For the Flying Frenchies, thinking out of the box is a way of life. The latest video from this multi-talented collective is set in the Vercors mountains of France, where they surf through the air on a 1,950-foot-high zipline, reaching speeds of up to 50 mph before BASE jumping to dismount. All with grace and style, of course.
By now, you're probably wondering, "Where in the world do they get ideas like this?" To find out, we spoke to Anicet Leone, who's the technical expert and one of the brains behind the Surfing The Line project.
Who they are
"The Flying Frenchies are a group of buddies who like to do aerial activities," says Leone. "The core is composed of five to six people who do BASE jumping, mountaineering, climbing, alpinism, speed riding — pretty much all the sports that include flying, climbing and the mountains. But we're also artists, comedians, clowns, acrobats and musicians.
"We have this lightheartedness when we have ideas or think of funny things. It comes from a universe of cartoons and frenzies, really. You talk about an idea and you're kind of giggling about it, thinking it would be funny if it could happen for real — but then we actually start thinking about how to make it happen."
"When I met Tancrède Melet [the French tightrope walker who died in January 2016 while preparing for a show], I was just learning how to BASE jump and he was doing a lot of highline and skydiving," says Leone. "I wanted to add a cartoon-ish universe to this mix of sports. So an idea like this one actually happened during one of our frenzies while driving around in the car.
"It was so crazy to surf like that after two years of dreaming about it. It was insane to be on a board at that speed, at such a height. I learned so much about my own capacity to do things. It gives me a lot of self-confidence for future ideas — I know I can bring them to reality."
Original idea: Anicet Leone and Tancrède Melet
Video realization: Jérémy Frey/Hello Emotion