This past weekend a gentleman named Marco Thompson gathered a plethora of boats, boards and people all in one place to do nothing but wakesurf. It was the first time anything like this has been put together in Southern California. The event was not a competition, but more like a demo day/festival/shred clinic. Basically, the event was set up for folks to meet other passionate wakesurfers and demo a ton of products available for wakesurfing.
Marco Thompson lives in San Diego and has to be the biggest wakesurfing enthusiast I’ve ever met! He owns a company called Surf Thirty and guarantees his clients to be wakesurfing in 30 minutes or less. He took it upon himself to set up the biggest event for wakesurfing southern California has ever seen, Synthetic Swell.
Synthetic Swell gathered boats from local dealers and boat owners. The list of boats in attendance was the largest gathering of different boats I have ever seen that were not at a boat show. This was a boat show on the water including Malibus, Tiges, Supras, Nautiques, Centurions, MasterCrafts and Moombas. Marco even brought out his Surf Thirty Centurion Enzo SV240 with 4500 pounds of ballast.
Synthetic Swell had no shortage of sticks either. There were over 40 boards from Soulcraft Boarding, Mendonesia Surf, Walker, J Sleigh Design Surfboards, Ronix, Hyperlite, Liquid Force and many others.
Pro riders Chris Wolter of Mendonesia Surf and Emily Agate of Soulcraft were shredding and everyone was in awe of air 360s, shuvits and transfers. Chris and Emily were also teaching people who had never wakesurfed before and got them to drop the handle. A few other industry professionals were also there showing their skills. Josh Sleigh with J Sleigh Design Surfboards was there riding his new prototype board. He has been in the surfing industry his whole career as a shaper and a shredder. When asked if he was goofy or regular, he said, “Both.” Todd Johnson, a shaper from Mendonesia Surf, was also very crafty with airs, 180s and 360s. It is always a pleasure to be on the boat with Tim Walters of Liquid Force. I think he brought five boards as well as his Axis A24 with Surf Gate and some AC/DC tunes.
Synthetic Swell was a Mecca of boats and boards. I was thinking I had died and gone to heaven, but it was all too real. The best part about it was that this was not a money making event. The organizers did this at their own expense and didn’t charge the wakesurfers any fee.
Day one of Synthetic Swell was a Saturday at Lake Elsinore with about 55 riders in attendance. Day two was a Sunday at Pepper Park on San Diego Bay with about 75 riders. It was an excellent turnout for the weekend to say the least. There were numerous people who came that had never wakesurfed before, but when the day was over they had dropped the handle and rode for more than 30 seconds. Everything was on time and no one was left without a ride if they wanted a ride.
People traveled from lands far away to be a part of the festivities. Nautique’s Greg Dick drove a G23 from Washington. Ryan Beagle, whose lake is frozen at four feet thick right now, came down from Calgary, Canada and promised he’d be back next year. Emily Agate is also from Canada making the trip from Fernie, British Columbia. Those two almost made Dennis Horton, who rolled down from Sacramento, seem like a local! And the list of travelers that covered long distances goes on. They all truly enjoyed 75 degrees and sunny for this February weekend.
Marco has more Wakesurfing events planned for the Southern California community in the future, including some competitions. It was a pleasure to be around great people all weekend that shared the same passion for wakesurfing. If you are ever in San Diego and want to go wakesurfing, definitely look up Marco Thompson at Surf-Thirty.com and he will gladly take care of you and make sure you leave a better wakesurfer.
Synthetic Swell was brought to you by Surf Thirty, WakeWorld, Walker, Liquid Force, Soulcraft, Hyperlite, Ronix, Jetpilot, Wake9, Paradise Watersports, M2O Marine, Pacific Coast Marine, Sun Country Marine, Tilly’s Marine, Body Glove, WWA, Agenda, Alliance Wakesurf, Evercarve, Wakesports, Straightline and Boarders Magazine.