Robbie Maddison doesn’t need a board to catch some waves, he’s got his dirt bike. The native Australian is plenty accustomed to surfing the traditional style, but that can get like, soooo boring. Now dirt bike surfing, NOBODY is doing that. And the waves of Tahiti are as big – if not bigger – as any motocross mound.
Robbie grew up both surfing and ridding dirt bikes, eventually becoming one of the best riders in the world, even performing some stunts in the James Bond film Skyfall. Most people probably wouldn’t think to try and combine surfing and motocross, but then again, most people’s minds don’t work the same way as Robbie Maddison. The motocross rider/surfer – let’s just call him a motosurfer – said he always follows through with his ideas, now matter how crazy they are.
“I’m a sincere, calculated person. When I say I’m going to do something, I have always followed through. It was like people forgot. I felt like people were laughing at me behind my back. Even people close to me, friends, people who helped me in the beginning, thought I had lost my mind.”
The idea that seems completely like a stunt that one would see in a cartoon, had actually been brewing in his mind since the 1990s. Robbie said he remembers watching another rider, Brian Manely, skim ponds at dirt bike demos and dreamed of somehow extending the skimming to a full-length ride. “My mind started wandering,” he says. “I’ve always been fascinated by the way water moves around boats and the way wakeboarding happens. I’d seen quad bikes move over water, and I knew with the right speed and the right skis on the bike, water has enough surface tension that I should be able to ride on water. And if I could ride, then I should be able to catch a wave.”
Like any madman with a dream and the balls to try such a stunt, Robbie began hunting around for a way to make it happen and got together with a former rocket scientist – obviously – to work on fitting a pair of skis that would be able to support his bike.
The stunt rider didn’t go straight to the big waves of Tahiti, but held off on his death wish by testing the bike out in Modesto, California. After several failed attempt, Robbie and rocket scientist Bill King finally had success after making the proper adjustments. In April, the rider boarded a flight to Tahiti to take his bike to the big waves and make a video that would make any surfer or dirt bike rider scream “Why didn’t I think of that?!”
As you can see, it’s a pretty amazing feat, and for Robbie the experience proved to him just how capable he is of making the impossible not only possible, but completely bad-ass. “This experience solidifies to me to believe in myself and have confidence that if an idea makes sense for me and my passion, then I should follow it.”