Posts Tagged ‘Wamiltons’

2010 Daytona Beach Freeride

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

Sitting in the West Palm Beach airport now waiting for my flight back home, I have some time to recollect on the incredible weekend I had at the 2010 Daytona Beach Freeride. Right off the bat, I have to thank my sponsor Pacseal Hydraulics, without their financial aid this trip would not have been possible. Big thanks to my Sponsor and friends at Liquid Militia for helping me afford to pay Chris MacClugage to drive my ski across the country and back, and also for being my biggest on site supporters! Last but not least a big thanks to my good friend and rider DJ Grahm, and his Sweetheart for a wife Natalie. They welcomed me yet again to stay at their house the few days before and after the event, also getting me around town and to and from the event.

In Daytona, Friday was a little uneventful. Chris MacClugage didn’t show up with my ski until about 1pm, yet I wasn’t able to get it out of the trailer and install my new prototype AC Racing handle pole until about 3:45. I finished installing the new pole and was rushing my ski into the water at 4:30 with less than 30 minutes to ride before the beach closed at 5pm. unfortunately I was not able to ride and spent the next 3 hours pulling my carburetors apart to unstick my needle and seats that were stuck shut from the long transport. That night we all partied at the beach house about 10 min down from the event site where a huge pallet bonfire was lit, Pit bikes and mini ATC’s circled the party, and loud music kept everyone having a great time.

The next day I made sure to be the first one in the water, it was a stormy day with scattered rain and overcast conditions. I had a lot of fun riding but eventually came in after an hour very frustrated because I overlooked a component on the new handle pole that allows me to install a spring to reduce the weight I have to lift on the pole. I ended up taking an hour and a half to remove the new pole and install my old pole that I brought. This was the best thing I could do because I felt so much more comfortable and fluid riding with a handle pole spring.

A few hours later I signed up for the sickest trick contest Sponsored by Hydro-Turf. The ground rules were one person goes out and gets 5 waves to attempt to pull the sickest tricks you can. My first wave I pulled my first one handed re entry, the next wave I wanted to get a feel for how high I can launch myself and threw myself in a scary high barrel roll, the third wave I attempted a barrel roll Re entry which didn’t go so well. My fourth wave I went for the double barrel roll with only 15 ft to run at the wave when I wanted 30, I still made a hair over 1 ½ rolls. On my way in I attempted to barrel roll over a breaking wave but got sucked in and spit up the opposite side. Macc and Ant Burgess ended up splitting the title with Macc going for a huge double back flip attempt and Ant going huge on some back flip variables.
Later on when I went to go ride, I ended up sharing some waves and riding with child hood hero, Rick Roy. That was an incredible experience I really appreciated. That night we partied at the local club Razzles. A lot of shenanigans took place that night but overall it was a fun night meeting a ton of cool people, and having a great time with my friends at Liquid Militia.
The following morning I was again the first one in the water at 8:50 am to ride some really big and clean surf for Daytona. It was a beautiful morning and I rode my ski for about an hour and a half before my half tank of gas was empty. After I cleaned up the room I was in to check out, Natalie drove me to get more gas so I could ride for the rest of the day. Another 2 hour ride session left me extremely tired and ready to slow down for a few minutes until I was convinced to race in the amateur motosurf race. This ended up being the most fun thing I could of done next to the sickest trick all weekend.
Having never raced before I took advice from a few friends and race legend Chris MacClugage which was really helpful. His wife Rachel ended up finding a pair of race goggle for me to borrow which really came in handy! The first moto I ended up right behind the leader by a buoy before I ate it big time coming around the inside buoy. After a swift swim I was back in the race and held 3rd place until the end! The race was a promotional race where the top 3 amateurs raced in the Pro class vs. Chris MacClugage, Dustin Farthing, and a handful of other experienced racers for a $1000 prize.
Halfway through the race Macc and Farthing ended up breaking down and the amateurs took the same finishing position including myself beating the other racers on the track! I also ended up coming in front of a perfect launch wave on the final lap that I threw a barrel roll off which was really fun! The entire experience was super tiring after the entire weekend and the intensity of the race but I would not trade that experience for anything.

