Not Afraid

jesseheli-09-10aJesse Richman the 2 time KPWT World Champ, at the ripe old age of 18, has turned in his gloves. “This year I decided to leave the contest scene. I had a great few years traveling around and competing and overall it was a really fun experience.  I am stoked to have the titles. But I am done with the world tour for now... I feel like it’s just too much of the same. We need to get some excitement back into it. Contest are about pushing the riders and the sport... and having fun.  And I do plan on being part of the comps that are doing that. There is movement in that direction and we all need to get behind it.”
So what has Jesse been up to since he walked away from the world tour?
“I learned some valuable life lessons this summer.
Rule of life number 1.  Don’t be the first one over the Falls....
Some of the Cabrinha crew went to the Gorge this summer.  We had some nuts 50 knots plus riding, fun mini bike rallying and did a few stupid things we probably shouldn't have been doing.  One of the great ideas was to check out some waterfalls. The one we stopped at was a massive 80 footer and the plan was to jump off.  We went down to scope it from the bottom first.  At this point we got the brilliant idea to go up river and float off the waterfall.  After a lot of encouragement from the local crew I found myself the first one...heading towards the falls, with nothing but my boardshorts.  Hind site is 20/20... I should have let someone try this out before me in a kayak or something.  On the way down I smacked a rock with my heel and then got held down totally submerged for an eternity.  I came up about 100 yards down stream with everyone super relieved to see me.  And me even happier to breath again.  After recovering from shock and a trip to the familiar Hood River ER I ended up on crutches for a month with a bruised heel and some stress fractures.
Rule of life number 2.   Water is softer than land.
jesse2One of my favorite things to do on land is mountain bike.  The thing is, when you fall off a bike you hit dirt, rock, trees, pavement... something hard.  It’s not as nice as a water landing.  A few months back I was riding a trail in the Makawao Forest. There is a wooden bridge you hit on the trial.  I’ve done it 100 times before.  But this time one of the boards broke just as I crossed, I went down pretty hard and when I got up my hand did not look right at all. I ended up having to get 3 metal pins stuck in to various bones in my hand and was out of the game for another 4 weeks. I was going a bit crazy so I actually started running, it was the only thing I could do.
I am very happy to be able to kite again, it has been a long summer with a lot of injuries and hospital visits. I am amping up for winter on Maui and glad to be riding again. I plan on going to the Core Jam, and the Wind or no Wind Jam.  Would love to do the BVI Jam but haven’t got that all dialed in yet.
I am also very happy to say that coming out soon will be the long awaited travel stories of Cam and Jesse, the movie "Modernistic".  We plan on having a premier party and I’ll get all of the details out soon.”

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