The CWB Good Vibes Tour started off as an idea from Gabe Lucas for a wake park tour that stopped by all the local parks in the Texas area to spread good vibes with free CWB Vibe boards to ride, gear giveaways from all the sponsors and a chance for kids to hang out with some of their favorite CWB team riders. The tour then moved on to a second leg in Florida where it was just as big of a success as Texas. With the speedy growth of wake parks in the United States every year, there was no doubt that the tour would continue for 2011. Continued it did.
The tour was a huge hit again in Texas early this summer with stops at all the major parks. Unfortunately, I was unable to make the Texas tour this year as I was overseas competing, but there was no way I was going to miss the Florida tour! This year the Florida tour took place in four days, at four different parks. The first day was held at McCormick's, second day at OWC, third day at Ski Rixen and the fourth at Revolution. All the stops had plenty of new CWB Vibes to ride, Kicker Audio gear to give away and free Red Bulls to drink. Sounds too good to be true, right?
To be honest, I really don’t even know where to start with this trip, so I’m just going to start with the very beginning where Gabe's flight was delayed into Orlando just enough to make him late to pick up his rental minivan. Luckily, CWB wakeskater Stu Shinn was there to help with an extremely late airport pickup and early morning drop off to the rental car place so Gabe could make it to our first stop at the McCormick's Cable Park in Tampa.
The turn out at McCormick's was big with team riders Clay Fletcher, Derek Grasman, Andrew Adkison, Zane Schwenk, Gabe Lucas and myself. We weren’t even done setting up our so-called booth before we were bombarded with people ready to test out the gear. Within the first 20 minutes we had all of our Vibes in every size out on the water or waiting in line to ride, so what else were we to do but go ride ourselves!
After getting a few laps and laughs in line with everyone, I decided to break off and try to snap some photos off before I got sucked too far into the fun and forget. Everyone was pretty much making it easy for me, so after I got enough photos of everyone I headed back to the booth to keep the gear flowing to other riders that wanted to test it out. Before we knew it, the day was almost over and I didn’t even film anyone with the GoPro yet! Luckily, Gabe wasn’t dead tired and was down to get some shots really quick before we had to break down and pack up. I wish I would have been able to film Clay, Derek and Andrew because they were destroying everything they hit all day, but I guess there was nothing I could do about that one. At the end of the day everyone was long past pooped but stoked on how day one turned out and couldn’t have been any happier with McCormick's and the hospitality they gave us.
Day two Continued in Orlando with the same crew as day one, but at the ever-so-famous OWC. We decided to post up under a tree on a grass hill looking over the whole cable. It started off as a typical sunny Florida day, so Derek and I decided to play a little water tennis with some cheap ass toys he bought at who knows where. It was surprisingly really fun for maybe 20 minutes before the paddles broke and we had to actually go ride in the scorching heat.
After everyone got a few laps in, mother nature decided to try and ruin the day with a trifecta of storms that all connected together over OWC for about three hours. Even though it came before I could get photos of everyone, something like that wasn’t going to ruin a Good Vibes tour stop, no sir. We stuck it out! Everyone was diggin' the product too much, so we had to stay. One kid was still walking around in our new park booties the entire time we waited out the storms...I don’t blame him because they just look that fly.
As the storms started to clear, the sun was on its way down. Unfortunately, at that point it was just Gabe and I left so what better to do than try and get some more footage before it got dark. At least we got some good stuff, but even though the day turned sour with the storms hitting us for so long, it was still another success for the public to get out and ride the gear. OWC was too kind with letting us come and use their chairs, easy up and cable to keep us comfortable and make another perfect day on the water.
Day three started bright and early with only Gabe, Zane, Steve Bates and myself for the rest of the stops and the four-hour drive down to Ski Rixen in Ft. Lauderdale. This was actually the only cable in Florida that none of us have even been to yet, so right there we were already really excited to get down and check the place out. When we got there we were actually really surprised to see how many obstacles there were in the water and how many people were in line! The place was packed for a Wednesday! We literally didn’t even make a booth until two hours after we got there because every time we took a board out of a bag we had to set it up for someone to ride it.
Everyone there was so chilled out and relaxed that we barely even rode! Gabe and I took a couple doubles sets and Zane maybe got out there once or twice and that was about it. We just had too good of a time hanging out with all of the locals that I even forgot to take photos and film there...oops. At least our team manager Steve Bates was there to snap a few photos off. Rixen was a bad ass park though with a crazy tall flat bar that was almost impossible to ollie on to, a unit transfer box, dragon box, wall ride, a bunch of kickers and even a camp woodward skate park on site…come on, you just cant beat all of that. The place was perfect. I highly suggest you make a visit to the park if you are ever in the area.
The forth and final day started as another early one since we had another long drive to Ft. Myers for the last stop at the Revolution wake park. It had been a few years since Gabe and I have been there and it was actually the first time for Zane and Steve. Revolution is like a hidden oasis located behind some industrial buildings with quite the heavy population of wakeboarding. They have two kickers and four rails. One of the rails is a brand spanking new flat bar that they had just put in a few days before we got there, so it was cool to hit something so new. Just like Rixen, the locals were extremely relaxed there and pumped to have us for the day. Since I felt like I slacked a little on the photos and video the day before, I was chomping at the bit to get some photos and video in. Even though it was just Gabe, Zane and myself riding with all of the locals again, we still had a blast and got some epic footage...especially Zanes boot ski crash! Amazing! Everyone at Revolution was loving the product and incredibly nice to us. We cant wait to come back there next year!
The Good Vibes Tour may be over this year, but get ready to see us again next year and not just in Texas and Florida. We will be traveling all over the nation and, who knows, maybe even some overseas stops? The world may never know. Until then, the Good Vibes Tour minivan will rest up and return next summer!