A 3 hour drive back to West Palm beach I spent a day at my main sponsor Wamiltons customs to relax, recoup, and help out around the shop before I ended up here at the West Palm airport writing this blog.Overall Daytona was a huge success and killer event. I had so much fun riding, and meeting a ton of really cool people. Now I have to get home, get my ski back from MacClugage in Havasu, and figure out how afford to get to the Australian Pro Invite Open February 20th!

Until the next event,
-Mark Gomez

Blowsion Surf Slam 2009

Monday, January 4th, 2010

This post has been really delayed because for the life of me I could not log into this blog account!
Anyways, my trip to the First annual Blowsion Surf Slam Presented by WORX in Pacific City Oregon was a rough journey, tough competition, but overall successful! Leaving off from my last blog, I arrived at my good friend and amateur rider Zack Bright’s house around 2am, We then woke up around 5 am to load up his dad’s company fleet truck, which was a 2 wheel drive automatic Ford Ranger with no cruise control for a 16hr+ 1000mile drive to our destination. With the Truck loaded with our gear, extra parts, and my double trailer hitched on the back with our skis, we were on the freeway at 7am and arrived at our first destination in Sherwood, Oregon at around 3 am to get some much needed rest at a local motel 8. We stayed at this location because it was the cheapest motel 15 minutes away from the main event sponsor Blowsion Kustoms shop. It was there where we got to see many familiar faces of the Blowsion work force, as well as guests like Steve Webster of Kommander Industries, Freestyle pro rider Josh Lustic, race legend Robby Myer, Ross Champion, Chris and Rhonda Burgess of Nacencey Cinema, and many other people. All who came in to hang out, snag some product off the shelf, and or do some last minute pre-competition repairs and modifications before we all left that night for a 2-3 hour drive to the event site in Pacific City, Oregon. We arrived at about 3am that night to lay over at the event staff’s rental home.

The following morning we got breakfast at the local breakfast cottage, while we waited for our beach front rental cabin to be ready. A few hours later were at the cabin that John Dady the owner of Blowsion was very kind to not only rent for his riders and photographer’s to stay at, but also allowing Zack and I to crash there. It was very generous of him and I still appreciate that warm cabin to this day. All unpacked, we drove 15 minutes away to the event site at Tierra Del Mar so we could all practice, and so I could then also break in my 3rd brand new top end of the year. Which is usually the thing a person would do weeks if not months before you are 1000 miles away the day before a competition. After tearing up some beautiful 4-5ft pre event surf we loaded up and made our way back to the cabin. We all cleaned up and drove 4 minutes down the street to the one and only Mexican food joint in the very small town of Pacific City. We had a great first night’s meal with good friends talking about past events in anticipation for the start of the surf slam the next day.

The next morning we arrived early for the riders meeting which for the amateur part of the competition seemed to be still in development. To decide the bracket seating we geared up and were told to go out for a few minutes and practice riding while world champion and amateur competition judge Ross Champion would then seat us by the look of our riding. I ended up being seated 3rd bellow friend and rider Chris Rosner and Stanton High at the top. Hours later after pro qualifying I was in the second heat against Ramon Ferre from Spain. Nothing will ever replace that feeling of wearing a red sponsor bib, standing next to my ski on the beach tote underneath the judging stand waiting for the event staff to signal us to launch. All those times, before I really got involved in the sport, before I ever dreamed If I could become a sponsored rider, watching videos of the pros standing in the same setting and environment before they went out to compete. I was so excited and stoked on the reality of where I was and what was going on, words cannot explain the feelings I had. . It was such an awesome feeling to be right there on deck so when the they signaled us to launch, adrenaline consumed me. This was good because It made me oblivious to my nerves of riding in the 15-20 foot massive power full and washing machine like surf that Ramon and I were charging our skis toward. Running down the beach toward the surf a 3 ft surge came up perfectly washing my beach tote out from under my ski making my launch almost effortless. I opened up the throttle on my ski shredding around in the shallows feeding my adrenaline, waiting for Ramon who launched his ski too early and had to wait for a wave surge to provide some deeper water to take off from. Ramon was in the water and I could only do circles keeping an eye at the judging tower waiting for the red flag to go down and the green flag to go up to start our 5 minute heat. I watched the flagman drop the red flag so I immediately started my stop watch on my handlebars so I could keep track of my time out there. By the time I looked up the green flag was up and I found myself riding full throttle almost everywhere. It was such a messy and gnarly surf break that it made it really hard to get any rhythm going I just found myself zipping full throttle everywhere trying to surf every wave I came across and find a wave that might provide the right face for a barrel roll or any other trick. Those 5 minutes flew by as I looked over and saw the yellow 2 minute warning flag raised and my stop watch reading 20 seconds shy of 5 minutes. I found myself in front of a large swell that I decided I would try to slash then possibly ride in. When I got to the wave little did I know time had ended and I hit the wave a little too late and found myself at the top of this 15 ft wave with my nose pitched down because I came in and turned too hard that my finger also got stuck holding the throttle wide open. I held on as hard as I could but I was slowly ripped off my ski and sucked down over the wave.

