BIGGEST&BADDEST X Redbull Flugtag 2011
Last year, BIGGEST&BADDEST was approached by Redbull asking if we wanted to compete in the Tampa Bay Redbull Flugtag. Mex was hesitant to say yes because he wasn’t sure if he wanted to jump off of a 30-foot high structure in a flimsy aircraft that’s supposed to “fly” (and I totally understand that now), but I was the one who quickly told him to say yes. Shortly afterwards, I drew up a sketch of what I wanted to build—and what else would represent us better than a giant shelltoe!
The days leading up to the event were probably some of the most stressful we have had in a while. We were still moving into our new place here in Orlando and a ton of other things were going on in addition to having to build the sexy shoe craft. Because we didn’t have much time, we scrambled to get the materials together and once we figured out our small build window (3 days) we got straight to it…and by straight to it that means drive to Home Depot and figure it out on the spot. Mistake #1.
The build started late that night with Mex, Jonka and I tackling different parts of the craft. I made the measurements for each piece while Mex put together the frames and Jonka made sure it all held together. We finished building the beastly foundation of our epic plane that night at around 4am.
The following day we started a bit earlier and little did I know I wouldn’t be going home. Later that night, we started wrapping the wings of our angelic masterpiece and planning our “outer-shell” attack…which ended up just being cardboard and zip-ties. Mistake #2.
After everyone left, I stayed to add the finishing touches which was the paint and I must say I was pretty proud of the outcome. It went from being a poo brown version of sad unmanly nothingness to the most beautiful object any human being had laid its privileged eyes on.
The last day consisted of us adding the tail to the structure. When building a tail for something like this, you have to make sure that the tail is strong, sturdy and lightweight…ours was anything but that. It was heavy, weak and swayed back and forth like a unicorn’s tail in the wind. Here’s where mistake #3 comes in: In our goal to try to balance this thing out and make it look like Jesus’s second coming, there was one factor we kind of ignored…WEIGHT. We tried to keep it under 300 pounds with me in it but once we passed that threshold we pretty much obliterated that number. Being that I was picked to be the pilot of the sky-commanding, hypnotizing air vessel I knew right away that I was doomed.
Our jet-fighter-rivaling, tantalizingly amazing aerial structure made it to the platform that day without a pilot’s chair because the officials had deemed our lawn chair “unsafe”. It was something none of us had even taken into account. I mean safety? Ppppft! We were too busy being awesome to worry about safety. My flight team that day consisted of Bazooka Joe, Bullwinkle, Josh Salcedo and Hots. As they pushed me into the bay, I prayed for a safe landing. In what could be described as the most beautiful flying object anyone in the existence of this known universe had ever seen, we took flight and what a flight it was. Some people describe it as seeing the birth of a phoenix in heaven while laying on a cloud…it was amazing….WE were amazing…our efforts had payed off and we were now going down in the history books as some of the most bravest men to walk this planet—we flew an entire 8 feet. By the time I landed, the craft made a full 180 and fell on top of me. I actually flipped inside the craft and had to be rescued by Josh because it was sinking fast. I even forgot to take off my glasses that my girlfriend had given to me as a gift for my birthday that year. The soreness of my body the rest of that week still haunts me to this day. Peep the video for how it all went down.
NOTE: Redbull took away one of our show props so our show was horrendous. We also specifically told them NOT to use the word “breakdancing” when referring to us and the guy on the mic clearly avoided saying it, but I don’t think the female host got the memo.