Still catching up here with my blog updates. Two weeks ago, right after my weekend in Lake Havasu, I loaded up the car, ski, my girlfriend Monica, and was off to the Joe Kenny Freeride in Pismo Beach CA.
Slide show available here, and in the photos page.
The drive was not bad at all considering the drive to Havasu the previous week was an extra hundred miles. Monica kept me company this time too, for the little time she was actually awake. We arrived in Pismo around 9:30am and met Chris Ronser, his dad, and Kevin Maul at the local IHOP for breakfast. From there, Monica and I drove to the beach, I aired down the tires in my accord and trailer, and began the 2 mile sand romp to the campsite of the Freeride. We arrived at the Freeride to see roughly 15 riders in the water. It was great to see so many familiar faces, it is truly a great community of riders, and people in Freeride.
It wasn’t more than 30 minutes upon arrival, that I was launching the ski into the Pismo surf. The weather was the best I have ever seen. Clear skies, minimal wind, warm air, comfortable water, and decent sized surf. I rode almost all day until the camper that Chris’s Dad rented for the weekend was delivered. That night I heated up one of the 2 meals my mom had pre-cooked for our weekend vacation. After dinner, we played a little Frisbee in what must have been the most random fog. It showed up with 15ft visibility around 6pm and left by morning. After the game, we all hit the hay to wake up and demolish the morning surf.
Saturday morning we awoke to find that almost the entire Oceanside crew had drove in overnight, and were parked all around our camper. Ross Champion, Eddie, Jake, Brad, John, Jerry, and Randy Laine, were all out riding the surf. It was a great ride, the surf was great, and the weather stayed clear all day. I rode around with Fuzzy and Randy mixing it up, and learning a few things about my technical surf riding. Later in the day, I had the opportunity to ride with John Dady, the owner of Blowsion. It was a blast surf riding with him, because he is a true Freerider who started and rode old 440’s and 550’s in the surf. It was a whole day of almost pure riding burning close to 10 gallons of gas! That night I pursued Chris, his dad, and Kevin to come with Monica and I to “The Firestone Grill” in downtown San Luis Obisbo about 15 minutes away from Pismo. It was an interesting drive remembering where to turn from the last trip in March, but it was COMPLETELY worth the drive. The food is so good there; my mouth is watering just thinking about it. We made it back to the campsite in time to watch Daylite Ramsey’s video tribute titled, “for JK(Joe Kenny)” It was a nice video and had many great interviews with pro riders who respect and admire Joe Kenny and the person he is. After the video Ross Champion and Joe Kenny presented a completely unexpected award the pro riders created this year.
The Joe Kenny Rookie of the year Freerider award went to myself and Chris Rosner who has traveled around and rides in Oceanside with me. It was an over the top gesture from the riders; it left me speechless and full of gratitude. After the award, they had a raffle for items donated to raise money for Joe’s recovery fund.
After that, Monica and I were both tired and retreated back to the RV to get some sleep for the early morning. Before I could fall asleep, I couldn’t miss the sight of our RV window randomly glowing orange and a distant cheer as Eddie threw 3 gallon trash bags of gas in the bonfire creating a few super fireballs that you could most likely see from space.
The next morning I woke up around 7:30 to be the first one out in the water. That is,until I went outside and felt how chilly the morning air was! I decided to eat a little breakfast, and slowly get my gear on. I ended up being the 4th or 5th rider out, but the water was very chilly that last morning until the sun finally appeared. I rode almost the entire morning. A video crew came around, and interviewed me, and filmed some of my riding. I am curious to see what they produce down the road. Other than that, there were close to 30 riders out surf riding at one part of the morning. I decided enough was enough around 11am. My body was tired from the long two weeks and all the riding that weekend. Chris’s dad cooked a few burgers and hot dogs on a little grill they brought. We ate the burgers, packed up our stuff, and cleaned the RV out. I was back on the road around 2pm, and made it home around 6:30pm.
