The Weekender: Kelly Slater openly considers retirement
Every Friday in The Weekender we take a look at the best videos from the week that was—like a great white nearly eating a jet ski—and give you a preview of some of the most important events in the world of action and outdoor sports coming up this weekend.
Slater enters Margaret River pro with doubts
The Australian leg of the World Surf League’s Championship tour is a three-legged marathon and this week it enters the final stretch at the Margaret River Pro in West Oz, one of the country’s most remote beachfronts. And things look anything but normal entering the contest as Kelly Slater finds himself outside the top 20, while John John Florence, Joel Parkinson and defending world champ Adriano de Souza scrap to get in the Top 10. Margaret River is an exciting venue where WSL athletes can show off a wide range of skills, featuring the Box, a dangerous, barreling slab wave, and Main Break, which allows for more high-performance maneuvers, depending on swell. Main Break saw both leaders on the men’s and women’s side hold serve with Matt Wilkinson and Courtney Conlogue winning their opening heats.
Slater has looked especially vulnerable—and off his game—to start the season and at 44, it sounds like he’s openly starting to question his place on the Championship Tour. Said Slater when asked recently if he still wants to be in the mix: “I really don’t know if I want to be, or if I care enough anymore. I’m struggling with that to be honest. I mean, I hate losing heats, but I used to really thrive on the challenges… After having a few losses and not living up to your expectations, it kind of really starts to wear on you.”
A Stylish Entrance
Riding up the tram at Wyoming’s Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is rather breathtaking. At the top, passengers get a full view of one of the gnarliest inbounds lines in the country, Corbet’s Couloir. It’s steep and walled in. Most mere mortals will simply slide slip the top to get into it and ski out the bottom. Not Jackson Hole local Blaine Gallivan, an up and coming young freeskier. He simply aired the whole thing, then threw a backflip in for good measure. This is his recent entry into Go Pro’s Line of the Winter, a video contest that judges the best run each season. Go Pro names a winner in May. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say Gallivan has a chance.
• MORE EDGE: Conlogue wins Bells Beach title
This is Kind of Creepy
On the Western Side of Fraser Island in Platypus Bay, Australia, this couple was on a jet ski when they noticed a dark shadow in the water that turned out to be what looks like a Great White Shark. Check out how they take a pass by the beast (a little too close, BTW), and it turns on them, leaving “small scuff marks,” on the ski while both had to quickly lift their legs so they wouldn’t become fish bait. Don’t feed the animals.
Nine Knights and A World Record Park Jump
You don’t earn a world record by being conservative. Especially when it comes to big air. Every year, Nine Knights holds its Perfect Hip contest in Europe (a hip is a type of park jump, see vid). And this year, David Wise who won a gold medal in halfpipe at the Sochi Olympics, set a massive mark when he jumped 47 feet off the deck at the contest held in South Tyrol, Italy. This wasn’t about spins or even style, really. It was just about going huge. The Nine Knights event is mostly expression session format created for film and photos. And this year, it definitely paid off.
• MORE EDGE: Ayumu Hirano on success in '16, off-season grind
What’s On Tap
WorldSurfleague.com | 5 p.m. ET, All weekend
Round one is in the books for the women and the men continue the opening set this evening as Championship Tour leaders Courtney Conlogue and Matt Wilkinson hope to continue their fast starts for 2016.
Monster Energy Supercross
FS1 | Saturday, 7 p.m. ET
The Supercross series heads to Indianapolis this weekend and Lucas Oil Stadium where Ryan Dungey will continue his run at immortality as he goes for his 29th straight podium.
Lourdes Mountain Bike World Cup Downhill
Redbull.com | Sunday, 8:30 a.m. ET
It’s on. One of the gnarliest downhill contests in the world joined the MTB World Cup for the first time last season and once again, kicks off the World Cup campaign with a downhill-only event.