After I surfaced I found my ski not only upside down a few feet away but the motor was still stuck full throttle as well. I swam to my ski as quickly as I could fearing my new motor would seize, I got to my ski and flipped it over putting the pump in the water shutting the motor off because of the resistance. That was one small obstacle because now my ski was floating very nose heavy being ½ full of water. Before I could attempt to try and start the ski again a wall of white water hit me and my ski and violently thrashing me around separating me from my ski instantly again and holding me down for 10 seconds. When I thought I surfaced I was actually in a few inches of foam so when I took a breath I gulped down salty foam which made it harder to stay calm and breathe right. My ski was now completely full of water; I watched my ski bob up and down nose first before 2 more waves thrashed me. By the third wave and hold down I was really running out of air and energy to fight the foam to the surface. Fortunately the rescue crew spotted me so I could heave myself onto the rescue sled on the back and get brought to shore. I coughed up a bunch of salt water and caught my breath, but was overcome by frustration thinking that I was now out of the competition and wondering if I could get my ski back. I was told that I sank my ski after the time on my heat ran out because the judges scores came back I won that first heat. Ramon was a great opponent; there were no rivalries because we are all buddies.

The event was delayed for an entire hour because my ski was in the way of the event and the surf was so rough the rescue crew didn’t have enough time between waves to hook my ski and drag it in. When they finally were able to recover the ski I stopped my watch at 59 minutes and a few seconds shy of an hour. The rest of the day became a nightmare because the massive swell combined with the arriving high tide created random mini 1-2ft tsunamis that would race up the beach knocking skis off of beach totes, washing skis into vendor stands, sweeping people off their feet and almost sinking the judging stand. The final 2 amateur heats were delayed almost 2 hours because the event crew had to use the one big tractor they had to retreat the entire event farther and farther up the beach. The entire time this was happening I was under a booth trying to get my sunken ski started again with a low battery, water logged fuel, and those damn tsunamis that would catch me and friends who helped me off guard putting water back into my ski.

I ended up giving up and loading the ski onto the trailer so we could all abandon the main event site that was the high ground and now hit by a foot high surge every 15 minutes. Back at the house I quickly began working on my ski now that I was on dry land and in a lit garage. I was still in my wet suit, tired, hungry, cold, and beyond frustrated. I will never forget and will always thank Chris Burgess of Nacencey cinema for convincing me to stop working, go clean up and get dressed so we could go out and enjoy a good dinner, I could then come back, hammer down , and get my ski running. That advice really helped me unwind and allowed me to enjoy some of the night with friends and a good meal before I came back to work on my ski. We got back around 9pm and I didn’t get my ski running until 1am with the help of my good friend Zack Bright who stayed up and helped me out the entire time in that freezing garage.

The next day they scheduled only 2 rounds of the pro brackets so everyone could get out before the storm surge came back. Zack and I just ended up sitting in his truck with the heater on watching the pro heats and later helping them launch and pick up skis after the heats were over. Sunday morning the brackets were posted and my next opponent just had to be Zack Bright! Both of us were bumbed and pissed because we wanted to if anything face off in the finals. What made it worse is because of the event timing complications with the tide problem, whoever lost that round instantly won 4th and didn’t have a chance to ride again to go for third. That heat was by far the closest heat of the whole competition. I came out on top my a small point but just barely we both rode so hard It was such a frustrating feeling to be stoked that I won the heat but also pissed because my buddy couldn’t move onto the final rounds or ride again. Especially after we traveled so far to do this!

