McConkey certainly flew the flag for extreme sports
From the giant cliffs of Yosemite in California to the 3 600-foot vertical face of the Troll’s Wall in Norway, McConkey jumped them all.
However, the game- changing moment in his trajectory came after he saw a sequence in the James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me from 1977, in which stunt skier Rick Sylvester (Bond being chased by gun-toting baddies) skis off Mount Asgard in Canada before deploying his Union Jack ’chute.
McConkey dived right into it. He ended up doing a double backflip off the Eiger in Europe, and repeated Sylvester’s ski/base jump off Mount Asgard. His signature move was to ski off the cliff, do a double backflip, flatten out and glide off in his wingsuit before opening his chute.
But the inevitable loomed. On March 26, 2009, McConkey died in the Dolomite Mountains of Italy. He pulled off a double backflip but instead of gliding away from the cliffs in his wingsuit, he went into a spin. His skis were stuck. He freefell for 12 seconds as he tried to get them off.
When he did, it was too late.
EPIC surf arrives this weekend. Today, a clean groundswell in the 6-8’ range should be running at the open breaks along the western coast of the Peninsula. Winds look moderate SSE this morning, going moderate southerly.
It’s definitely not the normal summer south- easter. The wind gradually freshens tomorrow, blowing fresh, going strong SSE again – and the surf is pouring through with two swells overlapping each other, with sets a consistent 8’.