Its been a lil bit since the Stake Daddy and I have been out on the boat together. About the only thing that would get us out is to take the inaugural ride of our new custom FCTN Slingshot Nomad...
Slingshot called us up a couple months ago and asked if they could use some of my photos on their new wakeboard. The Nomad is a new board created for the leisurely rider, who wants to have a smooth ride, but still get out there & do some upside-downers if they want to. These boards are bigger than any wakeboard on the market, literally snowboard sized. With Fiction always trying to be apart of that new new, I thought it would be a good idea to collaborate with the Slingshot dudes and do a board together. Once we got the board, we scheduled an early morning ride with Jeff McKee for what will probably be mine and Stakes last wakeboard photo shoot ever.
When we used to be professionals, thinking about a sunrise session was the last thing you could get us to do, but now it's about the only time we could get out there and shred.
Stakes enthusiastically went first which was a little surprising as I don’t think he’s ridden in like 4 years, but I think he wanted to set the bar for the morning. I have a couple go-to tricks that I will probably be able to do for the rest of my life, so I was interested to see what Stakes still had.
Surprisingly enough, Stakes whipped out a toe-side front (literally a trick I was never able to do as a professional ) and it was perfect. Stakes was also trying some methods and heel fronts, but needless to say the old man still had it. He got out of the water and said “It felt like I could do all the same tricks, the board has all the energy that I don’t have anymore", which is a testament to the Almightyness of the board.
Then it was my turn. I strapped in & was mentally prepared to do my first tour run from 1997....(1997 throwback), but when I got out there all I wanted to do was surf the wake.
The board was so fun and different I couldn’t get enough of the ole wake surf. The inevitable still lingered over me, I had to pull out some tricks to not let Stakes show me up.
So I cut in for my first trick, half cab roll, Boom! perfect landing.
Then cut back from my next trick, nose grab role to revert, nailed it! Right on the transition of the wake.
Thinking to myself “well this is going nicely, my legs are still entact”. I thought I would end my run with something simple like a toe-side 360. I was cutting into the wake saying to myself “...there is no way I can get hurt doing a toe-side 360 “. When I hit the wake, I came off of it wrong and went nose first into the water, and got a good ole back stretching, and the wind knocked out of me.
I laid there in the water thinking to myself, “This is the last time I will wakeboard behind a boat." But as well all know, we'll be back at it again. Its kind of like eating at the Olive Garden, every time you go, you say to yourself “ I’m never going there again “ and somehow 5 years later you find yourself deep throating breadsticks and inhaling all you can eat salad.
All in all though, it was really fun to get back out there and hang out on the lake like we used to. This board is super fun! We have been doing a lot of snowboarding over the last couple of years and the experience is very similar. You get a really interesting flex out of board as you cut, but it still holds up when you hit the wake. The larger size also spins and flips really smoothly, and helps to really buffer the landings for my old man joints. I give this board a 10/10. If you're a guy like me who wants to go out there and have a smooth ride and still see if you can do a trick or 2.