Before our final heat, I was watching the pro semi finals and ended up standing next to and taking to Jack Shelly the owner of WORX Racing components Australia, the home and foundation of WORX development and production. We were just discussing a few topics and he asked a few questions about myself and my riding career and I will never forget when we stopped talking for a minute watching a pro heat he turned to me and asked me how I would feel about being a WORX sponsored Freerider. I was overtaken by the gesture which for me was a huge honor being that I was at my first competition ever and haven’t even finished with any results yet! To this day I am thankful for Jack’s belief in my potential and support of WORX Racing Components.

The Final heat ended up being a 3 way head to head for 1st 2nd and 3rd. It was the top seats, Stanton High, Chris Rosner and Myself. The surf was the gnarliest during our 8 minute final heat. 10-20 foot waves were breaking everywhere, there was still no rhythm to made out there, I just remembered two things that I was told that made the biggest impact on my score out there. The first was the advice from Freeride Legend Randy Laine. Randy explained to me the value of surf riding in competitions and how it is best worked into scores how to ride in a way so judges and see you. The second lesson I learned listening to legendary power motosurfer Jeremy Brandon also known as JFB. I listened to him at one event where people asked how many back flips he would do. I never forgot when he said “forget going out there to do a certain amount of tricks, I just go out there and do what the waves tell me from where I am,” That was the best advice because during the final heat I just stayed heavy on the throttle moving fast surfing wave after wave after wave, not waiting any time waiting to line up to a good wave face to do a certain trick. As I was surfing around I would come across opportunities where a wave in front of me would present itself in a good position to do an aerial so I would do it, after that I kept moving. Without that advice I would not of been able to make sense of that washing machine of a surf break. Every time I came across Chris or Stan I would see them going huge off waves throwing big barrel rolls and especially stand throwing down back flips like no tomorrow. With the yellow flag up I had surfed as much as I could, I hit as many of the aerial tricks I knew I could pull off, it was time to nut up and go for the back flip because I had nothing to lose. With seconds to go in the last heat I came in front of a 15ft face. Every nerve in my body screamed no as far as running into a almost breaking 15 ft wall of water but I just crouched low and yelled as I death gripped the throttle and accelerated up the massive wave. I had to be ridiculously high because I hit the was super aggressive screaming to get over my nerves but didn’t think to use technique and kick my legs out and pull like you’re supposed to, so I went straight up and slowly rotated until I came down right on my face. It turns out that time had ended right when I landed on my head, any other day that would of rattled me big time but the amount of adrenaline flowing through my body over came any stars I was seeing to roll the ski over and get the hell back to shore before another wave could thrash me and my ski.

It was completely up in the air, we all rode super hard in the messy surf. Nothing but stories and stoke was passed between us seeing each other do certain tricks during the heat. We were all super stoked to have gone out and done it that we never held our breath for the results. We found out they were holding the results for the trophy podium at the end of the event. Right after that heat we watched Ross Champion face off against Mike Serlin who came out on top by some killer surf riding against high flying French rider Pierre Maxient. That final heat was nuts! Ross and Mike hit the same wave doing a cross over back flip. Mike hits it first going left doing a regular back flip then just a few beats later Ross blasts off the lip of the same wave going right doing a super flip. Ross rode a big wave in while Mike stuck to the inside sets legdraging as he was almost getting barreled in some waves. Both of them rode extremely well.

At the podium, Ross came out on top one step closer to his second world title, with Mike Serlin in second and Pierre in third. Stan ended up getting third, Chris got second, and I came out on top! 2009 Blowsion Surf Slam amateur champion! Huge thanks to all my sponsors and big thanks to my friends at PacSeal Hydraulics who made getting to this event and back financially possible. Thank you all for your support. World finals, a stop in Pismo, and Daytona Beach Freeride are around the corner!

Pre SurfSlam Update

Sunday, September 6th, 2009

Wow the last month has been incredibly eventful with all kinds of ups and downs. Unfortunately the downs out way the ups but I’m keeping my head high and moving ahead full steam.

