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ISSUE 15 DEC. 2016

SUP WITH PUP | RAREFORM | HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE

1 CO U N T RY 1 0 0 DAYS

| S H E G OT B OA R D WAKE SURF SUPER TRAMP | SURFING FORWARD PACIFIC PADDLE GAMES | BIG CORN ISLAND US OPEN OF WAKE SURFING | BEST OF 2016

WAKE SURFING WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP


S238 RIDER

| Hunter Clement


THE SUP REME LIFE

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For more information check out CHAPARRALBOATS.COM


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T N E T CON

E D I GU


Noel Flegel Sup With Pup Rareform Holiday Gift Guide 1 Country 100 Days She Got Board Wake Surf Super Tramp Surfing Forward Pacific Paddle Games Big Corn Island U.S. Open of wake surfing Best of 2016 Wake Surfing World Championship

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@BOARDERSMAG


Boarders is :

Publisher Chris Wielinski Chief Editor Tyler Marshall Editor/Advertising Director Danny Braught Media Director Sean Reavis Head Journalist Justin Hammond Graphic Designer Chris Harrison

Editor's Note

Boarders would like to thank :

Contributing Writers:

Maria Schultz, Erika Spivey, Cory Crouser, Todd Caranto, Alex Garhart

Contributing Photographers:

Deb Stipa, Jeremiah Klein, Carter McCoy, Geoff Braught, Brent Dorey, Max Reed, Justin Macala, Waldo Pepper, Isaac Hockley, Tim Marek, Oliver StDenis, Courtney Gould, Jake Albrecht, Joey Saputo, Nadia Almuti, Alex Garhart, Paul Clark, Josh Garza, Ryan Taylor, Heather Jackson, Andrew Masi

On the Cover:

Noah Flegel - Noah has been pushing the limits his entire life. Sometimes when you push the limits, the limits push back. A quote from Noah - “Just as storms have never kept fishermen ashore, knowing I could have a life changing injury every time I get on my board has never hindered me from doing so. I find far more pleasure from going out and physically pushing myself to the limits rather than sitting at home watching someone else do it on TV.” Noah is your role model for not being a spectator, so go out there and conquer your own goals.

DANNY BRAUGHT

In our collector’s edition, I can’t help but review the pages with pure joy and reflect upon a year of adventures had by all of our staff. I look ahead with anticipation and excitement towards 2017 and wonder what images and travel adventures will become the most talked about progressions of inland surfing. The community is always growing in its interaction to what was previously perceived as a barrier to entry. Now the old and the young are fully aware that for them, being a “boarder” is completely possible. The inland surfing, amongst all sports, has become a major trend and Boarders Magazine was right there to cover it all in 2016 from the new boats to the first ever surf park in the US. We traveled from coast to coast and even crossed international borders to make sure that what you thought was the most current information about Inland surfing was exactly that! So, it gives me great pleasure to share with you all our latest printed edition. It is a collector’s edition that we are extremely proud of. As we transition further into more digital space and create more online content, I know we will still look forward to our coveted printed editions: tangible art, that can sit and await the eager hand to grab it, thus people can just kick back and look at the beautiful images and the powerful action by the athletes and the creatives involved in such a progressive publication. Here’s to all of you, that make up all of us.

For advertising information: 214.550.2864 Ext. 700 or danny@boardersmag.com Boarders Magazine is a publication distributed to a targeted list of consumers, board shops and dealers throughout the United States. Copies are also available upon request. Boarders Magazine is a trademark of Lokal Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved without prior written permission of publisher. Copyright ©2016 Subscriptions to Boarders Magazine may be purchased online at www.boardersmag.com/subscribe Boarders Magazine Address 1665 Keller Parkway, Suite 400, Keller, TX 76248 Phone 214.550.2864

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SURFING

Anything Anyway Anytime Anywhere

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N Th O e an R i E d se t L th o FL e R Wo E oa rld GEL C ha dt o Re mpion c Words: Justin Hammond Danny Braught

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“….in 2011, the year before all of this when he was 14 years old and still in middle school, Noah was recognized as the Sports Illustrated Sports Kid of the Year.”

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nyone who is truly plugged-in to the extreme watersports scene has heard of the Flegel Bros. Keenan and Noah have been destroying competitions since they were Groms, and now both brothers have been reigned World Champions. Noah has been one with the water since he was 2 years old, before he can even remember, and his passion has taken him across the country, around the world and to the cover of, not only this magazine, but other publications… including being named Sports Illustrated Sports Kid of the Year in 2011.

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rowing up in Deerfield, Florida between Boca Rotan and Pompano beaches, his parents were constantly pushing him and his brother into waves, and it wasn’t long before Noah would be progressing to the professional level. Imagine only being 7 or 8 years old and deciding that this is what you were going to do, surf professionally, and then proceed to take the steps in the direction to make that happen. What people new to the wake surf industry don’t know about Noah Flegel is that he is also a world class wakeboarder. At the age of 6 he was already riding at a competitive level. One day when he was looking out on the lake in his back yard, 4 year old Noah witnessed some kids dragging each other behind a boat, on a board, and jumping over things. Immediately he wanted to try it, and since the neighborhood kids had already taken notice to this little Grom’s inline and skateboard abilities, they took him on. A year later, the brothers meet Dean Lavelle of Lavelle Training School, formerly Train Station, and the stoke grew strong in the Groms.

“…he was just kind of over it, because his feet hurt, he said. He liked wake surfing better because he didn’t have to put his feet in bindings.” As if these accomplishments were not enough to have your jaw on the floor and your YouTube channels opened to all of his videos, in 2011, the year before all of this when he was 14 years old and still in middle school, Noah was recognized as the Sports Illustrated Sports Kid of the Year. He was flown out to New York City and honored alongside the Sportsman of the year, and also had an appearance on the Cartoon Network’s “Hall of Game Awards” in California!

Flash forward to 9th grader Noah Flegel. He now has under his belt two World Titles; the WWA Jr Men Worlds, and the Nationals and IWWF Worlds 14 and under. Not to mention that he also podiumed with 3rd place at the World Wake Surf Championship in the Pro Men Skim division behind none other than Drew Danielo and his brother Keenan the very same year. According to Noah, Keenan got out of wakeboarding when he was around 7..

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That was just a predecessor for his career to come. At the time of this interview, Noah had been to about 20 different countries..

This may come as a surprise to most of you, but our current World Champion, Noah Flegel, spent the majority of his training season just trying to keep his shoulder in its socket. After his initial injury in Tokyo that required surgery he waited to get until after the season was over, much like this current situation, he had a gnarly incident at this year at Wakeboard Masters.

“It’s been the sickest experience ever, and it’s given me a whole new perspective on the world and how everything works. Without traveling I wouldn’t know the things that I know. It’s made me healthier as a person and changed the way I handle everyday situations. So for “I cased the wake and then… well I hit a ski buoy. My that I am really thankful.” arm was fully extended and I just nailed it. It stopped me dead in the water and dislocated my shoulder….. again.” It has happened two more times since that wipeout, and each time takes about two weeks until he can really ride again. This dude has one hell of a threshold for pain. He is looking at a 4 month recovery after surgery this winter, but you can probably find him after the stitches are removed riding back behind his Nautique.

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Keenan and Noah have been riding together since day one, and this created a fun-loving competitive family environment. They have been pushing each other all the way to the top of the podiums at wakeboarding events nationwide and abroad. Now the two brothers live together is a sweet two-story house with their own private dock on a private lake, and complete with a halfpipe right in the middle of the yard. Hammocks hang from the trees, there is a covered outdoor patio, and surf is always only a boat ride away. They each have their own sponsors, their own friends, but share the same love of the water.

Another thing you didn’t know about Noah is that, much like John John Florence, he never worked out. He just surfed. It wasn’t until he first got this injury that he even started going to the gym and eating right. That’s when he noticed the added benefits and began creating new tricks for his repertoire like Madonna Alley-Oop and his Judo Air. This road to recover won’t be a long one for Noah, so everyone better use their time wisely this winter and get it in wherever and whenever you can.

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It is fun to see the rivalry between these two, as it is the same love-hate-love competitive drama that surrounds all the athletes during competition. When it comes time to have fun however, all drama goes out the window and smiles are the only things on the agenda. These are guys are not only world class athletes, but world class people. Next season is going to be one to watch for sure!

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SUP with PUP Tips and article by Maria Schultz and Erika Spivey

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“Having met Maria a few months ago while photographing a three day 115 mile paddle down the Potomac, I was excited to learn more about what she does. Maria is a certified SUP instructor teaching how to SUP and then adding a dog to the mix could be tricky. Maria Schultz – the author of “How to SUP with Your PUP: A guide to stand up paddleboarding with your pup” seemed like the perfect place to check this out. Here are some great tips from the expert!” Safety Tips You Learn in a ‘SUP with Your PUP’ Class

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he paddle is all about the pup – it’s the first thing you sense when you meet paddleboard instructor and author of How to SUP with Your PUP Maria Schultz. Working with Black Dog Paddle out of Richmond, Virginia, Schultz teaches courses on how to stand up paddleboard with your furry friends. Her enthusiasm for taking dogs on the water is evident – but so is her emphasis on safety. “More and more people have access to paddle sports, but they don’t really know how to use the boards and paddles safely,” explain Schultz, who has been paddling with her Australian Shepherds, Riley and Kona, for five years. “We’re seeing an increased number of deaths in paddle sports because of this.”

That’s why Schultz approaches every step of her class with a focus on safety – both for paddlers and for dogs. Here are ten things you can learn over the two-day, comprehensive course to keep you and your four-legged companion safe on a paddle:

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1. Take a basic paddleboard class before you bring your dog.

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hen you SUP with your furry friend, you become the pack leader– you are instructing your dog on how to paddleboard. In order to be the leader though, you need to first master the skill, and that’s why all participants in Schultz’s class are required to take a basic paddleboard lesson first. If your dog can sense that you aren’t comfortable, it won’t be happy on the board.

2. Buy a board that works for you and your dog.

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oards are not one size fits all – you need to buy the board that works specifically for you, your dog and your goals. For example, inflatable boards are highly durable and have a rubber surface good for footing. Hard boards however, are more efficient, gliding more easily through the water. During the class, Schultz reviews different types of boards, providing personalized recommendations for participants.

3. Always go at the dog’s pace – in training and on paddles.

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he class is all about the dogs – and that means learning and traveling at their pace. Throughout the class, the group takes frequent breaks to give the dogs time to rest. And the goal of the two-day course isn’t to be paddling with your dog by the end – it’s to have a good time and learn safety skills that you can take with you once the class is over.

