How fast a year goes. I remember holding a $1,000 check for “Best Transfer” from SURFGATE Firsthand event last year like it was yesterday. Last year it was cold and windy, but I was unbelievably stoked. As I reflect on the second annual SURFGATE Firsthand all I can think about is what a big difference a year makes. This year’s event was not only warm, sunny, and wind free, but we got to surf both behind the boats and out in the waves of the Pacific Ocean. Malibu and Axis are making a radical statement by hosting us on the beach; the feeling of surfing behind one of their boats is as close to surfing in the ocean as you will experience. Actually, the ability to go frontside to backside with the push of a button is unlike anything the ocean can offer. And how would you like your wave tuned? Push a couple more buttons and you can beef it up. I was amazed. In a year not only was the event that much better overall, but the wave itself created by the Malibu and Axis boats with SURFGATE were measurably better.
SURFGATE Firsthand is more than just another demo or event though. First of all, it represents a strong focus on thinking outside of the box to create a bigger and better wave to wakesurf, and it is an honor for me to be a part of. Secondly, it represents the growth and love for wakesurfing as a whole. I got a real sense that Malibu and Axis and their family care a lot about wakesurfing, which means we should all be very excited about what they are bringing to the table. We all have a lot to look forward to with this gang of boat builders – who all happen to be wave-crazed and hungry to deliver the best wakesurfing experience possible. With that I have to say thank you to them for the experience. I look forward to my next session behind a Malibu or Axis, both frontside and backside. If you ever get a chance to surf one of these boats jump at it! It will be really hard to wipe the smile off your face.
– Josh Sleigh

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