Where to start…

Four months ago in May I Sprained my ankle landing a rough Re entry bad enough to put me out for a grueling 5 weeks. However 5 weeks with an average 6 month recovery time for the severity of my sprain. My thanks goes out to the great staff at Fullerton Physical therapy and Doctors, Ron Cunningham and Steve Nicholas. I had physical training 3 times a week mixed with daily icing and electrical stem shock therapy. They really helped me out and got me back on my feet almost better than before. Thank you Fullerton Physical Therapy!

Then about a month ago, the day after i filmed my last video. I snapped my prototype AC Aluminum handlepole when I flat landed my first backflip.
A big thanks to Mike of AC Racing for handing me another handlepole to use right away. I was only down for a week while I sanded and shaped the new pole for my good friend and sponsor John Crab of Performance Fiberglass to paint.

Two weeks ago got caught slashing a wave that was too steep and sent my nose of my ski into the ocean floor as the wave crashed over me and my superjet. We were both held down a little longer than expected, with a faulty kill switch my engine was still idling and just as I surfaced water had flowed into my rear cylinder hydro locking it at the same time the front cylinder fired giving a non satisfying “clunk” noise. A few hours later back at my work and sponsor shop Pacific Motorsports I have the entire motor apart to reveal my worst nightmare that my 3 month old $400 Hot Rods Crank had bent a rod and fried my top end($300).

T minus 2 weeks and counting to surf

slam and I was looking at a FULL motor overhaul. This nightmare was well taken care of with my most grateful support from my boss Gordon at Pacific Motorsports for providing my engine seals, gaskets, a set of new 1.5mm overbore pistons, and for boring the cylinder right to spec. Then to come to my real rescue was Aron Davis of ADR who used the core of my hot rods crank and built me a bitchin OEM grade crank with OEM rods, bearings, and webs for an incredible price!

Monday my motor had hydro locked, and Saturday I worked from 9 AM to 3AM to finish rebuilding my motor, dropping it back into my ski, as well as re turfing my entire foot tray base of my ski with new Hydroturf and their new 26mm underpadding to help with better injury prevention. Huge thanks to my best friend’s brother and young Freerider Eric Gianetti was a huge help toward the late hours of the night, bringing me food and helping with misc odds and ends that would have taken me much more time to do than necessary.

The new motor works great minus and air leak which I just spent this last Saturday finding and fixing. bringing us to today. Now with a ripen motor and soft squishy tray, Randy Laine and I destroyed the small surf in Oceanside this morning. Tomorrow I will be back in the water with Ross Champion and Chris Rosner for our last O-side ride before we leave for Oregon Tuesday morning.

Next Friday I will be riding in my first competition ever at the 2009 Blowsion Surf Slam in Pacific City Oregon. This is the first time the IFWA has ever hosted an Amature Freeride class during a competition. However don’t let Amature fool you this class is packed with many young riders including myself who have been stepping up considerably for this event. I am extremely grateful to Jay and Leslie at Pacseal Hydraulics for financially sponsoring a generous portion of my expenses for this trip!
For more information on the event visit

Subscribe to my blog or friend me on Facebook to get updates during the competition.

Wish me Luck and thanks for the support!


Video: Big Saturday in Oceanside with Mark Gomez 7-25-09

Monday, July 27th, 2009

Some footage from the huge swell that hit California this  weekend of 7-25-09. Also got 3 back flip attempts on video, my go pro camera only got the first 17 minutes of footage and the wide angle does not do the surf size justice. No one else brought out cameras that day that i could get a hold of.

Wamiltons Daytona Beach Freeride January 2009

Sunday, March 22nd, 2009

Click Here to visit my slide show for this event.