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4. Have a flloat plan each time you go on a paddle.

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t’s always best to paddle with a partner in case of an emergency, but if you paddle solo always have a float plan. Schultz talks about how each time you paddle, you need to make sure someone knows where you are paddling, in which direction, how long you plan to be out and what to do if they don’t hear from you before a predetermined time.

5. Bring appropriate supplies and equipment.

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rom dry bags to water supplies and paddles, Schultz teaches her class how pack for successful excursions and how it impacts your trip. For example, the length and material of your paddle both play into how efficiently you can travel and have an impact on the stress on your back and shoulders. Water supplies determine how hydrated you and your dog are – and ultimately how safe you are.

6. Make sure you and your dog always wear life jackets while on the water.

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his isn’t just a safety tip – Coast Guard law requires you to wear a personal flotation device (PFD) while on the water outside of a swim or bathing zone. It’s also a necessary feature to protect your dog while in the water. “Dogs don’t come with handles,” Schultz jokingly explained as she demonstrated how to pull your dog out of the water and onto the board using the lifejacket handle. The lifejacket also increases visibility in the water and keeps your dog afloat if it gets tired.


7. Always wear a board leash.

9. Know what to do if you have a yard-sale.

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8. Understand the conditions before you paddle.

10. Be familiar with first-aid for dogs.

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hen a dog jumps off a board, it can knock you off too, causing the board to move a good distance. If it’s a windy day or you’re paddling in a river with current, the board can get away from you quickly, so a leash is key to keeping your board close – and keeping you safe. Schultz recommends a coiled leash so it won’t hang off the sides of the board and get caught on objects in the water.

hen you paddle, understand and prepare for the extra weight of your dog as well as weather elements such as wind and waves. The more wind, waves and weight, the harder you are going to have to work to paddle you and your dog to safety. Always err on the side of caution, staying within your limits since conditions can change unexpectedly. Schultz refers her class to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) website to check weather and water conditions before a paddle.

ou know what we mean – when you fall off the board and all of your equipment, including you and your dog, go flying in different directions. What do you do first? Schultz gives her class a plan – first recover the board, then the dog and then whatever is closest to you. You should already have a leash on, which makes recovering your board easy. And should you lose your paddle, you can lie down on your board and use your arms to reclaim it.

arry a small first aid kit, wear sunscreen, bring snacks, stay hydrated and bring a cell phone – just a few of the tips Schultz explains when the class talks about emergency situations. She also reviews signs of heat stroke and stress in dogs. A quick tip? Download the American Red Cross First Aid app to have a quick reference in emergency situations.

Tips and article by Maria Schultz and Erika Spivey For more tips and advice follow Maria: https://www.facebook.com/HowToSupWithYourPup

@sup_with_pup

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Jeremiah Klein

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ere at Boarders we love upcycling and recycling. The benefits it has on our community not only locally but also globally is extremely important if we want to continue to enjoy the beauties this world has to offer without trash everywhere. Rareform is a company started by two brothers Alec & Aric Avedissian. They really captured our attention with their unique products so we wanted to share a little about what they are doing to reduce waste from the billboards we see every day‌ Where do billboards go after they are no longer held high? We caught up with co-founder Alec Avedissian to learn more about this unique company.

Article by Danny Braught www.boardersmag.com | DEC 2016

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HOW IT WORKS! COLLECT

BILLBOARDS

CUT How long has Rareform been around? We have been in business since 2012 and went full-force into Rareform around 2014.

What is the number question you get from people when they here of the company? We always get the question “What are billboards made of?”. Most people think they are made of paper, but they are actually made of a heavy-duty vinyl material that is durable and waterproof.

Who told you about up cycling billboards? What was your initial reaction? It was actually a friend of mine in El Salvador that introduced me to upcycling. He showed me a tote bag that he had made. He then showed me how our friends in the community where I was living were using the same material as roofing. I had no idea that billboards were made of vinyl. Like most people, I didn’t really think about billboards or what happened after to them after. I was amazing at the ingenuity that came from necessity from my friends and was inspired so much so that I wanted to tell more people about what I learned.

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Where did the name come from? It actually came accidentally. We knew we made something unique and “rare” and took something from one “form” of a product and turned it into something else. We had spent weeks trying to come up with a name and then we were repeating ‘rare’ and ‘form’ so much that we just put the words down on paper and it looked right.

What’s your most popular product? Probably our surfbags. But we sell a lot of wallets and duffle bags.

What’s your personal favorite? How do you use it? My favorite is our Card Holder wallet. I use it every day. Whenever I take it out to pay for anything it is a conversion starter because it is different. I wish I used my surfbag more though - that would mean I was surfing more, which is always a good thing.


Where did you grow up? (Is Aric your only sibling?) Why did you What kind of feedback have you received overall from the surf/ quit your job? outdoor community? It actually came accidentally. We knew we made something unique and “rare” and took something from one “form” of a product and turned it into something else. We had spent weeks trying to come up with a name and then we were repeating ‘rare’ and ‘form’ so much that we just put the words down on paper and it looked right.

The surf community has been amazing. The surf community understands that what we are doing is helping to sustain our playground - so they have been get behind it.

How much landfill space do billboards take up each year in the U.S.? (or South America)?

Where did you grow up? (Is Aric your only sibling?) Why did you quit your job?

I am not sure about this - I know there is roughly 10,000 TONS of billboard waste per year.

I grew up in Camarillo, CA. Camarillo is about 45min from LA and 45 min from Santa Barbara, plus 15min from the ocean. Aric is my younger brother. We have two sisters. Aric is the youngest and I am one of the middle children. I decided to quit my job two weeks before getting married (I am not sure why my wife still agreed to marry me with no job). I was naïve and optimistic that we could turn Rareform into a brand.

www.rareform.com

Can people buy online only, or in what brick-and-mortar stores? Yes, people could buy online at www. rareform.com and through brick-andmortar stores. We sell into your local surf shop, Whole Foods, Patagonia, BestBuy and outdoor stores. Each item is one-of-akind so the stores really like having something that people can’t find everywhere.

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www.boardersmag.com | DEC 2016

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hen you think of off season training for wakesurfing, New Hampshire isn’t the first place that comes to mind. Nestle in Nashua, New Hampshire is an amazing training facility named Surf’s Up NH. It’s the largest indoor surfing facility in North America and boast a 32’ Surfstream that produce 8 different style waves. While it may be freezing outside, it is a nice 85 degrees inside with waves pumping all day long allowing you to get in the reputation you need to land yourself top spots on the podium. Jake Caster just started competitive wakesurfing 2 years ago and in 2016 had an undefeated season topping it off with the World Champion title in the outlaw division (semi pro division). Jake uses Surf’s Up NH as his primary training tool. Here is what Jake had to say about the facility: “I am the luckiest wakesurfer to have this amazing facility to train on right here in my backyard. Surfs Up New Hampshire has given me the opportunity to practice tricks over and over again. That repetition has given my riding great consistency behind the boat and in competition.” Book your trip to Surf’s Up NH to see what all the hype is about and make sure while you’re there to also check out their other great amenities; indoor skydiving, rock climbing, and the crazy Fish Pipe!

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G N I N I A R T N O S A E OFF S

D N A P U S ’ F R SU NTURE NH E V Y SK www.boardersmag.com | DEC 2016

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HOLIDAY

GIFT GUIDE BOAT BLING www.boatbling.net / 800-846-4899 “Clean boats surf better” -Angie Viland The hard water experts, Boat Bling shot to the top of the industry with their revolutionary Hot Sauce, a specifically formulated hard water spot remover with sealants which can be applied wet or dry, doesn’t remove wax, and dries streak free. Hot Sauce is complemented by four other award winning products that make up the SAUCE Premium Detailing Product Line including Quickie Sauce liquid wax, Vinyl Sauce interior cleaner, Condition Sauce UV protectant and Toon Sauce aluminum maintainer. From professional detailers to the “everyday Joe,” the ease of use and quality of the products make everyone’s boating experience that much better. The testimonials, boat manufacturers’ seal of approval and recommendations plus the positive national exposure says it all. Its time for you to GET SAUCED and find out why Boat Bling is the fastest growing marine cleaning brand! Find your local dealer onwww.boatbling.net or visit one of our preferred retailers including Cabela’s, Amazon or Overton’s.

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GREENLIGHT WAKESURF

BOARD SHAPING KIT $165

www.greenlightsurfsupply.com

MUST BUY!!!!! - MATT B, ID

This kit is awesome if you’re looking to get into the shaping game! High quality foam, epoxy, and glass! Plus you get finboxes of your choosing! And did I mention logo paper?!? I’ll definitely be ordering more of these in the future! Green light kicks ass!

WORTH THE MONEY - JOE C, CA

Was looking for an affordable kit for wakesurfboards. This fit the bill. Good price and good products to get started. The board came out amazing and was better than any other $700 manufactured board.

AWESOME KIT AND SERVICE - TONY S, SC

This wakesurf kit was great. Working with the blank was just so fun and the service from the Team at Greenlight was just Outstanding. I am so stoked over this kit. Thank you Greenlight for such a great product and for the service also. Can’t say enough.

GREAT PRODUCT AND CUSTOMER SERVICE - TYLER E, ID

Amazing product! I’m still in the process of building mine but the kit is everything I expected and more. I will definitely be buying another kit here soon.

