The end of summer for most people in the wake industry means the end of a long competitive season, a never-ending travel schedule and lots of sunshine. For me, though, it means a chance to head out to Lake McClure with four of the industry’s brightest young stars and hang out on the West Coast Camps houseboats with Mike Schwenne and crew.
Last week played host to Alliance’s second annual Coming Up trip where four riders who were featured in last year’s Coming Up interviews were able to hang out for a week in Northern California and do nothing but have fun and ride until their arms fell off. The lucky (and extremely talented) four this year were Jimmy LaRiche, Rhett Whatley, Eddie Valdez and Keaton Bowlby (plus women’s PWT champ Shelby Kantar, who was able to join the gang for the first couple days). The Coming Up kids were joined by Nor-Cal vets Mike Schwenne, Derek Cook and Chris Dykmans. Trever Maur, a completely unknown Cali ripper who worked for Schwenne this past summer also hung out with everybody for part of the trip and surprised everybody with his shredding. Look for him in a Coming Up interview of his own someday soon.
Basically this trip was set up so the guys have an entire week to ride as much as they want and are encouraged to do nothing but have a blast. It was a huge success last year with Rob Jacques, Chris Craig, Jeff House and Kyle Hyams, so we decided to do it again and make it an annual thing. Lake McClure was practically void of any other boaters the entire time we were there, and after a couple days with some wind, Mother Nature calmed down and the lake buttered out the rest of the week. It was basically an epic trip.
The coolest part of the trip is seeing the riders get stoked while watching one another ride and feeding off of each other’s riding. Jimmy, Rhett, Eddie, Keaton and Shelby all have their very own unique, different styles, but they all were pumping each other up the entire trip and using that as motivation to go out and kill it themselves. Not to be outdone, though, the veteran Nor-Cal rippers made sure to show the young bucks a thing or two about riding a wakeboard on the West Coast. Schwenne’s tweaked grabs, linked tricks, and soul slayshes had everybody impressed. Cook made sure to show off his big air ability with some huge hits off the double ups and Dykmans impressed everybody with his super cool toeside off axis 3 that he grabs forever.
All the riders had an awesome time hanging out, getting to know each other, and riding hard every day. Judging by the insane quality of riding and the perma-grins on every guys face, I’m pretty sure it was one of the best weeks ever for Jimmy, Eddie, Rhett and Keaton. Look for a video highlighting some of this trip on alliancewake.com in the near future. Then keep your eyes peeled for a full article in a future issue of Alliance Wakeboard. Until then, don’t be surprised if you start hearing a lot more about the Coming Up riders who were on this trip. And remember, if you’re just coming up in this awesome sport of ours, this could be you next year.