Lots of people came to check out the Within the Wake gallery opening. photo: Scott Alexander

This summer marked my tenth summer of shooting professional wakeboarding. At times I still can’t believe it has been that long, but I am extremely grateful for how long I’ve been able to be part of the wakeboarding industry and to experience much of it through the viewfinder of my camera. A few months ago I was approached by Austin Watts, owner of The Liquid Playground in San Jose, CA about showcasing some of my work in the shop. I’d worked with Austin on some of his projects in the past, but this time he wanted the whole gallery to feature my photography. I was beyond honored and totally stoked to do it. The opportunity would have been special anywhere, but to be able to do it back in the Bay Area where I grew up and started my career; and knowing friends and family could come see my work was icing on the cake. We arranged to have it setup and open in August when my girlfriend and I were going to be in town on vacation. Kudos to Austin because he worked his butt off to make the gallery look insane. All I did was send the prints out that I wanted displayed, along with some wakeboards from a few of the athletes featured in the gallery, and Austin took care of the rest.

Austin Watts did an amazing job setting up the gallery. Photo: Scott Alexander

The show features 22 action photos and a handful of miscellaneous lifestyle photos from the past ten summers. All of the large action prints are for sale (if they haven’t been sold already) and all of the proceeds from sales are being donated to the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation in San Francisco. The opening of the show was a really special night as riders, family, friends, and wake fans came from all over the area to check out the gallery. I was floored so many people showed up, including my high school yearbook teacher who played an integral part in developing my passion for photography. Riders included Mike Schwenne, Derek Cook, Trever Maur, Josh Twelker, Daniel Doud, and Delta legend Rich Facciano, who also happens to be the rider in the first photo I had published (Alliance, Oct. 2002).

Kevin Henshaw print and the board from the photograph. Photo: Scott Alexander

The night was a huge success, but there are still quite a few prints left for sale. As I mentioned, the proceeds go to a great cause. If you’re in the area and want to check the show out, feel free to swing by and shoot the breeze with Austin, he is one of the most genuine and personable guys you will ever meet. If you’d like to purchase one of the prints but aren’t in the area, you can give Austin a call at the shop and try to arrange a payment and shipping plan that way. For the prints that feature the board from the photo, Austin might even be able to swing you a package deal.

Jeff McKee and Steel Lafferty both have prints and boards featured in the show. Photo: Scott Alexander

Reed Hansen: two photos, one board. He's good. Photo: Scott Alexander

The last ten years have been pretty incredible and there are way too many people to thank: editors, publishers, riders, chase boat drivers, family, friends, girlfriend, etc, etc, etc. I am humbled looking back at the work and at being able to have a gallery featuring it; which only motivates me more to keep doing it for years to come. Thanks to everybody who has already bought one of the prints and thanks to those who might in the future, it is greatly appreciated.

The Liquid Playground & Garrett Cortese Photography

The Gallery Images: