There's an unusual video that went up on YouTube last week of a San Clemente athlete skiing last winter. So what's so unusual about that? Well, consider the athlete was legendary waterman Chuck Patterson and his "slopes" were more like melted ice.
You may recall how Patterson inspired the first stand-up paddling (SUP) movie by Orange County filmmaker Brent Deal. Patterson–who is in his 40s but has a body that's cut like he's in his 20s–also famously appeared in a video that went viral on YouTube of him paddling his board near a pair of great white sharks off San Onofre State Beach.
Perhaps the "Maui Moments" clip Mike Waltze Films posted July 3 will get similar widespread attention. To promote a new ski suit, Patterson is shot from a helicopter riding snow skis in high surf.
"I had a good idea that it was possible, but it really made a big difference having a solid background in skiing and big wave/tow-in surfing to really push it in big waves," Patterson later explained to Transworld Surf. "There is a lot that goes into making it all happen safely even before you hit the water, and after that is when the fun begins."
Warning: This is one of those "don't try this at home" stunts like you'll see on Jackass, Loiter Squad or Masterpiece Theatre. Even with a leash, you can fairly easily escape and ditch your board to find relative safety in a wipeout. Locked into ski bindings? Not so much. And Patterson was also wearing boots, which make for quick sinking, as those who applied the cement shoes to Jimmy Hoffa will tell you.
Patterson did have one piece of equipment that actually made schussing the waves easier. "The ski poles made it feel natural and gave me extra balance," he told Transworld. "I could feel where I needed to be."
Ladies and germs, on the next page, the video …