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I Don’t Like Surfing

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Most people who know me would assume I’d enjoy surfing. My passion is wakeboarding, I even moved to Florida to teach people how to wakeboard, I ride all the time, teach many people, and love the sport. Wakeboarding naturally gets associated with surfing. In fact, most wakeboarders who have surfed seem to really enjoy it as well as wakeboarding. Not me.

Now it’s true, I haven’t really given it a full chance, but I feel that with the little time I’ve put into it, surfing will never be something I’ll want to do on my own free will.

Surfing

The best use of a surf board.

Here’s why.

As a wakeboarder, especially an instructor in central Florida, I am very lucky to have access to many perfect wakeboard boats. The lakes here couldn’t be better for the sport, the water is usually flat, you can ride year round, and I usually ride with people at least as good as me, if not much better. I’m no slouch, but I coach the women’s World Champion, and am friends with many of the best in the sport. Yes, I’m very lucky, and I love it!

Those boats put out a perfectly shaped, massive, and consistent wake. I can ride that for as long as my body can take it. I don’t have to chase that wake, all I have to do is hold onto the handle at the end of the rope and enjoy! When I crash, I can catch my breath, relax, and wait to get picked up again for another perfect wake. I get to jump high in the air, do spins, flips, and grabs, and I know I can count on the wake to be there for me every time. And all of this takes place in pleasant fresh water.

Now let’s look at surfing.

This last time I joined a friend to try surfing went like this. I spent about ten minutes paddling out into the waves. I’m in Florida, so they weren’t very large waves, but it still took me a while because I didn’t know what I was doing, and I was in the ocean with waves pushing against me. Once I got to where it looked like I might be able to catch a wave, I tried to figure out the best way to do that. True, I have no training, but I’m comfortable standing on the water at least. I managed to “catch a wave” fairly quickly, but the whole time I was moving back toward the beach, I was considering crashing so I could save some paddle time on the way back out.

Each glorious wave I caught lasted less than ten seconds (yeah, I’m not good at it), and with salt water in my sinuses and back of my throat, I would spend another five to ten minutes paddling back out into the waves in hopes of awkwardly standing on a big slow board for a few seconds with no chance of jumping or doing any tricks.

I mentioned that I was with a friend. That was fun because we paddled out together for about two minutes, then he was much further out than me, and we were too far apart to even see each other for the rest of the hour and a half or so.

So to sum it up, I wakeboard in fresh water with big wakes and nice boats where I get to do all the tricks I can think to try. All my effort goes into actually standing on the water, moving around and getting up in the air. When I surf, it’s paddling into nasty salt water waves trying to push me backwards for about 98% of the time, then getting pushed back to the shore the other 2% of the time. Yes, to me, surfing equals getting pushed back to shore so you can get another great paddling workout…all with nasty salt water in every part of your body.

Oh, and one last thing, even wake surfing is terrible.

Week of Worlds at The Wakeboard Camp

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The WWA World Championships are this week in Orlando. That means that this is a crazy week at work. Crazy awesome though.

So just today, I coached in the morning. I had one of three boats. I had a family of a father and two sons. They all improved and started to figure out proper jumping position, so that was cool. Also riding on the lake was Ben Greenwood and his crew of riders competing in the tournament. Kurt Robertson and his buddies were out there as well getting tuned up for the competition.

Here is a list of moves I witnessed today, just when I was nearby. Pete Rose (Marcos Torres and Ben Greenwood), 720s (Bob Sichel and Ben Greenwood), backside 540 (Paulie Koch), and many other great moves. There’s even a 13 year old girl doing switch 540s, both heelside and toeside. Yeah.

If you don’t know what any of this means, come to Florida and I’ll teach ya! Life is pretty good here. I even got to ride and did me a roast beef tantrum. Woo!

Blueberries

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The title has nothing to do with this post, it was just the first word that came into my brain when the cursor was blinking in the Title field.

Opening Thoughts

Just a bit ago when I went to write this post, I found that all of my sites were down, hosted by the same company. I checked their own site and it was also down. Everything was back up a couple of minutes later, but I managed to do some calculations during that time. They guarantee 99.9% up time, which gives them a little under 9 hours per year of down time. That’s a bit shy of an hour per month, which they have gone nowhere near. So well done BlueHost, well done. I still like you.

