Three years since we started, it's time to bring the Slacker Project to an end - in the best way possible. We made it. And although it's been a massive team effort, James has been the main man. So it's only fitting that he should have the last word...
"But in the end, it doesn't even matter" - Linkin Park, In The End (2000)
Except in this case it does matter. It matters an awful lot, and getting the Slackers in production, complete and on that mother flipping boat is kind of a big deal. So it's high-five time, hands in the air, multiple pats on the back, raise the roof! We effin did it!
F*ck it's been a bit of a journey. Yes, it was a daft idea. Yes, we underestimated how hard it would be. But screw you mother flippers... we are a four man brand and we sell DH bikes! Take that bike industry. And it's not any old DH bike: it's a park bike for getting rowdy on, throwing weird shapes, slapping turns and going hard. We got 27.5" wheels, 200mm of travel, singlespeed options, an alloy frame and she bloody rips! If you can't get excited about this, we live on different planets and you're an alien. Go home ET and don't touch that comment section you long-fingered freak!
In all seriousness though, this is kind of a big deal for us. The Slacker always was a passion project and one that made very little sense commercially. And all that was before the world as we know it got turned upside down, so to be sat here saying the Slacker will launch on Thursday is something I know we are all extremely proud of.
There have been a fair few Holy Shit and disbelief moments of late. The Slacker has been in the pipeline so long, finally getting to see the production models built up and photographed has been pretty cool. I know I speak for everyone here at Airdrop when I say we can't wait to share it with you guys and we can't wait to see customers enjoying the bikes as much as we have these last three years.
To be totally honest, by the time we usually release a product I'm pretty over it. My head's already in the next thing so normally I struggle to get excited about what's current. But this is different. It's a lot closer to home and really strikes a chord with us. I'm having what I expect is a Proud Dad moment. I am your Father! This means so much to us, and this type of bike is exactly why we ride bikes and why bikes are not just a hobby, but also our job and something our whole life revolves around.
The Slacker is exactly how we intended it. Undiluted and unapologetically a bike-park bike. It gives no shits for the latest trends and was born out of the mind of some Earthed obsessed 90's kids with an addiction to flat pedals and bike-park laps. It literally underlines exactly what mountain biking is about; hanging out with your mates, having a laugh, building turns, days in the woods, zero ego, all smiles, weird shapes, hanging off it, dropping a foot, inside lines and minimal professionalism. I'm proud that we kept it core. We didn't take the easy money, we didn't cave to the pressures of the latest trends. The Slacker is exactly as it was intended. And bikes like this aren't ten a penny.
A moment that stood out for me lately was a few weeks back. I was out in the woods with Craig. He's one of my best mates but also someone I look up to both on and off the bike. It was his first or second ride on the Slacker - he was probably the first person apart from me, Ed and Andy to ride it. Craig was about as hyped on the bike for a local lad to be (we don't really do stoke in Yorkshire) and he seemed to be loving it. We did a spot of digging for a soon-to-be-released video edit and I shot a few photos. But really we just hung out, chatted some shit, stroked some dogs, slapped a bit of dirt and drank tea. And that was mint! It's exactly what bikes are all about. But seeing a rider who I look up to going hard on a bike we designed in it's natural habitat and loving it... That's pretty special. I don't think it gets much better than that.
Bikes are rad and so is the Slacker. Ride fast, eat ***!
The Big Picture
The frames are complete and they're on the way to the UK. Press releases have gone out to the media, the website is set up and we're all set for launch.
Thanks for everything. We made it.
The Slacker will launch on 26/1/23.
James grew up in Sheffield and Wharncliffe is his local. He spent a few years guiding in NZ but now he's back, helping with all things Airdrop.
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