LF Spring Break
Spring Break… what comes to mind? Warm, sandy beaches? Blue skies? Good friends? Lots of adult beverages? All of the above? If you answered yes to the last one then you’re just who we are looking for. Well, the crew over at Liquid Force is no stranger to a good time and proved it by gathering up a sizeable chunk of their team and sending them down to Cancun, Mexico for a week of shredding. And, lucky for you, they invited us to come along and document all the action.
Nestled on the northeast coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, Cancun is a paradise tucked down in Mexico. Known as a tourist destination, Cancun is also gaining some momentum as a wake destination. With some of the bluest water you can imagine, warm temperatures, plenty of spots to ride, and a cable park nearby (Mayan Watersports Complex), there are plenty of reasons to get your crew down there for a good time. It was originally inhabited by the Mayans who called it “Kan Kun”, which translates to “nest of snakes”. Not the most welcoming name … but lucky for us, we didn’t have any run-ins with any slithery creatures during our time there. We were too worried about where the next cerveza was going to come from, so snakes were the last thing on our minds. Actually, the only injury we had the entire week was when Bob decided he wanted to be Bear Grylls and bare-hand grab a stingray. It didn’t work out too well and he got a barb right in his wrist for his trouble. Good times…
With the season looming on the horizon, the crew was definitely ready to let off some steam before the grind of photoshoots, contests, clinics, and all the extra stuff that comes with being a pro wakeboarder hit. The good times (and tequila) were flowing, and it was nothing but positive vibes from the moment we hit the ground. We were working with a heavy crew that consisted of veterans Shawn Watson and Shane Bonifay, young gun Guenther Oka, hard charger Bob Soven, lady rippers Meagan Ethell and Alexa Score, and wakesurf magician Austin Keen, so getting the photos and videos we wanted was not hard. What was tough was trying to get our work done while the temptation of laying on the beach all day was constantly in our face. But LF Team Manager Aaron Grace was on hand to keep everyone motivated, so we made it work. The locals definitely embraced us as well. From the randoms we met on the waterways to the ones showing us around the area, Cancun is rich with Mexican heritage and tradition and it’s always rad to see another’s culture from the first-person perspective. From the food to the architecture to the scenery, Cancun was so full of life and we drank up every moment of it.
Just around the corner from where we were staying were plenty of mangroves to cruise through. Blue water winding through mangrove trees, with wildlife all around, was absolutely unreal. Fueled by a plethora of tacos and Modelos, everybody was killing it all week. Our daily routine turned into 6 am wake up calls, boat sets through the mangroves, double up sessions out in the bay, soccer games on the beach, power naps, and more mangrove sets to cap off the day. Not to mention plenty of late night singalongs to “Africa” by Toto. I may have been the only one singing but that’s neither here nor there. My memory is still a little fuzzy.
As the days went on, the Mexican sun started to beat us down. The mornings came earlier, the days got longer, and the energy levels weren’t peaking like they did at the beginning, but we would find new life as we geared up to go out on the water. Changing up our approach helped a lot as well. Going from the norm of riding behind the boat, we found a wrecked boat in one of the canals that was just begging to be jibbed. After we checked it out to make sure there weren’t any screws or anything to impale a rider on, Guenther jumped behind the ski and got styley on it. Pretty solid way to break away from the daily schedule. Being on a busy canal, we managed to draw some attention to ourselves, but everybody that passed by was just as stoked as we were. Spreading the love is what it’s all about!
When you have a group of like-minded individuals with the same goal, you’re bound to make magic happen. Couple that with a place like Cancun and you’ve got a recipe for success. The Liquid Force Team is no stranger to a good time and it showed throughout the week. Everybody’s riding style is so unique yet they compliment everyone else’s so well. The whole team feeds off of each other and push each other to take it to the next level. It’s great to have this kind of dynamic on a trip because it keeps things fresh, fun, and you come away with some sick shots. Even Austin Keen was pushing the limits on the wakesurfer by trying to hit double ups. He had never tried before this trip and after a few attempts, he was connecting like it was nothing. Not to mention he was hitting them toeside and trying shuv-it indys. He was landing them but cased just slightly and snapped his board on the other wake. Definitely one of the crazy moments for sure.
Exploring new places with new (or old) friends is what keeps the fire burning. Whether it’s a trip to a new cable, a new cove on your home lake, or a whole new country, stepping out of your door in search for the unexplored is a feeling that just can’t be contained. Taking in someone else’s culture, perspective, or whatever else it may be is something everyone should take time for. It opens your eyes to a larger world and, at least for me, helps to keep you grounded. Being able to travel to see and experience new things can’t be summed up in a few lines on paper. It’s a feeling that comes through in the moment. Away from social media and all the distractions of daily life, Cancun did not disappoint. So get your gear, grab your crew, and go make some memories!