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Robbie Meddison

We welcome our readers on pages of the blog iCover! Perhaps you heard about the Australian racer and the stuntman Robbie Meddison – a live legend of motorcycle sport. In its track record backflip through the getting divorced Tower Bridge, a jump over the Corinthian channel, a jump tandem over harbor of San Diego, of 115 meters and a number of other stunning tricks. So Robbie is arranged that not to throw down a challenge to itself and it is necessary to strike the admirers at least time in a year at it in any way. Meddison and in 2015 did not fail to be marked out, having expanded our traditional idea of opportunities of such vehicle as the motorcycle.

Today we will a little depart from a usual information format, we will forget about hackers, megapixels, joules, fullerena and solitons, and we will tell about the most improbable project of the expiring year Pipe Dream – "Unrealizable Dream" and the next achievement of Robbie Meddison.


In August, 2015 Robbie Meddison proved again that the set limits of possible are rather conditional. And the task to be passed on water on the motorcycle at Robbie and his command arose 3 years ago and matched the sentence of the manager of the team DC Shoes …" to risk life for the sake of one short video …". Tens of projects, hundreds of business hours, six sunk motorcycles – here small part of those sacrifice which were made on the way to the purpose. Pipe Dream of Madison became reality in 2015 when he managed to subdue on the motorcycle one of the most artful waves in the world.

The concept of conquest of water elements on the motorcycle is not new. Attempts of hydroplaning at a high speed and even overcoming of small lakes on motorcycles are periodically undertaken by fans of the drive. One of quite famous – overcoming of a pond to Mississippi Kevin Vindkham on Honda CRF450R. But it as Donn Maeda declares, in comparison with a task which faced Robbie can be compared to game in a sandbox. It would seem what can confuse still Robbie, the subjugator of heights and distances too close to the foul? But, according to Meddison, the challenge which never before is thrown down was so similar to unrealizable dream. It was going to subdue on the bike an ocean wave, and one of those which can be caught on the beach with a sandy bottom, and legendary Teahupo'o reefbreak to Tahiti. The bottom of this section of the coast represents the coral reef located in 20 inches under a water surface. The wave forms approximately in the same place here and is displaced only depending on its amount or a phase of inflow. On the one hand it is easier to predict such waves having selected two reference points ashore and knowing that it (wave) breaks, as a rule in the same place. With another, surfing on a reef wave can be extremely dangerous, especially during outflow when the probability to break against corals increases repeatedly.

One of photographers of command Meddisona, Donn Maeda tells

When Maddie looks afar a glass view and of the person does not express anything – something means has to occur. "I received the excellent sentence for your creativity, the friend," — he told. "I cannot report details yet, but it is improbable. If you browse my social messages, then will understand". "Having scrolled its Instagram, I found several messages which mentioned the lake and short notes testing. … You are going to jump through all lake or how?" — I Asked. "No" — he answered laughing. — "I am going to sweep on water" …

There passed year, and Maeda took an interest at Robbie again: whether it left idea about the project with "the water bicycle" in hope to receive the affirmative answer. But, as it appeared, all this time Meddison considered Pipe Dream parts. "Once I collected all available sketches and contacted one of guys who developed snowmobiles. Having sounded parts, and having taken an interest in his opinion, I received the counter sentence – to make completely working prototype of the motorcycle which could go on water".

Before Meddison got support of professional designers, its first experiments were done with Honda CR500R, equipped with two skis: smaller – on a front wheel and big – beginning under a frame and leaving for a back wheel. As the detail design was absent, it was necessary to experiment with a set of options, including tens of options of skis and buses. "Contrary to our expectations, the total output power of a bike had no significant effect on its capability to go on water" — the mechanic of command Morgan says." … Considerably the greater influence was exerted by a form, a corner of skis and the number of blades on the back bus … I would tell that throughout all set-up time of the project, we sank our prototype from 30 to 40 times" — he remembers.


