The Weekender: FIS World Cup drone crash, Kelly Slater's new wave, more

Thursday December 24th, 2015

Each Friday in The Weekender (special Thursday holiday edition, this week) we take a look at the best videos from the week that was—like a ridiculous drone crash during a World Cup race and Kelly Slater’s incredible artificial wave—and we give you a preview of important events this weekend in the world of action and outdoor sports.

Drone Danger

Austrian racer Marcel Hirscher had one of his closest calls of the FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup season and it had nothing to do with racing. Just as Hirscher, an Olympic silver medalist who’s won four straight World Cup overall titles, was making a turn through a gate, a drone that was filming the event in Madonna di Campiglio, Italy crashed just behind him, exploding in a pile of metal and plastic. The drone operator was reprimanded and the machines have now been banned at World Cup races.

“That would have been a very serious, bad injury,” Hirscher told the New York Times. “There are a lot of cool things nowadays. But you have to guarantee the safety, and that was just insane.”

Safety issues like this surrounding drone use is why the Federal Aviation Administration recently announced new regulations.

Kelly Slater's Artificial Wave

And just like that, the race for the perfect man-made wave might be over. After last week’s column hit the web, Slater and his team at Kelly Slater Wave Company released this awe-inspiring video from the testing and creation of one of the most ideal-looking artificial surf spots of all-time with a barrel section and steep wall for critical turns (the locale was reportedly inland California, somewhere south of Fresno). It’s kind of the stuff dreams are made of for the surf industry and Slater compared its creation to winning his first world title. The surf might be coming to a pond near you very soon.

Platinum Hits

DC Shoes this week released its Platinum Hits, featuring some of the best riders in the sport charging the streets and the steeps. Snowboarders like Travis Rice, Torstein Horgmo, Ryan Tiene, Ikka Backstrom and more. DC sort of spliced together all its team’s best parts from production companies around the industry to showcase its team. The result? Good viewing to add further stoke to a record winter season already underway—at least out West.

Snowflake Lives

So this sweet little piece from DPS skis is a couple of months old but it’s completely inspiring, no matter what outdoor pursuit you’re into. The team at DPS interviews the Swiss skier, Snowflake, whose real name is Henry. He talks about his love for the outdoors, why he loves being in nature, why we need to let loose once in a while and how there’s nothing, nothing, like a day of prime snow conditions in the mountains. His narrative is laid over b-roll of the DPS team absolutely shredding. He vocalizes his love of the outdoors and play like us prognosticators only wish we could. And reminds us how important getting outside is, especially in these crazy times.

It’s Pure Mayhem

Want some serial watching over the Holiday break? Check out the Mayhem Projects, a core series of snowboarding vids from athletes/editors Brandon Davis and Spencer Whiting. What’s most impressive is these guys don’t just charge the gnar, they direct, film and edit their media, which gives them ultimate control, and gives the audience a real sense of the grind of pro snowboarding life, which even with all the rigors, still looks pretty damn fun. The boys start off the series with an off-season trip to Australia where the who’s who of the snowboarding world is training. Check out this episode and subscribe to their YouTube channel to see all of their edits throughout the season.

The Weekend Roundup

The Target Maui Pro | ABS | Sunday, 2:30 p.m. ET

It’s the holidays (we’re hoping you have a happy one, by the way) so re-runs are en vogue and the event schedule is light. On Sunday, ABC will run a replay of the Maui Pro from Honolua Bay where Carissa Moore captured her third world title. The conditions at the right-hand point break were all-time and highlighted the women’s side of professional surfing in fine fashion.

World Cup Skiing | NBC Streaming | Monday Dec. 28, 7 a.m. ET | Austria, Italy

Tis’ the season and the grueling World Cup alpine skiing schedule continues as the men head to Italy where Ted Ligety (7th overall), Travis Ganong (10th) and Andrew Weibrecht (11th) will try to improve on their overall standings while the women are in Austria where Lindsey Vonn will work to regain her overall World Cup lead.

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