Motorbike vs Pacific: Maddison rides Teahupoo surf - video

Stunt rider Robbie Maddison risks his life in Tahiti as he surfs the waves on specially adapted motorbike


The idea of riding a motorbike on water may sound far-fetched, but Australian stunt rider Robbie Maddison has done just that - and taken the idea to the next level by doing it at one of the world's most famous surf spots.

X-Games contestant Maddison kitted out his 100kg bike with skis and a paddle-steamer tyre in order to ride some of the feared breakers at Teahupoo in Tahiti.

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Maddison told the BBC that he grew up surfing and wanted to combine his passion for dirt bikes with his love of the ocean.

The result is a spectacular video, entitled Pipe Dream, which shows the rider careering down a stream before motoring across the Pacific Ocean and then catching one of Teahupoo's massive waves. The clip, produced in conjuction with a shoe brand, ends with Maddison apparently engulfed by a huge breaker, before a shadowy figure emerges from the spray.

Derek Rielly of the Sydney Morning Herald describes the stunt as a blend of "absurdism and bravado mixed with the smart branding of a shoe company" and says Teahupoo was "a brave choice of wave".

"Injuries aren't just common at Teahupoo, they're likely," he says. "To be on a motorbike out there was certainly tweaking limits."

And Maddison almost paid the price after being hit by one of Teahupoo's massive "west bombs", a wave that closes in on itself eating up the middle section.

Once inside there is no escape from the wave and Maddison was dashed into the water, and trapped for several minutes. "It was the most violent ride I've ever been on, tumbling beneath the surface in full gear," he told Rolling Stone magazine.

"My friends and crew were completely rattled, having thought that I had drowned in the wave. It's the gnarliest thing I have ever been through."

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