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NEW VIDEO: Ayato Kimura’s “Tropical Vibes – Ayato’s Way”

The city of Okinawa in the eponymous prefecture in the absolute south of Japan is certainly a popular subtropical holiday destination, but has no reputation as a mountain bike Mecca. Until now! Mountain bike freerider Ayato Kimura has recognized the incredible potential of the city for urban freeride of the rougher kind and shows in his new video “Tropical Vibes – Ayato’s Way” what he imagines a summer vacation in Okinawa to be like.

Ayato Kimura is known for his unique style, which combines technically demanding trials riding with raw freeride and downhill elements. “Tropical Vibes – Ayato’s Way” is clearly more about downhill and freeride and Ayato not only demands a lot from himself, but also from his Specialized Demo. With countless stair sets, massive gaps, wall rides, a front flip into the flat and a suicide no hander, the 19-year-old from Gunma shows that he easily lives up to his great role models.

“Filming was actually planned for two weeks but ended up taking a whole month. As a result, however, the video now shows the full range of my skills and I’m very happy about that. I’m most proud of the front flip with the downhill bike. I really wanted to have it in the video, even though I had hardly tried it out before. The fact that we didn’t need a ramp to do it, but were able to use ‘natural’ terrain, makes it even better.” – Ayato Kimura

Overall, the production of “Tropical Vibes – Ayato’s Way” had a few hurdles to overcome. For example, Ayato had broken his collarbone in the Whistler skate park just six weeks before filming started. Also, he had no prior experience on a downhill bike. Choosing the Specialized Demo with its aluminum frame proved to be the right choice: the bike survived the countless hard impacts that Ayato’s powerful riding demanded without any damage. However, despite several attempts, Ayato will have to tackle the eleven-meter drop (36 feet) again on his next Okinawa vacation.

“The biggest challenge and at the same time the most dangerous trick was definitely the eleven-meter drop. After we discovered it by chance towards the end of the shoot, I quickly realized that I really wanted to try it. We had a day to prepare the jump and landing before I gave it a go for the first time. In the air, I felt like I was at the Red Bull Rampage – I’d never had so much airtime before. Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough momentum when I jumped off, landed too short and crashed. With minor injuries to my legs and face, I had to abort the action and when we tried again during the second part of the shoot, it unfortunately didn’t work out any better. But the drop is definitely still on my bucket list.” – Ayato Kimura

Okinawa’s impressive cityscape with its many downhill options and picturesque beaches is also one of Ayato’s favorite places off the bike. And of course, a tropical vibes video should not miss out on surfing: bike and rider also cut a fine figure on the water.

“Upon first hearing about Ayato’s film concept, it had a lot of us at the brand excited – and we’re even more pleased with how he’s brought his vision to life. We hope you all enjoy this project as much as we do, and hope it inspires you to ride.” – Fiona Swartz, Global Sports Marketing Manager – Freeride & Gravel | Specialized Bicycle Components

Ayato Kimura: