Shane McConkey, the first North American Red Bull ambassador, was known to his friends for his incredible athletic ability, killer sense of humor and creative showman's mind. As the first person to build a personal brand in skiing outside of mogul skiing or racing, McConkey was a trail blazer who spent 15 years performing radical stunts for audiences, trade shows, and ski media. He was also featured in more than 20 ski films.
It was also McConkey who coined the term freeskiing and went on to become the South American Freeskiing Champion, U.S. National Freeskiing Champion and European Freeskiing Champion. His love for combining BASE jumping with skiing was also legendary. Among his famous stunts was his ski-BASE jump off the Eiger in Switzerland.
The extreme athlete also made several notable contributions to ski design. He created the reverse sidecut and reverse camber skis, and fathered numerous other innovations.
Four years ago, McConkey died tragically during a Red Bull film shoot in the Dolomites in Italy. While attempting a ski-BASE jump, one of McConkey’s skis did not release, causing him to spin out of control and making it impossible to deploy his parachute.
McConkey’s death was devastating for the ski world and for his family. However, his legacy will live on in a documenary by MSP Films and Red Bull Media House. The trailer is above, and the movie will be released next fall.
If you’d like to learn more about McConkey, visit the Shane McConkey Foundation, an organization that honors those who inspire positive change in the world through random acts of kindness and charitable giving. You can also check out the third annual Pain McShlonkey this weekend in Squaw Valley, California. It’s a snowerblade competition, gala and fundraiser to support the the foundation.