A brief history of Chris Kovarik helmets
Author: Claire Buchar | Created: 2012-01-19 09:09:12 | Location: Aussieland
Whilst procrastinating in my office one day, my eyes and mind landed on the tower of awkwardly stacked helmets in the corner. Chris has hoarded them from over the years as a token of his accomplishments and has plans to hang them in our future garage. It dawned on me that it is a sort of timeline and I began unwrapping them from their dusty helmet bags. I had to laugh at a few of them, pretty old school. I decided to create for him, as a keepsake, a timeline of his career in helmets and as I began to lay it out, I realized that it is quite a cool story.
He had so much raw talent and quiet determination from the beginning. He bagman beating pros at local Australian races on his hardtail. The race scene was going strong back then and he was almost immediately picked up by GT Australia in '98 and was racing overseas for the first time in '99 on Team Qranc GT. Thrown into the deep end and starting a career as a professional racer just like that! He describes his years on the Intense Factory Team as the best times of his career, nothing seems to have topped that team vibe since then. And that was when he was at his best, pulling off winning margins yet to be beaten. He sat out 2004 as a result of a massive motocross injury to his ankle and leg. Doctors said he wouldn't ride again and he struggled with boredom, rehab and coming off painkillers. He came back in 2005 to podium finishes and a win at MSA, know one was going to tell him what he couldn't do. But team changes and distractions affected the next years. Ex Intense Factory teammate, Nigel Page, picked him up for Team CRC in 2008 and it was to be a fresh start. And although he still managed some impressive results, it still wasn't the same as those "Golden Intense Factory Years". Hmmm, how can I put it….among other happenings, the reckless and free life style that was quite prominent in the race scene back in the day was being replaced by and wasn't measuring up to a new serious, straight and disciplined talent pool. Regardless, he needed a break and to step back. Thats when Kovarik Racing came to be. Riding a bike fantastically is his trade. He needed a way to express it and to not be judged for being a few seconds up or down. Focusing on his love for just shredding, he is now an amazing ambassador of the sport and does it all: racing, filming, coaching, developing riders, representing brands and just being creative on a bike.
Now not to be biased as his wife and supporter but after watching the Summer of Summit Edit by Dylan Forbes of Chris shredding the Whistler Bike Park, it again confirmed to me that winning world cups or not, nobody rides like that. While you see so many hands down amazing riders out there, he has a raw, ruthless and angry style all his own. Still killing it, still pinning it, still on Intense.
There are many stories out there but for the fans of the sport, thats this long time pros career till now in short and in helmets.
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