When it comes to a legend like Shane McConkey, it's hard to pick out the highlights. The best BASE jump out of 500? The sickest backflip out of… thousands? The time he re-created a James Bond movie scene? (OK, the last one is rather obvious – that was awesome.) The new movie – while ultimately a memoir – records the life of one of the most inspirational and influential athletes the skiing and BASE-jumping world has ever seen.
'McConkey' – which is just finishing its world premier tour – is now available for download on iTunes and on DVD. Couldn't make a premier? Here's five great reasons to jump into 1.5 hours of what will surely be a classic in action sports cinema. Is this the greatest skiing film ever made? Saucerboy would say so.
For anyone who followed McConkey's career, this shouldn't come as a surprise: Shane gets naked, and does some of the best skiing you'll never see a naked person do. Our favourite bit of baring it all? When a backflip on a mogul course upsets judges and gets McConkey kicked out of conservative Vail, CO – he responds with an in-the-nude, for-the-cameras run down the course.
The transition to 'Free-skier'
Fans of his extreme exploits may be surprised to find out McConkey's background was in ski racing, not freestyle. 'McConkey' takes us through Shane's early years, and through the highly entertaining transition to 'big mountain freeskier'.
Johnny Mosely calls Shane names…
'McConkey' has no shortage of commentary from ski industry legends. Our favourite? Legendary ski racer Johnny Mosely recalls the first time he met Shane... “I remember thinking, 'This guy's kind of a dick!'”… and then goes on to commend Shane's performance in mogul racing.
“I'm getting maximum enjoyment out of life… and I'll never stop.”
Words from the man himself. And although McConkey says it – he doesn't have to – every minute of McConkey clearly illustrates the man's incredible lust for life.
The man lived for adventure
Incredible feats of athleticism in incredible places – McConkey was all about pushing the limits, and few did it better.
How many extreme-sports athletes have their own alter ego? A few perhaps, but none as entertaining as McConkey's Saucerboy.
The waterski run
You can call it a stunt, but Shane sending down a massive powder line on pair of 1970's waterskis proved to the industry that fat skis could work. Fifteen years later, fat skis rule the industry when it comes to powder skiing.
The injury reel
It's not until about two-thirds of the way through the film, after a clip of Shane's gnarly, hip-dislocating wipeout in Haines, Alaska. But it's an interesting window into the other side of extreme sports, and the risks inherent within.
You don't go into McConkey without knowing the ending – but when you see it – it will hurt. It's the reason the movie exists in the first place. The location – the Italian Dolomites – is alluded to throughout the film, and you always know what's coming. But in the end, the film finishes as exactly what it's intended to be – a celebration of Shane's life.
We won't ruin it for you. Just stick around through the credits – trust us.