Hope you all got a chance to watch live at http://wakesurfopen.com . If not, make sure you watch the pro finals tomorrow...
We are having a great time, great turnout, and meeting lots of new friends. We have tons of pics and video, but I just snapped a few things with the iphone and I thought I would get these up. We had more people there on Thursday night than I think we had on Saturday of the first year. So many people are just here to meet new people and have fun related to wakesurfing. Met a family from Iowa today, came just for the clinics, basically learned to surf online, so cool. Their son in the clinic was 16 years old and said he wasn't competing. I told him he had to get in, its too much fun and gets you stoked on the sport. He was very nervous so I got Chris Wolter who was in the SAME position at 14 2 years ago. I talked him into competing in Amateur Male Surf and now he is a great up and coming rider with a sponsorship. So he competed today, and had a great run, maybe we will see more of him. I forget his name, I think it was Kent, so sorry. So many names to remember, I will repost and get it right later.
Here is a pic from Thursday late afternoon. The sunsets and late afternoons on Camp Far West are unrivaled this time of year, so beautiful, and we were camping under the trees and setting up stuff for the rest of the event.
Late in the day, Chris and Korina were helping bring the boat in, I think on Wednesday here? Don't remember.
People were already camping down the cove...
Dennis showed up on Thursday with Chris' new TWP Bomb Pop with Carbon Deck, it was sick looking and Chris was beaming. Couldn't wait to get it behind the Z3.
We made a bonfire on Friday night.
OK, warning, wakesurf geek out time. In order to pull the event with one boat, we needed to find a setup on each side and get to it quickly. We had special scales under the bags to measure the column of water above the scale. Not perfect, but worked pretty good.
This is the main reason I wanted to tow the event with one boat, and my own boat, not a demo boat. I wanted to install camera and transmission system in a much better way. How is 3 GoPro Hero2 cameras, 2 on transom each for reg and goofy, and one on top of the tower for a high shot? Did I mention that we installed it into the Tige Touch Screen so that with the push of a button the driver could monitor the camera view and status of each camera?
Here is me at command central preparing for the broadcast, all set. If you watched any of it, you will have noticed how we switched between cameras, which I did all from my laptop.
Jesse rode her fist comp, did great.
After the first day of the competition we sat for dinner prepared by Gold Key Boathouse and Storage and watched some live music we had arranged for, while watching the coming sunset. I really enjoyed that, great food too, all homemade.
I am so proud of my family and partners at CMS, and all of the volunteers and judges. You guys all rock.
Some Great wakesurfing by the way, of course we will have all the runs up later.
Wow! That is quite the setup with the camera's Robert! AWESOME! What did you use to tap the GoPro's into the Tige touch? Digital scales???? You just took wakesurfing competitions to the next level! Thanks for your hard work!
Thanks Robert and CMS, I had the best surf weekend outing I have ever had! Nothing beats surfing with such good friends! Maddie and Jessie were also a pleasure to have around our camp! your family rocks!! Can't wait to see ya all in Sea-Town! And Frankwo, it was a pleasure to get to know you and Chris alot better! I LOVE WAKESURFING!!!!!
X2 thanks for a great weekend. We had a blast great people and great event we will definitely be making the trip next year.My daughter and Maddie had a blast together as well as my son and Thomas. Frank it was a pleasure spending time with you and your son.Here is a pic I have to share proof Frank goes both ways..... LOL
I had a great 4 days and it was a great event and I think I logged about 30 hours driving the Z3 over 4 days. I wanna thank Ragboy for alllowing me to drive the boat, Dennis for the best surfboard I have ridden to date, Mitch and Rj for all their hard work, and Frank for the loan on the hat since we couldn't have the Bimini on with the antennas.
I never got to shore enough to meet too many new people but the few I did like Harold, Allen and Rob Harrington it was a pleasure for sure.
Thanks guys, really fun having you all there, and had a great time. I have also say a special thanks to the drivers and judges. As Chris Martinez said, he spent like 30 hours driving the Z3, and is now a certified Z3 wakeologist. Rob Harrington drove the pontoon boat for 2 days straight also and the judges worked tirelessly. CM and Dennis and RJ were on wake duty, I will explain that more in a bit. I needed a day to catch up, but I wanted to show this quick video. I stumbled on this clip and it blew me away, but shows the conditions and venue pretty well. We got a bit of wind on Sunday, but not much, other than that, it was flat, and we had volunteers on Waverunners patrolling the course and keeping clear and flat.
Camp Far West allows us to close off this cove so that we have no other wakes in it, but we still have to enforce it, which was fun at times. ;-)
Anyway, check out this AMAZING recovery by Ford Chupik, and I will also be back to answer some of those questions. So much video and photos to sift through! But I love it.
