Scott Gaffney Pays Tribute To Shane McConkey With Iconic Water Skis

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Filmmaker Scott Gaffney skipped the Pain McShlonkey contest at Palisades Tahoe this weekend "in the interest of self-preservation before a big Alaska trip" but paid tribute to Shane McConkey another way.

Gaffney writes, "I couldn’t let the day pass without paying proper tribute to The Man, so, with some beautiful pow on hand, it only made sense to take Shane’s Stinger waterskis for another rip." Watch below.

The significance here is twofold. These skis were ridden by freeski legend Shane McConkey, but also, represent Shane's innovative approach to powder skiing and ski designs.

Shane McConkey realized that sliding across powder and water are similar, and both use skis to move across the surface. So, why shouldn't ski designs mimic waterskiing designs?

Shane McConkey explains in the video below that the Stinger waterskis are the fattest in the middle, getting skinner at the tips and tails. At that time, most skis were skinniest in the middle, with fatter tips and tails.

While the Stinger was designed for waterskiing in the 1970s, they would go on to inspire the legendary ski design from Volant, the Volant Spatula.

Scott Gaffney reflects on his session, writing, "I wish I could relay a sensation over social media…I wish everyone could FEEL what these things feel like in pow. Because it’s a next-level thing: supreme float, effortless speed…"

This isn't the first time Scott Gaffney has skied these skis this season.

Related: Tahoe Skier Rides Shane McConkey's Iconic Water Skis From The '70s

Palisades Tahoe saw over a foot of fresh snow this weekend, making the conditions perfect for surfing and slashing on fatter skis.

Gaffney says, "I typically don’t make a ton of noise when I ski. But those hoots and hollers just come out on the Stinger magic carpet ride."

"Shane, thank you for your genius. Today marks 15 years since you left us, but your vision continues to make life so much freaking better for so many people."

Besides Shane's innovations to ski design, freeskiing, and terrain explorations, Shane's legacy continues in the form of The Shane McConkey Foundation, The Shane McConkey EcoChallenge, and the annual Pain McShlonkey contest at Palisades Tahoe.

Related: Skier Faces The Ultimate Inconvenience On Japan Powder Day

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