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The Making of Flying Swell

In these exclusive clips, Rex and his team sort out all the safety and logistical challenges of combining skydiving with surfing

Oct 20, 2016
Outside
Outside Magazine
The Making of Flying Swell

Let's get one thing straight: While adventurer Rex Pemberton has a well-deserved reputation for pulling off insane feats of adventure, that doesn't mean he's crazy. To pull off his most creative stunt to date— skydiving onto and then surfing a big wave—Rex and his crew spent months training, scouting the perfect location, and working out how, exactly, Rex was going to time his landing on the wave perfectly and then transition from air to water, without getting pummeled by waves or hung up in his skydiving parachute.

BTS 1: The Crew

To pull off the stunt safely and capture it all for the camera required a small army of people, from cameramen to ocean rescue specialists to helicopter pilots. Meet the crew of 16 who helped Rex train, pull off, and film the stunt.


BTS 2: Location

Landing a parachute on a wave and then surfing it is no easy task, and requires a predictable swell that can be timed from the air. Learn why Rex and his team thinks Jarosite Reef, off the coast of Victoria, Australia, is the perfect spot to do so.


BTS 3: Avoiding Injury

Skydiving is risky. Big-wave surfing is risky. Combining the two? Any number of things can go wrong—and did, like when Rex took a surfboard through the face during a training run, a mishap that required 40 stitches. See what they’re doing to keep Rex safe this time around.

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