20% OFF GREENLIGHT WAKESURF KITS FOR THE HOLIDAYS. USE DISCOUNT CODE : BOARDERSMAG

ICEMULE COOLER

THE ICEMULE PRO

$99.95 for the 20L Large | $119.95 for the 30L XL $139.95 for the 40L XXL www.icemulecooler.com The IceMule Pro is the ultimate high-performance, high-capacity adventure cooler. Every IceMule Pro is equipped with a ventilated back strap system that ensures your cooler is easy to carry. And when you’re done, an IceMule rolls up flat for easy storage. And most importantly, the IceMule Pro works, keeping things ice cold for over 24 hours. Engineered to the highest standards, an IceMule Pro is durable, with an exterior 1000 denier tarpaulin fabric, an interior 3x thicker than other soft coolers and seams rated to 65 pounds. We make sure an IceMule is tough as hell. So give it all you got. The IceMule Pro comes in three sizes, with the entry-level 20L Large Pro starting at only $99.95.

www.boardersmag.com | DEC 2016

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SENDERO PROVISIONS CO. All for only $29.00

senderopc.com Sendero Provisions Co. makes quality outdoor provisions inspired by the landscapes and cultures of the wild American West. Our 2016 hat line features scenes from our amazing National Parks as well as some great American outdoor pastimes. Additionally, a portion of the proceeds from each of our National Park hats will go to support that park’s non-profit. How rad is that? •

National Park Collection- lat/curved, topo map underbill

Outdoorsman Collection- meshback

Sendero Signature Collection- sweet southwest vibes

MTI ADVENTURE WEAR FLUID 2.0 BELT PACK PFD

$134.95

https://www.mtiadventurewear.com/products/sup/web400900000-fluid-20 Colors: Moonlight Black, Race Red, Aqua OM Signature MTI inflatable belt pack as used by SUP athletes and Stand Up paddleboard yogis looking for ultimate performance in their gear. USCG approved Type III with its premium inflator with indicator window. Easy to wear, use in case of emergency, re-pack, re-arm and reuse again. It’s a life jacket on demand, without the bulk of a foam vest. Zippered storage pocket and belt attachment points for carrying essentials or clipping on your leash. The best PFD belt pack on the market.

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TRIPLE X CARBON PRO X $449.99

triplexsurfandskim.com The New Carbon Pro X was designed with the pro level rider in mind. The board features a little extra thickness for a nice floaty feel with sharp, tapered rails to provide speed and a responsive ride. Comes decked out with our all new 2017 custom traction. The Carbon Pro X is a full wrap carbon lay up making this the ultimate, lightweight skim style board. Check out our website for further model information and new winter package deals.

ULTIMATE EARS

UE MEGABOOM $299.00

www.ultimateears.com “Clean boats surf better� -Angie Viland UE MEGABOOM is the waterproof 360-degree wireless Bluetooth speaker on steroids that blasts immersive sound with deep bass to every corner of the party.

www.boardersmag.com | DEC 2016

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NAVA VISION

$80 -$125 (depending on the model)

www.navavisionofficial.com Nava Vision is an ecofriendly sunglass company based in Sri Lanka, that produces high quality ecofriendly wooden sunglass. For every sunglass we produce we plant a tree, It is part of philosophy that goes beyond commerce in seeing business as a matter of human service. MAIN FEATURES OF OUR PRODUCTS • 100% made from natural Sri Lankan Upcycled wood. • FDA approved polarized & UV protective lenses. • Stainless steel spring-loaded hinges. • The wood is water proof (Treated with 100% all natural tree oil coating). • Hand made by skilled wood workers. • Multiple models and designs to suit your life style.

THE LANDMARK PROJECT $28.50

www.thelandmarkproject.com If you love America’s National Parks, you’ll have a lot in common with the folks at The Landmark Project. They’ve designed and printed a collection of original National Park artwork on arguably some of the softest tees imaginable. Additionally, each Landmark purchase helps sponsor under-resourced youth to discover life in the natural world through rafting, climbing and camping trips. There’s a little something for everyone- whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast, avid road-tripper, or just suffering from a case of wanderlust, they’ve got you covered!

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By Cory Crouser Geoff Braught

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Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park, California www.boardersmag.com | DEC 2016

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SOUTH COLUMBUS, OHIO — MAY, 2016 A swift kick in the ass.

“Ahyyy!”

Conner Cox, 20, recoiled from the sudden impact; startled and breathless, though feeling no pain, he strained his tired eyes, hoping to identify the misty shapes in the darkness.

Huh? Geoff thought.

What the hell is going on?

Remembering he’d used earplugs to drown out the drone of the nearby interstate, Geoff quickly freed an arm from his sleeping bag and cleared his canals.

With labored blinks, Connor toggled focus and settled his gaze on a distant, undefined shape. Is it a city skyline? He winked each again to rid his eyes of residue. No, wait; it’s the tree line! Gilded in silver moonlight, the black mass of the distant forest reflected on the nearby reservoir’s glassy surface; Connor remembered that he was a traveler and was camping in a roadside patch of gravel outside of South Columbus, Ohio. He noticed slight motion in the foreground; the amorphous heap of Geoff’s waking body stirred in a nearby sleeping bag. Oh yeah, and Geoff is here. And he… he’s blinking colors? Geoffrey Braught, 22, opened his eyes and briefly met Connor’s groggy gaze before turning his own upward toward the glare. Behind his friend’s body stood a towering silhouette backlit by alternating strobes of blue and red light.

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“Aheyyhe!” The figure vocalized with heightened urgency.

“Hey!” said the officer. Ah, so much better, Geoff thought. “You guys can’t camp here!” It was just past 1 a.m. when a second patrol vehicle arrived; Geoff and Connor reluctantly exchanged the warmth of their sleeping bags for the frigid night air and followed the officer toward the parked cruisers; questioning began soon thereafter: “What are you doing here?” he asked. The men looked toward one another; “Well,” Geoff said, “here’s the story.”


Boston Harbor, Boston, Massachusetts

Danny Braught

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Chicago, Illinois

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Big Sur, California BOZEMAN, MONT. — APRIL, 2015 Geoff raised the gun toward the man before him; with a steady finger and little hesitation, he pulled the trigger. He felt nothing; he’d become numb.

The experts’ article boasted exhaustive maps, itinerary suggestions, mileage calculations and even budgeting projections. Geoff thought, “this is awesome, but I can make better route.”

BEEP. The man stood, unaffected. Geoff slid the stick of deodorant down the laminate countertop and repeated the process; BEEP. Junior Mints. BEEP. Nose hair trimmer. It was early spring in Bozeman, Mont. and Geoff was growing restless. There’s a world out there and I’m in here, scann… “Hi; welcome to CVS Pharmacy.” I’m in here, scanning deodorant. Working as a store supervisor to support his schooling, Geoff spent his days pursuing a degree at Montana State’s school of Film and Photography. “One day — during some free time between editing videos — I was on the internet and I saw this article. It was something like—Scientists Figure out Best Way to See the Country.” On March 15, 2015, The Washington Post had, indeed, published the results of a study conducted by a team of statisticians led by data analyst Randy Olson. Data geniuses have figured out what the ultimate U.S. road trip looks like, the headline read.

“I opened it up and read through; it seemed like they missed a ton of the spots people would want to see, national parks and stuff,” he said, “And I thought, I should design a trip, myself. So… I did.” Using the article as a foundation, Geoff spent several months compiling research and constructing his own Great American Road Trip plan. “I had this plan,” Geoff said. “I had the plan all worked out; I had the vision; I had the car; I just didn’t have the purpose.” “Originally for the summer I had planned to backpack around Europe,” Geoff confessed, “but after seeing Randy Olson’s map it made me realize just how little of my own country I had seen. At 15 I spent my summer in France, at 17 I went to Serbia, and at 19 I moved to New Zealand for 6 months. It was time for me to explore in-depth the country I grew up in.” One day while on the phone with his brother, Danny, he mentioned his plans for a trip around the US and Danny enthusiastically said, “Why don’t you make a video series for Boarders Magazine and we can find you sponsors for the trip to help fund it?” Geoff had already thought about starting a vlog for the trip so this was right up his alley.

Employing a complicated algorithm, Olson’s team worked closely with Discovery News to determine “the quickest driving route that would stop at a national natural landmark, national historic site, national park or national monument in all of the lower 48 states.”

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San Fransico, California SOUTH COLUMBUS, OHIO — MAY, 2016 “Where are you traveling?” the officer inquired with a subtle nod in Geoff’s direction. “We’re traveling the continental US, paddleboarding in every state; completing it in 100 days,” Geoff answered. “Paddle-boarding?” the officer asked. “Yeah; it’s like kayaking on a large surfboard.” Geoff subtly motioned toward one of their sponsor’s decals on his nearby Subaru; it depicted a Hala Gear paddleboard. “Oh… What do you eat?” the officer asked. Weird question. “Well we try to avoid fast food,” Connor interrupted. “We’ve been eating these freeze-dried Mountain House deals.” “Sponsors? What does that mean?” the officer scanned the area; with a pointed finger he gestured toward the camp, “Did someone sponsor your sleeping bags?”

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“No; we bought those ourselves,” Geoff said. “But the paddleboards are from a company called Hala Gear,” he motioned again to the decal, this time more animatedly. “We also have amazing waterproof speakers from Ultimate Ears and longboards from Moonshine MFG. We use their gear in our weekly video episodes we produce; they pay for our gas and some other stuff; that’s how the sponsorship works.” “…Ok. So it’s like the hunting channel,” the cop said, sounding certain of his conclusion; the men stayed put. Then the officer turned, walked, rounded the bumper of his colleague’s cruiser and began conferencing with its driver. Geoff and Connor quieted their breathing and waited in forced silence; they strained to discern the hushed nuances of the distant exchange.


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Ochard, Nebraska

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Long Island Sound, Connecticut

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BOZEMAN, MONTANA – MARCH 2016 So Geoff — now armed with a plan, videography skills, two paddleboards, waterproof Bluetooth speakers to go around and #MakeMusicSocial, and a longboard — set his sights on finding a road trip partner. “I met him through a mutual friend, actually,” Geoff said. “My buddy Tyler invited us both to spend a week at Banff National Park in Canada and we ended up really clicking.” “I didn’t really know Geoff before Tyler introduced us,” Connor confessed. “But Geoff mentioned his plan for this road trip he’d been concocting while we were in Canada and I honestly didn’t think it would come to fruition.” “A couple months later Geoff reached out to me and asked if I wanted to join him on the trip he’d told me about and said he had secured funding. I was between jobs at the time and I couldn’t think of a good reason not to go with him!” So they set a date; Geoff and Connor would leave on May 10, 2016 from Bozeman, MT.

