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WATCH: Red Bull wakeboard stunt leaves conservationists stunned

Sure, you’ll recognise the familiar twin bovine and sun logo on skate ramps and on a guy who recently broke the sound barrier after jumping from space. But have you ever imagined it on a UNESCO world heritage site?

Red Bull invited professional wakeskaters Brian Grubb (USA) and Dominik Preisner (GER) to turn the 2,000-year-old waterways of the Banaue Rice Terraces as their wakeboard playground.

The setup was minimal to keep it natural, with wooden logs placed as obstacles and stunt ramps covering four pools (80 meters) and a custom winch to pull Grubb and Preisner. Down below were farmers beside a Red Bull logo strewn from rice sprouts.

For those of you unfamiliar with winches, they are devices used to adjust the tension of a rope. Used in extreme sports, the results are amazing to watch. Here is the link to the video.

Upon seeing the tourist spot scrawled at the back of a P1000 bill, Grubb called it “paradise.”

For conservationists, however, skimming along the ancient mountain terraces was skirting exploitation.

“Wakeboarding at the terraces? It is a stunt totally inappropriate to the site.” Augusto Villalon, president of the Heritage Society, told AFP.

“The world heritage property and the local residents should not be exploited,” he adds.

Red Bull defended the event, saying in statement that “respect for the environment was a priority from the beginning of this project.”

“The team made certain that the plants and wildlife were neither damaged nor disturbed at any time during the event. All agreements have been made together with the locals and under respect of their traditions and culture.”

As of writing, the YouTube video of Red Bull’s wakeboard stunt has garnered over 720,000 views.

Photo: Daniel Deak Bardos/ Sophia Langner via http://www.mylifeonboard.net

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