My trip actually started 3 days before I left, starting with a commute to Riverside, CA. I picked up a cylinder and crank case for my friend and pro rider, Taylor Curtis for the motor he needed to build before he took his new Rickter FS-1 across the US, with 8 other ski’s including my own. The following morning, I drove out to Oceanside to ride what I thought was my finally finished ski to get a little ride time on it. This way I could test it to see if anything else went wrong, and they couldn’t have gone worse. Due to a loose cooling hose, water began filling my ski on the way to the riding spot. While on the beach a small tide surge doused the engine compartment, thus pouring water down the motor. To make things worse, after another rider brought me a tool to remove the spark plugs, my battery fell on its face attempting to turn the motor over. My friend Chris Rosner rode back 2 miles to the harbor to get my jumper cables out of my trailer, and back! On the beach my friend Jeremy pointed out a problem with my motor. Somehow the bed plate of my motor had come loose and was wiggling around which is not good at all. An hour later I was towed back into the harbor and drove back home with Jeremy following me to prepare for the next task in our preparation for Daytona.

Back at my house, we cleaned up the ski’s and loaded both of them onto my double trailer behind my Honda. Next task was a five and a half hour drive to Pro rider Taylor Curtis’s home in Morro Bay, CA. Jeremy paid my gas to drive to and from his house to deliver our ski’s, for me to fix my engine problems, and to deliver Taylor’s motor parts so he could rebuild his engine for the next weekend. Taylor had just finished fabricating a second story triple place rack for his huge flat bed trailer to haul a total of 9 stand up jet ski’s across the coast.

5 out of 9 total skis that traveled on this trailer.

5 out of 9 total skis that traveled on this trailer.

I arrived at Taylor’s late Saturday night, he his couch set up for me to crash for the few hours before the long day ahead. The following morning Taylor was up at 4am to reassemble his motor, I slept in until about 7am to start with my job. Between 7am and 5pm I pulled out my motor, re tightened the loose bed plate bolts, replaced a broken motor mount, replaced my new but malfunctioning start stop switch, then had everything bolted back together, and ready to transport to Florida.

Inside One of Wamilton's shop bays

Inside one of Wamilton's four shop bays

After a 4 Hour drive. I arrived back home at 11pm from Morro Bay, and began to pack. I finished packing and was in bed around 2:30 am to catch a little sleep for my 8am flight. Monica and my mom drove me to the airport that morning and everything from there was smooth sailing. I made a connection in Dallas, Texas then from there flew straight into the hometown of Wamilton’s Customs, West Palm Beach, Florida. Five minutes after I received my bag, my local Florida rider and friend, DJ Grahm aka ”Munkie”, was there to pick me to the home he shares with his fiancé Natalie. I stayed at their house the entire week, as well as the both of them shuttling me around from place to place, I am so thankful to have met such a great couple as them. Without their hospitality and generosity my trip would not have been as much fun and relaxing. Thank you so much DJ and Natalie!

Ready to ride on Wamilton's private lake

Tuesday morning DJ and I head out to Wamilon’s shop which is 15 minutes from DJ’s house. There, I got to see all of the wamiltons crew including Peter, Rod, Marsha, Leg Drag Kevin, and Wamilton himself. It was great to see everyone again, they are so much like a family, that the time I spent there was very enjoyable. DJ and I did odd jobs such as cleaning out the trailer, making sure the tents were ready to go to Daytona, and a few other odds and ends that were necessary for the event. Wednesday DJ and I dialed in a few odds and ends and were able to drop a few of Wamiltons ski’s in his private lake 10 yards away from the shop door. I rode Wamiltons 2008 Platinum edition superjet and his new 2009 Diamond edition Carbon fiber hull superjet, and Wamiltons personal superjet he built for Brazilian Freerider Fabien Ballayer. to ride in Daytona. I was very impressed with the handling and power of these ski’s on flat water. I was able to flat water roll almost all of them, yet overall, had a lot of fun exercising my flat water abilities on these skis.

Thursday afternoon Taylor showed up at the shop after a five hour delay in Texas, when one of his trailer axels blew. I began to work on my ski again cleaning up a few loose ends I left at Taylors. I had everything buttoned up and ready to start, when the ski wouldn’t start. Five frustrating hours of diagnosis, a $90 Wal-Mart battery, used starter relay, and used starter, the ski was running. From there my ski was loaded back onto Taylor’s trailer and was off to Daytona. DJ and I went back to his house to pack a few things before we left for Daytona that night. I don’t remember when we arrived in Daytona but when we did It was freezing cold outside, yet many familiar faces were outside hanging out and greeting the incoming friends and riders. After an hour DJ, Natalie, and I crashed in Peter and Kevin’s room for the night, because we didn’t have our room till the following morning.

