By Jason Hudson
On the way up to see some pals in Washington, I stopped through Northern California to hang out with the Chico State Wakeboard Team. A power-house to say the least, Chico’s team is stock full of amazing riders who party just as good as they wakeboard (or is it the other way around?) For those of you who haven’t seen this area of the country, it is a beautiful place. There doesn’t seem to be much for an abundance of riding spots this far inland, but what it lacks in water it makes up for in beautiful rolling background landscapes. We took the twenty minute drive to Lake Forbay, a small body of water located right next to the crystal-meth capital of the world; a “must see” for any inquisitive traveler. After frightening all the local tweaked out addicts/fisherman we finally dialed in the wake of Chico State’s bright red Tigé.
With a recent open division sweep at Empire Wake’s Collegiate Regionals, the team was fresh and ready to get shredding in the 53 degree water. Riders Travis Biscoe, Brandon Hoffman and Bryan Hassfield quickly warmed up with some hammers in the glassy Northern California water. Following some impressive double-ups and interesting grab choices there is no question that Chico State is going to be a towering force at Collegiate Nationals. Just when the day seemed over, Raquel Hoffman showed up to demonstrate why she is one of the best female wakeboarders in Collegiate Wakeboarding, let alone The World.
Soon the sun set over Lake Forbay in true Californian fashion illuminating the sky in a blend of bright colors. The team took me to Riley’s Pub in downtown Chico, an event that I don’t think I was quite prepared for. During the coveted “power hour” I may or may not have forgotten my wallet, keys, shoes, and name somewhere in downtown Chico. Like any great evening, we ended with a game of tackle football in a busy intersection and disgusting greasy late night bar food. It will be a while before I bring my liver back to Chico California, but in the meantime, I hope that you have the opportunity to see these guys ride.