Technically speaking, snow is water, so it's not like Brian Grubb was doing something THAT crazy when he traveled to Bosnia in the middle of winter to do some wakeskating.
On second thought, it is pretty crazy. The pioneering rider gave a whole new meaning to "free-heeling" with his winch-powered shred over water and snow, sans bindings.
Watch Brian Grubb in action on ice, water and snow:
Of course, it's not the first time we've seen Grubb take wakeskating to new places – watch his "rice rodeo" in the Philippines – but it's definitely one of his most creative projects.
“Originally, we were looking at riding this cool creek in the summer,” Grubb said. “But then we realized it would be so much easier to connect a fluid line in the winter, where you could transition from water to snow and back again!”
The mountain of Bjelasnica, about 15 miles from Sarajevo and former host to the Winter Olympics, provided the perfect playground for the experimental sesh. There, the Studeni Potok (translation: "Icy Creek") is known to the locals as the "Dragon's Tail," supposedly left in the ground as a mythical beast lumbered toward a nearby village.
Grubb and friends had a two-month window in which they aimed to accomplish the project. In early January, the river was frozen, but come February, conditions got ripe. Even so, they had to deal with bad weather – after setting up rails and snow kickers, a winter storm covered the creek in snow, forcing them to relocate – but, as you can see above, plenty of fun still was had.
So how cold was it? “Not as bad as I thought!” Grubb said. “It was cold, but I had great gear, and when we were moving it was fine. We weren't in the water a lot.”
The biggest challenge was speed – Grubb needed more speed to stay on top of the water, and less speed to carve lines in the snow. Of course, there were a few epic diggers, and while Grubb said crashing in the snow wasn't that bad, he prefers the water.
“Even though it's powder, it gets packed down,” he said. “But for sure, it wasn't like hitting the sidewalk!”
In most cases, transitioning from water to snow required an easy ollie, but occasionally, shaping the exit was needed, which was no problem for the experienced snowboarder. Which begs the question: Could you also shred this line on a snowboard?
“Definitely,” Grubb said. “But it's about finding new ways to ride in the snow. Right now, there's a big movement toward binding-less snowboarding. And we wanted to take wakeskating out of its summer element and showcase it somewhere new. Doing it in the winter gave it a totally different look.”