Top action sports moments of 2013
The Year In Action Sports
When it comes to action sports, there's never a dull moment, and that was especially true in 2013. From giant waves in Portugal to new additions for the Pastrana family to Shaun White headlining Lollapalooza, here are our picks for the biggest moments in action sports over the past year.
1. The Biggest Wave?
In October, Brazils Carlos Burl towed into what might prove to be a world-record wave at Nazar, Portugal, shortly after rescuing his tow partner, skilled big-wave surfer Maya Gabeira, from a near drowning earlier that day. Controversy ensued after skeptics rebuked the wave size, while others criticized Gabeira's involvement altogether.
2. Pastrana Family Focus
Following the birth of his daughter Addy with wife Lyn-z in September, Travis Pastrana announced in November he would not return to NASCAR in 2014 following a year of disappointing results on the Nationwide Series. His efforts in 2014 will be concentrated on Nitro Circus Live.
3. Three Times A World Champ
With a tight world title race between Kelly Slater and Mick Fanning heading into the Hawaiian season, Fanning claimed his third world title after an incredible finish to the Billabong Pipeline Masters earlier this month. Slater took home his seventh Pipe Masters trophy and John John Florence won his second Triple Crown title.
4. Shaun White, Real Rock Star
Shaun White's music career was fast-tracked when his band Bad Things filled a last-minute headlining slot at Lollapalooza in August after signing a record deal with Warner Brothers in June. Not a bad year for a guy who is trying to win two gold medals in Sochi next year.
5. Year of Nyjah Huston
Yet again, it was a quite a year for skateboarder Nyjah Huston. Huston came into 2013 as the reigning 2012 Street League champion and the one to watch. Although he started the year with three victories, his bid to sweep this year's Street League was cut short when he had to withdraw from X Games Munich due to a rib injury. No matter. He still took the overall title. But he missed out on Thrasher's Skate of the Year title again, losing out this time to Nike pro Ishod Wair.
6. Don't Call It A Comeback
Torah Bright left the spotlight after winning Olympic gold in 2010, but this year she announced plans to be the first snowboarder to attempt to qualify for three disciplines at the Winter Olympics. In early December, Bright began to make the push for Sochi when she showed up at the first Olympic qualifier of the season and unseated longtime defending champ Kelly Clark for the win in pipe.
7. Olympic Test Event
In February, skiers and snowboarders visited Sochi, Russia, for an Olympic test event to try out the venue that would be their Olympic venue in February 2014. Warm temperatures and a lack of snow meant no chance for a slopestyle course, but the halfpipe contest went off relatively smoothly. Pictured here: the men's and women's ski halfpipe podium.
8. Rise of the Solo Part
In 2013, skiers took a note from skateboarders and BMX riders and started creating their own solo film parts, often leaving more established ski movie production companies in the process. The projects ran from Tom Wallisch's "The Wallisch Project" to Henrik Harlaut and Phil Casabon's B&E Show, to Sean Pettit's new production company, Super Proof Inc., to Parker White and Chris Logan's new webisode series, "The Big Picture." "It's the future," Tanner Hall said. "This is an opportunity for athletes to film everything and put it into their own hands."
9. Sponsors Are A-Changing
In 2013, many brands in skateboarding and BMX suffered economic setbacks and were forced to scale back their pro teams. As a result, this year had an unusually high number of sponsor changes among pro athletes, including a slew of BMX athletes leaving Premium, Haro Bikes and others. The upside? Many athletes took control of their own brands, launched companies and negotiated other deals with new brands.
10. Seinfeld on skateboarding
Skateboarding has long enjoyed a healthy relationship with comedic outputs, starting with Tony Hawk and select members of the Bones Brigade stunt-doubling in an early "Police Academy" movie in the mid-'80s and continuing with clips of Dave Chappelle skating at Rye Airfield skatepark in New Hampshire. But in 2013, skateboarding hit comedic royalty when it arose as a subject of conversation between Jerry Seinfeld and Chris Rock. In Seinfeld's Web series, "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee," Seinfeld employed the humor of Chris Rock to discuss skateboarding. "I'll tell you what," Seinfeld said during the interaction, "to learn to do a skateboard trick, and how many times you've gotta get something wrong before you get it right, and you hurt yourself now you've got a life lesson." That's gold, Jerry, gold!