August 3, 2015

How to Surf An Ocean Wave with a Dirt Bike (The Cinematography is Pretty Good, Too)

Never let it be said that humans can't accomplish some really cool shit when they put their minds to it.

In a collaboration with DC Shoes, world-renowned motocross athlete Robbie Maddison recently took a trip to Tahiti, where he rode his custom dirt bike into the surf and caught a few waves. And we're not talking little waves either. No, we're talking massive 20 foot waves that could absolutely crush somebody. The crazy bike run was close to three years in the making, and of course, it was caught on camera (many cameras actually — the POV shots were taken with a Sony 4K Action Cam, apparently the X1000V) and edited down into an action sports segment that is as breathtaking as it is insane:

There's a behind-the-scenes documentary underway as well, but unfortunately it appears like it won't be released for some time. For now, here's brief trailer for it:

If you're wondering if the bike could survive a trip underwater — the answer is no. Here's a snippet from his Rolling Stone interview:

Each time the bike went under, we had extensive mechanical work to rebirth it for another run. We knew we were bound to sink the bike a few times in Tahiti, so we switched from a 450cc four-stroke motor to a two-stroke motor for the advantage of having a less-complicated engine and less electronics and wiring to deal with.

Not only is the act of surfing on a motorcycle pretty badass in and of itself, but the production team behind this video pulled out all of the stops in terms of cinematic techniques. It's par for the course for action sports films to be littered with plenty of aerial shots and slow motion, but this one runs the gamut and includes some serene macro shots, fast-moving tracking shots (which I'm guessing were captured from cars or other bikes), POV shots from Sony Action Cams, underwater shots, and many more. Add to that some incredibly immersive sound design and a slick, fast paced edit, and you're left with one of the coolest and well-produced action sports segments of the year.     

Your Comment

11 Comments

This looks a lot of fun but I'm afraid if a guy on a bike showed up here in Santa Cruz,
the surfers would kill him within 10 minutes. Now an electric bike…. might work if you could waterproof it--

August 3, 2015 at 7:19PM, Edited August 3, 7:19PM

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William Scherer
Writer/Director/Producer/Fine Art Aerial Photography
263

The Youtube Player is so much nicer now.

August 3, 2015 at 8:01PM

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Zachary Will
Cinematographer
1026

All shots other than the POV angles were shot with RED EPIC DRAGON by DoP Chris Ray and company with DC Shoes.

August 3, 2015 at 10:48PM

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Brad Harris
DP / Editor
81

It's great learning by watching how the pros do it. The shots and camera movement really convey the action and intensity of the short.

August 4, 2015 at 4:53AM, Edited August 4, 5:21AM

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Joseph Koch
Director/DP/Editor
81

This is funny and amazing and white trashy all at once. The trifecta.

Btw I'm playing Rob Hardy bingo now:
insane ✓
incredibly ✓
crazy ✓
absolutely ✓
breathtaking ✓

BINGO!

(Hi Rob, cool article.)

August 4, 2015 at 10:36AM, Edited August 4, 10:48AM

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hooooly shit

August 4, 2015 at 2:16PM

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Freakin awesome. Shot beautifully actually. I would love to try this out, but maybe on a 4 wheeler at first.

August 4, 2015 at 8:18PM

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There's something about watching this kid thrash these beautiful waves on a loud ass polluting dirt bike that really turns my stomach. I feel like I just watched someone loaded down with popcorn, candy and drinks while talking on their cell phone, just pushed their way past seated people in a movie theater to get to a seat twenty seats down the row, right in the middle of a pivotal scene!

August 4, 2015 at 11:16PM

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Benton Collins
Camera aimer
367

Sorry for the duplicate post! I had received an error message before, so I didn't think my first comment had posted. But I still feel like I'm watching a train wreck.

August 5, 2015 at 7:01AM, Edited August 5, 7:06AM

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Benton Collins
Camera aimer
367

I can't wait to see this freebooted from 50 different crappy radio stations on my Facebook feed now.

August 5, 2015 at 9:16AM

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