Spot of Not: Fountains Gap
By Roland Lugo
So here we are once again trapped amidst the moral conundrum that has come to be so lovingly known as the “Spot or Not.” Confusing name aside, it is clear that anything worth writing about is obviously in a hittable situation. This is mostly thanks to the ingenious little creation we call the winch. My how that thing has changed the way we do what we do. Thanks for that Mr. Horrell and if you’re reading this, please come winch with me. Which brings us to our latest spot in question, The Fountains Gap.
Located conveniently in the heart of sunny Orlando, its location is by no means hidden away. In fact, quite the opposite is true because this awkwardly shaped rocky drop is actually the front entrance of a trendy apartment complex where college students and old people alike dwell in perfect harmony. I draw these assumptions from the countless number of stink eye stare downs I’ve received when frustratingly trying to lug the winch through waist high grass that is sharper then any blade of grass ever needs to be. Now the cool thing about this spot is that since it is so visible to everybody on the conjoined road, it is essential to only attempt a shred operation with the aided disguise of night. During the day security guards frantically drive golf carts up and down the property to ensure no shenanigans of any sort are taking place. Other than a couple well-lit pool gaps and that spontaneous midnight winchin’ fever that has inevitably hit us all at one point, I have never been to a spot that is solely night accessible.
This is just one factor that makes this drop a fairly unique winching experience. Add to this the fact that the starting pool is extremely short and is in the shape of a half circle. This forces you to start in a tiny little corner, stuck in between a ledge leading to a potentially rocky tumble and a giant brick wall with the words “The Fountains” proudly posted above you. Needless to say the driving in this situation is crucial and a shoddy pull could lead to an unnecessary injury and no one wants that. On the brighter side, once you take a fall in the landing pool there is a moderately strong pump that feels like it is sucking you underwater. This is a fun time in most cases and quite frankly it keeps you on your toes. Sure go ahead and have a grand time seeing how close you can get to the actual suction but I wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of a full blown hickey thanks to a winch gap. So sketch factor aside, once the winch is set up and the rider is in place the fun shortly ensues.
As far as the actual stats of this spot goes, it is a nice respectable four to five-foot drop depending on the water level and how recently it has been drained out for cleaning and maintenance. This oddly seems to happen pretty often and just about every other time we intend to hit it, we come to find out the water is all gone. There is also a pile of jagged rocks lining the whole ledge which adds a couple feet of length to overcome when boosting out. With a decent pull most people had an easy time gapping over the danger. In an ideal riding situation this drop is fun to session while still a tad beefy and intimidating. In closing, this spot is extremely close to my apartment. So if you are a shred-hungry ripper and you want to take a pull behind Walter, my voluptuous winch, don’t hesitate to signal for me when you are waiting at this spot board in hand and heart full of glee. I generally respond to smoke signals, morse code, and sos via flashlight. As for the lady shredders you can just give me a ring on the old telephone. Please join us and experience The Fountains; it truly is a tantalizing spot…….or not.