Friday February 12th, 2016

Every Friday in The Weekender we take a look at the best videos from the week that was—like big wave action from Mavericks and Waimea Bay and an epic ski edit shot on an iPhone—and we give you a preview of some of the most important events in the world of action and outdoor sports coming up this weekend.

Mavericks is Never Small

Today in Half Moon Bay, Calif., some of the world’s best big wave surfers will charge the gnarliest wave in the world during one of the sport’s most important contests. After two years, the newly re-branded contest, Titans of Mavericks, will run. But regardless of whether or not they’re invited to the contest, big wave surfers have been going after Mavericks with little regard for their own safety. And last week saw arguably the biggest day of the year at the famous surf spot. It was not small.

Stop and Go at Waimea Bay

One of the most prestigious big wave surf contests in the sport is the Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau. And it’s been a bit of a stop and go affair trying to get the contest run in this, an El Niño year where the conditions have been as close to ideal as they’ve gotten since it last ran in 2009 when Greg Long won the contest. Running big wave events is obviously a logistical nightmare so the general public often plays armchair quarterback when the contests don’t go. But when competitions like these are called off—like the Eddie was on Wednesday—the waves are still good enough for sessions like this one.

Big Sherp

“What is that thing?” That’s the reaction of most people have when they see recently released video of the Sherp, a Russian-built machine that’s part ATV, part tank. Doesn’t it seem like Russian inventors always have a little bit different take on convention (see the drone vid for another example)? The Sherp features a small horsepower engine (44) but huge tires that allow it to climb up anything plus amphibious crossover potential that’s ... a little weird? Quads are certainly a popular thing nowadays but I’m still trying to figure out where you’d use this machine that retails for $50,000.

This Was Shot On What?

This video is a bit haunting. Nicolas Vuignier, a Swiss skier, invented a device to suspend his iPhone above his head to give a 360-degree view of his skiing. And other than having to hold his arm above his head, it’s beautiful. Shot near his home in a place called Crans-Montana, Vuignier called the device “simple, straight-forward and almost stupid,” when I contacted him for details. But he didn’t want to release exact info as he’s still looking into patent issues and hopes to release a how-to video later this winter that’ll surely make us all wonder why we didn’t think of it first.

Drone Towing?

In more proof that Russians do it differently, this video came out this week and stoked the imagination of many. While the speed of the tow is anything but mind-blowing, the possibilities are there. Imagine a world where jet ski drivers stay out of harm’s way on big tow-in days at Jaws and Teahupoʻo, or backcountry snowboarders and skiers get free pulls, creating mini ski resorts on their backyard slopes. Kudos to anyone thinking outside the box.

What’s On Tap

Big Air Fenway | NBCSN | Friday, 9 p.m. EST

It’s already been a big week in Boston as Big Air Fenway is going off in Bean Town. Canada’s Max Parrot and the United States’ Julia Marino both won snowboarding Big Air Thursday and the event continues Friday with skiing. For Americans from the East Coast, this is a great opportunity to perform in front of hometown fans as few events go off on the in the East each year. Marino hails form Connecticut.

Monster Energy Supercross | FS1 | Saturday, 10 p.m. EST

As the Monster Energy Supercross series heads to San Diego this weekend, the plot has gotten thick in the 250SX class. Christian Craig grabbed the first ME Supercross victory of his career last weekend after overcoming serious injury and thoughts of retirement. And that heart-warming story only adds to the intrigue this week as the race has Joey Savatgy and Cooper Webb tied for the lead in the point series going in.

World Cup Skiing | NBC Sports Live Extra | Saturday, 4:30am. EST (and throughout the weekend)

The women continue to dominate the headlines in Alpine racing this year as Lindsey Vonn is seeking her 77th World Cup Victory and is boasting a healthy lead in the overall points lead. This weekend also marks the return of slalom phenom Mikeala Shiffrin to racing action. She’s been out since before the New Year with a knee injury as the ladies race in Crans-Montana, Switzerland.

Titans of Mavericks | | Friday, 10:40 am EST

The most important big wave contest on the planet kicks off today from Half Moon Bay, Calif. This marks the first time Cartel Management group will have the opportunity to run its premiere event, the Titans of Mavericks, featuring the best big wave surfers on the planet—more than a few of which reside in California.

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