Florida-based wakeskater Brian Grubb has taken his sport all over the world: from competing in events, to filming one-of-a-kind projects in spots you wouldn't expect to find the fair-weather sport.
On the heels of a recent snowy project in Bosnia, Grubb caught wind of a weather anomaly off the Cape Cod National Seashore that brought huge icebergs to the Massachussets coast, and his flight to Boston was booked within hours.
Watch the video in the player below, and read on for the interview we scored with Grubb as he was headed back to the airport to end his whirlwind trip:
How did this project come up?
It looked like there was a bit of potential to do some riding up there, so we decided to pull the trigger on it and I got a flight a couple of hours later. It was super short notice, but we wanted to get up there before everything melted or moved out of the way.
Why do something like this as a wakeskater?
It’s kind of random I guess, but this was parlayed off the project I just did in Bosnia, where we were riding in the snow. We thought it was worth taking a look, so I came up to check it out.
Video: Watch Brian Grubb wakeskate icebergs
What were the challenges?
With the tides, the ice was moving a lot. We had a really stiff wind coming in offshore, so we were just dealing with the elements, but we had really good light all day. It was really clear and it wasn’t super cold with the sun out. It was low tide when we first got out there this morning and pretty much all the ice was up on shore, so we had to wait for the tide to start filling in so we had water around the ice. That gave us the time to scout a couple of locations and figure out a game plan of where we wanted to be when the tide came up.
Did you know you’d be able to ride it before you got there, or was it more of a crapshoot?
It was a total crapshoot; I had never ridden in ice or an environment like that. It was like Bosnia in that it was totally outside of the box and totally different, so we wanted to put ourselves in that environment and see what we could do with it. It’s really unforgiving, but it was cool too, because once the water started coming in, we were moving ice chunks out of the way so we’d have room to ride and have features we could hit.
What do you look for in a project?
I think the number one thing is doing something no one’s ever done before or even thought of trying. The project I did in the Philippines was really cool because it was a crazy environment. After that, we just opened our eyes to looking out for places or conditions that weren’t really suitable for wakeskating at first look, but if you put a little effort in could be really fun and visually appealing.
Have you done this much winter stuff before?
Bosnia was the first one we did, but it was fun and we had a really good response on that project. So when I got the call to check out Cape Cod, I was like, “Yeah, let’s do it.” It is different; in Bosnia we were in powder and the conditions were a lot more forgiving. Out here [in Cape Cod] it’s in the ocean and we had the wind and the tide.
Any dream spots/set-ups you still have on your list?
We got to kick around some ideas when we were in Bosnia. We’ve got a few on the list still that hopefully we can do in the next year or two, but we’re always looking for new and different places to ride.
How do you view projects like this vs lake sessions?
It seems like the response we’ve been getting on all these projects is really good, so that’s obviously encouraging. I still compete on tour and do all that stuff in the summertime, but this is what I really enjoy, doing projects like this. I'm just trying to get wakeskating out for more people to see, so if we have to ride in some snow or ice, it’s what I love to do to promote the sport I love. I’ve had great opportunities with Red Bull to ride in these places, and it’s opened my eyes to looking around more and seeing what we can find out there. It’s a big world and there’s lots of water to ride on.
Check out Grubb’s wild vacation at Nitro City in Panama with wakeboarders Parks Bonifay and Steel Lafferty in the Wakecation video series.
What do you do when you’re not wakeskating?
I get into a lot of stuff; I skydive quite a bit and do a lot of bungee jumping. I play a little golf. The weather’s always good in Florida so when I’m home I try to get to the beach when there are waves. I live right on the lake so I’m always wakesurfing or wakeskating. Just trying to stay busy and have fun.
What’s next? What else is happening for you in 2015?
We’re starting to gear up for contest season; it’s warming up in Florida, so we’re getting out of wetsuits and starting to ride a lot more. I have a few other trips planned, and I’ll be judging the Pro Wakeboard Tour again this year.
I’m just really pumped that Red Bull is embracing wake right now. I’m really happy with how Wakecation came out, so hopefully we can do something like that again this year. Anytime we’re doing a Red Bull project, we’re always having a good time. That’s what we live for.