Shane McConkey

Category: Athletes

The Movie


Whenever Shane McConkey met a challenge, he faced it full-on (and occasionally full-frontal).

With a personality as outsized as his talent, Shane lived to make people laugh – with pranks and pratfalls and even ski runs in the buff. But no amount of goofing around could disguise how determined he was to make each day count, or how his extraordinary skills and innovation were changing the game in winter sports.

Shane was one of the pioneers of freeskiing. He found ways to conquer the most radical lines on the most incredible mountains and redesigned the shape of skis themselves. The industry’s top filmmakers took their own skills to a new level to capture to Shane’s mastery, and the resulting influence not only revolutionized skiing, but inspired people far outside the realm of athletics. His positive energy was irresistible.

Shane discovered parachuting, too, and became an adept BASE jumper and wingsuit flyer. Realizing that canopy work could allow him to experience previously unimaginable ski lines as well as the exhilaration of flight, he was one of the leaders in combining disciplines for ski-BASE wingsuit flying: skiing off a mountain, releasing the skis to soar away in the wingsuit, then parachuting to the ground.

For Shane, it was impossible to imagine living life less than 100 percent. He valued freedom over security. His idea of hell was a 9 to 5 desk job.

Besides, he planned each of his exploits almost obsessively. He was careful, and he was good.

But sometimes, things go wrong even for those who are the best at what they do. On March 26, 2009, at the age of 39, Shane was killed in an accident when his equipment malfunctioned in the rugged mountains of Italy. He left behind a wife and a daughter who were the center of his universe, as well as family, friends and countless fans who were forever changed by his spirit

And be sure to check out Red Bull’s awesome new bio-flick: McConkey