Wakeskaters ride the stunning opal lakes of Lençóis Maranhenses

April 7, 2020 | Wakeboarding
Brian Grubb: wakeskating in Lençóis Maranhenses, Brazil | Photo: Red Bull

Zuzana Vráblová and Brian Grubb traveled deep into the Brazilian wilderness to wakeskate the stunning opal lakes of Lençóis Maranhenses National Park.

The Slovakian and American athletes, who both had the other-worldly location on their wakeskate bucket list for a long time, were based in a camp along the northeast coast of Brazil.

Then, the duo had to navigate a river and drive off-road for two hours to reach the opal lakes and lagoons.

In the South American rainy season (January-May), freshwater pools form between white sand dunes because water is trapped by the impervious rock below, with the resulting opal lakes providing breathtaking scenery.

"It's just a beautiful place. It's really hard to go for some harder tricks, so every time I ride here, I start with something more simple just to figure out the rail, the speed of the winch," explains Zuzana Vráblová, multiple-time world champion.

"Once I land something more basic, then I try to step it up a little bit."

"Being here and seeing sandy dunes next to the water, you obviously want to try to maybe get on the sand and ride it too."

Brian Grubb: hitting the rails at the Lençóis Maranhenses National Park | Photo: Red Bull

A Unique Experience

The water conditions were also challenging, with the legendary riders having to battle stiff winds, searing heat, and awkward winch lines to pull off their tricks.

Grubb, 39, is the most decorated global rider in wakeskating with the sport's pioneer reveling in the chance to ride the thrilling setting with Vráblová.

He already has projects like Human Trailers, Urban Assault, Winch Masters, Capital Chaos, and Project Blackout to his name.

"We talked about coming here for many years, and to finally see it in person was pretty amazing," added Brian Grubb.

"When you first see this place, it appears so much bigger than every photo you've ever seen. It's a one-of-a-kind place."

When the dry season arrives, the lagoons' water evaporates quickly at a rate of three feet per month.

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