Shane McConkey was a professional skier. He was born in Vancouver, British Columbia and was based out of Squaw Valley, California. He won numerous awards and competitions. McConkey started as a competitive ski racer, but moved on to be featured in a long line of extreme skiing movies. McConkey was known for combining BASE jumping with skiing, as seen in such feats as skiing into a BASE jump off the Eiger. McConkey went to Burke Mountain Academy. He was also known for his contributions to ski design, notably being the father of reverse sidecut and reverse camber skis (aka: skis with rocker); first mounting bindings onto water skis for use in Alaska, then with the Volant Spatula and, more recently, the K2 Pontoon ski design.
On March 26, 2009, Shane McConkey died while skiing in the Dolomite Mountains in Italy. After performing a double back flip, McConkey intended to glide away in his wingsuit, "a stunt he's executed a number of times," according to a statement from Matchstick Productions, the company whose films McConkey often starred in. But McConkey struggled to release his skis. By the time he got them off, he'd been free-falling for 12 seconds and was too close to the ground for his wingsuit or parachute to do him any good. His parachute did not malfunction; it was never deployed. He died on the scene.