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Saturday, October 26, 2013

Brian Grubb wakeskates Eighth Wonder of the World

October 26, 2013

Brian Grubb wakeskates Eighth Wonder of the World

The world famous Banaue rice terraces of the Philippines have proven to be the ultimate playground for an epic wakeskate winch session!

BANAUE (Philippines), October 24th, 2013. Professional wakeskaters Brian Grubb (USA) and Dominik Preisner (GER) traveled to the Philippines for an epic winch session at one of the most beautiful spots in the world. The famous rice terraces of Banaue are considered to be the Eighth Wonder of the World and were the perfect playground for a unique wakeskate session!

Even for one of the world’s best wakeskate pros like Brian Grubb this spot proved to be a real challenge: “This was my seventh trip to the Philippines, and my biggest project ever! Since I first saw the drawing of these huge rice terraces on the back of the 1000 Peso bill, the idea of having a session there wouldn’t let me go. It was only a drawing but it looked like a perfect winch spot and probably a super scenic location. And it was! 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!”

The spot covered four pools with a total length of 80 meters. To keep the scenery’s natural look, the setup was kept as simple as possible: the only man-made obstacles being a wooden log slider and the custom winch setup. Both riders had a blast performing a whole bunch of tricks, such as Brian ́s stylish FS and BS Lipslide Shuvit Outs.

Respect for the environment was a priority from the beginning of this project! The team made certain that the plants and wildlife were neither damaged nor disturbed at any time during the event. All aspects were agreed with the locals, taking into consideration their traditions and culture.

Host: Without further ado, let’s bring up Brian Grubb! Thank you Brian!

Brian Grubb: Yeah. Thanks for having me.

Host: Tell me about your trip. How was your trip to the Philippines?

BG: This trips been… oh man, it’s been crazy. You know, early morning and trying to get the shots we needed done but yeah, the whole experience in Banaue was amazing. It’s a beautiful beautiful place up there and completely different from anything I’ve ever seen in the Philippines before. I’ve been to CWC a lot and thru Manila and Governor Lray brought me over here a couple of time and my first four or five trips he brought me over here so I got to see a lot of the country but Banaue is just a different world up there. It’s like… being up in the mountains and up on the clouds is just… I don’t know… such a crazy experience. And ontop of the that, being able to ride in the rice terraces is just the icing on the cake.

Host: How old were you when you first started wakeskating?

BG: I first started wakeskating…I think I was about 14 or 15 years old. I grew up wakeboarding and started seeing wakeskating in the magazines and on videos and just thought, ‘man that looks super fun’ and wanted to try it. I did both for a while for a couple of years, and then I just kind of got board of wakeboarding and just really wanted to focus all of my time on wakeskating. It was such a new sport at the time that I just saw a lot of opportunity for growth and just really wanted to push it to the next level and see where it would go and that’s kind of where we’re at now.

Host: You mentioned you’ve been to the Philippines multiple times already. What is it about the country that really bring you back to it? What’s so unique about it?

BG: Obviously being in Asia is really far from my home but it’s great here because there are a lot of people who speak English, which is great. There’s not a huge language barrier like you have in other Asian countries and there’s just a lot of great places to ride. Lray has done a great job of building some nice cable parks, world class cable parks that people travel all over the world to come to, so obviously being at CWC is always fun for us. We came over here four five years ago to film the whole Billabong movie, and we got to ride at some amazing lakes and we traveled all over the country and it was really fun. I’ve heard a lot about this Republic Wakepark from all my friends and they said it’s just an awesome park and it’s close to the city and there’s tons of rails here so it’s been on my list to come here to check it out so I’m glad to be here today.

Host: So the Banaue Project. When did you first hear about it and what were your initial thoughts about it?

BG: Yeah um… traveling over here before, we had seen some small rice terraces and stuff and always kind of joked around that it would be kind of cool to ride in them cause they look like a perfect wakeskate setup. We kind of looked into it a little more and kind of discovered the region of Banaue and saw just how big and how many rice terraces there were and for a wakeskater, it was paradise. And it’s completely natural. There was just an opportunity to maybe ride there so I got together with Red Bull and did some research and with a lot of scouting missions and talking with the local people up there and getting permission to actually go up there and ride and to finally get their blessing and to bring in all the infrastructure we needed to ride there, it took a lot of work and a lot of planning, but I think the end results is gonna be really well received. And I know I had a great time filming it and yeah, it was just an awesome experience all together.

Host: Tell us more about the experience and what were some of the highlights?

BG: Just the whole area is crazy. There’s one road that just basically winds up this mountain and everyone just lives off this one road and its just nothing like I’ve ever seen before. And then when you get to the top where we actually rode, it’s called the viewpoint, and there’s basically just the top of the mountain and it’s just four pools that step down and then it just kind of terraces down the whole way. It’s just, I mean, visually, even after the fourth and fifth day we were there, we’d pull up in the morning and just watch the sun come up and we were just like, ‘man this place is epic.’ It’s just so beautiful and it was just great being there. We had some challenging days like with the weather, I mean you are up pretty high in the mountains and fog would roll in super quick. We’d be shooting with great light and then 10-minutes later we’d just be in a cloud and it’d be drizzling. But then it would blow through so we had enough time to get done what we needed to do. But yeah, everything went pretty smooth except for maybe some weather delays and stuff.