Friday morning the weather was very chilly for Florida, and the surf was decent, yet the wind was blowing really hard which was the main reason for the swell. By the time I got out there it was slightly warmer, yet it was extremely difficult to ride. The wind was blowing so hard that the waves were bigger, but the water was super choppy along with the wind blowing salt water mist into your eyes every turn. It was hard to balance so I cut my day of riding short to save energy for a better day. Friday night DJ, Natalie and I met with DJ’s close friend Brohnson and his friends at their hotel room. From there we all went out to a local restaurant called Barnacles. That night was a lot of fun, the whole crew was hilarious, and a ton of fun to be around.

Saturday morning the conditions were a lot better. It was still pretty chilly but the wind had backed down a little to provide some cleaner surf. I was able to make it out there reasonably early and rode almost all day, only coming in to put more gas into my ski. In the middle of the day, one of the go go girls from the club Coliseum, was walking around passing out wristbands for free early admission whic h included free drinks. There was also a hummer limo that drove up and down the beach a few times which was going to be the free shuttle from our hotel to the club. At the end of the day, my ski was back on the grass ledge of the resort with most of the other skis. After I got cleaned up DJ, Natalie and I headed back to Brohnson’s hotel room where we had a pizza party before we all headed out to the club. The free ride in the limo was just as hilarious and enjoyable as the last night we were all together. The limo dropped us off at the club, we turned out to be the first to arrive, yet the rest of the night was a unbelievable so many familiar faces, good times, and being admitted to the second story VIP lounge by some people who knew DJ’s friends.

Sunday morning started out wrong, my life jacket, lanyard and ride shorts all went missing! Rod at Wamiltons saved me by letting me grab a new jet pilot vest off their jet pilot selection. Besides the small mishap, the weather was sunny, the wind was calm, and the surf was ok. I had completely drained my two five gallon jugs of fuel the day before so I had to get more. Wamilton had also invited Pro Brazilian rider Fabien Ballayer to the event to ride one of his ski’s. He also needed gas so off to the gas station we went. From the short conversation I had with him he is a very cool guy, and I look forward to riding with him down the road in Brazil. With gas in my ski, and a McMuffin in my belly, I hit the surf around 10am, and again only came in for gas and one long break to watch the pro rider’s jam session. I had an incredible time riding my ski, which handled so well. I am really happy with all the hard work, and the motor Paul Lehr helped me create. Throughout the day I had the time of my life shredding with Pro riders, Jeremy Parr, Jason Stoyer, Ross Champion, Mike Serlin, Fabien Ballayer, Pancake Pete, Pierre Maixent, and a TON of other fellow riders I know and met online on For hours I rode close to shore working on my surf riding in front of many photographers, one of them being a good friend, and professional photographer Ronny Mac.

That guy is one hell of a cool dude, I enjoy hanging out with him around the water and even more around the night life, he is hilarious! I was entered into the annual Cherry Buster Backflip Competition, which news to me, I was one of 3 who signed up or at least have never back flipped before. I declined the challenge mostly due to witnessing Ross champion blow apart 3 of his motor mounts slamming into the shallow bottom, and the fact that the average wave wasn’t bigger than 3-4ft. I was way more excited to surf my ski that was finally running, then send it home broken and battered for a chance of pride. There was a girl who went for it anyways yet she landed flat upside down breaking all four motor mounts and crippling her engine. Props to her for going for it though!

At the end of the day I found myself riding around in circles. The surf went flat, the sun was going down, and my energy was sucking the fumes off the McMuffin sandwich I had for breakfast hours ago. I rode out past the surf break, turned off my ski, turned around to sit in my tray and just took it all in. There I was at the end of a fast but awesome adventure, sitting on my sponsorship superjet looking left and right down the endless blue of the Florida coast sitting in the Atlantic Ocean a week prior to riding the Pacific Ocean back home. I am really thankful to all my sponsors, family, and friends who support my passion and travels. This was truly an amazing trip that I am so thankful I was able to get my ski out there for.

