I like to be inspired when I ride, maybe because I lived at the
Projects for so long and was surrounded by incredibly talented riders
every day. I just love being in and on water that people kill
it on daily. I swear it’s more magical than random
water. When I picked up my knee brace, I wanted my first set
back after surgery to be on a familiar magical body of water with
someone that will get me pumped to shred. There was only
really one logical place for me to go. The Harlos compound on
Nic has always been a good riding partner and Orr Lake always has a
calm shoreline. We rode hard last summer and pushed each
other to new heights. Lately Nic has a new baby and is busy
remodeling a house they picked up just down the road. For me,
between working and my own house, the hour drive between us seems to be
a bit longer this summer.
When I showed up at Nic’s place to ride I just chilled with
Dan from Red Button and watched some new footage for his new wakeskate
video FOCUS. At around five
the big whistle blew, Nic dropped his tool belt and grabbed his
skate. We headed over to the far side of the lake to
shred. At this point I needed no more inspiration than the
calm water and the simple fact that I was about to ride. I jumped in,
frolicked around a bit out of the pure enjoyment of the moment, and
then after my longest time off the water in 8 years I was wakeskating
again! I had a great set, stuck some tricks, had a bunch of
sweet bails and really tested out the new brace. It was so
great to be on the water again.
After that I decided to book a flight to Florida to catch up with
everyone and get some serious time on the water to help get my leg
muscle back. BT (Brandon Thomas) and Grubby (Brian Grubb)
live about 20 minutes from the airport, so I headed over for an evening
set. I really wish I had brought my video camera because the
light was blinging and they where throwing down.
It’s always amazing going out in the boat and watching really
talented riders put together seemingly impossible lines. The
water was 95 degrees and BT kept talking about amoebas, but I was
stoked to ride the sun down into the trees.
A few days later BT, George (Daniels) and I cruised over to the
Projects to hit up the S2 Park. (Shaun) Murray and Travis
(Moye) moved the Boarding school out there and partnered with the
Projects. It was great to see the camp again, bustling with
campers, all eager to improve their riding. It took me right back to
the early years. Lake 3 was looking sweet and the old rail
park was still there so you could take a waverunner set if you wanted.
That said, most, as well as us, were drawn over the new S2 cable park,
a single line cable running across the end of Lake 3 with rails, boxes
and even a kicker.
BT, as always was “ON”, sticking everything first
try and with that unmistakable BT style making our sport look
incredible. George just had his knee fixed and CTI hooked him
up with a brace. It was great and extremely motivating to see
George riding so strong with all the confidence he had before hurting
his knee. Being back on and in the Projects water was one of
the best parts of my trip.
I stopped in to see Lidberg’s new place and catch up a bit
before scooping up Steve and driving down south to Fort Myers where I
used to live. Steve and I stayed with Arian, the
web/design/photo behind the scenes man for Gator Boards, and my old
neighbor. In the morning we stopped by the Gator Boards
office to see Gator. Erik took us through the warehouse and
grabbed a few boards as well as some clothes and bags. I
guess he figured better us just take it than having to mail it
We headed over to Revolution Cable Park to ride for the
rest of the day. It was really great to get a lot of riding
in, going around and around was really working my leg. It allowed me to
get more used to my new brace. Right off the dock
there’s a big floating A-frame with a mellow down.
I just hit it over and over, coming off early, landing hard but strong
and confidently. I was starting to feel like my old self
again thanks to my brace. Steve was killing it, looking as
strong as ever. Arian was shredding. Matthew, Stink, Nick, it was a
great day with my old neighbors and riding buddies.
I drove back to Orlando that night trying to make it back in time to
see BT spin at this club. I stopped by their house to get
Spencer because I didn’t know how to get there. It
was a really good last night, chilling having a few beers, listening to
my good friend spin some mad beats, and reflecting on my
trip. I feel really lucky to know such talented people and
even luckier to be able to ride with them.
Thanks for all the inspiration and motivation! My knee feels
great, my leg feels a lot stronger after getting to ride on it a bunch,
and my brace is allowing me to ride like nothing ever happened to my
P.S. I stole BT’s video camera the day we went to the
Projects and filmed a little video so you guys can see some of the
inspiration I’m talking about.