Zak Stone brings a host of riders from around the country to ride, Oregon style.
For those of you who have not heard already, Zak Stone is making a movie, and it’s called Not What ‘Cha Think. And knowing Zak, it comes as no surprise to me that he is making sure to capture not only top notch wakeboarding and wakeskating, but also the fun and crazy lifestyle that he and the Oregon Trail Trash crew live for. The Hippodrome stop of last year’s Toe Jam tour in Washington was prime territory for OTT to make their presence known, but Zak didn’t want the good times to end there. So he invited a slew of us back to his home in Salem, Oregon, for a week of winching, filming, and everything else in between.
The crew that was compiled seemed to be perfectly fitting for NWCT, and was one of the geographically diverse groups of wakeskaters I have ever seen. We had Brandon Rau from Michigan, Ben Horan from Georgia, Bret Little from Texas, Keaton Bowlby from Nevada, Reed Watson from California, Gabe Paulson from Idaho, and from Florida was Steve Campbell, myself, and Jeff McMurtrie manning his photo gun. Seeing all these underrated riders from all over the United States completely shredding the gnar was living proof of the progression of wakeskating. Definitely not your average trip of top pros from Orlando.
Zak was ready for us: He had his house open, the winch ready to go, and a sweet rail setup down the street in a little finger of the Willamette River, his local stomping grounds. The rail run was great, and entirely winch driven by none other than OTT’s Andrew Belzer, winch driver extraordinaire! It doesn’t hurt that Zak has the best winch money can buy, The Hive. Most of our days consisted of shredding the river rail run, which included an incline rail, mini-waterfall, and incline box. It was definitely a journey of a winch pull, and created some unique opportunities for different lines of tricks to be done. On top of all that, we could always take Zak’s boat out on the river and do some filming there as well. Definitely a good hang out spot to get some footage.
Zak also wanted to make sure we got a good taste of the local nightlife scene as well, so he took us one night to a lovely little place called Club Sapphire to hear one of his buddies spin the tables a bit and DJ for us as we watched Horan dance with the local talent, apparently imported from Alaska. By the end of the night we were all on the dance floor in a circle taking turns busting out a move or two. Turns out water dancing is still the only form of dance moves any of us are very skilled at “busting out.” Zak was also kind enough to organize a northwest Esoteric premier at the Big Kahuna bar and grill. The highlight of the night though was probably the fight that broke out right outside the doors, or maybe lighting off large amounts of illegal fireworks back down by the river, then later hearing about how much trouble Zak got in for it. Sorry, buddy.
Later on in the week the crew became hungry for some good, solid, urban winching, and Zak took us to a couple spots he had found, mainly this fishladder drop right behind a dirty taco joint. The gap was nearly perfect: the landing was deep and safe and we hit it for upwards of seven hours without ever getting hassled. Watson stuck like five different tricks in his first five hits, and tons of other stuff went down from Rau, Horan (cover shot!), and Zak. One of the sickest things though was seeing how ridiculously close Southside Steve was getting to sticking a frontside flip down this beast, and also seeing Kyle Walton show up and front three it in like two tries.
If you’re eager for what Not What ‘Cha Think has in store, I can say for sure right now that the video is going to have one of the most fun, positive vibes ever captured on film. Zak wants to really portray how much fun wakeskating can be, no matter your skill level, and also prove the versatility of the sport by showing all the different aspects of it, such as cable and winch riding. Buy this video once it comes out, and anytime you get steamed about how many tries it just took you to land a three shove, just pop this bad boy in and you’ll remember just how much fun you should be having. Thanks, Zak!