By now you’ve probably seen the Nike 6.0 “Wall” ad campaign in Alliance Wakeboard. Perhaps you wondered how they did it? If you really cared, a little research and you probably discovered that info on the Nike 6.0 Insider website.
“The Wall build was an idea myself and Josh Letchworth came up with to add a different look to our sport,” explained 6.0 wake mentor Silas Thurman. “We wanted something different and new. Greg Necrason came over and built the Wall for us in Josh’s backyard. The idea was to have a studio-style shot. We didn’t want anyone to recognize the area and have a spot that every kid would want to hit.”
The inspiration for the wall was actual more organic than that though, Ben Horan told AWS. “We figured that we’re always looking through skate mags and there’s always different scenery, it’s not just blue sky and water in every picture,” he said. “We wanted to do some more street-oriented stuff. We actually tried to find a winch spot with a wall, where we could build a ledge, but that didn’t work out. So we thought, why not just build everything?”
A few sheets of plywood, some 2 x 4’s and trex, and the wall was born. “It was pretty much perfect,” Ben said of the set up. “We had trex on the corners so the box slid perfect. We had our winch out there, which is one of my favorites to ride behind.”
Don’t think though that the guys had it easy because of the near-perfect set up. Wakeskating is hard work, especially when you are trying to get the shot, without getting the cops called you on a public lake. The ad shoot lasted two nights during the first Toe Jam in April. Night as in “middle of the.” “We didn’t want to get busted on Josh’s lake for having this huge wall contraption, so we rode at midnight,” Ben said.
Ben was the first one to hit the box. “I pretty much tested out the whole deal in the freezing water, but I didn’t get a shot the first day because Josh was trying to get everything set up. Nick rode that night and got a shot second try. But the next day I went out and got a shot in a couple tries.”
Although the set up was perfect, the water temp and timing weren’t especially conducive to riding, so pretty much only the tricks that went down are the ones you’ll see in the ads. Nick did a back lip, Matt a frontboard, and Ben the back nose pictured above.
“We didn’t really get to try and cool tricks because it was freezing and we were trying to get photos,” Ben said.
After everyone had gotten a shot, the wall was torn down, securing its legacy as secret-spot forever. “It was one of those ideas that you talk about and usually goes nowhere,” Silas said, “but this one did and actually worked out exactly how we had talked about.”