Graydon getting blunted in the backwoods of Georgia (photo: Mathis)

Alex – Every kid who’s every grown up riding some kind of board has more than likely dreamed of being in the X Games. For me it was no different. Every year it was the event I was most looking forward to watching on TV. No matter the event, if it was in the X Games then  it was badass, plain and simple. But the likelihood of ever having that opportunity felt about the same as getting to go the moon. It was a big dream that never felt within grasp. Even as I started getting paid to ride (also an unreal dream), I doubted the likelihood of getting an invite. But when I picked up the phone and was told that I was one of six being picked for the job, I felt like it justified all the stupid shifty spins and one-footers I’ve been doing. So that was the direction of riding that I wanted to push for my section. I immediately started working on the boat tricks knowing that they would take the longest to get looking the way I wanted. Working out the “anti-method” and the switch seat belt back 5 were more difficult than I had imagined. Weeks on weeks of awkward backside 180s and me yelling at myself because I couldn’t make my board and my body work together. But like most things, eventually everything falls into place if you work hard enough at it. Those two tricks took a lot of thought and energy so I’m stoked on how they turned out. The park portion was something that in hindsight probably wasn’t worth the amount of time and effort that went into it.  Though it was still intact from filming “Ala-Cruzin”, I had come up with a grander plan to build an entire maze of rails for Real Wake. So whenever I wasn’t working on the boat tricks or looking for spots to hit, I was tearing down the old park and building “The Maze”. Unfortunately some of the ideas I had wouldn’t come to fruition and the generator running the cable decided it hated this project and would rather piss and moan than actually work. Luckily my father can fix anything on Earth with the right sized screwdriver and we were able to get a few shots to round out the video with some backwoods wakepark riding.

X Games Real Wake was easily the most physically and mentally demanding thing I’ve ever been apart of. The amount of support and awesome response I got from the video made it all worth it and I’m super stoked. I’m very appreciative I was given the opportunity to compete in such a cool event against some of the most insane wakeboard athletes on the planet. If I ever had the opportunity to do it again, I would in a heartbeat. Only this time, I would wear a helmet.

Joey – As a filmer that used to wakeboard and loves this type of filming, it’s everything I would want it to be. You get picked to film and put together a rider’s best 90 seconds over 2 months and you get some money to do it. I wish there was a Real Wake gig every 2 months…sign me up for that job!

As a wakeboarder who used to dream of what my best video part would be like, I can see how these dudes might feel a lot of different emotions when getting this opportunity. It’s the biggest public stage for your riding and the spotlight is directed right on you. I imagine it’s extremely exciting, nerve racking and everything in between.

After everything was finished up, I feel extremely lucky and grateful to be a part of it and hope events like this will continue. I feel like events like this are awesome because they encourage people to be better and push a little harder than normal.

Being pulled across the water strapped to a plank thing and purposely moving yourself toward a potentially dangerous obstacle only to see how you can conquer that obstacle with style is hilarious though and man are we obsessed with trying to make it look as cool as possible, and put it on tv and judge ourselves on how we did and award ourselves medals for it. Life man…*laughs*

Chest high backlips ain’t no thing (photo: Mathis)

Up & over a scenic road gap on Alex’s home turf of Lake Martin, AL (photo: Mathis)

What’s the old saying? No pain, no gain? (photo: Mathis)