The Poolhouse Experiment
by Chris Olicevitz
It’s all American wakeskate dream: to have your own private winch spot in your backyard that you can do what you want and shred year round. Most of us have the dream, but few of us ever have the means. Thus the winching experiment known as “The Pool House” began when the opportunity was given to me. It started my senior year of high school when my (now ex) girlfriend’s mom told me about a stretch of their property behind their pool house that she thought might work for something similar to the Liquid Force Slideshow. I did some research and started making this dream a living and breathing reality.
Building a backyard winch spot with a cold during a chilly Northern California winter isn’t the best way to make it happen. There’s nothing like trying to dig a 2-4’ deep hole that’s 40 feet long and 6 feet wide while the rain drizzles on you at 40 degrees. Needless to say, there were a lot of trips to Panera for warm soup. In the end it paid off, and it wasn’t too long before Mitch Lemos, Scott Alexander, and I were all shredding the pool. Literally.
We quickly learned that wakeskates crashing into the pool would tear up the plastic liner. I came up with the bright idea to build a pump system that pumped water from a creek below the property and filled the pool. It was worth the money, but as winter ended so did the free water. We then began running up my ex’s water bill, so we all threw down “water money.” I went ahead and took gas of the $5 gas bill. Don’t worry, I made sure I ran premium. Shortly after we invited another Nor-Cal ripper Josh Rossi out to partake in the festivities. The poolside BBQ never happened, but we sure made up for it in feasts of Doritios and Lays (followed by a dinner of Zachary’s pizza…mmm).
Overall we had a great time riding and shooting at our own private winch spot. Scott would do what he does best, as he got really creative with his photos and killed it riding too. Josh brought the Yay Area music and true west coast style to the table. Meanwhile, Mitch and I pushed each other not only into the cold pools, but also to progress A LOT! We both learned new tricks everyday, including different presses using epoxy filled ping-pong balls. If you’re considering building your own winch pool setup, go for it! Just make sure to turn off the hose when you’re done.