Two weeks ago, if you heard the name “Brian Grubb,” you’d probably have to scour Google a bit to find out that he’s a champion wakeskater.
By now however, most of you who regularly check out Facebook and other social media sites would know Grubb as that dude who wakeskated the country’s most famous man-made structure and our own Eighth Wonder of the World, the Banaue Rice Terraces.
The video below of the 33-year-old Florida native has been going around online circles the past weekend since it went public last Friday, October 24. If you haven’t seen it yet, check it out now; you won’t be sorry!
As is the case with anything of primal awesomeness, reactions ranged from “Ang lupit! Gusto ko rin gawin yan!” to “Cool, but that’s disrespectful!”
Here’s one reason why it’s cool:
Now, here’s an article from ABS-CBN News about how the stunt has drawn ire from certain sectors.
We’ll let you decide on your own as to which side of the fence you’re on, but as far as Red Bull—the event’s sponsor—is concerned, they assured everyone that they took the steps necessary to keep the peace of the place and its people. Red Bull’s press release regarding the matter reads as follows:
"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."
The stunt is Red Bull and its team of new-age explorers simply sticking to their old-school mantra of going where no one has gone before. (Or in this case: Wakeskating where no one has wakeskated before.) And while doing so, the fact that they made it a point to not offend the locals and not harm their source of livelihood should be a strong enough counter-argument to what some may deem as epic vandalism.
Brian also shares how the people of Ifugao dealt with his and Red Bull's initial proposal:
"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 were kids 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 taught some of the guys who were helping us that lived right there at the viewpoint how to get up in the top pool. Man, they had so much fun. We all got 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."
For now, we leave all the debates for another day. Instead, we share with you a Q&A with the Red Bull Man of the Moment himself, Brian Grubb, conducted in a press conference recently. Here he’ll shed more light on how the Banaue project began, and just what makes wakeskating different from your ordinary, workaday wakeboarding.
Click on the next page to begin! (And do check out the gallery below for more of Brian's Banaue adventures!)
NEXT: How wakeskating is different from wakeboarding
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