A few days ago myself, Associate Editor / all-around-ripper Jeff McKee, and Patrick Wieland headed to the home of Daniel Powers to hang out with some of the next generation of riders. The purpose of the day was two-fold: 1) to help teach some of these guys about how to approach and ride for photo and video shoots, as well as interact with the media in general; and 2) to help us get to know some of these young rippers and find out what’s in store for the industry over the next few years.
The day started off cold and cloudy, which wasn’t good for a photo shoot training session, but it was great for hanging out around the bonfire in the Powers’ backyard and shooting the breeze. The riders who joined us for the day of shreducation were Daniel Powers, Julian Cohen, John Jeffries, Pierce Homsey, Gunnar Shuler, Cody Prizer, Robby Holihan, and Paulie Koch; and the first thing I noticed was how much fun they had hanging out together and being involved in a wakeboarding day. Even though it was cold and cloudy, they were all stoked on getting to spend some time together and ride. Since riding wasn’t an option at first though, the guys got to listen to the three Alliance amigos talk about anything and everything, from grabs that look good on camera, to grabs that don’t, to not putting all your eggs in one wake bakset, to dealing with sponsors, and everything in between. We also found time to compare scores on games like Fruit Ninja, Angry Birds and Cut the Rope (it was cloudy a lot longer than we expected…)
Once the sun came out and we got some lunch, it was time for the guys to hit the water and put to practice some of the advice given by Jeff, Patrick and myself. Each rider was stoked to get some water and camera time, and they all did their best to put some good things down for the pictures and video. It was great to see each guy heed the advice of Jeff and “slow things down” for the cameras, rather than just trying to go out and repeat their contest pass and land everything as quickly as possible. If a guy felt he didn’t get a grab the way he wanted to on one trick, he’d try it again so he could get it right for the cameras. Each time a rider did something cool, the cheers from all the other riders in the chase boat were long and loud. The riding was wrapped up by Jeff, who couldn’t not take to the water after he’d just given all that good advice — he had to prove he knew what he was talking about.
In the end it was plainly evident that the future of our sport is in good, positive, and enthusiastic hands with the guys who joined us Saturday. Some of their names you might already know, some you might not; but down the road you’ll likely know them all pretty well, and for good reason.