Extreme Exposure: Matt Wilkinson wins second straight WSL event
In this week's edition of Extreme Exposure—a weekly column featuring news and photography from the world of action and outdoor sports—surfer Matt Wilkinson opens big lead in title chase and Ryan Dungey notches 28th career victory.
This Is Actually Happening
If you asked 10 surf pundits at the start of the season who would win the first two events of the 2016 season, I can guarantee that none would have picked Matt Wilkinson, one of Sydney’s finest. The explosive goofy-footer who nearly fell off tour? The dude who has sported an array of wacky, custom wetsuit during events? The surfer who got into a social media spat with an Australian columnist? Well, that’s exactly what happened this week when Wilkinson won Bells Beach, the second stop on the Australian leg of the World Surf League’s Championship Tour. He now finds himself with more than a 10,000-point lead heading into Margaret River next week and has raked in $200,000 in winnings on the year so far. Wilkinson has turned around his reputation as a fun-loving, class clown into a lethal competitor with an ability to shut the door when he has to: he became the first goofy-footer to win Bells since 1998 while beating Mick Fanning and Jordy Smith on the way to his most recent victory. Asked how he’s making it all happen he had a typical “Wilko” answer, and one that shows he might just be in the perfect head space to win the whole thing: “I don’t know what’s going on.” He reveled in his victory with a big celebration after the event.
Freeride World Tour
Lake Tahoe, Calif. snowboarder Sammy Luebke had already solidified his world championship on the Freeride World Tour after the Haines, Alaska stop (below) in March. But he put an exclamation point on his world title with a win this weekend as the tour finished out in Verbier, Switzerland where he took the podium’s top spot. On the FWT, skiers and snowboarders are judged on their line choice, style and flow in a format that highlights riding ability in a big mountain setting. Unfortunately, poor weather got in the way of the contest as limited visibility and high winds hampered athletes’ options to charge the ridiculously steep northeast face of the Bec des Rosses above the Swiss ski resort. American Jacklyn Passo—who skis out of Squaw Valley, California—won the women’s category in skiing, finishing second overall for the year.
Ryan Dungey: Without Equal
This guy is out of his head. After getting stripped of his win two weeks ago in Detroit where he aired during a caution flag after an accident (a no-no), Ryan Dungey held off Ken Roczen to get his sixth win of the season and a 42-point overall lead in the Supercross series at Levi Stadium in Santa Clara, California. It was Dungey’s 28th career victory and 84th career podium (28 straight).
• MORE EDGE: Ayumu Hirano on success in '16, off-season grind, more
Random Item of the Week: Hoverboards are Weird (But You Knew That)
Rob Gronkowski likes to use the new, longer Instagram video format to show off partying, working out in a pool and partying. Tony Hawk has ridden the new Hendo Hoverboard, which actually hovers unlike the toy versions, uses four separate engines and magnetic fields to create propulsion. If it sounds complicated, it is. Hendo hasn’t released its proprietary solution to hovering. Below, Hawk gets spinning harmlessly on the original version before losing control.