by Dave Wilsey
With the cooler weather arriving, chasing the crowds away, it was time for the second yearly installment of the NorCal Convergence. This is the seventh overall gathering and it proved that wakeskaters are very adaptable to last minute changes. About a week before we were scheduled to converge, a phone call was placed by Chris Barcellos to Camp Far West to go over last minute details. He was informed that the lake level was so low the entire lake was a no wake zone. Scramble. Sure we could have winched, but the NorCal Convergence is about more than just winching. So the last minute replacement was Orwood Resort on the California Delta. As it turns out, Orwood has its pros and cons, but the bottom line is another successful NorCal Convergence was had.
Most people started arriving in the afternoon on Friday. Added to the mix this time were two cars full of SoCal skaters making the 7+ hour trip. By the time Friday evening rolled around, there were 3 winches, two skis, a Malibu, and a Mastercraft ready for the weekend. Skates there included practically every Integrity model ever produced, SST’s, a Zariel, an Oak, two brand new Devotids, and a Cassette Four Track. One of the pros of Orwood is the location itself which is very near civilization. This played into the hands of experienced campers like Keaton Bowlby and Grant Roberts. Over the course of the weekend the two of them put away over 70 inches of philly cheesesteak sandwiches and numerous other ‘fast’ food meals. Another pro is cell phone coverage. Grant’s fingers only left his prized iphone when he was riding. Friday evening brought consumption…and construction of many lengthy “wizard staffs” until the duct tape supply ran out.
Saturday morning came early, and the Delta water was as good as it gets. While breakfast was had, some of us took quick ski sets. In fact, the oldest attendee at 41 landed a shuv! The majority of the day Saturday was spent in the two boats, shooting chase and enjoying the Delta water. Keaton and Grant threw down and some of the mortals like Mitch and Chad had great sets too. Boards were tried and I’m sure a few future sales will be made. By the time late Saturday afternoon arrived, we had all converged back at camp and it was time to winch the rails. With two winches running and the light fading, the absolute most was made of our short time at the rails. Saturday night had a much more subdued atmosphere, probably due to all the riding during the day and the aftereffects of the night before.
As the last day of the Convergence dawned, Grant took a final set behind his X2 and killed it, though he won’t agree. After Grant’s set, everyone packed up and prepared to go. Most left, but a few of us lucky ones stayed on to winch the rails one last time before departing. Of note during this session was Patrick’s first try at a rail, which resulted in the crash of the weekend – see the pictures.
All in all, NorCal Convergence 7 was a smashing success. Whether you drove 7 minutes or 7 hours, it is worth the time. Seeing friends you only see a couple times a year is priceless. Meeting new people and making new friends is just as priceless. Throw wakeskating, into the mix and you have the ingredients to why we all do it. Camping, campfire shenanigans, beer tasting, donut fights, and goldfish showers are all icing on the cake.