Experience the magic of déjà vu…
Earlier today, and shortly after rewarding my triceps with loving strokes for completing ten consecutive push-ups, I received, via text, an Instagram post announcing a world first: Julian Wilson, on skate rail, in wave pool.
View this post on Instagram
Australian professional surfer and Olympian @julian_wilson is no stranger to pushing the limits. Together with @redbull and @redbull_surfing, Julian built and successfully rode the first skate-style grindrail at @urbnsurf #melbourne in late February. We were stoked to turn our lagoon into Australia's first floating skatepark, and help Julian bring his dream to life – check out the full video at redbull.com #surfmore
Growing up 100m from the beach in the Australian town of Coolum, Julian Wilson’s life revolved around two things: surfing and skateboarding. While other childhood pastimes came and went – golf, motocross and more – the two board sports had Wilson’s heart from day one.
Although the 2014 Pipe Master clearly found his true calling in the ocean and the occasional injury saw him put away his deck for a month or two here and there, he never turned his back on skating, and last year he started to imagine combining his two passions. That’s where the idea for The Rail Project, building and then riding a skate-style rail in the waves, first sprang from.
Here, I felt the sensation called, in French, déjà vu or, in English, already seen.
In 2010, Julian was in a Canary Islands wavepool when a skate rail with floats attached, laboriously transported from Australia for a Stab magazine photo shoot as well as to form part of Kai Neville’s Lost Atlas, was shoved into his, Kolohe Andino, Evan Geiselman and Adam Melling’s path
A pointless exercise, I thought at the time, although Adam Melling refused to let that bone go and lost his FCS fins in the process.
Later, so much cocaine was served at the hotel party (no pro surfers involved) doors were flung open at a local brothel and several stubbornly flaccid cocks were called to arms.
Of course, we weren’t the first to think of the rail grind.
Western Australian surfer Jame Catto, a contemporary of Taj Burrow, some say even better, set his up at a Perth beach in, when was it, 2002?
And noted commentator and troubadour Chris Coté mounted his own rail in the water a few years later for a Transworld Surf shoot.
“Ricky Whitlock did it first I’m pretty sure, me second, Kalani David third. Julian’s is different though ’cause it’s a moving rail, his line to get to the rail was insanely difficult.”
History is written by the victors, as they say.