By David Hanson
Wakeskating, like any other board sport, is better done with friends. Actually, it is one of the few board sports that is actually impossible to do without friends (unless of course, you only ride cable.) But either way, having a posse just makes it more fun. That way you have people around to get stoked when you land a trick, tell you you suck when you don’t, and most importantly, back you up in a fight. In wakeskating, the best posses ride together, party together and live together, all the while furthering their respective scenes. In their honor, here are some profiles of the best crews, past and present.
It just wouldn’t be right to do a crews story and not talk about Cassette. “First off, it was the best crew of all time. The best crew of all wake, not just wakeskating,” Thomas said. The Cassette dudes did everything themselves. “We were the only crew that did its own wakeskates, own videos and threw its own parties in my warehouse. We invented concave and bi level wakeskates and put out the first wakeskate magazine called Analog.” FuelTV actually called Cassette one of the ten best crews in actions, ever.
The glory days may be over, but no one should ever forget everything that Cassette did for wakeskating.—BG
Location: Thomas’s warehouse, Orlando, FL
Official Members: Thomas Horrell, Aaron Reed, Myles Vickers, Jim Leatherman, Justin Tucker, Joshua Johnson, Danny Hampson, Danny Molina, Sam Ratto, Drew Mcguckin, Tim Kovacich and many others.
Pull of Choice: The Session Boat, and Sea Doo, and we invented the winch
Photographer: Josh Letchworth
Token Strapper: NONE. Apparently strappers didn’t enjoy being relentlessly mocked.
Latest Video: NARLA. But they were the pioneers of the first all wakeskate video, Linear Perspective.
The area code “941” has become pretty well known these days, and even synonymous with super radical wakeskating. These guys pretty much get really good really fast, and no one really knows why… I know the 941 has had their scuffles in the past, but in the end these guys still stick together and rock their scene pretty hard. I decided to get the inside scoop from Nick Taylor, since he has been riding down there longer than nearly anyone.–DH
Location: Bradenton/Anna Maria Island, Florida
Official Members: Nick Taylor, Stu Shinn, Travis Doran, Andrew Fortenberry, Cory Wash, Jordan Spraig, Tommy Wooter, Jimmy Chadsey, and Father Time (Nick’s dog)
Pull of choice: Stu’s X-Star, Nick’s SeaDoo
Official Photographer: Goldie Bear
Token Strapper: “Oh, we kicked him out.”
Latest video: Volume 6 (“That was the last one we were all in”)
The Oregon Trail Trash crew is one you have to experience to understand. Basically these guys live to have a good time. Zak Stone knows how to get things done, like his huge video project he just finished, Not What Cha Think, which chronicles the life and times of the OTT, livin’ and lovin’ life up in the beautiful state of Oregon. Really great vibes around OTT, and always a party. I caught up with Zak to hear the inside scoop on OTT, which he summed up here. ”We All work normal jobs, We ride at least once a week! We are year round, and I mean year round. It frees us from our life and puts the joy of being a kid back into our souls! I love my Crew, They all work very hard and helping out and making it happen… Riding use to be a solo sport, but really it’s the biggest team sport I can think of. Your riders, filmers, drivers, photographers, rail Builders, rope pullers, and even the food bringers!!!”–DH
Location: West Salem, OR is the OTT headquarters, “but we mob all over Oregon”
Official Members: Zak Stone, Andrew Belzer, Nick Kramer, Brett Jackson, Phill Combs, Kacey Lyn, Joe Miller, Russell Young, Trenton Ataue Young, Spencer Ellis, Bryan Swarm, Joe Poitras, DJ Gitdown, Donavon Sipple, Cody Miller, Kelly Gilmore, Jear “Bear” Holms, Matt Vestlic, Zach Snyder, Greg Waters, Danni Combs, Tony Biasi, Leaf and Tyler Ploub, Chris DeGeorges, “and all the riders that have filmed with us I feel are part of the crew, they help out in lots of ways and we all have a great OTTime.”
Pull of choice: Duh! Winch Bitch, AKA The Hive
Official Photographer: Spencer Ellis, Bryan Swarm, Brett Jackson when he brings his camera. “I also like jumping behind the lens. JAM took my dvd cover pic so gotta give him mad props.”
Token Strapper: “Brett Jackson is amazing, Phill Combs is coming back from the dead, we rode last night he killed it. Even I am strapping in again!”
Latest video: Not What Cha Think!!!
The homeless crew is a band of vagabond winchers on a mission to change the way people look at wakeskating and wakeboarding. These dudes are constantly traveling the roads of America looking for winch gaps and tearing them apart. Their newest film, Homeless, hit stores early in 2008 and featured only winch riding, the first video of its kind. These guys are visionaries and revolutionaries, taking wakeskating to a different level. With Kyle Walton at the helm of this runaway pirate ship, I got the scoop on Homeless from the man himself.–DH
Location: Bellingham, Washington
Official Members: Nothing is official in this world! www.LaSewer.com Josh Jansson, Jake Slone, Funk, Brandon Rau, Krooked Murff (Kyle Murphy), Gore, Tim Kovacich, Vinny Knapp, Kyle Walton, “and every other broke ass trying to make it the right way.”
Pull of choice: WINCH
Official Photographer: Jake Slone, and JJ
Token Strapper: Right now Vinny is a loaded gun firing rounds!!!
Latest video: Homeless is in stores, Change is Good is in the making!
Ever wonder how the top guys in the industry get to be that way? Well the fact that they all ride together certainly helps. Add in their leader is the one of the most influential and respected people in wakeskating, and you have a recipe for success. It’s hard to call this crew by one name, but as of late they’ve been showcased in (and producing) the Volume Wakeskate Video series, so we’re going with that. –BG
Location: Lake Georgia, Orlando, FL
Official Members: Scott Byerly, Brian Grubb, Brandon Thomas, George Daniels, Drew McGuckin, Blood, Brian Dalton
Pull of Choice: Byerly and BT’s Nautiques, Grubb’s Malibu Wakesetter VLX
Official Photograper: Matt Malloy, Bryan Soderlind
Token Strapper: Nope
Latest Video: Volume 7
It’s pretty safe to say that the Narcoossee Posse is past its glory days, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be brought back to fruition some day! Many people have moved from the Narc, but the cool waters of Lake Whippoorwill and the hot coals of many a bonfire still burn deep in all of our souls and keep us connected to our roots and to each other. The Narc-P is all about having fun, riding with our buddies, and enjoying life out here in the country.–DH
Location: Narcoossee, FL
Official Members: Chase Connor, Johnny Kerce, David Hanson, Adam Errington, Steve and Jeff McMurtrie
Pull of choice: Anything on Lake Whippoorwill!
Official Photographer: JAM!
Token Strapper: Adam…but we still love him
Latest video: Silhouette was the first (and only) legit Narc-P crew video. Released in December 2005, it featured full parts from all the talent Narcoossee has to offer. These are rare to find, hold onto it if you get one, and watch out for Chase Connor’s gangster opening part and some Kyle Walton cameos!
The DSG (Down South Gangstas) started way back in a small river in Woodstock Georgia and just spread through out all of the south. With the spread came some distances between the members but the crew still holds STRONG through branch off groups. –SJ
Location: ATL Georgia, The South
Official Members: Russell Brightwell, Jake Slone, Vinny Knapp, Tim Bragg, B team goes on for days…
Pull of choice: The purple or the green jet ski, 12 gauge winch, homeless winch, THE SUNBIRD R.I.P.
Official Photographer: Jake Slone
Token Strapper: V Crapp, Timpanga
Latest video: http://www.lasewer.com/site/floridatripvideo.html