When most people are up north freezing their way through winter, I get to enjoy a watersports paradise on the Caloosahatchee River in sunny Southwest Florida. Ever since expanding my wakeboard and wakesurf school to Fort Myers, I’ve always wanted to get a crew of riders together to make a video highlighting this amazing spot. This winter that dream came true, as we were able to get a stacked crew to film with my buddy, Hayden Smith. We had one of the top Professional Women’s Riders, Tarah Mikacich, Veterans Pro, Dayle Cartwright, Jr. Pro Rider, Jaden Reichl and myself.
This video shoot couldn’t have come together any better! We had perfect weather, a great wake behind our Axis A24 and enough positive vibes to keep us going strong all day! There is something special about having an entire day to hang out and ride with no agenda other than to have fun and get some cool clips of each other doing our best tricks. So many of my days on the water are spent doing lessons where every detail is planned out. I have to be “ON” all day making sure that I give our students the best possible experiences cultivating progression in a fun, safe, controlled environment. For me to be on the other end of the spectrum and have an entire day to just enjoy being on the boat with friends definitely filled my tank. It fanned the flames of my love for the sport that has made me so passionate all these years.
We grabbed our boards, packed lunches and hit the water excited to explore a new area of the Caloosahatchee River. We don’t normally ride this particular section because it’s only accessed through the locks. If you have never been through a lock, just know that it’s quite the experience and not the best idea to attempt to pass through alone. Basically, you boat through a gate into a holding area with concrete walls on both sides. They shut the gate behind you, fill or lower the water level accordingly, and open the gate on the other side.
We of course thought this would be a sick clip for the video and proceeded to ask the lockmaster, “Is this a no fly zone for drones?” and he said, “Not In Here!” So, we thought ok cool, let’s fly the dang thing! When we thought it was about time to exit the other side of the lock, the gate suddenly closed. We were then met with a very angry lockmaster that proceeded to yell at us saying he told us that we were NOT allowed to fly the drone in that area. Oops. Classic communication mix up. Needless to say, we all felt pretty bad and thankfully were able to explain the mix up and exit the other side.
What awaited us was an endless channel of perfectly smooth, deep water just begging to be shredded! After a long day of riding two or three sets each, we made our way back home and capped off the night with dinner at the Boat House FM.
The greatest part of the day wasn’t the riding or the tricks that were landed, it was actually having my wife Sydney come out on the boat with our newborn daughter, Brighton. This will be a memory I will never forget, because she got to take her first boat ride while Tarah was riding. How cool is it that God orchestrated this opportunity so perfectly? Having her first boat ride documented in this fun riding edit is really special to me. I have done a lot of video projects over the years where it’s all about myself, and the tricks I’m doing, but this video will always be one of my favorites because of the people who were involved and the memories that were made.
I pray that if Brighton chooses to wakeboard that she will get to experience the aspect of the watersports community shown in this video, where it’s all about spending time on the water with friends and family, giving the glory to God!
Thank you so much to everyone who was involved in the process of making this video! Projects like this wouldn’t be possible without your support!
WATCH EDIT HERE
Malibu Boats – Axis Boats – Stateamind Watersports – Iguana Marine Group – Sweetwater Landing – Boat House FM – Ronix Wake – Xcel Wetsuits – Zinka Sunscreen – Anetik Clothing – Evo – Pop’s Beef Snacks – Sentact – Pro Designs