Wake for Warriors
Miami, FL March 28-30 2017
Early starts on Tuesday morning followed by lengthy plane and car rides initiate the first stop of the 2017 Wake for Warriors season. To set the scene, imagine this: a handful of military athletes from all over the world, ranging from paraplegics to amputees, gathering in beautiful Miami, Florida for 3 days of wake-surfing and wake-boarding in some of the best conditions in the world.
Wednesday begins the initial learning day behind Gator Bait’s gorgeous Super Air Nautique G23 where the athletes learned to surf and wakeboard with the help of wakeboarding’s own Shawn Watson. Every rider, through adaptive learning and teaching, was successful in getting up on the water, beaming smiles brighter than the Miami sun.
Thursday brought soreness that was pushed away by determination and excitement for Wake for Warrior’s first attempt at teaching at a cable park. With the help of Miami Watersports Complex and all of their staff, the dream of incorporating park riding became a reality. Beginning the day at the 2.0 system where riders learned how to attack cable riding to shredding the advanced cable, each rider overcame their personal adversity and by the end of the day was ripping lap after lap.
Friday morning was meant to start a travel day filled with goodbyes and shared phone numbers, but this was not the case thanks to Marcos Moran and Gator Bait. Wake for Warriors gained the opportunity for one last ride in the bay and each rider exerted every last ounce of energy to be on the water and participate in the sports that we all know and love. After a quick morning session, followed by a quick bite to eat, the time came to separate ways.
Now, the separating of ways really is not a goodbye, but more of a “see you later.” Wake for Warriors does not just introduce people to a sport where they can push themselves beyond their injuries, but it creates lasting friendships and comradery that last a lifetime.
Putting such an event together could not have happened without the help of Gator Bait Wakeboard School, Miami Watersports Complex, and all of the volunteers and athletes who dedicated their time and efforts to make this a great start to an even greater 2017 season.
Athletes include: Nate Hamilton, Austin Reese, Mark Roseberry, Gabriel Gonzalez, and Matt Roach accompanied by his wife Danielle Roach
-Jay McKibben, Wake for Warriors