‘Pipe Dream’ motorbike rider surfing giant wave ‘thought he was a goner’
The rider filmed surfing giant waves on his Motocross bike in a video ad for DC Shoes has said he “gave up the will to live” when the stunt went horribly wrong.
The video of Robbie Maddison, who has adapted his Motocross bike to ride waves, has clocked up almost 4m views less than 24 hours since being posted on the YouTube channel of skate and snowboard brand DC Shoes .
The four-minute video, called Robbie Maddison’s “Pipe Dream”, shows remarkable footage of the Australian riding the world famous breaks at Teahupo’o and Papara in French Polynesia.
In an interview about filming the stunt, the 34-year old Motocross professional admitted he almost lost his life on the final filmed run because he “arrogantly” misjudged his capabilities.
Maddison said that he was crushed by a giant wave on his last run because his bike lacked the power surge a jetski has to enable it to accelerate away from the wall of whitewater of a breaking wave.
“It is such an overwhewlming feeling to see a wave with that much power towering [over] you and knowing you have no chance of outrunning it,”| he said. “I had to patiently wait for it to kick my butt. It picked me up and it slammed me and the motorcycle drove into my back and I lost all the air out of my lungs. I literally had to give in the will to live. I gave up the fight. I gave in and surrendered and before I knew it I was taking a breath again. As soon as I took a breath I opened my eyes and another wave hit me in the face and I was down again, and I popped up probably another half a minute later and the net wave hit me.
“Four waves hit me and there had been about four minutes. We all had radios and there was no correspondence. The helicopter was circling and they weren’t saying [to anyone on the beach] that they could find me. My wife was freaking out. More than just myself thought I was a goner.”
Maddison says he hasn’t given up on the idea of taking his modified bike back out into the waves, but it will need work to improve its power and handling to cope with the big Pacific ocean surf breaks.
“We lost the motorcycle, it was a broken bike,” he said. “The dream was over. It needs to be able to perfom better. If it can tick a few more boxes, handle a bit better. I’m not going to stop but I’m only doing it for the right reasons.”