inspiration in Maori patterns and tattoos, providing another nod to New Zealand.

We reached out to Sam Gale to ask a few questions about the future of this Kiwi shredder.

 TLW: How and when did you get into biking?

Sam Gale: I had been riding motorbikes since I was four years old, starting with trail riding and then I raced motocross from around nine years old. When I was around thirteen, I decided to give downhill a go and have been hooked ever since.

TLW: Can you talk a little about your trajectory thus far? How have you approached racing vs. freeriding? Do you gravitate towards one more than the other?

Sam Gale: Coming from a motocross background, and I have really enjoyed the competitive racing side of biking– the closeness of it, as well as the rad environment. I want to do a lot more freeriding, but at the moment between training, racing and school I don’t have a lot of free time.

TLW: When not biking, what do you like to do? What are your greatest passions and interests?

Sam Gale: When I’m not racing or training, I’m at the skatepark or the dirt jumps. If it’s raining and I can’t get out, I like to watch videos of all different styles of biking and of course hang out with my mates having rad times.

TLW: What are your goals in the years ahead for riding and life in general?

Sam Gale: For biking, I really want to compete in the world cup races and win– that is a big goal of mine. Also, my dream is to compete in the Red Bull Rampage just as Kelly did. For life in general, I just want to do well at school so I can travel the world, meeting new people and riding my bikes everywhere I go.

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Keep a look out as we’ll also be doing a review of the Kelly McGarry signature Brain Box and Amazify goggles in the coming months.


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