Red Bull wakeboarder splashes on Fox
By Stephanie Lulay firstname.lastname@example.org September 19, 2012 6:40PM
Red Bull crews were filming for the Red Bull Winch Sessions web series at the Fox River in downtown Aurora and Yorkville on Wednesday. The web series uses high-powered winches to bring wakeboard and snowboard athletes to unique urban setups. | Courtesy Red Bull
Updated: October 21, 2012 2:55PM
AURORA — A Red Bull film crew unexpectedly showed up on the Fox River in downtown Aurora Wednesday. The crew was filming for the Red Bull Winch Sessions web series, where they use high-powered winches to bring wakeboarders, snowboarders and paragliders to unique urban setups.
Charlie Zine, co-owner of the Paddle and Trail outdoors shop in Aurora, said he noticed the Red Bull truck along the river downtown and decided to investigate.
“So I locked the store and started shooting the breeze with the (Red Bull) guys,” said Zine, a river enthusiast.
With some extra momentum from a winch, a wakeboarder was riding the Aurora canoe chute, a bypass of the downtown dam on the Fox River.
“A guy walked the winch all the way up to the top of the canoe chute, fired it up, and as soon as it went on, (the wakeboarder would) jump up,” Zine said.
“I thought, ‘this is crazy,’” Zine said. “They don’t ask permission. They use guerrilla-style tactics.”
Zine said the crew, which shot in Aurora for four hours, didn’t know what the canoe chute was, but they thought it would be an awesome place to ride a wakeboard — what they call “wakeskating.”
One of the shoot producers formerly lived in Naperville and had seen the canoe chute from the Fox River Trail, Zine said. It’s been years since the canoe chute has been used for anything, and it is outdated by modern standards, he said. Local paddlers are now fundraising to get the canoe chute redesigned and rebuilt.
The crew also filmed at the whitewater canoe and kayak course on the Fox River in Yorkville Wednesday.
“They were just going to cruise around, but I gave them directions,” Zine said.