Grubb wakeskates ‘eighth wonder of the world’
WORLD renowned wakeskater Brian Grubb, a frequent visitor to the country, saw the back of a P1,000 bill and knew immediately what his next challenge would be.
“Since I first saw the drawing of these huge rice terraces on the back of the bill, the idea of having a session there wouldn’t let me go,” said Grubb. “It was only a drawing but it looked like a perfect winch spot and probably a super scenic location.”
And so one more time, Grubb packed his bag and headed here. Fellow wakeskater Dominik Preisner of Germany tagged along. Their mission: An epic winch session at Banaue’s world famous rice terraces.
“The whole project was a real adventure for us and the team. It is still incredible that we were wakeskating at such a fascinating place,” exclaimed Grubb.
Wakeskating is one of the fast-rising water sports in the world, where an athlete skims bodies of water atop a wakeskate while being pulled by a winch. For his Banaue stunt, Grubb had to take special precautions so as not to ruin the natural beauty of the environment or disturb the culture of the people living there.
But being part of the Red Bull team of ambassadors helped Grubb. Red Bull officials dealt with all the paperwork that needed to be done and made sure the setup and the stunt would not in any way ruin the natural beauty of the terraces or get in the way of the lives of the people there.
“I think when we first got up there and the guys from Red Bull were explaining to them what we were trying to do, I don’t think they really understood at first,” Grubb said. “But they gave us the permission and let us come up and man, the first time I landed that thing, I just hear everyone cheering and there are kids all along the side of the road just going crazy.
“It was really cool and they all had big smiles on their faces and it was cool just to spread the love.”
The spot for the stunt covered four levels of the terraces with a total length of 80 meters. The setup was kept as simple as possible. The only man-made obstacles were a wooden log slider and the winch setup.
Once the setup was done, it was stunts time.
To keep their part of the bargain, Grubb and Red Bull took extra care that the plants and wildlife were neither damaged nor disturbed at any time during the event. Every stunt and setup involved the locals at Banaue to make sure everything was in order. Francis T. J. Ochoa