Every Friday in The Weekender we'll take a look at some of the best videos of the week from the world of action and outdoor sports—like Adriano de Souza celebrating his first world title or Sammy Carlson throwing a Switch 5 off a 24-story ski jump—and we'll also give you a preview of the most exciting events to watch out for this weekend.
Adriano de Souza, 2015 World Champion
It was a long time coming and as one of the hardest working surfers in the sport, Adriano de Souza deserves to celebrate his 2015 world title—won yesterday at the Pipeline Masters—at least through the New Year. The surf-crazy country of Brazil will certainly be partying over de Souza’s win, the second surfing world title in as many years for the South American nation. For icing on the cake, de Souza won the Pipe Masters too, defeating last year’s world champ Gabriel Medina in the final. It was hard not to celebrate with the 28-year-old, an everyman surfer who comes from extremely humble routes: his brother bought him his first board when he was a child for $7. Needless to say, that was a well-spent seven bucks. Here’s the World Surf League’s tribute to the new champion.
Sammy C Project
As is the case with many competitive athletes, Sammy Carlson (one of the best freeskiers in the world) was burnt out on the event grind, traveling from one resort to another, hitting the same icy jumps in the same locales year after year. So with the Sammy C Project he set out to expand freesking into the backcountry and beyond. And the response has been overwhelming he says, especially with segments like this one featuring a 24-story abandoned ski jump Carlson hit with filmmakers from Teton Gravity Research, one of the ski industry’s most prolific production companies. “I was just feeling bored and stale with competition,” Carlson tells SI.com. “I really worked hard with TGR to focus on pushing skiing out of the park to get as creative as possible. I hope it motivates people to get out in the mountains or find a passion and take the time to have fun everyday and do something they enjoy. There’s a lot of negativity in the world.” Carlson and TGR have been touring all Fall with the film but they’re releasing it on iTunes this week.
Mont Blanc: The Land of Toys
The highest mountain in the Alps, Mont Blanc creates the border between Italy and France and is the center of Alpinism the world over—and the center of adventure. From Chamonix, a skier, snowboarder or climber can hail a ride on the Aiguille du Midi cable car and embark on a fantastic adventure only a few thousand feet above one of the most cultured mountain towns in the world. Luca Rolli, a mountain guide based in Italy, released a beautiful 12-minute documentary this week on adventures like these in the heart of the Alps that he filmed and edited over the last year.
Hi-5: Rob Machado, Kelly Slater and Surfing’s Greatest Heat
A congratulatory gesture or shrewd tactics from the 11-time world champion? Hi-5 looks at a moment in surfing history 20 years ago during the 1995 Pipe Masters. The world title had come down to the semi-final heat between Rob Machado and Kelly Slater and the waves were firing. Whoever advanced to the final would win the world title. As Machado cuts back on a wave, Slater offers a high-five. Machado accepts, even though he could have regained the all-important priority by kicking out of the wave early. Did Machado get Slatered? Their careers go in completely different directions after: Slater wins the heat, the title that year and many more after; Machado eventually drops off tour and makes freesurfing a career for himself and a generation of surfers. The Inertia released this 11-minute feature this week to celebrate the moment.
This one is just about fun. And it’s okay to be mediocre. Tanner Pendleton released this light-hearted flick this week as 20 snowboarding friends take a time out to tour their favorite Pacific Northwest resorts last spring. Pretty epic as we get to tour some radical tree houses and skate parks with them, too. You can’t help but look forward to the end of winter with this one. East coasters will feel right at home with the weather they’ve been experiencing lately.
The Weekend Roundup
Women’s World Cup
Universal HD | Starting Saturday at 4:30 a.m. EST
The events season is winding down for the action sports world but things are certainly heating up before the holidays on the downhill World Cup circuit and we’ve been following the women’s side closely as Lindsey Vonn has been on a tear this year, leading the overall standings as she captured her 71st World Cup win last weekend in Are, Sweden. Mikaela Shiffrin was making a serious run at Vonn but she’s expected to miss an extended period of time after falling in a training run and spraining her MCL. Barring any setbacks, look for Vonn to extend her lead in the overall with the speed events on tap, Vonn’s specialty. Both the men’s and women’s events are streaming live online on NBCsports.com all weekend.
Cold Water Classic
NBC | 3pm EST | Santa Cruz, California
Steamer Lane in Santa Cruz, Calif. is one of the most iconic surf spots in the sport. The cliffs surrounding the break make for a natural stadium with the telltale lighthouse decorating the point. Saturday, as part of the Red Bull Signature series hosted by Sal Masekela, NBC will highlight the Cold Water Classic, an important event on the World Surf League’s Qualifying Series and a springboard for young up-and-comers to make the world tour.