Julian Wilson has always had two sporting passions: surfing and skateboarding. For his latest project the Australian decided to combine the two in the water. In essence, the plan was to surf a makeshift rail in the water as he might on the skate park but the project was not without its challenges.
Here is all you need to know:
- The project was a year in the making, Wilson and his team first attempting it in the ocean before the volatility of the seas made that impossible so they instead turned to a wave pool, URBNSURF in Melbourne.
- Explaining his reasoning behind the project, the 31-year-old said: “For a long time I had the idea of combining the skatepark with the ocean. To take something I have so much fun with in the skate park with my profession as a surfer that’s going to challenge me.”
- To undertake the challenge, he worked with shaper Jason Stevenson from JS Industries to create a board that actually proved hard to surf but importantly had the minimal weight and maximum carbon fibre strength required.
- The problem was trying to get the make-up of the rail and its weight in the water just right so he could actually slide across it in time and safely without it moving too much in each and every set of waves.
- In the water, he had a team with him, including a rescue diver and those able to move the rail back into position to tackle the next set. And it was all captured by photographer Andy Green.
- Wilson added: “It’s been about as challenging as it could possibly be. As much as I thought there’d be so many controllables in the pool, there ended up being so many challenges too.” After his close shave with the flying rail as he surfed past it, he admitted to himself: “This is maybe not going to work. It’s super dangerous. I nearly got my head taken off. With an hour to go [of the allotted session time] I thought maybe I was going to be dead in the water."
- It required a late psychological boost from coach Luke Egan for him to have one final attempt at the water.
- But with an hour to go, he cracked it and successfully rode the rail, again and again and again. Of the experience he said: “It was super fun. That’s the feeling I wanted to create with the wave.”