Where has ATV wildman Christian Gagnon gone?

These days, you'll find the second person ever to successfully backflip a four-wheeler shredding dirt around Whistler, B.C.

by Matthew Mallory

Christian Gagnon flies past the camera on his ATV.

Christian Gagnon’s just a blur as he rips past Pascal Gallant while filming for Slednecks 19. — Matthew Mallory photo

Pemberton, B.C.’s Christian Gagnon is no stranger to injury. Over the years, he’s broken bones, banged and bruised his body repeatedly, almost lost a leg, been run over by quads and sleds, and this past winter while filming for Slednecks 19, he broke his back in two places while attempting a ridiculously large drop. At almost 40 years of age most of us have started to slow down but this French-Canadian ripper just keeps on going for it.

One of the more prominent freestyle riders, Gagnon came out swinging from his hometown of Stoneham in Quebec. As a part of Wes Miller’s Bomb Squad for close to 10 years, his job was to get out and just giv’r on the quad, wowing audiences at shows and in front of the lens for H-Bomb Films.

Being only the second dude ever to successfully backflip a four-wheeler, he had inked his name into the history of the sport.

“Christian was a member of Miller's Bomb Squad riding team and a rising star in the extreme motorsports industry. Just that spring he had become by our count only the second person to ever backflip a quad, achieving the feat in California in March with Miller’s cameras rolling. The Quebec native, speaking broken English, quickly proved he could repeat the stunt, doing it at events in Costa Rica, Oregon and California. Christian was officially a hero now, a quad-riding pioneer, a name worthy of the marquee." — Catching the Sky by Colten Moore with Keith O’Brien

The travelling circus of shows kept Gagnon busy until 2007 when he retired—in part, due to an increasing list of hard crashes.

It wasn't long after when the wildman felt the need to grab some throttle and found himself sledding, which prompted the move to British Columbia. The winters were for sleds while the summers were increasingly spent on his downhill mountain bike.

Christian Gagnon stands beside his ATV.

Christian Gagnon rides sleds in the winter and rips dirt in the summer. — Matthew Mallory photo

But the quad wasn’t entirely set aside. There were still the regular trips to meet the bros down in Oregon for Dunefest, and now there are a couple of ATVs sitting back in Gagnon’s stable again.

Searching out one of his favourite machines, he ended up the owner of two late ’90s Honda TRX250Rs. One was pretty much left stock, with its larger tires having more ground clearance so he can still shred the trails without mangling his rear sprocket or disc but the second machine went under the knife and came out a fire-breathing dragon. With a Laeger rolling chassis, a 350 big-bore kit, smaller race tires and a pimped suspension, this baby is set up for shredding ramps, drifting corners, and, with a set of paddles, sending it in the dunes.

Christian Gagnon jumping his quad.

Parking lot shenanigans—Christian Gagnon loves his air miles and searches them out everywhere. — Matthew Mallory photo

With the local moto track not allowing quads, Gagnon is relegated to a handful of trails and FSR rips but coming soon is a new event for the Whistler area that will see Gagnon as the stunt co-ordinator. It’s called the All Terrain Moto Expo and maybe if we are lucky, we will witness him sending it on the ramps.

For the sledders in the crowd, you’ll get to see something four-wheeled and fun coming in the fall for Gagnon’s Slednecks 19 segment intro. 

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