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ALL OVER THE PLACE — MAY-AUGUST, 2016 For 100 days, Geoff and Connor traveled the US according to Geoff’s plan. Ideally, they would spend no more than an average of two days in each state. During that time they’d paddleboard, rock climb, longboard and wakesurf. “Shortly into the trip, when I got to North Dakota, I couldn’t help but think—Why the hell am I doing this?” Geoff confessed. “I thought to myself—I am in the middle of nowhere North Dakota where it was still barely 40 degrees with 40 mph winds, things will surely get better as I get to more exciting states.” Together, among other highlights, Geoff and Connor paddleboarded in Boston Harbor, rock-climbed sandstone cliffs near Red River Gorge, Kentucky and swam opalescent springs outside of Vernon, Fla. Before and after paddleboarding at each location, the two men had to hand-pump their paddleboards, install the fins and assemble the paddles. “We were just too far ahead of the game,” Geoff said, “Hala Gear is releasing an electric pump kit in 2017!” It was on the Long Island Sound in Connecticut that Geoff went off the rope swing with his wet slippery fingers and unfortunately the $200 UE Boom sound system sank into the silty abyss. “The UE MEGABOOM floats,” Geoff recalled. “But we were using the UE Boom 2 and that one went down fast. Luckily after several attempts and a few minutes passed Connor was able to swim down and grab it from the bottom. When he brought it back up, we pressed play on the phone and it began playing music right where it left off; that’s some good waterproofing.” Connor recalls swerving through tourists on longboards in New York City’s Central Park. “We were just cruising down the paths on longboards carrying what looked like luggage and was actually our deflated paddleboards; people were looking at us like we were nuts.” As far as they know, and judging from the sidelong glances shot their way, Geoff and Connor were the only Central Park paddleboarders that day; heck, maybe some of the first to have ever paddled through the waterways of one of the Big Apple’s gems. With charismatic outlooks and a bent for adventure, the men drove a total of 19,821 miles across the continental US over the course of two-and-a-half months. You really get to know someone after that long in the car, yeah? Both men highly stressed the importance of “good communication” when spending extended time with someone. “We’d met only twice before I hopped in a car and traveled cross-country with him,” Connor said. “And we’re pretty different people. We avoided conflict by not avoiding conflict, by just sort of establishing an unwritten rule that we’d be open with our feelings.”

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“I remember a day where I was just feeling like crap and really slacking when I should have been gathering footage for the videos,” Connor added. “Geoff told me, openly and kindly, that I was frustrating him and that he needed me to step it up; instead of getting defensive I just apologized. I think we set a precedent there for the rest of the trip. It’s all about swallowing your pride and trying to be a good friend.” “Connor rocks,” Geoff said. “I’ve never met anyone I didn’t want to kill after spending that long with them. Actually… Don’t write that; just say, ‘I’ve never met anyone I got along with so well after so long, and I think that has a lot to do with his good attitude and willingness to try new things.’ “ In fact, Connor believes that a willingness to try new things, to step out of one’s “comfort zone” is the single most important decision a traveler can make. “It really is a decision,” he stresses. “We all want to feel comfortable, so we stay put, and then we complain about being bored. It takes a deliberate mindset shift; you have to abandon your standards and just take that first step. But when you finally do, you stand to really experience the world and appreciate it a lot more, and to really appreciate the people in it.” Geoff recalled a night in Florida. “It was 98 degrees at midnight and 100% humidity; my air conditioning had gone out weeks earlier and now my car had nearly stopped working. We just pulled over and parked; we had to spend the night in the car, soaked in sweat. “Early the next morning a guy walked by; he was an older gentleman out doing his morning workout. Turns out he was a former mechanic; he paused his workout to look at the car and he told us exactly what we’d need to get it running again.” “Yeah,” Connor added, “and then in Texas when the car went out again and we were quoted $3200 in repair cost, by the grace of god a local shop showed us southern hospitality and fixed our car for only a fraction of the cost we were quoted. All of those people who stepped in to help; it just goes to show you that people—no matter where they are—really do want to help other people. “The media portrays the world so negatively; it was really inspiring to see that people are generally just so kind; there are really good people out there, you just have to choose to get up and go meet them,” Connor concluded. “You can see a lot of this stuff online; just go to boardersmag. com/1country100days. Our entire video series is there, a map of our trip and links to all of our sponsor’s websites,” Geoff offered. “You can’t really even begin to capture the adventures in words, the trip and the people we met; you have to see it for yourself!”


Mount Rushmore, South Dakota

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Waterbury, Vermount

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SOUTH COLUMBUS, OHIO — MAY, 2016 The lights strobed blue and red and reflected off the surface of the nearby reservoir. “What are they saying?” Connor asked, in a whisper. “I don’t know,” Geoff replied. “But I think I heard them laughing; that’s gotta be good, right?” “I heard that too; yeah, that’s good,” said Connor. “Oh shit! He’s coming back!” The officer returned and stood silent, stoic and motionless before the men; tensions mounted and Geoff became aware of his own racing pulse; he fought to steady it. “I’m sorry I kicked you,” the officer said to Connor, with a directional nod, “I thought you were dead; needed to double check.” Connor forced a smile and the officer mirrored his gesture. “If you really want to,” the cop offered, “you’re welcome to stay here the rest of the night; just be careful.” Geoff let slip an audible sigh of relief. The travelers graciously accepted the officer’s generosity with handshakes and groggy grins. As the squad cars pulled away the men returned to their campsite; the warmth of unsponsored sleeping bags beckoned. Connor’s vision grew fuzzy as he began to drift off; the angles and swooping arcs of distant moonlit trees looked like a city skyline, he thought. Beside him, Geoff lay awake thinking to himself, well if we already have the cops involved and we’re only in Ohio… this is going to be a great story to tell for years to come. -30-

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Grand Canyon, Arizona

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You’re not just going to sit there, are you? IceMule is the adventure cooler that you can take anywhere –whether it’s deep into an alpine lake or to a friend’s backyard BBQ. The IceMule Pro starts at $99.95. So stop thinking about it and order one now at IceMuleCooler.com. All orders over $99 receive free shipping.

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S Y A D 0 0 1 Y R T N U O 1 C

R A E G P I R T ROAD CLIF Minis

18 Pack - $35.99

UE BOOM 2 $299.99

http://www.ultimateears.com/ en-us/store/ueboom2 UE BOOM 2 is a smaller version than the MEGABOOM-being slightly bigger than a Red Bull can-but this 360-degree wireless speaker blasts loud and insanely great sound in every direction. It was designed to get wet, muddy, and beat up. It’s waterproof, shockproof body allowed us to take it everywhere.

UE MEGABOOM $299.99

www.ultimateears.com/en-us/ store/uemegaboom For 20 years Ultimate Ears has been transforming the way people experience music, together, out in the world. This started with the custom earphones they handcraft for the world’s top touring musicians and continues on with our award-winning wireless speakers, like UE MEGABOOM.

UE ROLL 2 $99.99

www.ultimateears.com/en-us/ store/ueroll2 The bold and beautiful sound of UE ROLL 2 gives adventure a soundtrack. This is an ultraportable wireless Bluetooth speaker that goes where you go with a stretchy, attachable bungee. The UE ROLL 2 was great to attach to our paddleboards because it’s also totally waterproof.

The UE MEGABOOM is a portable wireless speaker on steroids that delivers 360-degree sound with deep, heart-pounding bass everywhere you go. This speaker was loud than my car stereo, so we ended up using the speaker instead of the car. However, It’s grab and go waterproof (IPX7) shape, with the abilty to float, made this speaker our favorite for the #1country100days road trip.

Mountain House Entrees $6.99 to $9.49

www.mountainhouse.com/m/category/entrees.html With mouthwatering options like Chicken and Dumplings, Lasagna with Meat Sauce, and Beef Stroganoff, Mountain House meals can be cooked up in a flash anywhere, anytime - just by adding hot water. You’ll be ready to enjoy a satisfying, home-cooked meal without any fancy prep work wherever you are. After long days driving and paddling, these meal were a crucial part of keeping us fueled up for the road trip.

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www.clifbar.com/products/clifbar/clif-minis The great taste and nutritional goodness of the original CLIF Bar packed into a mini-sized bar. We keep ours in our backpacks, SUP bags, Glove Box, and even our pockets. These bar were great little snacks to take while we were out for long paddles.

CLIF Nut Butter Filled 12 Pack - $17.95

Mountain House Breakfast $5.49 to $7.99

www.clifbar.com/products/clifbar/clif-nut-butter-filled The CLIF Nut Butter Filled Energy Bar brings together two great energy foods – a delicious, creamy nut butter inside an organic energy bar – to deliver sustained energy, and that is just the thing you to keep moving on a road trip!

www.mountainhouse.com/m/category/breakfasts.html Mountain House’s freeze-dried breakfast food provides plenty of options to whet your appetite wherever you are. Whether you’re looking for a portable dish that you can take with you on your next long self-sustaining SUP trip or just a meal to add to your emergency food stash, Mountain House has got you covered. Having breakfast that you just had to add water to on the road trip was amazing for those time we had to wake up really early with no energy.

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Hala Hoss

Hala Straight Up

halagear.com/product/hala-hoss-whitewater-stand-up-paddle-board The Hoss (10'x35"x6") is Hala’s larger all–around SUP with amazing stability and quick agility. Big and stable, but still has the right rocker for maneuverability. Paddlers love the versatility of Hala’s all around boards. Great rigs for lakes, rivers, ocean and perfect for families, whitewater, raft trips, fishing, and multiple riders. A great board for all kinds of skill levels.

halagear.com/product/hala-straight-up-stand-up-paddle-board The Straight Up (10'x33"x6") is Hala’s smaller all–around board for the paddler looking for a traditional SUP shape. An ideal rocker profile keeps it sporty and stable so it surfs the river well, yet loves your lake workout and exploration. It’s a perfect rig for lakes, family, whitewater, raft trips, fishing, and multiple riders. A perfect mix of quick, agile and stable, making it the ideal choice for smaller paddlers and people looking for the feeling of a classic SUP board.

$1,399.00

$1,359.00

County Line Firm V2 Complete

Spark Complete

$299.00

$259.00

www.moonshinemfg.com The County Line is Moonshine MFG drop through carver, made for multiple riding styles and ample comfort for your longest session. Their drop-through truck mounts and wide platform with extended tip/tail kicks provides greater edge control, foot placement options and balance. The urethane truck mount provides vibration dampening in all riding conditions.

www.moonshinemfg.com The Spark is Moonshine MFG single-kick, directional, all around city slasher and campus cruiser. The lightweight, single-ply, vertlam deck features subtle concave and Their ultra-durable 60D thane rails. The super-responsive Spark will supply year-around stoke in any weather condition with its 100% waterproof construction.