Host: How does this location compare to some of the other locations that you’ve gone to? We’ve mentioned that you’ve done projects like this all around the world but for something as unique as Banaue, how does this compare?

BG: It’s defintiely right at the top of the list. We’ve done some reallly fun projects with Red Bull… you saw the cranberry shoot, that was amazing. We did one where we road underground in a cave a couple months ago. That was a pretty cool one. But yeah, we just try to go to places that have never been ridden before or people don’t really think about riding. Everyone in Banaue probably didn’t even know what wakeskating was so just to spread the sport of wakeskating to people that have never seen it before and then the opportunity for me just to go there and ride was a once in a lifetime opportunity and a real honor just to be a part of it and spend a lot of time up there and hangout with all the local people up there. Everyone was so nice and we couldn’t have done it without them. Just setting up the pools and building the rail. We built the rail out of a log. And we probably had 60 to 70 people that helped us throughout the week before we got there and then while we were shooting helping us pull the rope back and keep the rails wet. It was just a total team effort and I just got to do the fun part and ride it.

Host: What do you envision for the sport of wakeskating over the next five years?

BG: Espeically at home in the US, wakeskating is growing a ton. They’re building a ton of cableparks there and even over here too, I mean, worldwide, cableparks are going up all over the place. It’s a lot easier and cheaper for people to learn how to ride and do it. Six to eight people can ride at once and it just makes it more like a skatepark too. You have rails to hit and it’s a perfect enviornment for wakeskating. In the next five years, the amount of cableparks will probably double in the world and I think that will just open up a lot of doors and introduce a lot of people to the sport and then hopefully wakeskating will just keep growing. The trick that once seemed impossible will soon be possible.

Host: So we’re going to open up some questions to the media and to the rest of our guests here. If you have a questions just raise your hand and I’ll point you out.

Gelo Gonzales (FHM Magazine): How is wakeskating different from wakeboarding? We’re all familiar with wakeboarding but wakeskating is new here so how are they different?

BG: The biggest difference is obviously you’re not attached to the board at all. The board is a little smaller too than a wakeboard and you just wear normal skateboard shoes or an old pair of shoes and then the board just had grip tape on it just like a skateboard so you have traction to the board. It’s basically a little freer sport. You’re not locked into the boots and you can move your feet around on the board. You kind of setup your stance differently for certain tricks so it’s just kind of a free sport and it’s super fun. I’ve done both for a while, and I love wakeskating. It’s super fun. I’d encourage everyone to try it cause especially if you already know how to wakeboard, it’s easy to get up and you can carve around. So if you have that background, I’d definitely recommend trying it and definitely on a cablepark hitting rails is super fun and really challenging.

Gelo: So it’s kind of like skating in the streets?

BG: Yeah, exactly. Basically what we’re trying to do is, all of the tricks we do are moves that were originally done on a skateboard. We’re just trying to take all those same tricks and that same kind of feeling but do it on the water.

Mark Zambrano (GMA News TV): You said you got to meet the locals in Banaue. How were they? Were they open to the idea? How did they receive the concept and project while you were there?

BG: 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. 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 definitely something they’ve never seen before and maybe they didn’t understand exactly what it was at first but after we were there for a week, they were definitely into it. And we even, some of the guys who were helping us that lived right there at the viewpoint, we got them up and were teaching them how to get up in the top pool. Man, they had so much fun and they were getting muddy with all of us crashing in the mud. It was really cool and they all had big smiles on their faces and it was cool just to spread the love.

Host: So the final question is, do you have any tips and pointers for beginners who are interested in getting into the sport?

BG: Yeah, probably around here, the best place would be to come here and maybe start on the 2.0. Learning on the cables is really easy just because the rope is real high so it gives you a nice upwards pull. Most of the time, you see people trying too hard. They try to steer the board and it’s kind of the thing where you just have to relax and let the board and the cable do the work. It’s kind of like riding a bike. Once you get going, there’s really no stopping you. You can just keep progressing everytime.

Credit: Daniel Deak Bardos/Sophia Langner Further pictures and video material can be found at www.redbullcontentpool.com.

More about Brian Grubb

About Red Bull Philippines
The premium Energy Drink known all around the world – Red Bull (Blue and Silver can) – was launched in the Philippines last May 2012. Thanks to its unique formula, Red Bull Energy Drink gives you wings by vitalizing body and mind. For more information on Red Bull, visit our website at www.redbull.com and follow along on Facebook and Twitter: facebook.com/redbull | twitter.com/redbullph



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