The Weekender: Florence wins Eddie Aikau Invitational, X Games Oslo, more
Every Friday in The Weekender we take a look at the best videos from the week that was—like highlights from John John Florence’s Eddie Aikau win and a slam dunk contest on skis.—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.
John John Takes the Bay
It was only fitting that one of Hawaii’s most celebrated waterman of yesteryear, Eddie Aikau, was honored by one of its most talented of today. John John Florence won a captivating Eddie Aikau Invitational yesterday at Waimea Bay on Oahu’s North Shore, just down the road from his childhood home. Looking as cool and calm as he does at Pipeline, Florence made the Bay his personal playground, navigating massive drops while negotiating impossibly huge banks of whitewater. It was the first time the contest had run since 2009 and the last chance for it to run this year (the holding period ends February 29). It’s being called one of the greatest big wave surfing contests ever, as 49-year-old Ross Clarke-Jones finished a strong second, Shane Dorian ended third, with Jamie Mitchell, Kelly Slater and Makuakai Rothman rounding out the top six.
Kelly Slater Gets Tubed
The highlights from the Quiksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau were many, from Mason Ho’s gigantic wave to Ross Clarke-Jones’ gigantic ride that nearly won him the contest to Grant Baker’s frightening freefall. But one of the most heartfelt tributes came when Kelly Slater took off on a medium-sized wave, stuck his hand in the wall to stall, and got barreled at the Bay. Afterward he dedicated the wave to Brock Little, his good friend and a Waimea Bay legend who died from cancer this week and had a huge impact on Slater’s surfing. “I’ll spend the rest of my life thinking about him,” the emotional Slater said afterwards.
One of Those Days 3
The Frenchman has struck again. Candide Thovex released the follow up to his One of Those Days 2 this week and it didn’t disappoint. In some of the most creative POV editing of all time, Thovex’s videos make skiing look as fun as any other edit out there. This time he jumps over paragliders, bicyclists, through man-made snow tunnels before taking flight himself, literally. The film was just released three days ago and already has three-million views.
Slam Dunk Contest on Skis
Skiing, as a sport, has a grand tradition of never taking itself too seriously from Shane McConkey, to Thovex, to this, a wonderfully creative tribute to jock-envy. Alex Ferreira, Broby Leeds, and Alex Gorham put together this edit that proves they have too much time on their hands and that playing hoops on skis doesn’t look as weird as you think it would. Leeds and Ferreira have serious game in the freeskiing world. On the court, well, see what you think.
What’s On Tap
X Games Oslo | ESPN 3 (XGames.com) | Friday-Sun., 6 a.m. ET
Winter sports stars are in Oslo, Norway for the X Games with Chloe Kim (who won two golds at last week’s Youth Olympics) and Danny Davis (whose quest for three straight superpipe wins in Aspen was cut short by weather) looking to increase their medal counts. The Oslo version of the X Games features a skateboarding contest at an abandoned warehouse as the franchise mixes winter and summer events.
Monster Energy Supercross | FS1 | Saturday, 7 p.m. ET
This week, the Monster Energy Supercross series heads east to Atlanta, where Ryan Dungey, who’s putting together a historical run this year, is looking for his fourth win in the city. Dungey is easily the best racer since the legendary Ricky Carmichael and this weekend will go for his 26th podium in a row. He has 18 consecutive finishes in the top two and will look to reach his 80th career podium in Atlanta.
World Cup Skiing | NBC Sports Live Extra | Saturday, 3:30 a.m. ET (and throughout the weekend)
With the alpine ski season heading into its stretch run, the U.S. women are in Andorra this weekend for a super-G and combined event with Lindsey Vonn in a nip-and-tuck battle for the overall points lead with Switzerland’s Laura Gut while the men are in Hinterstoder, Austria.