To Tahiti

One of the biggest problems which faced Robbie Meddison's command to Tahiti – features of ocean water, radically different from sweet water of lakes on which preliminary tests were carried out. "As our upgraded bike in the ocean up to the end will behave nobody imagined" – explained to Maddie.

On arrival in Tahiti, Meddison and crew of DC spent several days in investigation of the place and, the most important, receipts of own feelings from the well-known surfbreak. "When we for the first time appeared here, I managed to experiment very much with a wave and accustomed a little" — Maddie says. "As they claimed before, it has to be the wave in seven feet, but actually this digit could be doubled quite. I managed to evaluate and experience the size and speed of a wave of a surf from its crest, and it was surprising. I as well evaluated the wave force when several times it appeared under water. At such moments I made a firm decision to put on a life jacket under clothes". For receipt of useful experience of Robbie several times saddled Teahupo'o wave on the hydroscraper. At some point of Maddie flew up on a wave in air and later splashed down with such force that dislocated a shoulder and hardly reached the coast.

Pipe Dream – the most mad project of the expiring year

Invaluable help at a stage of acquaintance to Teahupo'o reefbreak was given by Reyman Van Bastolayer (Raiman Van Bastolaer) – a legend of Tahiti surfing

Spent several days to a final event of Maddie, testing behavior of the water bike in a lonely lagoon to the North from Teahupo'o. There were all opportunities for experimenting with skis of a different form and the size and the angles of their installation. And all this time with command there was a film crew of photographers and video operators. Robbie was repeatedly rolled out on the beach and transferred to quiet water with hardly any trouble at all.

Maddie's command offered the simple and brilliant plan which could increase significantly Meddison's chances of successful overcoming of artful Teahupo'o reefbreak – to catch a wave from the barge which was rented with assistance of Rayman at the local company. For ensuring smooth congress on water at a sufficient initial speed on the barge the special stage located at a small angle to the line of the horizon was equipped. "When everything was ready, start from a stage looked as an episode from the movie "Mad Max", but with additional special effects on water" – Maeda jokes.


At the end of the fifth day of stay to Tahiti, Robbie was recognized: "This project is as dangerous as all my other tricks, plus I really am afraid to come here and to drown. In the last two years works on Pipe Dream I dislocated a shoulder, broke an anklebone, got several concussions. You probably do not imagine how it is possible to test painfully being on water, but quite often pain returned me on the coast". "There is only one thing of which it is difficult to accuse Maddie is tricks without previously accurately worked plan. Perhaps it will not be approved with a reckless image of the carefree desperate freestyler flaunting on glossy covers of logs, but quite so and is – Robbie the true technician of sport". – Maeda adds.

In reality the task which faced Robbie and command according to the program of show was much more difficult, than was assumed earlier. The first attempt ended with fiasco – both the motorcycle and "rider" plunged into sea foam after shooting process start.


The effect of "the return suction" a wave of some volume of water under a bike became unpleasant revelation that complicated its advance, by analogy with a racetrack. After the first unsuccessful attempt the bike was dried, all responsible nodes are checked for working capacity after a salt water. The conclusion was drawn that the fourth transfer will become the optimum choice for the "advancing" massive Teahupo'o of a wave.

The second attempt was much more successful in Teahupo'o in many respects thanks to Reyman Bastolayer who precisely defined the moment of the beginning of forming of a wave and start. "I was nervous when I saddled the first wave, but I was configured only on success", Maddie says. Fortunately, everything passed quite so, or almost everything – ashore Meddison is overflowed with the whole gamma of emotions. On the one hand he is happy as the project" Unrealizable dream" was fated to be achieved, with another – is dissatisfied as he understood that everything could pass more purely and better.

The third attempt, according to command was it is faultless, both in the course of overcoming of Teahupo'o, and at an output stage from it. Shooting was successful wonderfully well, the bike successfully taxied from water, Robbie did not receive a bruise. It would seem it is possible to put to the Pipe Dream project, at last, the greasy and bright end, but not for Robbie Meddison – he is sure, that wave for the sake of which it arrived and for which worked three years needs to be waited a couple of days more. Reef waves of Teahupo'o in this part of the coast reach height in 20 feet and forecasts for these days quite confirmed it.


