Have drone, will travel.
That sounds about right for wakeboarder Brian Grubb, who has taken fearlessness to new heights — as in a 77-story BASE jump that started with a rooftop wakeskate in Dubai. But that was only the finale in an extreme sport spectacle that was capped off by an athlete suited up in custom Prada Linea Rossa performance gear.
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The Red Bull-sponsored daredevil dreamed up the wakeskating and BASE-jumping adrenalin rush himself and the first-of-its-kind-feat was pulled off in Dubai last week. The 43-year-old first wakeskated 94 meters across what is said to be the world’s largest infinity pool while being towed by a 6-foot drone instead of a rocketing speedboat. After jumping over the edge of the pool, onto and off a ramp and diving into the bright blue sky via a BASE jump, Grubb descended 294 meters before landing on the beach below. This “WakeBASE” was Grubb’s seven-year-old quest and it was executed at the Address Beach Resort in Dubai. By his own account, Grubb pulled off “the sickest thing” he’d ever done on a wakeskate.
No one had ever tried the stunt or pulled it off before. To heighten the glamor, Grubb wore innovative performance gear that had been customized by the luxury Italian house specifically with wakeskating and BASE jumping in mind. His aerodynamic style included a board. While the white ramp was branded by Red Bull, the board and Grubb’s attire were all Prada. Designed by Sebastian Stare, the drone was custom, too. It was created at a semiconductor company that specializes in automotive microcontrollers, radar chips and power electronics.
With only 26 BASE jumps under his belt as of last December, Grubb spent much of the past year training with Miles Daisher, who has completed more than 4,500 base jumps. Grubb then took 106 leaps under Daisher’s supervision, including ones like the “High Ultimate,” a 305-meter free fall in Lauterbrunen, Switzerland, an epicenter for BASE jumpers.
A two-time wakeboard world champion, Grubb grew up in Nashua, N.H., but summered with his grandparents in Indiana near a lake. There, he took to the water and learned to waterski before he could read or write. Years later a job at an Orlando, Fla., wakeboarding pro shop helped him to finesses his wakeboarding skills before venturing into wakeskating. While wakeboarders are attached to their boards with bindings like snowboarders, wakeskaters ride their boards like skateboarders — free from any attachments.
Grubb turned pro at the age of 23 in 2003 and locked up the 2003 Wakeskate National and World Championships. When not wakeskating or wakeboarding, Grubb favors skydiving and bungee jumping while golf is a tamer pursuit.
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