Top of the morning, mates. I’m over here in the UK (Wales, to be exact) with Adam Errington and Aaron Rathy for the absolutely bonkers festival that is known as Wakestock UK. This year, for the first time ever, Wakestock UK was a two weekend event. The first wakeboarding contest/music festival/gigantic party was at the most insane site I’ve ever been to for wakeboarding. Blenheim Palace is located in Woodstock, about an hour and a half outside of London. It’s name says it all, it’s a palace. It’s huge, it’s old, and it’s on a ton of property. Plus, it has a lake behind it, and somehow the Alliance UK guys set it up so wakeboarders could ride on it. Pretty insane. It was awesome being at the event and interacting with all of the members of the UK wakeboarding industry. From more well-known riders like Dan Knott and Matt Crowhurst, to future shredders like the Carne brothers and Lee Debuse, or Alliance UK editor Sim Bradley, or photographer Ian Beattie, all of those involved in the UK wake scene are just as stoked as their counterparts in the states. Other than the wakeboarding, Wakestock features a giant party/festival that features music acts, carnival rides, food, and lots and lots of techno. Glow sticks have never been more prevalent at any wake event in the history of wake. The party rages for three nights (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) and each night it goes well into the morning. The sun rises around 4:00 AM here and some wakeboarding super lovers can still be seen running around at that time. It’s hard to keep up. Adam and Aaron arrived the day after the Blenheim Palace Wakestock and we went on a road trip with Sim Bradley, Pat McGucken (former editor of Alliance UK) and local rippers Lee Debuse and John and Sam Carne to make it to the second Wakestock, being held in Abersoch, Wales this weekend. Along the way we stopped at Milton Keynes cable park and an awesome private lake called Ten80. All the boys had a good time shredding together and goofing around. After a long drive, a couple close calls with me driving on the left side of the road, a few long nights and some more partying, we are now all in Abersoch and getting ready for the second Wakestock to kick off. Last night was a rider’s party at a local pub and once it turned midnight Adam and myself let everybody know it was the 4th of July and we needed to celebrate America’s independence from the country we were currently partying in. Everybody laughed, but nobody joined us, so we just sang The Star Spangled Banner for them a couple times. All-in-all it’s been a great trip so far, even with the typical rain and clouds that can sock England in for extended periods of time. Be on the lookout for a future story in Alliance covering the whole trip, as well as a web video being put together by my UK counterpart, Sim.
And happy Independence Day! (don't have too much Not Beer or fireworks…)