I happened to share an apartment with Samantha Soriano at a recent Canyon launch, where she gave me a sneak peek of an early edit of this film. I thought it was a great mix of insight into the freeride scene, along with a bit of honest vulnerability from Sam. I liked that to the spectator it might seem like riders throwing themselves down such intimidating features as you see here must all be super confident and high fives and stoke all the time – but as you’ll see there’s a process and sometimes as much uncertainty as us mortals have. I also enjoyed hearing about the relationship between connecting with her environment and progressing her riding. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Look out for a ‘Desert Island Disc Brakes’ episode with Samantha too, coming soon on our podcast.
Being thrown into the freeride space, I was blissfully unaware of the importance and significance of digging/building features. As I continued to push my own career path as a freerider, I had a severely building sense of imposter syndrome, as I had zero clue how to build a jump, let alone how to properly use a shovel. After attending my inaugural Red Bull Formation followed by Rampage, I was inspired to build my own line, from scratch. This whole process would take multiple months, many tries, and many hard days. “Grounding” highlights my journey of building my first line and riding my own features. This process literally grounded me to the long lineage of the freeride roots and emphasizes how I ground myself on and off the bike. I have been riding in the desert for almost three years now and after working through the process of building, I have an extreme appreciation for every feature in the desert. I look forward to being able to continue to progress not just as a rider but a builder as well.Sam Soriano
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