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Wild Ride

by editor

American pioneer takes sport to the next level with drone tow.

Brian Grubb is always looking to innovate in wakeskating, and the American took the sport to new territory with his drone-tow ride down the Sava Bohinjka River in Slovenia. Grubb is famous for stunning projects such as wakeskating on the Banaue Rice Terraces of the Philippines, along a volcanic valley in the Jordanian desert and at the historic Cleopatra Pool in Turkey.

This time around the New Hampshire native finally realised a dream he has had for years about taking wakeskating into the future with technology. He teamed up with Infineon Technologies to get an electricpowered quadcopter drone built that would be able to tow him down the idyllic crystalclear Alpine river, which flows deep in the mountains of Slovenia.

The German company delivered a safe and reliable flying machine with a battery as powerful as 158 smartphones put together (1.5kWh/51.8V/30Ah) and rotor blades stretching 80 centimetres in diameter.

The impressive 24kg machine could tow Grubb for 10 minutes straight and could even lift him in the air if needed. The 38-yearold completed a world-first winch-to-drone handle pass as part of the project.

After arriving on an electric-powered Harley Davidson, Grubb performed a series of daring manoeuvres behind the drone, a game changer in terms of navigating shallow water, remote locations and leaving a small footprint on the environment.

He declared: “Skimming across the surface of a beautiful river, handle-passing from winch to drone on the go, tricking nice little wooden features and flying the drone under a bridge felt pretty damn good.

“It tastes even sweeter when you know your good times are not harming the beautiful surroundings.”

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