It was an Absolutely Amazing Event that Ran for Four Full Days!! Most everybody camping on the lake together makes it so fun and friendly!!
You have to give it up big time to Robert and Grant and their families and the volunteers as it was a great event that went so smooth and perfect!! We are all so lucky to be beneficiaries of their hospitality and time and commitment!!
And I have a lot more respect for the north westerners!! Damn awesome fun people!! I told them I was " the guy " who could sell them some California sun to take to Washington and they saw right through that LOL!!
And you gotta love the campsite of a room with no doors!! And the old Sanger did list to starboard a few times!! I made a lot of new friends that will always be a part of me and that in itself is so cool!!
Big Congrats to all who made it out there and made it an awesome time and event!!
So to answer the questions about the setup of wake and cameras and such, we made a little video. Check it out, and then we will fill in some of the more geeky details.
It has been our desire for a while to pull this event with one boat. Not just because we have been coined "equal opportunity" wakesurfers and our desire to promote great wakesurf boats that throw great wakes on both sides with the same effort. That is true, but we have shaken that stick enough, right? ;-) There is another benefit that we were focused more heavily on.
Technically, the 2010 Wakesurf Festival was pulled by one boat due to an accident. We learned from that experience that it is a challenge. Normally when you use 2 boats each is set to be perfectly dialed for each side and usually water is only part of the weight, and lead or other more dense, stable ballast is used in addition. In 2010 we were not prepared to tow with one boat and the contest moved slower than we wished. It took a while to move the lead and adjust the system each time we switched sides but we dealt with it and did a decent job.
For 2012 we needed to have a system that would switch from side to side in under 4 minutes, about the same time it would take to move judges and such from one boat to the other and get started. We accomplished this in several ways.
We installed a special system in the boat that requires ZERO through hull drilling to quickly move water from one side to the other. This was provided by wakemakers.com and we will be showing that off more thoroughly soon.
We installed custom plug and play sacs from wakemakers.com specifically for the Z3 that allowed us to hold the weight we needed without using anything other than water and allowed us to weight the boat without any ballast that wasn't hidden. (We did keep a 440lb sac on the floor that could be filled throughout the day to compensate for loss of weight from using the gas in the tank.)
We installed digital scales in the rear lockers to measure more precisely the amount of ballast we were running at any given time.
Here is a picture of the readout part of the scale, the other part is under the bag on the floor of the locker.
The scale part was the part that took a while to figure out, and ended up working extremely well. The scale doesn't measure the weight in the bag and the scale only goes up to 330 lbs. It measures the column of water above the bag. It doesn't need to even be accurate. You just turn the scale on when the bag is empty and it reads ZERO. Then you fill up the bag and it reads say 160 lbs, or whatever. When you let water out the scale goes down, and vice versa. Even though the weight doesn't mean anything, its gives you an accurate mark to hit. So if you dial in the wake with the given conditions and people in the boat, and you note that starboard was at 20 lbs and regular was at 120 lbs, then you just need to hit that same mark when you switch to this side. It worked, but with a couple of caveats. You can NEVER turn the scales off when they are not empty. Every time you turn the scale off and on it zeros the scale. In order to get around this we found scales that did NOT turn off automatically and lasted forever on their batteries, like 3 days (they can also be powered by DC). We also modified the readout/panel to cover the on/off button so that no one could accidentally turn them off during the comp. Cool, huh?
We are not naive enough to think that all would ride behind the Z3 and then want to sell their boats and call Tige. We love our boat, and others love their Centurions and Supremes and Sangers and MBs and "insert brand here". No problem. It was all about hospitality. Chris Martinez was the designated driver and Dennis and RJ would be in the boat at all times and the four of us met to work out how this would work and we were completely committed to giving each rider the best ride we could. We practiced and tested on Thursday and Friday and worked out a few kinks and felt pretty good. On Saturday we were caught off guard by some riders, especially female skim riders that really wanted to slow down. We were ready for taking the taps down to mellow the wake, but that threw us a bit, we tested at 11 mph to 11.6 or so. So we got up early and prepared setups for Sunday based on what everyone wanted the day before and adjusted weight and taps throughout the day using the scales to guide us. The guys in the boat switched faster than we got the pontoon boat of new riders ready on Sunday. They got good at it and we got a lot of positive feedback.