That night after my ski was flushed out and back on Taylor’s trailer. I left with Rod, Peter, Kevin, and Wamilton in his truck back to West Palm Beach. We stopped at Outback Steakhouse for an extremely delicious baby back rib dinner which Wamilton generously paid for.

Wamilton, the shop crew, friends, and guest apearance by Eric Malone

Wamilton, the shop crew, friends, and guest appearance by Eric Malone

As for the rest of the trip, I stayed back in West Palm Beach with DJ, and Natalie helping Wamilton unload the trailer and clean up after the event during the day. I had the fun job of flushing Wamilton’s skis out in the lake. At the end of the day before my flight, I got a group picture of the Wamilton crew before I left. Unfortunately due to a pro rider who came to talk business, Peter was held up by Wamilton trying to settle business. To make this long story short, I missed my flight and $200 later I was rescheduled for a flight home the following morning. My thanks go out once again to DJ, and Natalie for everything they did for me this week including picking me back up from the airport, letting me stay another night, and waking up early to make sure I got to the airport on time. Thank you both again so much!

That was it, my first Daytona Freeride. Aside from random emergency expenses, the trip was one I will remember for years to come. This was an incredible experience and my thanks goes out to Wamiltons Customs for all my parts and accommodations during the event, Pacific Motorsports for all the parts, time, and assistance, Performance Fiberglass for helping me finish the body work on my ski, and my newest sponsor, Pacseal Hydraulics for the very much appreciated financial support, which really made the entire trip not only possible comfortable.

Until the next adventure,


Making Progress

Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

For the last two weeks I have been slowly but surely rebuilding my motor with some new and interesting parts.

Within the last three weeks, I have received my engine parts from my sponsor Paul Lehr of Lehr Performance Watercraft. Paul did many great things to dial in my engine.
His services included:
-Porting my cylinder for low end power
-Lightening my flywheel for improved throttle response
-Boring my pump nozzle to increase thrust
-Epoxied the gap on my intake manifold.
-Jetted and dialed in my 44mm carburetors to the porting specs.
-Bored and port matched my factory pipe, manifold, and head pipe.

I am very excited to feel the light yet powerful punch this motor will deliver out in the surf!
My hat is off to Paul, he did great work to give me the best I can get with what I have.

A Week later I received a HUGE package from Wamilton with the few parts that I needed to complete my motor rebuild and a few items that just blew me away!

Wamilton sent me over $2,000 worth of parts and his products, including:
-A heavy duty Rick Roy handlepole Bracket
-A carbon fiber Factory Pipe chamber
-2 ADA 33cc domes for the ADA girdled head they gave to me in Havasu
-2 Pistons from their 2008 superjets that are ran once from factory before they tear them apart.
-Wamilton’s signature lowered hood system with 2 hand holds. (I will paint black)
-A carbon fiber lowered nose piece

I was so excited when I received these parts, I ripped off my stock hood and handle pole, and laid everything together to catch a glimpse of my future ski.

I did not expect Wamilton to send me these outstanding parts. He and the rest of the shop family’s trust and belief in me is appreciated and respected beyond any words I can think of.

Now that I have all my parts, it is all on me to finish the job, and get back into the water as soon as I can.

I started with my motor work at my sponsor shop and work, Pacific Motorsports In Brea, CA. Gordon the owner has contributed many small, and big parts I needed including: All gaskets & seals for the motor, carburetor rebuild parts, the tools, necessary products, and most of all his time to guide and assist me through the entire rebuild process. I am very thankful for his support. His logo may not be the loudest speaking on my ski, Yet without the things he contributes towards my riding progress, I would not be where I am today.

The entire build did not take too long. I worked between every non-working, and school gap I could be in the shop.

I began the entire build process by sandblasting almost all of my engine parts and repainting it a full gloss black paint. From there, with the help of Gordon for technical processes, I was able to get the motor from being in pieces in my work bay, to sitting on my dresser ready to rock in a week.

Here are the pictures from the build process:

To keep track of the complete build project, visit my build thread on at here.

That is where I am right now. Later this week I plan to haul the hull and hood to my fiberglass sponsor, and good friends at Performance Fiberglass to begin the work on the hull.

Until the next time,

-Mark Gomez

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