Wakeboarding

Life is good, as it has been ever since I moved to Florida. Here are some fun things that happened this week. I landed a tantrum to blind with an indy grab for the first time. That’s a fun one. I have ridden with plenty of good friends this week, and during one set I tried a double flip for the first time ever. That scared the snot out of me, which was really fun. Here’s the video: (It’s poor quality, but here is the link to the high quality version.)

Then today, I went riding with my friends Ben Greenwood and Trevor Hansen. After that, we came home and Trevor took a look at the video above there.

Trevor is, to date, the only person to land the move I tried, a double back roll, on a normal wake, as in not using a double up. (I’ll put the video below) He gave me a thumbs up and proceeded to coach me and break down the video to help encourage me to try it again and land the thing. That was pretty awesome in itself! I just tried the move on a whim, and now I feel motivated to land a double invert on a wakeboard. I mean come on, I have been coached by the only person in the world who has done it wake to wake. That’s awesome.

Here’s the aforementioned video:

Sorry, the video can’t be embedded on here. That’s something about online videos that bugs me, not allowing people to put them on their site, but whatever, that’s for another time. Check it out on Trevor’s blog here: Trevor’s Double Back Roll.

Nice huh? Yeah, he’s good. So is Ben. He landed a lot of different 720s today and a couple 900s.

Non-Wakeboarding

I get thoughts from time to time of what to blog about. I usually forget those by the time I sit back down at this desk. I’m okay with that, but perhaps I should try to work on fixing my retention method. So all I really have right now is this link for you:

Go Away: Hilarious email conversations between a talented graphic artist and people who have crossed him. The top post is a great place to start reading.

The Butt Cut 2010

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Well I suppose it’s finally time for the tale of my Earth Day 2010 butt laceration incident. It was a lovely Thursday here in Florida and just so happened to be Earth Day. I went to McCormick’s Cable Park with some co-workers and our Swedish contingent who were in their last of 4 weeks with us. There were a lot of people at the cable, so I took a few laps, got warmed up, crashed on something I don’t remember now, then got back in line. The line took a good 20 minutes to get through, so when I got going again, I didn’t want to fall. That plays a part in the story. You can click the pictures for bigger versions.

Rainbow Rail

Bec on the rail. The red circle is where the collision took place.

For those of you who aren’t aware, a cable park is a place where us wakeboarders are pulled around a lake in a circle by a mechanism that runs along a cable strung tightly up about 30 feet above the water. It lets us ride without a boat and practice fun things like sliding across solid objects, known as rails and kickers.

So on lap 1 of my second ride that day, I hit the rainbow rail (shaped in an arch, just like a rainbow) and misjudged it, so I jumped off to the side of the rail where the rope could pull me back toward the rail. I was riding on the water, and felt the rope trying to pull me back into the rail. I knew I should let go, but not wanting to get back in line, I decided I should try to avoid the inevitable collision with said rail.

Bad decision.

With less than 10 feet of rail remaining, I got pulled right into it and was flung around to where I got pretty disoriented for a minute and had a few painful spots all over my body, namely my elbows and my buttocks. The water was murky, so I couldn’t see the damage. All I knew was that my butt felt the same as my left arm, which just had a medium size raspberry on it, so I didn’t panic.

After swimming to the shore, I noticed my shorts were ripped open pretty nicely, so I pulled them back and saw quite a bit of raw Billy butt flesh. I couldn’t see it too well because of my life jacket, but I decided to get to the office quickly so I could get some first aid action on it quickly.

Rainbow Close Up

Close up of what cut me. That small angled gap acted like a knife.

Once outside the office I took my jacket off and had a good look at the damage, it was pretty significant. Jesse, the girl I had paid to ride for the day, was sitting outside, and I let her see the wound. She got pretty wide-eyed, then told me how to get to the nearby hospital.

I wasn’t in much pain, and needed to get my belongings, so I took the walk (maybe 100 yards) back to my stuff. Still only minor pain, so I proceeded to show off my fresh gash to all the people I knew. I warned them all that it was very gory and they shouldn’t see it if they easily get sick. The reaction was the same from most people: very wide eyes, some expletive, and disbelief. We took pictures and all that good stuff, then I drove myself to the hospital with Cassie, the daughter of my boss who had just cut her foot open on a bike earlier that day.

At the hospital, I was in the unfortunate position of having a few guys standing behind me looking at my exposed backside making comments. Once the internal stitches and surface staples were in, those guys standing there looking at my butt made remarks such as “That looks real nice.” That was a bit odd.

Anyway, I’m all healed up now and I literally have a bad ass scar. Pun intended! We had a fun staple removing mini party at my house and I even got to take one of them out myself. Thanks to Ben for providing the proper tool and my nurses Kathy and Allison.

