NOTE: SCROLL DOWN FOR FULL SEQUENCE OF LEWIS' JUMP!
Lewis called the office about 1.30pm and said, 'Jim, alright? I haven't got long, but just wanted to let you know you might want to be down the Palace Pier at 2pm' Understood!
Having jumped Worthing Pier, causing a media frenzy last year, we'd had a hunch that Lewis might be eye-ing up Brighton's monstrous pier for similar aerial antics. We rounded up the guys from Progression / Fat Sand to get down there too to film it and had all angles covered. It felt weird scrambling around the pier with cameras trying to work out good angles and camera settings for one chance in such terrible light. Unsuspecting people on the pier were looking at us funny, but they were about to get a shock! We hoped.
Lewis needed a high tide to help reduce the height of the pier somewhat and a ballistic westerly wind to boost him the required height and distance. If anything it was too southwesterly and bloody grim by 2pm, squally, raining and dark. Lewis went out for a warm up and some practice jumps, but pretty soon we saw him round the pier and come in downwind near his van.
The conditions weren't right. He said,"I was on my six but I could feel it just wasn't holding me up enough. When I did Worthing pier I was on my seven and could barely hold it down." He went back and swapped his 6m for a 7m.
The sun came out and ventured out for another look. I couldn't see anything from the downwind side of the pier apart from a few glimpses of him getting closer as he tacked backwards and forwards sussing things out. Rob and Ash were in prime thrill-seeking position right in the middle of the pier. Here's how Kiteworld MD Rob saw it:
"We were looking down on him as him came closer and closer to the pier and clearly see his face . He was getting tighter and tighter into the corner and soon he would have to choose to jump or bail onto the beach. His practise jumps hadn't seemed big enough, but I could tell from his positioning that this could be the run. My adrenaline was pumping just watching, he must have been on fire! A really good ramp came up in front of him and I knew he was going to launch. Knowing this stretch of water, I have to admit I was absolutely shitting it. He was so close to the pier, any mistake would have seen him in the railings. He launched and flew straight up over our heads and cleared the chip shop by a big margin. Awesome."
When we saw him minutes later on the beach he had a huge grin but just said, 'Right, I think I'm going to just go home now and have a bath.' Followed closely by a large session we're sure.
Huge respect Lewis. Don't try it at home - Lewis is not only a nut case, he's one of the most highly skilled riders on the planet. Congratulations! Paparazzi please form an orderly queue outside 'Vanzie'.
You can find more on Lewis at his website: Windmachine.biz
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