Arenal, Costa Rica (March 25, 2008) – In the Volcano Area of Costa Rica there is a dormant crater, but on Monday, March 16, there was an explosion. The idea of riding a motocross bike over a lake that has a depth so deep that Jacques Cousteau could not even find the bottom is hard to believe. Try adding a floating freestyle motocross ramp to the image.
Travis Pastrana, the world famous motocross pioneer and the first person in the history of the world to execute a double back flip on a 250cc motorcycle teamed up with his friends from Red Bull Costa Rica and made history once again.
The conditions on Lake Coter were not at all 100% ideal. There was a heavy wind on the lake and this created small waves (not ripples). When hydro-planning a motorcycle across water, the surface needs to be as smooth as possible in order to get propulsion and forward movement with the standard dirt bike tire. You also need a long and level approach area to achieve the 70+ mph needed to “hydro-mx” (hydroplane). Pastrana calls it “skimming” and stated, “This is one of the most dangerous jumps I have ever made,” said Pastrana. “If I had failed to get into the lake at the proper speed I could have ended up hitting the ramp really hard.”
After several hours of ramp adjustments and waiting for the weather to change, the “Crew” decided to go for it. Jim DeChamp (Nitro Crew Member) was the first to give it a try. He had a hard time to get the bike up to speed as the approach was so steep and slippery. He reached the lake edge and “skimmed” across the lake just to the base of the ramp, at that time the bike’s front tire sank into the five feet deep water and DeChamp went over the handle bars and slapped his body against the face of the floating ramp. He had very good body protection and did not receive any injuries.
Pastrana and the crew discussed the learning’s from the first attempt to get to the ramp floating 105 feet off the shore of land…and then Travis got geared up. He also put on a great deal of EVS body armor and rescue life jacket. In a classic Pastrana style, the Red Bull athlete made some very serious comments with a casual smile, laughs and thumbs up.
He then threw his leg over the RM250 Suzuki two-stroke motorcycle and rode up the hill. TP then accelerated down the 40 degree slope to the final flat piece of land and entered the lake. The bike “skimmed” (hydroplaned) across the lake with a good rate of speed, but the waves hit Pastrana’s left foot and he was suddenly riding the bike over 5 feet deep water at 70 mph, with one foot on the bike. He managed to get both feet back on the bike and proceeded toward the ramp and launched over the 8 feet tall floating ramp. The rear tire of the bike immediately took a lot of grip from the gravel covered surface and launched off the end of the ramp. Travis and the bike “exploded” off the top and took flight trough the air and landed safely in the deep waters of Lake Coter, Costa Rica. Pastrana and the bike were immediately recovered from the volcano crater and the celebration started.
Check out the explosive action in “Nitro Circus 6” (official title pending) due to release in November 2008.
Participants in film shoot in Costa Rica:
Jordan Mora (Costa Rica)
Jexon Mora (Costa Rica)
Miguel Violldo (Panama)