With Shaun White recently winning his second Olympic Gold medal in Snowboarding, Mavericks spinning up 60 foot waves and the Mega Ramp X-Game contests that go down, how much more can action sport athletes push the limits? Let’s take the Shaun White … his sponsors built him a private half pipe (dubbed project x) in the middle of nowhere for him to practice his double McTwist into foam pits. Whether its X-Games or the Olympics Shaun White appears unstoppable … or is he? Mavericks this winter provided some of the biggest waves ever for a paddle in contest.
Recently I was surfing with Mavericks big wave finalist Shane Desmond and we were talking about how a new bar had been set, probably the biggest waves ever for a paddle in contest. The Mega Ramp … if you follow this one you saw Jake Brown get launched 45 feet straight up only to lose control and rag doll to the ground. Bob Burnquist has a Mega Ramp in his backyard to train with his competition and perfect insane tricks as they fly over a gap almost 20 feet above ground. I remember watching the first X-Games and have been onsite to a few, Mavericks … I mean does it need an explanation and snowboarding just keeps progressing. Question is can the next generation step it up? Generation after generation has pioneered these sports to their current spotlight, but is there still room for more? Being an avid surfer I can answer that question … resoundingly YES. There are new mysto surf breaks still being discovered, the technology available today allows Snowboarders and Surfers the tools they need to track down the next big deal. Skateboarders are constantly pushing the boundaries of what can be done on ramps and street. Board technologies have equally kept up with stronger more innovative designs and models allowing these athletes to continue to go outside the lines. If we could time capsule this column and look back in five to 10 years, we will see Shaun White’s double Mctwist was remedial.