Courtney Conlogue is one to watch at this year's US Open of Surfing, plus ESPN moves the X Games to Minneapolis and Gus Kenworthy gets knocked out.
Every Friday in The Weekender we take a look at the videos and news from the week that was—like the summer X Games relocating to Minneapolis —and give you a preview of some of the most important events in the world of action and outdoor sports coming up this weekend.
Gus Kenworthy Gets Knocked Out
One thing is absolutely certain: freeskier Gus Kenworthy works extremely hard at his craft. And his body pays the price. In April, at the end of last season, the Olympic silver medalist returned to his home mountain in Telluride, Colo., for a private video shoot on a specially made rail/kicker combo. On the first day of a four-day shoot, Kenworthy slipped up on one of the rails and knocked himself out. He wasn’t just woozy or disoriented. He was out cold, lying flat on the snow as his team ran towards him. He got back on the horse a few days later to complete the session and just released an edit from the shoot yesterday. While the video doesn’t provide all that much context, Kenworthy’s comments certainly did: “One concussion, two lost teeth and three days later I went back up to hit the feature a few more times to try and salvage the last day of the shoot,” he said. “The tricks we ended up getting weren't quite what I had originally hoped for but I'm happy with how the video turned out considering the circumstances.”
The Pressure Is On Courtney Conlogue
With the event waiting period starting on Monday—and solid swell in the forecast to make things spicy—Courtney Conlogue certainly has some pressure on her coming into the U.S. Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach, Calif. First off, there hasn’t been an American world champion who hails from the mainland since Florida-born Lisa Andersen won four straight from 1994-97. And this is the second year in a row that Conlogue has held the ratings lead this deep into the year. So the world title hopes are high in her camp. This week, she released a video detailing the work she’s done with her Australian coach, Mark 'Richo' Richardson. Conlogue talks about her work on strategy and that ever-present pressure. She finished an even third at last year’s U.S. Open and this is her home turf (she grew up in nearby Santa Ana) so needless to say, this is a huge week for the 23-year-old.
X Games Moves to Minneapolis
After three years in Austin, Texas, ESPN announced this week that it inked a two-year deal with the city of Minneapolis to make it the host for the action sports summer showcase at the X Games. And it actually makes a lot of sense. Minneapolis has a deep-rooted music scene and an up-and-coming action sports culture (it has been an epicenter lately for street skate and snowboarding). Plus the event will be hosted in the new U.S. Bank Stadium, the home of the Minnesota Vikings in the Downtown East section of the city. “We’re thrilled to bring the X Games to Minneapolis next July,” said ESPN X Games Vice President Tim Reed. “Teaming up with Minneapolis will provide an extraordinary opportunity to grow the X Games in a new region of the country and in a city that’s quickly becoming recognized as a premier sports and entertainment destination.”
What’s On Tap
U.S. Open of Surfing
Worldsurfleague.com | Monday 10:30 a.m. ET
The U.S. Open is an official Championship Tour event for the women and Qualifying Series showcase on the men’s side. And with swell in the forecast, it should be a decent show.
This is Live Skate Session
RedBull.tv | Monday 2:00 p.m. ET
Red Bull will host some of California’s best skaters for an expression-session in a pool-shaped skate park in Huntington Beach, Calif.