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E H S

GOT

D R A BO Fashion meets Boarding Series

by Sean Reavis

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TA Y L O R D O R E Y KACEYMOON AMANDA RAEMICHAELS J A L AW H A R T O N E M I LY A G A T E In the attempt to artistically illustrate the power that we frequently see in our boarding world, that of the female boarder, I assembled and instructed a talented group of creatives to one task alone. Their common mission was to show the notion that:

“Within every beautiful model, there is a boarder ready to shred beyond their looks – and likewise, that within every female boarder there was still a beautiful fashion conscious woman.” For the category of wakesurfing, I was lucky enough to have the World Skim Champion, Taylor Dorey, show us her athlete-gonemodel looks. Since she is a self-proclaimed tomboy, I knew this would be interesting for those of us behind the lens that also know her to be very photogenic. Thank you very much as well to Brent Dorey for the talented photography! When it came to longboarding, my world was thrown directly to the streets where Kacey Moon always makes her presence felt. We took an aggressive downhill free-rider and asked her to get artsy with photographer Geoff Braught, while also paying homage to our metropolitan background of Dallas, TX. I hope you will be pleased with those athletes showing us some of their less action sides.

Then to flip the script a bit, we asked former model Jala Wharton, who conquers her runways these days on the endless paddle routes of Lake Michigan. She also takes the most amazing SUP-Selfies you could imagine, as she is too fast to catch otherwise! She shares with Boarders some of the trials and tribulations of being a woman and her intense love of SUP. Jala has even expressed her desire to stand up paddle from California to Bora Bora (one of her lifelong vacation destinations). We were very lucky to have former Maxim model, Amanda Rae Michaels and her photographer Max Reed, show us what it takes to be taken seriously on the double FlowRider at Margaritaville Beach Resort, in Hollywood, Florida. Thank you both for nailing the premise! Finally we include, as a special show of love and a thank you for all her support during these past years, to the one and only Emily Agate. She and Nathan Smith got married this Fall, and without hesitation she took to the waves in some of her wedding attire for some unique photos. We have never seen a bride look so steezy! Congratulations to you both! Thank you to everyone!

In short – “Never underestimate beauty.” – which seems to be the moral to this photo-tale; as each of these women are complete beauties for Boarders Magazine, and have totally represented the inland spirit!

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Discovery Bay, CA

TA Y L O R D O R E Y Taylor Dorey, is no stranger when it comes to the responsibility of being a role model in her sport of wakesurfing. She has looked up to many others on her way to being this years’s champion; and subsequently as a champion, must remember that there are many groms who watch her intensity and style both on and off the wave. When we asked her how it makes her feel to shred as good if not better than most of the guys, she was proud to note, “It empowers me and I also feel it reminds me of how much I am a role model to others. I know that I’m showing the younger girls that you can still kick ass and look good while doing it.” Well she definitely does that! She even has her own signature move, The Taylor Dorey, that you can see her “strike a vogue” to in one of the photos. Don’t let her good looks fool you though, she’s definitely a shredder and even shares some wisdom for her

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followers and fans, “Strength comes in all shapes, sizes, and beauty. Just because someone is female, doesn’t mean that they must conform to how society thinks they should be. One of the most important things that I hope people see me always try to do is be a great sportsperson. It does not matter if you win or lose - as long as you’re having fun while doing it! The second most important thing that I hope they walk away with is, to believe in themselves – and to always reach for the stars! I want all of them to strive to be the very best they can be, and to not compare themselves to others. The third and final thing I hope they learn from my example is to create their own style, and just really be themselves. I don’t want anyone to be afraid to be unique in life.”


Model: Taylor Dorey | Creative Director: Sean Reavis | Photographer: Brent Dorey | Board by: Victoria Skimboards

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Dallas, TX

KACEYMOON

Boarders: “How do the feelings compare of dancing on one of your boards for this fashion series at sunset, to the exhilaration of riding gravity at high speed down a hill?” Kacey Moon: “Well, there are facets to the feeling of wonder - different tastes of elevation that each style can bring - but they all encourage me to find a singular moment in time; where nothing exists but sensations of curiosity and the pure thrill that goes along with it.”

Kacey Moon emits a strong personal style of a free thinking independent woman by exercising an unorthodox approach to life. She believes you must accept a true balance of life, to tread into paths which render comfort unfamiliar all the while never forgetting to indulge in moments of contentment; in fact, the more authentic...the better it is for yourself. Boarding is an outlet of living for her, and she’s decided that she is not going to be a spectator and will use this aggressive attitude in her pursuits of downhill longboarding. In our opinion, we need more real people like her around. Why play guessing games?

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Model: Kacey Moon | Creative Director: Sean Reavis | Photographer: Geoff Braught | Board by: Pantheon Longboards Co.

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Hollywood, FL

AMANDA RAE MICHAELS To me, boarding makes me feel powerful, confident, strong and sexy. It brings me a sense of peace and calm while challenging me and constantly pushing me outside of my comfort zone. Flowboarding is the first and only board sport I have ever attempted (outside of a very recent and failed skateboarding attempt), so there has definitely been a lot of challenges for me along the way not having come from a sport like wakeboarding, snowboarding, or skateboarding. My first several trips to the FlowRider, I spent a lot of time getting bruised-up and tossed against the back wall. But I became hooked to the challenge and stuck with it. I’ve only been riding for a few months, and am still quite a beginner, but I feel such pride with each of my strides… no matter how small they are.

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Because the wave at Margaritaville is open to the public and located right on the Hollywood Beach Boardwalk, it tends to attract a lot of attention and spectators. I am very feminine. I always wear cute gear when I ride, I always have my nails done; I’m super-girly. When people see me, I can tell they are waiting for me to wipeout. When I first started riding, one of the instructors told me how much people like to see females wipeout. It’s true. When I can actually ride, and am able to show that I have some experience, I think people are A: Surprised. And B: Disappointed that my suit didn’t get knocked off.


Model: Amanda Rae Michaels | Creative Director: Sean Reavis | Max Reed (fl ow photos) & Justin Macala (bikini shot) | Board by: Ash Flowboards

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JALAWHARTON Boarders: “What’s the hardest thing that you’ve discovered about being a woman? What’s the greatest thing?” Jala: “The hardest thing for me was finally figuring out that I don’t necessarily need a man in my life. Getting over the fear of being single, being okay with that. Loving myself, embracing that has helped me grow into a much stronger woman. The great thing about being a woman... that’s easy! Being able to grow another human being inside of you.. I’m so grateful for my children. The chance to raise some hopefully “kick ass” good humans for the future!”

What would you hope to find in the Yogi’s magical basket to pick from and why? Jala’s 3 things.. 1. A crystal to remind me to always shine & stay strong especially on days that can be more challenging. 2. Food to give others. I love to cook and am extremely passionate about feeding the homeless. The idea of people being hungry makes me really sad. 3. Peacefulness and love for anyone in the world who needed it. Everyone deserves to be loved and feel loved!

Boarders: “When faced with the stereotypes in your life, what’s the most common preconceived notion that you know to be completely false about you?” Jala: “False about me.. is that I’m not friendly & stuck up.. every time someone has taken the time to get to know me they always - without fail, say ‘I judged you—and I wish I hadn’t because you are such an awesome friend!’ or, ‘I thought you would’ve be stuck up -- I Wish were friends years ago.’ I truly love & AM so grateful for the friends in my life who truly love me back. I love them back 10 fold! I wish people judged less and loved more.”

Boarders: “What three questions does the woman Jala want answered most?” 1. How can I be a better mom? 2. What more can I do as a human to make the earth more healthy and less polluted before I die, because I want my children and their children to have a beautiful earth to explore for years to come. 3. What’s a girl gotta do to get to Bora Bora to SUP for 2 weeks?! Just kidding...for real though, I would want to know/ hear what the Yogi’s best piece of advice would be that he could give a woman like me!

Boarders: If you climbed to the top of a hill to see a Yogi and got to ask three questions...and also pick 3 things out of a basket –

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Model: Jala Wharton | Creative Director: Sean Reavis | Photographer: Jala Wharton (selfi es) & Waldo Pepper (raceboat shot) | Board by: Bic SUP

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Lake Michigan, MI

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Lake Powell, AZ

E M I LY A G A T E Boarders: Congratulations on the recent nuptials with the lucky husband, Mr. Nathan Smith. We see you at a lot of competitions, and you’re quite the role model to the upcoming riders. How do you try to keep them motivated and progressive? Emily: I attempt to inspire others by keeping a big smile on my face even when times aren’t perfect, and by taking the time to talk to them and understand their goals. That’s the best way to help others.

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Boarders: What inspires you? Emily: Seeing someone work hard for, and then finally achieve their goals. Boarders: What about when those times get rough? How do you find it best to face today’s challenges? Emily: It starts with me. I begin by keeping a positive attitude, and by learning from everything thrown my way…both the good and the bad.


Model: Emily Agate | Photographer: Isaac Hockley | Board by: Soulcraft Surfboards | Boat: TigĂŠ

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A W S

F R U S E K

R E P U

e c a g a L

s i v a e R n a e S by

m o D

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Tim Marek

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Sean Reavis

W

hen you’re done reading this, you are either going to be very envious or simply inspired. This article is a deep dig into one of the realest deals in the game, and of one of wakesurfing’s most prominent figures. He’s been living his life with freedom and continually migrates while pursuing happiness. He moves around with the kind of passion that makes you want to immediately pack your bags and book a flight. This is the story of a living legend, though he’d deny it fully. I’m talking about none other than the Super Tramp of Wake Surf, Mister Dom Lagace. To many in the wake world he has been a consistent smiling face. At a social gathering he will comically (yet still so humble) be proud enough to tell you that his real home town is “the beach”...maybe just to help you relax, until he hears about your story first. I had to ask a few of the global figures in wake surfing for some insight into what their experience of Dom has been like over the years, and was very stoked to hear what a lasting impact he has made on their lives and from what they know, all the lives he touches. To me, he is one of the coolest guys around. He has literally changed the way he’s lived his own life enough to even have changed the way others have steered their own destiny.

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For example, Caroline Villaneuve (Caro) surprised me with her revealing statement of owing a bit of her own current direction in life to Dom’s inspiration, “Maybe Dom doesn’t know this, but he’s been a huge influence on me! Watching him have a successful wake school in Quebec (Hi-5 Wakeschool) is what initially pushed me to follow my own dreams and do the same in British Colombia.” Caro was willing to learn from Dom, whom many have discovered is the best kind of teacher – the kind who is involved in your goals and desires your success. He’s a superb teacher because he’s an avid learner; agreed by most everyone to be one of those overall wise people of the world. He’s the kind of person that brings joy to any environment – simply due to his very own contagious happiness. If you were to ask him yourself like I did, he’ll just tell you that he’s lucky and passionate about what he does. I definitely think those are two things each of us must find in life. I was interested in all of the side stories, and went on to ask Caro for more detail on how they had met and what further influence Dom may have had in her own journey.