Okay, now that it’s all said and done, here is the link to some very graphic pictures of the butt. I haven’t put them in this post because of how gross they are. Enjoy! Warning: Very graphic butt laceration pictures. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Butt Injury #2 Prelude

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Word is out that I’ve injured my right butt cheek yet again. It is all true and as I type this I have 10 staples holding my new butt hole together.

I’m waiting for the right time to blog about the whole thing, which I figure will be within a couple weeks of when I get the staples removed.

I’ll have a nice detailed story just like I did when I tore another butt hole in the same cheek just under a year ago. I will tell you now that this one was a wakeboard injury and that the gay jokes will still be aplenty. Last time I got a large piece of wood jammed into my butt, this time I got a new butt hole torn by a rainbow. Yes, that’s right, a rainbow.

So hold tight, the story, along with very graphic gory pictures, is on its way.

Turtles and Rockets

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The past few weeks here in Clermont have been pretty windy. We haven’t done a whole lot of quality wakeboarding, and it was starting to get a bit annoying. Then today happened.

2009-11-16In the past 24 hours, I haven’t been one bit too warm or cold and I’ve been mostly just wearing shorts the whole time. The wind has been almost non-existent, the air temperature is like a nice Oregon summer day and the water is a perfect refreshing temperature.

This is why I moved here. My work day consisted of going to work at 10am to cover Bob’s kitchen shift. I did a little emailing and sandwich making. I went for a wakeboard at lunch time and had some fun on the glassy lake. For the afternoon I coached four people and had a great time. Two new moves were landed and one rider landed a toeside 360, which he hadn’t done in a while.

Oh, to explain that title now. At lunch, I walked outside and noticed a big white jet stream to the east in the sky. Apparently a rocket or satellite had just launched from the Kennedy Space Center, cool! Then as we went out for the afternoon set of riding, I noticed a pair of turtles had crawled up on our boat lifts to do a little relaxing in the sun. Later on, I put the boat on a different lift, and the turtles decided it was in their best interest to plop into the water.

It was just an awesome relaxing day with some good wakeboarding. The forecast shows that more of this is to be expected. Awesome, can’t wait. Yay Florida!

Greetings from July

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– It’s hot in Florida! Last week hovered around 100 degrees Fahrenheit with 80-90% humidity, but no rain to cool us down. We’re in our busy season now, and we’ve all been spending many hours on the boat. The shallow lakes here are currently right up around 90 degrees, which can be a bit uncomfortable. Now, I’m not complaining one bit. Three years ago I was one of many people stuck in a big dirty warehouse moving huge heavy boxes of furniture to a new huge clean, but still really hot, warehouse in Southern Utah. Man that sucked.

So life is good here in Florida. I’ve noticed that with the weather and my current financial situation, I’ve gradually toned up and my body is in pretty good shape. See, I figure it’s the weather and money I have to credit my shape to because I wakeboard more with nice weather and eat less when I have no money. It’s a pretty sweet deal really.

– Right now, I’ve still got this site hosted in St. George, and something happened a while ago that messed things up. I’m kind of tired of pestering them to fix things, and I feel bad about it because I’m not paying for it, since I used to work for the company. I say this because I can’t upload any images right now, which means you have to wait a bit longer to see the splinters that I took out of my butt last month. They’re pretty awesome.

So yeah, I’m going to move this site to another server I use for my other sites at Bluehost. Yep, that’s an affiliate link right there. If you don’t know what that means, don’t worry about it. If you do know what that means, can ya blame me? They’re good and I could use a buck!

– Anyway, this NBA offseason has been pretty sweet for my teams (yes, I consider Orlando my #2 team these days). Orlando dropped Turkoglu, Lee, and Alston then picked up Vince Carter, Brandon Bass, Matt Barnes, Ryan Anderson, and managed to keep Marcin Gortat, yeah! They’re bigger and badder than before, and I like that.

Portland stayed pretty inactive, although there were lots of talks of moves. They got some young guys I know nothing about, gave away Sergio (no more sweet Spain to Spain alley-oops, bummer) but then got Andre Miller! The dude is the best point guard in the league to never really accomplish anything. He’s a career 14 point, 7 assist, 4 rebound point guard who can post up and has a great knowledge of the game. Word on the world wide web is that Oden is looking pretty good at the moment too. Magic/Blazers finals? Well, maybe in 2011. Shaq might get one more this year.

OK BYE!