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Stunt rider Robbie Maddison takes on a giant Tahitian wave – on a dirt bike

The video begins unremarkably enough. Some guy belting through an area of overgrown vegetation on a dirt bike. But then you notice something different about the machine he’s riding on. There’s something either side of the wheels, like small platforms or boards, and those tires don’t look right, either.

Fifty seconds in and the excitement ramps up a notch as the rider takes the bike onto a river. It’s at this point you see what’s going on with those boards, as without them both the motorbike and the guy on it would’ve disappeared under the water, bringing the action sequence to an abrupt and disappointing close. But it gets better. Much better.

With the river evidently failing to provide enough excitement, the rider heads straight for the open sea, shattering the peace and tranquility of travelers chilling out with a spot of gentle kayaking on the calm ocean. Well, calm until he came along.

Pushing the action dial all the way up to 11, the rider, who turns out to be Aussie daredevil biker Robbie Maddison, spots a massive wave and, being the kind of adrenalin junkie that he obviously is, heads straight for it. What happens next is as crazy as it is awesome, and should be viewed with a soft cushion below your jaw to prevent succumbing to any unfortunate injury.

In an interview with Maddison about his incredible surfing stunt, Surfer magazine describes the 34-year-old biker as a “madman” for having taken on the challenge.

He tells the magazine it was “a stupid vision” when he first got the idea, “but I kept toying with it, playing with designs and concepts, and eventually it became a reality.”

Modifications to the bike included building those special surfing platforms to keep the bike on the right side of the water and specially designed tires to push the machine forward.

Maddison said that as the second, larger wave broke behind him, “I honestly thought that might be the end of my life, I’ve never felt like I was in the wrong place at the wrong time more than I did right there.”

He added, “At the end of the day, the images and footage say something pretty awesome, but the ferocity and how gnarly that thing was can’t really be put into words.”

The sequence, which was shot in Tahiti, forms part of an ad campaign by DC Shoes, producer of footwear for action sports.

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