Here’s what she had to say:

“I met Dom on his 30th birthday at a small wakesurf event in Quebec on 07-07-2007. It was my first wakesurf competition, and he was by far the best wakesurfer I had ever had the chance to watch live! I was very impressed to see what could be done with a surf wave. At that time I was mostly wakeboarding (competing and just starting to coach it also). Watching Dom ride really inspired me! I slowly switched from wakeboarding to wakesurfing. Also remarkable to note, is that although I was riding and coaching for a wake school in Quebec, nobody had Dom’s skills. So, for the following two years I would occasionally drive a few hours to get lessons from him. He didn’t coach me as often as I would have liked, but everything he said would resonate in my head. I would immediately go back home to practice. I probably can attribute all the best things that I learned, to Dom.” -Caro If Dom’s path is that of luck, then his luck might have started at birth. I mean, with a birthday of 7/7/77 how could you not roll Lucky 7’s moving ahead? It was meant to be, for his own destiny, to leave his home town of Quebec, Canada and make his way through the world as traveler. You mean he wasn’t always a traveler? No. Most don’t know this, but before he was a mentor to people like Caro, he was a simple country boy - a “farm boy” as he puts it, is what taught him about hard work. His first line of hard work in life, was working on the farm teaching the cows to surf probably. This is where he began his positive attitude I’m sure also where he developed the work ethic that we see today in his passionate pursuits of teaching in the surf world. Back then though, Dom would drive and repair the local ATVs (all terrain vehicles), harvest fruit, tend to the cattle, including milking the cows like a normal country boy. He attended school and participated in most of the sports offered. Balancing country life and his new found love of sports was not too difficult and Dom began to excel in hockey and soccer. Like most sports, you get to travel to play other teams. It might have been this first venture out that began broaden Dom’s horizons. I’m sure at some point he decided that living on the farm was going to be temporary. The Lagace farm would surely miss him, but if he didn’t go then he would miss out on truly living. Like for us, if he didn’t take that first step outside of his comfort zone he would never know. This was the best first step he would make, and one that would eventually bring back his influence to Quebec, while simultaneously sending his skills to places like Abu Dhabi and Russia. We might be getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s slow down and explore what his first trampy steps were really like.

Olivier St-Denis When Dom was around 16 or 17 he began traveling on his own. He decided to hitchhike one summer all over Canada and fell in love with traveling the unknown, and a tramp was born! There were so many people to meet and places to see he realized. He needed to get to that super tramp status ... but how? When he returned from his first tiny trek thru Canada, he made himself a simple farm boy plan. When school started once again, he started working extra at nights to save money (a much needed asset when venturing). The plan – to save all his money until summer! Once the plan worked the first time, he then just doubled down the next summer for the final trek around Canada before graduation.

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Soon he was finished with his schooling, and he was able to travel for both winter and summer. Though not for wakesurfing yet, and he also was still very much the wakeboarder back then anyways. Back then his vocation was in high demand in many places of the world. You see, something else that many don’t know is what fueled his initial travels was his formal education. Dom has three certifications in mechanics and put them to good use; repairing auto, industrial and aviation engines. He had a way to find work and get it done during the off hours. This next level plan was to work, get paid, and just also save those funds for the traveling. Simple plans work well ... Noted. He set out with new goals as well. During his first real venture out, he was determined to go far and also become completely self-sufficient. He loved site-seeing but had not even learned English yet. He literally got picked up by one of his first fellow travelers, and when asked any questions - could only reply, “Yes. Yes. Yes.” He began learning English and then also Spanish to go along with his native French. He found work in areas that let him do work at night, so that he could enjoy the daytime sports, like snowboarding; the main sport in the area that he traveled. He was able to meet many people from around the world that came to the Canadian Rockies for the best powder. Most of his traveling friends were from Australia, and his new mates were pretty much just like Dom. They all wanted to learn to surf and go to all of the best places globally for epic surfing. So this declared goal is what he was saving up for, he quickly decided. He used his winter money for summer surfing. He traveled the globe and enjoyed the best of escape areas and beaches empty of our 1st world problems. Then one summer, the ocean surfing went in a new direction ... INLAND! Dom Lagace’s friend bought a boat (Best Mistake Ever!) allowing them to continue to wakeboard and also develop their new wakesurf skills. He and his five friends started boarding behind the boat every single day. When the usual cold winter arrived, Dom decided to do the unusual – He moved to Orlando. He had already been traveling around Canada in his van, and just kept going South. Dom has been everywhere in that van I’m sure, from Canada to Mexico. We all cry at his photos all winter, as we see how much he loves both the Pacific Ocean; for the waves he gets snapped surfing on and the enormous fish we see him holding up. His Spanish is certainly excellent from it, if not his fishing skills. He told me about a van trip once to Mexico, he was even woken up by US Border Patrol (not boarder this time haha), who thought he was doing something illegal. He probably smiled his way out of it, and now there are US Border Patrol surfers too. Ha! Let’s just go with that. Dom spent many months of his year traveling Canada to Mexico via the United States in that surf van, spending nights in beach hotel parking lots and meeting the locals. For wakesurfing, the hub of learning at the time was still in Florida though, and so when the season would call – he would make his way back to Orlando. He was already serious about this sport and getting a vigorous passion for learning more from other innovators. While in Orlando, he started getting lessons from guys that got to ride all year. Theses Floridians knew how to keep things progressive.

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Tim Marek He let them dial up his game and add to his skills. Then it clicked – he knew what he had to do for his summer back in Canada. He had a new mission. Dom returned home and started Hi-5 Wakeschool! He learned more by teaching more. This still allowed him to get plenty of board time before he returned to Florida; his new winter home away from home. The next trip to Florida would prove to be a bit lucky as well, as Dom’s passion collided with a scouting representative of the sport, saying, “We need surfers!” I can almost picture Dom raising his hand and saying, “Here I am.” Everyone was experimenting back then, the sport had basic tricks, and many grew from that era, and the older boat companies were competing with the new ones.

Sean Reavis


Olivier St-Denis

They needed people to show off the capabilities. Not just the boat manufacturers, but also the board makers weren’t quite sure what was perfect and constantly reinvented designs and sizes (sound familiar?). The real work was now being done in the traveling to show off new products and boats. Sometimes new venues just needed quality riders to elevate their event for the wise sponsors, that had noticed how attractive this sport was becoming. Now days, it has almost become downright trendy to say “I surf” or get that picture letting go of the rope. We get it though – Boarding trumps all things. Wink. It wasn’t until Dom went to Florida for the 3rd season to train early, that he made part of his summer travel plans to go to California, instead of Mexico (this was around 2006/2007). While he was on this trip out West, he decided to check out the WWSC (World Wake Surfing Championships for those who don’t know) – and then decided to compete in it. He actually got 3rd in the Men’s Pro Division. What?! How did this happen to a simple farm boy? He was extremely enthusiastic about competing alongside his learning and teaching, and seeing where the competition circuit could take him.

Travel trips to new wakesurf destinations even included Argentina at the time. Dom was pushing the sport and teaching along the way, wake surfing was growing in many places and he was adding his vibe and knowledge to those willing to take a lesson with a smile. He would search out contests, contact them early and organize surf camps. This was a sound business move for the sport, as it would both grow new players and also promote the contest locally, thus helping pay for the entire agenda at a higher level than without his touch. He was then asked to do the same in France, where obviously many learned what he taught in their camps and private sessions, and in his native language as a bonus. He certainly adds a certain style and tweak to his tricks too. We could take a poll of his students and see how many out there might be emulating the Super Tramp Steeze on the wake. The plan was simple once again... Just repeat the previous year until you can’t travel anymore. Dom Lagace points out, “The key is loving what you do. Every job has it’s ups and downs. When your job is your passion, it is much easier!” I was still curious how he accomplished all these things, and without a cell phone? Most don’t know this, but Dom has not had a cell phone...wait for it...for 10 years!

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With most of his travels being in and out of the country, there has never been one service that handled international correctly for his taste. Rather than let that inconvenience annoy him though, Dom just began using an iPod and WiFi; figuring out that most of his communication could be done through chat, and email. I recently asked another of his former early students, who now lives in London, to give me her impression of Dom’s touch to her world, and was pleasantly surprised by the impact made on her life. Here’s what the major Russian influencer Alena Pishchulina, owner of GlideSoul and a WWSC Competitor in the sport, had to say about Dom:

“Dom is one of the best ambassadors of the sport. I can count on one hand the amount of people in the sport who have the same passion as Dom. When he teaches people, it isn’t always about the technique ... but rather it is about the huge inspiration and positive energy he brings. Dom makes travel easy, and he loves to meet people from different countries and cultures. To me, his biggest impact has always been his willingness to share his knowledge, and even more so it is his ability to truly be happy with the success of his students. I still remember one special moment in my life - Dom was teaching me how to do surface 360, and finally after many days and attempts I landed it! Right when I landed it, Dom jumped off the boat in excitement; nearly landing on my board. I have never met any other coach who was as happy with the results of his students as Dom.” -Alena During the most recent WWSC in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, I was able to spend some time near the conversational fire with both Dom Lagace and another living legend, Keenan Flegel. We discussed a history of the progression and what it means to them. Dom was quick to point out that by tricks alone you can see how the sport has grown since his entry nearly a decade ago. Dom put it as, “When I got 3rd place 9 years ago, all I did was a Shuv, a Surface 360, and a Slash ... and I think the winner – all he did was one more Shuv, and now everyone needs to have the same 20 tricks with intensity and amplitude in a combo without falling to make the podium.” He then passed the conversation fire to Keenan who added, “The sport is still the best sport, and we have incredible riders doing amazing things. There are just different levels now, and it is getting to the point where almost everyone at the top level has the same run, and the boat waves are maxing out riders to what is possible within that type of wake or wave.”

Olivier St-Denis So I asked them both where they want to see the sport going, and if they thought the Olympics were on the horizon ... what else can be done to assist progression in wake surfing? Dom and Keenan both seemed to not really care to see it go to the Olympics quite yet, as they both still felt wakesurfing had more room to expand on the current scene. We all three began bouncing around ideas about what these “wakesurf parks” would look like, since they would not be artificial wave pools nor places with water slides. Some of the ideas that reached approval by the Pope of Wake Surf, Dom Lagace and the Shogun of Surf (for all his shredding) Keenan Flegel, were park features for surf training, or adding to an obvious surf waterway that the boat(s) created, and creating places that riders could whip-in or winch-in to the waves; for a whole new set of tricks that require that kind of speed. We even discussed experimental events that incorporated making bowls with just one rider using it up aggressively. They both pretty much said that the best way for the sport to stay progressive and keep people traveling is to make cool places to go to, that are attractive destinations – for wakesurfers. The only goal of the areas should be to create more surf passion by simply having fun. Simple enough. We can surmise that to be a more efficient human – requires going out to see the world like Dom Lagace. This broad perspective is one that has trickled down to some of his other students. The people he’s taught, like Parker Payne, who rightly thought he was a famous legend when he got his first surf lesson, will always admire his style of living.

