Robbie Maddison, an Australian stuntman and daredevil surfer, rodeÂ waves in Tahiti withÂ a purpose-built motorbike fitted to a pair of skis and a tyre.
âItâs hard to explain how crazy that experience was, to see nature performing like that, flexing its muscles,â he told 7 News Sydney.Â âIâm a man of my word. I didnât say it, but every atom in my body was telling me to stop. I sat out there in the water and arrogantly said Iâm going to ride this waveâ.
“The thing that sticks with me the most after that whole experience was how physically demanding it was,â he said in an interview afte the ride. âI donât think the photos or video show how physical it was. You canât see that when the wave broke right behind me, I honestly thought that might be the end of my life. Iâve never felt like I was in the wrong place at the wrong time more than I did right there.â
Maddison, also known as Australian Evil Knievel and who doubled for Daniel Craig in “Skyfall”, confessed that he evenÂ thought he would die when the largest wave broke right behind him. In footage of the wave, he appears to be swamped by it before emerging from the spray.
âIt is such an overwhewlming feeling to see a wave with that much power towering [over] you and knowing you have no chance of outrunning it,â| he said. âI had to patiently wait for it to kick my butt. It picked me up and it slammed me and the motorcycle drove into my back and I lost all the air out of my lungs. I literally had to give in the will to live. I gave up the fight. I gave in and surrendered and before I knew it I was taking a breath again. As soon as I took a breath I opened my eyes and another wave hit me in the face and I was down again, and I popped up probably another half a minute later and the net wave hit me.”
âFour waves hit me and there had been about four minutes. We all had radios and there was no correspondence. The helicopter was circling and they werenât saying [to anyone on the beach] that they could find me. My wife was freaking out. More than just myself thought I was a goner,â the daredevil added.
The stuntman also revealed that he is thinking aboutÂ taking his modified bike back out into the sea for new adventures, but it will need work to improve its power and handling to cope with the big Pacific ocean surf breaks.
âWe lost the motorcycle, it was a broken bike,â he said. âThe dream was over. It needs to be able to perfom better. If it can tick a few more boxes, handle a bit better. Iâm not going to stop but Iâm only doing it for the right reasons.â
This is not the only crazy step made by Maddison. He earned fame afterÂ back-flipping over the open Tower Bridge in London, leaping across the Corinth Canal in Greece and riding off the Olympic ski jump in Salt Lake City.