I don’t know if you’ve heard, or know from experience, but the weather lately in Florida has been a little less than desirable for the watersports enthusiasts. I am from Oregon though, so a little rain and 60 degrees doesn’t scare me. And luckily, the riders who I rounded up are all under 18, and therefore, haven’t had that many years to be spoiled by warm water and sunshine.

We did decide that taking the boat out on such a cold, miserable day wasn’t the best idea. The solution: winching! Nick Taylor is the proud owner of a Grinch Winch, so with the help of David Hanson (navigator) and Reed Hansen (model, no relation) we set off to hit the Pine Creek gap in outer Orlando.

Our first objective was to get to the gap. It’s always a fun off-roading experience, but recently, a fence was added across the road, making a hover car necessary for entry. I considered having the talent lug the winch and just jumping the fence a lá skateboarding, but my driver and local sensation Garrett Cortese assured me there was another way. After driving for about 10 minutes, we were back where we started, but on the right side of the fence.

Of course, it would be awhile before we could hit the gap. The two cars in our caravan had gotten separated, and the talent was still sitting on the other side of the fence, staring longingly at the spot. We gave them detailed directions, and soon we were all there, ready to shred.

Actually, Pine Creek takes some prep. There is the aluminum water retention wall that needs to be pulled back, and the mystery cinder blocks that need to be removed from the ankle deep landing. The dam attempting to deepen the landing also needed some TLC, but soon it was ready.

Reed Hansen dropped first, killed it. Shuvs, kickflips, backside 180s, you know. Then Nick Taylor went, nearly ending his young career when he landed, shoulder down, on a rock. But within minutes he was back up and at it. Finally, we had dragged David Hanson out there, made him show us his secret spot, and do most of the heavy lifting to get things ready, and by the time it was his turn, he was too cold and over it. But we love him anyway, and Mission: Pine Creek was a success. Actually, hopefully Garrett got the shot, because mine kind of suck.