Pushing the envelope when it comes to foiling

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Deep within the pitch-black depths of Bluespring Caverns in Bedford, Indiana, two-time world wakeskating champion, Brian Grubb, initiated an unprecedented venture. Submerged an incredible 30 metres beneath the surface, he readied himself for a groundbreaking exploit – the world’s first underground eFoil expedition. Guided by the spectral luminescence of LED lights fastened to his eFoil, Grubb coursed through the aquatic topography. He traversed a remarkable 34 kilometres along the Myst’ry River, acknowledged as America’s most extensive subterranean navigable watercourse.

– Grubb was magnetically drawn to the challenge of navigating Myst’ry River, a dark, echoing pathway that holds the title of America’s longest navigable underground river. The first images of this subterranean splendour that reached Grubb revealed an opportunity he simply couldn’t ignore.

– Grubb revealed: “I had this gut instinct that wakeskating could thrive in these subterranean waters. But when we scouted out the location, it dawned on me that the eFoil could create an even more gripping spectacle. Taking into account the delicate environment and the cave’s tight quarters, a zero-emissions electric eFoil appeared far more suitable and exciting than a conventional gas winch.”

Brian Grubb at the Bluewater Spring Caverns in Bedford, IN, USA on June 14, 2023. // Robert Snow / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202307170500 // Usage for editorial use only //

– With that innovative leap, Grubb introduced a whole new realm of extreme sport: underground eFoiling. Propelling down the Myst’ry River, a river tucked 100 feet below the Earth’s crust, Grubb’s experience was a groundbreaking fusion of adventure, technological prowess, and breathtaking natural spectacle.

– Inside the cave, a world where temperatures hover around a consistent 53 degrees, Grubb undertook exhaustive preparations. Prior to the main event, he assessed the river path’s water depth, cave width, and potential obstacles via a thorough kayak tour.

– Grubb said: “A kayak gives you a sense of ample space, but hop on an eFoil and dart through at 20 mph, and suddenly, things become a lot more narrow. This not only enhanced the thrill factor but also dialled up the technical demands of the ride.”

– Grubb’s judicious planning managed to secure a water depth of five to six feet for his eFoil journey, which requires at least four feet to function. Nevertheless, the journey wasn’t without its fair share of hurdles.

– “The logistics were demanding,” Grubb admits. “The 400-foot descent to the river, the absence of natural light, the complex cave acoustics, and the challenges of transporting and installing cameras and lighting gear – it was a Herculean task.”

– But Grubb and his dedicated team were relentless. Operating out of boats and kayaks, they worked tirelessly, turning the nocturnal hours into a frenzy of planning, shooting, and adjusting to capture the perfect shots.

– For Grubb, a pioneering spirit, such hurdles are the very essence of the adventure. Having been instrumental in shaping the young, five-year-old realm of eFoiling, he’s intimately involved in its growth – from the nitty-gritty of board design to pushing the boundaries of battery performance.

Brian Grubb performs on a E-Foil at the Bluewater Spring Caverns in Bedford, IN, USA on June 14, 2023. // Robert Snow / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202307170480 // Usage for editorial use only //

– “As we engage more with water, we learn to perceive it in new ways. Wakeskating began with the concept of skating without boots, and eFoiling evolved from its surf roots into a mainstream water sport,” Grubb explains.

– The exhilarating ride through the Myst’ry River’s narrow confines was a stimulating trial for the eFoil, and Grubb is thrilled by the boundless opportunities this presents.

– “I’m driven by the quest for new adventures and experiences on the water,” Grubb shares. “This path of innovation and exploration is in my blood. Reflecting on our journey, it’s mind-boggling to see how we’ve taken simple ideas and transformed them into influential sports, broadening the reach and joy of water sports to a wider audience.”

Watch Brian Grubb’s full adventure in the Blue Caverns HERE

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