Most trips never go according to plan, especially those of the wake variety. So it can only be reasoned that the Remote team trip last fall went so well because there was no plan at all. The story we featured in the Photo Annual issue of Alliance was one of the best trips I went on last year, and it was a trip that didn’t include an exotic destination, or even a lake for that matter.
The fact that we didn’t have a plan on this trip only made it that much more fun. We were free to do what we wanted, when we wanted to. Obviously we came up with a general idea of where we were going and when, but that general idea was altered many times and many different ways throughout the course of the trip. From finding friends on Facebook helping us locate new spots, to just looking at Google Earth on our iPhones and scouting, we were constantly tweaking the trip and looking for new, fun things to do. None of this would have been possible, of course, if it weren’t for the little machine stuck into the hitch on the back of the Sprinter van: the winch.
The winch allowed us to go where we wanted to, places that many of us had never been to before. It allowed us to take detours and alter our itinerary. It freed us up to do what we ultimately all wanted to do: find awesome spots to ride and document the fun.
As I wrote in the original story, a lot of trips aren’t about the destination, or the journey; it’s who you’re with along the way. The Remote team is a great group of guys to be with, especially if “being with” entails cramming into a Dodge Sprinter van to drive over 3,000 miles and through 10 states. Throughout the trip everybody had an awesome time hanging out, riding, and even being crammed in the van on the road. There were lots of long drives throughout the seven days on the road, but that didn’t bother anybody. If anything the long drives just meant the next spot could make it all worthwhile. Even if a spot was a bust, there was always the hope and belief that the next spot we went to would be a sweet one. That’s just the attitude that comes from the Remote team, and it made the trip a big success.
Each spot had it’s own story to tell, which is why we couldn’t fit them all in the magazine. Besides, you guys probably don’t read that much anyway. If you’ve made it this far on a website, give yourself a pat on the back (and double check to make sure nobody at work has spotted you). Here’s some stories from spots we went, good and bad.
Ben Horan’s house: Obviously, Ben’s house is set up for some prime time shredding, but due to heavy rains the week before the trip, his ponds were very full of water. So full, in fact, that the “drop” from the top pond to the bottom pond was only about 12 inches. Fortunately Ben had a sweet yellow handrail and the guys were able to improvise.
Hooker Falls: Yes, there is a place called Hooker falls, and no, it’s not because loose women are there selling themselves or because Matt has conquered it. Matt has actually visited the location before, but never dropped it. It’s huge. Our visit there was no different. It was still huge, and Matt knew his tweaked ankle wouldn’t be able to handle it. Even the riders with healthy ankles didn’t want to try it. Thus, Hooker falls remains unconquered.
Cold Stone: We got word of a spot in a shopping center parking lot. It was actually a series of pretty nice fountains, but they were totally overgrown with trees. You could barely see the water from the parking lot. Perfect for winching in the middle of the day. The guys rode for a while and we got some nice-looking photos, but no hammers. The best part was the Cold Stone we parked next to and took advantage of afterward. Yum.
Woodward: The wakeskate pond with a System 2.0 only has one Unit rail so far, but they have plans to expand it. Other than that, we had all of Woodward to ourselves and got to go wherever we wanted. Sweet.
Hooter’s Gap: We were turned onto this crazy spot by Chris Hopf from the East Coast Wake Park. It had only been hit by wakeboarders before because it was a pretty big gap, but that didn’t stop Ben and Yan from doing some crazy high-speed ollies down it. Watching those guys tackle the monster and then celebrating at a nearby Hooters (and watching Hooker get a young waitress’ digits) was awesome.
Tennessee swimming hole: Yes, this spot was from Tennessee, ‘cause it was the only ten we could see… HAHAHA… ok, just kidding. But the spot was rad. Benny’s switch backside 180 down the 6-7 foot drop first try was insane. We also got to see an Asian woman in a pink traditional kimono thing film a music video at the water’s edge. And by film we mean, “lip sync over the music coming out of a portable CD player while two men film her with a Sony HandiCam on a tripod”.
Alabama: Who says the downturn in the economy is all bad? Alabama has a housing development that went belly up before a single house could be built, but the roads and man-made ponds are still there. We spent nearly an entire day shredding the place and got some of the best photos of the trip there.