Action Sports Athletes Are All Over ESPN’s Naked ‘Body Issue’… But Should They Be?

Brazilian skateboarder Laeticia Bufoni is just one of the stars ESPN have announced for the forthcoming magazine...

Leticia Bufoni Photo: Men’s Health

The list of athletes who’ve stripped off for ESPN’s 2015 Body issue has been released this week. And as ever the annual magazine has some prime action sports meat amongst the other hunks.

Elena Hight 2013 Photo: ESPN/Body Issue

The wakeboarder Dallas Friday will be snapped naked, so will 51-year-old big wave surfer Laird Hamilton (and his wife the pro volleyball player Gabby Reece) and the skateboarder Leticia Bufoni.

Bufoni, who will also feature in the forthcoming Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5 game, might seem like a surprise inclusion as skating isn’t traditionally seen as an athletic sport.

Most skaters would shudder at the thought, but she isn’t the first to be featured…

In fact most skaters would shudder at the thought, but she isn’t the first to be featured, the vert skater Lyn-Z Adams Hawkins starred with her husband Travis Pastrana last year.

It’s also not the first time Bufoni has bared for the camera, as she did an underwear shoot for Men’s Health last year (pictured above).

Lyn-Z and Travis Pastrana in the 2014 Body Issue. Photo: ESPN/Body Issue

The Body Issue shots are often funny, usually classy and never slutty. And they tend to go viral, especially when it comes to female action sports athletes. Past models examples being the surfers Stephanie Gilmore and Coco Ho, and the snowboarders Elena High and Jamie Anderson.

Steph Gilmore in the 2011 Body Issue Photo: ESPN/Body Issue

The athletes featured would argue the publicity it brings them and their sport can only be a good thing. Others might say it makes it harder for them to taken seriously as athletes, especially the women, who have to fight hard enough not to be objectified with their clothes on.

Coco Ho 2014 Credit: ESPN/Body Issue

But one thing is for sure, ESPN can talk all it likes about this being an “annual celebration of athletes’ amazing bodies” but everybody knows the only reason people check it out is to see their favourite pros naked. Of course there’s nothing wrong with that, at least they consented unlike all the famous people who got hacked, but we should probably stop pretending celebrating their athleticism has got anything to do with it!

Credit: ESPN/Body Issue

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