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Sean Reavis

Parker knows, even at seventeen, that the real world is out there – not at home. Others like Caro, will admire Dom’s work ethic. She points out it is isn’t always just touristy sightseeing when you are doing the passionate work like Dom. Caro revealed:

He is passionate and the wake surfing community is lucky to have him as a pioneer, an inspiration, and a role model! His willingness to travel and share his passion with the world is remarkable! As far as I am “People might not realize, it’s not like a vacation, those concerned, Dom is the #1 wakesurf coach in the world travels usually include long flights and layovers, logistics, with a very technical and fun approach. If you get the chance to take a lesson from Dom.... do it! You won’t lost luggages, and don’t forget jet lag! Usually we go regret!” from airport to hotel, to the lake, back to hotel, lake, -Caro hotel, and then back to the airport. Not much time for I know I’m not envious, but rather inspired to find ways to see sight seeing. By the time you reach a destination, it’s new places, ride new waves, meet new faces, and share the already time to coordinate flights, car rental and hotel spirit of being alive with the all energetic learners, the great and for the next trip. Another aspect about travels is the inspiring teachers, and especially all of the very interesting super tramps that exist out there, who know how much we are all really language. Dom’s travels are not something I envy as going to be missing out in life if we stay at home on the farm. I’ll much I respect him for. It’s a lot of fun but also very leave you all with one last quote from Dom himself, when asked hard work. what he loved most about all of this adventure and travel.

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Sean Reavis

He smiled and said:

“I’ve been to many countries, and at this point the list is too long to mention all of them. As a goal, I still haven’t been to the Moon yet, so I still have goals ...but the best thing about all of this isn’t really the destination; whether, another country or even the moon. It is really about the people you hang out with while you are there. Life is short, so we should share our passions with each other and be happy. I don’t claim to take any credit for teaching people tricks. I probably showed them more how to take a suggestion or idea, and they found their own passion and achieved it themselves.” -Dom

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See you at the beach Dom, you super tramp you!

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227SSX Surf

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akesurfing, by many, has been said to have saved the wake boat industry. Wakesurfing has taken the world by storm, and many have been able to get back “on board� after giving up from the body-wrenching hurt that wakeboarding can put on a body. For others, it has become a chance to connect back to their roots of surfing; though, now enjoying the inland experience and the much talked about chance to catch an endless wave.


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or years inboard/outboard (I/O) drive boats have been considered very dangerous to surf behind. This fear or safety precaution is due to the propeller being so openly exposed at the stern of the boat, and available to cause injury to the rider. In 2015, Volvo-Penta changed the game for I/O manufactures by re-thinking how a boat drives. Volvo-Penta took the rear facing I/O drive and turned it around with the new Forward Drive. This opened up the I/O market to a whole new world of wakesurfing! This is when the spark of innovation ignited at the boat manufacturing and design places around the world.

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015 the market exploded with I/O brands marketing the new technology with the promised ability to make new wake surfers everywhere. Chaparral, kept a little secret in their back pocket, as they planned for their late summer 2016 release. As part of their new partnership with the #1 wakesurfing system Surf Gate™ by Malibu Boats, they unveiled a transition in available options in the market. With the addition of the Surf Gate™ technology, Chaparral has now put themselves into a new category. They managed to propel themselves into being one of the most versatile boats on the market today - thankfully with the best technology aboard.


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he one thing on the new Chaparral’s we are most excited about though is Surf Gate™ pushing forward the wakesurfing world to many more families. The wave behind these boats will suprise you with the amount of push you have in the back of the wave. It might not be the largest wake you surf on the lake, but it will definitely keep you coming back for more; while, giving you nearly unmatched versatility.

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y own personal account of riding the wave could be described fully as I did in the online review I invite you all to go check out at BoardersMag.com. The wave was impressive and every trick that is landed behind any other inboard boat is possible behind this beast. Take a look at a few things that you won’t find in your standard inboard boat are features like an on board “head” aka restroom. Located next to the observer (passenger) seat this is very convenient for families looking to spend a full day on the lake. The “V-Plane” hull allows for low speed stability, while making it a breeze to cut through rough water without ruffling your feathers. The large swim platform with ladder and sun lounge are perfect for hanging out and playing in the water. After you’re finished in the water the transom shower is available to wash off and get ready to head back in.

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AD

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Words: Todd Caranto Jake Albrecht

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he 2016 pacific paddle games are still the premier event for the world’s best SUP Athletes and for good reason. The PPG was held for the second year at the iconic Southern California playground of Doheny Beach in Dana Point, California USA. For a sixth straight year waves showed up on cue like the flip of a switch; head high sets rolling in all three days. The sky was sunny, the wind was low and the water was warm. The conditions for paddle surfing were ideal. Both spectators and athletes took advantage of clean breaking waves. Zane Schweitzer and Ridge Lenny popped into the line-up on foil boards and shredded like they were standing on top of pogo sticks, pumping the foils for speed. The wave stoke was high and when the heats weren’t being run, contestants and spectators alike were surfing. The men’s and women’s technical races didn’t disappoint and were full of lead changes, contact, and carnage. In the men’s final, after the first lap, it appeared that Mo Freitas had a sizeable lead over the rest of the field until he reached the center buoy. The pack was behind him, featuring Kai Lenny, Connor Baxter and Slater Trout, all having caught a wave deep on the outside to reel him in. After hammering at it for another three quarters of a lap, Connor Baxter pulled away and took the lead for the final win.

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The final women’s technical race saw rivals Candice Appleby and Annabel Anderson went head to head once again in a tight race. Coming around the south buoy proved to be difficult with the breaking waves and Annabel went down into the water losing her lead. Through a surprising burst of raw power she muscled her way back to the front and put herself a 100 yards ahead; only to commit, what must have been an oxygen-deprived mistake, of paddling away from the finish line. The pack had no trouble capitalizing on her error and sprinted for the beach well ahead of Annabel. Candice had the lead and she dug in to take first place, collecting another championship at the PPG. Event commentator Dan Gavere, made a pre-race prediction about newcomer, Michael Booth being “a serious contender” in the distance race and the one person he thought likely to win. His call was dead on. From Australia, Michael Booth is a surf ski paddler and has only taken up SUP in the last six months. He crushed the field and finished with an impressive lead, winning the distance race.

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In addition to the all the well-known ocean athletes, whitewater SUP champions Michael Tavares, Spencer Lacy, and Camille Swan came out of the mountains and down to the beach to try their mettle in an ocean race. Spencer Lacy and Camille Swan raced for the first time and got a taste for the salt water; both made an excellent showing for their first attempt at paddling in the waves. The event was clean, well-organized, and ran smoothly. It was the perfect end to a long season.

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BIGCORN

ISLAND BY: ALEX GARHART

PHOTOS: JOEY SAPUTO | NADIA ALMUTI | ALEX GARHART 100

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tepping off the plane into the 91 degree heat of bustling Managua, it was hard to believe I was shoveling snow off my driveway 24 hours ago. Our convoluted but free flight (gotta love those frequent flier miles!) took Nadia Almuti and I 18 hours to escape the frozen deserts of western Colorado. After many previous trips to Central America, exiting the international terminal felt like coming home. The sights and smells one comes to associate with Latin American cities come to life; unknown meat grilling over wood fire, diesel exhaust belching from ancient school buses, cat calls from taxi drivers, and of course the smiles and laughter from the locals as they try to interpret my broken Spanish. After a couple days of enjoying the surrounding area, we returned to the airport for the next leg of our journey to the Corn Islands. The domestic and international terminals at MGA are separated by a brief walk through stifling heat and oppressive humidity. La Costena Airlines is Nicaragua’s sole domestic operator and flights on the small planes fill quickly. Check in and security measures are brief and to the point, a pleasant reprieve from the intrusive, steely eyed TSA officers in the U.S. As we fill the small 12 seat turbo-prop to capacity I’m overcome with anticipation for the cool Caribbean breeze and warm emerald green water that awaits. Flying east beyond expansive Lake Managua and the ominously protruding volcanoes, Momotombo and Momotombito, the farmland slowly gives way to the wild and undeveloped Caribbean coast. The lazy and sinuous Rio Escondido bends and snakes its way through untouched forests before emptying into Bluefields Bay; the gateway to the Corn Islands. As our plane pitched and yawed on the descent to the small landing strip on Big Corn I was reminded of childhood carnival rides— you know you’re safe but there’s that quiet voice in your mind telling you to abort the mission. As sweat trickled down my brow, the un-phased locals casually collected their belongings and deplaned. The Corn Islands are comprised of 2 small islands about 7 miles apart. Because the airport is located on Big Corn, tourists arrive on the larger island in droves before heading off to the smaller, and much more popular, Little Corn Island via water taxis called “pangas”.

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he rich creole culture of Big Corn was prevalent from the moment we deplaned. Relaxed cab drivers milled casually around their cars waiting for fares, locals wondered off down the deserted streets and the grittiness of Managua was slowly washed from us. Everything happens a little slower in the Corn Islands, or doesn’t happen at all. The relaxed atmosphere abounds with swaying palm trees, pearl white smiles, hammocks and rum. We settled in on the north side of Big Corn near a wonderful little dive shop called “Dos Tiburones,” Spanish for “Two Sharks” (http:// divecornisland.com). The dive shop is run by Tonya Blackwell, an American woman from Green Pond, Alabama. Her quest for a new beginning began here on Big Corn in 2014. In coordination with Dos Tiburones, Stand Up Paddle Corn Islands rents SUPs at the dive shop (http://standuppaddlecornislands.com). The dive shop is run by Tonya Blackwell, an American woman from Green Pond, Alabama. Her quest for a new beginning began here on Big Corn in 2014. In coordination with Dos Tiburones, Stand Up Paddle Corn Islands rents SUPs at the dive shop (http://standuppaddlecornislands.com). You can get guided tours with owner/operator Joey Saputo or rent a couple boards and head off on your own. There are a host of paddling and snorkeling options all around the island. Want to paddle to a sunken Spanish galleon and snorkel? Check. Sunset paddle at a steamship wreck? Check. Relaxing session of SUP yoga? Check. Feeling bold enough to paddle the 7 miles from Little Corn to Big Corn? Bring your game face and make it happen. There is even a little surfing for the patient and adventurous. Our days were consumed by miles of paddling, surfing and snorkeling. The nights were filled with generous laughter, impromptu soccer games on the airport landing strip and of course, rum. The islanders on Big Corn welcome you like family. Their hospitality and adventurous spirit make it difficult to leave. Big Corn is the type of place you can return to again and again, until one day you wonder, why bother going home?

