Extreme Exposure: X Games Austin, Mountain Games, Point Break, more

Monday June 1st, 2015

Welcome back to Extreme Exposure, a weekly column bringing you the best photography and news from the world of action and outdoor sports. It’s a huge week for competitive outdoor pursuits, we give our take on the new Point Break movie and we revisit Yosemite where another climber has perished.

X Games Austin

X Games Austin 2015 kicks off this week in and stories abound from Skate to BMX to Moto X. One of the most interesting backgrounds comes from street skater Alexis Sablone, who’s twice captured X Games Gold (not to mention two Silvers). 

The 27-year-old is a graduate student in architecture at MIT and earned her undergraduate from Columbia. Architecture definitely fits her, considering how well she uses her urban surroundings to express herself. “Skateboarding has definitely helped me see my environment in unique and creative ways,” she told the MIT News. “I’m more attuned to different angles, textures and surfaces thanks to skateboarding.”

Stay tuned for more X Games coverage all week on SI.com's EDGE.


Posted by Alexis Sablone on Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Mountain Games, Vail

Meanwhile, in Vail, Colorado this week, mountain athletes will gather for the annual GoPro Mountain Games two hours east of Denver. World-class bouldering, Class V kayaking, SUP racing, mountain biking, trail running, music and even fly-fishing are all part of the festivities that bring nearly 60,000 people to the Vail valley each year.

Here, decorated downhill ski racer Lindsey Vonn dials in her fly-fishing skills during last year’s competition.

@lindseyvonn competing in this morning's fly fishing. #2Fly #Xstream #lindseyvonn

A post shared by GoPro Mountain Games (@mountaingamesvail) on

Missed Point?

In the name of questionable sequels, Alcon Entertainment and Warner Brothers released the new Point Break trailer last week (the real thing comes out at Christmas). Word of the sequel has been making rounds in the surfing community for years now as athletes like Laird Hamilton worked on the film in Tahiti and Maui.

Yeah, I’ll probably see it, and end up engrossed in the action scenes like everyone else. But aside from the fact that the trailer alone is being universally panned, it’s hard to get excited about a shiny remake of a cult classic. For one, the beauty of Point Break was that some guy from the Midwest busted a bunch of California bros on their own turf who were robbing banks to fund their passion: surfing and jumping out of the occasional airplane—a decent leap in believability, but doable. In the sequel, we have to cross a gigantic chasm of reality, and go along with a storyline that has Johnny Utah as an FBI agent looking to bust bad guys who BASE jump, free solo climb, surf, ride motorcycles and, wait for it: snowboard at world-class levels, all in the name of wreaking havoc on capitalism.

At least writer Kurt Wimmer and director Ericson Core updated the franchise’s action sports since the original Point Break dropped in 1991 (they’re not just BASE jumping, they’re using wingsuits). And by the way, you’ll never replace the original Bodhi as Patrick Swayze, who sadly died in 2009 after a battle with cancer. Swayze was great, and reportedly skydived his first time while making the movie, then made some 55 jumps during filming (the bosses actually had to ask him to tone it down for insurance purposes).

Such is modern cinema, where original ideas are truly dead. Well, at least we can look forward to more classic lines like this, delivered in exquisite theatrical cadence.

Fiji Fun

The Fiji Pro kicked off this weekend with the women taking center stage in Round 1. The forecast looks fairly promising for Cloudbreak, the sometimes-massive left-hand point break on Tavarua Island. Forecasters are calling for six to 12 feet by Tuesday.

On Sunday, the World Surf League announced that John John Florence, who sits at No. 7 in the world rankings, might miss the event because of a high ankle sprain suffered during a free-surf session in Brazil. He hasn’t officially pulled out but things aren’t looking good.

To date, Florence marks the fourth surfer who has missed time in 2015 due to injuries suffered in free-surfing accidents away from competition including Stephanie Gilmore, Michel Bourez and Jordy Smith.

A Difficult Month

In what has been a deadly start to the summer in Yosemite National Park, 21-year-old climber Tyler Gordon died on the nose of El Capitan last week in another climbing accident after failing to secure a key piece of gear known as a “Gri-Gri,” while on rappel, according to the accident report from Climbingyosemite.com.

The team was just below Camp VI and Gordon, a University of Colorado graduate, who wanted to return to a set of ledges at Camp V, about 200 feet below, to retrieve gear the group had dropped. The accident occurred as he started his rappel. He impacted with the overhang at Camp V, which is approximately 1000 feet below the top of the climb.

It was the second death in Yosemite this month. Iconic climber, Dean Potter, died in a BASE jumping accident on May 16.


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