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Shane McConkey Dies in Tragic Ski-BASE Accident | ITALY | 03/26/2009, by Ski Waheenie
Shane McConkey died ski-base jumping in Italy today. According to an article written by Steve Casimiro from TheAdventureLife.org,
"Shane did a double backflip and then had some difficulty," said Gaffney. He uses these old-school Tyrolia bindings, which release upwards, and they have straps attached that he pulls on to release the skis. So he pulls the bindings, the skis release, and then he flies away in the wingsuit.
"He got one ski off, but then was fighting to get the other one off. In the whole process, he went upside down and had one ski above him, which caused him to spiral. And then he got into a high-speed spin. He was still fighting to get out all the way down. J.T. watched the footage again because he wanted to know what happened. It was hard to see, so this is speculation, but it looked like he was going for his pilot chute. Maybe he couldn't get to it—he'd complained before that the wingsuit was tight. But we don't know for sure."
Our condolences to all of his family and friends, including his wife and 3 year old daughter.
Shane was truly an icon- starring in extreme ski movies throughout the past 15 years and pushing the sport to new levels.
Here is a list of ski films that he appeared in:
* Claim (2008)
* Seven Sunny Days (2007)
* Steep (2007)
* Push (2006)
* Focused - Season One (2005)
* The Hit List (2005)
* Warren Miller's Higher Ground (2005)
* Yearbook (2004)
* Ski Movie III: The Front Line (2002)
* Ski Movie 2: High Society (2001)
* Ski Movie (2000)
* There's Something About McConkey (2000)
* Sick Sense
* Walls of Freedom (1995?)
* Immersion (unknown)
Just as much as he was an icon, Shane McConkey was an inventor. He was one of the first people to combine skiing and base jumping, which is now known as Ski-BASE and is a common site in ski films. He is also known as the father of reverse camber skis, inventing the Volant Spatula and the K2 Pontoon.
I will always consider him a hero, as he was directly involved in the trend toward skiers using big fat skis. And fat skis, as we all know, make us all better than we actually are. Making people better than they are is a legacy that anyone should be proud of. So thank you Shane McConkey. Thank you for risking everything to push the sport of skiing and make lives better.
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