The Other Benefit
So that all goes back to the main reason we took this on. Whenever we transmit for the broadcasts we do, we use one transmitter for each boat. Sometimes one boat or the other will glitch on parts of the course. Its difficult to run more than 2 channels and also to install multiple packages on multiple boats, but multiple packages on one boat seemed doable. It allowed us to have a camera on top of the tower always transmitting, and then use cameras on the transom for the best angle. I have never wanted to use transom cameras before, because they get wet, get banged, they are just in a position to not be the most reliable but yet provide the best view. With the camera on top always transmitting along with the transom cameras, I was able to switch when there were any issues, or just for the hell of it. It worked, and made the broadcast virtually trouble free for the first time. That was very rewarding. We used 2 Hero 2 cameras on the transom and a Hero for the tower camera. All of this was installed in such a way that it could be easily removed without leaving a mark, well, except for the cup holders in the transom. We drilled larger holes in the bottom of the cup holders to run the Hero 2 cables through. It still holds a drink just fine.
It was a challenge but a ton of fun for all us, especially this very large geek.
I pulled out a few pictures that really stood out. The first is the one that made me sit back in my chair and pause and go "Whoah!". Ashley Kidd is a great wakesurfer but this picture threw me back. That is some amazing air.
That one picture made me want to post some highlights. So here are some more.
Great bottom turn by Ashley.
This is little Raleigh Hager and she rocks, as a father of four daughters I love how these girls will inspire new female surfers.
I know that both Maddie and Jessica have been inspired and Maddie especially from some personal attention by Ashley Kidd. Thanks Ashley.
I love it when Keenan throws air like this on his skim board, and with a grab, serious control and talent.
One of my favorite shots of Dom killing it.
Chase rode on a off the shelf Liquid Force quad because his new board is not done yet, and he still flew it.
James had a fever on Saturday and you could tell he wasn't in top form, but that didn't keep him from putting some serious sky under his beautiful stretch/flyboy board.
Keenan also entered the open men surf class flew his 2nd prototype board. He said he was still working on the fins and stuff, I can't wait to see it when its done. You can't see in these pics but the deck has a very pronounced double concave and he doesn't use anything by a rear tail pad and wax for traction. Looked very old school, I liked it.
So we were going through all of the photos for Sunday to get them up and I hit this picture of Raleigh Hager doing a bottom turn. Now, while broadcasting I saw her bottom turns and dropped my jaw. This little girl is like 11 yrs old. If I stood up next to her you would think it was a promo for a new Godzilla movie or something. She is tiny, cute, and that board is small, but she rocks it. Before I show that pic, you can now view ALL of the pictures from the event organized by day and division here:
These are in order of appearance. I already posted that amazing recovery video by Ford Chupik riding his Shred Stixx Nano, but check out this great air.
OK, mitch didn't land this, but its a cool pic, and we love Mitch.
I love the intensity of Dominic Legace's shots, and the hair just enhances the whole thing.
Here are a few of Keenan Flegel. I love watching this kid surf especially when he throws his skim tricks so high in the air and with such ferocity.
I think this is my favorite picture of Bri Chmel from the event, she won the Open Women Skim division and did it with style.
OK, this is my favorite picture from Sunday. Serious, RJ can take bottom turn lessons from Raleigh Hager. I love it.
Raleigh doesn't quite get as high as say Ashley Kidd, but she throws some respectable airs. Did I mention she was 11?
Ashley Kidd was on her game on Sunday, and threw huge airs and shows lots of style and ferociousness. She really attacked that Z3 wake.
Speaking of style, I thought this picture was awesome. As a father of 4 girls, 2 working up in competitive wakesurfing, I saw this as "I can surf better than any dude, and still make it look good". Way to inspire the girls Ashley.
Korina busting a great indy grab on her new TWP Bomb Pop. If you haven't seen Korina do her backside switch 360, you gotta check out that video when its up. Korina won the Open Women Surf division.
Keenan is working on his new surf style board and I give him tons of credit for trying to do something new. Keenan is definitely not a follower. Can't wait to see him keep progressing surf style.
Chris Wolter shows in this picture that he can hang with the big boys in the air, that is serious air. When Chris really starts nailing his tricks consistently, he is going to be a force to be reckoned with.
James Walker won the Open Men Surf division and definitely had the most beautiful board on the water. James had a fever on Saturday and seemed a bit off, but that was not the case on Sunday.
I was disappointed he didn't land his Big Spin, but only because I REALLY wanted to see it in person. He really had a great run and did it in that JW style especially when you see him perform so smooth and really stall out several tricks revert longer than he needs to just for effect.
Most riders lose a bit of air when they go for the grab. Well, except for Chase Hazen. Chase was riding an off the shelf Liquid Force production board and still had a great run.
Check out this grab, roast beef I think. Still tons of sky below his board and with a grab like that, only Chase.
So many great pics. For the record, I choose the highlights purely subjectively. I just pick out the pics that really get me going. Nothing scientific about it.