Mining for Skills with Kirt Voreis as He Shreds a Desert Landscape

You want to do a wall ride? You need basic skills. You want to roll off steep obstacles? You need basic skills. You want to ride steep terrain? You need basic skills. You want to corner in control and at speed? You guessed it, you need basic skills. Kirt Voreis knows this all too well and has honed a bunch of basic skills and pushed himself to become a world-class rider. In the follow up series of skills videos, Kirt shares these basic steps so you can practice and become a better rider.

The Mining for Skills Film Project in Pictures and Words by Kirt Voreis and Ian Hylands

“Growing up in Fontana, California, the desert always attracted me. I longed to explore the wide open spaces and rugged landscapes that bordered the mountains and held in my city. They were only a few miles away. As a teenager in the mid 80’s I spent almost every weekend with my family in the Mojave Desert. Days were spent riding motorcycles, hunting snakes and venturing around. My stepdad’s parents had 10 acres about 120 miles from Vegas. It was my paradise. My stepbrother, Colin Bailey, former World Cup DH racer, and I would hike an old beach cruiser with low tire pressure to the top of the sand dunes and try to make it to the bottom. Riverbeds lined with rocks and cliffs also made fun drop-ins to sandy landings. I learned a lot about riding and how to make fun from nothing back then.

Over the years I thought about the fun times we had out in the desert. Why it never occurred to me to go back and find spots to film, I don’t know. When I signed with Niner, Ian and I began to plan a project that would have great riding with a “skills learned message” tied together with an unforgettable storyline. As the story and project evolved, my memories of the places I would explore as a kid would pop up. On a visit to see my parents in California, I decided to explore a few zones I remembered from my childhood and found the perfect area for our story. With a location found and the story complete, everything was ready to come alive. Ian got a plane ticket and met Doug and I in southern California.” -Kirt Voreis


“While Kirt had scouted the whole area weeks before there was still a lot to be done. We had to decide on which locations we wanted to concentrate on, and then build everything. When you’re digging in the desert, water is a key ingredient for shaping and keeping the dirt together. It’s hard to pack dry dirt. A mostly full 50 gallon barrel of water really helped keep everything together. Kirt grew an awesome beard to help with his part in the video, and as an added bonus it made him stronger and more manly which was a huge help while digging.”  -Ian Hylands



“Digging between the rain squalls makes everything so much easier in the desert, to a point. Shortly after this it began to rain harder, and the dirt became too sticky to dig or pack. This is the lip for Kirt’s big alli oop that starts the video, and as Kirt visualizes it here he realizes just how much speed he’s going to need to make it. After the shot in the video Kirt didn’t want to hit it again, so unfortunately there aren’t any photos of him doing it. The next day dawned bright and sunny and we got out early, trying to catch the morning light.” -Ian Hylands



“The rain made digging and building a lot easier for the first bit, but then it became too much and the dirt became muddy and unmanageable and we had to take a break from it all.

This is the lip for Kirt’s big alley oop that starts the video, and as Kirt visualizes it here he realizes just how much speed he’s going to need to make it. After the shot in the video Kirt didn’t want to hit it again, so unfortunately there aren’t any photos of him doing it. The next day dawned bright and sunny and we got out early, trying to catch the morning light.” -Ian Hylands

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