The Weekender: Matt Wilkinson gets first CT win, Crankworx returns, more
Every Friday in The Weekender we take a look at the best videos from the week that was—like Seeking Nirvana’s second installment—and give you a preview of some of the most important events in the world of action and outdoor sports coming up this weekend.
New Blood in the Final
Well, that was a good way to start off the year: We finally had some new blood in the finals of a World Surf League event as Kolohe Andino and Matt Wilkinson vied for their first world tour victories in the last round of the Quik Pro Gold Coast this week with Wilkinson nabbing his first Championship Tour win. Both surfers have had their share of ups and downs on tour but opened the year in spectacular fashion. Andino, still just 22, came out of the amateur ranks as a much-celebrated phenom and showed glimpses of greatness last year before finishing 25th while Wilkinson, 27, has nearly fallen off tour the last couple of years. Needless to say it was a huge week for both.
Not the Matterhorn
The Internet is so weird. Old videos can suddenly become new again overnight, while rumor and innuendo rule. This is Nicolas Falquet skiing a line near his home in Les Marécottes, Switzerland on a line locals call “Federer’s Backhand.” It’s definitely impressive and worth another look as it was an entry for Line of the Winter in 2015. But it’s not the Matterhorn, as the random Facebook page Milky Way Scientists claimed this week that sent the snow world into a frenzy. Still, if you were to ski off the Matterhorn, it would have to look something like this.
Crankworx is Back
The Crankworx tour kicked off last weekend in Rotorua, New Zealand and no one held back, especially in the Slopestyle Triple Crown as the field paid tribute to course designer Kelly McGarry, a Kiwi who sadly passed away in February at 33 after suffering a heart attack while riding in Central Otago, New Zealand.
The course was nothing short of incredible with ramps and transitions built into the soft Rotorua dirt resembling something out of Middle Earth. The cyclists laid down huge runs with Nicholi Rogatkin sticking a cork 1080 that was just a little off on the landing, opening up opportunity for Brandon Semenuk who stuck a cork 720 barspin leaving the 25-year-old Whistler-native in the lead position. Looking ahead Crankworx heads to France in June before finishing in Whistler in August.
Seeking Nirvana, Part 2
So, I guess it was worth it. Last week we talked about the teaser for the release of Seeking Nirvana’s second installment of its web series. This week we have the real thing—Cabin Fever. And it’s pretty spectacular. Matt Margetts, Joe Schuster, Mike Henitiuk and Riley Leboe venture deep into the Canadian backcountry for this episode. And it’s all shot in cinematic fashion and edited by the talented Leigh Powis. These guys definitely make freeskiing look fun from remote tent camping and stays in backcountry huts, to big mountain freestyle. A good watch heading into the weekend.
What’s On Tap
Freeride World Tour | Freerideworldtour.com | All weekend
The Freeride World Tour is in the steep skiing Mecca this weekend: Haines, Alaska. Freeride athletes are judged on top-to-bottom skiing and snowboarding, and their style, flow and line choice. The event is currently on hold due to inclement weather but stay tuned to Freerideworldtour.com for updates and the live webcast.
Monster Energy Supercross | FS2 | Saturday, 7 p.m. EST
The Monster Energy Supercross series heads to Detroit this weekend and Ford Field. Ken Roczen will continue his quest to chase down points leader Ryan Dungey, who he currently trails by 34 points. Roczen won his third event last weekend in Toronto.
World Cup Skiing | NBC Sports Live Extra | Saturday, 3:30 am. EST (and throughout the weekend)
The U.S. Alpine team will wrap up its season this weekend in St. Moritz during the World Cup Finals. Mikaela Shiffrin will try to end a bizarre season on a high note, one in which she fought through injury and saw teammate Lindsey Vonn go down after a season-ending crash. Shiffrin is seeking her 10th consecutive World Cup slalom win.