A couple weeks ago the UGP clothing team was assembled to shoot photos for their 2007 catalog. I was on hand to help out with the photography of it all and hang out with the group. The UGP team is a diverse, but fun group of wake folks. From young up-and-comers like Kyle Alberts and Kyle Hyams, to seasoned veterans like Kyle Schmidt and Darin Shapiro, the team has riders from every age and experience spectrum.
The first day found everybody at The Projects bright and early to shoot some action photos, both on the rails and behind the boat. For the past couple weeks, team member and Projects resident Ryan Doyle had been hard at work painting up the newly installed UGP rail. This mini A-frame is everybody’s new favorite rail and with Doyle’s painting skills it definitely stands out. Since he spent so much time making the rail look good, Doyle made sure he was the first person to hit it. After Doyle, everybody took turns sessioning the rail. Nick Weinacker said it was one of the most fun, mellow rails he’s ever hit.
From the rail park everybody moved over to lakes one and two to ride behind the boat. Despite some less than stellar weather conditions, everybody got some good riding in. The one who made most noise behind the boat was Nebraska native Kyle Alberts. Kyle has got some ridiculous skills on a wakeboard, from simple poked grabs to crazy helicopter inverts, including a switch Big Worm. Look for this kid to be on some wakeboarding contest podiums in the near future.
After a day of riding and hanging out at The Projects, the UGP team made their way to one of the most bizarre, yet coolest houses I’ve ever seen. The house is on Clear Lake, just outside of downtown Orlando, and apparently used to be an insane asylum way back in the day. It’s an old brick structure and has been remodeled with some very cool artwork, painting, and design work by the current owners. Plus, there is more random and completely odd stuff lying around the property of the house than you can possibly imagine. For example, an old, yellow tractor, several cars, including a right-hand-drive Nissan import, a big, wooden, cabin-cruiser boat up on blocks, and a beach volleyball court. There are also a couple horses just wandering around the property. So the location made for some great photos and an awesome place to hang out.
Overall the two days of shooting were a huge success, and despite the diversity this is a team that has a lot of fun together. Keep your eye open in the coming months for the 2007 UGP catalog and clothing line. Also expect to see a lot more shots of all kinds of wake riders shredding the new UGP rail at the Projects. For more info check out www.undergroundproducts.com