It was a great trip, and an awesome turnout for Joe. We raised a little under a $1,000 for his medical expenses to help him recover his vision. I met many people, and was able to see, and ride with many other friends from many different places. Monica had a great time, I was happy she was able to make it to this Freeride and get a feel for the Freeride environment and community. Again, am so happy to be a part of such a respectful and loving family of Freeriders. These Freerides are what bring us together, and build the sport as we bring more and more, people along to enjoy it with us.
For more information and details of our sport and dates/locations of upcoming Freerides, Visit www.x-h2o.com.
I am happy to have my blog up and running. Yet I do have some catching up to do now.
Two weeks ago I drove to Lake Havasu, AZ to attend the Annual IJSBA World Finals for PWC racing and Freestyle. Although I did not compete in any competitions here, it is one of the largest gatherings of major PWC industry venders such as, Wamiltons, Blowsion, Jet Pilot, PWC Illustrated, Rick Roy Products, Hydro turf, Yamaha, Kawasaki, Sea-Doo, and many many more.
World Finals 2008 Slide show
I arrived mid afternoon Thursday October 9th, I walked straight over to home base at the Wamiltons customs tent where I was finally able to meet and talk to the entire Wamilton crew, including Wamilton himself. They take such good care of me, I couldn’t find enough words of gratitude. I made my way around to a few of the venders I was familiar with, including Mike, and Toni at Hydro Turf, and John Dady of Blowsion Kustoms.
I helped John Dady, and Ross Champion set up the Zach Waddle memorial tent. Zach Waddle and his girlfriend Libby were hit and killed by a drunk driver while walking back to their cabin in Oregon, during the Blowsion beach party I attended. Zach and Libby left behind their 1 year old son Mason, who has now lost both his parents. This booth was not only set up to honor and remember Zach, but mainly to raise money for Mason’s trust fund. Mason may have lost his parents, but with this booth, and the aid from countless Freeriders, and PWC enthusiast, we as a Freeride Family are there to take care, and provide the very brightest future for the little guy. For more information on Mason’s trust fund visit Masonfuture.org. Please visit and contribute to Mason’s future today!
Ross and I signed posters we had printed for a dollar, and sold Freeride calendars, hats, and DVDs that all went straight to Mason’s trust fund. We had many generous people donate between $20-$80! It was a long day siting in the booth, yet it felt great to be contributing towards the little guys future.
That night Wamilton, and Hydro Turf Sponsored the night at Kokomo’s night club where we dropped a few Wamiltons ski’s in the pool, but did not ride them (shoot!).
The rest of the weekend was great! Amateur freestyle was fun to watch some young talent, and Pro Freestyle was one of the best Freestyle events I have seen in the last 3 years! I stayed at the house Wamilton and staff rented for the week, that was very nice! I was able to meet many people Including Ronny Mac, of Ronny Mac Photography, and his awesome girlfriend Ally. My highlight of the weekend was meeting my childhood stars/heroes from the classic jet ski movie I was raised watching: Jet Dreams.
Larry “The Ripper” Rippenkroeger
Chris “The Flyin Fish” Fischetti
Scott “Hollywood” Watkins
To meet them was unbelievable.
Saturday night was also the second IJSBA Hall of Fame Ceremony. “The Mayor of Oceanside,” awesome mentor, and good friend Randy Laine was being inducted into the Hall of Fame. That was an incredible honor for him, he is the first Freerider to be inducted. I could not be more proud of the guy, he is a walking definition of what defines a good true Freerider, he really deserved it.
Randy Laine “Mr. Mayor”
Last but not least, I got to see Joe Kenny. Joe still hardly has any vision, but has the biggest heart towards the sport and his friends. Seeing this champ really wakes me up to realize how great life is when you stay committed to your passion and friends. Love ya Joe.
This was an incredible weekend all around. I stayed till mid day Monday. I had had the opportunity to ride Eric Malone’s new Q8 Freestyle Ski. It was very interesting, I only wish I could have had a little more time on it.
The next weekend I was on the road to Pimso Beach for the Joe Kenny Freeride.