Robbie's persistence convinced Bastolayer to transfer final shooting of Pipe Dream with reef superwaves of Teahupo'o a little to the north – to Papar's cape where surfing is not so popular. He explained that time of big waves for Teahupo'o is time of mass flow of surfers that can threaten plans of command. Raymond warned that waves on Papar considerably massivny above, but it did not force Maddie to stop trying at all nevertheless to photograph epic frames.

"All members of team were nervous concerning this last wave" – Morgan says. But everything passed successfully though in certain seconds Robbie seemed that Pipe Dream will become the last project of his star career. ‘’ If it is fair when I saw the wave hanging over me, the thought flew that it is the end. When the wave covered me and the motorcycle I did everything possible to remain quiet. I was not never so close to the last line yet. But, probably, sometimes it is necessary to cross through the opportunities to learn what we are capable of" – Meddison upon termination of shooting shared.

We bring to your attention the exclusive interview taken from Robbie Meddison by the journalist of the RedBull edition right after end of a final round of two-week shootings.

Robbie, two words about buses thanks to which you managed to realize this project?

For this project I used the special buses Skat Trak intended for arrivals on steep slopes. I managed to test them on water before shootings twice – on the lake Elsinor and houses in San Diego.

How you managed to protect the air filter from water? What in construction of the motorcycle had to be changed?

I sealed the filter as on the submarine, and added couple more of special counters. Also we added system of swapping to the motorcycle.

During shootings your equipment constantly was wet. You used some special ammunition? How you felt, long time being on the sun?

Everything was OK, it is a little hot, but water and wind helped to cope with it. All my equipment was normal unless under jersey I put on a life jacket.

One of your photographers Garth Mylan told that because of change of climate all command to Tahiti constantly hurt. How you coped with it?

I was the only person from all command who was absolutely healthy all the time. It is, actually, very ironic.

Shootings of Pipe Dream lasted 2 weeks. What is the time you carried out in water before could catch a wave?

I caught the first wave for which went. I grew on the beach therefore on water I feel rather surely.


From where in general the idea to connect the motorcycle and a surf undertook?

I thought up idea itself, I like to ride a baize and a surf. Once I had a vision … I saw how to implement this project, and the most important that everything will work. I was ready to overcome any difficulties, and eventually to realize idea.

What security measures were taken during shootings? How you managed to get a heavy bike from a bottom?

As I already spoke, on the motorcycle the special system of swapping which lifted it on a surface was installed. But the main security measure of this project – experienced rescue team for which similar conditions were everyday.

Spoke, sometimes you were under water till 2 minutes. How you managed to conceal breath so long?

Before a trip to Tahiti I long trained a delay of breath and was constantly configured on the fact that I will keep calm when it appear under a wave. However, it is far not so simple. Several times, when I was covered by a big wave, I mentally said goodbye to a family and friends. Mad feelings.


Surfers who watched your trick from the beach were shocked. What did they tell you after shootings?

Told that it was very abruptly and celebrated success together with us. They it is good how nobody else, knew about danger of Tahiti waves, and did not believe in what on them can be passed on the motorcycle, did not see all the eyes yet.

In 10 days the roller on YouTube collected 16 000 000 viewings. You expected such success?

It is the project of which I was very keen and proud. It is very pleasant to me that now when so many efforts are directed, I can show in all beauty to the world what so long worked on.

Answering a question: "What project was the most considerable in your career of the photographer?" Garth Mylan is the photographer and Robbie Madison's friend told: "Definitely, Pipe Dream holds a palm. Only Red Bull Stratos when Baumgartner jumped from a stratosphere can compete with it. But Pipe Dream inspires me more just because I consider Robbie the close friend. Its tricks always make special impression on me".

And it is difficult not to agree with it.

The used materials

Robbie Meddison's website

Interview with Robbie Meddison on the RedBull portal

Five most known tricks of Meddison

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