In what could be considered the feel good story of the summer, one of our very own followed his wakeboarding dream to Florida. Brandon Judd was featured in WakeWorld's November 2009 Rider Link interview. After we interviewed him out in San Diego, Brandon and his wife decided to pack up the wakeboards and head east to follow his dream. Few people can actually say that they have followed their dream, or at least attempted it, but Brandon was going to be one of those few. That Rider Link interview helped to jump start Brandon’s wakeboarding career in Florida by landing him a coaching job at The Wakeboard Camp.
So in December of 2009, Brandon hit the road and moved to the wakeboarding mecca known as Clermont, Florida. He began coaching in February. Shortly after that he also landed a job at Orlando Watersports Complex (OWC) as a cable operator and also got some time in working with Kyle Schmidt at Learnwake.com. If that isn’t a big enough list of achievements, Brandon has also been working on his graphic arts skills, becoming proficient enough to design a custom WakeWorld board graphic that was put on a CWB Transcend and given away to a lucky winner of a WakeWorld contest! He's also done the graphic for the 2010 Wakeology Stoke 132 and an upcoming 2011 Wakeology line of boards. Impressive to say the least. Keep an eye out for this kid who has been infiltrating the wake industry as both a rider, coach and designer.
This brings us to the summer of 2010. In a strange stroke of luck, Greg Solesbee of Solesbee Auto Crafts in Yorba Linda ran across a random online friend request from Brandon that eventually led to them to becoming friends in real life. Greg is an avid wakeboarder that can usually be found in his X-Star on Lake Elsinore early in the morning. Greg would normally make a pilgrimage to The Wakeboard Camp for a week to progress his riding, but with the current economy that has become a little difficult. After a few discussions with Brandon, it was decided to bring The Wakeboard Camp to California for a week of instruction on Lake Elsinore.
Between Greg and Brandon, the networking began and 30 people between the ages of 6 and 60 came out to get some instruction from Brandon. A gift bag was given out to each rider, which included a free one-week subscription to LearnWake.com, The Book DVD demo reel and 15% off coupons to Wakesports Unlimited. Randall Harris came out one of the days and was nice enough to chat with the riders for a bit and let them watch as he took a set. Wakesports Unlimited provided enough gear to pack the boat full for everyone to try, including demo boards from Humanoid. With riders learning to get up for their first time to riders learning their first inverts or spins, it was a huge success for everyone.
Probably the single biggest misconception associated with "coaching" is that it is only for advanced riders. Have you ever thought of how many crashes or other injuries you have sustained while trying to learn that new trick. Have you calculated how much gas is used in the boat turning around to pick you up for yet another try gone wrong. Well, maybe that money would be better used for getting some professional instruction. With proper instruction you'll often learn faster and sustain fewer injuries. Not to mention the fact that the single biggest reason that we wakeboard is to have fun, and what could be more fun than taking some time off and spending it at a wakeboard camp, be it a day, a week or even more. Consider including a little professional help in your future and I’m sure your body and newly-acquired bag of tricks will thank you for it!