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Visit to view results:

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ue to our successful events in years past, we already knew that the US Open was a fixed goal on many people’s calendars. It is an event that thankfully everyone seems eager to attend. That puts the correct amount of pressure on us as we create, plan, and flesh out the different parts of our two day mixer of surfing and great friendships. Our goal was clear from the start – We wanted to put on a really fun contest of course, with lots of different vendors, and even new vendors. We had an exciting post surf event with the Red Bull Mini-Moto Race. Athletes and spectators participated in the races; though this time they got to “brrrraP!” right past the checkered flag. We also had other sponsors bring bikes for people to enjoy and try out. Special thanks to Spokes Bicycle Shop for bringing out their Giant brand bikes. Everyone that showed up, showed up to show off! The board sponsors we showcasing their designs as well. We saw Doomswell Board Co. and Hyperlite, with tents alongside Inland Surfer and Chaos Surf. We had some big name sponsors step up in a major way, with AutoNation Chevrolet leading the pack. Everyone on the shore was able to either enjoy watching the streaming broadcast or could venture off on a bike to either one of the Food Trucks for some specialty tacos or a cool break at the Snow Cone Truck.

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We knew that aside from the actual event where the athletes shredded against each other, most everyone else was going to be working all day on staying in the shade and out of the heat as much as possible. Thankfully the weather provided shade without raining down on our event. We were ready for the heat or rain though, with our VIP tent serving Deep Eddy Vodka & Red Bull to those that strolled in to watch the event on the big screen. Thanks to lots of shade and plenty of extracurricular activities, we didn’t have any protests or complaints the entire weekend. To us, that meant spirits were high, and that we did something special. I’m sure the $50,000 in Cash and Prizes might have elevated people’s outlooks but we think that it all went hand in hand in order to achieve a wakesurfing competition that people can look back at with pride and a smile. I know I did. I usually have one the very next day when I’m already planning the following year’s event. This year was a little different for me, thanks to all of you and one special lady. This year I was fortunate enough to enjoy the opportunity to propose to my future wife (and grateful she accepted in front of my wake family); which allowed my day after to be spent resting...haha and planning the rest of my life! In all seriousness, I was honored to have over 90 riders compete, and thankful they patiently waited around my working through the biggest obstacles.

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This year, with so many riders, I had many other event schedules to try and coordinate with in order to still have the athlete be able to make the US Open. Our best efforts were made to be as friendly and easy as possible and to work with their schedules. It all seemed to have worked out. Special thanks to all the spectating audience on the shore. Many were family and friends of the competitors, and others were simply fans of the sport sent over by our Radio Sponsor – 95.9 The Ranch. The stoke level was high, and everyone enjoyed the great group of people surrounding them on the shore. Every year the US Open gets better and better, because we strive to learn from the year before. We have one purpose: to make everyone that attended one of our events to sit around in January and literally want to go back! Huge thanks to Tige Boats for the wonderful RZX3, and to Red Bull for the truck full of musical good-times. We look forward to their participation in coordination with the Deep Eddy Vodka for next year... Surely we can’t go wrong those three as a combo on the shore. One other thing to note was the amount of boat demos that took place. I believe the total count was 30 boat demos over the weekend. In case you are wondering – the US Open was a total success and I am pleased with the outcome. Here’s to next year, and that it will grow each year even bigger and better. See you soon!

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BEST 2016 Paul Clark Lindsay Lambert Location:

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Seattle, Washington

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Tim Marek Cody Forgy Location:

Lake Austin – Austin, Texas

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Josh Garza Carlos Andreu Location:

Mustang Island State Park, Texas

Board:

Bote Rackham Bug Slinger Edition

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1

5

2

6

3

4

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9

Photo Credits

10

1

Ryan Taylor Chris Bank

2

Josh Garza Carlos Andreu

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7

Location:

Lake Minnetonka, Minnesota Board:

Location:

Steves Island, Maine

Bote Rackham Bug Slinger Edition

Location:

3

Jake Albercht

4

Heather Jackson

5

Ryan Taylor

6

Heather Jackson

Mustang Island State Park, Texas Location:

The Mountain Wave on the Kananaskis River in Alberta, Canada

Location:

Chicago, Illinois

Andrew Masi

Ashley Kidd

Location:

Lake Austin, Texas

Location:

8

Heather Jackson

9

Heather Jackson

The Mountain Wave on the Kananaskis River in Alberta, Canada

Location:

10

Jake Albercht Jake Caranto

11

Jake Albercht Kevin and Christian Cullen

The Mountain Wave on the Kananaskis River in Alberta, Canada

Location:

Lake Arietta Auburndale, FL

Location:

The Maine Island trail off of the coast of Freeport, Maine.

Location:

The Mountain Wave on the Kananaskis River in Alberta, Canada

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Heather Jackson Location:

The Mountain Wave on the Kananaskis River in Alberta, Canada

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Paul Clark Masayuki Takahata Location:

Japan

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Ryan Taylor Chad McShane Location:

Lake Minnetonka, Minnesota

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Jumper:

Paul Clark

Dane Harrod

Location:

Banks Lake, Washington

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Paul Clark Alex Mauer Location:

Colorado River Glenwood Springs, CO

Visit

BoardersMag.com

for the latest news in inland surfing

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THE WORLD’S

BACK YARD

BY TODD FLEGEL | PHOTOS BY DANNY BRAUGHT & SEAN REAVIS

B

y now, you all know that the - 2016 Centurion Wake Surfing World Championship - was held in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. What some of you might not know is how exciting of a prospect that this actually was for me; as this was practically in my back yard. For many there, it was a nice change to have an East Coast “World’s” this year. We definitely had a lot of comparisons drawn too, since we have all had some fairly fun locations in the previous years, in places like Parker, Arizona and Las Vegas, Nevada. This year’s event was special for more than a few reasons, and I wasn’t the only one that enjoyed the novel things that came about. Many people expressed that we had the best riding conditions that they have seen at a Worlds event. I couldn’t help but agree, since I have been going to them for the last 10 years. We established a new record for participation for any wake surf competition ever, with a total of 171 athletes. We saw many familiar faces on the hard to beat Florida strip, and lots of new ones enjoying the relaxing South Florida beach vibes.

The Competitive Wake Surf Association (The CWSA) proudly assisted Centurion at this event by providing judging, logistical support, and the crucial scoring, as well as presenting the annual World Wakesurf Awards to those that worked so hard to deserve those accolades. Each year, the World Championship is the culmination of The World Series of Wake Surfing; which, for those that were not aware - is ran by the CWSA. The final selections for the athletes that were invited were selected from the top riders at the end of the season, and in accordance with the The CWSA’s World Ranking System (WRS). There were so many great riders in the circuit this year, that we also felt we had to include a few promoter choice selections. During the event, it was no doubt hot and steamy, but not as hot as it could have been, as we were fortunate enough to dodge most of the storms – that seemed to hover just West of us for shade like a beach umbrella.

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The setting was optimal in my opinion, and this resulted in some of the best and most progressive riding ever seen; coupled with some of the best conditions and with a monster of a wave - produced by the Centurion Ri237. Once competitors were done with their ride in front of the shore audience, there was even a whiteboard available near the announcer’s booth; available for riders to post up their names and that one elusive trick that they have been practicing and finally landed for the first time in competition. The actual whiteboard list got to be very long as riders took advantage of the blessed conditions. The CWSA was honored to also host a contingency from both South Korea and The IWWF (International Waterski & Wakeboard Federation). These two groups were there to learn more about top level competitive wake surfing, and exactly how The CWSA can help them progress the sport in their respective countries. CWSA is thankfully going to be involved as the interest in wake surfing grows internationally. Though the event did not have as much glitz and glamour as some of the other events in recent years; however, it was to many – a great event which focused more on the local beach atmosphere and wake surfing unity. Both Centurion and The CWSA did a great job in running the 3-day event. In short we had with a massive number of riders with virtually no problems, and still managed to finish in perfect unison with the beautiful sunset that capped of the amazing competition. It will be interesting to see where Worlds will go next year and also in terms of evolution. There seems to be a lot of support from both Centurion and The CWSA to select an ideal location outside of the United States. The goal of this would be to show the international riders and dealers that competitive wake surfing IS without a doubt a worldwide sport.

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The format for qualifying to ride at the World Wake Surfing Competition next year may have some tweaks to fine tune, yet we shouldn’t worry as it will still be based on the World Ranking System (WRS), and will be scored from World Series qualifying events. This year’s championship featured some different riding formats than previous years, such as a 45 second pass instead of 60 seconds. Obviously less time to throw your line of tricks and seems like more pressure; fortunately, most of the competitors liked the shorter course - as it encouraged more hammers and less fluff. That’s what Worlds should be – Hammers! In the future, I am hoping to see live scoring introduced to wake surfing events, and more specifically to the pro divisions next year at Worlds. Yes - Live scoring is a little more challenging for the judges, but it undeniably provides a lot of excitement for the spectators and offers timely scores for the riders and creates an organic form of understanding what you must do if you’re the next rider on the jet ski getting shuttled out to the Ri237. I have spoken to many of the top people in the wake surfing industry in recent months, and one thing is certain: Everyone agrees that these are exciting times for the sport that we love so much, and all are grateful that it continues to grow in popularity. We continue to observe wake surfing fueling the growth of water-sports in general, and couldn’t be more pleased. This is unanimously considered such a great family sport too, and on my own behalf, it has been a sport that I have been lucky enough to enjoy with all of my family for years. I am honored to be a part of something so fun and positive. I am looking forward to all of the new ideas and improvements for 2017 -- along with a super busy competition schedule. Thank you all for enjoying a little of my back yard scene, and doing your part to help make it more prestigious each and every year, as it all helps our sport continue to grow and mature.

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Visit

BoardersMag.com

for the latest news in inland surfing

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Boarders Magazine November 2016  

Issue No. 15

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